Virtual Art Seminar

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Art with Friends

An exclusive webinar series for Maria's friends and family. Join an intimate community for five lively discussions on Modern art. In each class, we will learn about an important female artist whose work remains largely understudied today. No background in art necessary. All that's required is a curious mind. The material presented is the result of over five years of archival research and forms the basis of a forthcoming book on women artists and the nude in early twentieth-century Paris. Sessions are led by Lauren Jimerson, PhD. 

Live From Paris!

Art with Friends takes you Beyond the Louvre

Discover art that you won't see at the Louvre or the Orsay. Uncover art from private collections and museum storage. Study important but understudied women artists. Connect with people from around the world to explore art, history and culture.

Upcoming Webinar Series:

Thursdays 1:00-2:30 pm EST, January 21-February 18

Deepen your understanding of art history and enrich your life through meaningful discussion.

This webinar will change the way you look at art.

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Discover Modern Women Artists

What We'll Discuss:

Week 1: In Search of a Painting

When I first saw a reproduction of Marie Vassilieff’s Homme et Femme, a double-sided depiction of male and female Cubist nudes, I was determined to find the painting. This was the start of a three-year quest all over France and beyond. As we retrace my journey, we will study this lesser-known artist and the significance of her work. We will uncover her Cubist paintings, unknown to the public, which I found in private collections. We will learn what a woman artist risked a century ago by painting male nudes and challenging gender norms.

Week 2: The Androgynous Doll

In 1915, Marie Vassilieff pioneered a new kind of art form – the portrait doll. They represented various personalities of interwar Paris – Picasso, Matisse, Josephine Baker, and the artist herself. Vassilieff’s dolls were not merely craft – she considered her creations as works of art. As we examine her dolls, we will consider their role as objets d’art and the breakdown of artistic hierarchies they imply. We will learn about the Dada movement and the women involved. We will discuss the signification of the doll itself – its traditional link with femininity and discover the ways in which Vassilieff upends its meaning.

Week 3: Defying Gender

Travel back in time to Suzanne Valadon’s world in Montmartre. A model turned artist, Valadon devoted her career to the subject she knew best – the nude. As a lower-class woman and single mother, she must have assumed that she had nothing to lose. She audaciously exhibited male nudes at an important art Salon in Paris. Shocked, one critic called her an “old slut,” but that didn’t deter her. We will examine Valadon’s male nudes in paintings and in drawings. We will see how this artist became an active agent of her own sexuality and depicted the male body as shaped by her own desires.

Week 4: The Model's Gaze

As a former model, Valadon was acutely aware of the gaze – how the body is typically displayed as an object for male viewers – but she was also perceptive to the ways class and gender shape identity and subjectivity. From her unique and embodied vantage point, which I call the model’s gaze, Valadon reclaimed woman as subject. She painted female bodies that do not conform to standard ideals of beauty. She then turned the model’s gaze on herself. Toward the end of her career, she captured her aging body with a truthful and unflattering eye in the first known old-age nude self-portrait. We will look at Valadon’s female nudes and nude self-portraits and discuss the poignant ways in which they resonate with gender theory formulated over half a century later.

Week 5: Painting Pleasure

In her representations of the nude, Émilie Charmy explored female sexuality in paint. Often, she used her own body in lieu of a model’s creating daring self-portraits. Painting the female nude in a sensual manner with opulent brushwork and vivid color, she captured both a visual and tactile representation of the body. We will learn why Charmy hid some of her work from the public and where it can be found today. We will examine Charmy’s paintings up close and discover how a woman painted pleasure one century ago.

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Join us!

Connect with friends and explore art, history and culture

Upcoming webinar series:

Thursdays at 1:00-2:30 pm EST, January 21-February 18

An exclusive webinar series for Maria's friends and family. 


*To streamline the booking process, only one date appears in the booking system. However,

the event is a series of 5 seminars and your booking includes them all.*

  • Each webinar is limited in size to enable lively and engaging discussions.

  • Held on the same day and time each week, each session is 90 minutes.

  • No background in art necessary. All that's required is a curious mind. 

*If you have any questions, please contact me!