Smithsonian American Art Museum Presents Fall 2011 Programs to Accompany “The Great American Hall of Wonders”
“The Great American Hall of Wonders,” an exhibition that examines 19th-century American innovation through works of art, mechanical inventions and scientific discoveries, has been on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum since July 15 and runs through Jan. 8, 2012. Through a collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the museum is presenting a robust series of public programs and educational outreach about today’s inventors and inventions as a contemporary complement to the exhibition. Programs include webcast public lectures, films, an inventors’ symposium, a concert, tours and hands-on activities for children and families, as well as resources for educators and students.
The following programs are free unless otherwise noted and will take place at the museum (Eighth and F streets N.W.). For more information visit http://americanart.si.edu/calendar, call (202) 633-1000 or email AmericanArtPrograms@si.edu.
America, Transformed—Thursday, Sept. 22; 6:45 – 9 p.m.
Daniel Walker Howe, professor emeritus of history at Oxford University and UCLA, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, describes how advances in transportation and communications improved life in the 19th century. Co-sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates. Tickets ($27 – 40) required; (202) 633-3030 or http://residentassociates.org. Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.
Film, The Brooklyn Bridge—Thursday, Sept. 29; 6:30 p.m.
Ken Burns’ award-winning documentary tells the dramatic story of the Brooklyn Bridge and the people who imagined and built it (1981, 60 minutes). Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.
Film, Transcontinental Railroad—Thursday, Oct. 20; 6:30 p.m.
Through the combined efforts of politicians, business men, visionaries, engineers and an untold number of laborers, the Transcontinental Railroad was completed in only six years. The railroad changed the course of American history, but some paid a staggering price (2002, 120 minutes). Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.
Independent Inventors Symposium
Thursday, Oct. 27; 1 – 7 p.m. and Friday, Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Industry leaders, government officials and successful inventors discuss the importance of intellectual property protection, how to viably commercialize ideas and how innovation and entrepreneurship can help lead nationwide economic recovery. Co-sponsored by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.
21st Century Consort, “The Great American…”—Saturday, Nov. 5; 5 p.m.
A performance featuring texts by Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson accompany the premiere of several works and compositions by John Harbison, Bill Brehm, Joan Tower and David Froom—all celebrating ingenuity in honor of “The Great American Hall of Wonders.” Tickets ($20) required; (202) 633-3030 or http://residentassociates.org. Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium and includes a post-concert reception.
A Converstation with Internet Inventors—Wednesday, Nov. 9; 7 p.m.
Steve Crocker and Vinton Cerf, two of the Internet’s founding fathers, discuss how the ’Net changed the way we communicate. Program takes place in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium.
First Lego League Family Day—Saturday, Nov. 12; 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Watch student-designed robots work to solve problems of food safety, and try your own hand at an innovative Lego creation. Live music and demonstrations are also planned. Program takes place in the museum’s Kogod Courtyard.
Sundays at 4 p.m. through Jan. 8, 2012, a docent leads an exhibition tour of “The Great American Hall of Wonders.” Tours meet behind the F Street lobby information desk.
College and university faculty in the greater Washington, D.C., region are invited to feature “The Great American Hall of Wonders” in their fall 2011 curriculum. The museum will provide unique opportunities for instructors and their students to meet with exhibition personnel. There is no fee, but faculty must contact the museum’s education office at (202) 633-8528 before the end of September to participate.
Professional development offered for educators this fall will include a day-long workshop,
co-sponsored by The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. For more information call the Education Office at (202) 633-8528.
“The Great American Hall of Wonders” is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in collaboration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Battelle has provided important leadership support for the exhibition. Generous contributions also have been provided by Sheila Duignan and Mike Wilkins, the Raymond J. and Margaret Horowitz Endowment, Thelma and Melvin Lenkin, Betty and Whitney MacMillan, Jean Mahoney and Robin Martin.
About the Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates the vision and creativity of Americans with artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries. Its National Historic Landmark building is located at Eighth and F streets N.W., at the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail station. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Admission is free. Follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, ArtBabble, iTunes and YouTube. Museum information (recorded): (202) 633-7970. Smithsonian Information: (202) 633-1000; (202) 633-5285 (TTY). Website: americanart.si.edu.
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