Smithsonian Events, 1/26-30: Michael J. Fox and Mali’s Architectural Treasures

Feedloader (Clickability)

Monday, January 26: Tibetan Gifts: 10 percent off at the Freer/Sackler Shops!

The Dropenling Handicraft Development Center in Tibet is a nonprofit organization that works to preserve and promote Tibetan culture and their offerings—which include clothing, toys and other handcrafts—are now 10 percent off at the Freer and Sackler shops. While we don't normally promote commercial ventures here on ATM, products sold through fair trade organizations are wonderful for encouraging artistic communities in developing nations to flourish. Freer and Sackler Galleries, 10 AM-5:30 PM.

Tuesday, January 27: Mario Livio: Understanding the Mysteries of Our Physical World

The Greeks knew that the planets moved in elliptical orbits two millennia before Kepler and Newton graced the scene. Nineteenth-century mathematician Bernhard Riemann described new types of geometry that Einstein later used to explain space and time. Mathematicians or mathemagicians? How did they make discoveries that advanced math and science only long after they were dead and gone? Astrophysicist Mario Livio, author of The Equation that Couldn't Be Solved: Is God a Mathematician?, will explore these discoveries of premature awesomeness and offer a fresh new look at cosmology, religion and cognitive science. Tickets required. Rates are: $25 general admission; $15 members; $13 senior members. Cal 202-633-3030 to book tickets today. S. Dillon Ripley Center, 6:45 PM.

Wednesday, January 28: The Scientist is In

Drown your Thalassophobia and come on over to the Sant Ocean Hall to chat with an expert. The scientist is in to show off some special artifacts and talk to visitors about the wet and dry of oceanography. Free. Repeats every Wednesday. National Museum of Natural History, 12 Noon-4 PM.

Thursday, January 29: Face to Face Gallery Talk: Portrait of Michael J. Fox

Ann Schumard, director of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, will talk about the image of Michael J. Fox, who is perhaps best known for his roles on Family Ties and Back to the Future as well as for his life as a medical research activist. This gallery talk relates to the Portraiture Now exhibition, on display until September 27, 2009. Free. National Portrait Gallery, 6:00 PM.

Friday, January 30: A Scattering of Pearls: Architecture of the Gold Road and the Mali-Spain Diaspora

After completing a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1324, Mansa Musa, emperor of Mali, returned with architect Al-Saheli. With Mansa's support, Al-Saheli constructed palaces and mosques—notably the Djingareyber Mosque which was constructed entirely of organic materials in 1327 and still stands—transforming Timbuktu into a renowned center of Islamic study. Historian Suzanne Preston Bier will offer her insights on this business relationship that resulted in stunning works of sub-Saharan architecture. Free. African Art Museum, 12 Noon.

Get the latest on what's happening At the Smithsonian in your inbox.