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A group of adults laugh and have a spirited discussion about artworks in the gallery.

Event Details

March 18, 2020
1:30 pm –2:30 pm


$200 for Members
$225 for Not-Yet-Members


High Museum of Art
Meet in Education Center, Stent Lower Level

Event Description

Wednesdays, March 4, 11, 18, 25 and April 1, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Registration includes admission to all five classes in this series.

Impressionism set a standard that lasted for at least a century. It required that advanced art be innovative in form and technique to express the evolving social and cultural conditions of its time. Accepting from Realism’s commitment to recording the reality of everyday life, the Impressionist artists unleashed bright colors and free brushwork to convey the upper-middle-class lifestyle and to suggest the immediacy of the visual experience of the world.

The first class in this short course will show how the Impressionists built on the precedents established by Gustave Courbet’s Realism, Eugene Delacroix’s colorism, and Édouard Manet’s formal inventions. In works from the 1870s, we will see the fullest expression of the Impressionist belief that visual perception is central to art. Using examples from our Shaheen Collection, the next class will survey the range of styles and subjects developed by Impressionists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Edgar Degas, and Mary Cassatt.

Beginning in the 1880s, some of the Impressionists departed from the group style and experimented with their own themes and techniques. Other contemporary artists took aspects of Impressionism and used them for their own, diverging purposes. The pure colors and free handling of paint inspired an expressionist current in art, from Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin to Matisse, the German Expressionists, and beyond. The Impressionists’ view of the geometric qualities of objects led other artists to focus on such forms and structures, beginning with Paul Cézanne and continuing in the geometric abstraction of twentieth-century modernism. The remaining classes will focus on these Impressionism-inspired traditions.

Clark V. Poling headshot.
About Your Instructor

Clark V. Poling has taught for thirty-three years at Emory University, serving as Chair of the Art History Department, Director of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, and Faculty Curator of Works of Art on Paper. He has published books and articles on the Bauhaus and on Surrealism and has organized exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. Recently, he lived in Oakland, California, and has taught courses at California College of the Arts; Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, University of California, Berkeley; San Francisco State University; and the University of San Francisco, as well as Continuing Studies at Stanford University. He has also taught summer courses in France for Emory University and frequently lectures for museum audiences. Poling currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.