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Art & Architecture

The Gilded Age

In the years after the Civil War, captains of industry and robber barons were the Gilded Age’s masters of the universe. Art historian Bonita Billman examines the influence of their wealth on the period’s extravagant art, architecture, and interior design, and also explores the dramatic chasm that opened between the haves and the have-nots. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Golden Age of Spanish Art

Over the 16th and 17th centuries, Spanish art flourished as it reflected the influences of Northern European and Italian artists and the complex forces of humanism and spirituality. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine provides an overview of the era and the enduring achievements of the artists who shaped its visual culture. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Friday, February 7, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Ancient Egypt Through Its Art, Architecture, and Archaeology

The secret to understanding the daily life and culture of ancient Egypt under its great rulers and pharaohs is right before our eyes—in its art and architecture. Using evidence from recent archaeological discoveries, Egyptologist Jacquelyn Williamson surveys the social and historical realities of this seminal civilization. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Seeing History Through Artists' Eyes

Artists such as Picasso, David, and Goya came to grips with the political upheavals of their day with heroic and searing images that elicit our admiration or moral outrage. Art historian Judy Scott Feldman examines the complex interplay between artistic expression and social and political content through the centuries. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, February 19 to March 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Baltimore Museums: A Study in Contrasts

The Baltimore Museum of Art and the American Visionary Art Museum represent two distinctive and divergent aspects of the city’s cultural scene. Spend a fascinating day visiting both with art historian Ursula Wolfman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, February 21, 2020 - 8:30 a.m.

Henri Matisse: Master of Color and Line

Art historian Joseph Cassar offers an in-depth look at this revolutionary giant of 20th-century art whose prolific and varied body of work spans more than a half-century. (World Art History Certificate Program elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Creativity Is a Keystroke Away

Artists now have a new tool to take their finished drawings, paintings, watercolors, or photographs to another level. In a two-day workshop led by artist Chester Kasnowski, learn how to use a new app called the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP2).

Date of event
Saturday, February 22 and 29, 2020 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Indian Art and Calligraphy: An Immersive Exploration

This unique series combines detailed looks at Indian and South Asian artworks in the Freer and Sackler collections with the opportunity to try your hand at authentic calligraphy inspired by them.

Date of event
Sunday, February 23 to March 29, 2020 – 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flower Show: A Preview of Spring

There’s no better way to sweep away winter than with an overnight escape to the horticultural paradise that’s the Philadelphia Flower Show. There’s no need to fight the crowds (or time): Spend 2 hours taking in the blooms before the show opens to the public, then enjoy a full day to explore the delights of the world’s largest annual floral exhibition.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, March 2, 2020 - 8:00 p.m.

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a morning painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own as well as a lunch break.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a mid-afternoon painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

Sicily: Eternal Crossroads of the Mediterranean

From stark Greek temples through dazzling Roman and Arab-Norman mosaics and on to Baroque opulence and charming romantic-era revivals, art historian Janetta Rebold Benton highlights the aesthetic eclecticism and cultural signposts of the island of Sicily. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Out and About With an Artist: National Gallery of Art

Get a “behind-the-easel” perspective on masterworks at the National Gallery from Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor Adrienne Wyman. Viewings address historical and social context, the artists’ lives, and demystifying the techniques and materials used to create the works. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, March 9 to 30, 2020 - 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Out and About With an Artist: National Gallery of Art

Get a “behind-the-easel” perspective on masterworks at the National Gallery from Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor Adrienne Wyman. Viewings address historical and social context, the artists’ lives, and demystifying the techniques and materials used to create the works. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, March 9 to 30, 2020 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Sears Houses of Arlington

Sold as prefabricated kits during the first half of the 20th century, affordable dwellings from Sears Roebuck and Company defined the character of countless American communities. Join historian Dakota Springston on a bus tour through historic Virginia neighborhoods to view the distinctive exteriors of Sears homes.

Date of event
Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

The Road to Nashville

If the new Ken Burns documentary Country Music has sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this special 5-day tour led by arts journalist Richard Selden offers the perfect way to do it. Packed with performances and music history—as well as art and architecture and terrific regional cuisine—this Southern journey to Music City USA is sure to be a top-of-the-charts experience.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:00 p.m.

Africa in the African American Artistic Imagination

The impact of African art on African Americans artists has been long debated. Art historian Kevin Tervala examines the ways in which African American artists have—or have not—engaged with the art of the African continent as reflected in works from early 20th-century pioneers and more contemporary artists. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Creativity in Dark Times: Artists and Writers of the New Deal

Author David Taylor looks at some of the artists and writers for whom the Federal Writers’ Project and the Federal Arts Project gave them a new purpose: recording American life. Their works—some of which remain controversial—provide a vivid portrait a nation struggling for recovery and identity during the Great Depression.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A Creative Writing Workshop at the Freer

Slow down and savor the experience of looking at art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, as you engage in detailed observations of works in the Freer’s collection and frame your reactions through descriptive writing and poetry.

Date of event
Friday, March 27, 2020 - 10:30 a.m.

Forgotten No More: Rediscovering Remarkable Women

Women have been making strides in their fields that have often being overlooked, uncredited, or forgotten by time. Celebrate Women’s History Month by spending a fascinating day with four experts who bring to light an array of remarkable women who have lived in the shadows of history far too long.

Date of event
Saturday, March 28, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Sears Houses of Arlington

Sold as prefabricated kits during the first half of the 20th century, affordable dwellings from Sears Roebuck and Company defined the character of countless American communities. Join historian Dakota Springston on a bus tour through historic Virginia neighborhoods to view the distinctive exteriors of Sears homes.

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Alexander von Humboldt: His World of Nature

He has more species named after him than any other human being. Learn why from Eleanor Jones Harvey, senior curator at the American Art Museum, who examines the fascinating life of German naturalist and explorer Alexander von Humboldt, one of the most influential intellectuals of the 19th century. 

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 3:00 p.m.

Exploring World Heritage Sites in Asia

Come on a virtual tour of four of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites in Asia, including both well-known and lesser-known sites with Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University.

Date of event
Thursday, April 2, April 23, May 14, and June 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Vermeer: In Praise of the Ordinary

Explore the legacy of painter Johannes Vermeer, a master of light and color whose paintings captured the beauty and meaning of everyday life, with art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Masters and Masterpieces of the 18th and 19th Centuries

Against a backdrop of a rapidly changing world, the 18th and 19th centuries brought forth a profusion of styles in art and architecture in Europe and America. Art historian Karin Alexis offers a cultural context for its creators as she traces the path from Rococo exuberance to a bold new realism. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date of event
Tuesday, April 7 to May 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. (no class April 14)

The Art of India: From the Indus Valley to Independence

From its origins in the ancient civilization to the present, the complex culture of South Asia has given rise to some of the world’s most remarkable art. Art historian Robert DeCaroli highlights the artistic traditions and historical changes within the Indian subcontinent from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, April 8 to May 6, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (no class April 29)

The Best of Brooklyn

Brooklyn offers plenty of delights for lovers of art, music, nature, and of course, food. On this two-day visit, arts journalist and former Brooklynite Richard Selden introduces you to several of the borough’s top attractions.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, April 19, 2020 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, April 20, 2020 - 9:30 p.m.