December 16, 2010  |  Events & Programs
Teaching Online at MoMA
Kathy King, Interior Monologue (2010)

Kathy King. Interior Monologue. 2010

When I began teaching at MoMA several years ago, I realized that it was the perfect place to use my background as a conservator, artist, and art historian, since the collection already provided the best learning resource: the artworks themselves.

By painting to sharpen the eye, and by using close looking to improve as a painter, I have found that there is no substitute for the firsthand experience of art, both in the classroom and in the studio. When MoMA invited me to teach an online studio course, naturally I was excited to teach students all over the world—but I also thought the course could never compare to the “real” one held in the Museum. Fortunately, I’ve learned at least as much as my students have in this first online course, and I now realize that my initial assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

Working with MoMA’s Education Department and a terrific video production team called Plowshares Media, we’ve brought paintings to life on screen as I’ve never seen them before. The physical nuances of a painting—the texture at the end of a brushstroke, a transition from matte to glossy paint—are crucial to understanding how a painting is made and how it visually functions, and they are all captured here in full effect.

Detail of Philip Guston. The Clock. 1956-57. Oil on canvas, 6' 4" x 64 1/8" (193.1 x 163 cm). Gift of Mrs. Bliss Parkinson. © 2010 The Estate of Philip Guston

Detail of Philip Guston's The Clock. 1956–57. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of Mrs. Bliss Parkinson. © 2010 The Estate of Philip Guston

In my course Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting, each week focuses on a single artist of the Abstract Expressionist circle. Students watch a series of videos ranging from art history lectures to studio demonstrations, and then paint a canvas using that artist’s materials and techniques. Images of these paintings are then uploaded to a discussion forum, allowing us all to study and comment on each other’s work. Week to week, I’m amazed at the discussions that have taken place between students in, say, Moscow and Miami, Curacas in Colombia, or Croton-on-Hudson in New York.

While some students have no prior experience with painting, others are working artists with long exhibition histories. Regardless, every member of the class has been introduced to a series of new approaches that expand both an understanding of abstract painting and our ability to paint. Check out the detail below of student Kathy King’s amazing painting based on the work of Philip Guston!

Kathy King, Detail of Interior Monologue (2010)

Detail of Kathy King's Interior Monologue (2010)

If you’d like more information about The Materials and Techniques of Postwar Abstract Painting, check out Hope to see you online or in the classroom!


Great idea

hmmm, i see the color collision manifesting in a festering way…. is she trying to break free from some sort of an oppressor? something is definitely emerging from this work. i find it intrinsically thought provoking

thanks a lot! it`s amazing.

i like it. i am a abstract painter too , i wonder your works.

I see that the course if closed but I am curious how an online course can be full. Please advise.

An interesting approach to study and use techniques etc. of abstract painters. I find my abstract work, almost entirely expressionistic, come from my inner life. Technique, media etc. follow and emerge.

Hi Roxanne, the course is NOT closed – we opened a second section due to demand. Sorry for the confusion! Have a look here – just scroll down.

Let us know if you have any questions!


If it is online, it is possible that you open another classroon?

Very interesting and new approach , I`m a painter and teach to children and adults , with children some have diffuculty in learnning they just whant to have fun so we have fun and I end up learnning! With the adults they are mostly bored and whant something to do like some sort of therapy , I look foward to showing and sharing this with them thank you .

not for a moment would i fathom the idea that this is’s trash !For the sake of those of you calling (this) Art it may have a lesson in paint texture on a canvas but from a manifestation point of view, its simply pure lazyness..get a clue..

I THINK IT’S REVOLUTIONARY IDEA Bravo!!!!miriameromero

Yes Manuel, we have opened another section of the course–you can see the list by scrolling down here:

how do I take your class online ?????

Hi Zac – Visit this site for information about registering:

or email us at for assistance.

I am currently in this MoMA course and it has been a good experience. We’ve experimented and learned a lot and I think we’ve all been artistically re-energized and inspired to try new things. Corey is an excellent instructor.


Hai Corey: I am one of your students and I am not from Curacas, Colombia ( you probably meant Caracas, Venezuela), but from Curacao, Dutch West Indies. I am enjoying the on line course tremendously! Thanks.

Hi Arthur – Actually we have a student from Curacas in the other section!

Excelente idea de compartir cursos de pintura-arte ON LINE y ser interactivo entre artistas y quienes comparten sus conocimientos y experiencias.
Yo enseño a pintar con el computador y técnicas propias , que es la pintura de nuestro siglo 21.
Me gustara participar en MOMA y compartir mis conocimientos- soy una de los que inicio la pintura usando el computador : El Mouse como el nuevo pincel y la pantalla como la tela.

Just wondering if the abstract painting course is going to be offered with the critiques of student work included – online, of course. ?A

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