Art History Classes

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.

Jan – May 2020 Classes & Programs
Fall class Registration begins November 11 for current VMFA members and November 18 for non-members.
Cancellation Policy: No refunds unless VMFA cancels a class. VMFA will cancel a class if 12 students are not enrolled one week before the start date.


[67] Edward Hopper and the Space In Between

Tue, Dec 3, 1 – 2:30 pm | Conference Suite & Galleries
DR. SARAH POWERS, Curatorial Research Specialist for the exhibition Edward Hopper and the American Hotel

Edward Hopper divided his time between his New York studio, located on Washington Square, and a cottage he built on a beach in South Truro, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The act of shuttling between these two sites of creativity meant that Hopper developed a love for the road and mobility at a time when our national identity was wrapped up in a highway culture wanderlust. In this course, explore Hopper's depictions of the city, the country, and the space in between. This class will include a tour of the special exhibition Edward Hopper and the American Hotel with the instructor.

$25 (VMFA members $20)


[68] Edward Hopper and the Space In Between

Thu, Dec 5, 6 – 7:30 pm | Conference Suite & Galleries
DR. SARAH POWERS, Curatorial Research Specialist for the exhibition Edward Hopper and the American Hotel

Edward Hopper divided his time between his New York studio, located on Washington Square, and a cottage he built on a beach in South Truro, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The act of shuttling between these two sites of creativity meant that Hopper developed a love for the road and mobility at a time when our national identity was wrapped up in a highway culture wanderlust. In this course, explore Hopper's depictions of the city, the country, and the space in between. This class will include a tour of the special exhibition Edward Hopper and the American Hotel with the instructor.

$25 (VMFA members $20)


[78] Kamoinge 101

Tue, Feb 18, 1–2:30 pm | Conference Suite & Galleries
DR. SARAH ECKHARDT, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

Join the exhibition curator for an in-depth exploration of the photography and archival material included in the special exhibition, Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop. This class includes a tour of the exhibition with the curator.

$25 (VMFA members $20)


[79] Gothic France: Landmarks of Sacred Architecture in the High Middle Ages

Wed, Mar 4–Apr 8 (6 Sessions), 2–3 pm | Pauley Center, Parlor
DR. DONALD SCHRADER, Adjunct Professor of Art History, University of Mary Washington

The Gothic style sprung to life in Paris, during a building frenzy in the mid-12th century. Despite the complex and uncertain engineering it required, the new style developed rapidly, inspiring some of the most astonishing construction in history. This class will explore the majestic cathedrals of Paris, Chartres, and other great cities of medieval France, as well as some of the smaller jewels of religious architecture from the 12th through the 15th centuries.

$95 (VMFA members $80)


[80] Dig Deep

Tue, Mar 10, 1–2:30 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
IZZIE FUQUA, Adult Programs Coordinator

This class offers a back-to-basics approach of looking at and learning about art in VMFA's permanent collection. Through a variety of facilitated, in-gallery activities, as well as group interaction and conversation, participants "dissect" works in VMFA's collection and learn new ways to connect with art.

$20 (VMFA members $15)


[81] Dig Deep

Thu, Mar 12, 6–7:30 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
IZZIE FUQUA, Adult Programs Coordinator

This class offers a back-to-basics approach of looking at and learning about art in VMFA's permanent collection. Through a variety of facilitated, in-gallery activities, as well as group interaction and conversation, participants "dissect" works in VMFA's collection and learn new ways to connect with art.

$20 (VMFA members $15)


[82] Thomas Jefferson in Italy

Thu, Mar 26–Apr 16, 1–2:30 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
DR. CRAIG REYNOLDS, Curator, Virginia State Capitol and Capitol Square

In 1787, Thomas Jefferson toured northern Italy, visiting the areas around Turin, Milan and Genoa. This culturally and historically rich region exposed him to unparalleled art and architecture, a unique agricultural lifestyle, and much promise for trade and cultural exchange between Virginia and Italy. This class will explore Jefferson's 1787 tour of Italy and the lasting Italian influences Jefferson transplanted to Virginia. 

$90 (VMFA members $75)


[83] Printmaking in England

Wed, Apr 15–Apr 29, 2–3 pm | Conference Center Suite & Galleries
DR. COLLEEN YARGER, Curatorial Assistant for European Art and the Mellon Collections

This three-week course focuses on the evolution of the aesthetics, popularity, and prestige of printmaking (inluding etching and engraving processes) in England, with a special focus on the "rival" years–the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Sessions will highlight contributions of some of the most famous 19th–century printmakers, including J. M. W. Turner, James McNeil Whistler, Sir Francis Seymour Haden, and Sir Frank Short.

$80 (VMFA members $65)