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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Daytime Programs

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

Volcanic activity occurs in almost every corner of the solar system, even in the most unexpected of locations. Geologist and cosmochemist Natalie Starkey guides a fascinating exploration of the tallest, coldest, hottest, and most unusual volcanoes and their origins.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, September 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The Amur River is the tenth longest river in the world—yet it is almost unknown. The river rises in the Mongolian mountains, then flows through Siberia to the Pacific. Colin Thubron brings alive a pivotal world as he recounts an eye-opening, often-perilous journey from the Amur’s secret headwaters to the river’s desolate end.

Tour
Friday, October 1, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET

From the Woman Suffrage Procession along Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913 to the massive Million Man March in 1995, Washington, D.C. was the setting for many of the most historic social and political American protests of the 20th century. Enjoy a fall walk with lecturer Dave Price and discover the stories behind the most significant of these protests.

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
Monday, October 4, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Charade.

Tour
Tuesday, October 5, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

From the Woman Suffrage Procession along Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913 to the massive Million Man March in 1995, Washington, D.C. was the setting for many of the most historic social and political American protests of the 20th century. Enjoy a fall walk with lecturer Dave Price and discover the stories behind the most significant of these protests.

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

Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at three remarkable memoirs, as different in approach and style as the lives they led. In this session, discuss Born a Crime by comic Trevor Noah who recounts his childhood in apartheid South Africa.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 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 popular Writing Salon, Mary Hall Surface. Inspired by works of art by Hudson River landscape painter Jasper Francis Cropse and poetry by Mary Oliver, explore the lessons that the season of autumn offers us when we slow down, look closely, and reflect.

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)

Course
Friday, October 8, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Environmental historian Hayden Mathews brings the heritage of one of the most storied rivers in North American to life in a three-part series that focuses on how the Potomac has shaped the lives of the those who settled along its banks from their arrival after the last Ice Age to the present day and how those lives have had an impact on the river.

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
Tuesday, October 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Powerful, thrilling, epic, and eloquent, choral music embodies a glorious musical tradition. Saul Lilienstein leads an insightful survey of great works and their composers from the Renaissance through the 20th century.

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

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 works of art by Hudson River landscape painter Jasper Francis Cropse and poetry by Mary Oliver, explore the lessons that the season of autumn offers us when we slow down, look closely, and reflect.

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)

Tour
Sunday, October 17, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET

From the Woman Suffrage Procession along Pennsylvania Avenue in 1913 to the massive Million Man March in 1995, Washington, D.C. was the setting for many of the most historic social and political American protests of the 20th century. Enjoy a fall walk with lecturer Dave Price and discover the stories behind the most significant of these protests.

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.

Tour
Tuesday, October 19, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a fall morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

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.

Tour
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a fall morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Course
Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at three remarkable memoirs, as different in approach and style as the lives they led. In this session, discuss A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway which conjures a fabled youth in Paris of the 1920s.

Tour
Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a fall morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

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)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Billy Wilder.

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

The Sumerians are famous as a people who created the world’s earliest civilization. Living on the fertile plains of what is today southern Iraq (ancient Sumer), they developed a flourishing culture between about 3500 and 2000 B.C. Paul Collins, a curator at Oxford University’s Ashmolean Museum and author of The Sumerians: Lost Civilizations, tells the story of how a Sumerian people came to be “discovered” and how things are not always as they seem.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Hollywood can imagine impressive and convincing alien creatures, but is there any science behind our understanding of what extraterrestrial life might be like?  Although we don’t know whether they’ll be green, zoologist Arik Kershenbaum shares his insights into how familiar they might be, using lessons from the behaviors that we see in animals on our own planet.

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
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

James Watson and Francis Crick’s 1953 discovery of the double helix structure of DNA is the foundation of virtually every advance in our modern understanding of genetics and molecular biology. But the discovery of DNA’s structure is the story of five towering minds: Watson, Crick, Rosalind Franklin, Maurice Wilkins, and Linus Pauling. Howard Markel, professor of the history of medicine, provides a fascinating look at the discovery of DNA’s double helix.

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
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Since its very beginning, Hollywood has made audiences laugh in forms from slapstick to screwball, romance to social satire, musicals to gross-out teen films. Media expert Brian Rose looks at major highlights of screen comedy over the last 125 years, drawing on more than 40 examples from Hollywood’s funniest films. Prepare to LOL.

Course
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at three remarkable memoirs, as different in approach and style as the lives they led. In this session, discuss Conundrum by travel writer Jan Morris who gives a spellbinding account of her riskiest journey, becoming another physical version of herself.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The world's habitats are often organized into various categories that are mainly grounded in botany. But for an amateur naturalist, a more intuitive tool for identifying habitat classifications has been lacking—until now. Several professional nature guides discuss a new guide they’ve written that explains the entire globe's habitats from a much simpler perspective.

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)

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

Some moments in movies never leave us: the piercing eyes of a private eye, a raft hurtling down the rapids, that little black dress, the close-up of a fading movie star. In a 5-session film discussion series, documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies and characters, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Anatomy of a Murder and 12 Angry Men.

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
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

What was it like to be a Jewish citizen in Venice between their settlement there in the 16th century to the end of World War II? From the beginning, the rules that governed Jewish life in the ghetto—a Venetian word—contrasted greatly with those outside the quarter. Historian Monica Chojnacka highlights the complicated history of the Venetian Jews and places it in the context of greater European history.

Course
Wednesday, November 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Carole King and Tina Turner.

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
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
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

We often think of the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome as discrete incubators of Western culture. However, Greece and Rome did not develop in isolation. The lands to the north of the Greek and Roman peninsulas were inhabited by non-literate communities that stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. Archaeologist Peter Bogucki reveals the development of these nearly forgotten people from the Stone Age through the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west.

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

The ancient city of Ephesus in southwestern Turkey offers a sense of timelessness. Structures from the ancient world found there today include the Temple of Artemis—one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Word—the Library of Celsus, and Hadrian’s Temple. Author, filmmaker, and tour guide Serif Yenen highlights the rich history and archaeological wonders of Ephesus.

Course
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Pop music would not be the same without Carole King, Tina Turner, Billy Joel, and Neil Diamond. Their music defined the summer of a generation’s youth, and now the whole world still sings their songs. In this 2-session daytime series, join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to talk about the lives of these performing arts legends, enjoy clips of their performances, and explore what made them so moving, memorable, and exciting. This session focuses on Billy Joel and Neil Diamond.

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)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

At the center of the vibrant world of 15th-century Florence was a bookstore beside the Bargello run by Vespasiano da Bisticci—known as the “king of the world’s booksellers.” He created magnificent libraries and deluxe manuscripts for clients that included popes, kings, and three generations of Medici. Author Ross King paints a portrait of the intellectual, political, and religious ferment of this world through a bookseller’s eyes.

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

Hollywood is an industry that has always depended on blockbusters. But beginning in 1974, two young filmmakers, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, would together change the way the movie industry made movies, introducing the age of the “modern blockbuster,” which featured elaborate special effects and thrilling spectacle. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, looks at their four decades of filmmaking and discusses how they changed the movies.

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
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 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

For centuries no one had been aware of the ancient Indus civilization. Today we know it was as ancient and extensive as those of Egypt and Mesopotamia. Historian and science writer Andrew Robinson introduces this tantalizing ‘lost’ civilization that uniquely combined artistic excellence, technological sophistication, and economic vigor with social egalitarianism, political freedom, and religious moderation.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

From the sunny fields of the Mediterranean to the misty meadows of England, the history of lavender spans civilizations, centuries, and continents. Speaker and food historian Christine Rai explores lavender's role in history, art, music, literature, religion, and folklore, and how it continues to compel us today.

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
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.