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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Daytime Programs

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

Over more than five decades, the pioneering French modernist Henri Matisse created work in a dazzlingly wide range of materials and styles. Art historian Nancy G. Heller explores how all of Matisse’s diverse output reflects a unified aesthetic philosophy and investigates why his work continues to fascinate today’s creative minds. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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

Sandro Botticelli’s art captures the shift from a mystical, symbolic medieval worldview to the more humanist ideals of the Early Renaissance. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the life and times of this Florentine master from his rise as painter to the Medici bankers to his downfall as a devoted follower of fiery Savonarola. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

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

In the years after World War II, television blossomed as a creative medium, with live dramatic shows like “Kraft Television Theater” and “Playhouse 90” showcasing the talents of soon-to-be-famous performers, directors, and writers. But this golden age was a short one, as was New York City’s dominance as a center of production. Brian Rose, professor emeritus at Fordham University, explores the forces behind the demise.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 18, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Arik Kershenbaum, a zoologist at the University of Cambridge, explores the nature of how animals communicate and whether we’ll ever be able to understand what they’re saying—or if they are saying anything at all.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, March 19, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Joseph Cassar explores the work of Marc Chagall whose oeuvre—whimsical, colorful and populated with images from the stories of his native Russian culture—is both emotionally and poetically dream-based. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 24, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Immerse yourself in the restorative and meditative Japanese practice of forest bathing as Melanie Choukas-Bradley introduces its history and how-tos. She also shares tips on how to conduct your own forest-bathing walks using the environments around you, including your own backyard.

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)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, March 25, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The Seine flows through every aspect of daily life in Paris. Longtime New York Times foreign correspondent Elaine Sciolino leads a fascinating journey through its history and its myriad reflections in art, literature, music, and film, revealing how this fabled river defines and shapes the essence of a great city.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 2, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Mantua’s history is deeply connected to the Gonzaga dynasty. Their rule may have been tyrannical and warfare their principal occupation, but the family’s patronage brought into being some of the finest buildings and works of art of the Renaissance. Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo for a gaze into the dynamics of court life and the family who shaped a city. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ 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
Thursday, April 8, 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 Vincent van Gogh and poetry by Mary Oliver, explore the lessons that spring offers when we slow down, observe closely, and look inward.

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
Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Surrounded by 120 acres of native Ozark forest, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, houses five centuries of American artworks from the colonial era to the present, with an emphasis on artists underrepresented in art history and conventional museum settings. Join a member of the educational staff for a look at this unique museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 16, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From her home in Florence, art historian Elaine Ruffalo traces the ascendance of Rome as an imperial city and its corruption and decline. This is Part I of a two-part series. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

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
Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw explores one of the most iconic patriotic images in American art—and one of the most reproduced—to reveal a surprising history that includes its creation in, of all places, Germany.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, April 23, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The second law of thermodynamics states that the universe trends toward entropy and disorder. Physicist Julian Barbour offers an intriguing new viewpoint that the law has been misapplied and that the growth of order, not chaos, determines how we experience time.

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
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist Christine Price-Abelow leads a virtual spring bloom tour at the National Museum of the American Indian, providing an overview of the museum’s landscape and its evolution over the last 15 years.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The 11,000-year old megalith Göbekli Tepe in a remote part of present-day Turkey has yet to yield definitive answers to the many questions swirling around it. Serif Yenen, a Turkish travel specialist, writer, and filmmaker, tells the story of this magnificent and mysterious built environment and what we can glean about the people who lived in a place once assumed to predate civilization.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

On the eve of Arbor Day, naturalist and tree expert Melanie Choukas-Bradley presents an overview of the trees in our nation’s capital through stunning photographs of the Tidal Basin, U.S. Capitol, White House, National Arboretum, Rock Creek Park, and many other notable locations.

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

From her home in Florence, art historian Elaine Ruffalo traces the ascendance of Rome from the chaos of the Dark Ages to its eventual emergence as one of the most artistically dazzling of Renaissance capitals. This is Part II of a two-part series. (World Art History Certificate elective, ½ credit)

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
Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Explore the Netherlands’ resistance during World War II through the amazing story of three young women whose duties included explosive sabotage and face-to-face assassinations.

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.

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.

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

A fascinating look at the history of movie theaters examines how the experience of moviegoing has changed over the decades—and whether movie theaters will even survive in the age of streaming services.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Kathleen Bashian, a certified master guide in Washington and a popular Smithsonian study leader, leads a virtual memorial pilgrimage through the city, examining the aesthetics of memorials as works of art and architecture, their origins, and their impact on contemporary visitors.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Blossoming in Vienna and spreading like a mania through Europe, the waltz proclaimed a new freedom of sexual expression and individual liberties in the early 19th century. Classical music and opera expert Saul Lilienstein traces the development of a musical form and a dance that changed history.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 14, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec reveled in the circuses, dance halls, nightclubs, and brothels of fin de siècle Montmartre, his beloved bohemian world that inspired works marked by energy and sensuality, as well as candor and compassion. Art historian Joseph Cassar illuminates the artist's creative life in the colorful social and cultural milieu of Paris in the Belle Epoque. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit).

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).

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Art historian Renee Gondek focuses on visual depictions of the iconic hero of the Trojan War, Achilles, to examine how the most famous of epic narratives from Classical mythology inspired centuries of creators and cultures. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 21, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Maryland’s long history, diverse inhabitants, varied landscapes, and of course, the Chesapeake Bay have contributed to a delicious cornucopia of foods and culinary traditions. Explore the state’s signature flavors, both familiar and unique, from the Appalachians of western Maryland to the Chesapeake’s Eastern Shore.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

The 2021 edition of the popular Philadelphia Flower Show is the first to be held outdoors in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park. Join Nicole Juday Rhoads, director of engagement at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, for a presentation on the Philadelphia Flower Show’s history and a preview of the new show themed "Habitat: Nature's Masterpiece.”

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

Met Cloisters curator Barbara Drake Boehm provides a fresh interpretation of the complex imagery woven into the iconic medieval Unicorn Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Examine the development of the Corning Museum of Glass, now the largest museum in the world devoted to the subject, in a virtual look at its collections, library, Innovation Center, and other aspects of this world-class resource.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, May 28, 2021 -12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

As ruler of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, Sultan Mehmed II viewed himself as a new Roman emperor. To reflect that power and prestige he required an appropriate symbol: the magnificent Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Join Serif Yenen, a tour guide and guidebook author, for an exploration of the dazzling palace—including its fabled hidden sections—and stories about the lifestyles of the sultans who inhabited it. (World Art History certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, June 9, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Mouse rules! Over the last nine decades, the Walt Disney Company has transformed every facet of the entertainment business. Author Brian Rose examines the secrets behind the development of this still-growing powerhouse, tracing the remarkable evolution of a small cartoon studio in 1923 into the most powerful force in worldwide media today.