Discover the power of reflective writing guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Inspired by works of art by Vincent van Gogh and poetry by Mary Oliver, writers of all levels explore the lessons that the season of spring offers us when we slow down, look closely, and reflect.
Florentine architecture in the 13th and 14th centuries was characterized by soaring towers, massive fortress-like palaces, breathtakingly beautiful basilicas, and public buildings that set an important precedent for the future palace builders of wealthy patrician families. From her home in Tuscany, art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces how the built environment of medieval Florence clearly reflects the historical development of the city at the dawn of the Renaissance. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
For many people, tackling The Republic feels daunting. That’s why Georgetown professor Joseph Hartman is offering this illuminating four-session book discussion. Highlighted are some of the central themes, questions as relevant today as they were in 4th-century Athens.
She’s all-daring and all-voice, magnificent and maddening, improbable and irreplaceable. You’ll be saying “Hello, Gorgeous” when you join documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson, whose commentary and abundant sampling of clips set the stage for a fun night to spend with La Streisand.
Though millions of dreamers have anticipated their chance to travel in space, fewer than 650 earthlings have viewed our planet from a spaceship. Alan Ladwig, former manager of NASA’s Space Flight Participant Program, examines the promise, expectations, principal personalities, and milestones surrounding space tourism and reviews what has remained constant for decades: our motivation to float among the stars.
Though the concept of black holes can be traced back to the late 1700s, the quest to understand their nature and how they shape our universe continues. Kelly Beatty, senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine, discusses how cosmologists still grapple with precisely what black holes are and how best to study them.
To kick off the annual worldwide celebration of jazz, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra offers a soundtrack filled with rhythm, texture, and color as it showcases the work of prominent 20th–century visual artists including William Sharp, John Fenton, and Romare Bearden. Works by Dizzy Gillespie, McKinney's Cotton Pickers, and Sun Ra are among the musical selections.