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Constellations of Art: Fascinating Artist Families

October 7, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT

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Rena Tobey involves you in the art, history, and family dynamics in this five-part Zoom series

Young artists often need help launching their careers, and what better way than through an established family connection. But when was life ever that simple?

In this interactive, image-rich class, we take a close look at three American artist-family constellations and consider how their artwork reveals intriguing insights into their intimate family relationships.

As with any study of art, we deepen our looking by understanding the world in which the art was created. We examine a broad sweep of the historical, social, economic, cultural, and political contexts, as well as the artist’s biography.

Here, we focus on familiar family dynamics that play out in the art itself, often in astonishing, funny, and recognizable ways. The works inadvertently reveal more than appears on the surface. Never were personal (even dysfunctional) relationships wrapped in such engaging packages!

For a brief introduction by Rena, click here!

Weeks 1 and 2: ​The Peale Family Revolutionize the Art World

Charles Willson Peale started life as an indentured servant and grew up to be a prolific, successful painter, a naturalist-scientist, and an astonishing inventor of popular culture. This ‘Renaissance Man’ also became the nucleus of a complex family constellation of artists who together depicted a young nation’s emerging identity. Pictured: Charles Willson Peale. The Artist in His Museum. 1822.

Week 3​: The Weir Family and Impressions of a Changing America
Weeks 4 and 5: ​The Wyeth Family Paint the Modern World 

Course Logistics

The art-packed course is being held in five Zoom sessions:

Thursdays, October 7, 2021 – November 4, 2021
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.Eastern Time Zone (Toronto)  with time for Q&A with Rena after

If you cannot attend, sessions will be recorded and available for one week.

Course Cost: ​​$180 CDN /which is ​$150 US


October 7, 2021
11:00 am - 12:30 pm EDT
Event Category:


Rena Tobey