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Smithsonian Associates Online Programs

Join us from the comfort of your home as we present individual programs, multi-part courses, and studio arts classes on Zoom, inspired by the Smithsonian's research, collections, and exhibitions.

All upcoming Online programs

Showing programs 1 to 10 of 264
June 24, 2024

Join curator Elizabeth Lay Little for an image-rich late spring lunchtime series focusing on decorative arts and design topics. This session explores how the interior design profession in America evolved from French-obsessed doyennes of the Gilded Age to the women dominating and decorating the midcentury boardroom with Benjamin Bowery, a research fellow at the Preservation Society of Newport County. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

June 24, 2024

A remarkable 175-year-long story of survival, ambition, and political intrigue connects two rival Jewish families­—the Sassoons and the Kadoories—who dominated the world of Chinese business and politics. Author Jonathan Kaufman examines how their members helped transform China during pivotal years of growth, responded to revolutions that changed the future, and why they reluctantly had to leave it all behind with the advent of communism.

June 24, 2024

At pivotal moments in his career, Claude Monet would go out with a fellow artist, plant his easel beside his friend’s, and paint the same scene. Examining paintings made side by side, Harmon Siegel, a junior fellow at Harvard University, shows how Monet explored challenging questions in concrete, practical ways while painting alongside his teachers, Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind; his friends Frédéric Bazille and Renoir; and his hero, Édouard Manet. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Session 5 of 5
June 25, 2024

Stravinsky’s spectacular early ballet scores such as Le Sacre du Printemps can distract us from where this prolific artist went next. Classical music and opera expert Saul Lilienstein examines a selection of classically inspired masterworks spanning 1918 through 1951—from L’Histoire du Soldat to The Rake’s Progress. Film excerpts of Stravinsky in conversation with other artists enhance the portrait of the man and the conductor.

June 25, 2024

Pluto was the first object discovered in the Kuiper Belt, which contains hundreds of thousands of other icy bodies. Their orbits provide us with a good deal of information about our solar system. Samantha Lawler, an astronomy professor at the University of Regina, Saskatchewan, details how meticulous observations and simulations are being carried out and how future observations are under threat.

June 26, 2024

Michelangelo Merisi, better known as Caravaggio, was a hot-headed, anti-social outlaw and murderer who despite a short lifespan created a sensation with a bold, naturalistic style of painting that evoked intense drama and emotion. Author Ross King explores the life and times of this complicated man and puts his innovative paintings and notorious lifestyle into the context of the turbulent first decade of the 17th century in Rome. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

June 26, 2024

Cary Grant pursued by a menacing biplane. Ominous crows on a jungle gym. Janet Leigh’s fateful shower. With indelible moments like these, director Alfred Hitchcock shocked, thrilled, amused, and delighted movie and TV audiences for a half century. Film historian Max Alvarez traces Hitchcock’s professional and artistic development through electrifying film clips and rare behind-the-scenes archival material illustrating how key Hitchcock productions evolved from page to screen.

June 26, 2024

During the 1860 presidential campaign, the thousands of young Northerners in the Wide Awake movement organized boisterous, torch-bearing brigades to push back against slavery. But others saw the group as a paramilitary force training to invade the South. Smithsonian historian Jon Grinspan examines how the nation crossed the threshold from a political campaign into a war—with many on both sides pointing to the Wide Awakes as the mechanism that got them there.

Session 4 of 4
June 27, 2024

From the vibrant paintings found in Stone Age caves to the abstract sculptures produced during the continent’s colonial period, the arts of Africa have been shaped by unique creative insight as well as by specific political, social, religious, and economic forces. In a four-part series, art historian Kevin Tervala explores these vibrant artistic expressions through an examination of the continent’s historical trajectory. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

June 28, 2024

Sommelier Erik Segelbaum spotlights New Zealand's commitment to viticultural sustainability and the country’s distinctive fusion of traditional and modern winemaking. Between unforgettable Pinot Noirs from the South Island, world-renowned Syrah and Bordeaux style blends from the North, and bright crisp whites, New Zealand has something for everyone. The immersive program includes a curated personal tasting kit to enhance the experience.