You Can Take MoMA’s Online Art Classes for Free

published Apr 11, 2020
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It may be a while before you can visit your favorite museums in person again, but many museums have online resources that you can access at home. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), for example, has online courses through Coursera, which you can now take for free.

These are in-depth courses about art history, theory, and even pedagogy. They’re broken down into weekly lessons, which include videos, readings, and sometimes quizzes.

In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting focuses on seven New York School artists, including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Yayoi Kusama. Through readings, you’ll learn about the artists’ lives and work, and then instructor Corey D’Augustine demonstrates techniques they use in their artwork, so you can try incorporating them into your own. Guest lecturers also appear in each weekly lesson to speak about specific pieces of artwork.

Fashion as Design takes a look at the intersection of fashion and art. It covers ideas like modesty and expression, as well as specific couture techniques, the cycle of garment production, and the impact of clothing consumption and disposal. In a lesson called “Heroes,” you’ll learn about everything from Bruce Lee’s tracksuits to military uniforms and sports jerseys.

For a broader look, you can take What Is Contemporary Art? The course draws from MoMA’s collection and features artists who have made artwork within the past forty years. “I audited this class during the coronavirus epidemic and it gave me a similar feel as touring a museum, with the added value of having the comments of the artists themselves,” reads a recent review. “I cannot wait to return to contemporary art museums!”