I first read Robert Rosenblum’s Modern Painting and the Northern Romantic Tradition: Friedrich to Rothko in high school. Back then, I had no idea that 10 years, tens of thousands of dollars in tuition money, and 50 pages of recondite thesis-scribbling later, I’d still be intrigued by the connections he made between 19th-century landscape painting and modernist abstraction. I wasn’t alone: Most of my colleagues still found Rosenblum’s two-decades-old ideas worthwhile. But nothing cracked up a seminar like mentioning his The Dog in Art: From Rococo to Post-Modernism. Everyone else dismissed the book as a half-baked lark, but I liked it, from the cuddly terrier on the cover to the unconventional scholarship inside. So I’m excited by Fairfax County Park Authority Collections Manager Jeanne Nichols’ even nuttier-themed lecture, “Captivating Creatures,” on—get this—squirrels in 18th- and 19th-century art. Nichols’ rodent-centric examination of art history begins at 1 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens Park’s Manor House, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria. $15. For reservations call (703) 941-7987. (Leonard Roberge)