Western scholarship has focused on the monumental sculptures in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Valley as Buddhas created in the late sixth and early seventh centuries. This lecture tells an alternative story based on Islamic sources from the tenth to the twentieth century, which saw these sculptures not as Buddhas but as legendary heroes representing the mythic conversion of the Bamiyan Valley to Islam.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Taliban destroyed the sculptures—as Buddhas. After the fall of the Taliban, the sculptures’ entangled histories and the viewpoints of...
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.
What does it mean to be a human ornament, to be a subject who survives as or through crushing objecthood? What is beauty for the unbeautiful?
This talk takes a series of humanoid objects – monsters, cyborgs, and standing vases – as fulcrums through which to explore how racialized gender, specifically the specter of the yellow woman, animates the designs of futurity and enables the slippage between the human and the inhuman so fundamental to the dream of modernity.
The artist Tomashi Jackson and Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, will engage in a wide-ranging conversation to mark the opening of Jackson’s new Radcliffe exhibition, Brown II, which explores the challenges of implementing the landmark 1954 US Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. Her work centers on the subsequent 1955 case (referred to as Brown II), which stated that the effort to desegregate schools in the United States was to be undertaken with “all deliberate speed.”
Jackson and Brown-Nagin will consider the Brown II...
Like architecture and landscape architecture, but possibly even more so, urban design is a discipline that relies on precise and complex knowledge. This knowledge has been patiently accumulated over time and is the sum of the intelligence, experience, and creativity of those who have built up our cities and the discipline itself.
The lecture addresses this layered historical and contemporary knowledge of the city: How can we really see our built environment and understand its intertwinings that reveal and create genealogies? How can we organise its solutions in compendiums...
The replacement of the unique and specific with the generic is a sign of our times. Cities make no exception. In the name of the modern, new and improved, the luring richness, unexpected and uncontrolled are being standardized out of our urban landscapes. The result is often a sterile built environment with scary resemblance to architectural renderings that has little to do with the unfolding of human experience.
Robin Winogrond will show a series of her recent projects in Switzerland and Germany, most often on the urban periphery, which increasingly focus on sussing out the...
John Marin's vibrant watercolors of Mt. Chocorua in the White Mountains of New Hampshire offer an exhilarating experience of the New England landscape. What’s left of the promises of American Modernism that these works helped usher in?
French painter Jean Frédéric Bazille's Summer Scene is one of the most iconic—and most enigmatic—paintings in the Harvard Art Museums collections. Join curator A. Cassandra Albinson as she traces this work's history—from its making and its reception during Bazille's lifetime to the painting’s final journey from France to Cambridge, in the summer of 1937.
The final installment in the summer series of Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks will feature a discussion of Our Bodies, Ourselves, first published in 1971. This event is organized in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the book’s first edition and in connection with the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective Records housed in the Schlesinger Library. The event will also include audience Q&A.
In this talk, Ph.D. candidate Kéla Jackson discusses the role of music, color, and interiority in Louis Delsarte’s 1995 print Unity, made during the artist’s residency at the Brandywine Workshop and Archives. Founded in Philadelphia in 1972 by Allan L. Edmunds, the workshop has supported generations of artists by fostering a deep sense of collective education and art making, foregrounding the “fresh, human and personal” aspects of art and the power of improvisation.
The third installment of the Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks will feature Daniel Carpenter, author of Democracy by Petition: Popular Politics in Transformation, 1790–1870 (Harvard University Press, 2021). Carpenter is the faculty director of the social sciences at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and the Allie S. Freed Professor of Government in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Carpenter's reading will be followed by a discussion with Nikki M. Taylor, professor of history and chair of the Department of History at Howard University. The event will also include an...
The second installment of the Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks will feature Tiya Miles, author of All That She Carried: The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, a Black Family Keepsake (Random House, 2021). Miles is a Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at Harvard Radcliffe Institute and a professor of history in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Miles's reading will be followed by a discussion with Tomiko Brown-Nagin, dean of 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...
The first installment in the summer series of Virtual Radcliffe Book Talks will feature Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown and Company, 2021) and staff writer at The Atlantic. Smith's reading will be followed by a discussion with Kyera Singleton, executive director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters, in Medford, Massachusetts. The event will also include audience Q and A.
Cecilia Zhou ’22 looks at the historically specific ways humor is deployed in a few serious works of art from across time that may make you laugh out loud (LOL). She’ll focus on the 1640s painting The Drunken Silenus, by Francesco Fracanzano; the 18th-century scroll painting Puppies with Hotei and Jittoku, by Nagasawa Rosetsu; and a...
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.
We’re bringing Painting Edo: Japanese Art from the Feinberg Collection to you! Join us for this final talk in our series of virtual conversations exploring themes highlighted in the exhibition.
How has Japonisme shaped the reception of Japanese art? In this online program, professors Elizabeth Emery and Chelsea Foxwell will consider the persistent influence of the western construct of Japonisme and the new aesthetic forms it inspired.
In 1872, French art critic Philippe Burty coined the term “Japonisme” to refer to the growing western admiration for “all things...
Creature Feature, an online series from the Harvard Art Museums, offers a chance for families to explore magical creatures across the collections through close looking and curious exploration with museum staff. Creature Feature talks are free, open to explorers ages 6 and up, and offered once a...
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.