Exhibitions & Ongoing Events

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This Month at the MHS

 
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September 2013

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    • Building ClosedLabor Day
      Building ClosedLabor Day
      all day The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day. details
          • Exhibition"The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind"
            ends Exhibition"The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind"
            10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

            Letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education will be on display from 13 June through 7 September.

            this event is free details
          • ExhibitionThe Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusett...
            ends ExhibitionThe Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society
            10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

            Object of HistoryPortraits, needlework, firearms, clothing, furniture, silver, scientific instruments, documents, and books from the Society's collections will be on display.

            this event is free details
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            • Public Program, Author TalkThe Great Dissent
              Public Program, Author TalkThe Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind & Changed the History of Free Speech in America
              12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Thomas Healy

              Law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs Oliver Wendell Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero.

              this event is free details
              • Public Program, Author TalkHistory Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right
                Public Program, Author TalkHistory Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right
                6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University

                A talk by Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History emeritus at Harvard University.

                Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required details
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                        • Brown BagManufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Fed...
                          Brown BagManufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840
                          12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University this event is free details
                        • Public Program, Author TalkSmuggler Nation
                          Public Program, Author TalkSmuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America
                          6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Peter Andreas, Brown University

                          Smuggler NationProviding a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is the first book to retell the story of America as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce.

                          Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required details
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                              • Public Program, Author TalkCity Water, City Life
                                Public Program, Author TalkCity Water, City Life: The Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Boston
                                6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Carl Smith, Northwestern University

                                City Water, City LifeCarl Smith will discuss how a city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of political, economic, and social institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created it.

                                Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required details
                              • Public Program, Author TalkAmy Lowell Anew
                                Public Program, Author TalkAmy Lowell Anew
                                12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Carl Rollyson, Baruch College this event is free details
                              • Immigration and Urban History SeminarEmergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880...
                                Immigration and Urban History SeminarEmergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880-1940
                                5:15 PM - 7:30 PM John Logan, Brown University Comment: William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

                                This study revisits and revises the widely held view that before the Great Migration blacks in the urban North did not experience the segregating processes that later created black ghettos. It is largely based on quantitative analyses of newly available census data using GIS methods to map black and white residential patterns over time.    

                                Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                details
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                                        this event is free Exhibition

                                        "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind"

                                        13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                        Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

                                        Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

                                        In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

                                        this event is free Exhibition

                                        The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society

                                        13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                        Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                        Object of HistoryWhat is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

                                        2 September 2013 Building Closed

                                        Labor Day

                                        all day
                                        The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

                                        The MHS will be closed Saturday, 31 August, and Monday, 2 September, in observance of Labor Day.

                                        4 September 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                        Brahmin Capitalism: Bankers, Populists, and the Making of the Modern American Economy

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Noam Maggor, Vanderbilt University

                                        This project charts the business and politics of Boston’s late-nineteenth-century transformation from an anchor of an industrial region into the second largest banking center in North America. It explores how a vanguard of financiers from the city’s old elite created a wide-ranging network of capital flows that funded railroads, mines, agriculture, and industry across the continent, and how this process of capital migration, in turn, redefined urban politics on the local level. Far from seamless, this transformation triggered an array of political controversies over the priorities of city government, and more broadly, over the future shape of American capitalism.

                                        9 September 2013 this event is free Public Program, Author Talk

                                        The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind & Changed the History of Free Speech in America

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Thomas Healy

                                        Free speech as we know it comes less from the First Amendment than from a most unexpected source: Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. Law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. It is the story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking—and a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends.

                                        11 September 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                        Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling

                                        This talk will examine the different types of friendships presented in New England's print culture during the pre-Revolutionary era. Although there is a continuity of interpersonal elements inherently understood about friendship, it is the normative social construction that is particular to time and place. This is perceptible in the popularity of certain texts and characters, in how they were received by New England colonists and how they represented nuances of friendship during the period.

                                        12 September 2013 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Author Talk

                                        History Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right

                                        6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                        Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Bernard Bailyn, Harvard University

                                        A talk by Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History emeritus at Harvard University. His books include The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600–1675; The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, which received the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes; The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson, which won the National Book Award for History; and Voyagers to the West, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

                                        To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

                                        18 September 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                        Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Lindsay Schakenbach, Brown University

                                        This project examines the process by which the federal government made possible the rise of the Waltham-Lowell system, the first integrated factory system in the United States. While this predecessor to modern industry is typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, it also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. This research is part of her dissertation, which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism by analyzing the development of the New England arms and textile industries in the context of federal patronage and expanding U.S. geopolitical dominance in the Americas.

                                        18 September 2013 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Author Talk

                                        Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America

                                        6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                        Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Peter Andreas, Brown University

                                        Smuggler NationProviding a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present, Smuggler Nation is the first book to retell the story of America as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. As Peter Andreas demonstrates, smuggling has played a pivotal role in America's birth, westward expansion, and economic development, while anti-smuggling campaigns have enhanced the federal government's policing powers.

                                        Peter Andreas is Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on the intersection between security, political economy, and cross-border crime in comparative and historical perspective. His books include, Blue Helmets and Black Markets: The Business of Survival in the Siege of Sarajevo (2008); Policing the Globe: Criminalization and Crime Control in International Relations (2006); and Border Games: Policing the U.S.-Mexico Divide (2nd edition 2009).

                                        To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

                                        19 September 2013 this event is free

                                        Graduate Student Reception

                                        6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

                                        Calling all graduate students and faculty! Please plan to join us for our fourth annual Graduate Student Reception. This is a wonderful opportunity for students in history, American Studies, and related fields to meet people from other universities, enjoy great refreshments, and learn about the resources that the MHS has to offer. Last year students from more than a dozen universities participated. This event is free of charge; RSVP required: phone 617-646-0568 or email kviens@masshist.org.

                                        23 September 2013 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Author Talk

                                        City Water, City Life: The Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Boston

                                        6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                        Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Carl Smith, Northwestern University

                                        City Water, City LifeThis talk will discuss how a city is more than a massing of citizens, a layout of buildings and streets, or an arrangement of political, economic, and social institutions. It is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspirations of the people who created it. In no instance was this more the case than in the construction of Boston’s first comprehensive public waterworks, the Cochituate aqueduct system, which opened on 25 October 1848.

                                        Carl Smith is the Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches American literature and cultural history. He is the author of numerous books, including Chicago and the American Literary Imagination, 1880-1920 (1984) and of Urban Disorder and the Shape of Belief: The Great Chicago Fire, the Haymarket Bomb, and the Model Town of Pullman (1994), which won the Urban History Association's prize for Best Book in North American Urban History and the Society of Midland Authors' first prize for non-fiction. His most recent book, The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City (2006), won the Lewis Mumford Prize for Best Book in Planning History, given by the Society of American City, Regional, and Planning History.

                                        To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

                                        24 September 2013 this event is free Public Program, Author Talk

                                        Amy Lowell Anew

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Carl Rollyson, Baruch College

                                        The controversial American poet Amy Lowell (1874–1925) excelled as the impresario for the “new poetry” that became news across the U.S. in the years after World War I. This provocative new biography restores Amy Lowell to her full humanity in an era that, at last, is beginning to appreciate the contributions of gays and lesbians to America’s cultural heritage.

                                        Carl Rollyson, professor of journalism at Baruch College, will focus on the discovery of letters in the Society’s collections that altered his understanding of the shape and significance of the poet’s life. Rollyson has published more than 40 books ranging in subject matter from biographies of Marilyn Monroe, Lillian Hellman, Martha Gellhorn, Norman Mailer, Rebecca West, Susan Sontag, Jill Craigie, Dana Andrews, Sylvia Plath, and Amy Lowell to studies of American culture, genealogy, children's biography, film and literary criticism.

                                        24 September 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                                        Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                                        Immigration and Urban History Seminar

                                        Emergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880-1940

                                        5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                                        John Logan, Brown University Comment: William Julius Wilson, Harvard University

                                        Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

                                        Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

                                        25 September 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                        Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity

                                        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                        Louisa Thomas, author of Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family--A Test of Will and Faith in World War I (2011)

                                        This program will present research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, especially focusing on new evidence about her background. It will also explore tensions in her writings, in an attempt to understand her better as a Johnson, as an Adams, and simply as herself. 


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