Events

    The Power of Antiquity in the Making of Modern Egypt

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    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,...

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    In-Person Gallery Talk: Washington and the Power of Clothes

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    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.

    ...

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    Mexican Red: The Perfect Color that Changed the World

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    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...

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    Making Race: Policy, Sex, and Social Order in the French Atlantic and Indian Oceans, 1608–1756

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    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.

    ...

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    2022 May 12

    Cochineal: How Mexico Made the World See Red

    (All day)

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    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.

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    Inclusions: Imagining Justice on Harvard's Campus

    Location: 

    Office for the Arts at Harvard—Online

    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...

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    Harvard Design Magazine #50 Issue Launch and Conversation

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    “Today is global” is a rather banal truism, but what really is today’s globalism? In a conversation with contributors from across the globe, Harvard Design Magazine introduces issue #50: Today’s Global, guest-edited by Sarah M. Whiting and Rahul Mehrotra.

    Today’s world has entered a phase of critical backlash against globalization, which is for some a critique of...

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    Art Talk Live: Yasuo Kuniyoshi’s Last Act

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums—Online

    Yasuo Kuniyoshi once proclaimed that “an artist’s drawings are his first words.” Having emigrated from Japan to the United States at the age of 16, Kuniyoshi relied upon drawing as his most expressive medium. Through drawing, he translated the anxiety, disillusionment, and alienation faced by Japanese émigrés in the aftermath of World War II into a uniquely personal and dynamic American modernist style.

    ...

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    2022 May 07

    Mythical Creatures Scavenger Hunt

    11:00am to 4:00pm

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join us to hunt for mythical creatures across the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Can you find a genie, merfolk, or a centaur? What might have inspired a cyclops or a piranha plant? Travel through the galleries of four museums on your quest for these amazing creatures. Test your skills in the galleries of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

    On April 15, let the adventure begin! Time is limited, so plan...

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    Mythical Creatures Scavenger Hunt Kick-Off

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Join us to hunt for mythical creatures across the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Can you find a genie, merfolk, or a centaur? What might have inspired a cyclops or a piranha plant? Travel through the galleries of four museums on your quest for these amazing creatures. Test your skills in the galleries of the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

    On April 15, let the adventure begin! Time is limited, so plan...

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    The Trouble with Tragedy: Imagining the Native American Past, Present, and Future

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    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.

    ...

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    In-Person Exhibition Tour: White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    Join curator Lynette Roth and artist T. Deutch for an in-depth tour of our special exhibition White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph, on view through July 31, 2022.

    German artist Anneliese Hager (1904–1997) made significant contributions to the medium of camera-less photography and to the wider surrealist movement in Europe. The camera-less photograph, or photogram, is an image made by placing objects directly on (or in close...

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    Joan Nogué, "A Journey through Landscape: From Theory to Practice"

    Location: 

    Harvard Graduate School of Design—Online

    Drawing from experience accumulated over 40 years of academic and professional trajectory on the question of landscape, as a university professor, director of the Landscape Observatory of Catalonia and ‘militant’ for landscape, Joan Nogué will reflect on the theory and practice of landscape today and into the future.

    Professor Nogué defends an integral conception of landscape that considers both the tangible and intangible elements. Such conception highlights the geohistorical singularity of landscape –every landscape belongs to a specific space and time– while acknowledging...

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    In-Person Gallery Talk: Art and Human Health—An Evolutionary Perspective

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge

    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.

    ...

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    Virtual Student Guide Tour: Painting’s Punchlines, with Sophia Clark

    Location: 

    Harvard Art Museums—Online

    In this tour, Sophia Clark ’23 explores the varied means and ends of humor in three works of art that, at first glance, may not seem funny. They are Mervin Jules’s 1937 painting The Art Lover; Charles Bird King’s 1830 painting The Vanity of the Artist’s Dream; and the Archaic Greek Eye cup: Athena (c. 530 BCE), which gives drinkers a different face...

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    Manifest: Thirteen Colonies

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Manifest: Thirteen Colonies is a photographic project and journey through the repositories of African American material culture found in libraries, museums, and archives of the original thirteen English colonies. Conceived by photographer Wendel White, this project is a personal, selective reliquary of the remarkable evidence of Black agency and racial oppression stored in public and private collections.

    In this program, White will discuss his approach to finding, selecting, and photographing artifacts—from rare singular objects, to more quotidian materials—and highlight their...

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    Black Music and the American University: Eileen Southern's Story

    Location: 

    Harvard Radcliffe Institute—Online

    Join us for the second of two one-hour webinars exploring the legacy of Eileen Southern, author of “The Music of Black Americans: A History” and founder and editor of “The Black Perspective in Music.” In 1976, Eileen Southern (1920–2002) became the first African American woman tenured in Harvard’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS). She was central in developing the Department of Afro-American Studies (now African and African American Studies), serving as an early chair, and was on the faculty of the Department of Music, where she taught courses on Black music and Renaissance musical...

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    Exploring Humanity's Technological Origins

    Location: 

    Harvard Museums of Science & Culture—Online

    Human evolutionary scholars have long assumed that the earliest stone tools were made by members of the genus Homo, approximately 2.4–2.3 million years ago, and that this technological development was directly linked to climate change and the spread of savannah grasslands. In the last decade, fieldwork in West Turkana, Kenya, has revealed evidence of much earlier technological behavior.

    Sonia Harmand will discuss the discovery of stone tools in a 3.3-million-year-old archaeological site in Kenya known as Lomekwi 3. She will show how this discovery is reshaping our...

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