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Professor William Kloss, M.A.

Professor William Kloss
  • Independent Art Historian
  • Oberlin College
Standards of beauty are seemingly endless and contradictory, which is why the rather hopeless phrase 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' was coined.

Professor William Kloss is an independent art historian and scholar who lectures and writes about a wide range of European and American art. He was educated at Oberlin College, where he earned a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Art History. He continued his postgraduate work on a teaching fellowship at the University of Michigan and was then awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for two years of study in Rome. As Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Virginia, he taught 17th- and 18th-century European art and 19th-century French art. Professor Kloss has enjoyed a long association with the Smithsonian Institution, presenting more than 150 courses in the United States and abroad on subjects ranging from ancient Greek art to Impressionism to the works of Winslow Homer. He has also been a featured lecturer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation and for The Art Institute of Chicago. Professor Kloss serves on the Committee for the Preservation of the White House, a presidential appointment he has held since 1990. He is the author of several books, including Art in the White House: A Nation's Pride (2nd edition), which won the 2009 National Indie Excellence Award in the Art Category, as well as a 2009 USABookNews award for Best Book in Art. Most recently, he coauthored the United States Senate Catalogue of Fine Art. He also has written articles published in Winterthur Portfolio, The Magazine Antiques, American Arts Quarterly, and Antiques & Fine Art.

Testimonials

"Professor Kloss is a magnificent teacher.  His style is engaging, his knowledge is vast and he succeeds in communicating his enthusiasm as well as his erudition."

 

"William Kloss is magical in his presentation and choices of pictures.  A true "educator" and "teacher" he evokes so much of the wondrous.  He is contagious."

 

"Dr. Kloss brings art to life in a way I've never before experienced. Vital, engaging, and yes, addictive, this is an incredible course for anyone who loves art, or wants to know how to learn to love it."

56 Courses and Sets

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56 Courses and Sets

  1. A History of European Art Sale

    A History of European Art

    William Kloss
    Save up to $390.00 Starting at $109.95 $129.95 $109.95$129.95
    The development of the arts in Europe from the Middle Ages to the modern era is an astonishing record of cultural achievement, from the breathtaking architecture of Gothic cathedrals to the daring visual experiments of the Cubist painters. A History of European Art is your gateway to this visually stunning story. In 48 beautifully illustrated lectures you will encounter all the landmarks you would expect to find in...
  2. World's Greatest Paintings Sale

    World's Greatest Paintings

    William Kloss
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $59.95 $69.95 $59.95$69.95
    Embark on a compelling tour of some of the most significant paintings in Western art with the 24 richly illustrated lectures of The World's Greatest Paintings. Distinguished art historian and Professor William Kloss reveals a group of works that span the 14th century to the 20th and that—in his expert judgment—rank among the greatest paintings ever made. As you explore one of the supreme legacies of human life,...
  3. Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance Sale

    Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance

    William Kloss
    Save up to $275.00 Starting at $84.95 $99.95 $84.95$99.95
    No era of artistic achievement is as renowned as the Renaissance, and no country holds a higher place in it than Italy. In this course you experience supreme artworks created in Florence, Rome, Venice, and other Italian cities by such masters as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Titian—unequaled masterpieces that established a canon of beauty that pervades Western culture to this day....
  4. Masterworks of American Art Sale

    Masterworks of American Art

    William Kloss
    Save up to $185.00 Starting at $59.95 $69.95 $59.95$69.95
    What makes a work of art "American”? How do some of our country's greatest paintings depict its rich history? Explore these and other illuminating questions in Masterworks of American Art, taught by acclaimed art historian and Professor William Kloss. This sweeping 24-lecture survey shows you how brilliant artists including Benjamin West, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer helped create a rich portrait of American...
  5. Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    William Kloss
    Starting at $374.95 Starting at $374.95 $374.95 $374.95$374.95
    Holland in the 17th century was home to the most remarkable concentration of artistic talent in modern history, including masters such as Hals, Vermeer, and-of course-Rembrandt. Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt introduces you to this important period in art history. Professor William Kloss, an independent art historian with the Smithsonian Institution, guides you through the work of more than 100 artists and more...
  6. (Set) A History of European Art & Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London  Set

    (Set) A History of European Art & Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
    Survey some of the world's most vibrant art masterpieces from the comfort of your own home with this richly illustrated two-course set. In A History of European Art, encounter all the major works you would expect to find, and some completely new works, in this comprehensive study of Western art since the Middle Ages. Then, take a virtual tour of one of Europe's most cherished art museums in Museum Masterpieces: The...
  7. (Set) The Everyday Guide to Wine & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance  Set

    (Set) The Everyday Guide to Wine & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$629.90
    To truly appreciate the finer things in life, it’s important to discern the context. When it comes to wine and art, the more you know, the more you can appreciate. With Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance, you’ll gain a deep understanding of how Italian masterpieces established the definition of beauty. Pair that with Everyday Guide to Wine and become a connoisseur of the tastes, aromas, and language of...
  8. (Set) Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt  Set

    (Set) Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$629.90
    Experience art masterpieces from an iconic European museum and from a dynamic period in art history in this richly illustrated two-course set. In Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London, a noted art scholar and professor provides a memorable introduction to this remarkable institution and its magnificent masterworks. And Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt introduces you to the great masters that came from...
  9. (Set) Art of the Northern Renaissance & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance  Set

    (Set) Art of the Northern Renaissance & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $749.90 Starting at $749.90 $749.90 $749.90$749.90
    Follow two expert art historians as they take you through breathtaking worlds of European art in this visually rich two-course set. Start with Art of the Northern Renaissance—a captivating exploration of the art produced by Northern Europeans such as Jan van Eyck, Hans Holbein, and Hieronymus Bosch. Then, re-examine the works and legacies of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, and other Italian...
  10. (Set) Genius of Michelangelo & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt  Set

    (Set) Genius of Michelangelo & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $749.90 Starting at $749.90 $749.90 $749.90$749.90
    Explore sumptuous masterpieces by some of the most iconic painters in the history of Western art with this richly illustrated course set. The Genius of Michelangelo is a chronological survey of the Renaissance artist's life and accomplishments, including the David and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. And Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt is a powerful introduction to works by Dutch artists, including Jan Vermeer, Frans...
  11. (Set) World's Greatest Paintings & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt  Set

    (Set) World's Greatest Paintings & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    William Kloss
    Starting at $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$629.90
    Savor some of the world's greatest masterpieces of art with this two-course set delivered by noted art historian and professor William Kloss. In The World's Greatest Paintings, join him as he reveals his choices for art history's most important—and impressive—paintings. And in Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt, follow along as he guides you through the wonders of 17th-century Dutch art by artists...
  12. (Set) A History of European Art &  From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism  Set on sale

    (Set) A History of European Art & From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Save up to $596.00 Starting at $151.90 $178.90 $151.90$178.90
    Broaden your enjoyment and understanding of two vital periods in art history. A History of European Art is a comprehensive guide to rich works of Western art, including Leonardo's Last Supper and Van Gogh's The Starry Night. From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism focuses on the Impressionist movement in art—one that forever changed how artists interpreted the world.
  13. (Set) Cultural Literacy Guide to the Arts  Set

    (Set) Cultural Literacy Guide to the Arts

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $3,404.30 Starting at $3,404.30 $3,404.30 $3,404.30$3,404.30
    Two of the most satisfying products of human culture: great music and great art. The courses featured in this section offer you a vivid and engaging opportunity to achieve cultural literacy in the richest works of concert music and art the world has ever seen. Led by popular Great Courses professors who are also award-winning composers and trained art historians, these particular courses introduce you to the...
  14. Ancient Greek Civilization; Hi Set

    Ancient Greek Civilization; Hi

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $2,619.65 Starting at $2,619.65 $2,619.65 $2,619.65$2,619.65
    In this engrossing seven-course set, explore some of the world's greatest cities, countries, and civilizations—all from the comfort of your own home. Journey back to the cultural wonders of 14th- and 15th-century Italy with The Italian Renaissance and The Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance. Then survey the fascinating histories of four great civilizations with Ancient Greek Civilization, The History of...
  15. (Set) Fundamentals of Photography  & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt   Set

    (Set) Fundamentals of Photography & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $644.90 Starting at $644.90 $644.90 $644.90$644.90
    Take a journey of art appreciation and creation with this life-enriching two-course set. First, Fundamentals of Photography teaches you everything you need to know about the art and craft of great photography straight from a professional photographer with more than 30 years of experience. Then, Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt guides you through the work of more than 100 artists and 450 of their masterful...
  16. (Set) From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt  Set

    (Set) From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism & Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $629.90 Starting at $629.90 $629.90 $629.90$629.90
    Prepare for two unforgettable trips into distinct styles of Western art. From Monet to Van Gogh: A History of Impressionism introduces you to the style, subject, and function of Impressionist masterpieces by artists including Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh. In Dutch Masters: The Age of Rembrandt, you trace the development of this renowned school of painting and view masterpieces by artists such as Vermeer, Hals, and...
  17. (Set) Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance; Genius of Michelangelo & Art of the Northern Renaissance  Set

    (Set) Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance; Genius of Michelangelo & Art of the Northern Renaissance

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,124.85 Starting at $1,124.85 $1,124.85 $1,124.85$1,124.85
    Find new ways to look at some of the world's greatest artistic masterpieces in this three-course set. In The Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance, you experience supreme artworks created in Italy by masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, and Michelangelo. Then, further explore the life, career, and creations of Michelangelo in The Genius of Michelangelo, which offers a substantially new view of...
  18. (Set) World's Greatest Paintings & Understanding the World's Set

    (Set) World's Greatest Paintings & Understanding the World's

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $429.90 Starting at $429.90 $509.90 $429.90$509.90
    Discover what makes a painting or structure truly great with these two richly illustrated courses. In The World's Greatest Paintings, join a renowned art historian as he surveys the most significant paintings from the 14th century to the 20th century and the reasons they're so lasting. Then, in Understanding the World's Greatest Structures: Science and Innovation from Antiquity to Modernity, learn the engineering...
  19. (Set) The World's Greatest Paintings & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance Set

    (Set) The World's Greatest Paintings & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance

    William Kloss
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$629.90
  20. (Set) Understanding the World's Greatest Structures & Great A Set

    (Set) Understanding the World's Greatest Structures & Great A

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$629.90
  21. (Set)  A History of European Art & Foundations of Western Civ Set

    (Set) A History of European Art & Foundations of Western Civ

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $879.90 Starting at $879.90 $1,039.90 $879.90$1,039.90
  22. (Set)  How to Listen to Great Music & History of European Art Set

    (Set) How to Listen to Great Music & History of European Art

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,039.90 Starting at $1,039.90 $1,219.90 $1,039.90$1,219.90
  23. (Set) How to Look at and Understand Great Art & A History of European Art  Set

    (Set) How to Look at and Understand Great Art & A History of European Art

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $759.90 Starting at $759.90 $894.90 $759.90$894.90
    Forever change the way you look at and think about great art with this visually dynamic two-course set. In How to Look at and Understand Great Art, embark on an in-depth exploration of the practical skill of viewing art through the lenses of line, light, perspective, composition, and other crucial elements. Then, apply your newfound knowledge to Europe's most profound artistic masterpieces with A History of European...
  24. (Set) Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre & A History of European Art  Set

    (Set) Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre & A History of European Art

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $609.90 Starting at $609.90 $719.90 $609.90$719.90
    Discover a wealth of insights into some of art history's most powerful masterpieces. Museum Masterpieces: The Louvre examines some of the great works contained in the museum's collection of European paintings, while A History of European Art surveys the larger scope of Western art since the Middle Ages.
  25. (Set) Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance & The Cathedral  Set

    (Set) Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance & The Cathedral

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $534.90 Starting at $534.90 $629.90 $534.90$629.90
    Explore the lives and works of great masters of the Renaissance in Italy and the architectural wonders that are Gothic cathedrals in these two visually rich courses. First, delve into the art of more than 40 artists who painted and sculpted in this renowned era in history with Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance. Then, in The Cathedral, bring magnificent Gothic cathedrals right into your home and enjoy views...
  26. (Set) The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works & World's Greatest Pai Set

    (Set) The 30 Greatest Orchestral Works & World's Greatest Pai

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $654.90 Starting at $654.90 $774.90 $654.90$774.90
  27. (Set) Leonardo da Vinci & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance Set

    (Set) Leonardo da Vinci & Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $639.90 Starting at $639.90 $749.90 $639.90$749.90
    Explore the incomparable art and the lives of great masters of the Renaissance in Italy in these two visually rich courses. First, in Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian High Renaissance, explore the life and times of the man whose name is synonymous with inventiveness, curiosity, and creative genius. Then, delve into the art of more than 40 artists who painted and sculpted in this renowned era in history with Great...
  28. (Set) The Renaissance Set

    (Set) The Renaissance

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $1,499.80 Starting at $1,499.80 $1,499.80 $1,499.80$1,499.80
    Not sure which Great Course you want to order? Then order them all! For a limited time only, you can get Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian High Renaissance; The Genius of Michelangelo; Great Artists of the Italian Renaissance; and The Art of the Northern Renaissance in a single four-course set for one amazingly low price! This special offer is the perfect way to experience the full artistic sweep of the Renaissance...
  29. (Set)  How Colors Affect You & The World's Greatest Paintings Set

    (Set) How Colors Affect You & The World's Greatest Paintings

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $309.90 Starting at $309.90 $354.90 $309.90$354.90
  30. (Set)  Fundamentals of Photography & Worlds Greatest Paintings Set

    (Set) Fundamentals of Photography & Worlds Greatest Paintings

    Taught By Multiple Professors
    Starting at $449.90 Starting at $449.90 $524.90 $449.90$524.90