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.
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...
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 “...
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...
Syd Carpenter’s ceramic sculptures raise issues about race, life, memory, magic and the human condition. Her work can be viewed in museums across the nation and her recent bodies of work have focused on generational, African-American owned farms in the South. We are honored to to visit with Carpenter as she speaks about her work through images and discussion of her process. Host Fabio J. Fernández will guide the discussion through a range of topics including access, mentorship, and community as part of The Artist’s Studio series.
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—...
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.
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.”
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...