A sampling of fine arts on television for the week of Feb. 17-23
SUNDAY, FEB. 17 C-SPAN3 at 8 a.m., 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“American Artifacts: National Building Museum and
Inaugural Balls” explores the inaugural tradition at the museum, from Grover Cleveland’s ball in 1885 to President Obama’s Commander in Chief’s Inaugural Ball held there in 2009.
MPT at 12:30 p.m.
“The Big Band Years: The Vocalists” profiles the “crooners” and “canaries” of the 1940s, including Perry Como, Doris Day and Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman Orchestra.
WETA at 2 p.m.
“Live From Lincoln Center: Ring Them Bells” presents a performance celebrating the songs of John Kander and Fred Ebb by Broadway stars Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Chita Rivera and Joel Grey in a revue conducted by Rob Fisher.
WHUT at 10 p.m.
“Hines Farm Blues Club” chronicles the history of the 40acre farm in Swanton, Ohio, that hosted performances by 1950s and ’60s blues, jazz and R&B entertainers as well as Negro League baseball games and motorcycle races.
WETA at 11 p.m.
The “American Masters” documentary “Cab Calloway:
Sketches” recalls the legendary singer, dancer and bandleader of the 1930s and ’40s.
TUESDAY, FEB. 19 MPT2 at midnight
An episode of “Theater Talk” interviews Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, the producers of the NBC musical theater series “Smash,” now in its second season.
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 20 Smithsonian Channel at 6 p.m.
“Museum Secrets Revealed: Inside the Louvre” goes inside the Paris museum that was once a royal palace to uncover the stories behind its paintings and sculptures.
THURSDAY, FEB. 21 MPT at 8:30 p.m.
“Artworks” talks with a banjo-playing sculptor, an exiled Russian painter, a mosaic maker in Harlem and a poet in exile.
FRIDAY, FEB. 22 WETA at 10 p.m.
1 “American Masters: Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock
& Roll” profiles the gospel singer and guitar virtuoso, who influenced the music of Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
MPT at 10 p.m.
“Great Performances at the Met: Aida” presents a performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s love story set in ancient Egypt starring Violeta Urmana in the title role of the enslaved Ethiopian princess, Dolora Zajick as her rival and Johan Botha as Radames, commander of the Egyptian army.
WHUT at 10 p.m.
The documentary “To Be Heard” follows the impact a poetry class has on three South Bronx teenagers.
SATURDAY, FEB. 23 Smithsonian at 11 a.m.
“Museum Secrets Revealed: Inside the Royal Ontario
Museum” tells the stories of a 2,000-year-old baby mummy, a peculiar piece of ancient Islamic pottery, a Sioux headdress and a stuffed prizewinning bulldog.