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Continuing Education at PAFA

Art History

History of the Printed Image


with Tony Rosati

Calendar Current session started Oct 2, 2020 at 1 pm, runs for 4 weeks

Join Tony Rosati, Chair of the PAFA Printmaking Department for a selected array of important prints and books spanning the 15th to the 21st centuries.  Learn about artists in their context and the evolution of various printmaking mediums.  View and discuss traditional and contemporary milestone prints and books from the collections of the PAFA museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art and the Library of Congress.

Register by:  September 25

Materials List : Rosati PR 660EO_ON

Zoom Technical Requirements

CE Policy Guide_Fall 2020

Picturing Benjamin Franklin (ONLINE) IN 651EB_ON


with Dr. Paul Sivitz

Calendar Next available session starts Oct 26, 2020 , runs for 5 weeks

Benjamin Franklin’s iconic status has been, since his own lifetime, bolstered by images and shapes our perceptions of this historical figure. The numerous portraits, busts, and drawings from the eighteenth century are only a part of the vast collection of visual Frankliniana. Examine the man and his likenesses within an historical context, including the question as to why the image of the older, corpulent Franklin is the most popular representation, when in fact Franklin was, until quite late in life, very fit. Readings include selections Franklin’s Autobiography, as well as his letters and papers.  Online instruction will provide weekly recorded lectures plus live Zoom sessions with the instructor on Tuesdays, 7:00 - 9:30 p.m. 

Learning Objectives

  • Develop an historical understanding of Benjamin Franklin, while at the same time, evaluate the use of his image in different contexts.
  • Learn to evaluate primary sources and use them to more thoroughly understand historical actors and events and write short papers using those sources.

Note: This course is available for 1.0 undergraduate credit for $525.

Register by:  October 16

Materials List: Sititz IN 651EB_ON

Zoom Technical Requirements

CE Policy Guide_Fall 2020

Dr. Paul Sivitz received his MA in History from Temple University and his PhD in History from Montana State University. He has returned to his native Philadelphia after teaching for seven years in the Department of History at Idaho State University. He specializes in early America, the Atlantic World, Race and Slavery, the social history of disease and medicine, and the circulation of knowledge in the eighteenth century. His art historical interests span the early modern period, particularly the themes of science, medicine, and political commentary.


Benjamin Franklin, David Martin (1736-1798), 1767,Oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (125.8 x 100.4 cm.), Collection of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Accession #1943.16.1, Gift of Maria McKean Allen and Phebe Warren Downes through the bequest of their mother, Elizabeth Wharton McKean, Joseph Harrison, Jr. Collection

Pre-College: Public Art in America: Landscapes and Cityscapes


with TK Smith

Calendar Next available session starts Nov 7, 2020 at 1 pm, runs for 5 weeks

The architecture of Chicago is distinct from the architecture of New Orleans. The city of Boston is made of brick, while stucco is found in Miami. The architecture in the United States is as diverse as its people and tells the history of war, migration, and American identities.  

This is an introductory course for teens on American landscapes and architecture. We will explore the international influences and distinctly American elements of landscapes and public structures found across the United States. We will examine public parks, cemeteries, theaters, and government buildings to give students a firm understanding of iconic American architecture.

This 5-week course will meet weekly for 1.5 hours on Zoom for seminar style, discussion-based learning. Additional resources, assignments and communication are on the learning management system Canvas. Students will be required to do weekly readings or viewings to prepare for the class sessions, and a cumulative object study assignment that involves light field research and willingness to try basic drawing (all drawing levels welcome).


Students may take this course in combination with Public Art in America: From Monuments to the Monumental to earn 1.0 college credit, or this course can stand alone as a no-credit course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will participate in discussions about art, architecture, and public space that will improve their course discussion skills to better prepare them for college seminar style learning.      
  • Students will leave the course with the skills to conduct a digital presentation.      
  • Students will learn to generate knowledge from field research.      
  • Students will be given the introductory skills to conduct detailed object study. Object study is a corner stone in the study of art and material culture and builds patience while it trains the eye.      
  • Students will leave this course able to recognize and identify how history, culture, and conflict have shaped the physical nation around 

Teacher Information:

TK Smith is a Philadelphia based writer, art critic, and curator. Smith is currently a Ph.D candidate in the American Civilization Program at the University of Delaware. He received his MA in American Studies and his BA in English and African American Studies from Saint Louis University,


Parent/Guardian must fill out Student Information & Release form BEFORE first day of class.

Pre-College: The Art of Surviving the Apocalypse: Imagining Diverse Futures


with Li Sumpter

Calendar Next available session starts Nov 10, 2020 at 4 pm, runs for 5 weeks

The apocalypse is not just an end, but the beginning of something new. This course will explore apocalypse myths of birth, death and rebirth that imagine different futures and new realities. Focusing on the visions of the future shaped by the African Diaspora, we will explore mythic and media landscapes of the black imagination with Dr. Li Sumpter.

How does media culture inform our perspective on the world and shape reality? Can art really imitate life? This 5-week course for teens covers key concepts of world building and contemporary myth-making known to black culture across the African Diaspora. Students will examine connections between speculative fiction and historic headlines revealing patterns of apocalypse that permeate the black experience and all of human existence. Assignments focus on visual and media literacy, testing students’ ability to recognize and re-imagine archetypes and aesthetics of afrofuturism and apocalypse for their own story worlds. Course assignments/projects include: weekly media diary/dream journal, character cards (like tarot cards), and a short story.


Students may take this course in combination with “The Art of Surviving the Apocalypse: Contemporary Myths + New Media” to earn 1.0 college credit, or this course can stand alone as a no-credit course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the key building blocks of mythmaking and story design
  • Identify the major archetypes and defining aesthetics of apocalypse in classic film and contemporary media
  • Recognize various ways themes of apocalypse can be visually interpreted and expressed through different cultural perspectives and aesthetic lenses 
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the connection between reality and fiction, media stories and the mythic imagination by keeping a weekly media diary/dream journal.
  • Create your own characters and story worlds inspired by course content

Teacher Information: 

Dr. Li Sumpter is a mythologist, educator and social practice artist. She earned her Ph.D in Mythology from Pacifica, M.A. in Arts and Humanities Education from NYU, and she is currently Creative Director at MythMedia Studios. Learn more here:

Parent/Guardian must fill out Student Information & Release Form BEFORE first day of class. 


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