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Shock & Scandal

From Paris to New York, Modern masterpieces once rocked the art world. In this class we will examine rebellious artists who made statements about sex, politics, power and the meaning of art itself. We will take into account the artist's motivations behind the work as well as the critical reception. We will consider what made each piece so shocking, and what that reveals about the greater social, political, moral and gendered perspectives of the period. Bringing our attention to the present, we will uncover recent examples of shock and scandal in today's world.

Often times, the Modern works that we now consider masterpieces were originally deemed ugly, tasteless, or of poor quality when they were first shown to the public. With the passage of time, our societal values and morals have shifted, and consequently, we have come to accept these pieces for their ingenuity or originality. Although, that does not change the fact that these works alarmed audiences when they were first made. Called, succès de scandale, the shock the work first provoked contributed to its lasting fame. We will consider how defiant artists stirred controversy and called attention to hypocrisies and injustices of the modern world.


Wednesdays @ 1:00-2:30 pm

February 8 - March 1

(Feb 8, 15, 22, Mar 1)

All sessions are recorded and can be streamed at your convenience.


On Zoom from your home or office. Sessions are led by Lauren Jimerson, PhD.

  • Complete course of 4 webinars

  • 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. ​

  • All that's required is a curious mind.

Anchor 1
Damine Hirst
he Holy Virgin Mary (1996), Chris Ofili
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