This Week @ MHS
It is another busy week here at the MHS now that public program season is in full swing. On Friday, 4 October, our new exhibition opened to the public. Be sure to come in soon to see "The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections," on display six days per week, Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM.
On Tuesday, 8 October, the Society presents its first Environmental History Seminar of the season. Starting at 5:15PM, John Lauritz Larson of Purdue University will present "From Wilderness Environments to Well-Ordered Plantations: The Gifts of God Perfected by Industry." Comment provided by Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University. Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing email@example.com or phoning 617-646-0568. Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
Then, on Wednesday, 9 October, come by at noon for "An Empire of Fakes: Counterfeit Goods in Eighteenth-Century America." This project by Catherine Cangany of the University of Notre Dame investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of spurious merchandise in early Anglo-America. The work reclaims forgotten commercial actors and networks and downplays the primacy of mercantilism to emphasize individualism. This individualism may have been the more important commercial doctrine, given that the underground economy constituted half of all economic transactions in this period. Brown Bag Lunch talks are free and open to the public.
And on Wednesday evening, join us at 6:00PM for "Behind the Scenes at the Museum: The Curator's View of 'Boston Furniture from Private Collections.'" This presentation will offer an opportunity to learn about and tour this loan exhibition of more than 40 rarely seen examples of Boston furniture from ca. 1690 to ca. 1900 with guest curator Gerald W.R. Ward, the Katherine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30PM. Registration is required for this event. Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online.
On Thursday, 10 October, the MHS will sponsor another seminar, this time from the History of Women and Gender series. Beginning at 5:30PM and taking place at the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University, Kate Dossett of the University of Leeds presents "'Qualified Women': Women, Performance and Political Labor in the New Deal," with comment provided by Susan Ware, General Editor of American National Biography. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers. To RSVP for this program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 617-646-0568.
Finally, on Saturday, 12 October, visit the Society for The History and Collections of the MHS, a 90-minute docent-led tour that explores all of the public rooms in the building will touching on the art, architecture, history, and collections of the Society. The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or email@example.com.
| Published: Sunday, 6 October, 2013, 7:00 PM
This Week @ MHS
It is a busy week here at the Society with a variety of public programs for your enjoyment, so clear your calendar and check out ours!
Starting the week off on Tuesday, 1 October, is the first event of the season from our Early American History Seminar series. Join us as Karin A. Wulf of William and Mary College presents a "Town Hall Meeting with the New Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture." This town hall meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the present and future of the OIEAHC. Through conferences, fellowships, and publications including the William and Mary Quarterly, the institute fosters scholarship on colonial and early national American history as well as the Atlantic world. Wulf began her tenure on 1 July. Be sure to RSVP for this program by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Program begins at 5:15PM.
On Wednesday, 2 October, come in at noon for a Brown Bag Lunch talk. This week, Marisa Benoit of Oxford University presents "New England Teares, for Old England's Feares: Comparing Attitudes Toward Infertility in Early Modern England and Colonial New England." Through analysis of a wide variety of sources from 1650 to 1750, this comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in colonial New England and early modern England examines two societies linked by cultural and religious norms but facing different challenges. These challenges are explored by analyzing infertility's representation in popular, religious, and medical literature and personal writings from both societies. Analysis of these representations of infertility provides a different angle through which to view the links between "Old" and New England, a relationship often described through reproductive language, while highlighting the connections between the sources themselves. The topic provides the opportunity to untangle the web of emerging anatomical discoveries, social ideas about gender relations, the family, and the importance of children, and religious ideas about generation that characterized attitudes toward reproduction in the early modern period. This event if free and open to the public. Pack a lunch and come on by!
Thursday, 3 October, will see the preliminary unveiling of the Society's newest exhibition. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for "The Cabinetmaker & the Carver," beginning at 6:00PM. This exhibit provides visitors with an opportunity to view nearly 50 examples of rarely seen furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from the late-17th century to about 1900, these privately held treasures, generously lent by their owners, provide a look at the trajectory of cabinetmaking in the Hub.Tickets are $25 (no charge for MHS Fund Giving Circle members) and RSVP is required. To register by phone or e-mail, call 617-646-0552 or e-mail email@example.com.
This exhibit opens to the public on Friday, 4 October, and will be on display Monday through Saturday, 10:00AM to 4:00PM, until 17 January 2014. The furniture pieces are supplemented with documents, portraits, and other material from the Society's collections that help place them in historical context.
Coinciding with the public opening of the exhibition, also on Friday, 4 October, is "New Thoughts on Old Things: Four centuries of Furnishing the Northeast." This day-long symposium, co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the MHS, is devoted to new scholarly research on the design, production, and circulation of furnishings in New England. The program will feature keynote speaker Glenn Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, along with a select group of emerging scholars. Taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts and beginning at 10:00AM, the symposium is free with admission to the museum. Advanced ticketing is recommended. For information, please contact Lauren Spengler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Society's exhibition and the public symposium are presented as part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture, a collaborative project of the MHS and ten other institutions that features exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations, and publications to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making. Visit fourcenturies.org to learn more.
Finally, on Saturday, 6 October, the MHS, in collaboration with the National Archives at Boston and Massachusetts History Day, will present "Painless: A Survival Guide to the 'Dreaded' History Project." This free workshop for teachers, students, librarians, and archivists explores how to approach primary source research in special libraries and archives through a range of historical documents including letters, diaries, songs, petitions, and government records. The workshop will take place at the National Archives in Waltham and begins at 9:00AM. For more information, or to register, please contact Kathleen Barker at the Massachusetts Historical Society: email@example.com or 617-646-0557.
Attention researchers: The library of the MHS will close at 3:30PM on Thursday, 3 October.
| Published: Tuesday, 1 October, 2013, 7:01 AM
This week @ MHS
During this last week of September, as we edge closer to the unveiling of our next major exhibition, there is a spate of public programs here at the MHS for you to come in and enjoy. Kicking things off on Monday, 23 September, is "City Water, City Life: The Infrastructure of Ideas in Urbanizing Boston." In this public author talk, Carl Smith of Northwestern University discusses 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. Using as illustration the construction of Boston's first comprehensive public waterworks, the Cochituate aqueduct system which opened in October 1848, Smith shows how a city is also an infrastructure of ideas, an embodiment of the beliefs, values, and aspiration of the people who created it. Carl Smith is the Franklyn Bliss Snyder Professor of English & American Studies at Northwestern University where he teaches American literature and cultural history. This talk is open to the public and registration is required. Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). To Register: Please call 617-646-0560 or register online. Program begins at 6:00 PM with a pre-talk reception at 5:30 PM.
On Tuesday, 24 September, Carl Rollyson, professor of journalism at Baruch College, presents "Amy Lowell Anew." In this author talk, Rollyson focuses on the discovery of letters in the Society's collections that altered his understanding of the shape and significance of the life of the controversial American poet, Amy Lowell (1874-1925). Lowell 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. This program is free and open to the public and begins at 12:00 PM.
Also on Tuesday is this season's first seminar in the Immigration and Urban History series. Join us at 5:15 PM as John Logan of Brown University presents "Emergent Ghettos: Black Neighborhoods in New York and Chicago, 1880-1940." William Julius Wilson of Harvard University will provide comment. RSVP is required for this event. Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. 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 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.
Finally, on Wednesday, 25 September, stop by at 12:00 PM for a free Brown Bag discussion as author Louis Thomas presents "Narrative of a Journey: Louisa Catherine Adams and the Vexed Question of Identity." In this talk, Thomas will discuss research from a forthcoming biography of Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, 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. Brown Bag talks are free and open to the public. Pack a snack and drop in for the discussion!
| Published: Monday, 23 September, 2013, 7:12 AM
This Week @ MHS
It is time, once again, for the roundup of events to come this week here at the MHS.
First up, on Wednesday, 18 September, is a Brown Bag lunch talk, presented by Lindsay Schakenbach of Brown University. "Manufacturing Advantage: Boston Merchant-Industrialists and the Federal Government, 1790-1840" is a project that 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. Typically viewed as a product of merchant wealth and innovative entrepreneurship, this predecessor to modern industry also benefited from federal support in the form of diplomacy, national expansion, and patent legislation. Schakenbach's research is part of her dissertation which seeks to explain the early republican transition from merchant to industrial capitalism through analysis of 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. This talk begins at 12:00 PM and is free and open to the public.
Also on Wednesday the MHS hosts an author talk featuring another member of the Brown University community. In "Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America," author Peter Andreas provides a sweeping narrative history from colonial times to the present. It is the first book to retell the story of America as a series of highly contentious battles over clandestine commerce. Andreas demonstrates how 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. 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. Registration is required for this event at a cost of $10 per person (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members). To register, please call 617-646-0560 or click here. Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30 PM and the program begins at 6:00 PM.
And on Thursday, 19 September, at 6:00 PM the Society welcomes graduate students and faculty from the Boston area for a Graduate Student Reception. This event is an 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 but RSVP is required. Please call 617-646-0568 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Published: Sunday, 15 September, 2013, 7:00 PM
This Week @ MHS
With the summer fading out, we closed two exhibitions here at the Society last week as preparations begin for the next major installation. In the meantime there are a few public programs to fill the void.
Kicking off the week on Monday, 9 September, is an author talk presented by law professor and writer, Thomas Healy. Mr. Healy will discuss his recent publication "The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changes His Mind & Changed the History of Free Specch in America." This is a story of a remarkable behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring a legal icon around to their way of thinking. Mr. Healy reconstructs Supreme Court Justice Holmes' journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero in a deeply touching human narrative of an old man saved from loneliness and despair by a few unlikely young friends. The talk is free and open to the public and begins at 12:00pm.
On Wednesday, 11 September, come in for a Brown Bag Lunch talk in which Jill Bouchillon, University of Stirling, discusses her research into "Friendship in Colonial New England, 1750-1775." Ms. Bouchillon's research examines the different types of friendships presented in New England's pre-Revolutionary era print culture. While some interpersonal elements about friendship are inherently understood, the normative social construction of friendship is particular to this time and place. 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 illustrate these constructions and norms. This Brown Bag talk is free and open to the public, beginning at 12:00pm. Pack a lunch and join us!
Finally, on Thursday, 12 September, another author talk takes place, this time at 6:00pm. This talk is presented by Pulitzer Prize-winning author/historian Bernard Bailyn, Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History emeritus at Harvard University. Mr. Bailyn will present "History Matters: Reflections on Efforts to Make It Come out Right." Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30pm. Registration is required for this event at a cost of $10 per person (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online.
| Published: Sunday, 8 September, 2013, 5:00 PM