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Art of the Department of Interior Daytime Tour

Discover the art and architecture that made the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building a “symbol of a new day” during the Great Depression. The Interior Museum Murals Tour includes over 40 mural panels painted in the “New Deal” style, as well as 26 photographic murals by Ansel Adams.

Date of event
Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.

Travels with Darley: Exploring Qatar

Join Darley Newman as she shares insider’s tips on Qatar, which she curated while filming her popular PBS series “Travels with Darley.” From markets and museums to restaurants and beautiful natural locations, she offers plenty of surprising finds and practical strategies for delving deep into the rich culture of this Middle Eastern nation.

Date of event
Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

A Clear Distinction: Muslim Cultures and the Islamic Faith

Farhana N. Shah of the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring breaks down myths and misconceptions as she examines the differences between the faith of Islam and the cultures found in the Muslim world.

Date of event
Tuesday, February 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

How To Watch the Oscars

As the awards race approaches its conclusion, join Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell for an evening that focuses on all things Oscar, from Academy Awards history and trivia to discussions of this year’s nominations and behind-the-scenes stories.

Date of event
Thursday, February 6, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Toni Morrison: A Portrait

Spend a day exploring the life and works of Nobel laureate, writer, and educator Toni Morrison with Michele L. Simms-Burton, founding board member of the Toni Morrison Society. She traces the creative and personal arc that spans Morrison’s formative years at Howard University to her status as an internationally acclaimed literary figure.

Date of event
Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 11:00 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Lucy's Ancestor: A Human Face for an Ancient Skull

Paleoanthropologist Rick Potts, head of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program, examines the significance of the 2016 discovery of a skull that represented the most ancient early human ever found. Paleo-artist John Gurche describes how he reconstructed the face of that pivotal human ancestor for the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at the Natural History Museum.

Date of event
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Economics + Dystopian Literature

Beyond their compelling stories, dystopian tales like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and Brave New World offer something more for economist Brian O’Roark: perfect settings for an economic analysis. Join him to discover some entertaining insights that we can learn from fictional societies gone wrong.

Date of event
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

1774: The Long Year of Revolution

Colonial historian Mary Beth Norton examines the critical “long year” that encompassed the Boston Tea Party, the first Continental Congress, and two significant early battles in the War of Independence.

Date of event
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

You + Me = Symbiosis

Celebrate Valentine’s Day by looking at some of Mother Nature’s greatest examples of relationships that work guided by two Smithsonian scientists, lichenologist Manuela Dal Forno and entomologist Natasha Mehdiabadi.

Date of event
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Creative Curve: Unplugging the Myth of the "Lightbulb Moment"

Looking for that elusive spark of inspiration to write a hit screenplay or book, design an effective marketing campaign, or start a successful company? Learn why technology entrepreneur Allen Gannett says to stop waiting and discover that creative ideas are not just the province of so-called geniuses, but within the reach of everyone.

Date of event
Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Seeing History Through Artists' Eyes

Artists such as Picasso, David, and Goya came to grips with the political upheavals of their day with heroic and searing images that elicit our admiration or moral outrage. Art historian Judy Scott Feldman examines the complex interplay between artistic expression and social and political content through the centuries. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date of event
Wednesday, February 19 to March 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Science of CBD: Anecdotes and Evidence

Products that tout the powers of CBD are popping up all over the marketplace. Join Steven Grant, a neuroscientist at the National Institutes of Health, for an examination of what research has—and more importantly, has not—discovered about this elusive chemical's potential benefits and risks.

Date of event
Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Baltimore Museums: A Study in Contrasts

The Baltimore Museum of Art and the American Visionary Art Museum represent two distinctive and divergent aspects of the city’s cultural scene. Spend a fascinating day visiting both with art historian Ursula Wolfman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date of event
Friday, February 21, 2020 - 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Henri Matisse: Master of Color and Line

Art historian Joseph Cassar offers an in-depth look at this revolutionary giant of 20th-century art whose prolific and varied body of work spans more than a half-century. (World Art History Certificate Program elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Religious Crises in the Western World: Triumphs and Traumas

Ori Z. Soltes, professor of Jewish civilization at Georgetown University, examines some of the key transitional moments in the religious history of the West spanning the nearly two millennia from the era of Roman paganism to the secularized shaping of modernity.

Date of event
Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians

Join research geologist and curator Liz Cottrell of the Natural History Museum as she recounts her 2015 journey to the middle of the Bering Sea to explore active volcanic features previously unknown to science.

Date of event
Monday, February 24, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Inca and Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu, built by the Inca Empire around 1450, is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the world. Lecturer George L. Scheper looks through the lenses of geography, history, and culture to uncover new truths about a people and a place that fascinate us still.

Date of event
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The Wars of the Roses: Cousins, Conflicts, and the Crown

Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger traces the tumultuous history of the battles and power grabs that led to the establishment of the most powerful family of the 16th century, the Tudors.

Date of event
Saturday, February 29, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a morning painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own as well as a lunch break.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Philadelphia Flower Show: A Preview of Spring

There’s no better way to sweep away winter than with an overnight escape to the horticultural paradise that’s the Philadelphia Flower Show. There’s no need to fight the crowds (or time): Spend 2 hours taking in the blooms before the show opens to the public, then enjoy a full day to explore the delights of the world’s largest annual floral exhibition.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 10:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, March 2, 2020 - 8:00 p.m.

Celebrating Bob Ross's Joy of Painting

No television show was more aptly named than Bob Ross’s long-running “Joy of Painting.” Join curator Eric Jentsch of the American History Museum and Sarah Strohl of Bob Ross, Inc., as they examine the artist’s continuing legacy. This program includes a mid-afternoon painting class to bring home a distinctive Ross-style landscape of your own.

Date of event
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Greek Gods: Myths and Worship

For the ancient Greeks, the gods were more than just powerful characters in exciting narratives: Their worship played a central role in shaping religious life. Classicist Katherine Wasdin examines this vital connection between mortals and their gods.

Date of event
Monday, March 2, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Coming Together on Abbey Road

Fifty years ago, the Beatles made their final album together, a farewell project that was their most innovative collection of songs. Beatles historian Kenneth Womack draws on rare clips and videos to show how the group and producer George Martin created Abbey Road’s unique sounds.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Constitution and Declaration of Independence: A Contrary View

Have we gotten the principles of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution all wrong? Constitutional law professor Kermit Roosevelt challenges the conventional view that these hallowed documents established our core values and tell us who we are.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Understanding the Celtic World

The ancient Celts terrified the Greeks and Romans, but the modern-day revival of Celtic music and art charms millions of people around the world. Historian Jennifer Paxton examines the complex and fascinating legacy of the Celtic world, revealing that its language, art, and customs may be rooted in some surprising sources.

Date of event
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Why We Love Crosswords: It's a Puzzle

Deb Amlen, the New York Times' crossword columnist and senior editor of “Wordplay,” presents an insider's look at how the crossword evolved through history, how you can get started as a puzzle solver or improve your skills, and ways to eventually crack the code behind even the trickiest of clues.

Date of event
Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Sicily: Eternal Crossroads of the Mediterranean

From stark Greek temples through dazzling Roman and Arab-Norman mosaics and on to Baroque opulence and charming romantic-era revivals, art historian Janetta Rebold Benton highlights the aesthetic eclecticism and cultural signposts of the island of Sicily. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Date of event
Saturday, March 7, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Re-examining Plato's Republic

Classicist Frederick Winter examines the continuing influence of Plato’s utopian vision of the state and how a re-examination of this key Western text provides important insights into our own era of political transformation.

Date of event
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Windows on the World: Reading Literature from Many Cultures

Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz of Georgetown University in spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling novels that explore stories set in Spain, India, the Dominican Republic, and the world of classical Greek mythology.

Date of event
Monday, March 9, April 6, May 4, and June 8, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Worlds of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments as a statesman, scientist, writer, and more are well known. Historian Richard Bell addresses the man’s many other faces and capacity for complexity—which rendered him both ordinary and extraordinary.

Date of event
Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife

Bart Ehrman, a leading authority on early Christianity, examines ancient Near East, Greek, and Roman cultures, the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament, and other sources to trace how the nature of the afterlife became a central focus in Western religion.

Date of event
Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses iconic classical music moments in film history.

Date of event
Sunday, March 15, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Author Erik Larson on Churchill's Darkest Year

MEMBERS-ONLY PROGRAM: Drawing on his new book The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson offers a vivid portrait of London and Winston Churchill during the Blitz, detailing how the prime minister taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Ticket includes a copy of The Splendid and the Vile.

Date of event
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

The Road to Nashville

If the new Ken Burns documentary Country Music has sparked your appetite to learn more about the form’s roots and influences, this special 5-day tour led by arts journalist Richard Selden offers the perfect way to do it. Packed with performances and music history—as well as art and architecture and terrific regional cuisine—this Southern journey to Music City USA is sure to be a top-of-the-charts experience.

Date of event
Depart: Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 6:00 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses Beethoven's music in film.

Date of event
Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses 20th-century composers and film.

Date of event
Sunday, March 29, 2020 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Start To Tell Your Family Story

You have a trove of wonderful family memories, but documenting them to share with the people you love can be a challenging undertaking. Bring your own mementos to inspire your work in this practical day led by writing coach Mathina Calliope, who provides the tools and guidance you need to move from daunted to accomplished.

Date of event
Saturday, April 4, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Classical Sounds of the Cinema: Magnificent Movie Music

Whether it’s Beethoven, Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Richard Strauss, Puccini, or Bach, opuses of almost every famous composer have added emotional depth to hundreds of films ever since talkies emerged. In a 4-session series, concert pianist and movie fanatic Rachel Franklin delves into the magic of some of the greatest film music ever composed (even when it was unintentional). This session discusses varied use of concert masterpieces in film genres.

Date of event
Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 2:00 p.m.