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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Daytime Programs

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
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
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

In a 4-session course, popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin uses her unique live piano demonstrations and both historic and contemporary film clips to illustrate how the music from such ballet masterpieces as Giselle, Swan Lake, Daphnis and Chloë, Le Sacre du Printemps, and Appalachian Spring became a treasured part of our cultural landscape.

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)

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

From the late 1920s through the end of World War II, Hollywood studios dominated film production both in America and throughout the world, producing some of the best-loved and most significant movies ever made. Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines the forces that shaped this giant of global filmmaking and the special nature of its achievements during its golden age—as well as the factors that brought this short-lived period to a final fadeout.

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.

Course
Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on “My Funny Valentine” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.”

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.

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
Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

For centuries, the English monarchy was male, but several notable women shattered that royal glass ceiling. Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger leads an assumption-challenging survey of female reigns, from the first crowned queen of England to the record-breaking longevity of Elizabeth II, examining how each redefined the role of the ruler and nature of the monarchy.

Course
Thursday, February 3, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on "Autumn Leaves," "Send in the Clowns," and "This Nearly Was Mine."

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
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Brian Rose, a professor emeritus at Fordham University, examines how advertising evolved during television’s first two decades and the important role it played in convincing viewers that the key to happiness quite literally lay in buying their way into the American dream.

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)

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.

Course
Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Using a medley of filmed performances, documentary filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how some of our favorite love songs from the American songbook came to be in a 3-session winter series and how re-imaginings by different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something more. This session focuses on "What a Wonderful World" and "Smile."

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

Geologist and cosmochemist Natalie Starkey reveals how exploring these enigmatic celestial objects will help scientists understand a crucial time in our history: The origins of the solar system and everything contained within it.

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

For more than a century, Hollywood has relied on star power as the most reliable way to draw an audience. From the early days of silent movies, the film studios have recognized the crucial role stars played at the box office. Trace the history of movie stardom, how the star system was changed by television, and how actors have redefined what it means to be a star today with Brian Rose.

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
Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Despite prejudice, prosecution, and political setbacks, nothing could force out the Jews of Kazimierz—a district of Krakow in Poland established in the 14th century. For centuries, they built their lives here, gaining religious and other freedoms along the way—until the Holocaust. Author and tour guide Christopher Skutela surveys the district’s rich history, its sites, and its significance.

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)