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W E D N E S D A Y

Never mind science, politics, and religion—what brought Europe out of the Middle Ages was the desire to acquire neat stuff. This view, which is somewhat controversial but certainly relevant to the contemporary West, is the thesis of Worldly Goods, a new study of 16th-century Europe by British art historian Lisa Jardine. In a slide-illustrated Smithsonian Associates lecture, “Creating the Renaissance: Goods and Gifts, Fortune and Art,” Jardine will describe Europe’s flowering of culture in consumerist terms. At 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (MJ)

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