Masterworks of American Art [TTC Video]
01 December 2016, 19:39
Course No 7158 | AVI, XviD, 640x480 | MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.63GB
A nation's identity is expressed through its art. Great painters capture the essence of a culture's brightest hopes, deepest anxieties, and most profound aspirations. They provide an aesthetic road map to a nation's history, recording the lives of its citizens and reflecting the personality of an entire people.
But all too often, Americans themselves are unfamiliar with the great artistic legacy of their own country. Many of us study the great artists of Europe—Leonardo and Rubens, Degas and Monet—but neglect the remarkable painters of our own national tradition.
And yet the tradition of American art is filled with spectacular masterpieces that raise intriguing questions:
- How did the founding of this new nation find expression in art?
- Have our democratic ideals influenced the growth and development of American art?
- Did artists in this nascent culture follow time-honored aesthetic models, or did they pioneer new styles to communicate their burgeoning sense of national pride?
- Is there something uniquely "American" about American art?
These are the kinds of questions you explore in Masterworks of American Art. In this sweeping survey, you encounter the brilliant paintings of the homegrown masters who documented the birth of our nation from its colonial roots up to the brink of World War I and the birth of Modernism. As you examine this vital artistic tradition in its historical, cultural, and political contexts, you discover how appreciating the legacy of American art is crucial to fully understanding the story of our great nation.
A New Art for a New Nation
Your guide is Professor William Kloss. A noted scholar and art historian, Professor Kloss has taught more than 100 courses as an independent lecturer for the Smithsonian Institution's seminar and travel program. Through 24 engaging and informative lectures, he shares his deep passion for the art of this nation while offering remarkable insights into the relationship between America's history and its art.
What you discover is a revolution in art. Sometimes borrowing from European models, just as often departing from them, American artists pioneered new attitudes and styles to express the aspirations of a new nation.
Professor Kloss highlights this uniquely American approach to art, examining some of the greatest paintings of the tradition within the larger context of our country's history and culture. The result is a grand survey of the American experience, in which some of the most critical eras of this nation's history are viewed through the lens of great art:
- The American Revolution: Great artists captured a new spirit of liberty through scenes of war and government. You examine key examples of their revolutionary approach to art, including The Death of General Wolfe, in which Benjamin West pioneered a new vision of democratic leadership by rendering the British general in contemporary dress.
- The Civil War: You see how this tumultuous period of American history found expression on memorable canvases, such as James Hamilton's symbolic representation of the battered ship of state in Old Ironsides and Winslow Homer's vivid reenactment of skirmishes on the front, Inviting a Shot before Petersburg.
- The Reconstruction: After the war, painters sought to create an image of the nation reunited, as in George P. A. Healy's portrait of The Peacemakers, while others reflected the readjustments of postwar life, as in Homer's A Visit from the Old Mistress.
- The Westward Expansion: Great masters such as Albert Bierstadt, in his monumental canvas Valley of the Yosemite, recorded the natural splendors of a nation pushing westward, while Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's allegorical mural Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way embodied the idea of Manifest Destiny.
At the same time, you witness the rise of the great artistic institutions that fostered the development of the nation's arts, such as New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Along the way, you sample some of the finest works in the American tradition—memorable masterpieces that rival the great paintings of Europe. These masterworks represent a wide rich array of styles and subjects—from sweeping landscapes to intimate portraits to scenes of everyday life.
With Professor Kloss as your guide, you will appreciate the hallmark innovations and breathtaking artistry of American painting:
- An emphasis on linearity and weightlessness in the earliest works of the American tradition—qualities that sprang from generations of self-trained artists who cultivated a unique, homegrown aesthetic
- The remarkably lifelike trompe l'oeil paintings of William Hartnett and Charles Willson Peale, who created painstaking, dazzling reproductions of objects in real life
- James McNeill Whistler's simple but striking use of shape, line, and a muted color palette, as seen in his famous portrait of his mother
- The vivid portrayal of physical movement in art, as exemplified in remarkable compositions such as Thomas Eakins's The Biglin Brothers Racing.
With each example, you not only gain a sense of the larger trajectory of the American tradition in painting, but you also develop your appreciation of the artistry represented in each work. With his insightful comments on style, composition, and color, Professor Kloss offers an enlightening guide to appreciating virtually any great work of art.
The American Experience—on the Canvas
With Masterworks of American Art, you view these great works as part of an ever-developing story, in which master artists capture the portrait of a nation as it grows and changes. As you savor Professor Kloss's enlightening commentary, you also enjoy a feast for the eyes, as each painting is shown in rich, full-color reproductions worthy of these great masterpieces.
If you've already studied the great art of Europe, Masterworks of American Art is an essential complement to your studies, and if you're new to the world of painting, this course offers an enlivening introduction to this remarkable body of work.
Join Professor Kloss as he reveals the vital and vibrant tradition of American art, and witness the birth, growth, and development of our great nation as it was painted by some of the greatest artists the world has known.
Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites [TTC Video]
30 November 2016, 20:48
Course No 9431 | MP4, AVC, 856x480 | AAC, 80 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 3.18GB
The work of archaeologists has commanded worldwide attention and captivated the human imagination since the earliest days of the exploration, with groundbreaking discoveries such as the treasures of ancient Egypt, the lost kingdoms of the Maya, and the fabled city of Troy. Archaeology brings us face-to-face with our distant ancestors, with treasures of the past, and with life as it was lived in long-ago civilizations.
Despite the fascinating and often romantic appeal of archaeology, many of us have little idea of what the field actually involves. What, exactly, do archaeologists do? What takes place on an archaeological dig? And how does the reality of the work differ from what we see in Indiana Jones movies?
Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites, taught by renowned archaeologist and National Geographic Explorer Eric H. Cline, answers these questions and more in rich and provocative detail. This thrilling new course, produced in partnership with National Geographic, introduces you to over 20 of the most significant and enthralling archaeological sites on the planet, providing both an in-depth look at the sites themselves and an insider’s view of the history, science, and technology of archaeology.
Within the course’s 24 visually rich lectures, you’ll study some of the most famous archaeological discoveries of all time, including:
- the tomb of King Tut: the final resting place of ancient Egypt’s boy pharaoh, whose dramatic discovery mesmerized the world in 1922
- the ruins of Pompeii: the astonishingly well-preserved ancient Roman city, which was buried in 79 A.D. by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius
- the terra-cotta warriors at Xi’an: the vast army of life-size ceramic soldiers created to guide China’s first emperor into the afterlife
Throughout the course, Professor Cline offers dynamic commentary and responds to questions archaeologists are frequently asked, such as: How do archaeologists find ancient sites? How is an actual excavation performed? How do archaeologists determine how old something is?
In examining the world’s premier archaeological sites, the lectures explore how archaeology plays a vital role in the advancement of knowledge, by separating folklore and legend from factual history. As Professor Cline makes clear, archaeology is one of the most objective sources we have about history as it really happened, allowing us to cross-check written accounts, as well as to discover information, events, and cultures we knew nothing about.
Travel with a National Geographic Explorer
What began as a haphazard search for famous sites of ancient history has evolved into a highly organized, professional, and systematic study of the peoples and cultures of the past. During this course, you’ll trace the evolution of archaeology from the first crude excavations at Herculaneum to the advanced methods being used at Teotihuacan today. You’ll also gain firsthand insight into cutting-edge technology that has forever changed the field.
And, in this site-oriented exploration, you’ll travel the world: from Ur in Mesopotamia to China’s Shanxi Province; from Masada in Israel to the ancient ruins of Akrotiri in Greece; from Sutton Hoo in England to Machu Picchu in Peru, and many other intriguing locales.
For over a century, National Geographic has been a leader in bringing archaeological discoveries to the world through countless explorations, digs, research projects, and magazine stories. Whether you’re new to the subject or a seasoned archaeology enthusiast, National Geographic’s unique resources will provide an unparalleled glimpse into this fascinating field.
Visit Majestic Civilizations of the Past
These compelling lectures span a stunning range of archaeological discoveries, from excavations on land and under the oceans, to sites located in caverns, frozen in ice, and buried under volcanic ash. Among the many archaeological treasures featured in the course, you’ll study:
- secrets of Egyptology: Take an in-depth look at how the great Pyramids at Giza, the Step Pyramid of King Zozer, and the Sphinx were built. Learn about the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics and the mysterious techniques of Egyptian embalming and mummification.
- the glories of ancient Mesopotamia: Discover the resplendent funerary objects of the celebrated “Death Pits of Ur.” At legendary sites such as Nimrud and Ninevah, explore monumental Neo-Assyrian palaces, with their colossal statues, inscribed slabs, and vast libraries of cuneiform texts.
- Knossos and the cult of the bull: On the island of Crete, investigate the ceremonial, open-air palace of the Minoans; examine its striking wall paintings of sumptuously adorned royals; and explore the dramatic court ritual of bull-leaping and its links to the legend of the Minotaur.
- ancient maritime trade: Delve into one of the most phenomenal archaeological finds of all time, the Uluburun shipwreck. This 3,000-year-old sunken vessel contained a full cargo of luxurious raw materials and finished goods, illuminating Mediterranean trade routes that existed 13 centuries before the Common Era.
- Megiddo, jewel of the Near East: Follow the unfolding excavations at this unique site in northern Israel, where more than twenty ancient cities lie buried, one on top of another, revealing marvels of architecture in a sequence dating from 5,000 years ago to the time of Alexander the Great.
- awe-inspiring archaeological sites of the New World: Across four lectures, travel to the superlative palaces, temple-pyramids, and astronomical structures of New World civilizations from the Maya and the Moche to the Aztecs. You’ll also meet the Nazca, creators of massive geoglyphs in the Peruvian desert.
Look Deeply into the Archaeologist’s Work
In tandem with an exploration of the sites themselves, Professor Cline provides a spirited and highly illuminating look at what archaeologists do and how they do it. Early in the course, you’ll learn about remote sensing technologies such as ground penetrating radar, which allow archaeologists to locate structures hidden from view beneath jungles and deserts.
Within three lectures on the how-to of archaeology, you’ll discover in detail how to excavate buried artifacts, how an archaeological dig is organized and carried out, and how archaeologists use a spectrum of sophisticated technologies to determine the age of sites and artifacts.
Professor Cline enriches the lectures with colorful and revealing stories from the field, drawn from his many years of archaeological work around the world. Among these is his account of his own extensive work at the site of Tel Kabri in Israel, where remarkable discoveries include the largest wine cellar ever found in the ancient Near East.
Professor Cline also weaves engrossing tales of famous and groundbreaking finds, such as Heinrich Schliemann’s unearthing of Troy, the story of intrigue through which the Dead Sea Scrolls were brought to the world, and the dramatic unfolding of archaeology’s first underwater excavation.
With rich visuals from National Geographic and images from the professor’s own dig sites, each fascinating location is brought to life with numerous on-site photos, as well as maps, artwork, animations, and location video such as the original dig footage of Masada, the site of a historic confrontation between imperial Rome and Jewish resistance fighters.
Archaeology: An Introduction to the World's Greatest Sites takes you on a vivid and detailed exploration of archaeology’s most magnificent discoveries, in the company of an expert archaeologist and historian with decades of experience in the field. Join The Great Courses and National Geographic for this globe-spanning journey into our breathtaking archaeological heritage.
Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century [TTC Video]
30 November 2016, 20:37
Course No 9438 | MP4, MPEG4, 430x320 | AAC, 96 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 4.68GB
Dizzying new technologies are putting unprecedented stress on America’s core constitutional values, as protections for privacy, property, and free speech are shrinking due to the wonders of modern life—from the Internet to digital imaging to artificial intelligence. It’s not hard to envision a day when websites such as Facebook, Google Maps, and Yahoo! introduce a feature that allows real-time tracking of anyone you want, based on face-recognition software and ubiquitous live video feeds.
Does this scenario sound like an unconstitutional invasion of privacy? In fact, ubiquitous surveillance may be perfectly legal, according to Supreme Court rulings that give corporations broad leeway to gather information. The Court has even come close to saying that we surrender all privacy when we step out in public.
Although the courts have struggled to balance the interests of individuals, businesses, and law enforcement, the proliferation of intrusive new technologies puts many of our presumed freedoms in legal limbo. Today, it’s easy to think that we have far more privacy and other personal rights than we in fact do. Only by educating ourselves about the current state of the law and the risks posed by our own inventions can we develop an informed opinion about where to draw hard lines, how to promote changes in the system, and what we can do to protect ourselves.
Award-winning legal scholar, professor, and Supreme Court journalist Jeffrey Rosen explains the most pressing legal issues of the modern day in Privacy, Property, and Free Speech: Law and the Constitution in the 21st Century. Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School and frequent commentator on National Public Radio, Professor Rosen delivers 24 eye-opening lectures that immerse you in the Constitution, the courts, and the post–9/11 Internet era that the designers of our legal system could scarcely have imagined.
What Would the Framers Think?
More than 200 years ago, the framers of the U. S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights drafted a set of protections for privacy, property, and free speech that were inspired by notorious violations of those rights during the colonial period. How would they have reacted to the following aspects of modern life?
- Full-body scans: Passengers at airports now face “virtual strip-searches” with scanners that detect intimate features of the body as well as concealed contraband. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, but border crossings and airports are largely considered exempt from this rule.
- Cell phone surveillance: Your cell phone tracks much of your daily activity—information that should be safe from warrantless search and seizure. But according to the Supreme Court, “an individual has no reasonable expectation of privacy in information voluntarily disclosed to third parties”—in this case, to your phone company.
- Privacy in the cloud: Private papers were once kept under lock and key at home, where they were legally protected by the Fourth Amendment. But increasingly, these documents are on servers in the digital cloud, where they have weak protection at best, according to the Supreme Court’s third-party doctrine.
And what about social media websites that control more personal data for more people than any government spy agency could possibly match—and with few legal safeguards for the responsible use of the data? Or consider the implications of brain scanners, now under development, that can read a suspect’s mind during questioning, potentially violating the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
In Privacy, Property, and Free Speech, you explore these issues and many more, tracing the landmark Supreme Court rulings that have defined the scope of government powers and individual rights over the nation’s history. Among the dozens of cases that Professor Rosen discusses are these:
- Whitney v. California: In this 1927 case, Associate Justice Louis Brandeis wrote a concurring opinion that is the most stirring defense of free speech in the history of the Supreme Court. Brandeis’s distinguished record on individual rights makes him a recurring figure in Professor Rosen’s lectures.
- Florida v. Riley: In 1989, the high court held that the police use of a helicopter to peer into a fenced yard from 400 feet without a warrant did not violate the Fourth Amendment. But a 2012 case, U.S. v. Jones, imposed some limits on the police’s ability to track our movements by affixing secret Global Positioning System devices to our cars.
- Atwater v. Lago Vista: Decided in 2001, this case established police authority that the framers did not anticipate: the power to arrest and detain individuals for any crime, regardless of how inconsequential. This power was expanded to include strip searches in a 2012 case called Florence v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Burlington County.
In addition, you cover Griswold v. Connecticut, the 1965 case challenging a state law that prohibited the use of contraceptives and that established a constitutional right of “marital privacy.” Griswold underlies the legal reasoning in Roe v. Wade, the high court’s controversial abortion decision in 1973. You also probe District of Columbia v. Heller, which held in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to bear arms. And you get intriguing insights into the judicial mind of Chief Justice John Roberts, based on a lengthy interview that Professor Rosen conducted with the chief justice after his first term.
What Do You Think?
Called "the nation's most widely read and influential legal commentator" by the Los Angeles Times, Professor Rosen is renowned for his ability to bring legal issues alive—to put real faces and human drama behind the technical issues that cloud many legal discussions. When discussing a case in this course, he challenges you to make up your own mind, often stopping to ask, "How would you decide this case and why?" Then he encourages you to think about the impact your decision might have beyond the case in question. Could you live with consequences that might be unappealing to you?
Since our privacy, free speech, and other rights are increasingly threatened by corporations not ruled by restrictions on government, Privacy, Property, and Free Speech examines how companies get data about you and how they use it. To illustrate this process, Professor Rosen discloses a fascinating experiment that he conducted, in which he created two separate web identities for himself—a “Republican Jeff” and a “Democratic Jeff.” Then he watched how online ads quickly adjusted to target these two made-up individuals.
Finally, Professor Rosen offers a wide range of tips on what you can do to protect yourself in today’s intrusive society, whether online, at airports, or if you are ever stopped by the police for any reason.
An often-heard defense for the erosion of our liberties is that law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear. After taking Privacy, Property, and Free Speech, you’ll have a more informed opinion about whether modern life gives even the most innocent among us reason to worry.