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 “...
If hearts are in harmony, do we have to travel for a meeting of minds to take place? Matthew McKelway retraces the paths of two such “meetings,” legendary for never having taking place, but depicted, nevertheless, by Kano Sansetsu (1590–1651) on a pair of folding screens. Thanks to McKelway’s research, the screens are now titled A Visit to Li Ning’s Secluded Dwelling and Wang Ziyou Visiting Dai Andao.
We are convinced that interactions with natural phenomena, in addition to optimizing resources, deeply link architecture to its surroundings.
These interactions give a real and intense meaning to the spaces, awakening the most emotional dimension of architecture, transforming inert matter into something alive. Every time architecture makes these natural phenomena evident and “the invisible” appears, the link with the natural environment is established again, providing life to the building and turning the experience into something transcendent, sensitive and deeply connected to...
Curators will discuss their work on groundbreaking projects in the Netherlands and the United States, namely the Rijksmuseum’s current Slavery exhibition, the Rembrandthuis Museum’s exhibition Here: Black in Rembrandt’s Time, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s reinstallation of its permanent collection, and the Museums Are Not Neutral initiative. They will reflect on the broader call for museums to recognize the relationship of their collections to slavery and to present-day racial injustice.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
This session will consider what it means to organize for gender rights in global contexts in the 21st century during a pandemic. The speakers will feature diverse geographic and disciplinary perspectives, addressing key issues related to gendered power and difference in Africa, South Asia, and among minoritized people in the United States, including the gendered nature of care labor, rights-based activism in the face of rising global authoritarianisms, and the transnational reach of global protest.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
Ocean Vuong, author of the New York Times best-selling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, will be joined in conversation with Ju Yon Kim, Harvard professor of English. The program will begin with an introduction by Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, Daniel P.S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School, professor of history in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and chair of the Presidential Committee on Harvard and the Legacy of Slavery. It will conclude with remarks from Durba Mitra RI ’19, assistant professor of...
Maya female ceramic figurines from the island of Jaina in Campeche, Mexico, produced in the Late Classic Period (600–900 CE) are admired for their lifelike, poignant, and sometimes amusing characteristics. Long assumed to be elite women or moon goddesses, these figurines reveal a complexity of Maya social life, especially for women, that is rarely seen in other painted ceramics or monumental sculpture. They also offer insights into the culture of Jaina Island, including disturbing enslavement practices.
Mary Miller will discuss various interpretations of Jaina figurines—...
Offered as part of Haiku and You: Painting Edo and the Arnold Arboretum, this participatory virtual poetry workshop, led by Sheryl White of the Arnold Arboretum, will allow you to collaborate with other writers to consider and compose contemporary haiku, inspired by works in the Harvard Art Museums exhibition Painting Edo and the living landscapes of the Arnold Arboretum.
For seven seasons, award-winning Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. has uncovered the ancestral stories of celebrity guests on his hit-television series, Finding Your Roots. In this program, Gates will be joined by Dr. Gregg Hecimovich to discuss the process of unearthing the histories of formerly enslaved people. The focus will be on Alfred, Delia, Drana, Fassena, Jack, Jim, and Renty, seven Black men and women who were photographed against their will in Columbia, South Carolina in 1850. These controversial photographs are the subject of a new book, To Make Their Own...
Join us for the biennial lecture on research and discoveries at Sardis, one of the great ancient cities of western Turkey from the Bronze Age to the Middle Ages. While the pandemic prevented a full field season in 2020, a virtual Sardis season in Cambridge and limited fieldwork in Turkey contributed to the publication of two long-awaited monographs and advanced the conservation and preservation of this beautiful site. Director Nicholas Cahill will report on recent work and discoveries from the 2019 and 2020 seasons and will discuss future prospects.
*For high school students who live or attend school in Allston, Brighton, or Cambridge!*
Have you ever visited or heard about a museum and wondered what it would be like to work there? While exhibitions may not magically spring to life every night, the reality of a museum career can be just as exciting. A job in an art museum means working in an enriching environment where you can turn your passion for art, people, and history into a meaningful career. We invite you to join employees at the Harvard Art Museums to learn more about the types of careers...
In 1976, Chicago developer Charles Shaw bought nearly one million cubic feet of air above the Sculpture Garden of the Museum of Modern Art for 17 million dollars, relieving the Museum of their debt problems. Bought under New York City’s Transfer of Development Rights, Shaw used his rights to air space in the construction of a 56-floor apartment tower on 53rd Street. Mayor Beame hailed the “self-help project” a success, claiming that the transaction showed “how government and the private sector can cooperate in achieving the common goal of improving lives in the city.”
Designer and activist Bryan C. Lee, Jr will convene with the founders of The Black School for a conversation about Black radical pedagogical experiments, past, present, and future. GSD community members Toshiko Mori and Tara Oluwafemi will join for the second half of the program.
The French Revolution saw an explosion of printed media and printmakers—including women, who used their artistic production to participate in the politics they were legally excluded from because of their gender.
In this talk, curatorial intern and Ph.D. candidate Sarah Lund will unfold the layers of this large color print, from the radical Jacobin revolutionary who made it and the martyred war hero it depicts to the woman artist who, by blood, by marriage, and by trade, was equally entangled in the print’s politics even as she was excluded from its image.
Harvard University Native American Program & the Harvard Art Museums—Online
The Harvard University Native American Program and the Harvard Art Museums present a reading and conversation with Joy Harjo, the 23rd poet laureate of the United States.
Harjo is an internationally renowned performer and writer, who is a member of the Mvskoke Nation and belongs to Oce Vpofv (Hickory Ground). The author of nine books of poetry, several plays and children’s books, and a memoir (Crazy Brave), she has received many honors, including the Ruth Lilly Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Wallace Stevens Award from the Academy of American...
This program brings together three unique perspectives on the idea of “Small Town Urbanism”: Andrew Freear, Director of Rural Studio at Auburn University; Faranak Miraftab, Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; and Todd Okolichany, Director of Planning and Urban Design for the City of Asheville, North Carolina.
Climate change, the pandemic, telecommuting, and accelerating land costs in large cities have fueled a slow but noticeable relocation of people and services to ex-urban locales. The retreat from large cities...
In this talk, archaeologist Sarah Eisen will explore how pigs were part of everyday life in ancient Greece and how their ferocious relative the wild boar challenged heroes like Odysseus and Herakles (Hercules).
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.
How do we confront the history and legacy of Louis Agassiz’s extensive archive of images of African and Indigenous Brazilians made in Manaus, Brazil in 1865 and housed at Harvard’s Peabody Museum?
Four distinguished panelists reflect on the historical moment when these pictures were taken, discuss racist displays of Indigenous people in Brazil and elsewhere, and, by bringing to light respect for different epistemologies, explore ways to contend with them today. Panelists will be writer and historian Christoph Irmscher (contributor to the recent Peabody Museum Press book about...
Join the Harvard Art Museums on Zoom for a bite-size look at the role of food in art, presented in partnership with the Food Literacy Project at Harvard University Dining Services.
From vegetable-based dyes to dairy fixatives, food and art share a long and interesting history. In this talk, curatorial and conservation fellows Ruby Awburn, Lauren Hanson, Leonie Mueller, and Julie Wertz will take us on a culinary tour of the Harvard Art Museums and discuss the varied roles that food has played in art.