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...
Let us introduce you to some of the most infamous female authors you’ve never heard of who carved out cultural spaces for themselves. Our challenge to you: Remember their names. Share their stories. Rewrite history.
A copy of Phillis Wheatley's collection of poems autographed by the author
A mysterious ownership inscription by a medieval woman named "Johanna" in a copy of Jerome's Vitas Patrum
Mary Wroth's copy of Xenophon's Cyropaedia, bearing her cryptic monogram...
Laura Fantini uses colored pencil to render seeds in exquisite, hyper-realistic drawings. This series is called “Hope,” and therein lies the power of seeds. They are emblematic of both birth and growth—small, complicated, and extraordinary, like the wonderful drawings in this exhibition.
On View: November 17, 2018–November 13, 2022 University Collections Gallery, African Art, Harvard Art Museums
This exhibition highlights artistic innovation and creativity in Africa as seen primarily through the traditions of ceramic arts from across the continent and over its long history. Countering the assumption that African arts and societies are largely unchanging and bound to traditions and customs, the remarkable diversity of objects and styles on display here tells a different story. A selection of more than 50 works on loan from the...
Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East, 6 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Mediterranean Marketplaces: Connecting the Ancient World explores how the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas around the ancient Mediterranean transformed the lives and livelihoods of people at all levels of society, driving innovations that had lasting impacts—even on the modern world.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 1 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Muchos Méxicos explores Mexico’s rich history as a site of human innovation, creativity and cultural diversity. Featuring Mexican objects from the Peabody Museum collections, this bilingual exhibit tells the story of Mexico as a multicultural and geographic crossroads—one where the exchange of resources, products, and ideas among Indigenous peoples throughout the Americas before the Spanish invasion, and then with cultures around the globe—have all created a vibrant nation.
Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge
Over their fifty years creating the Glass Flowers, Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka, father and son, continually experimented with materials and methods that pushed the boundaries of glassworking. Years later, their complex and varied practices presented unique challenges for the conservators preserving and protecting the models, which led to a suite of conservation processes nearly as varied as the Blaschka’s techniques. From the Hands of the Makers explores what it takes to both make and conserve a model and investigates the lingering mysteries surrounding the making of the glass...
On View: January 22, 2022–May 8, 2022 University Teaching Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
Drawn from the museums’ rich Asian art collections, this installation complements a Harvard undergraduate course that explores the art of the Himalayan region, focusing on the major cultural centers such as the Kathmandu Valley and Buddhist sites across the Tibetan plateau, while examining the history of reception and imagination of the Himalayas in the west. The course is taught by Jinah Kim, George P. Bickford Professor of Indian and South Asian Art. In...
On View: January 22, 2022–May 8, 2022 University Research Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
From swaddling newborns to enshrouding the deceased, woven fabrics touch nearly every aspect of human existence. The textiles in this exhibition are particularly meaningful, for they tell a bigger story about political and social power, class, trade, and concerns for the afterlife during a transformative period in Egyptian history. In the medieval era, control of the region shifted repeatedly, as Egypt was subsumed under a sequence of empires—Byzantine,...
Gallery 224, Harvard Ceramics Program, 224 Western Ave., Allston
Solo exhibition of work by Ruth Easterbrook, 2019-20 Artist In Residence at the Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard.
Gallery 224 is open by appointment. Please note that masks are required inside the Ceramics Program building. All visitors age 12 or older must provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered within the previous 72 hours.
Advance reservations are required to attend the...
On this tour commemorating Native American Heritage Month, Jacqueline Zoeller ’23 will contrast colonial visions of the Western U.S. landscape, such as Albert Bierstadt’s Rocky Mountains, “Lander’s Peak” (1863), with the realities lived and portrayed by Native American artists. Stops on the tour will include Diné artist Will Wilson’s Mexican Hat Disposal Cell (2020), a landscape photograph of Halchita, Utah, the Navajo...
Join policy makers, urban designers, and artists in Boston and Cambridge for a discussion about the future of public art!
Public art has the potential to make a community a more vibrant and welcoming place. Free and accessible to all, it also has the power to provoke debate about our shared cultural experience. As engaged citizens call for the removal of certain public monuments that evoke harmful systems, the conversation about the role of public art in our communities gains momentum.
On October 5, join City of Boston Chief of Arts & Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega...
In this virtual panel discussion, curator Makeda Best will be in conversation with photographers Terry Evans, Ashley Gilbertson, and Will Wilson, each of whom has works in our latest special exhibition, Devour the Land: War and American Landscape Photography since 1970.
Join us for a virtual preview and conversation about the Muchos Méxicos exhibition! Three scholars who contributed to the making of the show will discuss their favorite objects, and how they each tell stories of exchange and innovation—as well as loss and perseverance—across time and space.
Live interpretation available in English and Spanish.
The Ceramics Program, Office for the Arts at Harvard presents an online community sale featuring ceramic planters made by participants in its spring 2021 online classes. Shop online and pick up by appointment or arrange for shipping.
Join exhibition production specialist Steve Deane to discover an amazingly intricate silver cup in the shape of a fox head. We will explore how the cup was made, how its use was tied to hunting, and how our exhibition team made the cup “float” for display in an exhibition.
We’ll also look at a series of prints of Reynard the Fox and a small fox sculpture from the fifth century. Families will learn how to make their own sculpture from Play-Doh!
For the first time in the museum’s history, women who labored in the collections, offices, and labs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology in the late 19th century are being revealed in a unique online exhibit from the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. The exhibit is curated by Reed Gochberg, Assistant Director of Studies and a Lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University.
Women like Elizabeth Hodges Clark, Elizabeth Bangs Bryant, and Elvira Wood persevered diligently behind-the-scenes, gaining unparalleled expertise in what were previously thought to be men’...