This Week @ MHS
As we edge closer to the New Year, the MHS offers a slew of public programming this week.
First up, on Tuesday, 10 December, is a panel discussion. "Telling Environmental History," will explore different ways of presenting environmental history, including the use of GIS, the intersection of environmental history and planning history, incorporating visual materials, and environmental history as narrative. Anthony Penna of Northeastern University will moderate the panel comprised of Brian Donahue of Brandeis University, Karl Haglund of the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Megan Kate Nelson of Brown University, and Aaron Sachs of Cornell University. Seminars are free and open to the public though, RSVP required. Discussion begins at 5:15PM.
On Wednesday, 11 December, at 12:00PM is a Brown Bag lunch talk focused on a piece of colonial history. Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College, presents "The Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native Northeast." The late 17th-century conflict known as King Philip's War has haunted colonial New Englanders and diverse tribal communities. Their remembrances of this violence have taken shape in highly local ways, through material objects, performances, and stories about landscapes. This study highlights the importance of such overlooked sources for understanding the persistent, widespread effects of warfare and settler colonialism in the Northeast. Brown Bag talks are free and open to the public so come on in and have a piece of history with your lunch.
Also on Wednesday is a public program presented by students of the Boston University course "Making History." During this presentation, "Making History: The Salem Witch Trials in Documents & Artifacts," the students discuss the MHS exhibition that they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on Salem and the wider fear of witches in England and colonial America includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects form the period. James H. Johnson, who teaches the course and will facilitate the program, is Professor of History and a prize-winning author. This program is free and open to the public though registration is required. Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM and the program starts at 6:00. To register at no cost, please call 617-646-0560 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And on Thursday, 12 December, join us for the second seminar of the week, this time a part of the History of Women and Gender series. Beginning at 5:30PM, Amy Kesselman of SUNY, New Paltz, presents "Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles." In the early 1970s lawsuit Abele v. Markle, Women versus Connecticut coupled litigation with grassroots organizing in a strategy that stimulated public discussion of reproductive rights and brought women’s experiences of Connecticut’s abortion laws to bear on what went on in the courtroom. The story illustrates the role of the feminist reproductive rights movement in shaping Roe v. Wade. Linda Gordon of New York University will provide comment for the discussion. This seminar is free and open to the public, RSVP required.
Rounding out the week on Friday, 13 December, is our final public program of 2013. Come in at 2:00PM as Michael Wheeler shines a spotlight on our current exhibition with "Patriotic Banding: Red, White, and Blue." In the federal period (1790-1820), wealthy Boston merchants expanded trade to the West Indies and China. As part of this trade, they imported rare and expensive lumber into Boston. Mechanical inventions and the harnessing of waterpower made sawing this lumber into thin veneers possible. Inlay makers, were able to dye, stack, and cut those veneers into decorative geometric bandings which cabinetmakers used as inlays in neoclassical furniture. Guest speaker Michael Wheeler has recently discovered that red, white, and blue banding was made in Boston during the federal period. In his presentation, he will take us through his discovery and research, followed by a gallery tour of the inlaid furniture in our exhibition and his example of modern patriotic banding.This program is free and open to the public.
And thus ends our schedule of programs for this calendar year. Begin planning for the New Year now and resolve to check out our online calendar for Seminars, Brown Bags, and other assorted Public Programs coming up in 2014. And remember that our current exhibition, "The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections" remains on display six days per week until 17 January.
Please note that the Society will be closed beginning Tuesday, 24 December, and will reopen on Thursday, 2 January. The exhibition galleries will be open Thursday, 26 December - Saturday, 28 December, and again on Monday, 30 December, from 10:00AM until 4:00PM.
| Published: Sunday, 8 December, 2013, 12:00 PM
This Week @ MHS
We return from our Thanksgiving break well-rested, well-fed, and grateful for the respite it provided. We have two hectic weeks ahead here at the Society before we slow down once again for the next holiday break. This week we have a plethora of programs on tap for public consumption.
Starting things off on Tuesday, 3 December, is a public seminar from our Early American History series. Serena Zabin of Carleton College present "Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre." In this talk, Zabin shows the fundamental component that women constituted in the British army's experience in Boston, evidenced by the records of some forty marriages of military men and more than a hundred baptisms of their children. This chapter from a larger study of the occupation of Boston examines the personal, social, and political meanings of these new families. Comment provided by Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College. The seminar begins at 5:15PM and is free and open to the public. RSVP required. Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
On Wednesday, 4 December, spend your lunch hour at the Society for "To Spread Liberty to the North: The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776." In this Brown Bag talk, Amy Noel of Boston University presents research on her project which seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and 1776 by examining the failed invasion of Canada. The campaign played a crucial role in shaping colonial attitudes toward Catholicism and Britishness, the escalation of rebellion into an imperial civil war, and the looming issue of American independence. The talk begins at 12:00PM and is free and open to the public.
And on Wednesday evening, join us for "Elegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston." In this public program related to our current exhibition, Richard and Jane Nylander discuss the new styles of architecture and furniture that appeared in early 19th-century Boston and will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city's wealthiest citizens, among them Nathan Appleton, Charles Russell Codman, Benjamin Bussey, Barney Smith, and David Hinckley. Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM and the talk begins at 6:00PM. Registration is required for this event and you can RSVP here. This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series.
On Thursday, 5 December, the Society hosts a special year-end reception for MHS Fellows and Members to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS. The event begins at 6:00PM and is open only to MHS Fellows and Members at no cost. Please RSVP here.
Then, on Friday, 6 December, there is a public author talk. Join us at 2:00PM for "End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy." Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, historian James L. Swanson offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your-seat storyteller's mastery to the subject. This event is free.
And last but certainly not least, on Saturday 7 December, come by the Society at 10:00AM for "The History and Collections of the MHS." This 90-minute docent-led tour exposes visitors to the Society's public rooms and touches on the history, collections, art, and architecture of the Society's historic building at 1154 Boylston Street. 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: Tuesday, 3 December, 2013, 10:36 AM
This Week @ MHS
We start this week's installment of the events calendar by noting that the MHS is closed Thursday, 28 November - Saturday, 30 November, in observance of Thanksgiving. Normal hours resume on Monday, 2 December. But before that we have two public programs for you.
First, on Monday, 25 November, the Society hosts and author talk with Thomas Whalen of Boston University who will present "JFK & His Enemies: A Profile in Power, 1946-1963." At nearly every stage of his political career, Kennedy collected his fair share of enemies. Whalen will discuss the complex and strained relationships Kennedy had with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and how their mutual hostility inadvertently led to this assassination on 22 November 1963. This public program begins at 6:00PM with a pre-talk reception starting at 5:30PM. Please RSVP for this event.
On Tuesday, 26 November, is the latest in our Immigration and Urban History seminar series. Join us as David Hernández of Mount Holyoke College presents "A Place Reeking with Rottenness: The 'Corpus Christi Situation' (1933) and Legacies of Abusive Immigrant Detention." This talk examines an internal investigation of the Immigration Service in 1933 which exposed allegations of violence, sexual abuse, extortion, and coerced testimonies in a detention facility run by Julia and Olivia Valente. The event is part of a legacy of detainee abuse--from denial of legal rights and poor conditions of incarceration to violence, sexual abuse, and death that is widespread in immigrant facilities today. The case of the Valente Detention Home thus provides the operating terms for understanding contemporary detention practices, in particular, the use of private and non-federal facilities and management for detaining immigrants. Comment provided by Daniel Kanstroom of Boston College Law School. Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required. Talk begins at 5:15PM.
| Published: Sunday, 24 November, 2013, 12:00 PM
The Real Gettysburg Address
By Peter Drummey, Librarian
On November 19, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln spoke to an immense crowd at the consecration of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Edward Everett of Massachusetts, the greatest orator of the day, was the primary speaker. In his diary, Everett omitted any reference to the president’s remarks except for his praise of Everett’s speech. The next day, however, after they had returned to Washington together, Everett and Lincoln exchanged letters concerning their respective addresses:
I should be glad [Everett wrote to Lincoln], if I could flatter myself, that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion in two hours as you did in two minutes.
Lincoln replied the same day:
In our respective parts yesterday, you could not have been excused to make a short address, nor I a long one. I am pleased to know that, in your judgment, the little I did say was not entirely a failure.
On Tuesday, 19 November, the Historical Society will mark the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address by displaying this extraordinary exchange of letters—and other materials related to the respective roles of Lincoln and Everett that day at Gettysburg—from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM.
Come and help us decide what was the “real” Gettysburg Address.
| Published: Monday, 18 November, 2013, 10:00 AM
This Week @ MHS
Hello, and welcome once again to our weekly forecast of programs here at the Society. This week, the first and only full week in November for us at the MHS, we have four public programs for you to come in and experience. In addition, don't forget about our current public exhibition: "The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Massachusetts Furniture from Private Collections." This installation provides a rare public glimpse of privately held treasures from across the commonwealth and is part of the Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture collaboration taking place at institutions all over the state. Visit fourcenturies.org for more information. Our exhibit is open to the public six days per week, Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM-4:00PM, and will be available until 17 January 2014.
On Tuesday, 19 November, join us at 12:00PM for an hour-long lunchtime public program. Murray Forbes discusses his work on the fascinating lives of Governor James and General John Sullivan in "The Sullivan Brothers." The two brothers forged remarkable and versatile careers during the American Revolution and early republic, were honored in their own time and remained remembered and respected through the 19th century. How should we remember them today? This event is free and open to the public.
On Wednesday, 20 November, the Society hosts a double-header. First up, at 12:00PM, is a Brown Bag lunch talk featuring John Lauritz Larson of Purdue University. "On a Bender with Uncle Sam: Freedom, Resources, and the Lure of Progress in the Early Republic" asks how the American Revolution changed the colonial American economic culture patterns of natural resource exploitation. How did the "release of energy" produced by the new political order contribute to new definitions of public and private acquisitiveness, wealth, and progress. Brown Bag lunch talks are free and open to the public.
Then, also on Wednesday, is a public program associated with our current exhibition. Join us at 6:00PM for "Boston & Its Craft Community, 1650-1850." J. Ritchie Garrison, Director of the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture, will explore Boston's craft community with a focus on three themes: production as part of a regional network, inequalities that drove artisans' decisions, and the city's furniture-makers' adaptations to a number of factors. To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking here. Pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM.
And lastly, on Saturday, 23 November, the Society will host yet another public tour. Join us at 10:00AM for "The History and Collections of the MHS," 90-minute docent-led tour which explores the public space in the Society's home at 1154 Boylston Street, touching on the history, collections, art, and architecture of the MHS. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that the MHS will be closed 28 November - 30 November for the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal hours resume on Monday, 2 December.
| Published: Sunday, 17 November, 2013, 12:00 PM