For the first time, Community College of Philadelphia has created a course that allows students to use one of the world’s finest collections of Post-Impressionist and Early Modern paintings as their textbooks.
Art 101 will be offered at the Barnes Foundation during an accelerated 10-week term, with the first class beginning Tuesday, October 6. Subsequent classes will run Mondays through December 19, 2015.
Each Monday, students will have access to the Renoirs, Cézannes and Picassos of the renowned collection. The class runs from 4:10 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Barnes, 2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, with class time equally divided between the classroom and the galleries. The course will offer a primer on how to enter into a discourse about art and realize its cultural value.
Course instructor Brian Seymour, associate professor of Art History at Community College of Philadelphia, has examined Dr. Albert C. Barnes, founder of the Barnes Foundation, as part of his doctoral research on art collectors at the turn of the 20th century. Seymour says the class is designed for and open to all art lovers, not just students from the College, and it builds upon Dr. Barnes' desire to make his impressive collection accessible to all. Seymour said the close proximity of the Barnes gives Community College of Philadelphia students and guest students an opportunity to engage with a renowned art collection just blocks away from the College’s Main Campus.
Dr. Sarah Iepson, Art department chair at Community College of Philadelphia, shares Seymour’s excitement. “We have had partnerships with other museums but up to this point we hadn't figured out how to engage with the Barnes Collection. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the College,” she said.
“Dr. Barnes’ philosophy was that the collection be an educational institution – he wanted his art to educate people,” Seymour added. “Community College of Philadelphia is for the people. It’s the perfect location to host this course.”
The three-credit course fulfills a Humanities elective and is transferable to most four-year institutions. Tuition for the class varies by residency; Philadelphia residents pay $153 per credit hour or $459; other Pennsylvanians pay more.