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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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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
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
Tuesday, December 15, 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.

Course
Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor 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 first person.

Course
Wednesday, January 6, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Casablanca.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 7, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines Théodore Géricault’s epic painting that caused controversy when first exhibited in 1819 in Paris but has since become a milestone of the Romantic movement, laying bare human endurance and suffering in the extreme. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Course
Sunday, January 10, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor 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 memoir.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Food sustains us, gives us comfort, brings us together, and has a huge impact on our health. Carly Knowles, a registered dietitian nutritionist, and physician Michael Roizen, chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic, discuss a science-based approach to support optimal health and wellness through everyday meals based on sound nutrition.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Jazz and powered flight are cousins, born and raised at the same time in surprising parallel paths. With film and music, aviation writer and filmmaker Paul Glenshaw takes off on a journey infused with truly American style and innovation as he examines how the intertwined stories of jazz and flight reveal the arc of 20th-century history.

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.

Course
Friday, January 15, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. In this session, she explores how European immigrants helped shape midcentury modern American design and architecture.

Course
Sunday, January 17, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

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.

Course
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor 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 poetry.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, January 21, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

A new year is a chance to begin again. Learn strategies designed to help move you from intentions to actions, acceptance to acceleration, and resolutions to results. This just might be your year to succeed!

Course
Sunday, January 24, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor 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 perspective.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Historian Allen Pietrobon explores how and why the unique form of suburban living first arose in America, the legacies of the suburbs, and how they shaped our  politics, culture, race relations, and gender dynamics.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Mel Brooks, Johnny Carson, and Carol Burnett—all recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors—made it look easy, but nothing is harder than comedy that seems effortless. Join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the annual event for 38 years, for an evening full of laughs as she covers the remarkable lives of these legendary entertainers and screens clips of their hilarious performances.

Course
Friday, January 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. In this session, she explores the genius of 20th century industrial designers.

Course
Sunday, January 31, 2021 - 3:00 p.m. ET

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 this 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.

Course
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Discover how visual art can inspire creative writing and how writing can offer a powerful way to experience art. Join Mary Hall Surface, founding instructor 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 impact.

Course
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on Some Like It Hot and Tootsie.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

From the early 15th century, the story of the Jewish population of Florence has encompassed vast wealth and prestige—and almost continual trial and tribulation. Art historian and Florentine tour guide Laura Greenblatt explores the history of their presence in the city over the course of six centuries.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 4, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The American victory over British forces at Saratoga in September 1777 stunned the world and changed the course of the War of Independence. Kevin J. Weddle of the U.S. Army War College analyzes the strategic underpinnings of the historic Saratoga campaign, considers why events unfolded as they did, and offers a new interpretation of George Washington’s role in the American success.

Course
Monday, February 8, February 22, March 1, and March 8, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Spanning more than 1400 years, three continents, and a geography that encompasses a great diversity of peoples, languages, and ethnicities, Islamic art and civilization forms one of the great contributions to humanity. Art historian Ann Birkelbach surveys its wide-ranging heritage, from calligraphy to architecture, painting to magnificent crafts. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Victor Weedn, a leading expert on forensic science, offers a comprehensive introduction to the fascinating history of forensic science and its basic methods, current controversies, and future.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Pizza is central to so many cultural touch points: from movies, to books, to television and even sports. Celebrate National Pizza Day (Feb. 9) with pizza experts Thom and James Elliot—and learn how the savory pie became one of the world’s favorite foods.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

“Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” Food plays a key featured role in Francis Ford Coppola’s first entry in The Godfather trilogy. Italian-born Ermelinda M. Campani, examines the 1972 film’s intertwined perspectives on food and family, which encompass ethnic identity, personal honor, violence, and power.

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.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 11, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Oxford and its storied history have inspired a startling catalog of eccentric sleuths and outré crimes. Settle in with a spot of tea for an evening of shuttered rooms, cryptic clues, and dodgy detectives as you follow a virtual tour of the city and its byways, where danger lurks! 

Course
Friday, February 12, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Join curator Elizabeth Lay for an image-rich lunchtime lecture series focusing on fascinating decorative arts and design topics. In this session, she explores how the indomitable women of the first generation of fashion influencers helped define the idea of style for the nation.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, February 13, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

Explore the sinuous, and seductive art nouveau movement in modern art and design—called the New Style—which developed in France out of the arts and crafts and aesthetic movements at the very turn of the last century with art historian Bonita Billman. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The Second World War remains the greatest catastrophe in human history, with more than 70 million deaths, most of them civilians. Historian Christopher Hamner explores the roots of the war in Europe against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

Course
Tuesday, February 16, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Each of the more than 1,100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most significant ancient sites in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Mesoamerica. This session focuses on Ancient Thebes.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 6:45 p.m ET

Explore the dramatic forces that have shaped the Icelandic landscape over 30 million years with geologist Tamie J. Jovanelly in a virtual tour that captures the island’s natural beauty and the relationships among structure, process, and time that influenced the island’s geologic evolution.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The walls of Blenheim, a 19th-century brick farmhouse in Fairfax, Virginia, are a fascinating treasure trove: Their plaster is covered with a collection of Civil War soldiers’ names, regiments, hometowns, dates, personal messages, and graffiti. See how advanced digital imaging technology is revealing new layers of the history of the war and an ordinary Virginia house that played a part in it.

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

Live from her home in Tuscany, art historian Elaine Ruffolo follows the extraordinary career of Piero della Francesca, acknowledged as one of the foundational artists of the Renaissance. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, February 20, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

African Americans threw themselves into the cause of the American Revolution with more enthusiasm and with more at stake than did many white colonists. But after the transformative moment of victory, Black fortunes would diverge dramatically in the North and the South. Historian Richard Bell explores the revolution and its aftermath from the unfamiliar perspective of enslaved and free African Americans.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, February 22, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Is a banana duct-taped to a wall really worth $120,000? What happens when a work of art’s aesthetic value is overshadowed by its market value? Ellen Gorman of Georgetown University offers a survey of the American art market from the 1950s to the present, introducing the cast of players and corporate entities behind the transformation of artworks into commodities for sale to the highest bidder. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The United States didn’t invent cinema, but over the last century it became an American institution. Using clips from movies ranging from Stagecoach to The Dark Knight, film critic Noah Gittell considers a trio of American archetypes that emerged at key points in Hollywood history: the Cowboy, the Rogue Cop, and the Orphan Protector.

Course
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Each of the more than 1,100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most significant ancient sites in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Mesoamerica. This session focuses on Ancient Persepolis.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

The Russian immigrant originally named Israel Baline translated the spirit of his new country into enduringly popular music. American musical specialist Robert Wyatt covers Irving Berlin’s extraordinary life, spanning a half-century of achievement that produced songs for Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, radio, television, film, and a worldwide military audience.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The world held its breath, then rejoiced when the National Zoo’s giant panda, Mei Xiang, 22, gave birth to a healthy male cub in August. SCBI staff scientist Pierre Comizzoli, who oversaw the artificial insemination process, and Laurie Thompson, assistant curator for giant pandas at the Zoo, discuss the panda’s birth and provide an update on his growth and development.

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

Art historian Bonita Billman analyzes artist Edgar Degas’s contributions to French impressionist art and posterity, and looks at his role as an art collector of merit. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Frederick Douglass was a prophet who could see a better future that lay just beyond reach. Yet his life bursts with contradiction and change. Historian Richard Bell examines this many-sided figure’s life to reveal more than another great man on a pedestal.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Why do people living in some areas of the world, called Blue Zones, live longer than the average person? Find out from John Whyte, WebMD’s chief medical officer who shares practical tips for longer lives—in your zone and beyond.

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)

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, February 26, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

How in the 5th century B.C. did a small town on a remote peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean create an unparalleled legacy of innovation, higher education, discovery, and invention? Historian Diane Cline examines how the social fabric of classical Athens shaped an environment in which creative people and their new ideas could thrive.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, February 27, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The legacy of repeated historic conflicts still looms over an island still emerging from the 30 years of violence known as the Troubles. Historian Jennifer Paxton traces the turbulent and fascinating history of Ireland from the Tudor conquest and the English and Scottish settlements in Ulster to the Good Friday Agreement, Brexit, and beyond.

Course
Monday, March 1 to Friday, March 5, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

The British monarchy has outlasted most of its European counterparts, adapting to changing times and managing to maintain enough popularity to survive for more than a thousand years. Tudor scholar Carol Ann Lloyd-Stanger traces a path through the lives and times of the kings and queens who have ruled England, then Great Britain, and finally the United Kingdom to examine how the monarchy has endured from the days of King Arthur to today.

Course
Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Each of the more than 1,100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most significant ancient sites in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Mesoamerica. This session focuses on Acropolis.

Course
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Some moments in movies never leave us: a snappy line of dialogue, a dance in the rain or by the Seine, a timeless love song, a great last line. Documentary filmmaker and writer Sara Lukinson revisits some of our favorite movies, setting them against the backdrop of their times, the people who dreamed them up, and the America they reflected—or asked us to imagine. This session focuses on musicals in film history during the 1940s and ’50s.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

For many of the impressionists, women were not simply passive models but essential partners, collaborators, muses—and sometimes lovers and wives. Art historian Natasha Schlesinger looks at five fascinating women who inspired portraits created by Renoir, Monet, Degas, Manet, and Cassatt. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The famous breaking of the Mayan code in the late 20th century revolutionized the study of these peoples and of ancient America. Humanities scholar George Scheper examines how interdisciplinary study of the Maya extends beyond the traditional archaeological focus to comprise political and social history, art, comparative religion, and ecology.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. ET

As the 19th century drew to a close, Vienna was an incubator for some of the most important figures in the arts, letters, and philosophy. Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine explores the ways in which fin-de-siècle Vienna became the cradle of modernity in Central Europe.  (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Course
Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Each of the more than 1,100 UNESCO World Heritage Sites offers a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of complex civilizations, empires, and religions. Some, however, are more iconic than others. Historian Justin M. Jacobs offers an in-depth overview of four of the most significant ancient sites in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Mesoamerica. This session focuses on Teotihuacan.

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
Tuesday, March 16, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

He’s the top! American music specialist Robert Wyatt leads a musical journey through Cole Porter’s dazzling career on Broadway and in Hollywood, his personal tragedies, and his legacy of some of the most deliciously witty, provocative, and elegant contributions  to the great American songbook.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET

The world was stunned when, in the spring of 1940, Germany invaded and quickly defeated France. Ronald C. Rosbottom, a scholar of French and European history, examines why knowing more about the impact of both occupation and resistance during WWII helps us understand aspects of France’s present political and diplomatic environment.