Miguel Syjuco RI ’14 is an author, journalist, civil society advocate, and assistant professor of practice, literature and creative writing at New York University Abu Dhabi. This book talk will feature Syjuco’s most recent work, I Was the President’s Mistress!! (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2022).
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.
Gish Jen RI ’02 is the award-winning author of Thank You, Mr. Nixon (Knopf, 2022), eight other books, and dozens of short stories and articles. Jen’s reading will be followed by a discussion with Alice Kessler-Harris RI ’02, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor Emerita of American History at Columbia University.
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.
Ladee Hubbard is a writer whose most recent novel is “The Rib King” (Amistad, 2021). In this lecture, she will discuss her current project, a novel that examines the implications of the ways in which Black people in the United States have historically been represented as an internal threat to both public health and safety, placing the 1980s War on Drugs in dialogue with the larger history of African Americans being used in drug trials and medical experiments.
Stéphanie Bru and Alexandre Theriot founded Bruther in Paris in 2007. They belong to the generation of architects who started their careers at the beginning of the recession, a condition likely to be reflected in the way they define architecture: as a Swiss Army knife, a tool to be used in the most disparate circumstances, an aid that reconciles all fields of knowledge.
Ancient Egypt conjures images of pharaonic temples, tombs, and pyramids, and perhaps, even the familiar illustrations from children’s books and magazines showing kilted workers on the Nile toiling away on their kings’ great monuments. But what is the relationship between these images—along with the deep history they evoke and the processes of discovery that made them visible—and the history of modern Egypt?
In this talk, Wendy Doyon will discuss the relationship between state, archaeology, and labor in Mehmed (or Muhammad) Ali’s Egypt—an autonomous khedival, or viceregal,...
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.
Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a small insect that produces a brilliant red pigment. Found in textiles, paintings, cosmetics, and many other objects that span the globe, cochineal is an integral part of world history. Cochineal pigment was used by Mesoamerican peoples long before the Spanish arrived in the sixteenth century. After being introduced to Europe, it quickly became a precious commodity and control over its global trade was a source of conflict and competition for over three centuries. In this lecture, Gabriela Soto Laveaga will trace the fascinating history of cochineal...
Mélanie Lamotte is an assistant professor of French at Tulane University. After completing her first book, under contract with Harvard University Press, she is undertaking a research project that examines the material life of the enslaved across the early modern French empire, thereby reconstructing the cultural, social, economic, and political experiences of slave communities. Join her to learn more about her work.
Yasuo Kuniyoshi once proclaimed that “an artist’s drawings are his first words.” Having emigrated from Japan to the United States at the age of 16, Kuniyoshi relied upon drawing as his most expressive medium. Through drawing, he translated the anxiety, disillusionment, and alienation faced by Japanese émigrés in the aftermath of World War II into a uniquely personal and dynamic American modernist style.