One of the best documented Egyptian rituals—occurring in both cultic and funerary contexts—is known as the Opening of the Mouth ritual. Performing this ritual was believed to animate statues and temples, while also restoring the senses of the deceased, thus ensuring that they could eat, drink, and breathe in the afterlife. Textual and iconographic references to the ritual are found in different time periods, from the Old Kingdom through the Roman Period.
In this lecture, Mariam Ayad uses the Opening of the Mouth ritual as a case study to illustrate the power of imagery and the...
The Harvard Art Museums collections have played an important role in the popular undergraduate course Stories from the End of the World, taught by Harvard Divinity School professor Giovanni Bazzana. This fascinating course, which is part of the Harvard College Program in General Education, explores why humans have always imagined the end of their worlds. In this conversation, Professor Bazzana and Jen Thum of the Harvard Art Museums will discuss their recent online collaboration for the course and what students learned about artists’ apocalyptic inspirations over time.
Maintaining ponds is messy business! Join Associate Project Manager Danny Schissler to learn about the history and upcoming restoration of two of the Arnold Arboretum's most well-loved water bodies, Faxon and Rehder Ponds. Both provide habitat for wildlife and visual delight for humans, and also are part of an essential drainage network within the Arboretum’s landscape.
Consider the spider: eight legs, eight eyes, and a brain the size of a poppy seed. These are some of nature’s most amazing and charismatic creatures, and yet we know so little about their worlds. Paul Shamble will discuss the lives, habits, and marvelous morphologies of these animals—from sensory structures and cognition to locomotion and behavior. Understanding these creatures helps us better understand evolution and diversity—and leads us to ask what it means that even tiny animals inhabit complex lives.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
Ana Paiva is a computer science professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, and is investigating the design of intelligent interactive systems by creating “social agents'' that can interact with humans in a natural manner. Over the years, she has developed this field by engineering social agents that exhibit specific capabilities, including emotions, personality, culture, nonverbal behavior, empathy, and collaboration, among others.
Join Paiva to learn about her current investigation into the conditions and mechanisms that drive societies of agents and...
Celebrate International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day by taking a virtual swoop through the Peabody Museum. These smart birds play games with each other, display anger and friendliness, and appear in cultural tales from around the world. Flap like a real raven with museum educator Javier Marin and learn more about the birds’ characteristics. Find ravens drawn or carved in Alaskan Native art, enjoy a read-aloud Tlingit tale and make a paper craft with Andy Majewski.
Due to popular demand, we are offering another session of this free webinar. Led by naturalist and conservationist, Michael Wojtech, you'll learn to identify tree species by their bark and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while on others it is thick and broken? Why does bark peel? Join us to find out!
This session includes brief talks, followed by a roundtable discussion, by academics and museum professionals who focus on Dutch and American art and history. Speakers will discuss specific objects—ranging from the 17th to the 21st century—that have posed interpretive and museological challenges. They will also present new possibilities for considering the relationship between slavery’s past and present-day racial injustice.
This is the fourth and final session of Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, presented...
For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.
Renowned writer Jamaica Kincaid and groundbreaking visual artist Rosana Paulino will discuss their explorations of the legacies of slavery in their work. They will be joined in conversation by eminent art historian Cheryl Finley.
The hearth of Olmec civilization is located in the tropical lowlands of Mexico’s southern Gulf Coast region, in the majestic archaeological site of San Lorenzo. The inhabitants of this first Olmec capital developed a distinctive geo-political territory and managed complex trade systems. The Olmec also created spectacular earthen architecture and magnificent stone sculpture—including the famous Colossal Heads—that reflect their stratified social organization and centralized political system backed by religion and directed by hereditary rulers.
HBS Professor Tom Eisenmann will discuss insights from his book, Why Startups Fail, with two failed alumni founders: Christina Wallace (HBS MBA ’10), co-founder of Quincy Apparel and now Senior Lecturer at HBS, and Lindsay Hyde (Harvard College ’04; HBS MBA ’14), co-founder of Baroo, now Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Moderne Ventures, and soon to join HBS as a lecturer co-teaching the MBA elective “Entrepreneurial Failure” with Eisenmann.
Eisenmann’s book describes six patterns that account for most startup failures and offers guidance on how to anticipate and avoid them. The...
Cecilia Puga is the Director and founding partner of CECILIA PUGA – PAULA VELASCO ARQUITECTURA. Since 1995 she has developed her professional practice independently in Santiago, where she has carried out design projects at different scales and programs, from single-family homes (most notably the House in Bahia Azul), to collective housing, educational and industrial equipment, and urban design such as the renovation of public spaces in Cerro Toro. She has developed her academic activity at Universidad Católica de Santiago, at ETH Zurich’s School of Architecture, Austin’s University of...
Life on planet Earth can sometimes seem unbelievably diverse and resilient, yet we’re more aware than ever of how connected all living beings are to one another. This special Earth Week edition focuses on some of the challenges animals face today, and on what we humans—young and old—can do to help. This event will be fun for the whole family so bring your questions and sense of wonder, and join Javier, Ryan, and some of our amazing animals as they lead you in a live 45-minute program.
Egyptian makers were skilled at using only a few materials to create a rich variety of textiles, but we rarely have detailed information about the people who made them or their artistic processes.
Join conservation fellow Julie Wertz to explore what close looking, microscopy, and micro-analytical techniques can teach us about the materials and methods these unknown makers used to create beautiful and functional art objects.
In conversation with: Harvard Dance Center returning visiting artists Peter Chu, Chanel DaSilva, and Shamel Pitts.
Choreographers and dancers are problem-solvers. They move through crises rather than around them. Join us this spring for community gatherings with Harvard Dance Center’s exceptional teaching artists in a series of artist-led dialogues that explore how artistry, identity, and advocacy take shape in turbulent times.
The "Resetting the Table: Food and Our Changing Tastes" exhibition at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology explores food choices and eating habits in the United States, including the sometimes hidden but always important ways in which our tables are shaped by cultural, historical, political, and technological influences.
Join us on this special virtual talk and tour at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology with Joyce Chapli, guest curator and Harvard University James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History; Janis Sacco, Director...
This session brings together historians and art historians whose work has, on the one hand, been grounded in art museum collections and, on the other, challenged traditional museological narratives of slavery’s legacies in the Netherlands and the Americas.
Since we are unable to welcome you into the museums at this time, we are bringing our experts to you in the online series Art Study Center Seminars at Home.
Otto Piene (1928–2014) was a pioneer in multimedia and technology-based art, creating a large, kaleidoscopic body of work based on the intersections of art, science, and nature. In this session, curatorial fellow Lauren Hanson and museum data specialist Jeff Steward share their research into the 2019 gift of Piene’s sketchbooks—a visual archive of over seven decades of artistic practice—and how the bound pages of these “...
In the last year, people have had a glimpse into the opportunities that remote work can afford them, such as nonexistent commute times, flex time, and increased productivity. Many organizations are planning to permanently incorporate remote days into their long-term routines, or give their employees the option to work from home full-time. On the other, remote work has brought to light many challenges that are inherent with virtual arrangements: work like boundaries can blur and people can feel isolated, out of sync and out of touch.