Art History Classes

Registration Information

Registration for Winter/Spring 2022 programs begins at 9am on November 15 for current VMFA members and November 22 for non-members.

Winter 2021/Spring Classes and Programs Catalog

In preparation for attending Art History programs, please view the current safety and cleaning protocols below.

Art History Safety & Cleaning Protocols

VMFA Art History Classes provide adult audiences with the opportunity to investigate the history of art through dynamic and interactive lectures, gallery visits and discussions. For ages 16 and over.

[42] European Art at VMFA

Tue, Jun 7 &14 (2 sessions), 1–2:30 pm | Leslie Cheek Theater
Dr. Sylvain Cordier, Paul Mellon Curator and Head of the Department of European Art

This two-session course will explore European masterpieces from the Joran and Thomas A. Saunders III Collection, currently on loan to VMFA. This exceptional ensemble of paintings and decorative arts considerably enriches the museum's presentation of Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical art from the 17th and 18th century.

$50 (VMFA members $45)


[43] Impressionism: The Art of Modern Life in France

Wed, Jun 8, 15, 22, 29, Jul 6 & 13 (6 sessions), 2–3 pm | Pauley Center Parlor
Dr. Donald Schrader, Adjunct Professor of Art History, University of Mary Washington

Paris was the art center of France and of the world in the second half of the 19th century, and many young people came there to study and become a part of this exciting and romantic enterprise. Not every prospective artist felt drawn to the official establishment, which served and supported the authoritarian government of Napoleon III. Édouard Manet, whose father was an official of the judiciary, became the center of a group of these independent-minded painters. Among these were Claude Monet, son of a grocer from the coast of Normandy; Edgar Degas, from a Paris banking family; Camille Pissarro, whose family were Jewish textile merchants settled in the West Indies; Auguste Renoir, son of Montmartre tailors; Paul Cézanne, a coarse peasant from Porvence; and Berthe Morisot, daughter of a government administrator. These are heroic names in our time; but in their own day the art-going public was decidedly not ready for their radical new view of modern France. In this series we will look at the famous independent exhibitions that these artists organized to show their works, as well as examining the careers and personalities of these and other great painters drawn into the orbit of artists known to us today as the Impressionists.

$90 (VMFA members $75)

[44] Japanese Woodblock Prints by Kawase Hasui

Thu, Jun 16, 1–2:30 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
Li Jian, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art

Explore woodblock prints on display in Landscapes and Architecture: Japanese Woodblock Prints by Kawase Hasui in the Works on Paper Gallery.

$30 (VMFA members $25)


[45] Contemporary Tibetan Artists: Innovation, Inspiration, and Meaning

Tue, Jul 12, 19, and 26 (3 sessions), 1–2:30 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
Dr. Ariana Maki, Associate Director, Tibet Center and Bhutan Initiative, University of Virginia

Over the last four decades, Tibetan artists have driven major innovations in creative expression. This series traces the history and development of contemporary Tibetan art through a range of media—painting, sculpture, installations, and photography—as artists engage questions of identity, place, and tradition. The cost of the course includes admission to Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits.

$80 (VMFA members $65)