Join curatorial fellow Caitlin Clerkin and Lissette Jiménez, assistant professor of museum studies from San Francisco State University, for a virtual conversation on how grief is expressed in ancient Egyptian portraits and teaching about loss.
Harvard Art Museums, Menschel Hall, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge
At the top of a painting of a Crucifixion by Pietro Lorenzetti (c. 1280–1348), an angel holds in one hand an unfurled scroll and in the other a bloody tunic. Never previously noted, let alone explained, this unique combination of motifs provides the key to understanding the panel’s unusual imagery. It sheds fresh light on the complex nexus between art, piety, and theology in 14th-century Italy, in particular at Assisi—the site of the mother house of the Franciscan order, where the panel most likely was made.
In this two-part workshop, join us first in the exhibition galleries with curator Susanne Ebbinghaus and conservator Kate Smith for a close look at the portraits and learn what our curators, conservators, and scientists have discovered about them. Then take that experience to the Materials Lab, where you’ll make your own version of an ancient tempera painting using some of the same materials and techniques used by Roman-period artists. This workshop aims to honor and remember the woman in the ancient portrait we will copy, and to celebrate the relationship between artist and sitter that...
Join paintings conservator Sally Woodcock and conservation scientist Narayan Khandekar for a virtual conversation on how grief is expressed in ancient Egyptian portraits and teaching about loss.
Funerary Portraits from Roman Egypt: Facing Forward is a collaborative effort drawing from the expertise of staff across the museums and other members of our community. The exhibition invites visitors to reflect upon objects that represent the deceased and were once...
Online or In-Person at Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge
In ancient Egypt, one of the final steps in the mummification process was to equip the body with a permanent face covering that helped protect the head and also ritually transform the deceased into a god. The earliest examples of these were stylized masks, later replaced by more realistically rendered painted portraits. Using evidence from the archaeological record and the Book of the Dead—a series of spells meant to guide the dead as they sought eternal life—art professor Lorelei Corcoran will discuss the production and function of the "mummy portraits" that were popular throughout...
CGIS South, Belfer Case Study Room S020, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge
What is the role of art in deeply unequal societies? Are aesthetics political? Can artists challenge dominant orders? Please join us for a conversation between eminent Carnatic vocalist and activist T.M. Krishna, social and cultural historian Shailaja Paik, lawyer and social critic Suraj Yengde, and jazz musician and scholar Vijay Iyer. The event will be moderated by Ajantha Subramanian, Mehra Family Professor of South Asian Studies and Professor of Anthropology and South Asian Studies, Harvard University.
Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies—Online
The myriad effects of Russia’s war on Ukrainian women and the women’s movement. Participation has ranged from military service to humanitarian and volunteering initiatives, including extraordinary actions by many women and girls. How have Ukrainian feminists and the transnational women’s movement responded? What was the effect of feminist anti-war manifestoes? As the war continues, how has its impact on women evolved?
Davis Center for Russian & Eurasian Studies, 1730 Cambridge St., Room S354, Cambridge
Georgia is the world's oldest wine producer, and the history of Georgian wine is woven together with the country's culture, politics, and economics. Join Mamuka Tsereteli for a lecture on the significance of Georgian wine, followed by a Q&A—and stick around for a tasting to find out for yourself why Georgian wine is so special!
1737 Cambridge St., Room K262, Cambridge or Zoom Webinar
In recent years, Georgian cinema has been witnessing an astonishing period of revival, a new generation of filmmakers has emerged, and today a new wave of Georgian filmmakers has managed to find a new and strong language of cinema, in order to speak with international audience about contemporary issues of Georgian society. Levan Lomjaria will explore these and other aspects of the history of Georgian cinema in his lecture.
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.
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.
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.
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.