Art & Culture Classes

Class: Kerrin Meis - The Phenomenon of the Self-Portrait

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays, March 27-April 17 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140


From its origins in Medieval scriptoria to the compulsively repetitive images of Egon Schiele and Cindy Sherman, we study this important genre of painting.  What was the artist's intention? Self reflection a la Montaigne? The Status of the artist? Illustration of an aesthetic idea? Comments on society? Why do some artists paint so many "selfies" and other artists so few? Case studies include Durer, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Hogarth, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Picasso, Robert Arneson and Andy Warhol.
51 Tamal Vista Blvd
94925 Corte Madera

Class: Kerrin Meis - Botticelli to Braque: Exciting Works from the National Galleries, Scotland

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Three Fridays, March 6-20 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $110

An in-depth discussion of form and meaning in some of the most iconic images in Western art on view from March 7 to May 31 at the de Young museum. Masterpieces by Veronese, Velazquez, Vermeer, Raeburn and Watteau as well as Botticelli's Virgin Adoring the Christ Child are complemented by superb examples of the genius of Claude Monet and Georges Braque. We will discuss the provenance of these works as well. Participants are invited to arrange a field trip with Prof. Meis.

Class: Mary Edwards - Jump Start Your Art Career

Saturday, March 14, 2015 - 10:30am to 12:30pm
Saturday, March 14 • 10:30-12:30 pm • $50

Where are you in your art career?  How do you take the next step? The workshop will explain how current trends in the art world affect you.  We will explore four principles that guide the careers of successful artists.  Materials include a checklist to guide you, a ladder of exhibition opportunities, and a list of key local resources.

Mary Edwards is a Career & Life Coach who works exclusively with artists and other creative people.

Class: Kerrin Meis- Celebrating the de Young: Great American and Modernist Art

Friday, February 6, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays: Feb. 6-27 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140

Study the masterworks for which the de Young is famous. We begin with Copley, move on to West, Stuart, Vanderlyn et al, view the landscapes of Bierstadt, Church and Keith, study Bingham and Johnson, and marvel trompe l’oeil canvases of Harnett and Peto. The American Realists and Impressionists round out our tour of the 19th century. We then revel in 20th century works by Bay Area Figurative Artists, ending with an ode to Thiebaud.

Class: Kerrin Meis- Cultural History of Wine in Western Art

Friday, January 30, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Fri., Jan. 30 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $35
Through illustrations of works of art we study the origins of winein Mesopotamia, its use in secular revelry in the Greco-Roman world and sacred ritual celebrations that begin with early Christianity and continue through the Renaissance and well beyond. We see how the hedonistic expression “Carpe Diem” becomes the admonishing phrase “Vanitas” in the seventeenth century. In Vino Veritas! -- compare Renoir’s “Luncheon of the Boating Party” with Edvard Munch’s “The Hangover.”

Class: Kerrin Meis- The History of the Book in the West

Friday, January 9, 2015 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Three Fridays: Jan. 9-23 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $110

The course will focus on book illustration, tracing the development of the codex from ancient times to the present, looking at Astronomical treatises, Bibles, Haggadot, Books of Hours and the illumination of texts from Virgil to Dante to Edgar Allen Poe and beyond. An explanation of the techniques and materials employed to create these brilliant images includes the transition from palm leaves to papyrus to parchment and finally to paper. We discuss the roles of authors, illustrators and the market.

Class: Meghan Ward- Social Media Mastery 2

Saturday, November 1, 2014 - 9:00am to 1:00pm
Sat., Nov. 1 • 9:00-1:00 pm • $65 
In this class, students will receive individual analyses of the following social media platforms from a master: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Google+. Meghan Ward is the author of Runaway: Confessions of A Not-So-Supermodel and the owner of, a weekly blog about writing and publishing.

Class: Kerrin Meis- Modernism, Avante-Garde Art 1900-1940

Friday, October 10, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays: Oct. 10-31 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $140
What exactly was Modernism?  From our vantage point a century later we shall be examining the avant-garde movements in the visual arts in Europe from 1900 to 1940.   Modernism had its roots in the late nineteenth century when artists began a move toward abstraction albeit in very different ways.  Increasingly less reliant on nature they were interested in art for art's sake.  We shall see that in the high period of modernism, art divorced itself from its societal moorings and withdrew, supposedly to save its creative essence, from the real world.  There were certain artists who bucked this trend toward abstraction: the Surrealists, whose notion of reality fell entirely outside traditional views of the world and the artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit who addressed the problems of Weimar society.  One of the major debates during the period was about the role of art in our society. Arnold Schoenberg once declared that nothing done for a purpose could be art, whereas Picasso remarked that art was not something to hang on a wall but a weapon with which to attack an enemy,  We will begin with the Austrian Secession; Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka and move on to Germany : The artists of Die Brucke and Der Blaue Reiter. We'll encounter the Fauves in France: Matisse, Derain, et al. The pioneers of Cubism: Braque and Picasso, Orphism and the Delaunays will be followed by a study of the Italian Futurists. We will pay special attention to the Women artists of the Russian Avant-Garde as well as the enigmatic, colorful visions of Marc Chagall.  We will return to Germany to see what Kandinsky and Klee are teaching at the Bauhaus, to Holland, then Paris for the artists of de Stijl: Mondrian and Van Doesburg  and at the artists of Die Neue Sachlichkeit-- Then to Paris to see what was happening between the wars.  We conclude with Dada and the beginnings of Surrealism in the work of de Chirico, Miro, and Dali.
Recommended Reading:
Italian Futurism 1909-1944, by Guggenheim Museum 
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years. 

Class: Kerrin Meis- Persephone's Island: An Art and Architectural Tour of Sicily

Friday, November 7, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Three Fridays: Nov. 7-21 • 10:00-12:00 pm • $110
Sicily, the meeting place of Africa and Europe in the Mediterranean was occupied by the Greeks, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Normans. All left marvelous monuments: Temples in Segesta and Agrigento, the Greco-Roman theatre in Taormina and fascinating mosaics of Villa Romana Casale, and the Capella Palatina in Palermo as well as its churches and the great cathedral at Monreale. We visit Noto and Siracusa for spectacular Baroque architecture and Reggio Calabria to view the Riace Bronzes.
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years!
Recommended Reading:
The Leopard by Giuseppe Di Lampedusa
On Persephone's Island by Mary Taylor Simeti
Seeking Sicily by John Keahy
Lonely Planet's Sicily


CANCELLED- Class: Kerrin Meis - To Russia With Love

Friday, September 12, 2014 - 10:00am to 12:00pm
Four Fridays: Sept. 12-Oct. 3 • 10:00-12:00pm • $140

Join Kerrin Meis on a virtual tour of St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the Cities of the Golden Ring to study their architecture, moving from medieval times to the Italian contributions of the 18th century, from 11th-century icons to Malevich and beyond. We’ll include the paintings, sculpture, and artifacts of the Kremlin, the incomparable Hermitage, the Pushkin Gallery, the Russian Museum and the Tretyakov Gallery. A coda to the course will be a look at the thousands of works of avant-garde art smuggled out of Russia by Norman Dodge, now at Rutgers University.
Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and now lectures for the College of Marin and Dominican University and leads study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been big favorites for years. 


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