April 2011

Balenciaga and Spain: Austerity and Extravagance

Fri, Apr 29 2011 - 12:00pm

Balenciaga and Spain: Austerity and Extravagance

Julia Geist, Chair of Docent Council, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

“The master of us all,” said Christian Dior about Cristobal Balenciaga, who created day dresses of deceiving simplicity and evening gowns of staggering extravagance. Spain was his muse. Geist's illustrated lecture will look at the life and success of the couturier who maintained tradition and continuity in Spain and Paris for more than 30 years. Read more »

Conversations with Terrorists: Their Views on Politics, Violence, and Empire

Fri, May 6 2011 - 12:00pm

Conversations with Terrorists: Their Views on Politics, Violence and Empire

Reese Erlich, Foreign Correspondent; Author, Conversations with Terrorists

A veteran journalist will take you inside the U.S.-led war on terror. Read more »

The Cheeses of the Burgundy Region of France

Thu, May 12 2011 - 6:30pm

The Cheeses of the Burgundy Region of France

The Cheese School of San Francisco is the only independent institution of its kind devoted entirely to helping people maximize their enjoyment and appreciation of cheese. Inspired by The Commonwealth Club’s October 9-14 travel program to the Burgundy region of France, the school’s expert instructors will lead us through a tasting of cheeses and wines primarily from that region. Read more »

Never Fly Solo: How to Build Trusting Partnerships and Reach New Heights in Business

Fri, May 13 2011 - 12:00pm

Never Fly Solo: How to Build Trusting Partnerships and Reach New Heights in Business

Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, MBA, CSP;  Author, Never Fly Solo:  Lead with Courage, Build Trusting Partnerships, and Reach New Heights in Business

Flying solo? Perhaps not! You have support staff, colleagues and significant others. These are your wingmen – those you trust to help you reach new heights in business and life. Read more »

The Pope Of Wine: Alexis Lichine

Wed, Jun 1 2011 - 6:00pm

The Pope of Wine: Alexis Lichine

Leslie A. Hennessy Jr., Author, The Pope of Wine: The Biography of Alexis Lichine

Salesman, self-promoter, journalist, author, ladies man, connoisseur, war veteran, chateau-owner and – above all – French wine enthusiastic, Alexis Lichine led a fascinating life and is credited with creating the American market for French wine. Read more »

Michel de Montaigne: The Philosopher of Improvisation

Mon, Jun 13 2011 - 6:00pm

Michel de Montaigne: The Philosopher of Improvisation

Timothy Hampton, Professor of French; Bernie H. Williams Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley

The first great “modern” philosopher, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592) explored the changeable nature of human experience. Montaigne worked out a strikingly modern ethical response to the violence of his day. His essays embrace the limits of human knowledge and virtue. Read more »

The War Next Door

Wed, Jun 29 2011 - 6:00pm

The War Next Door

Charles Bowden, Author, Murder City: Ciudad Juárez and the Global Economy’s New Killing Fields Read more »

Cosmic Wisdom: An Astronomer Looks at Human History...and Our Future Prospects

Thu, Apr 7 2011 - 6:00pm

Cosmic Wisdom: An Astronomer Looks at Human History...and Our Future Prospects

This program is sold out

Sandra Faber, Ph.D., University Professor, UC Santa Cruz; Staff Member, UCO/Lick Observatory

We now know more about the distant universe in many ways than we do about our own planet.  Using breathtaking images and computer simulations, cosmologist Faber will tell the story of how human beings got here and where we are headed, cosmically speaking. Read more »