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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Art & Architecture

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 History Certificate 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
Tuesday, December 14, 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
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.

Course
Tuesday, January 4, 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 character.

Course
Wednesday, January 5, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Chinese civilization has given rise to some of the world’s most remarkable artistic creations. Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines how, across the centuries, social, religious, and political life have influenced transformations in China’s material culture. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 7, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Rivalries can be dangerous and frustrating, but they can also fuel the creation of great works of art—as was the case among the Renaissance masters. Renaissance art historian Elaine Ruffolo brings into sharp focus the artistic rivalry among these painters and the often-overwhelming emotional and professional pressures that compelled them to create. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 10, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The romantic feminine lines and chic textured suits that emerged in Paris after the austerity of WWII are admired even today. Christian Dior’s luxurious bounty of expansive skirts with tiny wasp waists and Coco Chanel’s impeccably tailored signature suits defined the arc of fashion in the 1950s. Join design historian Elizabeth Lay as she looks at the seeds of each style, the customers who bought these marvelous designs, and the minute details of haute couture that set these fashions apart from the ordinary.

Course
Tuesday, January 11, 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 setting.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

The Barnes holds 59 of Henri Matisse’s works, including his fauvist masterpiece Le Bonheur de Vivre, and the The Dance, commissioned by collector Albert Barnes in 1930. The collection’s 46 works by Pablo Picasso range from The Peasants, which greets visitors in the main room, evolving to his Head of a Woman (Tête de femme). Barnes educator Penny Hansen uses high-definition Deep Zoom technology to explore the artists’ work and influence on 20th-century modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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.

Course
Tuesday, January 18, 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 dialogue.

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. Nourishing Rome for centuries, for the ancient Romans the river personified a majestic old man, crowned with laurel and holding a cornucopia. Some of Rome’s greatest monuments are found along its banks. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo leads 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
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)

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)

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)