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Art & Architecture

For James McNeill Whistler, watercolor was the medium through which he reinvented himself in the 1880’s and painted his way into posterity. Using a special technique by which paint, in a very liquid state that he called a sauce, and fast sweeps of the brush, Whistler’s paintings convey details through suggestion rather than explicit statement and reveal his mastery of color mixtures and wet effects. The exhibition, Whistler in Watercolor, includes more than 50 examples - figures, landscapes, nocturnes, and interiors - and represents one of the world’s largest collection of watercolors by the artist.

Event date
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.

Family Program: (Ages 10 to 14) Go on an interactive exploration of the National Portrait Gallery. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Event date
August 23 - 24, 2019, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The mission of the National Portrait Gallery is to tell the story of the U.S. through the lives of people who made significant contributions. We will take a fresh look at some who are well known and a new look at fascinating people whose names have been lost to time, as well as some non-traditional forms of portraiture.

Event date
Monday, August 26, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.

The landscape of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, had a profound personal and artistic influence on noted early-20th-century illustrator N.C. Wyeth. Art historian Bonita Billman leads a tour to Wyeth’s beloved Brandywine County that includes a visit to his home and studio, an exhibition focusing on his wide-ranging career at the Brandywine River Museum of Art, and a visit to a local winery. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 8:15 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

There’s no more appropriate setting to view costumes from a show about British royalty than the grand estate of an American industrial baron. An exhibition of 40 iconic costumes from two seasons of “The Crown”—from the dazzling coronation robe of Queen Elizabeth II to Antony Armstrong-Jones’s motorcycle jacket—finds an ideal backdrop at Winterthur.

Event date
Saturday, September 7, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Long considered one of the Smithsonian’s treasures, James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room is an icon of aesthetic design. Kerry Roeder, the Luce curatorial fellow in American art at the Freer|Sackler, and an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, discusses the scandalous history of the room and the challenges posed by the museum’s attempt to re-create the artist’s original vision of the space. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Forty-six years after his death, Picasso still looms large in our world. Art historian Nancy G. Heller examines an extraordinary career that sparked both scandal and reverence and that came to define the creative spirit of 20th century art. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, September 13, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Art historian Nancy G. Heller explores some of the Prado’s most important masterworks, traces its significance as a treasury of traditional Spanish art, and how a new gallery expansion has widened the museum’s scope to embrace contemporary works from Spain and elsewhere. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Art historian Ünver Rüstem examines how mid-18th century Turkish architects adopted European forms to craft a new and politically charged image for the capital city of Istanbul. These surprising structures, a blend of Byzantine and Baroque design, forged a new international image for the Ottoman Empire as it staked its claim to power on the modern world stage. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, September 18, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

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)

Event date
Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Event date
Friday, September 20, 2019 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Event date
Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Event date
Saturday, September 21, 2019 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Savor the beautiful lower Hudson Valley—a treasure trove of historic houses and home to the school that produces top chefs—in a 3-day excursion led by Bill Keene, a lecturer in history, urban studies, and architecture. The tour includes visits to the Kykuit Rockefeller estate, the Culinary Institute of Ameirca (for a French lunch), the Springwood family estate where Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born, magnificent Vanderbilt Mansion, and more.

Event date
Depart: Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 10:00 p.m.

Why have stories from Greek and Roman mythology and the Bible engaged, entertained, and even shocked us for centuries? Art historian Lisa Passaglia Bauman offers an analysis of images, allegories, motifs, and context as she traces the iconography of these enduring tales from their ancient archetypes to contemporary interpretations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Enjoy this special Smithsonian Craft2Wear kick-off event open to the public. Ticket price includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, the fun of shopping in a party setting, and a Craft2Wear show one-day pass for either Friday or Saturday while helping to jump-start the fund-raising that supports Smithsonian grants.

Event date
Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters houses some of the world’s most stunning medieval objects and architecture. Art historian Ursula Wolfman brings to life the era’s heart and soul as reflected in the masterpieces of this collection. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

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 latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, October 11, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

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 latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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 latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine embarks on a detailed exploration of the large-scale masterworks, intimate character studies, classically-inspired history paintings, and revealing (and sometimes enigmatic) self-portraits that marked Rembrandt as one of Western art’s most significant innovators. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Art historian Aneta Georgevska-Shine explores the distinctive facets of Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio's creative approach, and his influence on artists associated with his studio, including Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, and Perugino. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, October 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

New Glass Now, a stunning new global survey that reveals the breadth and depth of contemporary glassmaking, is just one of the highlights of a glass-lover’s dream visit to the Corning Museum of Glass. The four-day trip offers participants a true behind-the-scenes experience and includes many curator-conducted sessions and tours.

Event date
Depart: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 8:30 p.m.

In a fascinating overview of ancient material culture, art historian Renee Gondek surveys the paintings, sculptures, and architectural wonders produced in ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman world that served as inspiration for generations of creators to come. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, October 30 to November 20, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

The urban aesthetic of Scandinavia reflects both the cherished past and innovations in architecture and design. Explore the creative contributions of noted artists, architects, and designers reflected in the region’s beautiful capitals with art historian Karin Alexis. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Heroes of the Bible, of great empires of the past, and of legend are among those that preside today at the Met Cloisters, captured in an exceedingly rare, internationally renowned ensemble of tapestries. A Met Cloisters curator explores the singular historic and artistic importance of the Nine Heroes Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, November 8, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.

Event date
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Treat yourself to a holiday-season overnight getaway that offers the perfect way to experience the heart of Old Town Alexandria’s heritage and charm: colonial architecture, museums, fine dining, the waterfront, and of course, a little shopping.

Event date
Starts: Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.
Ends: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 4:00 p.m.