Instagram Facebook Twitter

Previous Courses


ARTH489N: Colloquium in Art History: Can Art Museums Be Decolonized? A History of Modern Art Display in America

Instructor: Dr. Alison Boyd, Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History 2019/20

Students studied how collectors, curators, patrons, artists and architects collaborated to display modern art from the late 19th century to the present, particularly in the United States.  Local museums served as an extension of the classroom as they analyzed current exhibitions at the Renwick Gallery and The Phillips Collection to understand how museums function as spaces of knowledge building, identity formation, and politics.   

In collaboration with University of Maryland


ANTH404: Culture, Media, and the Production of Knowledge

Instructor: Dr. Marlaina Martin, Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Postdoctoral Fellow in Visual Culture 2019/20

Students examined the social lives, or “cultures” of media: how people have adopted, adapted, signified, and interacted through media, both in theory and in practice. In this seminar, students learned about “media anthropology” as a subfield. They discussed various media making practices and media forms in relation to issues of racial, gender and sexual identity; self-definition; religiosity; war and intergroup conflict; advertising; and nationalism. 

In collaboration with University of Maryland

SPRING 2019 

Colloquium in Art History - Dead or Alive? Still-Life Painting, 1870-Today

Instructor: Dr. Ashley Lazevnick, Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History 2018/19

Still-life painting first emerged in sixteenth-century Europe, when vernacular objects were first portrayed apart from portraiture and narrative scenes. As the distinction between subject and object was being challenged, still life offered a place for philosophical speculation. This course paired still life with historical writings as well as current debates in new materialism and ecocriticism. Throughout the semester, students made several trips to The Phillips Collection.  

In collaboration with University of Maryland

Special Topics in Art History - Art and the Environment

Instructor: Dr. Joshua Shannon, Associate Professor, Contemporary Art History & Theory, and Director of Graduate Studies

This course, focusing on Europe and North America since the advent of industrialization, examined art as an important means by which human beings produce and understand concepts such as nature, wilderness, the human being, civilization, and the world. The course covered five units: What Does Art Have to Do with the Environment?; Modernity, Modernism, and Nature; Deserts and Desertification; Cities and Suburbs; and Globalization and Climate Change. The course included frequent in-person study of art at the Phillips Collection.

In collaboration with University of Maryland

SPRING 2018 

Special Topics in Art History - African Modernisms

Instructor: Kate Cowcher, Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History 2017/18

This workshop introduced students to discussions around the concept of “global modernism” and its iterations in twentieth century Africa. After discussing the term “modernism,” its familiar Western-centric history, and its relationship to colonialism and anti-colonialism, students looked at modernist art in different national contexts across the African continent. The workshop included a visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and involved discussions about exhibitions of modern art from Africa in Western institutions.

In collaboration with University of Maryland

Ecocriticism: A Case Study on Modern Landscape Art at The Phillips Collection

Instructor: Joshua Shannon, Associate Professor, Contemporary Art History & Theory, and Director of Graduate Studies

This course offered a graduate-level introduction to ecocriticism in the humanities as well as an opportunity to conduct intensive research on modern landscape art, making special reference to works at The Phillips Collection.

In collaboration with University of Maryland


The Window and the Screen: Space and Surface in Modern Art

Instructor: Max Rosenberg, Phillips Collection and the University of Maryland Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art History

This course addressed the uncertain position of pictorial depth and material surface in modern and contemporary art since 1945. It focused primarily on abstract painting, Pop art, photorealist painting and experimental film, video and computer art from the fifties, sixties, and seventies.

In collaboration with University of Maryland

Contemporary Arts Purchasing Program

Instructor: Cecilia Wichmann, PhD Student, Contemporary Art and Theory

The University of Maryland College Park Stamp Student Union developed a Contemporary Arts Purchasing Program (CAPP) whose mission is to educate and inspire by exposing the campus community to thought-provoking art created by noted contemporary artists. The program provided a student committee with the opportunity to interact with the art world by researching, discussing, and purchasing artwork by contemporary artists. They embarked on a rigorous research and training program and visited galleries and artists’ studios in Baltimore, New York, and Washington, DC. 

In collaboration with University of Maryland


Art History in the Museum World

Instructor: Aneta Georgievska-Shine, Lecturer, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Theory

This course introduced students to various facets of museum work and provided guidance concerning the ways in which an academic degree in art history can be used for diverse career paths in the museum environment. In addition to meeting at The Phillips Collection, students visited other museums in the Washington D.C. area for meetings with different professionals. Topics included: curatorial work, management and preservation of collections, design and installation of permanent and temporary exhibitions, fundraising, and outreach and educational programs. 

In collaboration with University of Maryland


Art in Modern East Asia  

Instructor: Chinghsin Wu, The Phillips Collection–George Washington University Postdoctoral Fellow 2015–2016

This course introduced transformations and developments in the art of Modern East Asia. The first part of the course examined the concept of “Art” in East Asia and the related art systems that were established in the wake of successive encounters with Western culture or modern trends. The second part of the course focused on key trends in the visual culture of modern East Asia, including the reevaluation and innovation of traditional painting techniques, the utilization of Western art media to re-visualize historical events and national identities, the emergence of new female images, and development of imperial, colonial, and aboriginal art.  

In collaboration with George Washington University


Seminar in American Art of the 20th Century: The Museum, the Exhibition, and the Invention of Modern and Contemporary Art, 1913-Present

Instructor: Anne Collins Goodyear, Professorial Lecturer in Art and Art History, George Washington University; Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Portrait Gallery 

This course navigated the relationship between the theoretical conception of modern and contemporary art and the art museum or gallery. Students addressed the development of Alfred Stieglitz’s 291, The Phillips Collection, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, André Malraux’s Museum without Walls, and recent questions related to the installation and collecting of time-based and digital art.

In collaboration with George Washington University

FALL 2011

Modernism Minus Property: The Russian Avant-Garde, 1908-1934

Instructor: Kristin Romberg

What happens to art’s forms and institutions in a society without private property? What kind of patron is the proletariat, the public at large, or the state? Does it require wealth and privilege for professional artists to exist at all? If not, how do the forms of their objects change when they are charged with serving the commonweal? In this course, students looked at the ways in which artists strove to answer these questions in the decades before and after the Russian Revolution.  

In partnership with the George Washington University


Labor in American Art of the Gilded Age

Instructor: Makeda Best

This undergraduate seminar considered the representation of labor, laborers, the unemployed, labor unrest, and working-class communities – toward understanding what these images tell us about life in Gilded Age America, and how social realities impacted artistic production. The course also explored issues of artists as social critics, depictions of the urban landscape, images of poverty and of wealth, race, gender roles, and mass media formats. A final paper encouraged students to respond to resources at the University, the Phillips Collection, and local repositories.

In partnership with the George Washington University

Modernism and the Cinematographic Experience

Instructor: Riccardo Venturi

The objective of this course was to shed new light on the history of American modernism through the idea of the screen. Keeping an open methodological stance that included art history, critical theory, psychology, cultural, visual and media studies, and a multimedia approach that brings in painting, moving images and architecture, the course raised questions of perception, registration, and the spectacularization of exhibition conditions.

In collaboration with The George Washington University

FALL 2010

American Modernisms

Instructor: Elizabeth Hutton Turner

“American Modernisms” explored the range of artists who exhibited with Alfred Stieglitz between 1905 and 1946. Collector/Museum Director Duncan Phillips worked with Alfred Stieglitz from 1926 to 1946 pursuing the question of what it meant to be “American” and “Modern” in the twentieth century. Phillips collected artists such as Arthur G. Dove and John Marin in depth, though his limited selections of Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Charles Demuth, Charles Sheeler, Alfred Maurer, Max Weber, and Man Ray are equally compelling.

In partnership with the University of Virginia

The Performative Impulse in American Art

Instructor: Virginia B. Spivey

In partnership with the George Washington University