Focusing on a small selection of drawings, conservator Penley Knipe will explore how Dutch artists of the 17th century creatively combined drawing media to dazzling effect in their pursuit of rendering local landscapes. Visitors will learn about well-known materials like charcoal and watercolor and lesser-known materials like gum arabic and “oatmeal” paper, as well as how the work of paper conservators advances research and scholarship.
Seventeenth-century artist Simon de Vlieger was one of many Dutch draftsmen who captured panoramas of the cities and towns that surrounded them. In his observed and accurate drawing of Weesp, a municipality located outside Amsterdam on the river Vecht, aspects of this recognizable view speak to larger questions of commerce and the environment. Join curatorial research associate Susan Anderson to discover these details within the broader artistic and cultural milieu of landscape drawing in the Dutch Republic.
Curator Sara Schechner, from Harvard’s Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, and Lynette Roth, curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, will team up to explore a 120-year-old Zeiss photographic microscope. The curators will look at the assemblage of its various parts and share with visitors what they tell us about how scientists work with such a microscope. Its diverse components, housed in a wooden case, reveal not only the technical challenges of taking photographs through a microscope lens, but also the instrument’s inherent social, cultural, and aesthetic connections....
Seventeenth-century Dutch artists, such as Abraham Bloemaert, Hendrick Avercamp, and Albert Cuyp, achieved coloristic effects through a variety of means. Join curator Joachim Homann in an exploration of colorful papers, inks, and washes from artists of the Dutch Republic.
Living through the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years has prompted renewed appreciation of the excitement and pleasures, as well as the challenges and dangers, of travel. In this lecture, we’ll learn about the experiences 17th-century Dutch draftsmen had to face as they journeyed from their studios to places near and far. Jane Shoaf Turner will focus on drawings by artists who traveled beyond the Dutch Republic’s borders—across the Channel to England, north and east to Germany and Scandinavia, south to France, over the Alps to Italy, and across the Atlantic to Brazil.
This talk will highlight the work and artistic process of Anna Atkins (1799–1871), creator of the first photographically illustrated book. It will also explore the importance of Atkins's photograms to scientific research and documentation in the 19th century.
The talk will highlight amateur botanist Ella Hurd and the process she used to make her cyanotypes. It will also explore the importance of camera-less photography to scientific research and documentation in the 19th century.
Join curator Horace D. Ballard for fresh perspective on two of the museums’ iconic portraits of George Washington through the meaning of gesture and the materialities of fashion. Inspired by Ballard’s recent research on Washington and his rewriting of the portraits’ gallery labels, the talk will explore the important role artists played in shaping the nation’s sense of self after the partisan politics of the Revolutionary War.
The Harvard University Native American Program (HUNAP) and the Harvard Art Museums present a lecture by author David Treuer.
David Treuer, an Ojibwe Indian, will offer a fresh and in-depth perspective on the current state of affairs for Native and Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Drawing from his experience growing up on the Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and as an accomplished academic, Treuer’s work includes both nonfiction and fiction.
Join Ben Sibson, a graduate student at Harvard in human evolutionary biology, for a conversation about how art can enhance our understanding of the evolution of human health. Looking at works of art installed in the University Study Gallery this semester for the undergraduate course Human Evolution and Human Health, Sibson will show how the objects provide useful information about the physical activities performed by people across time and space, as well as the foods they ate, the clothes they wore, and the spaces where they lived.
Online—Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard
As the Beatrice Shepherd Blane Fellow, Leslie M. Harris is completing “Leaving New Orleans: A Personal Urban History.” She uses memoir and family, urban, and environmental histories to explore the multiple meanings of New Orleans in the nation, from its founding through its uncertain future amid climate change.
In 1954, Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh discovered a 144-foot ship buried next to the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Khufu boat—one of the oldest-known planked vessels from antiquity—was interred in honor of Khufu, the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid. Bob Brier will discuss what is known about the design, propulsion, and function of this 4,600-year- old ship, based on recent tank tests conducted on a model. He will also highlight plans to build a full-scale replica of the vessel and to place it on the Nile.
Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge
Dr. Vandana Shiva is trained as a Physicist and did her Ph.D. on the subject “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory” from the University of Western Ontario in Canada. She later shifted to inter-disciplinary research in science, technology and environmental policy, which she carried out at the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore. In 1982, she founded an independent institute, the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology in Dehra Dun dedicated to high quality and independent research to address the most...
Gund Hall, Stubbins Room 112, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge
Native heirloom seed varieties, many of which have been passed down through generations of Indigenous gardeners or re-acquired from seed banks or ally seed savers, are often discussed by Indigenous farmers as the foundation of the food sovereignty movement, and as helpful tools for education and reclaiming health. This presentation explores how Native American community-based farming and gardening projects are defining heirloom or heritage seeds; why maintaining and growing out these seeds is seen as so important, and how terms like seed sovereignty should be defined and enacted. Many of...
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Piper Auditorium, 48 Quincy St., Cambridge
Can past efforts to revitalize America’s cities inform contemporary strategies to address the problems of economic inequality, unaffordable housing, segregated neighborhoods, and deteriorating infrastructure?
That question, in part, informs Saving America’s Cities: Ed Logue and the Struggle to Renew Urban America in the Suburban Age, a new book by Lizabeth Cohen, Howard Mumford Jones Professor of American Studies at Harvard University and former Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Cohen will discuss this history and will be joined in...
Ancient Maya civilization suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged, intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions that affected Maya societies.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge
The new geopolitical environment taking shape in many parts of the world tends toward increasing authoritarianism and nationalistic competition. In this lecture, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, an international human rights advocate and the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, will argue that the world’s people deserve better. Despite the demagoguery and isolationism that some leaders are pursuing, he believes it is possible to pursue thoughtful diplomacy and a system of connectivity, coalitions, and partnerships to reform institutions and change polices.