Smithsonian Associates Streaming Announces New Virtual Art and Architecture Tours

August 13, 2020
News Release

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Falling Water by Frank Lloyd Wright_Risa Ryan

"Falling Water" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photo by Risa Ryan

Smithsonian Associates—the world’s largest museum-based educational program—announces expert-led, live virtual tours through its new online learning initiative, Smithsonian Associates Streaming. Offered through a Zoom-supported digital platform, the tours will offer a closeup of the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia (Aug. 20), a look at the history and design of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (Sept. 13) and the Sears houses of Arlington, Virginia (Sept. 26) and a walk through George Washington’s Alexandria, Virginia (Oct. 16).

Participants can join a live virtual tour led by Barnes Foundation educational staff  that examines works by Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and other painters in a way that even visitors to the Barnes Collection have never experienced through high-definition Deep Zoom technology. A virtual tour of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, led by historian Garrett Peck, spotlights churches, houses, taverns and other sites in the place the first president considered his hometown.

During a virtual journey of Fallingwater, participants come away with a better understanding of the history and design of the 20th century’s most iconic house, as well as the man behind its creation. Built for the Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh as a mountain retreat, the home is the only remaining major Wright work with its setting, original furnishings and artwork intact. For Americans of moderate means in the early decades of the 20th century, more than 70,000 prefabricated Modern Homes kits offered by Sears Roebuck & Co., gave them the chance to own an up-to-date house. A Sears Homes expert draws on period and contemporary images to lead a virtual tour through several historic Northern Virginia neighborhoods that boast a wide range of these distinctive houses.

Prices for virtual tours are $40–55 for the general public and $30–45 for Smithsonian Associates members. For tickets and information, the public may visit

For 55 years, Smithsonian Associates has produced vibrant educational and cultural programming that brings the Smithsonian to life. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s research, collections and exhibitions nearly 1,000 public programs spark creativity and excite learning in people of all ages each year.

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