Events for the Week of October 19-23: Fantastic Frames, Gallery Talks, Halloween at the Zoo and More!

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Monday, October 19: A Stitch in Time: Block-by-Block Quilting Series

Ideal for persons aged 8 and older, this workshop will introduce you to the basics of quilting. That's right, you too can gain the skill set required to make a piece suitable to keep you warm or to hang on the wall as a part of your eye-catching home decor. In this session, learn how to design and sew quilt squares together—and how to jazz up your work with appliqué designs. Cosponsored with the Daughters of Dorcas and Sons quilting organization. Sewing skills are not required. Free, but reservations are required. Call 202-633-4844 to reserve your spot and materials today. This series continues on selected Mondays: Nov. 16, Feb. 8, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 21. Anacostia Museum, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM

Tuesday, October 20: Gallery Talk with Joann Moser

In school, you learn your alphabet and how to read sentences just fine, but no one really takes the time to teach you how to read images. (And if you're toddling around an art museum, the latter is a helpful skill to have.) Come on out to the American Art Museum and enjoy a tour of the exhibit What's It All Mean: William T. Wiley in Retrospect led by senior curator Joann Moser, who will help you understand the symbols and allusions the artist uses in his work. Free. American Art Museum, 6:00 PM

Wednesday, October 21: The Problem of Frames

When you need to frame a piece of artwork for your home, it's easy to take it to the nearest craft store or order the pieces you need online. What you get is rarely anything too fancy, so it's easy to forget that frame making is an art unto itself and that there was a time when the frame used to house a painting was a presentation piece and part of the overall aesthetic experience. (Some of you may be familiar with the recent story of how the Metropolitan Museum of art is re-creating the elaborate frame that set off the iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware.) Come enjoy a tour led by American Art Museum frames conservator Martin Kotler who will discuss the art, craft and history of American frame making, as well as the challenges that museums face when it comes to framing pieces. You won't be able to look at these home "accents" in the same way again. Free, Renwick Gallery, 12:00 PM

Thursday, October 22: Faces of the Frontier - Domingo Ghirardelli: Face-to-Face Portrait Talk

Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it in dew, cover it in chocolate and a miracle or two? Answer: Domingo Ghirardelli. (Yeah, yeah, the word "candyman" is a little more rhythmic. So sue me.) You may not know Domingo, but you're more likely to be familiar with the chocolate that bears his surname. Setting up shop in San Francisco in 1852, his wares have been sating the American sweet tooth for generations. With Halloween on the horizon, there's no better time to come on out to the Portrait Gallery and learn more about the man behind the candy than tonight, which features a gallery talk led by curator of photographs Ann Shumard. Free. Portrait Gallery, 6:00-6:30 PM

Friday, October 23: Boo at the Zoo

Perfect for persons ages two to 12, Boo at the Zoo provides families with a safe, fun and educational way to celebrate the Halloween holiday. Dress up and step on out to haunt the National Zoo where there will be 40 treat stations featuring an assortment of candy and snacks in addition to animal encounters and keeper talks. Tickets are required. Rates are: $15 for members, $25 for nonmembers, free admission for children under two. Tickets may be purchased online or at the Zoo's Visitor Center. National Zoo, 5:30 PM-8:30 PM.

For more information on events and exhibitions at the Smithsonian museums, check our companion website,, the official visitor’s guide to the Smithsonian.

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