The MassQ Ball 2022: Origin will feature the diverse artistic expressions of Boston’s communities of color. Interact with the landscape in new and creative ways, transform into a walking work of art through the practice of MassQing (a ritual application of paint to the face derived from ancient traditions of body decoration), and enjoy performances and art work by Boston cultural artists including:
Hemlock Hill and Conifer Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Led by Bengali culture worker Pampi, this audience participatory workshop allows attendees to weave love letters into hand-crafted ceremonial vessels for their loved ones. Vessels will be fashioned out of natural materials sourced from the Arboretum grounds and displayed in the MassQ Ball on July 9.
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.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Rice: A Story of Africa and the Americas examines the legacy of rice cultivation in the Americas. Set within the Resetting the Table exhibition, this new mini-exhibit explores the essential African knowledge systems required to establish what became a thriving industry, the horrific human toll the Atlantic Slave Trade took to maintain it, and the vibrant, enduring culture of the Gullah Geechee, descendants of enslaved Africans whose basket making and coastal subsistence traditions continue today.
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.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Latino/a/x teens in the Hear Me Out/Escúchame project exhibit a group artwork that challenges stereotypes. What is important to know about Salvadoran or Honduran culture? What is overlooked in Mexican, Colombian, or Guatemalan culture? Drop in to see their response, and create “light-up” postcards or an art piece about your identity with simple art materials. Sketch and try other hands-on activities. Take your place with us and share how you want to be represented.
Limited metered parking available on Oxford Street or...
Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston
Led by Castle of our Skins’ Director of Education Taylor Lena McTootle, “Making a Mythos” focuses on the creative power of storytelling. Young participants will experience firsthand how fictional tales can reflect our cultural values and create them.
Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Building), 125 Arborway, Boston
Dr. Liseli A. Fitzpatrick, a Trinidadian-scholar in the field of African Diasporic cosmologies and sacred ontologies, will lead an engaging lecture and discussion exploring African mythologies and folkloric cultures.
Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Visitor Center), 125 Arborway, Boston
Visit the Arnold Arboretum's newly reopened Hunnewell Visitor Center and immerse yourself in this truly unique exhibition. The book, Stoneroot Epistle, was born out of Joyce Swagerty (Harvard class of '78) and Daina Swagerty's desire to understand the connection between themselves, the natural world, and the universal journey inspired by the African diaspora. The project by this mother and daughter was a spiritual adventure.
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.
Cochineal, a tiny insect found on certain species of Oaxacan cacti, was harvested for millennia by Indigenous peoples to dye fabrics a vibrant red color. But following the European invasion of the Americas in the sixteenth century, it became a widely coveted, globally traded commodity that transformed textiles and art, and made Mexico a center for technological innovation. Cochineal: How Mexico Made the World See Red explores how this Indigenous technology changed the world, becoming an international symbol of power, while simultaneously disenfranchising its discoverers.
Inclusions, an art installation created by Kiana Rawji '23, Cecilia Zhou '23, and Luke Reeve MDE '23, affirms that just as Harvard has shaped its students, so too have the students shaped Harvard; the student bricks will serve as records of formative contact between entities, expressions of individual identity, presence, and power in public space. During the month of April 2022, the bricks will be used to create a cohesive installation in Harvard Yard near Thayer Hall.
Join Kiana and Cecilia, with special guest commentator Professor Tracy K. Smith and moderator...
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.