America's greatest collectors and their contributions to the national culture will be discussed during a slide lecture at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. On Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m., Arthur W. Schultz, president of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and author of "In Praise of America's Collectors," offers tips to encourage collectors as he describes the gathering zeal of Andrew Mellon, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, J. P. Morgan and others who left their treasures to the country's public museums.
"What was the motivation of going to all these efforts to gather a collection, only to turn around and give
it to the nation?" Schultz muses. "It's a remarkable story."
One such tale Schultz recounts involves industrialist Andrew Mellon, who first envisioned a national gallery: "Here he was in Pittsburgh after his wife left him for her lover. He started collecting, going on annual pilgrimages to Europe, buying millions of dollars of art, when in 1936 he wrote [President] Roosevelt to say he'd build and fill a museum, and not even put his name on it . . . The sad part of it was that he died before the museum which he gave to the people opened."
500 17th St. NW. Fee: $12, students $4; reservations suggested. 202-639-1770.
The Art League Gallery in Alexandria presents a pair of exhibits in paper. Through Nov. 2, "Begging Bowls" by Judith Shapiro and "Concepts in Form" by Gwendolyn Graine display handmade pieces of painted and assembled paper.
105 N. Union St., Alexandria. Mondays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m. 703-683-1780.
Conquer household clutter and reclaim your closet this fall through any of three classes in the area. The Women's Club of Bethesda (5500 Sonoma Rd., Bethesda) meets tonight at 6:30; the fee is $20,
refreshments included. 301-317- 9887 or 202-362-6276, ext. 4.
First Class holds its session on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 1726 20th St. NW. Fee: $29 includes materials; reservations required. 202-797-5102. And on Oct. 17 at 9:30 a.m., Fairfax County Adult and Community Education sponsors a seminar at Pimmit Hill Center, 7510 Lisle Ave., Falls Church. Fee: $29; reservations required. 703-227-2231.
The Fall Antiques Fair at the D.C. Armory draws 160 dealers from the United States, Canada and England for the 20th annual event. Tomorrow through Sunday, furniture and accessories ranging from sterling silver serving pieces and posters to continental furniture and American corner cupboards will be sold in a wide price range.
2001 E. Capitol St. NE. Fee: $6. 202-547-9215 or 301-924-5002.
The president's neighborhood, including rarely seen homes and offices, will open their doors Saturday to the public during the fourth annual "Salute the Square" open house. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., nine properties around Lafayette Square, including Decatur House, the Treasury Department and the Renwick Gallery, can be toured.
"It's the neighborhood of the presidents," says Molly Neal, Decatur House director of collections and programs, "and I don't think most people realize that there was a neighborhood around the White House where individuals lived."
Coinciding with the biannual tours of the White House gardens (9 a.m. to noon and 2 to 5 p.m.), visitors can get a peek inside the White House, Riggs Bank, Department of Veteran's Affairs,
St. John's Episcopal Church, White House Historical Association and White House Visitors Center. Actors will portray historical figures, and door prizes including a weekend getaway at the Hay-Adams Hotel will be awarded.
748 Jackson Place NW. Open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free. 202-842-0920.
THINGS TO DO
Tour Dupont Circle Homes on Sunday to see Victorian rowhouses, innovative apartments and great views of the city. From noon to 5 p.m., visit 15 private homes and buildings dating back to 1870. Start from the Carnegie Institution, 1620 16th St. NW. Fee: $25. 202-265-3222; Web site: www.dupont-circle.com/dcca . . . Learn to gild during a two-night workshop at the Gilding Arts Studio. From 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 14 and 15 or Nov. 11 and 12, get an overview of styles and techniques before making your own gilded and toned frame. 1639 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Fee: $225 includes materials. 202-338-7880 . . . Try Mexican crafts on Saturday at the Capital Children's Museum. From noon to 3 p.m., learn about papel picado (confetti) and floras de papel (paper flowers) and how to paint yarn to make a traditional decoration. 800 Third St. NE. Fee: $6, discounts. 202-675-4120.
PLACES TO GO
An annual Christmas shop sponsored by the Kent & Queen Anne's Hospital Auxiliary features 18 vendors. Hand-painted furniture, handcrafted pottery, ornaments, sculpture, carved wood and other accessories or food will be offered for sale. Open tomorrow and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sgt. John Newman Armory, 509 Cross St., Chestertown. Fee: $2. 410-778-0955 . . . A needlework exhibition tomorrow through Oct. 25 features hundreds of embroidered pieces along with stitchery demonstrations. Tonight at 7 p.m., a slide lecture and exhibit details "Japanese Embroidery: Past, Present and Future." Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Fee: $2. 703-777-7427 . . . An antique show this weekend at the Vienna Community Center draws dealers from throughout the East Coast. Tomorrow from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., choose from a variety of furniture and collectibles. 120 Cherry St. SE, Vienna. Fee: $4. 703-255-6360.
PEOPLE TO SEE
Design experts will discuss "Design: Changing the Face of Corporate America" on Oct. 13 at Marymount University. Interior designer Debra Lehman-Smith and architect Janet Rankin detail the latest in corporate, legal and site design projects. Reinsch Library, 2807 N. Glebe Rd., Arlington. Free. 703-284-1565 or 703-284-1671.
Alert us to events by writing Watch This Space, c/o Home, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or fax 202-334-5059. Information must be received two weeks before publication.