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For James McNeill Whistler, watercolor was the medium through which he reinvented himself in the 1880’s and painted his way into posterity. Using a special technique by which paint, in a very liquid state that he called a sauce, and fast sweeps of the brush, Whistler’s paintings convey details through suggestion rather than explicit statement and reveal his mastery of color mixtures and wet effects. The exhibition, Whistler in Watercolor, includes more than 50 examples - figures, landscapes, nocturnes, and interiors - and represents one of the world’s largest collection of watercolors by the artist.

Event date
Tuesday, August 20, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.

The mission of the National Portrait Gallery is to tell the story of the U.S. through the lives of people who made significant contributions. We will take a fresh look at some who are well known and a new look at fascinating people whose names have been lost to time, as well as some non-traditional forms of portraiture.

Event date
Monday, August 26, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.

Get ready to meet some of the world’s most fascinating denizens of the sea. Marine biologist and underwater photographer Richard Smith provides a colorful introduction to the teeming life in the depths of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.

Event date
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Long considered one of the Smithsonian’s treasures, James McNeill Whistler’s Peacock Room is an icon of aesthetic design. Kerry Roeder, the Luce curatorial fellow in American art at the Freer|Sackler, and an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University, discusses the scandalous history of the room and the challenges posed by the museum’s attempt to re-create the artist’s original vision of the space. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, September 11, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Event date
Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Wednesday, October 2, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Enjoy this special Smithsonian Craft2Wear kick-off event open to the public. Ticket price includes drinks, hors d’oeuvres, the fun of shopping in a party setting, and a Craft2Wear show one-day pass for either Friday or Saturday while helping to jump-start the fund-raising that supports Smithsonian grants.

Event date
Thursday, October 3, 2019 - 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters houses some of the world’s most stunning medieval objects and architecture. Art historian Ursula Wolfman brings to life the era’s heart and soul as reflected in the masterpieces of this collection. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 5, 2019 - 7:00 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.

Join Bill Keene on a walking tour to discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. View and compare a wide range of architectural styles from the Gothic-revival Smithsonian Castle to the rich symbolism of the latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, October 11, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features musical masterpieces from the 17th to the early 21st century, played by outstanding ensembles on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. This is an eight-concert series on Saturdays.

Event date
DATES: Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019; Nov. 16. 2019; Jan. 4, 2020; Feb. 1, 2020; Feb. 15. 2020; Mar. 7, 2020; Mar. 28, 2020; and Apr. 18, 2020

TIMES: Pre-Concert Lectures at 6:30 p.m.
Concerts at 7:30 p.m.

Join Bill Keene on a walking tour to discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. View and compare a wide range of architectural styles from the Gothic-revival Smithsonian Castle to the rich symbolism of the latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Sunday, October 13, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Smithsonian Chamber Music Society features musical masterpieces from the 17th to the early 21st century, played by outstanding ensembles on some of the world’s most highly prized musical instruments. This is an eight-concert series on Sundays.

Event date
DATES: Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019; Nov. 17. 2019; Jan. 5, 2020; Feb. 2, 2020; Feb. 23. 2020; Mar. 8, 2020; Mar. 29, 2020; and Apr. 19, 2020

TIMES: Pre-Concert Lectures at 6:30 p.m.
Concerts at 7:30 p.m.

Spend the Columbus Day holiday with maritime historian, author, and archaeologist Donald Grady Shomette investigating Baltimore's prominent role in the seafaring history of America and the ships, shipbuilders, mariners, explorations, and conflicts that helped build a nation.

Event date
Monday, October 14, 2019 - 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the most influential musicians of his time. Opera and classical music expert Saul Lilienstein offers a rich view of Mozart’s most important accomplishments, from his beginnings as a child prodigy in Salzburg to becoming one of the leading musicians of the Classical period.

Event date
Tuesday, October 15 to November 19, 2019 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Though now half a century in the past, the turbulent 1960s continues to reverberate in our society, culture, and institutions. Leonard Steinhorn of American University explores the decade’s meaning and its legacy—which may well be the widening dividing line in our contemporary politics.

Event date
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Learn how Jane Austen’s novels provide a window into life in Regency England, creating a world of country retreats, London townhouses, balls, fashionable finery, and romantic (if sometimes-rocky) courtships. But the realities of war, poverty, and society’s ills rumble through the novels, threatening to disrupt family reputations and elegantly lived lives during that era.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Have you ever found yourself pondering deeply cheesy thoughts: What makes certain cheeses smell, look, or taste the way that they do? How do I serve them? Where best to find them locally? Join Alice Bergen Phillips, Cheesemonster Studio’s founder and head cheesemonger, for a lively investigation that serves up all of the answers—and a tasting, too.

Event date
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Join Bill Keene on a walking tour to discover the Mall’s history, design, and architecture, from its earliest vision to the latest developments. View and compare a wide range of architectural styles from the Gothic-revival Smithsonian Castle to the rich symbolism of the latest addition to the Mall, the new African American Museum. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine embarks on a detailed exploration of the large-scale masterworks, intimate character studies, classically-inspired history paintings, and revealing (and sometimes enigmatic) self-portraits that marked Rembrandt as one of Western art’s most significant innovators. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Historian Alexander Mikaberidze examines the revolutionary fervor sparked by the French Revolution that spread across Europe, and which continues to serve as an inspiration of the finest principles of modern democracy, as well as a warning of what can happen when idealism goes wrong.

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

How do professional historians work? In a unique workshop, Christopher Hamner, an associate professor of American history at George Mason University, demystifies this process by guiding you in how to think about and interpret the past.

Event date
Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Jancis Robinson, described as "the most respected wine critic and journalist in the world,” shares her valuable expertise and insights on what’s new in the world of wine. Then raise a glass as you sample a generous selection of wines representative of today’s trends.

Event date
Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 2:30 p.m.

The American Southwest occupies a central place in the country’s literary imagination. Join Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz, a lecturer in the English department at Georgetown University, in spirited lectures and informal discussions about four compelling novels that offer rich and varied portraits of the region and the people who inhabit it.

Event date
Monday, October 21, 2019; November 18, 2019; December 16, 2019; and January 27, 2020 - 6:45 p.m.

Using cross-examinations conducted by lawyers from Abraham Lincoln to Atticus Finch and cases from My Cousin Vinny to the Scopes Trial, legal pros Edith Marshall and Jack Marshall demonstrate and dissect epic battles of wits in actual practice and in popular culture.

Event date
Monday, October 21, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Can a food truck be a symbol of social justice? What happens when natural entrepreneurs are provided the right resources and hands-on technical assistance? Find the answers in the story of La Cocina, a nonprofit small-business incubator in the Mission District of San Francisco that is turning home cooks into businesswomen.

Event date
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

In the early 19th century, fortunes were made and lost importing luxury goods from China to the American marketplace, a trade hampered by the time it took for the ocean journey. Historian Steven Ujifusa tells the colorful story of a handful of cutthroat competitors who raced to create the fastest clipper ships to carry their cargo to American shores—and transformed the design and technology of shipbuilding in the process.

Event date
Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Learn the benefits of quiet time spent in touch with nature as Melanie Choukas-Bradley, a certified nature and forest-therapy guide and author of The Joy of Forest Bathing, leads a series of 2-hour walks in the Smithsonian’s beautiful Enid A. Haupt Garden.

Event date
Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Homer, the Bible, and the New Testament, are among the ancient texts that provide us knowledge of the ancient world. Explore the stories behind these and other sources, which still retain their narrative power into the 21st century.

Event date
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Have you ever found yourself pondering deeply cheesy thoughts: What makes certain cheeses smell, look, or taste the way that they do? How do I serve them? Where best to find them locally? Join Alice Bergen Phillips, Cheesemonster Studio’s founder and head cheesemonger, for a lively investigation that serves up all of the answers—and a tasting, too.

Event date
Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.

Though Jews have been part of British society since the 11th century, that long relationship was often a troubled one. Historian Virginia W. Newmyer surveys a cultural and religious history in which achievement and acceptance prevailed over suspicion and ignorance.

Event date
Monday, October 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Art historian Aneta Georgevska-Shine explores the distinctive facets of Florentine artist Andrea del Verrocchio's creative approach, and his influence on artists associated with his studio, including Leonardo, Ghirlandaio, and Perugino. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Monday, October 28, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

We’ve learned much about our cosmos and its evolution over the past 13.8 billion years, but still know very little about what happened in the first seconds after the Big Bang. Dan Hooper, senior scientist and head of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, shares new information on our universe’s first moments.

Event date
Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

In a fascinating overview of ancient material culture, art historian Renee Gondek surveys the paintings, sculptures, and architectural wonders produced in ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman world that served as inspiration for generations of creators to come. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Event date
Wednesday, October 30 to November 20, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

French gastronomy is the benchmark for the world’s finest cuisine. Join French cuisine expert Susan Herrmann Loomis for a lively tour through the centuries that showcases the rich history of a unique and beloved cuisine and the influences that shaped it.

Event date
Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

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.

Event date
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

The urban aesthetic of Scandinavia reflects both the cherished past and innovations in architecture and design. Explore the creative contributions of noted artists, architects, and designers reflected in the region’s beautiful capitals with art historian Karin Alexis. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1 credit)

Event date
Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Smithsonian Chamber Music Society audiences are privy to the unparalleled experience of hearing two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolo Amati—in this popular three-concert series on Saturdays.

Event date
DATES: Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019; Jan. 25, 2020; and May 9, 2020

TIMES: Pre-Concert Lectures at 6:30 p.m.
Concerts at 7:30 p.m.

Smithsonian Chamber Music Society audiences are privy to the unparalleled experience of hearing two magnificent quartets of instruments—one made by Antonio Stradivari, the other by his teacher Nicolo Amati—in this popular three-concert series on Sundays.

Event date
DATES: Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019; Jan. 26, 2020; and May 10, 2020

TIMES: Pre-Concert Lectures at 6:30 p.m.
Concerts at 7:30 p.m.

From Prohibition through the 1950s, the Stork Club, 21 Club, El Morocco, and other swank nightspots and eateries were the center of a glittering new kind of social scene. Cocktail historian Philip Greene takes a spirited look at the glamour of these legendary venues through the great drinks developed and savored there.

Event date
Monday, November 4, 2019 - 6:30 p.m.

In 1085, the king of England, William the Conqueror, ordered an inquest be made in every shire, in order to record the totality of resources of the realm. Explore how and why this document, the Domesday Book, came to be and what it reveals about the governance, society, and economy of late 11th-century England with medieval historian Richard Abels.

Event date
Monday, November 4, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

In the decades before the Civil War a clandestine network of human traffickers and slave traders stole away thousands of free African Americans from the northern states in order to sell them into slavery in the Deep South. In an absorbing evening, historian Richard Bell examines the prevalence of this heinous practice, the routes the kidnappers took, and the techniques they used to lure free black people.

Event date
Wednesday, November 6, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

Heroes of the Bible, of great empires of the past, and of legend are among those that preside today at the Met Cloisters, captured in an exceedingly rare, internationally renowned ensemble of tapestries. A Met Cloisters curator explores the singular historic and artistic importance of the Nine Heroes Tapestries. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Event date
Friday, November 8, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

When Victoria came to the throne, she was 18 years old, with no experience or training in governance, just as England was on the brink of enormous expansion and change. Learn how this young woman became one of the most iconic monarchs of all time.

Event date
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

Issues of death, dying, and the meaning of life—and the afterlife—hold key places in the belief systems of the major religious traditions of the world.  Explore differing visions of these themes from a variety of Eastern and Western cultural perspectives.

Event date
Saturday, November 9, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.

In a fascinating evening, internationally known astrophysicist Mario Livio explores why mathematics is as powerful as it is in terms of explaining the cosmos.  He also tells fascinating stories and insights of renowned mathematicians who have shaped our ideas about mathematics and the philosophy of mathematics.

Event date
Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.

There’s no more iconic holiday performance in New York than Radio City Music Hall’s famed Christmas Spectacular. And there’s no better way to see the precision dancing of the Rockettes than from prime orchestra seats in the fabulous art deco theater where the show has been a tradition since 1933. A behind-the-scenes tour of the Music Hall adds to the experience.

Event date
Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Treat yourself to a holiday-season overnight getaway that offers the perfect way to experience the heart of Old Town Alexandria’s heritage and charm: colonial architecture, museums, fine dining, the waterfront, and of course, a little shopping.

Event date
Starts: Sunday, December 15, 2019 - 11:00 a.m.
Ends: Monday, December 16, 2019 - 4:00 p.m.