Between the paws of the great Sphinx is the Dream Stela, a monument which describes how a young prince fell asleep in the shadow of the Sphinx by the Giza Pyramids. Visitors to the Harvard Semitic Museum galleries will be able to experience the iconic Sphinx and its Dream Stela in 3D augmented reality.
A gallery facilitator will use a tablet to allow the Sphinx to loom above and around a real life-size cast of the monumental stela. With a tap, the ancient hieroglyphs will be highlighted and translated into English. Another tap to adjust the timeline later, and a pyramid will...
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...
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge
Resetting the Table: Food and Our Changing Tastes 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.
One dinner served in 1910 will form the centerpiece—literally—of Resetting the Table. The historical and cultural roots of the foods on the menu, and the privileged context of their presentation, will be explored. Selections from ten University collections will reveal the long history...
Facilities director Peter Atkinson will take visitors on a 60-minute architectural tour of the museums, highlighting the strategies and stories behind the evolution of the recently renovated building, with a special focus on its environmentally conscious, certified LEED Gold design.
Free with museums’ admission (Note: Cambridge residents, all students, youth under age 18, and Massachusetts K-12 teachers get in free to the Harvard Art Museums). This tour is limited to 15 people and tickets are required. Ten minutes before the tour, tickets...
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,...
"Travel" in fifteen minutes to an archaeological site in Ashkelon, Israel to explore the first-ever excavation of a Philistine burial ground. For years archaeologists have searched for evidence of these Biblical people. Transport yourself to the center of 360° scenes of an archaeological expedition while your gallery facilitator explains what you are seeing. Borrow a device from the museum or download the virtual reality app on your smart phone and bring it to place in a 3D viewer at the museum for an immersive experience.
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.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Knafel Center, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge
Tomiko Brown-Nagin, Imani Perry, and Robert Reid-Pharr will join in conversation to discuss how their work as biographers speaks to key contemporary discussions about black politics, community, identity, and life.
Perry will consider her recent book, Looking for Lorraine: The Radiant and Radical Life of Lorraine Hansberry (Beacon Press, 2018), while Reid-Pharr and Brown-Nagin will share perspectives from their own research, writing, and forthcoming books on, respectively, James Baldwin and Constance Baker Motley.
Why are the noses broken on Egyptian statues? Why were other sculpted body parts, including eyes, mouths, arms, and feet, purposely shattered in antiquity? Focusing on the ancient world of the pharaohs and on the Late Antique world that emerged following Egyptian conversion to Christianity, Edward Bleiberg (Senior Curator of Egyptian, Classical, and Ancient Near Eastern Art at Brooklyn Museum) will examine the patterns of damage inflicted on Egyptian images for personal, political, religious, and criminal reasons. He will also highlight how close inspection of statue damage can...
Harvard Graduate School of Design, Gund Hall, Stubbins Room 112, 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge
Join the Harvard Graduate School of Design for a lecture delivered by Philip Ursprung, Professor of the History of Art and Architecture at ETH Zürich, Switzerland.
For the 100th birthday of Bauhaus, the German State supports two new museums, several exhibitions, and many celebrations. However, the current celebrations repress the fact that the Bauhaus in the late 20th century was criticized for its formalism and dogmatic design education. And while a...
How can we retain the strength of our identities when our language is attacked, denied, or just lost through lack of practice and resources? How can we ensure that culturally and linguistically sustainable practices are embedded in our teaching, parenting, and social activities? Join the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology for a free panel discussion, watch short animations, view children's books, and discuss ways to support multicultural communities using these tools.
Join the Davis Center for a film screening of Volga Volga.
Volga Volga (Волга-Волга) is typical of the escapist musical comedies directed by Russian filmmaker Gregori Alexandrov. The film's star is Alexandrov's wife Lubov Orlova, here playing a physical culturalist named Strelka. The hero is Byvalov (Igor Hinsky), an itinerant musical-instrument manufacturer who dreams of forming his own orchestra.
Directed by Grigori Alexandrov (1938). Running time 108 minutes. Russian language film with English subtitles.
Join the Davis Center for a film screening of Carnival Night.
Carnival Night (Карнавальная ночь) managed to satirize Soviet life without offending the Politburo and was a box office hit. It’s New Year’s Eve at the House of Culture and the young stage performers in charge of entertainment are ready to put on a festive performance with singing, dancing, and magic tricks. Unfortunately, Comrade Ogurtsov (Igor Ilyinsky) arrives in time to review and disapprove of the scheduled entertainment. His idea of fun is playing serious classical music and reading...
Prolific director Grigori Alexandrov scored his first major success with Jolly Fellows (Весёлые ребята). Alexandrov's wife, Lyubov Orlova, stars as Aniuta, a servant who falls in love with musically gifted young shepherd named Kostia (Leonid Utyosov). Aniuta is laboring under the misapprehension that Kostia is a famous conductor, and he certainly isn't about to set her straight.
Alexandrov's bubbling-over ebullience and clever staging of musical numbers is a welcome relief from the dogmatic Russian propaganda pieces then in vogue. The film, one of the first Soviet...
Free, fun, family activities allow visitors to explore arts from the ancient Near East! Activities change daily: construct models of an Egyptian pyramid, inscribe clay tablets, or decode hieroglyphics.
Activities take place on the first floor of the Harvard Semitic Museum. This HMSC museum explores the rich history of cultures connected by the family of Semitic languages. Exhibitions include a full-scale replica of an ancient Israelite home, life-sized casts of famous Mesopotamian monuments, authentic mummy coffins, and tablets containing the earliest forms of writing.
Harvard Art Museums, Art Study Center, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge
The Harvard Art Museums Archives is participating in Cambridge Open Archives, an annual event that offers the rare chance to visit a number of unique archives and collecting agencies in Cambridge. In the Art Study Center, select archival photographs, correspondence, and objects documenting the history of the museums’ teaching mission and its wider impact in the United States will be on display for close examination. Archives staff will be on hand to share the stories behind the materials.
Cost: Free with museums admission (note that admission is always free...
Jen Thum, the Inga Maren Otto Curatorial Fellow in the Division of Academic and Public Programs, will give this gallery talk.
The Harvard Arts Museums galleries are full of stories—this series of drop-in talks gives visitors a chance to hear the best ones! The talks highlight new works on view, take a fresh look at old favorites, investigate artists’ materials and techniques, and reveal the latest discoveries by curators, conservators, fellows, visiting artists, technologists, and other contributors.
Free with museums admission. Gallery talks are limited to 15...
The town of Teotitlán Del Valle in the Mexican state of Oaxaca is renowned for its weaving traditions and its importance as a Zapotec cultural center. Porfirio Gutiérrez will examine the rich history of Zapotec weaving from the perspective of its practitioners. He will also discuss his studio’s role in preserving and promoting the use of natural dyes in his community, and abroad, using pigments derived from plants and insects.