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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

World Art History Certificate: Elective Courses

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Over more than five decades, the pioneering French modernist Henri Matisse created work in a dazzlingly wide range of materials and styles. Art historian Nancy G. Heller explores how all of Matisse’s diverse output reflects a unified aesthetic philosophy and investigates why his work continues to fascinate today’s creative minds. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Sandro Botticelli’s art captures the shift from a mystical, symbolic medieval worldview to the more humanist ideals of the Early Renaissance. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the life and times of this Florentine master from his rise as painter to the Medici bankers to his downfall as a devoted follower of fiery Savonarola. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Joseph Cassar explores the work of Marc Chagall whose oeuvre—whimsical, colorful and populated with images from the stories of his native Russian culture—is both emotionally and poetically dream-based. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Mantua’s history is deeply connected to the Gonzaga dynasty. Their rule may have been tyrannical and warfare their principal occupation, but the family’s patronage brought into being some of the finest buildings and works of art of the Renaissance. Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo for a gaze into the dynamics of court life and the family who shaped a city. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, April 10, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Excavations at the extraordinarily preserved desert city at Tell el-Amarna provide unmatched evidence of the daily life and religious practices of ancient Egyptians. Egyptologist Jacquelyn Williamson, a senior member of the Tell el-Amarna archaeological team, examines the latest discoveries at the site and what they reveal about the city founded as a center for Pharaoh Akhenaten’s monotheistic cult of the sun god Aten. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Tour
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Join Bill Keene on a walking tour to discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. View and compare a wide range of architectural styles from the Gothic-revival Smithsonian Castle to the rich symbolism of the Museum of African American History and Culture to the latest addition to the Mall, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial by architect Frank Ghery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Surrounded by 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, houses five centuries of American artworks from the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum settings. Join a member of the educational staff for a look at this unique museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, April 15 to June 3, 2021 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Experiment with a variety of painting styles such as cubism, suprematism, and abstract expressionism to learn practical applications of the concepts and techniques of modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From her home in Florence, art historian Elaine Ruffalo traces the ascendance of Rome as an imperial city and its corruption and decline. This is Part I of a two-part series. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Studio Arts
Saturday, April 17 to June 12, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET (no class May 29)

Learn about the painting techniques of plein-air painters like Vincent van Gogh and Paul Cezanne. Then, follow their footsteps virtually, painting the same motifs found in Provence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw explores one of the most iconic patriotic images in American art—and one of the most reproduced—to reveal a surprising history that includes its creation in, of all places, Germany.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Drawing on historical sources including ancient Egypt, the classical world, and Asian art, the exuberant art deco style reflected the excitement of modern living in the 1920s and ’30s. Art historian Bonita Billman discusses the design movement that found expression in architecture, furniture, interiors, fashions, advertisements, and films. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Studio Arts
Saturday, April 24, 2021 – 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of the photo surrealists and explores how they pushed the boundaries of photographic imagery in the 1920s to 1940s. Create your very own surrealist collage as part of the experience. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 30, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From her home in Florence, art historian Elaine Ruffalo traces the ascendance of Rome from the chaos of the Dark Ages to its eventual emergence as one of the most artistically dazzling of Renaissance capitals. This is Part II of a two-part series. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Studio Arts
Monday, May 3 and 10, 2021 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Through lectures and drawing exercises, learn how Renaissance artists used the Golden Ratio, the Rule of Thirds, three-point perspective, and the Fibonacci spiral—as well as how these elements can provide dynamic visual interest to your own compositions, no matter the medium. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 3, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The trauma of the slave trade forever altered Africa’s cultural history. Art historian Kevin Tervala examines the Atlantic and Indian Ocean slave trades, with a focus on how African artists—and the societies that they were a part of—reacted to the sudden and brutal disruption and transformation and depopulation of the world’s second-largest continent. He also highlights how the slave trade simultaneously brought great wealth, and with it, luxurious arts made in silver and gold. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, May 6 to 27, 2021 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

This course examines fundamental concepts of composition and their practical application in studio-art practice, offering participants tools to enrich their own work as well to analyze and appreciate visual art in general. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec reveled in the circuses, dance halls, nightclubs, and brothels of fin de siècle Montmartre, his beloved bohemian world that inspired works marked by energy and sensuality, as well as candor and compassion. Art historian Joseph Cassar illuminates the artist's creative life in the colorful social and cultural milieu of Paris in the Belle Epoque. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit).

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Renee Gondek focuses on visual depictions of the iconic hero of the Trojan War, Achilles, to examine how the most famous of epic narratives from Classical mythology inspired centuries of creators and cultures. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Met Cloisters curator Barbara Drake Boehm provides a fresh interpretation of the complex imagery woven into the iconic medieval Unicorn Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 28, 2021 -12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

As ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II viewed himself as a new Roman emperor. To reflect that power and prestige he required an appropriate symbol: the magnificent Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Join Serif Yenen, a tour guide and guidebook author, for an exploration of the dazzling palace—including its fabled hidden sections—and stories about the lifestyles of the sultans who inhabited it. (World Art History certificate elective, 1/2 credit)