Smithsonian Launches Live Virtual Tours of Fallingwater, Old Town Alexandria, and More

Put your learning hat on.

Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, classrooms have been replaced with Zoom rooms and museum visits with virtual tours. It's been a steep curve of adjustment for millions of young students and lifelong learners alike, but thanks to technology, there have been some incredible innovations in the realm of online learning.

The Smithsonian Castle in Washington, D.C.

Now, we're excited to learn of the creation of Smithsonian Associates Streaming. This summer and beyond, Smithsonian Associates, the world's largest museum-based educational program will bring their popular study tours to the virtual realm with live virtual tours led by a team of seasoned experts. The classes will be hosted on a Zoom-supported digital platform and include a closeup of the Barnes Collection in Philadelphia (August 20th); a walk through George Washington's Alexandria, Virginia (October 16th); a look at the history and design of Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania (September 13th); and the Sears houses of Arlington, Virginia (September 26th).

Here's a bit more on what to expect from the company's official press release:

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.

We're pretty sure that when the day comes that it's safe to congregate at events and parties once again, you'll have plenty of fascinating cocktail conversation to drop from information gleaned in these enlightening courses.

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 If you're interested in pursuing a Smithsonian World Art History Certificate, the Barnes Foundation and Fallingwater virtual tours also count as credit towards that certification.

Who's ready to put their learning hat on with us and dive in?

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