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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Art & Architecture

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, leads three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of artworks chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels. This session focuses on surprise, connect, and experiment.

Lecture/Seminar

The Holy Sepulchre: Circles of Faith and Art

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Join Barbara Drake Boehm, the Paul and Jill Ruddock curator emerita of the Met Cloisters, to explore the remarkable Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City of Jerusalem, where the rhythms of history and intersecting circles of faith have given shape to an extraordinary artistic monument and a unique and vital place of worship worthy of close attention. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art + History: Evening Encores

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs. In this session, Glenshaw discusses The Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Paris: A Virtual Adventure of the Right Bank

Thursday, July 7, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The storyline of Paris can be followed along its iconic River Seine. Journey with travel writer Barbara Noe Kennedy as you discover the city’s most intriguing sites, historical aspects, and art on the Right Bank in this virtual series that uses maps, photos, videos, and other visuals.

Tour

Whistler to Cassatt at the VMFA

Sunday, July 10, 2022 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

Join art historian Ursula Rehn Wolfman on a visit to Richmond’s Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to view Whistler to Cassatt: American Painters in France, which examines the rich variety of American painting in the advent of modernism as French avant-garde philosophies and styles melded with American individualism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art + History: Evening Encores

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs. In this session, Glenshaw discusses The 3rd of May by Francisco Goya. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Paris: A Virtual Adventure of the Left Bank

Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The storyline of Paris can be followed along its iconic River Seine. Journey with travel writer Barbara Noe Kennedy as you discover the city’s most intriguing sites, historical aspects, and art on the Left Bank in this virtual series that uses maps, photos, videos, and other visuals.

Lecture/Seminar

Caravaggio and Bernini: Loves and Rivalries in the Age of the Baroque

Friday, July 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

The Baroque period is characterized by the spirit of competition among great painters, sculptors, and architects. Art historian Aneta Georgievska Shine explores the spirit of admiration and rivalry that shaped the work of Caravaggio and Bernini, both in relation to Michelangelo and their own contemporaries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

New York: The Fashion Capital

July 17 - 18, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET

Splendid style is on the Manhattan itinerary when you take in fashion-focused exhibitions at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Met’s Costume Institute, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, led by design historian Elizabeth Lay. Even the tour’s hotel has style with participants staying at the Art Deco-era Hotel Edison in the heart of the Theater District.

Course

African Art Through the Centuries

Monday, July 18, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

From the vibrant paintings found in Stone Age caves to the abstract sculptures produced during the continent’s colonial period, the arts of Africa have been shaped by unique creative insight as well as by specific political, social, religious, and economic forces. Art historian Kevin Tervala explores these vibrant artistic expressions through an examination of the continent’s historical trajectory. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

The Hudson River School

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Beginning in the early 19th century, the Hudson River School—a loose fraternity of American landscape artists—was neither a school nor confined to the Hudson River Valley. Art historian Bonita Billman examines the work and influence of Hudson River School artists Thomas Cole, Frederic E. Church, Asher B. Durand, and others. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

Art and Fiction: When Words and Art Commune

Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this summer series, discover a “novel” way to explore the arts. Independent art historian Heidi Applegate explores the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Judith Leyster, and Camille Pissarro—and paintings that inspired three works of art-focused historical fiction. This session discusses Carrie Callaghan's A Light of Her Own. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art + History: Evening Encores

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs. In this session, Glenshaw discusses Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art, Architecture, and Ambition in Aragonese Naples

Friday, July 29, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The fall of Naples in 1442 not only brought Spanish rule, it transformed the city into a vital center of artistic production. Join Sophia D’Addio, a lecturer in art history at Columbia University, in an exploration of paintings, sculptures, medals, and architecture commissioned by the Aragonese rulers of Naples, most notably the commissions and collections of King Alfonso of Aragon. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Caravaggio: The Cursed Painter

Monday, August 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

Caravaggio (1571–1610) not only revolutionized painting at the turn of the 16th century with his hyper-realistic style, he often turned Rome on its head with his criminal behavior. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, traces Caravaggio’s works and how they are intimately tied to his personal demons.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

How the Ninth Street Women Conquered the Art World

Wednesday, August 3, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In the 1950s, the spotlight on New York City’s abstract expressionist movement nearly always fell on male painters. But a group of female abstract expressionists called the “Ninth Street Women” were also making important contributions. Art historian Nancy G. Heller examines these women’s art and lives, their relationships with their male counterparts, and the gender-related obstacles they had to overcome to claim their place in a changing art world. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

The Artistic Legacy of Ancient Greece

Saturday, August 6, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Without the gift of ancient Greece our world would be a very different place. Explore this unique legacy with author Nigel McGilchrist and follow its ongoing influence through the universal appeal of the humanity of its art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Hopper and Hitchcock: Spectatorship and Voyeurism in Art and Film

Sunday, August 7, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Alfred Hitchcock and American painter Edward Hopper, an unlikely artistic pair, shared a rich and complex vision deeply affected by the traditions of film noir. Using film stills and paintings, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, explores the formal and thematic links between these artists. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Great Gothic Cathedrals of the High Middle Ages: Awe, Wonder, and Imagination

Thursday, August 11, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Explore the fascinating connections between local medieval communities and the construction of great Gothic monuments to faith, believed to be the purest expression of shared life with historian Cheryl White. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

Architecture on the Nation’s Front Lawn

Friday, August 12, 2022 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET

The structures on the National Mall embody Washington, D.C, the Smithsonian, and America. Enjoy a morning walking tour led by lecturer Bill Keene and discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art + History: Evening Encores

Tuesday, August 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs. In this session, Glenshaw discusses The Gross Clinic by Thomas Eakins. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

Architecture on the Nation’s Front Lawn

Saturday, August 20, 2022 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET

The structures on the National Mall embody Washington, D.C, the Smithsonian, and America. Enjoy a morning walking tour led by lecturer Bill Keene and discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters: America’s Arts and Crafts Movement

Monday, August 22, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In the late 19th century, Elbert Hubbard, a salesman for Buffalo’s Larkin Soap Company, fused the ideals of the British Arts and Crafts movement with his strong business sense to create the artistic and philosophical community called Roycroft in East Aurora, New York. Alan Nowicki, program director at the Roycroft campus, traces its influential flourishing, its demise, and its restoration that captures its former glory.

Lecture/Seminar

Bridges of Light and Time: A Reflective Writing Workshop

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing inspired by art guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Join her and step into the colors, light, and forms of Claude Monet’s exquisite The Japanese Footbridge to explore the bridge as a metaphor for the thresholds and journeys of our lives.

Tour

Architecture on the Nation’s Front Lawn

Sunday, August 28, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

The structures on the National Mall embody Washington, D.C, the Smithsonian, and America. Enjoy a morning walking tour led by lecturer Bill Keene and discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Art + History: Evening Encores

Tuesday, August 30, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

If you’ve not experienced Paul Glenshaw’s dynamic series Art + History, in which he examines great works of art in their historical context, now’s your chance. In this summer series, he reprises six of his earlier daytime sessions in livestreamed evening programs. In this session, Glenshaw discusses Gassed by John Singer Sargent. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Brunelleschi and Ghiberti: The Rivalry that Ignited the Renaissance

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The 1401 competition between master artists Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi for the commission to create a set of bronze doors for the Florence Baptistry is generally considered the event that fueled the Renaissance. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Italian Renaissance, explores the creative duel that led to competitions among great artists becoming one of the central leitmotifs of the period. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

The Medici Villas: Tuscan Inspiration

Friday, September 2, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Used variously for pleasure and sports, scholarly pursuits, commercial enterprise, botanical experimentation, and amorous liaisons, the villas of the Medici family both expressed and influenced contemporary ideas on politics, philosophy, art, and design. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores several of the Medici’s public interests and private passions—and the architects they employed to create the luxurious backdrops for them. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

Art and Kingship in Southeast Asia

Tuesday, September 6, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines the cultural and artistic traditions of ancient Southeast Asia from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism, with a particular focus on the royal arts of the great civilizations that arose within the borders of modern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Tour

Historic Homes of Washington Series: The Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House

Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., is filled with public spaces, monuments, and buildings that define its architectural history and its essence as a city. But much of that character is also shaped by its distinctive residences. Discover two such houses—the Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House—on an intimately scaled tour that immerses you in the elegance of the early 19th-century and the extravagance of the Gilded Age.

Course

Art and Fiction: When Words and Art Commune

Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this summer series, discover a “novel” way to explore the arts. Independent art historian Heidi Applegate explores the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Judith Leyster, and Camille Pissarro—and paintings that inspired three works of art-focused historical fiction. This session discusses Alice Hoffman's The Marriage of Opposites. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Buffalo

September 9 - 12, 2022, 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

At the turn of the 20th century, architect Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries turned Buffalo into a showcase for public and private architecture. A 4-day tour spotlights some of these innovative works with tour leader Bill Keene. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Medieval England's Art and Archaeology

Saturday, September 10, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Historian Cheryl White examines four significant monuments of art and archaeology of medieval England—the Sutton Hoo ship burial, the Lindisfarne Gospels, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Canterbury Cathedral—each of which points to a specific turning point in the historical narrative of the 7th through 14th centuries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

The Age of Elegance: Fashion in the 1930s

Tuesday, September 13, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Despite the hardships of the Depression, anyone with a quarter could dream about the glamorous world conjured up by Hollywood—and the era’s innovative fashion designers. Design historian Elizabeth Lay shares the stories and images of the age, one in which film royalty and actual royalty shaped how women and men yearned to dress.

Tour

Historic Homes of Washington Series: The Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., is filled with public spaces, monuments, and buildings that define its architectural history and its essence as a city. But much of that character is also shaped by its distinctive residences. Discover two such houses—the Arts Club of Washington and the Perry Belmont House—on an intimately scaled tour that immerses you in the elegance of the early 19th-century and the extravagance of the Gilded Age.

Lecture/Seminar

Understanding Art: A Guide to the Basics

Friday, September 16, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ET

The visual arts enrich our lives in many ways, bringing us innovative ideas, the pleasure of beauty, and a range of emotions—while also puzzling us at times. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton highlights the fundamentals shared by all the visual arts and provides a guide to honing essential visual literacy skills that enable us to understand concepts conveyed without words. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, September 19, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is Diana Pardue, chief curator at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, who surveys the design evolution of Native American jewelry.

Lecture/Seminar

Tiffany Glass from the Neustadt Collection

Tuesday, September 20, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Take a behind-the-scenes look at works by Louis C. Tiffany and his studios in the preeminent Neustadt Collection of Tiffany Glass in Queens, New York. Lindsy Parrott, the collection’s executive director and curator, shares highlights of this extraordinary assemblage encompassing lamps, windows, metalwork, and rare archival materials—and offers tips on spotting authentic Tiffany works among the forgeries.

Lecture/Seminar

The Dome of the Rock

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Dominating the skyline of Jerusalem for more than 1,300 years, the Dome of the Rock is both a sacred Islamic shrine and an iconic symbol of the Holy City. What messages did the artists who built it enshrine here, and what does this World Heritage Site have to say to us today? Barbara Boehm, curator emerita of the Met Cloisters explores this remarkable place, including its history, mosaics, and inscriptions, and its enduring meaning. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is decorative arts curator Amy McHugh, who traces how treasures from France’s Crown Jewels found their way into the wardrobes of America’s Gilded-Age heiresses.

Lecture/Seminar

Whistler: Departing from Tradition in Making Art

Wednesday, October 5, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

James Abbott McNeill Whistler is celebrated for his bold and innovative style in a variety of media—all informed by influences that encompass the Aesthetic movement, Asian art, and his own experimentation with abstract color and composition. Art historian Aneta Georgievska Shine takes a close look at how these ideals were expressed in his work, whether seen in subtle tonal landscapes or portrayals of women. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

Lunchtime with a Curator: Decorative Arts Design Series

Monday, October 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay as she hosts an image-rich series on decorative arts and design topics with guests. In this fall lunchtime program, Lay's guest is period jewelry specialist Sheila Smithie, who offers insights into the creation of stunning, classically inspired pieces from Europe’s fabled 19th-century Revival jewelers.

Lecture/Seminar

Cultural Heritage Sites of China

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

From the grand splendor of the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace to the serene beauty of the gardens of Suzhou and the grand tombs of Ming and Qing dynasty rulers, spend a day with art historian Robert DeCaroli as he introduces spectacular places in China that are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Ghostly Images in Japanese Art

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Female ghosts have been an enduring theme in the history of Japanese art, touching people’s deepest fears, curiosities, and imaginations. Yui Suzuki, an art historian specializing in Japanese religious art, explores the popularity and proliferation of these spectral images that haunt the art of the Edo period. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)