In this session, senior objects conservator Tony Sigel will take a closer look at architect and sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s terracotta models for the marble sculptures that would transform the visual landscape of 17th-century Rome. Sigel will reveal the intimate details of Bernini’s modeling process and his signature techniques.
Led by: Tony Sigel, Senior Conservator of Objects and Sculpture, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies
Since we are unable to welcome you into the museums at this time, we are bringing our experts and collections to you in an online series, Art Study Center Seminars at Home.
Heka, the ancient Egyptian word that we translate as “magic” today, was neither marginal nor deviant in the Egyptian world. It was an important part of life and death, healing and protection. In this seminar, curatorial fellow Jen Thum will explore objects that are the subject of new research and discuss how they put magic to work during life and the afterlife.
In 1954, Egyptian archaeologist Kamal el-Mallakh discovered a 144-foot ship buried next to the Great Pyramid of Giza. The Khufu boat—one of the oldest-known planked vessels from antiquity—was interred in honor of Khufu, the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid. Bob Brier will discuss what is known about the design, propulsion, and function of this 4,600-year- old ship, based on recent tank tests conducted on a model. He will also highlight plans to build a full-scale replica of the vessel and to place it on the Nile.
Ancient Maya civilization suffered a major demise between the tenth and eleventh centuries. The causes continue to be investigated and debated. Paleoenvironmental research over the past twenty years has revealed that the demise coincided with a prolonged, intensive drought that extended across the region, providing compelling evidence that climate change played a key role in the collapse of the Maya. Billie Turner will examine this evidence and the complex social and environmental conditions that affected Maya societies.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge
The new geopolitical environment taking shape in many parts of the world tends toward increasing authoritarianism and nationalistic competition. In this lecture, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, an international human rights advocate and the former United Nations high commissioner for human rights, will argue that the world’s people deserve better. Despite the demagoguery and isolationism that some leaders are pursuing, he believes it is possible to pursue thoughtful diplomacy and a system of connectivity, coalitions, and partnerships to reform institutions and change polices.
Join the Radcliffe Institute for a poetry reading and discussion with Clint Smith.
Clint Smith is a doctoral candidate at Harvard University and an Emerson Fellow at New America. He has received fellowships from the Art For Justice Fund, Cave Canem, and the National Science Foundation, while his writing has been published in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Poetry Magazine, the Paris Review, and elsewhere. His first full-length collection of poetry, Counting Descent, was published in 2016. It won the 2017...
Woolley Room, Mary Lyon Hall, Wheaton College 26 E. Main Street, Norton, MA
Olga Livshin will discuss how culture, translation, history, current events and her own biography intermingle in her 2019 book of poems, A Life Replaced, which reflects on the experience of living as an immigrant under the Trump administration and with Putin's war on Ukraine looming. Raised in Odessa and Moscow, Livshin writes witness poetry about xenophobia, war, and strongmen at the helm on both sides of the world. The book braids original poetry in English with translations from Anna Akhmatova, the great poet of 20th-century Russia, and Vladimir Gandelsman, fellow immigrant...
Matt Wolf’s engaging documentary tells two stories: one, the life story of a remarkably prescient and stubbornly individualistic radical librarian who refused to fit neatly into the role of wife or mother, and a second that traces the emergence and arguably disastrous effects of the twenty-four-hour American news cycle that she secretly recorded in her Philadelphia home from 1979-2012.
Egypt’s recorded history spans six thousand years and is therefore one of the longest and best known in the world. Today, Egyptians practice several religious, artistic, and social traditions that can be traced to ancient Egypt, demonstrating the power and longevity of cultural memory. Drawing on research in archaeology, Egyptian art, writing, and culture, Fayza Haikal will examine Egyptian society’s cultural expressions from antiquity to the present, focusing on language, spirituality, superstitions, funerary traditions, and folklore.
Be among the first to see over 120 works included in the Harvard Art Museums' latest show, which celebrates the rich visual culture of Japan's early modern era. The galleries are open late, and admission is free for...
Davis Center, Knafel Building, Room K262, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge
Moscow writer Lev Rubinstein will read from his work and engage in a wide-ranging conversation in a special Davis Center seminar.
Rubinstein exemplifies a striking aesthetic response to life in repressive times, one that emphasizes the artist’s freedom of expression and the power of humor in the face of lies. He has won multiple prizes at home and abroad and has a readiness to push at the boundaries of literary norms. Author of more than a dozen books in Russian, Rubinstein has been more active as an essayist since the start of the 2000s. He has also emerged as a public figure...
As a Radcliffe fellow, Anthony Romero (RI '20) is working on a multimedia research and visual art project that includes a collection of related but discrete works which attempt to articulate how indigenous populations, under European colonial rule in Australia, South Asia, and the United States, were controlled through the criminalization and legislating of native sound and music practices. Taken together, these histories reveal how carceral and criminalizing strategies sowed the seeds for the ongoing over-policing of black and brown communities.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge
Chanan Tigay is an award-winning journalist and nonfiction writer who has covered the Middle East, 9/11, and the United Nations for such outlets as AFP, the Atlantic, GQ, and the New Yorker. In this lecture, Tigay will talk about his first book, The Lost Book of Moses: The Hunt for the World’s Oldest Bible, which tells the story of the oldest Bible in the world, how its outing as a fraud led to a scandalous death, and why archaeologists now believe it was real—if only they could find it. In addition to the story of this controversial Bible, Tigay will speak about his own hunt for the...
Join the Harvard Semitic Museum for a public lecture with Elizabeth Minor, Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at Wellesley College.
The Kerma Kingdom was an ancient Nubian civilization located in present-day Sudan. Its capital, the city of Kerma, had monumental architecture and religious art depicting deities in the form of lions, scorpions, and hybrid figures such as winged giraffes and hippopotamus goddesses. During the Classic Kerma Period (1700–1550 BCE), funerary monuments of Kerman kings could be up to one hundred meters long and included hundreds of...
Gund Hall, 485 Broadway Lecture Hall, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge
This lecture, in memorium of James Sloss Ackerman, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Art Emeritus, is sponsored by the Department of History of Art and Architecture and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
James Sloss Ackerman was born in 1919 in San Francisco. At Yale University his professor, Henri Focillon, wrote to him “Remain faithful to our studies for which you are so well suited.” Ackerman's graduate work focusing on Renaissance architecture was guided by Richard Krautheimer and Erwin Panofsky at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. His...
This panel discussion with two leading Jewish cultural historians examines the remarkable contributions and tragic death of the great actor, theater director, playwright, visionary of Yiddish culture, and Jewish activist Solomon (Shloyme) Mikhoels (1890–1948).
Born Shloyme Vovsi in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Latvia), the genius actor Mikhoels became the chief director of the State Jewish Theater in Moscow. During World War II, he served as chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Mikhoels’ assassination by Stalin’s secret police, although officially billed as an accident,...
Egyptian mummies and the remains found in ancient canopic jars can now be studied in great detail using noninvasive medical imaging techniques such as X-rays and computerized tomography, and chemical analysis using gas chromatography–mass spectrometry.
Drawing from interdisciplinary research conducted in the Valley of the Kings and Egyptian museum collections, Frank Rühli will discuss the value of using state-of-the-art technologies for understanding the life conditions, pathologies, death, and mummification procedures of ancient Egyptians. He will also address ethical...
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden St., Cambridge
This event is to celebrate the launch of a collaborative project, the Judy Chicago Research Portal, and to discuss the role of portals in providing access to feminist art archives.
The Judy Chicago Portal will be presented, challenges in the technology of portal development will be discussed, and Christina Schlesinger and Judy Chicago will discuss the importance of preserving feminist art archives.