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Olive Oil: In Search of Liquid Gold

Join Curtis Cord, president of the New York International Olive Oil Competition and publisher of Olive Oil Times, for a fascinating (and delicious) day that examines the history, varieties, and complexities of olive oils from around the world. You’ll never think of that bottle of extra-virgin on your kitchen counter in the same way.

Date
Saturday, February 3, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Ulysses S. Grant: The Embattled President

President Ulysses S. Grant was as controversial in politics as he was in the military. Historian Charles W. Calhoun offers a fresh look at this oft-criticized presidency and offers insight into how Grant navigated another treacherous battleground.

Date
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Alexander Hamilton: A Washington Presence
All-Day Tour

Alexander Hamilton always called New York home, but his image and influence is found all around Washington. Join local historian Kathleen Bashian and scholar Denver Brunsman on a tour of sites that reflect the vision and leadership of this Founding Father—well before he was reinvented as a Broadway musical phenomenon.

Date
Friday, February 9, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
3D Printing: Medicine’s New Dimension

From architecture and fashion to STEM education, 3D printing has begun to revolutionize so many areas of our lives. Hear from two experts from the National Institutes of Health about how scientists are tapping into the technology’s potential in the new field of biomedical research.

Date
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Behind the Scenes at Smithsonian Exhibits
Morning Tour

Visit a place where even the most avid museum-goer never gets to set foot: the headquarters of Smithsonian Exhibits in Landover. Meet director Susan Ades and some of the designers, fabricators, model makers, and other specialists whose talents and skills are behind the exhibitions you see on the National Mall. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Abraham Lincoln’s Ghosts: A Reckoning in the Bardo

What happens when, under cover of darkness, a grief-stricken President Lincoln slips out of the White House alone on Feb. 22, 1862, on a highly personal mission? Author George Saunders provides some answers in an entertaining evening that includes readings from his new book, Lincoln in the Bardo.

Date
Wednesday, February 14, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Behind the Scenes at Smithsonian Exhibits
Morning Tour

Visit a place where even the most avid museum-goer never gets to set foot: the headquarters of Smithsonian Exhibits in Landover. Meet director Susan Ades and some of the designers, fabricators, model makers, and other specialists whose talents and skills are behind the exhibitions you see on the National Mall. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House architecture.

Date
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Galápagos: Evolution and Ecology in the Enchanted Islands

The Galápagos Archipelago has served as a pirate haven, a center for whaling, and, today, as a national park of Ecuador. But it’s the islands’ amazingly rich and diverse ecosystem and importance in the study of evolution that has earned the Galapagos a special place among the great wonders of the natural world.

Date
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Russian Art: From Icons to the Avant-Garde
2-Session Course

In this two-part seminar, art historian Aneta Georgievska-Shine brings the culture of this vast country to life as she highlights some of the major art developments in Russia over the course if its history, with particular focus on the turbulent years of the early 20th century. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date
Friday, February 16, 2018 - 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. and Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Mindfulness: A Path to Freedom and Well-Being

A daylong exploration of mindfulness examines its Buddhist origins, benefits, and role in changing harmful habits, and provides skills and practices to use in daily life.

Date
Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Nuremberg and Tokyo War Crimes Trials: History and Legacy

In 1945, the victors of World War II took the unprecedented step to hold the vanquished leaders of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan responsible for criminal acts of war, including torture and systematic murder.  In this riveting program, explore the history and legacy of these trials.

Date
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Terracotta Warriors in Richmond
All-Day Tour

Spend a fascinating day at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts viewing the exhibition Terracotta Army: Legacy of the First Emperor of China. It features 10 majestic terracotta figures, including a cavalry horse, among 130 works that tell the story of China’s birth and one man’s lasting imprint on a nation.

Date
Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Russian Masterpieces in Baltimore
All-Day Tour

Spend a day sampling the distinctive decorative arts and music of tsarist Russia, including a guided tour of Fabergé and the Russian Crafts Tradition at the Walters Art Museum and a private performance of arias and art songs. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
The Rise of the Synagogue in Jewish Life

According to the New Testament, Jesus and Paul preached in synagogues. But two thousand years ago, the Jerusalem Temple was the focal point of the Jewish religion. Archaeologist Jodi Magness explores the origins of the synagogue and its evolving role in religious Jewish life in the centuries after the Temple’s destruction in 70 A.D.

Date
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Opera: Inside the Music—An Unintimidating Guide to the Art

Mezzo-soprano Elizabeth Bishop and pianist Ken Weiss examine the building blocks of opera in a fascinating day equally suited to those who want an introduction to the art and to fans looking to deepen their understanding of the form’s nuts and bolts. Performances by singers from the Potomac Vocal Institute enhance this exploration of opera’s musical and theatrical foundations.

Date
Saturday, February 24, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
A Red-Carpet Night with Oscar

As awards night nears, join film writer Noah Gittell for an evening that focuses on all things Oscar. The movie-inspired fun includes history and trivia, a predictions contest, and a chance to join some screen legends (appearing courtesy Madame Tussauds) for photos on the red carpet.

Date
Monday, February 26, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Strange and Curious Smithsonian Jobs: Dove and Crowe—Their Work Is For the Birds

Smithsonian’s experts really do have some of the most curious specialties, which will be highlighted in an occasional “behind-the-scenes” series Strange and Curious Smithsonian Jobs. To kick things off, meet two scientists who study birds in unexpected ways.

Date
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Take an Elemental Journey: A Guided Tour of the Periodic Table of Elements

The Periodic Table of Elements organizes the essential building blocks of matter in our universe. Join award-winning science educators Callan Bentley and Piraba Swaminathan as they introduce the chemical elements that populate the Periodic Table's columns and rows, and hear their fascinating stories.

Date
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Enchanting Ireland: A Visual Journey

Christopher Griffin, a Smithsonian Journeys expert, highlights the history, culture, and beauty of Ireland, offering an intimate portrait of a fabled nation. At the conclusion of the day, raise a glass of “the water of life”—authentic Irish whiskey.

Date
Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flower Show
All-Day Tour

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Date
Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Art and Kingship in Southeast Asia
5-Session Daytime Course

Art historian Robert DeCaroli examines the cultural and artistic traditions of ancient Southeast Asia from the earliest archaeological evidence to the onset of colonialism, with a focus on the royal arts of the great civilizations that arose in the region. (World Art History Certificate core course, 1 credit)

Date
Wednesday, March 7 to April 4, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Feel Like an American: How the History of Emotions Reveals National Character
4-Session Daytime Course

The history of emotions is a relatively new area of study that offers a valuable tool to examine social developments and cultural trends. Historian Peter Stearns of George Mason University highlights some of the field’s core ideas as he looks at 250 years of American history through the lenses of happiness, love, shame and guilt, and anger and fear.

Date
Thursday, March 8 to 29, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Philadelphia Flower Show
All-Day Tour

Inspired by the theme Wonders of Water, the 2018 edition of the world’s largest indoor flower exhibition—all 10 colorful acres of it—celebrates the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water. The legendary show is the perfect place for gardeners and flower enthusiasts to spend a day filled with beauty.

Date
Friday, March 9, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House art.

Date
Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Inside Oak Ridge National Laboratory: Where the Manhattan Project Began
4-Day Tour

A partnership between the Smithsonian and Oak Ridge National Laboratory offers a rare chance to go behind the scenes at this center for cutting-edge energy science. This one-of-a-kind 4-day study tour brings you into the heart of Oak Ridge’s past and present, guided by the staff and the scientists who lead and conduct its research.

Date
Depart: Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 11:00 p.m.
The King James Bible: Its Background, Creation, and Influence

The King James Bible of 1611 is one of the most influential books in the English language. Learn about the creation of this landmark translation—the culmination of a long and often unquiet history of the Bible in English dating back as far as 1000 A.D.

Date
Saturday, March 17, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Fallingwater: An In-Depth Exploration with Kentuck Knob
Overnight Tour

Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are prime examples of Frank Lloyd Wright’s distinctive organic architecture. Visit both on an overnight tour to the scenic Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania led by architectural historian Bill Keene—and stay at a Wright-inspired boutique hotel. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Depart: Sunday, March 25, 2018 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Monday, March 26, 2018 - 8:00 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House gardens.

Date
Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Most Famous Address in Washington: Perspectives on White House History

In this 4-session lecture series, noted specialists explore architecture, music, gardens, and art at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue—a place where every decision, no matter how innocuous, has political ramifications. Participants receive a copy of each speaker’s corresponding large-format book published by the White House Historical Association. This session focuses on White House music.

Date
Thursday, May 17, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.