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.
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.
Lysley Tenorio, an English professor at St. Mary’s College of California, is the author of the novel “The Son of Good Fortune” (Ecco, 2021) and the story collection “Monstress” (Ecco, 2012). In this lecture, he will discuss the research and writing process of his next novel.
Drawing from experience accumulated over 40 years of academic and professional trajectory on the question of landscape, as a university professor, director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and ‘militant’ for landscape, Joan Nogué will reflect on the theory and practice of landscape today and into the future.
Professor Nogué defends an integral conception of landscape that considers both the tangible and intangible elements. Such conception highlights the geohistorical singularity of landscape –every landscape belongs to a specific space and time– while acknowledging...
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.
Manifest: Thirteen Colonies is a photographic project and journey through the repositories of African American material culture found in libraries, museums, and archives of the original thirteen English colonies. Conceived by photographer Wendel White, this project is a personal, selective reliquary of the remarkable evidence of Black agency and racial oppression stored in public and private collections.
In this program, White will discuss his approach to finding, selecting, and photographing artifacts—from rare singular objects, to more quotidian materials—and highlight their...
Human evolutionary scholars have long assumed that the earliest stone tools were made by members of the genus Homo, approximately 2.4–2.3 million years ago, and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. In the last decade, fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has revealed evidence of much earlier technological behavior.
Sonia Harmand will discuss the discovery of stone tools in a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site in Kenya known as Lomekwi 3. She will show how this discovery is reshaping our...
TERREMOTO is presently navigating a transitional period within its practice towards making omni-positive gardens and landscapes that are fair, just and generous in their relationships to labor, materials and ecology. We believe that we are at a cultural, environmental + civilizational fork in the road, and through deep internal self-interrogation of landscape history and practice (including our own), we are creating a constantly evolving set of metrics that will allow us (and you!) to create gardens that can lock horns with the BIGNESS of this moment. What a time to be alive! And what a...
Join Egyptologist Jen Thum for an engaging look at the results of new research on the tomb relief of Ptahshepses Impy, an Egyptian official. Thum will explore the implications of this research, including possible changes to the display of the relief to indicate missing portions.
In Transversal Grounds, Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse follow the traces of Alexander Von Humboldt, the scientist who realized that the section, and not the plan, is the only way to understand the Central Andes region. Their journey from the barren landscapes of the desert coast through the steep Mountain range into the Amazon jungle helped them rethink architecture challenges from geographical and cultural conditions. The projects done in the last years through this territorial section understand architecture as a sensitive way of adding meaning to the cultural construction...