the museum of modern art in new york (MoMA) has launched a series of free online art courses. it forms part of the institution’s efforts to keep audiences stimulated during lockdown measures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. during each course, students will be able to hear directly from curators, artists and designers, and take a closer look at the works featured in MoMA’s collection and exhibitions


MoMA is making the courses accessible through coursera, where online classes with flexible deadlines allow students to complete them at their own pace. some of the courses have been offered by MoMA for years, with the newest class on contemporary art introduced only two months ago.


the courses are as follows: ‘fashion as design,’ ‘seeing through photographs,’ ‘in the studio: abstract post-war painting,’modern art and ideas,’ and ‘what is contemporary art?’ view the full list of courses provided by MoMA on coursera’s website or see a quick preview and what to expect on a selection of the courses below.


‘in this course, you’ll consider this question through more than 70 works of art made between 1980 and the present, with a focus on art from the past decade,’ explains MoMA. ‘you’ll hear directly from artists, architects, and designers from around the globe about their creative processes, materials, and inspiration.’


what is contemporary art?



‘this course is designed for anyone interested in learning more about modern and contemporary art. over the next five weeks, you will look at art through a variety of themes: places and spaces, art and identity, transforming everyday objects, and art and society.’


‘each week kicks off with a video that connects works of art from the museum of modern art’s collection to the theme. you will hear audio interviews with artists, designers, and curators and learn more about selected works in the additional readings and resources.’


fashion as design




‘fashion as design focuses on a selection of more than 70 garments and accessories from around the world, ranging from kente cloth to jeans to 3D-printed dresses,’ explains MoMA.


‘through these garments, we’re going to look closely at what we wear, why we wear it, how it’s made, and what it means. you’ll hear directly from a range of designers, makers, historians, and others working with clothing every day — and, in some cases, reinventing it for the future. studio visits, interviews, and other resources introduce the history and development of each garment and their changing uses, meanings, and impact over time.’


seeing through photographs



‘in this course you will look closely at photographs from the collection of the museum of modern art and hear a variety of perspectives on what a photograph is and the ways that photography has been used throughout its nearly 180 year history: as a means of artistic expression, as a tool for science and exploration; as an instrument of documentation; to tell stories and record histories; and as a mode of communication and critique in our ever increasingly visual culture.’