Lately I have been making YouTube videos about art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, including:

  • From the Medieval World to the Renaissance.   One of the local universities asked me to create a this video for their freshman honors humanities course.  The video uses the  Philadelphia Museum of Art’s collection to trace the journey of European art from the 1100s to the Renaissance.  (Note: this one is 30 minutes in length, the rest are under 10 minutes, so if you are looking for something shorter, start somewhere else).
  • Rodin in the Garden. Some of the most important and iconic Rodin sculptures at the Philadelphia Rodin Museum are outside in the museum’s beautiful garden. Visitors can see these works even when the museum is closed. (The Rodin Museum is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art).
  • African Americans in Art (19th Century). This video reviews five of the most important 19th century works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that are created by African Americans or that tell an important story about African American life.
  • Vincent van Gogh.  The Philadelphia Museum of Art has four paintings by Vincent van Gogh. I discuss how they were radical and innovative AND how they are deeply rooted in earlier  traditions.
  • Annunciation.  This is an interview with Kevin Hughes, Professor of Historical Theology at Villanova University.  He sets several of the museum’s most interesting paintings of the Annunciation in a theological and dramatic context. 
  • What is Impressionism?  Most people like impressionist art but it isn’t so easy to define what it is.  I use an acronym, E.L.B.O.W., to give a simple working definition, illustrated by impressionist works at the museum.
  • Watch the Hands.  I show how small details in how hands are portrayed can change or add meaning to a painting, using works by Winslow Homer, John Singleton Copley, Robert Campin, Rogier van der Weyden and The Master of The Tibertine Sybil. It is my shortest video so far and, I think, rather fun.
  • At the Foot.  As a companion piece to my video on Watch the Hands, I show how feet can have many different meanings in works of art. Examples are shown from Tibet, India and Europe in the 1400s. 
  • Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Iliam.  This is one of the most challenging contemporary art installations at the museum. I tried to make it accessible to people who don’t like modern art by dramatically relating the paintings to the events of the Trojan war.   James Christy is the narrator and the original music is composed by Bryson Kemp.
  • Bronzino’s Cosimo as Orpheus . This painting from the Renaissance is challenging in a different way — it just seems very odd.  I try to show how the strange elements of the painting actually make sense.
  • The Constantine Tapestries.  If you have been to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you have seen these monumental tapestries that fill the Great Stair Hall.  But most people don’t realize that they tell a story about Constantine the Great, the Roman emperor from  306 to 337 C.E.  This video takes through the story and the description of the video explains bit about how the tapestries were created and ended up at the museum.  Spoiler alert: seven of the twelve tapestries were designed by Peter Paul Rubens.