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Slide 0: A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer
A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer
$30.00
Over her lifetime, Ezzat-Malek Soudavar (1913-2014) assembled a stellar collection of Persian art, including several hundred outstanding examples of lacquerware. Published for the first time in A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer, most of the intricately designed book covers, mirror cases, and pen cases date from the Qajar era (1785-1925). As a respected collector of Persian art, Mrs. Soudavar appreciated these lacquer works for both their artistic quality and historical value. As a connoisseur of calligraphy and well versed in the art of penmanship, she cherished the pen cases and boxes for their association with her personal skill and enjoyment of the art of writing.

Abolala Soudavar generously offered his mother's collection of Persian laquerware as a gift to the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts and to the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC. A Collector's Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer begins with an overview of Mrs. Soudavar's remarkable life in Iran and her interest in the arts. Other essays address history and work of major lacquer artists of the Qajar era as well as the materials and techniques of Persian lacquer work. Twenty highlights from the collection and a fully illustrated checklist complete this introduction to one of the major collections of Persian lacquer worldwide.
 
Slide 1: Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture
$14.95
This fully illustrated guide to the Smithsonian’s newest museum takes visitors on a journey through the richness and diversity of African American culture and the history of a people whose struggles, aspirations, and achievements have shaped the nation. The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture provides a comprehensive tour of the museum, including its magnificent building and grounds and eleven permanent exhibition galleries dedicated to themes of history, community, and culture. Highlights from the museum’s collection of artifacts and works of art are presented in full-color photographs, accompanied by evocative stories and voices that illuminate the American experience through the African American lens.
 
Slide 2: Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour Through American History DVD + Free Guidebook
Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour Through American History DVD + Free Guidebook
$79.95
Explore the rich, visual history of the United States in 24 must-experience lectures in Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour through American History DVD. Your eminent instructor is Dr. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Under Secretary for History, Art and Culture. His unique approach shares the unexpected stories revealed by some of the Smithsonian’s most iconic American artifacts. From George Washington’s sword to the Star Spangled Banner and from Harriet Tubman’s hymnal to the space shuttle Discovery, Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour through American History could not be more riveting or more approachable.

A collaboration between The Great Courses and the Smithsonian Institution, Experiencing America: A Smithsonian Tour through American History is an educational experience you may feel compelled to binge watch. The companion Free Guidebook includes a 272-page course synopsis, portraits and literature, list of featured objects, suggested readings and bibliography.

LECTURE TITLES

1. The Star-Spangled Banner—Inspiring the Anthem
2. Presidents and Generals—Images of Leadership
3. Conscience and Conflict—Religious History
4. The Growth and Spread of Slavery
5. Emancipation and the Civil War
6. Gold, Guns, and Grandeur—The West
7. The First Americans—Then and Now
8. Planes, Trains, Automobiles … and Wagons
9. Communications—From Telegraph to Television
10. Immigrant Dreams and Immigrant Struggles
11. User Friendly—Democratizing Technology
12. Extinction and Conservation
13. Kitty Hawk to Tranquility—Innovation and Flight
14. Cold War—Red Badges, Bombs, and the Berlin Wall
15. National Tragedy—Maine, Pearl Harbor, 9/11

Plus 9 more lecture titles!

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Slide 3: Through the African American Lens
Through the African American Lens
$16.95
From daguerreotype portraits taken before the Civil War to twenty-first century digital prints, the Double Exposure series is a striking visual record of key historical events, cultural touchstones, and private and communal moments that helps to illuminate African American life. In addition to featuring fifty photographs from a broad range of African American experiences, each thematic volume includes introductions by some of the leading historians, activists, photographers, and writers of our times. Through the African American Lens is an introduction to the photography collection, revealing the ways in which African Americans have used activism, community, and culture to fight for social justice and create a better life.
 
Slide 4: Begin With the Past
Begin With the Past
$29.95
Begin With the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture presents the long history of efforts to build a permanent place to collect, study, and present African American history and culture. In 2003 the museum was officially established at long last, yet the work of the museum was only just beginning. The book traces the appointment of the director, the selection of the site, and the process of conceiving, designing, and constructing a public monument to the achievements and contributions of African Americans. The careful selection of architects, designers, and engineers culminated in a museum that embodies African American sensibilities about space, form, and material and incorporates rich cultural symbols into the design of the building and its surrounding landscape.
 
Slide 5: From No Return: The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José
From No Return: The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José
$45.00
A book both factual and personal, From No Return: The 221-Year Journey of the Slave Ship São José recounts a portion of African American history as it is being made. Here is the story of the recovery in 2014 of artifacts from the São José, the first known slave ship to be recovered that sank with its human cargo aboard. Finding such a singular lens through which to view the unfathomable scope of the Middle Passage had become a quest for National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) founding director Lonnie Bunch. From No Return chronicles the efforts of NMAAHC and its collaborators to locate the ship and unearth its ungodly objects, including some of the 1,130 iron bars the São José crew used to balance the weight of the ship’s human cargo. The book contains full-page images of these artifacts along with reproductions of the ship’s manifest, the captain’s deposition after the ship capsized in December 1794 off the coast of South Africa, and other archival documents.

Bunch is one of four authors. The others are NMAAHC curator Paul Gardullo and the co-founders of the Slave Wrecks Project, Stephen C. Lubkemann and Jaco Jacqes Boshoff, who repeatedly dived the site. The “journey” that’s referenced in the book’s subtitle is threefold: the recovery of the artifacts; the symbolic return in 2015, by Bunch and the other authors, of those who had perished to their Mozambique homeland; and the personal journeys of the authors themselves as they unspooled this story from the turbulent waters off Cape Town. Each of them bore witness to a moment of discovery that will soon be part of history.

 
Slide 6: Double Exposure: Fighting for Freedom
Double Exposure: Fighting for Freedom
$16.95
Double Exposure: Fighting for Freedom, the fifth volume in the series Double Exposure, presents 50 images of African Americans in uniform, from the Civil War to the War in Iraq. The selection of photographs, which exemplify stories of patriotism, courage, and dignity, are enriched by the unique perspective of Frank Bolden, Jr., 12th Administrator of NASA and Gail Lumet Buckley, author of American Patriots.
 
Slide 7: Mars: A New View of the Red Planet
Mars: A New View of the Red Planet
$29.99
Mars has always fascinated humanity and the findings of the past decade have revolutionized ideas about our nearest neighbor—revealing its watery past and geological similarity to Earth.

This gorgeously illustrated volume is filled with the latest and most magnificent images to be sent back from Curiosity, will walk you in the footsteps of the NASA probes and rovers that have been surveying the planet from 1964 until the present day. Experience its other-worldly beauty as you hover over sinister dust devils, immense icecaps and textured rock formations.

Mars: A New View of the Red Planet charts an incredible course across this unfamiliar planet, depicting all sides, seasons, channels and chasms, from the North Pole to the Southern Highlands. Witness the soaring heights of Olympus Mons—the tallest volcano in the Solar System—watch a giant dust storm tear through the canyons of the Valles Marineris, and explore the broad valleys of Chryse Planitia, scarred from catastrophic floods.

Detailed and accessible essays explain how Mars was formed, shedding light on its internal and external structure, weather systems and unique geographical features, as well as on the compelling evidence of water and microscopic life. Each image is accompanied by a caption that explains in unparalleled detail the abstract patterns and peculiar geology that form this majestic planet.

Featuring over 200 spectacular photographs and informative color diagrams, an atlas of the surface and details of the most recent scientific discoveries Mars is the perfect introduction to the Red Planet.
 
Slide 8: Everglades: America's Wetland
Everglades: America's Wetland
From Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay, from inside the bone-crushing jaws of an alligator to the storms that race across the black water backcountry, award-winning conservation photographer and National Audubon Society biologist Mac Stone takes us on a visual journey through the Everglades. In Everglades: America’s Wetland more than 200 striking photographs—images that have wowed National Geographic, The BBC, NPR and periodicals across the globe—showcase the natural beauty of this unique ecosystem, capturing the amazing depths of its landscapes, the diversity of its wildlife, and the resilience of the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States.

Aerial views in Everglades: America’s Wetland highlight the vast expanse of the River of Grass. Underwater images capture the endless wonders of the Everglades, including sharks darting through mangrove roots. Intimate close-ups showcase awe-inspiring flora and fauna such as the ghost orchid, the Florida panther, the endangered Everglades snail kite, roseate spoonbills, and, of course, the majestic American alligator.

In a special foreword, Michael Grunwald introduces readers to a short history of the Everglades. Exclusive essays from the top minds in Everglades conservation appear throughout the book, opening an even wider perspective on Stone's powerful photographs.
 
Slide 9: Everything You Need to Know about Snakes and Other Scaly Reptiles
Everything You Need to Know about Snakes and Other Scaly Reptiles
Kids will be utterly fascinated as they explore the amazing world of reptiles in Everything You Need to Know about Snakes and Other Scaly Reptiles. From living dragons to snakes that fly and shed skin, readers will learn about a cobra’s spitting distance, snake attack survival, the life cycle of the giant prehistoric snake Titanoboa, as well as fascinating facts about lizards, crocodiles, tortoises and turtles. Everything You Need to Know about Snakes and Other Scaly Reptiles is jam-packed with amazing images, fun games, and quizzes. Produced in association with the Smithsonian Institution.
 
Slide 10: Smithsonian 2020 Engagement Calendar
Smithsonian 2020 Engagement Calendar
This week-at-a-glance datebook evokes the diversity, beauty, and immensity of the Smithsonian Institution's collections. A weekly treasure for the person who finds wonder and beauty in the world. The Treasures from the Smithsonian 2020 Engagement Calendar highlights a spectacular array of riches from the Smithsonian's 20 museums and galleries, in addition to the entries from the National Zoological Park and Smithsonian research centers. Each spread features a full-color photograph of an object from the Smithsonian's vast holdings, along with detailed information about the object and its origins. From American crafts to African sculpture to aeronautical wonders and everything in between, this Smithsonian 2020 Engagement Calendar truly has something for everyone. The calendar also features information, phone numbers, and Web site addresses for all the Smithsonian museums and research centers.
 
Slide 11: Amazing Origami
Amazing Origami
Designed for all ages and skill levels, Amazing Origami: Traditional Japanese Folding Papers and Projects comes with everything you need to transform high quality paper into beautiful origami works of art. Simple instructions permit origami beginners to start immediately. Gorgeous, Japanese folding papers—patterned with delicate designs and gold detailing evocative of one-of-a-kind motifs gracing vintage Japanese kimono fabrics—inspire experienced paper folders to create unique origami art. Kit includes 144 two-sided, full-color folding papers, 17 fun projects (Luna moth, tortoise, carp, leaf, peacock, butterfly, koi, Chinese pinwheel, and many more), 13 custom paper designs, and clear step-by-step instructions. Sturdy box doubles a display pedestal.