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Daytime Programs

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.

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.

Portraiture is a time-honored and essential tradition in art. Hone your skills in observation, color, light and shadow, and other technical foundations of the form in this class designed for all levels of painters.

Event date
Friday, September 6 to 27, 2019 – 10:15 a.m­. to 1:15 p.m.

Spend a morning getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court—including the courtroom where cases are argued. Then, a panel of top legal experts previews the issues that will come before the court when the new session begins in October.

Event date
Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of the photo surrealists and explores how they pushed the boundaries of photographic imagery in the 1920s to 1940s. Step into the darkroom to create your own version of one the movement’s distinctive photo forms, the rayogram. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, September 13, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Event date
Friday, September 27, 2019 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Get a “behind-the-easel” perspective on masterworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Freer Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art from a knowledgeable artist. Viewings address historical and social context, as well as demystify technique. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, October 7 to 28, 2019 – 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Explore the basis of abstraction by studying color, line, and shape as they relate to composition. Learn to create exciting and innovative works of art, using a series of drawing and painting exercises designed to examine non-traditional ways of handling traditional materials and subject matter.

Event date
Thursday, October 10 to December 12, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (no class Nov. 28)

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.

Art historian and photographer Patricia Howard introduces the world of cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue and white print. Create your own in this unique studio arts program. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, October 11, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 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
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Spend the Columbus Day holiday with maritime historian, author, and archaeologist Donald Grady Shomette investigating Baltimore's prominent role in the seafaring history of America and the ships, shipbuilders, mariners, explorations, and conflicts that helped build a nation.

Event date
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Experiment with a variety of painting styles such as cubism, suprematism, and abstract expressionism to learn practical applications of the concepts and techniques of modernism. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 to December 10, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. (no class Nov. 26)

Whether you want work in digital or film, this course offers a solid foundation for new photographers ready to learn the basics. Two on-location shoots offer chances to put your new skills into practice.

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 to December 10, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 26)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most influential musicians of his time. Opera and classical music expert Saul Lilienstein offers a rich view of Mozart’s most important accomplishments, from his beginnings as a child prodigy in Salzburg to becoming one of the leading musicians of the Classical period.

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 to November 19, 2019 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Use stained-glass and vitreous glass tiles to interpret a realistic image in mosaics. Learn to discern color values, identify shapes, and define planes to enhance your work.

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 to December 10, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (no class Nov. 26)

Students draw from Giambattista Tiepolo’s works to help them grasp the idea of gesture, movement, and the grouping of as well as apply their Tiepolo-inspired skills to contemporary images. All skill levels welcome. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 and 22, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Popular theory on right side brain activity holds that the right brain is primarily responsible for the intuitive understanding of visual and spatial relationships. Designed to improve the way people see and record objects on paper, this class provides a set of visual exercises to help build the ability to draw.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16 to December 11, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 27)

Whether you work digitally or on film, this course is ideal for students who are familiar with their cameras but are interested in expanding their understanding of photography fundamentals.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16 to December 11, 2019 – 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 27)

Working in oil, acrylic, pastel, or watercolor, students focus on the purpose, approach, and techniques used to create compelling landscape paintings.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16 to December 11, 2019 - 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (no class Nov. 27)

Students are introduced to the materials, tools, and technologies used in collage and assemblage. They find inspiration in artists who worked in collage including Joseph Cornell, Romare Bearden, and Gertrude Green.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16 to December 11, 2019 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (no class Nov. 27)

The elegant and enduring Italic script has a venerable legacy. Begin your study of these versatile hand-written alphabets, which translate well into many practical and artistic applications.

Event date
Thursday, October 17 to December 12, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (no class Nov. 21 and 28)

In this workshop open to all levels, students discover the versatility and fluidity of working in watercolors while exploring the functional and aesthetic elements of color and design found in plants.

Event date
Thursday, October 17 to November 7, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Get your feet and your brush wet in this course designed to introduce you to the art of painting without the intimidation of rules and methods. Students get acquainted with brushes and the watercolor medium using exercises designed by the instructor.

Event date
Thursday, October 17 to December 12, 2019 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. (no class Nov. 28)

Get an introduction to stylized lettering, including altered block letters, botanical borders, and illuminated initials with vines and flourishes.

Event date
Thursday, October 17 to November 7, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Event date
Friday, October 18 to December 13, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 29)

Working from live models, students are encouraged to draw accurate or aesthetically strong works based on the figure. Open to all levels.

Event date
Friday, October 18 to December 13, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (no class Nov. 29)

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.

Develop skills in a range of weaving techniques as you design and create a one-of-a kind miniature tapestry on a small-frame loom.

Event date
Monday, October 21 to December 16, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 11 and Dec. 2)

Beginning students as well as experienced painters explore watercolor techniques and learn new approaches to painting through classroom demonstration, discussion, and experimentation.

Event date
Monday, October 21 to December 16, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 11)

This introductory course teaches the basic skills needed for drawing. Working with a variety of materials and techniques, including charcoal and pencils, students explore the rendering of geometric forms, volume, and perspective, with an emphasis on personal gesture marks.

Event date
Monday, October 21 to December 16, 2019 - 10:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. (no class Nov. 11)

Learn clay techniques and gain an understanding of the human body, gestures, and expressions as you sculpt a portrait, torso, or full-figure piece by working from life.

Event date
Monday, October 21 to December 16, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. (no class Nov. 11)

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

The luminescence, rich color and texture, and quick-drying properties of encaustics have made this a favorite medium for painters for centuries. Get a solid introduction to its technical and creative possibilities as you apply the encaustic method to mixed-media projects.

Event date
Friday, October 25, 2019 - 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This four­-session workshop examines fundamental concepts of composition and their practical application in studio-art practice, offering participants tools to enrich their own work as well to analyze and appreciate visual art in general. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Tuesday, October 29 to November 19, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Discover a variety of methods for making and using image transfers and expanding your creative horizons with photo alteration. Both techniques can offer new dimensions and interest to your artworks.

Event date
Wednesday, November 6 to 20, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Creating a unique bead-and-wire pendant is as easy as 1-2-3! The workshop is recommended for wire-workers of all levels.

Event date
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Get a “behind-the-easel” perspective on masterworks at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Freer Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art from a knowledgeable artist. Viewings address historical and social context, as well as demystify technique. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, November 18 to December 9, 2019 - 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Love mixed media? This workshop offers the perfect way to expand your repertoire by creating an array of one-off prints using acrylic paints and other materials.

Event date
Wednesday, December 11 and 18, 2019 – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.