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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.


"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."

5 Courses

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5 Courses

  1. A History of European Art

    A History of European Art

    William Kloss, M.A.
    Starting at $439.95 Starting at $439.95 $519.95 $439.95$519.95
    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

    World's Greatest Paintings

    William Kloss, M.A.
    Starting at $214.95 Starting at $214.95 $254.95 $214.95$254.95
    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, M.A.
    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

    Masterworks of American Art

    William Kloss, M.A.
    Starting at $214.95 Starting at $214.95 $254.95 $214.95$254.95
    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, M.A.
    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...