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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Authors, Books, & Writing Programs

Lecture/Seminar

Dead Sea Scrolls: Determining Their Legitimacy

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

After supposed fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls purchased by wealthy evangelical collectors were discovered to be fake, questions about the methods and ethics involved in validating ancient textual fragments have divided scholars and institutions. Colette Loll, a leading art-fraud expert, explains new scientific protocols designed to restore confidence in the arcane world of authenticating textual artifacts and delves into how ideological biases affect the way collectors and experts view important religious materials.

Lecture/Seminar

Palimpsests: Hidden Texts Revealed by Technology

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Palimpsests—parchment manuscripts that have had their original text scrubbed off and overwritten—are now sharing long-held secrets through technologies adapted from satellite imaging, medicine, and other fields. Michael B. Toth of R. B. Toth Associates leads a fascinating scientific and historical trek as he reviews how he and his teams have brought forgotten early texts to light in projects that span the globe.

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 - 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. Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, leads three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of artworks chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels. This session focuses on memory, identity, and setting.

Course

Art and Fiction: When Words and Art Commune

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this summer series, discover a “novel” way to explore the arts. Independent art historian Heidi Applegate explores the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Judith Leyster, and Camille Pissarro—and paintings that inspired three works of art-focused historical fiction. This session discusses Laura Morelli's The Night Portrait. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, June 21, 2022 - 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. Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, leads three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of artworks chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels. This session focuses on sunlight, shadow, and story.

Lecture/Seminar

Geraldine Brooks on the Heart of a Horse: A Novelist's Portrait

Monday, June 27, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Pulitzer Prize–winning author Geraldine Brooks discusses her newest novel, Horse, which explores art and science, the bond between people and animals, and the continuing story of race and injustice.

Course

Write Into Art: Creative Writing Inspired by Visual Art

Tuesday, June 28, 2022 - 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. Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon, leads three online workshops that spotlight a diverse range of artworks chosen to inspire writers of all experience levels. This session focuses on surprise, connect, and experiment.

Lecture/Seminar

King Arthur: Fact and Fiction

Tuesday, July 19, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Historian Jennifer Paxton examines the evidence for and against the existence of a 5th-century warrior leader named Arthur and traces the growth of his legend.

Course

Art and Fiction: When Words and Art Commune

Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this summer series, discover a “novel” way to explore the arts. Independent art historian Heidi Applegate explores the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Judith Leyster, and Camille Pissarro—and paintings that inspired three works of art-focused historical fiction. This session discusses Carrie Callaghan's A Light of Her Own. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar

Voices of Freedom: Poets of the Abolitionist Movement

Thursday, July 21, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

By 1830, Washington, D.C. was one of the nation’s most important sites for the interstate slave trade. In response, the region’s abolitionist movement became particularly important. Join poet and author Kim Roberts as she traces the abolitionist history of the region and highlights writers whose poems were seen as unique forms of moral persuasion on the subjects of slavery and abolition.

Lecture/Seminar

French Fairytales

Monday, August 15, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Once upon a time, fairy tales were not the short, simple children’s stories we all know. Instead, they often carried subtle messages or warnings, or ridiculed powerful figures. Folklorists Sara Cleto and Brittany Warman explore these mostly forgotten tales and their deeper meanings.

Lecture/Seminar

Bridges of Light and Time: A Reflective Writing Workshop

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing inspired by art guided by the founding instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Join her and step into the colors, light, and forms of Claude Monet’s exquisite The Japanese Footbridge to explore the bridge as a metaphor for the thresholds and journeys of our lives.

Course

Art and Fiction: When Words and Art Commune

Thursday, September 8, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this summer series, discover a “novel” way to explore the arts. Independent art historian Heidi Applegate explores the artists—Leonardo da Vinci, Judith Leyster, and Camille Pissarro—and paintings that inspired three works of art-focused historical fiction. This session discusses Alice Hoffman's The Marriage of Opposites. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)