In the appreciation of art, they say the eye is like a muscle. It needs training and regular workouts. Unfortunately, you could pass through an entire academic study of art history and never have the chance to look at great work up close. No wonder academia is besotted with art theory. With only slides and reproductions, the eye becomes weak and the head takes over.

The artist and family friend Tom Goldenberg is someone who has overcome this deficiency. He has developed his own art through a close study of drawings through history. Now he is offering a course to bring this study to others. It is my pleasure to endorse it and bring it to the attention of all. And I would be remiss if I did not, because I join the course whenever possible and have taken a great deal away from it already.

Professor Tom builds his class through a little known resource in New York: He reserves the private study rooms in New York's major museums and hand selects drawings from the collections, which are brought out on a table for the class to see. Tom encourages his class to look at the work, without glass, long and close, and then discuss it. The course meets once a week in the afternoons and is open to everyone. With no theoretical jargon to get in the way, the course also requires no prior experience. Everyone benefits from the discipline of close looking.

Here is the curriculum:

The Morgan Library, Drawing Study Center - Thursday, November 12th, 2009 2:00PM-4:15 PM
Discussion of the Renaissance and mans role in the world. Development of technology and commerce. Viewing and discussing drawings by: Luca Signorelli (1441-1523) Four Demons, Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517) Monastery Church and Well, Jocopo Pontormo (1475-1564) Standing Male Nude, Tobias Stimmer (1539-1569) The Crucifixion, Pieter Bruegel the elder (1525-1569) Mountain Landscape, Abraham Bloemaert (1564-1651) St. Roch, Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) Eroded Riverbank with Trees and Roots, Jean Honore Fragonard (1732-1806) Landscape with Flock and Trees , Anthony Van Dyke (1599-1641) View of Rye from the Northeast, and others.

The Metropolitan Museum, Drawing Study Center Wednesday, November 18th
Discussion of absolute vertical and horizontal axis in drawing as well as darkest dark and lightest light in developing structure and composition. View drawings and discussion of works by: Unknown Artist, Tuscan Drawing 14th Century, Two Monks looking Up at a Dragon, Fra Bartolomeo Landscape with Monastery Buildings, Wooded Approach to a Town, Raphael Madonna and Child with Infant St. John, Titian Trees, Landscape with Goat, Veronese (Paolo Caliari) Allegory of Redemption of the World, Bruegel Pieter the Elder Seated man Precariously Seated Playing the Bagpipes, Bruegel the Younger Temple of Venus and Diana on the Bay of Baia, Cezanne Landscape and Bathers by A Bridge, Rembrant House by the Water, Corot Le Martinet, among others.

The Museum of Modern Art, Drawing Study Center, Wednesday, November 25th, 2:00 PM- 4:15 PM Discussion of 20th Century Drawing. View drawings and discussion of works by: Matisse Reclining Nude, Branch of a Judas Tree, Cezanne, Bridge at Gardonne, Bathers, Degas Two Dancers, Giacometti An Interior, Man Reading a Book, Jules Pascin Reclining Nude, Balthus Young Girl, Nude with Cat, Bonnard View of Vence, Max Beckman The Letter, Gorky Study for Summation, Portrait of Vartoosh, Picasso Sleeping Peasants,  Modigliani Seated Nude, and others.

Jill Newhouse Gallery, Wednesday, December 2nd, 2:00PM-4:15 PM Specializing in Drawings from the Renaissance to the 20th Century. Bonnard, Harpignies, Corot, Rousseau, etc.

Private Collection, Wednesday, December 9th, 2:00PM- 4:15 PM Renaissance to the 20th Century. (Location will be announced.)

Drawing Auctions, Wednesday, December 16th, to be announced

Viewing Drawings at auction at Sotheby's and Christie's

Class will meet six times. Wednesdays from 2:00- 4:00 PM. $500.00 First Session Thursday.

Anyone interested in enrolling in the course--and why wouldn't you be--should contact Tom Goldenberg at tom.goldenberg [at]