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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Streaming Programs

Your newest link to our world of learning

Welcome to Smithsonian Associates Streaming, a new digital platform for the high-quality, engaging and varied programs that you’ve come to expect from us.

We invite you to join us from the comfort of your home as we present individual programs, multi-part courses, studio arts classes, and virtual study tours inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions. We’re excited to present this new aspect of our 55 years as the world’s largest museum-based educational program—and to have you be an important part of our future growth.

Explore all our offerings in this month's digital program guide.

Studio Arts
Thursday, October 29 to November 12, 2020 – 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

Learn to see like a scientist as you use watercolor and ink to illustrate specimens from nature. Experienced students develop their skills in applying key techniques such as composition, working with color, and recording fine detail in nature journaling, watercolor painting, drawing, and creating stand-alone biological illustrations.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

In a conversation moderated by Jamila Robinson, food editor for the Philadelphia Inquirer, chef and author Marcus Samuelsson discusses how Black cooking has always been more than soul food, with flavors that can be traced to the African continent, the Caribbean, across the United States, and beyond.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Architect Travis Price leads a global visual pilgrimage to temples, mosques, cathedrals, synagogues, and shrines whose timeless power is rooted in the interplay of architecture and faith. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Arts journalist Richard Selden delighted participants during past bus tours to Brooklyn and Staten Island. While the buses are forced to idle in garages, he’s back to present a series of virtual visits to the less-familiar slices of the Big Apple—in their own way as surprising and culturally fulfilling as the famous core. This program focuses on the Bronx.

Studio Arts
Friday, October 30 to November 13, 2020 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Explore the materials, tools, and techniques used in collage and assemblage as you create an artwork that’s uniquely yours. The workshop, ideal for both nonartists and those with experience, is a great way to spark your creativity in two forms that offer wide possibilities for inventive expression.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. ET

Join Food & Wine magazine’s 2019 Sommelier of the Year, Erik Segelbaum, in an enjoyable interactive workshop designed to boost the wine IQ of both novices and seasoned aficionados.

Studio Arts
Saturday, October 31 and November 7, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Get the most out of your digital mirrorless or SLR camera by taking part in this workshop, which provides a solid introduction to these cameras’ features and potential.

Studio Arts
Sunday, November 1, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Make a coiled chain in a beautifully fluid design that can be used to showcase a stone pendant or is gorgeous enough to be worn on its own. Learn the secrets to great-looking wire work, as well as hammering and finishing techniques.

Studio Arts
Monday, November 2 to December 7, 2020 – 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Both beginners and seasoned artists can learn to take advantage of the creative possibilities of this rich pigmented, vibrant, and versatile medium.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines the iconic work The Shaw Memorial by Augustus Saint Gaudens, exploring its historical context, delving into the era of its artist, the present he inhabited, and what shaped his vision and creations. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, November 5 to December 3, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET (no class Nov. 26)

In this class that focuses on the basics of drawing letters from scratch, students create a finished hand-lettered piece worthy of framing.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

For centuries, philosophers have attempted to answer the question of whether humans are naturally good or evil without any definitive results. Evolutionary biologist Rui Diogo turns instead to the sciences, anthropology, history, sociology, and other fields to examine what empirical data says about our basic nature—and offers some surprising insights into this age-old inquiry.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, November 6 and 13, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET

The Renaissance, a genuine rebirth of culture in Italy between the late-15th and mid-16th century, saw extraordinary artistic accomplishments in painting and sculpture. In a two-day series, art historian Janetta Rebold Benton highlights a quartet of geniuses of the Early and High Renaissance whose work defines the time. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Tour
Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a crisp fall morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Studio Arts
Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Use colorful Akua water-based printmaking ink to create evocative prints on fabric.

Studio Arts
Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Keeping in touch with people is more important than ever, so why not make bespoke cards for those on your list? Learn how to create elegant and personalized holiday greeting cards for friends and family from expert crafter Karen Cadogan.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 3:00 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 life as they did. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson looks at the remarkable life of Julia Child.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 9, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Did Britain’s Lord Elgin rescue a 24-foot marble frieze from the ruins of the Parthenon in the early 19th century or did he steal it? Art historian Joseph Cassar explores the history of these ancient sculptures and the issues that have swirled around them since they left Greece. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 9, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Though Georgia O’Keefe’s visions of sun-bleached animal bones and close-ups of flowers are among the most iconic of her paintings, they tell only a part of her story as an artist. Art historian Nancy G. Heller looks at the full sweep of her life and career to create a portrait of a seminal American modernist who found expression in a wide variety of forms, styles, and subjects. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Tuesday, November 10 and 17, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In the spirit of centuries-old embroidery traditions, learn the waste-canvas technique by embroidering a small size chest panel on a blouse, drawstring pouch, tote bag, and more.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 – 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET and Tuesday, December 8, 2020 – 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

Sarinda Jones, a kiln-formed glass artist and alumna of the internationally renowned Pilchuck Glass School, guides you in creating a colorful fused-glass plate just in time for holiday table settings, gift giving, or everyday use.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, November 10 to December 8, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Designed for beginners who want to learn how to use their digital or mirrorless camera as a creative tool, students will gain skill in technical aspects of photography so that they can concentrate on composing beautiful images.

Course
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, his examination of prehistoric cave art painted on the walls and ceilings of the Altamira in Spain and Lascaux and Chauvet in France reveals tantalizing clues about the origins of humankind and the development of abstract thought.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Naval historian David Rosenberg and three retired U.S. Navy officers examine the tensions and strategies that grew out of the face-off between America and the Soviet Union over Russia’s decision to place nuclear missiles in Cuba. They reveal how the USS Sam Houston, a Polaris submarine deployed in the Mediterranean, played a significant but little-known role in assuring European security against potential Soviet aggression.

Tour
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a crisp fall morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Tour
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. ET

Naturalist and author Melanie Choukas-Bradley leads a virtual excursion to Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac, tracing its beauty and biological diversity as she discusses its woodlands and wildlife.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The elegant Federal-era mansion Tudor Place has been called the most architecturally significant early-19th century residence in Washington. Join Leslie L. Buhle, a former executive director of Tudor Place, for a look at its history-rich rooms, garden, archival collections, and rare artifacts. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, November 12 and 19, 2020 – 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Get a hands-on overview of how versatile colored pencils can bring illustration or fine art alive with rich, vibrant color and a range of effects.

Studio Arts
Thursday, November 12 to December 10, 2020 – 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET (no class Nov. 26)

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Film studios and media platforms have recently seen an increased interest in black-centered television shows and movies. NPR television critic and author Eric Deggans sheds light on some of the most important series and films that focus on issues of race and culture to watch right now.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

From “Game of Thrones” to video games, festivals to theme restaurants, the Middle Ages are popping up everywhere in pop culture. Medievalist and sociologist Paul B. Sturtevant takes a look at what these rehashes of history tell us about the past—and what our re-imaginings of the medieval era reveal about how we see ourselves today.

Studio Arts
Friday, November 13 and 20, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Explore the creative possibilities of combining wool with other decorative elements such as metal, beads, and stones to make distinctive necklaces, rings, pendants, earrings, and other jewelry.

Studio Arts
Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Textile curator Elizabeth Lay illustrates how three of the world’s style capitals developed plans to help their fashion industries survive the war, and the extraordinary efforts made following the conflict to rebuild with limited materials. Inspired by the thrifty American home front spirit, artist Lauren Kingsland leads a hands-on project in which participants make a kitchen apron from a recycled shirt.

Studio Arts
Saturday, November 14, 2020 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Using mini-canvases as the base, decorative embellishments, photos, and other personal mementos, create one-of-a-kind small hanging artworks that can be individualized to fit any occasion for giving.

Tour
Sunday, November 15, 2020 - 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a crisp fall morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Studio Arts
Sunday, November 15, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Using direct printing and water-based printing inks, create realistic looking schools of fish or a single artistic print simply by inking a whole fish and pressing it to paper.

Course
Monday, November 16 to December 7, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From its origins in the ancient civilization to the present, the complex culture of South Asia has given rise to some of the world’s most remarkable art. Art historian Robert DeCaroli highlights the artistic traditions and historical changes within the Indian subcontinent from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Studio Arts
Monday, November 16 to December 7, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Lighting can make or break your work as a digital photographer. Learn the tech tips that will make your flash one of your most effective creative tools.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

From moles that have super-sensing snouts to eels that paralyze their prey to wasps that can turn cockroaches into zombies, animals possess unique and extraordinary abilities. Biologist Kenneth Catania sheds light on the behaviors of some of these astounding creatures and how studying them can provide deep insights into how life evolved.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz of Georgetown University in spirited lectures and informal discussions about novels that explore stories set in Spain, India, the Dominican Republic, and the world of classical Greek mythology. This session discusses The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Members Only
Monday, November 16, 2020 - 8:00 p.m. ET

Witness the decades-long fight for suffrage in a special digital screening of the new Smithsonian Channel documentary She the People: Votes for Women. The film draws on rarely seen footage, expert opinions, and dozens of historic objects from the Smithsonian’s collections to tell the stories of the heroic women who fought to claim their rights as citizens.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, November 17 to December 15, 2020 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET (no class Nov. 24)

Center yourself through the calm flow of the rhythmic motion of stitching as you create a therapeutic textile panel using a hand needle and materials you have at home.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Despite the often-nightmarish fantasies that filled her canvases, Frida Kahlo insisted she never painted dreams: She painted her own reality. Art historian Nancy G. Heller traces Kahlo’s brief life to examine the influences—including a tragic accident, a stormy marriage to a fellow artist, and a reverence for her Mexican heritage—that shaped the art in which that reality was reflected. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he offers the fascinating history of the accidental discovery of what was once thought to be “dragon bones,” revealing a new picture of Chinese civilization at the dawn of history—one filled with human sacrifice, communion with the supernatural world, and powerful women on the battlefield.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

Fast cars, shady liaisons, a murder plot, a Manhattan socialite, and a ringleader codenamed Agent Sex: they’re all elements of the story of the Nazi spy ring that infiltrated America in the 1930s. Historian Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones recounts how an intrepid FBI agent, whose talent was matched only by his penchant for publicity, played an essential role in bringing it all down.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

How do you take art instruction from the studio to the screen? In a unique workshop perfect for both educators and arts administrators, join the Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts team to learn strategies and best practices for teaching adults hands-on, visual arts content on Zoom.

Studio Arts
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET (consultation at future date and time)

How do you take art instruction from the studio to the screen? In a unique workshop perfect for both educators and arts administrators, join the Smithsonian Associates Studio Arts team to learn strategies and best practices for teaching adults hands-on, visual arts content on Zoom. This option includes a special follow-up consultation.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Allen Pietrobon explores American food culture since 1850 and how, throughout American history, food has been a battleground where culture, ethnicity, race, and identity clash.

Tour
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Drawing on the riches of one of the greatest post-impressionist and early modern art collections in the world and remarkable high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a series of live virtual tours that closely examine the paintings and lives of five artists who helped shape a truly revolutionary period in the history of art. This program focuses on art by Paul Cézanne. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, November 19, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Shooting a great photo is just the beginning. Get ready to show off your work by learning how to get your digital images printed accurately and to cut custom-sized windows in mat board. 

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Get insights into one of the greatest American wildlife conservation and restoration achievements—the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park—from three of the wildlife biologists who have guided the project since 1995.

Course
Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A stone’s throw from tourist-magnet landmarks are the places that offer travelers a true taste of life in Europe’s most appealing neighborhoods. Fred Plotkin offers a guide to the lesser-known churches, theaters, specialty shops, cafes, and unusual museums that make three major cities well worth a visit.  This session focuses on Vienna.

Tour
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Environmental historian Hayden Mathews guides a series of virtual Mid-Atlantic tours to whet your appetite for independent exploration and spark your travel plans. With a focus on the Brandywine Valley, he covers the history and background on this area’s distinctive geographical and environmental profile, and offers stunning images, lots of tips and insights for visitors, and other useful resources.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Historian H.W. Brands offers a dual portrait of Brown and Lincoln as men with profoundly different views on how moral people must respond to the injustice of slavery: by incremental change within the system or by radical upheaval? He also examines how that reckoning finds relevance in today’s political climate.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

You can’t visit Italy right now—but you can make pasta. Join art historian and culinary expert Elaine Trigiani at her farmhouse in Tuscany for a virtual exploration of this beautiful region through its artistic and culinary heritage.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, November 20, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. ET

The holidays are meant to be filled with friends, family, cheer, and great meals. So why stress over the right wines to pair with the season’s traditional foods? Sip along at home with award-winning sommelier Erik Segelbaum in a guided tasting of the perfect wines to accompany your menus.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo are among the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But this period of nearly continuous Franco-British conflict affected nations far beyond Europe. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze analyzes the immediate and extended consequences of the political tremors that spread as far as the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as across the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

Studio Arts
Saturday, November 21 and Sunday, November 22, 2020 – 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Adobe Lightroom is the most useful (and user friendly) software for organizing and editing images, usable for both RAW and JPEG image files. This two-session workshop offers users an overview of the program, with a focus on working with the essential Library and Develop modules for organizing and editing your files.

Studio Arts
Sunday, November 22, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Henna tattoos reflect an ancient and beautiful practice of body art. Explore the form’s history as you learn to apply simple traditional Indian henna designs.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, November 22, 2020 - 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

There’s likely a cunning top-of-the-food-chain predator living close by you: the Great Horned Owl. Join naturalist Mark H.X. Glenshaw to learn how to find these amazing and beautiful animals and other owls in your own neighborhood.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 23, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The landscape of Glacier National Park, Montana, and surrounding areas reveal evidence of almost two billion years of geologic change. Geologist Callan Bentley offers a virtual field guide to the landscape that focuses on sedimentology, structural geology and tectonic history, paleontology, and glaciers and climate change.

Course
Tuesday, November 24 to December 15, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET

The pianist, vocalist, and humorist extraordinaire pays tribute to the composers whose work defines the Great American Songbook  including Harold Arlen, Hoagy Carmichael, and George Gershwin.

Studio Arts
Monday, November 30 and December 7, 2020 – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Capture the essence of your favorite animal or pet in a one-of-a-kind acrylic portrait filled with color, personality, and affection.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, November 30, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

We humans live in a world driven by chance, one in which many things had to happen in certain ways for any of us to exist. Sean B. Carroll, an evolutionary developmental biologist, examines the astonishing power of chance and how it provides the surprising source of beauty and diversity in the living world.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

You’ve got a great portfolio of photos. What’s next? This valuable session covers how to prepare your images to exhibit or sell, get them seen by the public, and effectively market your work.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Discoveries made at the ancient mound at Megiddo transformed our understanding of the ancient world. Eric Cline, a professor of classics and anthropology and director of George Washington University’s Capitol Archaeological Institute—who also dug at Megiddo in more recent times—draws on archival records left by the participants to present a portrait of a bygone age of archaeology.

Course
Tuesday, December 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he examines the iconic moai statues of Easter Island and draws on the latest scholarship and theories to explain how these giant statues came to dominate the most remotely inhabited islands in the world.

Tour
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 12:00 p.m.

The work of architect Frank Gehry is fascinating, imaginative, unexpected, and always fresh—as well as controversial, often-derided, and at times seen as the antithesis of good architecture. In a richly detailed program, Bill Keene, a lecturer in urban studies and architecture, examines Gehry’s life and career from his earliest buildings to works in progress. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Wednesday, December 2 and 9, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Through lectures and drawing exercises, learn how Renaissance artists used the Golden Ratio, the Rule of Thirds, three-point perspective, and the Fibonacci spiral—as well as how these elements can provide dynamic visual interest to your own compositions, no matter the medium. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Stay artistic (and avoid gimmick) as you learn how to choose the best lenses and filters available for purchase.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

In this interactive, multimedia talk, music historian Kenneth Womack traces the story behind Double Fantasy, John Lennon’s remarkable 1980 comeback album with wife Yoko Ono.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Light pollution—excessive illumination at night—has become a pervasive and ugly consequence of our 24/7 society, one that a growing body of research finds disruptive to our bodies and nocturnal ecosystems. Sky and Telescope magazine’s Kelly Beatty as he discusses how we can safely light up our homes, businesses, and communities without wasting energy, disturbing the neighbors, or creating an unhealthy environment for humans and wildlife.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines Rodin’s epic and controversial sculpture, the story of its creation, and the moment of the burghers’ sacrifice in 14th-century Calais. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Thursday, December 3 and 10, 2020 – 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET

Discover how to easily capture a variety of subjects with loose lines and painterly colors using instructor Cindy Briggs’ quick-sketch watercolors method. This go-with-the-flow technique is perfect for studies, travel journals, and finished fine art.

Course
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A stone’s throw from tourist-magnet landmarks are the places that offer travelers a true taste of life in Europe’s most appealing neighborhoods. Fred Plotkin offers a guide to the lesser-known churches, theaters, specialty shops, cafes, and unusual museums that make three major cities well worth a visit. This session focuses on Madrid.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Amid our own global pandemic, certain wildlife are also facing an unprecedented conservation crisis. Scientists Rebecca Gooley and Luke Linhoff of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute discuss their work in taking in members of two animal populations devastated by pandemics —the Tasmanian devil and amphibians—into captivity in order to protect, study, breed, and reintroduce them into the wild. 

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 4, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

The Victorian era was a time of calling cards and letters of introduction; croquet and garden parties; and afternoon teas and fancy-dress balls. But the dinner party established the era’s reputation for elaborate excess. Food historian Francine Segan provides a glimpse into the very specific etiquette behind those affairs.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 4, 2020 - 6:00 p.m. ET

You’ve swirled and sipped wines from many countries. Now taste the same classic varieties with a Virginia twist. Join award-winning sommelier Erik Segelbaum for an interactive exploration of some of Virginia's best in comparative flights with their counterparts from around the globe.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

The South of France, with its glorious light and varied vistas, has long been a magnet for plein-air painters. Art historian Bonita Billman looks into the inspiration that places such as Avignon, Arles, St. Tropez, Nice, and others provided for the brilliantly colored works produced by 19th- and early-20th century painters. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Studio Arts
Saturday, December 5 and Sunday, December 6, 2020 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Put away your point-and-shoot camera. Learn to make the most of your iPhone’s camera, starting with essential photography basics and moving on to some of the best apps, camera accessories, and low-cost tools for editing and image management.

Studio Arts
Saturday, December 5, 2020 – 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Using direct printing and water-based printing inks, create realistic looking schools of fish or a single artistic print simply by inking a whole fish and pressing it to paper.

Studio Arts
Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

Using mini-canvases as the base, decorative embellishments, photos, and other personal mementos, create one-of-a-kind small hanging artworks that can be individualized to fit any occasion for giving.

Studio Arts
Sunday, December 6, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

In this workshop, learn to transform a milkweed pod and its floss into a whimsical nesting swan using both wet and needle-felting techniques that will add a touch of nature to your holiday décor.

Studio Arts
Sunday, December 6, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Take a break from the stress of the season to enjoy an entertaining and informative afternoon with an orchid expert and come away with an elegant orchid centerpiece.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 6, 2020 - 3:00 p.m. ET

In time for the holiday season, chef Danielle Renov, a Moroccan Jew born in New York and at home in Israel, shares the cultures and traditions that inform her recipes in a lively conversation with cookbook author and Jewish cuisine maven Joan Nathan.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 7, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

No one led a life, led a band, or made music like Duke Ellington. American music specialist John Edward Hasse surveys the life and career of a one-of-kind man who overcame racial, social, and musical obstacles to become one of the 20th century’s greatest musicians.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 7, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

From generals to enlisted men to spies, thousands of men of Irish heritage played crucial roles in waging the American Revolution. Historian Richard Bell examines the fight for American independence from the perspective of the Irish and their descendants, as well as the political and economic impact of the Revolution on Ireland itself.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover the power of reflective writing guided by Mary Hall Surface, instructor of the National Gallery of Art’s Writing Salon. Inspired by depictions of winter in works of art and poetry, explore the lessons that the season offers us when we slow down, look closely, and reflect.

Studio Arts
Tuesday, December 8 and 15, 2020 – 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Learn the basic Palestinian cross-stitch to create a traditional bird motif on 11-count aida cloth, a project that provides insights into an artistic language created, used, and taught by women to women across the generations.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

After the Bible and the Quran, the Bhagavad Gita is the most beloved of sacred texts in the world. Graham M. Schweig, a professor of religion at Christopher Newport University, illuminates some of the exquisite passages in this Hindu philosophical poem, examines their rich narrative context, and reveals how a work created around the 2nd century A.D. still poignantly addresses the universal problems of the human condition.

Course
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an overview of some of the most intriguing UNESCO World Heritage sites, providing glimpses into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. In this session, he explores the world of the Inca empire and analyzes Machu Picchu’s original function as a royal estate, its abandonment, rediscovery, and popularization in the 20th century.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Join Food Network star Alex Guarnaschelli as she talks about the stories behind the food in her new book, Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook. She shares how the recipes, traditions, and insights she captured reflect generations of collective experience and the power that food has to bring people—especially families—together.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Explore the heart of Italy during the first millennium B.C. through a journey into the enigmatic world of the Etruscans. Art historian Renee Gondek assembles a portrait of daily life in this lesser-known civilization—whose writings have never been translated—by examining the distinctive visual style reflected in recovered art, artifacts, and structures. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Students learn how to use their ISO settings to darken and brighten photos, and how this relates to other camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed.

Tour
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

Environmental historian Hayden Mathews guides a series of virtual Mid-Atlantic tours to whet your appetite for independent exploration and spark your travel plans. With a focus on the Shenandoah Valley, he covers the history and background on this area’s distinctive geographical and environmental profile, and offers stunning images, lots of tips and insights for visitors, and other useful resources.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Despite its reputation as a notoriously difficult-to-read modern classic, James Joyce thought of his masterwork as a comic novel. Irish literature specialist Cóilín Parsons revisits the chronicle of the June day on which Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom meander their way through Dublin to examine why that description may be the right one for this richly rewarding book.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 11, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The inexplicable force of nature that was Wolfgang Mozart seemed to live onstage and off simultaneously, a character in life’s tragicomedy but also outside of it, watching, studying, and gathering material for the fabric of his art. Biographer Jan Swafford examines how those dual lives converged in the creation of works that shaped classical music for all time.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 11, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, explores the evolution of the subject of the Last Supper in Italian art, from early Christian images to examples from the late Renaissance. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Tour
Friday, December 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A flash of gold in a river touched off a massive wave of young men from around the world who came to seek their fortunes in California. Garrett Peck examines how their dreams played out, and why the gold rush of 1849 forever altered the state and the nation’s destiny.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, December 12, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Venice was shaped by its privileged position as cultural and economic bridge between the eastern and western Christian world, its distinctive mix of Islamic, Byzantine, and classical influences, and the brilliant creators who reflected the glories of its long-lived republic in some of the most enduring and distinctive art and architecture in Europe. Rocky Ruggiero, a specialist in the Early Renaissance, examines the artistic heritage and the history of perhaps the most singular city in the world. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. ET

Learn how first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Melania Trump have left their mark on White House Christmas celebrations.

Studio Arts
Sunday, December 13, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. ET

Inspired by the first lady crafting tradition, create a holiday ornament for your house, inspired by the people’s house: Michelle Obama’s meaningful hanging envelope.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 14, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Two dark-haired women—separated by more than 400 years—were behind America’s first blockbuster art show in 1963. One was Lisa Gherardin, better known as the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the other was the driving force behind the portrait’s journey to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacqueline Kennedy. Biographer Margaret Leslie Davis recounts an art-world saga filled with international intrigue that triggered “Lisa Fever” and a national love affair with the arts.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 14, 2020 - 5:00 p.m. ET

Join historian Peter Fischer as he explores the history of winemaking in Tuscany and how it was transformed in the 1970s by a few bold makers whose radical modern techniques reset the model for quality with the introduction of the Super Tuscans.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, December 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Around December 14, the annual Geminid meteor shower will be plentiful and bright around a new moon. Join George Mason University Observatory’s Peter Plavchan and geologist-turned-meteorite scientist Tim Gregory for a night illuminated by meteors and meteorites.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Whether intentionally or not, some movies created as entertainment have also had a significant impact on American society. Playwright and screenwriter Mark Lapadula examines a quartet of these—I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, The Graduate, Jaws, and Philadelphia— to reveal what they tell us about the times in which they were created and their continuing significance today.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Sean Carroll, an acclaimed theoretical physicist, is determined to demystify quantum mechanics for a new generation by way of the Many Worlds Theory.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Generations of painters have been inspired to capture the moment—and intense spirituality—of Christ’s birth. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo examines how the artistic evolution of the Nativity reflects developments in European art, from the earliest known image in a 2nd-century catacomb through 17th-century presentations of the Holy Family in dramatic Baroque style. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Studio Arts
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 – 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET

Beginning photographers learn how to use histograms, a graphic display of the brightness levels of pixels in an image—and an essential guide to achieving the correct exposure.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, December 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Ecologist Enric Sala, National Geographic’s explorer-in-residence and director of its Pristine Seas project, asserts that once we appreciate how nature works, we will understand how conservation is economically wise and why it is essential to our survival.

Tour
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Drawing on the riches of one of the greatest post-impressionist and early modern art collections in the world and remarkable high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a series of live virtual tours that closely examine the paintings and lives of five artists who helped shape a truly revolutionary period in the history of art. This program focuses on art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The fledgling aviators who followed in the steps of the Wright brothers were daring, dashing, and about to launch themselves into a whole new world of entertainment—the air show. Aviation writer and filmmaker Paul Glenshaw leads a rollicking trip around the country at the dawn of the last century and the age of flight.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, December 17, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Too small to turn the tide of the war on its own, the success of the 1943 American and British campaign in Sicily nevertheless produced lessons that would be put to good use ten months later on the beaches at Normandy. Historian Christopher Hamner examines the battle for the island in the context of World War II Europe.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, December 18, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Caravaggio was a genius, a scoundrel, an outlaw, and a murderer. But above all, he was the greatest artist of his age, and remains one of the most influential and absorbing of all Italian painters. Art historian Elaine Ruffolo highlights his legacy. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Over a career that spanned six decades, Sir Alfred Hitchcock’s films never failed in bringing audiences to the edge of their seats. Join playwright and screenwriter Marc Lapadula as he peels back the layers of meaning beneath this grandmaster’s bold intentions and dazzling techniques that made him one of the most influential filmmakers in the history of world cinema.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

They were the least likely of spies—and their exploits have often remained in the shadows of WWII’s espionage lore. Brent Geary and Randy Burkett, career officers in in the CIA, share the stories of remarkable women who fought both the Nazis and gender stereotypes to help win the war and create the foundation for the modern CIA and U.S. military special forces.

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

Join art historian Elaine Ruffolo, direct from her home in Tuscany, for a close look at the history, art, and culture of one of Italy’s most treasured cities, one on which artists including Donatello, Mantegna, Titian, and Giotto left their dazzling marks. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, January 9, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET

The story of the American Revolution is more than a catalog of deeds by famous men. Historian Richard Bell explores this tumultuous period from the perspective of ordinary Americans by looking at military recruitment, the wars on the home front and in Native American territory, the struggles of people of color, and the experiences of loyalists.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, January 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Paul Halpern, professor of physics at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, tells the little-known story of the unlikely friendship between physicist Wolfgang Pauli and renowned psychoanalyst Carl Jung and their insights about the concept of synchronicity and the nature of quantum reality.

Course
Tuesday, January 12 to February 16, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Popular Smithsonian music lecturer Saul Lilienstein traces Bach’s artistic journeys as he explores the composer’s magnificent musical achievements. Lectures are highlighted by superb music recordings.

Course
Course Sessions: Tuesday, January 12 to March 2, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET
Performance: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

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.

Tour
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

In a richly illustrated program, lecturer Bill Keene delves into the backstory and lesser-known aspects of the life and career of one of the most famous of American architects. He traces his formative years in rural Wisconsin, the ups and downs of both his personal and professional life, and the influences that shaped a creative philosophy from which some of the 20th century’s most remarkable and innovative structures arose.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Artist and art historian Joseph Cassar leads a fascinating journey through the landscape of the imagination as reflected in the distinctive work of artists including Ernst, Arp, Miro, Magritte, and Dali. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 14, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

After one of the most polarized presidential campaign seasons in recent history, will it be possible to resurrect the very American notion of E Pluribus Unum or “out of many, one”? A frank panel conversation moderated by civility expert and Washington Post columnist Steven Petrow looks at the challenges before us, as well as some reasons to be optimistic.

Tour
Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

The ancient mountains of Shenandoah National Park harbor many secrets, encompassing geology, diverse native forests, wildlife, and a rich human history. Naturalist Keith Tomlinson covers its geological origins to present-day conservation efforts, providing an intimate appreciation for its unique natural history.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Rita Colwell, a pioneering microbiologist and the first woman to lead the National Science Foundation, has long known that her profession is not always welcoming to women. Yet she and others excelled despite the obstacles they faced. Colwell examines how women successfully pushed back against the status quo—and what science gained in the process.

Tour
Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Drawing on the riches of one of the greatest post-impressionist and early modern art collections in the world and remarkable high-definition Deep Zoom technology, Barnes Foundation educator Penny Hansen guides a series of live virtual tours that closely examine the paintings and lives of five artists who helped shape a truly revolutionary period in the history of art. This program focuses on art by Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, January 22, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Draped on three hills, Siena is the most beautiful city in Tuscany, a flamboyant medieval ensemble of palaces and towers cast in warm brown brick. From her home in Italy, art historian Elaine Ruffolo examines how art went hand in hand with fierce civic pride to make Siena a world of its own. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, January 23, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET

If you’ve dreamed of glancing across a dry African savannah or standing beneath a jungle canopy, hoping to get a fleeting glimpse of a wild creature you’ve only seen in a zoo, follow veteran wilderness guide and wildlife photographer Russell Gammon on a virtual safari to his favorite wild places.

Tour
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

You’d likely be surprised that the nation’s capital is home to several significant sites connected to the beginnings of the airplane. Join Wright scholar Paul Glenshaw for an interactive virtual tour that visits locations across the Washington area to discover a story of large and small moments that helped launch flight as we know it today.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Iran and America’s current fraught relationship has its roots in one that was long grounded in friendship and opportunity. Historian John Ghazvinian draws on his new book, America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present, to trace how and why the link between these former allies eroded and offers a glimpse of what lies in store for both nations.

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

According to religious scholar Karen Armstrong, the misunderstanding of scripture is perhaps the root cause of many of today’s controversies. She shines fresh light on the world’s major religions to examine how a creative and spiritual engagement with holy texts can build bridges between faiths.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Florence is replete with frescoes, paintings, sculpture, and architecture created in an era in which art was the cornerstone of cultural activity. From her home in Tuscany, art historian Elaine Ruffolo traces the history of this jewel of a city from the dawn of the Renaissance to the era of the Medici dukes. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)