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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Courses

Course
Friday, March 5 to 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

In illustrated presentations, explore Yale University’s architecture, art and artifacts, books and documents, and medical and natural-history objects, focusing on outstanding examples in each category.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, March 7, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

In a 2-session series, join Sara Lukinson, a longtime filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors, as she looks at the lives and careers of some performing arts legends and explores what made the work of these actors and musicians so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on film heroes.

Course
Monday, March 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Washington, D.C., has given much to the musical world beyond its best-known exports Duke Ellington and the punk and go-go scenes. In a 3-session series, join musician, broadcaster, and historian Ken Avis as he explores the area’s lesser-known, remarkable, and fascinating musical avenues across the decades and why they could only have developed here. This session focuses on D.C.'s rock, go-go, and rhythms and blues legacy.

Course
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Each of the more than 1,100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most significant ancient sites in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Mesoamerica. This session focuses on Teotihuacan.

Course
Sunday, March 21, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. ET

The Great Horned Owl is found in every state except Hawaii and in almost every habitat. In a series of talks rich in audio clips, photos, and video, naturalist Mark H.X. Glenshaw presents another in-depth study of this magnificent creature. This session focuses on the owl's basic facts and behaviors.

Course
Monday, March 22, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Andre Aciman in this session.

Course
Tuesday, March 23 to April 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

With the works of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, and other 19th- and 20th-century composers, Russia has provided some of the most exciting and original music in the repertoire today. In a two-part series, concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lectures and piano demonstrations to trace the turbulent historical movements that acted both as backdrop and engine for a nation’s fascinating musical evolution. Note: This is Part II of a two-part course.

Course
Wednesday, March 24 to April 21, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In this richly illustrated seminar, art historian Nancy G. Heller looks at the roots and later influences of radical American art from the last five decades, from pop and minimalism to the influence of identity politics. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course
Tuesday, March 30 to April 20, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, explores some of the great masterworks of art and architecture created from the late-14th to the 16th centuries as he examines the intellectual trends and social context that gave rise to such giants as Giotto, Botticelli, and Michelangelo. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course
Monday, April 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Vladmir Nabokov in this session.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, April 11, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

In a 2-session series, join Sara Lukinson, a longtime filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors, as she looks at the lives and careers of some performing arts legends and explores what made the work of these actors and musicians so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on string musicians.

Course
Monday, April 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m to 1:00 p.m. ET

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia, houses a great hidden treasure in the R. Lee Taylor Miniature Gallery, a collection of 14 houses and rooms furnished with more than 4,000 exquisite objects that represent more than 70 of the leading miniaturists. The museum’s Nick Powers joins curator Elizabeth Lay to share the story of this collection and close-up images of the marvelously detailed houses. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts spring series.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, April 12, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Costa Rica.

Course
Tuesday, April 13 to June 1, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET (Performance on Tuesday, June 8, 2021)

If you’ve always wanted to learn the language and elements of musical notation and composition or are a singer or instrumentalist who has never mastered reading music, here’s the perfect opportunity. In an interactive course leading to a performance, conductor Ernest Johnson guides participants 55 and older in developing the foundation every musician needs.

Course
Sunday, April 18, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. ET

The Great Horned Owl is found in every state except Hawaii and in almost every habitat. In a series of talks rich in audio clips, photos, and video, naturalist Mark H.X. Glenshaw presents another in-depth study of this magnificent creature. This session focuses on the owl's mating and nesting habits.

Course
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Memorable autobiographies are powerful evocations not just of a person, but a time and place, vividly transporting us inside the world of another to experience it as they did. In a 3-session series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at a remarkable life recounted by Robert Graves in this session.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, April 19, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Peru.

Course
Thursday, April 22, May 20, and June 17, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Join Fred Plotkin, a popular Smithsonian speaker on culture, history, and music, as he shares hidden treasures discovered during his casual strolls through Florence, Berlin, and Dublin.

Course
Monday, April 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

In the early 19th century, panoramic landscape wallpapers that captured American scenes were at the height of popularity. Wallpaper historian Margaret Wood joins curator Elizabeth Lay for a conversation surrounding extraordinary examples of block-printed scenic wallpapers from some of the grand homes and museums throughout the country. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts spring series.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, April 26, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Easter Island.

Course
Monday, May 3 to Friday, May 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines lectures and piano demonstrations to explore the social, political, religious, and cultural influences that shaped the output of France’s great composers.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 3, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases New Zealand.

Course
Thursday, May 6 to 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

From the bold and the beautiful art of the 17th century to the exuberant Rococo architecture of the 18th, art historian Rocky Ruggiero places the movements within a historical and cultural context, emphasizes artistic styles, and focuses on major creators and pivotal masterpieces. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Course
Monday, May 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Curator Elizabeth Lay welcomes jewelry expert Sheila Smithie for an examination of several visionary French women who exercised their extraordinary creative powers in the 1920s and 1930s to transform jewelry design. A “virtual hands-on” session offers the next best thing to examining the jewels under a loupe in person. Part of a 3-session Decorative Arts spring series.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 10, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Australia.

Course
Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Japanese-American artist Kenjiro Nomura’s The Farm.

Course
Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. ET

The Great Horned Owl is found in every state except Hawaii and in almost every habitat. In a series of talks rich in audio clips, photos, and video, naturalist Mark H.X. Glenshaw presents another in-depth study of this magnificent creature. This session focuses on the owl's hunting and feeding habits.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Japan.

Course
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on Antonio Martorell’s La Playa Negra I (Tar Beach I).

Course
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on Palmyra.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 24, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Alaska.

Course
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing that offers a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface of the National Gallery of Art’s popular Writing Salon for a series of workshops that explore essential elements of writing and styles through close looking, word-sketching, and imaginative response to prompts. This session focuses on 20th-century African American artist Alma Thomas’ colorful compositions.

Course
Tuesday, May 25 to June 15, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Join Historic Royal Palaces guide Siobhan Clarke for a virtual look inside four great historic royal palaces. Using maps, paintings, photographs, and music, Clarke introduces the splendid corridors of royal power and pleasure.

Course
Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on the Bamiyan Buddhas.

Course
Tuesday, June 1, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on Timbuktu.

Course
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on the Great Barrier Reef.

Course
Friday, June 18, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET and Saturday, June 19, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Art historian Bonita Billman introduces major artists and movements in American painting from the late 18th century to the present, revealing the connections between historical changes and artistic choices. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)