Fresco of Primavera (or Flora), ca. 1st cent., Stabiae
Our modern world echoes and even replicates the creative vestiges of the past—and the key to understanding our surroundings is through an overview of ancient material culture. Focusing on the Mediterranean region, art historian Renee Gondek offers a survey of the earliest traces of artistic production from the Paleolithic period through the late Bronze Age. (This course is the first of a two-part series. Part two begins April 4 and surveys art from the Greco-Roman period.)
February 1 The Paleolithic and Neolithic Periods
Tens of thousands of years before the invention of writing, ancient peoples created the first sculptures and paintings, like the Venus of Willendorf and the cave paintings from Lascaux and Altamira. New practices of agriculture and the development of permanent settlements during the Neotlithic period allowed for the development of large-scale architecture and monumental sculpture, such as Stonehenge in England.
February 8 The Ancient Near East
Mesopotamia’s Fertile Crescent was a large oasis where human life and artistic endeavors flourished. Survey Sumerian, Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian, Assyrian, and Neo-Babylonian art, from the intricately carved Warka Vase to the famed Ishtar Gate.
February 15 Ancient Egypt
Journey down the Nile during the third and second millennia B.C. and discover the massive mortuary and ritual complexes of the pharaohs, like the Great Pyramids at Giza, the funerary temple of Hatshepsut, the Tomb of Tutankhamen, and the Ramesseum at Abu Simbel. Iconic Egyptian sculptures and beautifully preserved frescoes and papyri are also examined.
February 22 The Aegean Bronze Age
Study the archaeological remains of the earliest Greeks—from the labyrinthian and well-planned palace of “King Minos” on Crete, to the well-fortified citadel of Mycenae in the Argolid, and from the bull leapers and snake goddesses of ancient Minoan deposits, to the golden death masks and ceremonial daggers from well-furnished Mycenaean graves.
World Art History Certificate core course: Earn 1 credit*
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.
*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1 core course credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.