American instincts oscillate between the allure of the city and that of life free of city stress; between the temptations of the metropolis, and bucolic retreat from those very centers of civic life. Such oscillation, occurring across American history, have on the one hand enabled the building of Manhattan, the ‘Capital of Capitalism’ (and culture, too) and the invention of the ‘garden suburb’ where family grace was to dwell, prior to metastasizing into sprawl.
Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian—Online
Join the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian for a virtual Public Observatory Night with guest lecturer Donavan Moore, author of "What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin."
It was not easy being a woman of ambition in early twentieth-century England, much less one who wished to be a scientist. Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin overcame prodigious obstacles to become a woman of many firsts: the first to receive a PhD in astronomy from Radcliffe College, the first promoted to full professor at Harvard, the first to head a department there. And, in what...
Presenter: Willeke Wendrich, Joan Silsbee Chair of African Cultural Archaeology; Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Digital Humanities, University of California, Los Angeles
Archaeologists study stylistic and technological changes in excavated materials—especially pottery—to better understand developments in ancient Egyptian society. However, little attention has focused on using the archaeological record to understand the transfer of cultural knowledge. How did people learn the arts and crafts of potters, basket makers, metalworkers, and scribes?...
Mesopotamian Monuments is a 60-minute live-streamed museum visit to investigate monuments from Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria exhibited at Harvard University. Guided by a museum educator, visitors at home observe sculptures in the gallery to understand the characteristics of these ancient river civilizations. The tour introduces the Sumerian ruler Gudea, Hammurabi of Babylon and the Assyrian Kings Ashurnasirpal II and his son Shalmaneser III. The experience includes the monument of Hammurabis' code and some ancient music with time for questions and discussion.
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.
Pour a libation of your choice–beer was popular in the Ancient Near East–and join this live virtual tour of the exhibition From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Monuments. The museum showcases newly fabricated casts from the ancient scenes that once adorned palace walls in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). Meticulously created by museum curators and Harvard students, these relief sculptures show how the ancient kings commemorated their military triumphs and civic achievements. For ancient audiences, these scenes presented powerful royal propaganda. For modern audiences,...
Join Craig Mazin, Screenwriter and Film Director and Serhii Plokhii, Director, Ukrainian Research Institute, and Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard University for What Is the Cost of Lies? A conversation with HBO Chernobyl writer and creator Craig Mazin.
This event will be streamed live on YouTube. Please join us and contribute to the conversation via the chat function.
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
This exhibit explores how early Harvard scholars influenced the development of anthropology and archaeology in the Pacific region. Produced in collaboration with over thirty other museums around the world, Harvard’s contributing exhibit will feature historical images and objects from the Peabody collections, including intricately carved Fijian clubs, models of distinctive Pacific outriggers, and a striking example of Samoan bark cloth (siapo). Together they weave a compelling narrative about the ideas, people, and networks pivotal to both early understandings and ongoing studies...
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.
Dovlatov follows a few days in the life of famed Soviet writer, Sergei Dovlatov, on the eve of his friend's, future Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky, emigration in 1971. Sergei is determined to stay and lead a normal life with his wife Elena and daughter Katya, however, his manuscripts are regularly rejected by the official media as his point of view is deemed undesirable.
Dovlatov premiered at the 2018 Berlin International Film Festival, where it was awarded a Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution for costume and production design. Directed by...
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.
Painting Edo—one of the largest exhibitions ever presented at the Harvard Art Museums—offers a window onto the supremely rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era. Selected from the unparalleled collection of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, the more than 120 works in the exhibition connect visitors with a seminal moment in the history of Japan, as the country settled into an era of peace under the warrior government of the shoguns and opened its doors to greater engagement with the outside world. The dizzying array of artistic lineages and studios active during the Edo...
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...