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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Study Tours

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)

Tour
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 - 6:30 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.

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.

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)

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.

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.

Tour
Sunday, January 17, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET

In the early decades of the 20th century, Sears Roebuck & Co. sold more than 70,000 prefabricated Modern Homes kits, offering Americans of moderate means the chance to own an up-to-date house. Historian Dakota Springston draws on period and contemporary images to lead a virtual tour through several historic Northern Virginia neighborhoods that boast a wide range of these distinctive houses, followed by a Q&A with a Sears Homes expert.

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)

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.

Tour
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a vitual tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Tour
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Sherri Wheeler, the Smithsonian’s director of visitors services, is ready to give you a lively introduction to its 19 museums and galleries, 9 research centers, and one beloved zoo—a whirlwind virtual tour that covers destinations from D.C. to New York City, Massachusetts to Florida, and even Panama.

Tour
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Poster House in New York City is the first museum in the United States dedicated exclusively to posters. Join chief curator Angelina Lippert for a virtual look at the work of one of the most significant artists in the form, as seen in the exhibition Alphonse Mucha: Art Nouveau / Nouvelle Femme. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)