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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Art & Architecture

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Frank Lloyd Wright’s residence for Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin is one of the most substantial and highly developed of his Prairie-style houses and among the architect’s most significant early commissions. Mary Roberts, executive director of the Martin House, leads a live virtual tour through sections of the main house, the open-air pergola, and conservatory as she shares the fascinating history of the site.

Course
Sunday, October 3, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

The notion that a picture is worth a thousand words is meant to convey the power of imagery. But what of the power of words—if they are Hemingway’s musings on a work of art, Van Gogh’s personal letters, or Michelangelo’s thoughts on his life and art expressed in his poetry? Explore the alchemy that occurs at the intersection of art and literature with David Gariff,  senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art.  This session focuses on Van Gogh: Artist and Writer. (World Art History Certificate elective: Earn ½ credit)

Course
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 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 explores how to spot the originals and the knockoffs among classic mid-century modern furniture pieces. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts fall series.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The official and personal residences of Queen Elizabeth II scattered through the United Kingdom are magnificent living palaces, estates, and castles that are used daily to serve the needs of the royal family. Join Andrew Lannerd to explore the vibrant history of each of these famed residences in detail, including behind-the-scenes accounts of events such as a royal wedding at Windsor Castle and a private party that celebrated the queen’s 80th birthday.

Course
Thursday, October 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on Marc Chagall and opera. (World Art Certificate Program elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, October 8, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Ambitious, extravagant, progressive, and oftentimes sexually notorious, the Sforza family took over the ducal throne of Milan in 1450, ushering in a period of unprecedented peace and prosperity. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo reveals how Milan and its rulers exemplified the political, cultural, religious, and economic aspirations of Renaissance Italy. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Wednesday, October 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The radical innovations made by European and American painters and sculptors between 1900 and 1960 forever altered the way we think about visual art. In a richly illustrated course, art historian Nancy G. Heller discusses major works by the period’s seminal painters and sculptors, emphasizing their broader socio-political and aesthetic contexts. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Albert Barnes amassed 181 works by Pierre-August Renoir—the world’s largest collection. Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to offer remarkable close-up views of his paintings as she examines his stylistic changes over the years, and discusses Barnes’ great affinity for Renoir, especially his late works. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on symbols and allegories. (World Art Certificate Program elective, 1/2 credit)

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

In this members-only series led by veteran arts educator Roberta Gasbarre, go behind the scenes and into the working lives of some of the most intriguing people from all across the Smithsonian and Washington’s worlds of culture, science, and education. This program features Elizabeth Beck, director of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, on the Smithsonian’s craft shows.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, October 16, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Dante’s epic poem has provided inspiration for countless artists—from manuscript illuminators to painters and sculptors from a variety of cultures and time periods. Art historian Aneta Georgievska Shine explores some of the greatest of those works by such artists as Botticelli, Blake, Redon, and Rodin. (World Art History Certificate elective,1 credit)

Course
Monday, October 18, 2021 - 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 offers some valuable insider’s tips on navigating today’s changing auction world. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts fall series.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Who gets commemorated in art and why? Drawing on her new book Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern, noted classicist Mary Beard tells the story of how for more than two millennia portraits of the rich, powerful, and famous in the western world have been shaped by the image of Roman emperors, from the ruthless Julius Caesar to the fly-torturing Domitian. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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

During the Renaissance, artists began to portray plants and animals with increased fidelity to nature, and natural philosophers began to replace myths with scientific explanations of the natural world. Kay Etheridge, a biology professor at Gettysburg College, traces how revolutionary changes in the ways animals and plants were visually portrayed led to a transformation in our understanding of the world around us.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 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 looks at three iconic works by Jacques-Louis David that capture Napoleon and how the collaboration of artist and subject established an imperial image for the world. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on The Sharp Family. (World Art Certificate Program elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, October 22, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The greatest painter of the Venetian Renaissance, Titian, was also the first whose clientele was largely international. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo surveys how the golden age of the Serenissima Republic is reflected in the art Titian generated for its churches, confraternities, and palaces. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Saturday, October 23, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET

A stunning contemporary setting, the unique vision of its founding collector, and galleries that house a dazzling array of modern and post-impressionist paintings are among the many reasons that make the Barnes Foundation Philadelphia a one-of a kind magnet for art lovers. Join art historian Ursula Wolfman to experience it in person during a memorable one-day visit. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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

In a pre-Halloween program to enthrall anyone yearning to lift the veil on our fascination with the eerie, morbid, and supernatural, British author and professor Roger Luckhurst introduces the world of Gothic fiction, film, and fine art. Expect vampires, werewolves, zombies, and other wonders to flicker into existence as you explore the topography of this shadowy territory.

Course
Thursday, October 28, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Join popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin for a fascinating exploration into the intimate relationship between the visible and invisible arts, and how music can literally bind the arts together in this fall series. This session focuses on The Artist as Musician, the Composer as Model. (World Art Certificate Program elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 1, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Whether created by artists such as Calder, Oldenburg, and Christo or generated from within communities, public art can powerfully speak to viewers through a wide variety of images, messages, materials, and settings. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton surveys public art’s many forms, its creative roots and makers, and its social value. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 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. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for three online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Character: Discover Dimensions.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Many iconic churches and palaces in Florence were constructed to represent wealth and power, but architect Filippo Brunelleschi’s Hospital of the Innocents was the first institution in the world to be dedicated to the well-being of children. Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo explores its architecture and magnificent charitable history. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Sunday, November 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

The notion that a picture is worth a thousand words is meant to convey the power of imagery. But what of the power of words—if they are Hemingway’s musings on a work of art, Van Gogh’s personal letters, or Michelangelo’s thoughts on his life and art expressed in his poetry? Explore the alchemy that occurs at the intersection of art and literature with David Gariff,  senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art.  This session focuses on The Poetry of Michelangelo. (World Art History Certificate elective: Earn ½ credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 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. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for three online workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Setting: Explore Place and Time.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

In 1932 Frank Lloyd Wright published The Disappearing City, a polemic about the evils of urban centers. He envisioned a better future centered on the automobile, telephone and radio, and mass production, integrated to bring mobility, freedom, and choice to the individual. In a richly illustrated program, Bill Keene examines the apparent contradictions between Wright’s essentially anti-city views and his ongoing fascination with work to enhance urban life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

In the early years of the 20th century, Paris became a magnet for artists from all over the world and the birthplace for some of the principal innovations of modern art. Using high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a live virtual tour that highlights works in the museum’s collection by Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, and Soutine that bring this seminal period to life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, November 13, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Understanding Italian architecture is understanding Western Civilization. No country has produced such an extraordinary number of iconic architectural monuments. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, traces the evolution of Italian architecture from its ancient Roman origins through the Middle Ages, and concludes with the breathtaking theatrics of Baroque architecture. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Course
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Joseph Cassar examines important masterworks within selected genres 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
Monday, November 15, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

The distinctive rock-cut architecture of Ajanta, Ellora, Elephanta, Badami, and other temple sites has captured the imaginations of India’s visitors and devotees for centuries. Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines what we know about their histories, how they were made, and what was required to maintain them in antiquity—as well as how they are being protected from threats today. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 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. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, for three 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: Imagine Possibilities.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Art historian Bonita Billman examines how a group of painters created powerful and personal works that revealed unvarnished truths about urban life in the early 20th century. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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

The Lady with the Unicorn tapestries celebrate a world in which unicorns—no less than lions, bunny rabbits, or refined ladies—surely exist. Barbara Drake Boehm, curator emerita of the Met Cloisters, leads a virtual visit to the Cluny Museum to explore the exceptionally rich imagery, the history—real and imagined—and meaning behind these charming early 16th-century masterpieces. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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

Kevin Tervala, associate curator of African art at the Baltimore Museum of Art, explores the monumental and aesthetically innovative structures made from mud and earthen material built across the African continent—and how they communicated fundamental social, cultural, and religious beliefs. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In a 3-session evening series, historian Justin M. Jacobs presents in-depth overviews of three particularly intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites. This session focuses on the Forbidden City in Beijing.

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

Peter Carl Faberge is best known and remembered for the amazing imperial Easter eggs he created for the last Russian Tsar’s wife and mother. He and his firm also designed and produced jewelry and decorative pieces of unparalleled workmanship. Art critic and author Judy Pomeranz examines the life and times of Faberge, his extraordinary art, and his illustrious clients. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

Post-impressionism was less a negative reaction to impressionism than a desire to improve upon it. Art historian Janetta Rebold Benton presents an intimate look at the background, life, and art of four post-impressionist luminaries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

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

The Arts and Crafts Movement was a dominant influence in visual and decorative arts and architecture in England and the United States around the turn of the last century. Art historian Bonita Billman explores the flowering and legacy of this movement. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Course
Sunday, December 5, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

The notion that a picture is worth a thousand words is meant to convey the power of imagery. But what of the power of words—if they are Hemingway’s musings on a work of art, Van Gogh’s personal letters, or Michelangelo’s thoughts on his life and art expressed in his poetry? Explore the alchemy that occurs at the intersection of art and literature with David Gariff,  senior lecturer at the National Gallery of Art.  This session focuses on Ernest Hemingway, Joan Miró, and The Farm (1921-22). (World Art History Certificate elective: Earn ½ credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 5, 2021 - 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET

Taliesin, the Wisconsin home and studio of architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was witness to some of the greatest tragedies of his life, as well as some of his greatest triumphs. Join Taliesin historian Keiran Murphy as she tells the story of the iconic house and how it reflects decades of shifts in Wright's personal and professional life. (World Art Certificate Program elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 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 Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Experience new ways to contemplate the gifts of winter inspired by the vibrant Winter Landscape by Wassily Kandinsky, an artist who embraced the transcendent power of color.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 7, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Duccio di Buoninsegna and Giotto di Bondone revolutionized the field of Italian painting in the 14th century. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, compares Duccio’s and Giotto’s art and examines the characteristics that defined their respective schools of painting. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Although the Barnes Foundation is widely known for its post-impressionist and early modern art, its extensive African collection has long been central to the museum’s educational mission. Using high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes educator Penny Hansen guides a live virtual tour that surveys highlights of these distinctive holdings. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, December 11, 2021 - 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

No home in America celebrates the holidays quite like the White House, and behind each annual celebration is a first lady who lends her distinctive style to the festivities. Historian Coleen Christian Burke, a former White House holiday design partner, surveys the signature holiday decorating style of modern residents from Jackie Kennedy to Jill Biden.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Virtually join art historian and culinary expert Elaine Trigiani in her 15th-century Tuscan farmhouse for a look at Venice through its artistic and culinary heritage. Learn how Giambattista Tiepolo became the 18th-century master of the Venetian school of painting. Then, watch her demonstrate the preparation of cicchetti, a favorite snack of today’s Venetian cocktail hour scene. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines the sites and structures that made up the urban landscape of the Khmer Empire and traces the historical shifts, royal decisions, religious beliefs, and cultural processes that led to its development. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 17, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

As a young man, Leonardo da Vinci wrote about finding the skeleton of a great “fish” while roaming in the hills of Tuscany. What followed was decades of interest in fossils and informed speculation about the planet’s history. Biologist Kay Etheridge examines how this fascination with fossils is reflected in his artworks.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Baltimore's Federal Hill holds a prominent place in the city's history and lent its name to a distinctive and appealing South Baltimore neighborhood.  Arts journalist and Baltimore resident Richard Selden leads an illustrated virtual tour of both the hill itself, with its storied monuments and stunning views, and the urban village that surrounds it.