Painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir title Luncheon of the Boating Party

$138 USD per device. 4 programs, held weekly. Enroll in all 4 or choose only the ones that interest you. Each program is 60 mins, including time to ask questions and exchange ideas. Suitable for all ages, no background required.

  • Mondays, May 3, 10, 17, 24 at 1:00 pm EST
  • Tuesdays, June 1, 8, 15, 22 at 1:00 pm EST
  • Thursdays, June 3, 10, 17, 24 at 10:00 am EST
  • Mondays, June 28, July 5, 12, 19 at 10:00 am EST

Food is essential fuel for all, but for artists it was also creative inspiration. Discover how food appears in art across space and time. We’ll see painters fascinated by the innate artistry of local ingredients, cuisine, and dining rituals. They used food to express ideas about morality, mortality, wealth, changing social norms, and even current events. Everyday food was transformed into lasting visual stories. Tune in for a delicious history of art to feed your appetite, mind, and your curiosity.

Your educator Amanda Herold-Marme, is an art historian with a PhD from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris. A Parisian resident for nearly 20 years, she has taught in universities and museums, as a guide for Paris Muse. She now works for the estate of the Spanish sculptor Julio González and painter Roberta González. Amanda has always been fascinated by exiles who chose Paris as their home. A recognized specialist on that topic, Amanda was  contributing author to the exhibition publications Guernica (Musée Picasso, Paris) Lost, Loose & Loved: Foreign Artists in Paris, 1944-1964 (Reina Sofia, Madrid) and Exilio Republicano Español 1939 (Spanish Ministry of Justice).

Food in Art: A Series features:

The Dutch Golden Age

Food comes into its own in luxurious Dutch still life paintings of the 1600s, as Holland enjoyed a Golden Age of cultural wealth and international trade. Beyond its artistic appeals, Dutch still life is a deeply symbolic tradition. Learn how to decrypt the code of works of art that were made to please your eye, whet your appetite, and share lasting lessons about the meaning and purpose of life.

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Impressionist Picnics

The Impressionists captured modern people and the way they lived. Food was essential to the visual stories they told. Painters in the second half of the 1800s found inspiration in a recently renovated Paris, and in new ways to escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, too. With easier access to the countryside, painters like Claude Monet and Auguste Renoir journeyed to find fleeting moments of informal pleasure. Many of their paintings, not surprisingly, featured parties with food and drink at the center. In this program, you will hear the stories (and scandals) behind some of the most celebrated Impressionist scenes of both picnics and guinguettes.

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Parisian Absinthe & Cabaret Culture

Absinthe was the drink of choice in late 1800s Paris. This was the era known as the Belle Époque, when cafés and cabarets were at their peak of cultural influence on artists, residents and visitors. Among the offerings you could order from the menu, absinthe was king. It is a frequent motif in Impressionist-era art, because it captures so many aspects of modern life: its seductions,  but also its dangers. You’ll hear the stories of the artists who made cabaret culture their artistic stage, representing “the green fairy” as both muse and murderer of dreams.

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Picasso in WWII Paris

Artists turned to food in their art, to both document and resist the dangers and deprivations of WWII. Art made during the Occupation of Paris (1940-1944) tells a vivid story about everyday life, and the will to survive and create. Together we’ll decrypt the anti-fascist political messages of paintings by Pablo Picasso created in this lesser-known but powerful period of his life and work.

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Image: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Luncheon of the Boating Party (1880-81), The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

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