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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

World Art History Certificate: Elective Courses

Color Theory

Through lecture, demonstration, and hands-on experimentation, students enhance their experience of color as they learn about the color wheel, the Munsell color chart, and the attributes of value, chroma, and hue. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, April 13 to June 8, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (no class May 25)

Techniques in Modernist Painting

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)

Date of event
Tuesday, April 14 to June 2, 2020 – 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Painters in Provence: From Van Gogh to Matisse

The South of France, with its glorious light and varied vistas, has long been a magnet for plein-air painters. Art historian Bonita Billman looks into the inspiration that places such as Avignon, Arles, St. Tropez, Nice, and others provided for the brilliantly colored works produced by 19th- and early-20th century painters. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Traditional Oil Painting Techniques: Lessons from Museum Masterpieces

Explore the techniques of artists and schools from the early Renaissance to today as you practice the skills of the masters, using their exact colors, canvas types, and paint applications. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, April 18 to June 13, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (no class May 23)

Edward Hopper: American Modernist

Explore the life and career of Edward Hopper, one of the great American realists of modern art, with art historian Bonita Billman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Monday, April 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Out and About with an Artist: The National Gallery of Art

In artist-led tours and talks, Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts painting instructor Adrienne Wyman offers a “behind-the-easel” perspective of masterworks at the National Gallery, focusing on portraiture and impressionism and post-impressionism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, April 25 to May 16, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Raphael and His Circle

To mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, the National Gallery of Art has assembled 25 prints and drawings in an intimate installation, Raphael and His Circle. Join curator Jonathan Bober as he discusses how he brought together the works and the combination of artistic traditions, wide range, and immediate influence of Raphael’s art that shaped the standard of aesthetic excellence for later artists, connoisseurs, and scholars. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Architecture on the Nation's Front Lawn

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 Smithsonian’s first building, the Gothic-revival Castle to the capital’s newest landmark, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial designed by Frank Ghery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 9:00 a.m.

Visual Literacy: The Art of Seeing

Like any language, art has its own vocabulary—one in which you discover more meaning and gratification as your fluency increases. Spend a day with art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman expanding your understanding of how art communicates, how to analyze and interpret it, and how to see it in a cultural context. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Contemporary Art as a Commodity

Ellen Gorman of Georgetown University offers a survey of the American art market from the 1950s to the present, introducing the cast of players and corporate entities behind the transformation of artworks into commodities for sale to the highest bidder. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Tuesday, June 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Architecture on the Nation's Front Lawn

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 Smithsonian’s first building, the Gothic-revival Castle to the capital’s newest landmark, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial designed by Frank Ghery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, June 12, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

Architecture on the Nation's Front Lawn

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 Smithsonian’s first building, the Gothic-revival Castle to the capital’s newest landmark, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial designed by Frank Ghery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Sunday, June 14, 2020 - 1:00 p.m.

Edgar Degas: The Independent Impressionist

Art historian Bonita Billman examines Degas in the context of the impressionist movement and colleagues including Monet, Pissarro, and Cassatt. She explores his work in a variety of media, analyzes his contributions to French art, and looks at his role as an art collector of merit. The program complements the exhibition Degas at the Opera at the National Gallery of Art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, June 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Excavations at Tell el-Amarna: A Window Into Ancient Egypt

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, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, June 20, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

Treasures of Ancient Egypt at VMFA

More than 1200 years ago, two ancient Egyptian cities at the mouth of the Nile were lost to natural disasters and the rising tides of the Mediterranean Sea. The stunning exhibition Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers a rare glimpse of what remains of these mighty centers of trade, where Egyptian and Greek cultures merged in art, worship, and everyday life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, June 26, 2020 - 8:30 a.m.

The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia

Led by art historian Bonita Billman, spend a day at the Barnes museum in Philadelphia to view its dazzling collections of French modern and post-impressionist paintings. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Sunday, July 26, 2020 - 8:00 a.m.

The Sparkling Mosaics of Ravenna

No medium better embodies the glory and mystery of both Byzantine culture and Early Christian iconography than mosaics. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, surveys the fascinating history of Ravenna that shaped the city’s most recognizable artistic marvels. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, August 7, 2020 - 6:30 p.m.

Michelangelo, Pope Julius, and the Sistine Chapel

When Michelangelo signed the contract with Pope Julius II in 1508 to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling, little did he know the turmoil that awaited him. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines the artistic importance of the ceiling and the human drama behind its creation, as well as the chapel’s history and its exquisite art produced before Michelangelo. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, August 8, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.

A Trio of Contemporary Museums: An Artful Weekend in New York

Treat yourself to an art-filled weekend escape to Manhattan that gives you plenty of time to take in guided visits of three leading museums devoted to modern and contemporary art—the newly revamped MoMA, the Whitney, and the New Museum—and a night on the town to enjoy as you like. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Depart: Saturday, August 15, 2020 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Sunday, August 16, 2020 - 10:30 p.m.

Composition

This class 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)

Date of event
Wednesday, September 9 to 30, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Exploring the Visual Foundations and Traditions of Art

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)

Date of event
Monday, September 14 and 21, 2020 – 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 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, September 26, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.

The Ninth Street Women: Abstract Expressionists Who Made Their Own Mark

In the 1950s, the spotlight on New York City’s abstract expressionist movement nearly always fell on male painters. Art critic Judy Pomeranz takes an in-depth look at five gutsy but overlooked women whose work in the groundbreaking Ninth Street Art Exhibition of 1951 boldly claimed their places in the postwar avant garde. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.