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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Art & Architecture

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 21, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Tiber River flows around the famous hills of Rome with some of the city's greatest monuments found along its banks including the Temples of Vesta and Fortuna Virilis, the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth), and the Ara Pacis. It also has been immortalized throughout history in many great works of art. Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo on an art-historical adventure along the Tiber River. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Tuesday, January 25, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can spark creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on story.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 31, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless, and speaks to us across time, culture, and space. Yet great works come from real people living real lives. Paul Glenshaw examines Albert Bierstadt’s 1868 work Among the Sierra Nevada, California—a majestic depiction of the natural beauty of the American West that also served as part of a brazen self-marketing scheme, a lure to immigrants and settlers, and a reflection of the complex legacy of Manifest Destiny. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can spark creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for five online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on first person.

Course
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Our modern world echoes and even replicates the creative vestiges of the past—and the key to understanding our surroundings is through an overview of ancient material culture. Focusing on the Mediterranean region, art historian Renee Gondek offers a survey of the earliest traces of artistic production from the Paleolithic period through the late Bronze Age. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the late Middle Ages to the early Renaissance, the Book of Hours, filled with groups of prayers designed for use by lay people, was more in demand than the Bible itself. Roger S. Wieck, Melvin R. Seiden curator and department head of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts at the Morgan Library and Museum, explores the textual and pictorial riches to be found within the pages of these fascinating books. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, February 5, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The English painters, poets, and critics who gave birth to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1848 wanted to reform art by rejecting what they called the melodramatic style of High Renaissance artists like Raphael. Art historian Bonita Billman traces this fascinating movement from its origins to flowering conclusion. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Join one of the most famous art detectives in the world to hear tales from a long FBI career solving art crimes. Drawing on the headline-making cases he worked on, Robert Wittman explores notorious art heists and daring recovery operations.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

The Barnes Foundation holds the world’s largest collection of works by Paul Cézanne, some 69 pieces including his masterworks The Large Bathers and The Card Players. Barnes educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to explore Cézanne’s career, his reclusive life, his style, his characteristic brushstrokes, and his deep influence on 20th-century art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Thomas Eakins spent a lifetime on a quest to create the most accurate portrayal of the human figure. Art critic and author Judy Pomeranz examines the life of this exceptional American painter and his impact on the course of art history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Monday, February 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay and her expert guests for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. This session spotlights 17th and 18th century embroidered textiles in England and the American colonies. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts winter series.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

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 paintings of the visionary Belorussian-born French artist Marc Chagall and by poetry across time, look outward at paintings and poetry and look inward through writing.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Vatican Museums in Vatican City comprise 26 public art museums housing about 70,000 world-famous paintings and sculpture. Art historian Elizabeth Lev explores the origins of the world's first truly modern museum through the lives and times of three remarkable popes: Julius II, a visionary; Pius VI, a financier; and Pius XI, a savvy communicator. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 23, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The Bucintoro at the Molo on Ascension Day, painted in 1760 by Canaletto, the grand master of scenes of the city, portrays the glory of Venice’s early history. Popular Smithsonian Associates speaker Paul Glenshaw places the work in historical context and explores what shaped Caneletto and his era—one that overlapped the time of Vivaldi and Tiepolo. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Monday, February 28, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay and her expert guests for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. This session spotlights the White House's official china. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts winter series.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 28, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

New Mexico geologist Kirt Kempter explores the dramatic landscapes that captivated Georgia O’Keeffe and often provided the inspiration for her art. The geologic story of the beloved region O’Keeffe called home spans more than 300 million years and includes rock layers from ancient rivers, oceans, and sand dunes.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Toward the end of his prolific career, French impressionist Claude Monet created his enchanting Water Lilies series, inspired by the water-lily ponds he installed at his beloved home, Giverny. Join author Ross King in an exploration of these iconic paintings as he brings to life the extraordinary accomplishment of Monet’s later years. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 4, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she explores the influence of the powerful Medici family, from their humble beginnings to their role as great patrons of the arts in Florence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, March 7, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Contemporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat is among the most famous American artists we know today. But before his untimely death in 1988, critics were divided about whether or not his work would leave a lasting impression. Explore this artist's legacy with art history professor Jordana Moore Saggese. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, March 8, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

With its 18th- and 19th-century fabric largely intact and its sailor’s-bar heritage tidied up, Fells Point offers a unique perspective into Baltimore’s enduring identity as a port city on the Chesapeake. A virtual tour with arts journalist and former Baltimore resident Richard Selden surveys the waterfront neighborhood’s history and character.

Course
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Over the centuries, there are major themes in the history of art that continue to appear and reappear. Art historian Joseph Cassar examines important masterworks and offers a new way to understand and appreciate the similarities among—and the uniqueness of—the artists and the cultural norms that influenced their choices. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 10, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In mid-19th-century France, as political, social, and cultural changes swept through Europe, many painters rejected idealized classicism and romanticism, and began painting what they saw around them. The style became known as realism. Art historian Nancy G. Heller examines its evolution, significance, and later influence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Saturday, March 12, 2022 - 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

The 104-year-old Baltimore Museum of Art, whose collections encompass 19th-century, modern, and contemporary art, houses 95,000 holdings including the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world. Spend a day at the museum with art historian Ursula Wolfman enjoying its highlights, the famed Cone Collection, and the special exhibition The Rembrandt Effect. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Monday, March 14, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay and her expert guests for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. This session spotlights Tiffany Glass from the Neustadt Collection. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts winter series.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 18, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo as she explores the influence of the powerful Medici family, especially their golden age and legacy in Florence. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

No English king’s exploits are as well-known as those of Henry VIII. He is famous for six marriages, for breaking with the Pope and creating the Church of England, and for his ruthless elimination of any obstacles. But Historic Royal Palaces lecturer Siobhan Clarke reveals the king as an enthusiastic patron of the arts whose commissions began the Royal Collection. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Sunday, March 27, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at how Giorgio Vasari captured the lives of fellow creators in a seminal work of art history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Roberto Burle Marx, one of the most influential and groundbreaking landscape artists of the 20th century, introduced modernist landscape architecture to his native Brazil that incorporated many colorful native species. Garden designer and photographer C. Colston Burrell explores Burle Marx’s home and studio, as well as private gardens and parks he created for friends and municipalities.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 1, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Umbrian hill town of Assisi potently captures the spirit of the Middle Ages in a way few places can. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores how this most extraordinary town was shaped by glorious art, architecture, and the legacy of Saint Francis. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Spend a day at the Philadelphia Museum of Art exploring architect Frank Gehry’s extraordinary new vision for the museum’s interior inspired by the character of the historic 1928 building. The renovations open the museum’s interior with soaring public spaces, and dramatic vistas incorporating additional room for art, and easier navigation. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Throughout the long history of Japan, Japanese visual arts adopted and adapted style elements of foreign cultures—Chinese, Korean, European—refining techniques, materials, and viewing practices to suit their own societal needs, ideas, and cultural practices. Art historian Yui Suzuki examines timeless works by skilled Japanese artisans in their historical, religious, and political contexts. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Tour
April 10 - 11, 2022, 7:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 20, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

For centuries, the most celebrated female artist of the Italian Baroque was largely forgotten. But the work of Artemisia Gentileschi is now enjoying a long overdue revival. Art historian Aneta Georgievska Shine explores the accomplishments of a painter who overcame personal and professional challenges to succeed in the 17th century—and again in our own time. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
April 24 - 25, 2022, 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

The Brandywine River Valley includes some of the loveliest and most historic areas of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and spring is an ideal time to sample its attractions. Join Hayden Mathews, an environmental and cultural history interpreter, on a two-day visit to sites that provide unique doorways into the region’s heritage.

Course
Sunday, April 24, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at the influence of Shakespeare and Dante on the sculpture of Rodin. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Sunday, May 22, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET

In this spring series, David Gariff, senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, examines how artists can find power in both words and images. This session looks at the revealing friendship of Édouard Manet and Emile Zola. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)