Art History Lectures

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The Arts Barn invites music and art enthusiasts to participate in lectures presented by scholars in their fields. Focused on exploring uncommon topics, these events are suitable for all backgrounds and ability levels.


  • Of Color, Space, and Texture: How We Use Visual Language to Talk about Music
    Saturday, February 16 at 1 p.m.
    Join Andrew H. Weaver, Ph.D., Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor and Head of Musicology at the Catholic University of America, for a lecture on music and art. Admission is $10.

    Can you hear art? Can you see music? If not, why do we talk about them as if we can? Weaver discusses how music and the visual arts are influenced by one another, and how those influences can heighten our appreciation of them, even for those who don’t know anything about music. Explore what inspires artists and musicians and learn how you too can listen and talk knowledgeably about music. Register online.

    Following the lecture, meet the artists of “Musicalia” during a free reception in the Arts Barn Gallery.

  • When Worlds Collide: The Importance of Japanese Woodblock Prints on late 19th Century Art
    Thursday, February 21 at 7 p.m.
    Learn how an inexpensive, insignificant art form from Japan revolutionized Western art in the latter part of the 19th century with art historian and City Arts Administrator, Shellie Williams. In 1854, Japan reopened trade with the West, and Europe was seized by japonisme, a craze for all things Japanese, including silks, porcelains, paintings, and especially the inexpensive, ukiyo-e wood block print. The bold colors, flattened perspective and subject matter of the ukiyo-e prints became a significant inspiration for Monet, Van Gogh, Degas and many other artists. A wine and cheese reception follows the lecture (photo ID required to purchase alcohol). Students are invited to reconvene on the following Saturday for a museum tour. Cost is $75, $65 for City residents for lecture, reception and museum tour. Register online. Cost is $25, $20 for City residents for lecture and reception only (register by phone at 301-258-6394 for lecture/reception only).