This four-part course - a celebration of British art, culture, and history - will take participants on a nearly 500-year journey through time. Get to know some of the masterful artists whose dazzling array of paintings are on view in Treasures of British Art, and explore the captivating themes they painted. Revisit longtime favorites from the Berger Collection, and discover paintings that have been brought out of storage for this special exhibition.
$75 members/$85 nonmembers for full four-session course. See the bottom of the page for individual session tickets.
March 9 – Portraying the Tudors
The Tudors, who ruled England between 1485 and 1603, are arguably the most famous and glamorous dynasty to hold the English crown. Part of the reason for our sense of "knowing" the Tudors—especially Henry VIII and his younger daughter, Elizabeth I—is their prolific use of visual imagery. Using a few choice selections from the Berger Collection, Paul Hammer explores the political and cultural implications of some key artistic developments in sixteenth-century England, including the ways in which Henry VIII's children quite literally lived in his shadow and why images of Elizabeth I increasingly became elaborate intellectual puzzles.
Presented by Paul Hammer, professor of history, University of Colorado, Boulder
March 16 – Internationalism & Global Power in British Painting
From the 1600s to the 1800s, Europe became increasingly global – economically, politically, and culturally. The paintings from the Berger collection (and a host of others beyond the museum’s walls) tell stories of artistic and intellectual exchange, travel, international trade, and colonial exploits. Dig deeper into the exhibition to discover Great Britain’s rise to power and increasing reach in the world during these dynamic centuries.
Presented by Molly Medakovich, art historian and DAM teaching specialist
March 30 – Women in the Berger Collection
Representations of women in Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection run the gamut from “Madonna” to “working woman” to the object of sexual desire, documenting changes in how women have been depicted in art over the past half-millennium. Berger Collection curator Kate Stuart looks at what these changes reveal about women’s shifting roles in our culture while exploring the varied methods used by artists – with help from the patron and sometimes the sitter herself – to encode meaning in their pictures.
Presented by Kate Stuart, curator of the Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum
April 13 – British Landscape Painting
A walk through Treasures of British Art might just feel like a breath of fresh air. Nature plays a role in nearly half of the paintings on view. From calm, picturesque images of the English countryside to a romantic, sublime eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, British artists of the 1700s and 1800s depicted nature as if to transport us into the scene. Nature appears, too, as an atmospheric setting to formal portraits. Just what was the significance of landscape to contemporary artists and viewers? No longer a mere backdrop, the great outdoors began to take on a new emotional and spiritual significance, conveyed the social status of the wealthy land-owning class, and told stories of both England and lands further afield.
Presented by Molly Medakovich, art historian & Denver Art Museum teaching specialist
Paul is professor of history at the University of Colorado Boulder. Before arriving at CU in 2008, he taught in New Zealand, Australia and the UK. His many publications include The polarisation of Elizabethan politics: the political career of Robert Devereux, 2nd earl of Essex, 1585-1597 (1999), Elizabeth’s wars: war, government and society in Tudor England, 1544-1604 (2003) and Warfare in Early Modern Europe, 1450-1660 (edited, 2007). He is currently completing a book on The Politics of Treason in the Age of Shakespeare.
Kate is the curator of the Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum, a position she has held since 2007. Her undergraduate degree was in English (Douglass College of Rutgers University), and her first career was as a magazine editor. She earned an M.A. in art history from Hunter College, City University of New York. Before coming to Denver, she worked as a curator of drawings at the Morgan Library in New York City. At the DAM she organized the traveling exhibition Treasures of British Art 1400-2000: The Berger Collection (2014-18) and wrote its catalogue. She also organized Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection (2019) for the DAM. In addition, she wrote the catalogue for the DAM exhibition Master Drawings: The Collection of Esmond Bradley Martin (2013).
Molly has worked as an educator in the DAM’s learning and engagement department since 2012. Currently a teaching specialist for adult programs, her focus is on adult and college audiences and lifelong learning. You can find her in the galleries leading a monthly Mindful Looking session, lecturing on European and American art in exhibition-related courses, or developing a wide variety of adult programs behind the scenes. She earned her Ph.D. in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European art history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and, in addition to her work at the DAM, teaches art history courses at the University of Denver and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.
Get to know some of the masterful artists whose dazzling array of paintings are on view in Treasures of British Art, and explore the captivating themes they painted in this four-part course. More
In session three of a four-part course, look at the representation of women in Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection, which run the gamut from “Madonna” to “working woman” to the object of sexual desire, More
In this final session of a four-part course, join art historian and DAM teaching specialist Molly Medakovich to examine Nature and the big role it plays in British art of the 1700s and 1800s. More