Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

What's New?

Tour
Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Join a live virtual tour that examines works by Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, and other painters in a way that you—and even visitors to the Barnes—have never experienced. High-definition Deep Zoom technology offers closeup looks at the canvases that reveal their surfaces and details in ways that bring the art and the artists to vivid life. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, September 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Two and a half millennia ago, the Buddha taught that inner peace and freedom could be developed and cultivated through training in the mindfulness, compassion, and insight found in the practice of meditation. Join Deepak Chopra to explore how meditation can serve as a potentially powerful tool to meet the challenges of the moment.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

In a special evening that celebrates the late civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman, Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III joins Jon Meacham, author of a new biography of John Lewis, to discuss the life, career, and legacy of a visionary who offers inspiration and illumination for Americans today who are working for social and political change.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Drawing on his new biography Eleanor, David Michaelis delves into the inner life of Eleanor Roosevelt—one of the 20th century's greatest figures—covering her troubled childhood, complicated marriage and partnership with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, trailblazing 12 years as first lady, and accomplishments as a diplomat, activist, and humanitarian.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, October 5, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Drawing on insights she gathered while unearthing a little-known global Holocaust history, author Mikhal Dekel traces how identity can be shaped by politics and place for migrants, refugees, immigrants, and other displaced people.

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

The bestselling author offers a very personal look at how she created a riveting new novel about the choices that change the course of our lives.

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

Every time activists march down Pennsylvania Avenue, protest in Lafayette Square, or carry a sign to the White House, they are literally walking in the footsteps of the suffragists. Join authors Lucinda Robb and Rebecca Boggs Roberts as they examine how the strategies of the women’s suffrage movement still find an echo today, no matter the cause.

Tour
Wednesday, October 7, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Though no one is packing for far-flung places these days, residents of the Mid-Atlantic have an advantage when it comes to closer-to-home travel choices. A new series surveys perfect destinations for brief getaways—from the mountains of Pennsylvania to coastal Virginia—and covers the most interesting places, beautiful natural attractions, and significant historical and cultural sites that should be part of your mini-vacation.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines the iconic painting The Railway by Edouard Manet, 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)

Tour
Friday, October 9, 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 Brooklyn.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, October 11, 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 Vincent van Gogh.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Drawing on his new memoir, Undaunted: My Fight Against America's Enemies, at Home and Abroad, former CIA director John Brennan recounts events that led him to the top of the American intelligence community.

Course
Wednesday, October 14 to Friday, October 16, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Popular speaker and concert pianist Rachel Franklin combines presentations and piano demonstrations to examine the lives and work of Felix Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Richard Wagner.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Don’t throw away those seeds! Meredith Epstein and Meg Smolinski, directors of University of Maryland Community Learning Garden, share tips to successfully grow the same great produce in your garden year after year by saving and preserving seeds.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The 1970 Apollo 13 mission almost ended in tragedy when an explosion occurred on its way to a moon landing. Learn how a possible disaster was turned into a global rescue mission.

Tour
Friday, October 16, 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 Staten Island.

Tour
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET

Join author Melanie Choukas-Bradley for an intimate virtual experience and explore your surroundings through all your senses. Plug your headphones or earbuds into your smartphone, get comfortable in your backyard or a favorite natural area, and immerse yourself in nature through a rejuvenating morning forest-bathing program.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the face of the travel industry and the criteria that guides travelers in planning their trips. Television host, writer, and producer Darley Newman shares insider’s tips and recommendations on ideal destinations for 2021: places that combine culture, cuisine, history, and a healthy dose of wellness and nature.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

He was Washington’s indispensable man: five-time presidential campaign manager, White House chief of staff, treasury secretary, secretary of state, and political consigliere. Peter Baker and Susan Glasser draw on their new biography of James Baker to offer a case study in the acquisition, exercise, and preservation of power seen through the career of one of the most significant and influential leaders in modern government never to serve as president of the United States.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 21, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The James Beard Award-winning team behind Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street organization believes that with no more than six ingredients on hand and less than an hour of prep time, anyone can create an amazing dinner. Join him as he chats about Milk Street’s new book, Cookish: Throw It Together, a guide to cooking without reinventing the wheel.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, October 22, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

Great art is timeless. Paul Glenshaw examines the iconic painting Gassed by John Singer Sargent, 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)

Tour
Friday, October 23, 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 Queens.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, October 23, 2020 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The names Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, and Lucas usually dominate the conversation about directors whose films defined the 1970s. But it shouldn’t stop there, says Washington City Paper film critic Noah Gittell. He offers a lively overview of  the sometimes-overlooked mainstream directors, blazing female talents, experimental masters, European new wave pioneers, and blaxploitation directors whose collective filmmaking achievements created a dazzling decade of work.

Lecture/Seminar
Saturday, October 24, 2020 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET

Biblical scholar and historian Gary Rendsburg leads a virtual tour across 2,000 years of known Jewish history to explore fascinating stories of less-known Jewish communities.

Tour
Saturday, October 24, 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 Southern Maryland, 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
Sunday, October 25, 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 James Baldwin.

Tour
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. ET

Join author Melanie Choukas-Bradley for an intimate virtual experience and explore your surroundings through all your senses. Plug your headphones or earbuds into your smartphone, get comfortable in your backyard or a favorite natural area, and immerse yourself in nature through a rejuvenating morning forest-bathing program.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Smokey Robinson: Their talents and singular gifts reshaped the music, entertainment, and songs of our times. Join Sara Lukinson, filmmaker and writer for the Kennedy Center Honors for 38 years, to examine their lives and view clips of their performances.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, October 28, 2020 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Whether an afterthought or part of carefully calculated balancing act, the selection of a presidential running mate carries an undeniable impact on both a campaign and an administration. Historian Ralph Nurnberger examines the shifting criteria used to fill the number-two spot on the ticket and how some of the choices have changed the course of history.

Tour
Thursday, October 29, 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 Henri Matisse. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

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.

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.

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)

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)

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)

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.

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.

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 - 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.

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)

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.

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)

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.

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
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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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
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.

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.

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
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)