Events

    MassQ Ball 2022: Origin

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Convene in our collections to celebrate what makes us both unique and unified. A MassQ is a ritual application of paint to the face in order to reveal one's inner state of being. MassQing derives from the ancient tradition of body decoration practiced by nearly every indigenous culture on earth. Join us for this intergenerational, cross-cultural exhibition of the arts and interact with the landscape in new, creative ways.

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    MassQ Ball 2022: Origin | Making of Ceremonial Vessels

    Location: 

    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.

    Learn more and RSVP for this event.

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    Lilac Sunday

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join us for the first Lilac Sunday since 2019! We’ll be celebrating 150 years of Arboretum history and 112 Lilac Sundays.

    Experience the springtime bloom of our renowned collection of nearly 400 lilacs. Visit for tours with Arboretum experts, hands-on children’s programming, and more.

    Learn more.

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    Ukrainian Plants of the Arboretum Tour

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum (Hunnewell Building), 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ukrainian culture is rich with references to the natural world. Join a one-hour walking tour with Arboretum Horticulturist Brendan Keegan. Learn about plants within the Arboretum's collections that are notable in Ukrainian history, cuisine, agriculture, and more. The tour is in support of our colleagues at botanical institutions throughout Ukraine.

    Learn more and register.

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    Art Exhibit | Stoneroot Epistle: Collage and Words in Conversation

    Location: 

    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.

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    Celebrating a Sesquicentennial: The Founding of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Livestreamed or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    The Arnold Arboretum was founded on Friday, March 29, 1872. Exactly 150 years later, we invite you to join Lisa Pearson, Head of the Arboretum Library and Archives, for a special sesquicentennial lecture! Pearson will discuss the earliest benefactors of the Arboretum, the events surrounding the founding of the institution, and the busy first two decades during which the infrastructure and living collections were installed on the grounds.

    This event will also be livestreamed to YouTube. To sign up for the virtual livestream instead,...

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    Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea

    Location: 

    Online or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Just in time for the Arboretum's sesquicentennial and the bicentennial of the birth of pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, authors Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr will speak on their recent book, "Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea." They'll offer a new interpretation of how the American park—urban and national—came to figure so prominently in our cultural identity, and why this more complex and inclusive story deserves to be told.

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    Harvard Dance Center Showing: Initiation – In Love Solidarity

    Location: 

    Harvard Dance Center—Online or in-person

    Initiation – In Love Solidarity is a choreographic narrative exploring the embodiment of the Middle Passage, and the resilience and evolving identities of women in the African diaspora. A film component of the work was created at historic sites in New England related to the transatlantic slave trade and emancipation. The imagery of the cowrie shell is present throughout, chosen as an emblem of the transformative identity of the Black female body.

    Saturday, November 13, 4pm & 7pm: ...

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    In the Groves

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Immerse yourself in the deep beauty of trees in this story and music journey through the Arboretum. Led by Oracle award-winning storyteller Diane Edgecomb and Celtic harper Margot Chamberlain, this unfolding performance of ancient tales and songs from cultures around the world takes place in a variety of groves—birch, cherry, and evergreen—at some of the Arboretum’s loveliest spots.

    This event is free, but registration is required and limited. Not designed for children under 12, and dogs are not allowed. COVID guidelines will be followed.

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    Conserving the American Chestnut

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    The American Chestnut tree used to comprise approximately one quarter of the forest canopy in the eastern United States. Then in the early 1900's, chestnut blight decimated the nearly four billion American Chestnut trees. The wildlife value and economic value of these trees was unparalleled. Today, scientists and supporters are working to restore the American Chestnut tree to its former glory. Join us for a panel discussion with expert scientists who will discuss the history of the American Chestnut as well as current research to restore the trees.

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    "Every Pecan Tree": Trees, Meaning, and Memory in Enslaved People’s Lives

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    This is the third lecture in the Arnold Arboretum's 2021 Director's Lecture Series. Tiya Miles takes up the pecan tree as inspiration for exploring the meaning of trees in the lives of enslaved African Americans. Using a family heirloom, slave narratives, oral histories, and missionary records, her talk underscores the importance of trees in the Black experience of captivity and resistance, ultimately revealing the centrality of the natural world to Black, and indeed human, survival.

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    A History of Path-Making at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    At the time of its founding in 1872, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is sighted was a patchwork of farmland and forest. As the Arboretum was planted, pathways were developed to lead people through the picturesque landscape. As the landscape developed, economies shifted, wars took place, and directors changed. Each of these factors subtly influenced shifts in the park’s path system. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Zoom with Jared Rubinstein as he reveals the layers of change in this beloved landscape.

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    Members: Digging Harvard with Trish Capone & Nam Hyun Kim

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Students have been digging up and learning about Harvard's past through the Harvard Yard Archaeological Project. Meet the Peabody's Trish Capone and current Harvard student Nam Hyun Kim as they talk about the objects they have found and the larger history of what has been uncovered in this long-standing dig on campus.

     

    To register, send an email to members@hmsc.harvard.edu. If possible, please include your member number. A...

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    Creature Feature: Animals from Ancient Egypt

    Location: 

    Online Event

    Creature Features, a new online series from the Harvard Art Museums, offers a chance for families with children ages 6 and up to explore magical creatures across the collections through close looking and curious exploration with museum staff.

    Join Egyptologist Jen Thum for an interactive, family-friendly look at animals in ancient Egyptian art and life! Participants are encouraged to download and color along with our free activity book, Coloring Ancient Egypt...

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    Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier

    Location: 

    Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online

    The first person who will set foot on Mars is alive right now. We believe this, but even if we're wrong we know the first crew to arrive there will look nothing like the ones that landed on the Moon fifty years ago.

    Our world has changed for the better, and ASTRONAUTS tells the story of the women who built this better world. The main character and narrator is Mary Cleave, an astronaut you may not have heard of. It's not because so many people have been to space; only a few hundred have! It’s because this graphic novel isn’t about fame. No astronaut you'll ever meet took the...

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    Wonderful Cambrian Beasts

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History—Online

    Earth is home to a vast diversity of organisms that collectively define the modern biosphere. How did this diversity come to be? Javier Ortega-Hernández will discuss his approach to answering this question by studying organisms that lived more than half a billion years ago in the Cambrian Period (485–541 million years ago). By focusing on the earliest-known animals—some of the most versatile to ever exist—Ortega-Hernández aims to reconstruct the early evolutionary history of major animal groups and contribute to our understanding of Earth’s biodiversity.

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    Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Author and botanist Judith Sumner will speak of the many plants that were incorporated into wartime safety materials, diet and rations, and even bombers.

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    Peters Hill: Discover the Other End of the Arboretum

    Location: 

    Peters Hill Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join our docent for a tour of the other end of the Arnold Arboretum, the southern end. Peters Hill became part of the Arboretum in 1894 and continues to charm with its special character, collections, and history. In summer, the amazing view from the summit takes in the Boston skyline and a rich and textured landscape spreading out below you. Learn the history of the land, along with information on the woody plants located here.

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    Walking Postscript: Revisiting Plants from the Bulletin of Popular Information

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    In 1911, Charles Sprague Sargent, the founding director of the Arnold Arboretum, began writing a serialized pamphlet titled the Bulletin of Popular Information, in which he described flowering and fruiting displays at the Arboretum. Because Sargent often focused on plants newly arrived from expeditions to Asia and elsewhere, many of his descriptions provided the first horticultural comparisons between species that had never been grown in the same garden.

    On this tour, Jonathan Damery will revisit plants mentioned throughout Charles Sprague Sargent's sixteen years with...

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