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.
Experience an epic day of archaeological events with the family! Activities are scattered across two museums so explore Native North American, Central American, Egyptian, Mesopotamian and Mediterranean archaeology. Throw a spear with a spear thrower. Talk to student archaeologists who excavate in locations around the world.
Let us introduce you to some of the most infamous female authors you’ve never heard of who carved out cultural spaces for themselves. Our challenge to you: Remember their names. Share their stories. Rewrite history.
A copy of Phillis Wheatley's collection of poems autographed by the author
A mysterious ownership inscription by a medieval woman named "Johanna" in a copy of Jerome's Vitas Patrum
Mary Wroth's copy of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, bearing her cryptic monogram...
On View: November 17, 2018–November 13, 2022 University Collections Gallery, African Art, Harvard Art Museums
This exhibition highlights artistic innovation and creativity in Africa as seen primarily through the traditions of ceramic arts from across the continent and over its long history. Countering the assumption that African arts and societies are largely unchanging and bound to traditions and customs, the remarkable diversity of objects and styles on display here tells a different story. A selection of more than 50 works on loan from the...
Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, 6 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Mediterranean Marketplaces: Connecting the Ancient World explores how the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas around the ancient Mediterranean transformed the lives and livelihoods of people at all levels of society, driving innovations that had lasting impacts—even on the modern world.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 1 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Muchos Méxicos explores Mexico’s rich history as a site of human innovation, creativity and cultural diversity. Featuring Mexican objects from the Peabody Museum collections, this bilingual exhibit tells the story of Mexico as a multicultural and geographic crossroads—one where the exchange of resources, products, and ideas among Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas before the Spanish invasion, and then with cultures around the globe—have all created a vibrant nation.
On View: January 22, 2022–May 8, 2022 University Teaching Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
Drawn from the museums’ rich Asian art collections, this installation complements a Harvard undergraduate course that explores the art of the Himalayan region, focusing on the major cultural centers such as the Kathmandu Valley and Buddhist sites across the Tibetan plateau, while examining the history of reception and imagination of the Himalayas in the west. The course is taught by Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art. In...
On View: January 22, 2022–May 8, 2022 University Research Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
From swaddling newborns to enshrouding the deceased, woven fabrics touch nearly every aspect of human existence. The textiles in this exhibition are particularly meaningful, for they tell a bigger story about political and social power, class, trade, and concerns for the afterlife during a transformative period in Egyptian history. In the medieval era, control of the region shifted repeatedly, as Egypt was subsumed under a sequence of empires—Byzantine,...
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
This exhibit explores how early Harvard scholars influenced the development of anthropology and archaeology in the Pacific region. Produced in collaboration with over thirty other museums around the world, Harvard’s contributing exhibit will feature historical images and objects from the Peabody collections, including intricately carved Fijian clubs, models of distinctive Pacific outriggers, and a striking example of Samoan bark cloth (siapo). Together they weave a compelling narrative about the ideas, people, and networks pivotal to both early understandings and ongoing studies...
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.
Dovlatov follows a few days in the life of famed Soviet writer, Sergei Dovlatov, on the eve of his friend's, future Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, emigration in 1971. Sergei is determined to stay and lead a normal life with his wife Elena and daughter Katya, however, his manuscripts are regularly rejected by the official media as his point of view is deemed undesirable.
Dovlatov premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, where it was awarded a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for costume and production design. Directed by...
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.
Join the Radcliffe Institute for a poetry reading and discussion with Clint Smith.
Clint Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and an Emerson Fellow at New America. He has received fellowships from the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation, while his writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published in 2016. It won the 2017...
Painting Edo—one of the largest exhibitions ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums—offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Selected from the unparalleled collection of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, the more than 120 works in the exhibition connect visitors with a seminal moment in the history of Japan, as the country settled into an era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world. The dizzying array of artistic lineages and studios active during the Edo...
Egypt’s recorded history spans six thousand years and is therefore one of the longest and best known in the world. Today, Egyptians practice several religious, artistic, and social traditions that can be traced to ancient Egypt, demonstrating the power and longevity of cultural memory. Drawing on research in archaeology, Egyptian art, writing, and culture, Fayza Haikal will examine Egyptian society’s cultural expressions from antiquity to the present, focusing on language, spirituality, superstitions, funerary traditions, and folklore.
Be among the first to see over 120 works included in the Harvard Art Museums' latest show, which celebrates the rich visual culture of Japan's early modern era. The galleries are open late, and admission is free for...