In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered Endangered, Threatened, and Rare. In this talk, we will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts, and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change.
We will discuss how collection trips are planned—and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts—while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process. A large focus will be plant propagation...
Can you slither, hop, jump, climb, or even fly? How would you do these things with zero, two, four, or even a hundred legs? As winter melts away and warmer springtime weather blows in, all animals big and small are as excited to get out and move around as we are! Join human museum staffers Javier and Ryan in this live 45-minute family program as they discuss and take a look at some of our amazing animals in motion.
Advance registration for this family friendly program is required.
Bruce Allyn applies insight from the fields of negotiation and mediation to define practical steps that both US and Russian sides can take today to realize both individual and shared interests in a relationship that has descended into bitter enmity. We will look at how to "zoom out" to big-picture strategy—realizing what is at stake—and how to "zoom in" to Vladimir Putin the negotiator: his formative years, his heroes, his psychology, his intentions and current aspirations.
Allyn will examine practical steps to break the cycle of offense and revenge that has...
In 1943, the museum was gifted 25 stone fragments from the Tianlongshan cave temples in China’s northern Shanxi province. Beginning in the late 1920s, the reliefs and sculptures were removed from the site and published by art dealer Sadajirō Yamanaka, sparking interest among collectors worldwide. This talk will highlight a collaboration with Harvard students that investigates the creation of the works, their meaning in Buddhist medieval China, their sale and journey to their current home, and the ravaged site they left behind.
Been to a lot of online meetings lately? Feeling like many are a waste of time? Don't let people think this about your meetings! Learn how to prepare for a productive, well organized meeting and set an engaging meeting culture.
This seminar will explore how photographers from the Civil War era constructed landscapes of slavery. What symbols and facts did they draw upon, and what narratives and interpretations were they in dialogue with and which did they promote?
Lilacs come in a wide range of color, size, flower form, and leaf. Arnold Arboretum docent Chris McArdle will take you on a free, virtual tour of many of these varieties, by way of images from the actual plants in our landscape. From her long years of experience in the lilac collection, and as a docent, she will introduce you to many fascinating histories, anecdotes, as well as the people instrumental in bringing us these much-anticipated May bloomers. From their 17th century beginning in North America, up to some fabulous present-day cultivars, you will experience the breadth of our...
A seminar with Michael Hoffman, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, on his new book Faith in Numbers: Religion, Sectarianism, and Democracy from Oxford University Press.
Why does religion sometimes increase support for democracy and sometimes do just the opposite? Faith in Numbers presents a theory of religion, group interest, and democracy. Focusing on communal religion, it demonstrates that the effect of communal prayer on support for democracy depends on the interests of the religious group in question. For members of...
The fable of the 19th-century European “discovery” of Japanese prints and their catalytic effect on Impressionist painting is by now comfortably worn, threadbare even. But what were painters in Europe actually encountering?
In this talk, curator Rachel Saunders will take a close look at a major new acquisition that shines a distinctly different light on European interest in “Japanese art,” and the ways in which this new category was constructed in Japan itself.
One of the best documented Egyptian rituals—occurring in both cultic and funerary contexts—is known as the Opening of the Mouth ritual. Performing this ritual was believed to animate statues and temples, while also restoring the senses of the deceased, thus ensuring that they could eat, drink, and breathe in the afterlife. Textual and iconographic references to the ritual are found in different time periods, from the Old Kingdom through the Roman Period.
In this lecture, Mariam Ayad uses the Opening of the Mouth ritual as a case study to illustrate the power of imagery and the...
The Harvard Art Museums collections have played an important role in the popular undergraduate course Stories from the End of the World, taught by Harvard Divinity School professor Giovanni Bazzana. This fascinating course, which is part of the Harvard College Program in General Education, explores why humans have always imagined the end of their worlds. In this conversation, Professor Bazzana and Jen Thum of the Harvard Art Museums will discuss their recent online collaboration for the course and what students learned about artists’ apocalyptic inspirations over time.
Maintaining ponds is messy business! Join Associate Project Manager Danny Schissler to learn about the history and upcoming restoration of two of the Arnold Arboretum's most well-loved water bodies, Faxon and Rehder Ponds. Both provide habitat for wildlife and visual delight for humans, and also are part of an essential drainage network within the Arboretum’s landscape.
Consider the spider: eight legs, eight eyes, and a brain the size of a poppy seed. These are some of nature’s most amazing and charismatic creatures, and yet we know so little about their worlds. Paul Shamble will discuss the lives, habits, and marvelous morphologies of these animals—from sensory structures and cognition to locomotion and behavior. Understanding these creatures helps us better understand evolution and diversity—and leads us to ask what it means that even tiny animals inhabit complex lives.
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard—Online
Ana Paiva is a computer science professor at Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, and is investigating the design of intelligent interactive systems by creating “social agents'' that can interact with humans in a natural manner. Over the years, she has developed this field by engineering social agents that exhibit specific capabilities, including emotions, personality, culture, nonverbal behavior, empathy, and collaboration, among others.
Join Paiva to learn about her current investigation into the conditions and mechanisms that drive societies of agents and...
Celebrate International Crow and Raven Appreciation Day by taking a virtual swoop through the Peabody Museum. These smart birds play games with each other, display anger and friendliness, and appear in cultural tales from around the world. Flap like a real raven with museum educator Javier Marin and learn more about the birds’ characteristics. Find ravens drawn or carved in Alaskan Native art, enjoy a read-aloud Tlingit tale and make a paper craft with Andy Majewski.
Due to popular demand, we are offering another session of this free webinar. Led by naturalist and conservationist, Michael Wojtech, you'll learn to identify tree species by their bark and discover why such a variety of bark characteristics exist. Why do some species have smooth bark, while on others it is thick and broken? Why does bark peel? Join us to find out!
This session includes brief talks, followed by a roundtable discussion, by academics and museum professionals who focus on Dutch and American art and history. Speakers will discuss specific objects—ranging from the 17th to the 21st century—that have posed interpretive and museological challenges. They will also present new possibilities for considering the relationship between slavery’s past and present-day racial injustice.
This is the fourth and final session of Art Museums and the Legacies of the Dutch Slave Trade: Curating Histories, Envisioning Futures, presented...
For generations, Americans have looked to education as the solution to economic disadvantage. Yet, although more people are earning degrees, the gap between rich and poor is widening. Cristina Groeger delves into the history of this seeming contradiction, explaining how education came to be seen as a panacea even as it paved the way for deepening inequality.
Renowned writer Jamaica Kincaid and groundbreaking visual artist Rosana Paulino will discuss their explorations of the legacies of slavery in their work. They will be joined in conversation by eminent art historian Cheryl Finley.
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.