The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

As the spring rolls on and we enter a new month it will be a busier week here at the MHS with plenty of public programs to take part in. First on the list is a rare Sunday program happening on 28 April 2013. Join Jayne Gordon, MHS Director of Education and Public Programs, for an afternoon walking tour in Concord, MA. "Authors & Abolitionists" is a leisurely two-mile walk that explores the involvement of authors and Concord-residents like Emerson, Thoreau, and the Alcotts and their neighbors in antislavery efforts in Concord, hotbed of 19th-century abolitionist sentiment, and beyond. The walk, starting at 2:00pm, begins and ends at the Concord train depot and is coordinated with the Sunday train schedule. Walk leader Jayne Gordon is a resident of Concord who has worked at many of the town's historic site and teaches the Concord history course required of all town guides. Registration Required. Fee $25/$15 (F/M); Free for MHS Fund Giving Circle members. Light refreshments included. For more information contact the education department at 508-577-4599 /

Next up, stop by the MHS on Tuesday, 30 April, for the next installment in the Immigration and Urban History Seminar series. This panel discussion, "19th-century Immigration, Nativism, and Politics" will focus on two papers. Mimi Cowan of Boston College highlights the ways in which participation in volunteer military groups sometimes helped immigrants combat nativism and, at other times, fueled nativists' concerns about foreigners in her paper "Honorable Citizens: Ethnic Militias in Chicago, 1855-1879." "African American and Irish Political Coalitions in Boston, Massachusetts, 1881-1890," by Millington Bergeson-Lockwood, George Mason University, identifies three areas where African Americans and Irish immigrants established coalitions and laid claim to participation in the founding events of the United States as well as a histori resistance to oppression. Comment in this discussion provided by Evelyn Stern, University of Rhode Island. This program is free and open to the public, though RSVP is required. Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers. Discussion begins at 5:15pm.

Two events will happen on May Day this week. First, on Wednesday, pack a lunch and hit the MHS at noon for one of our Brown Bag Lunch talks. This week, Katelyn Crawford of the University of Virginia will present "Transient Painters, Traveling Canvases: Portraiture and mobility in the British Atlantic, 1750-1780." Ms. Crawford's project examines the paintings and portraitists working within the 18th-century British Atlantic world to demonstrate the impact of mobility on artistic practice and portraiture on identiy construction. She considers a network of about ten portraitists, the canvases they produce, and the travel of both individiuals and images throughout the British Atlantic and identifies a shift in the construction of artistic communities ans artists took to the sea. Her project reveals visual convergences and divergences that illustrate the development of regional identities within imperial conventions. This event is free and open to the public.

And on Wednesday evening, 1 May, head over to the Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St. in Brookline at 6:00pm for an MHS-sponsored author talk with Nathaniel Philbrick. The bestselling author of Mayflower and In the Heart of the Sea turns his attention toward the story of the first major battle of the American Revolution in his new book "Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution." This book explores this, the bloodiest battle of the coming Revolution and the point of no return for the colonists in rebellion. Mr. Philbrick is a New York Times bestselling author, recipient of the National Book Award, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. This event is co-sponsored with Brookline Booksmith and will take place at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline. For directions, please visit Tickets are available from the Brookline Booksmith and are $5 per person.Please visit or call 617-566-6660 to reserve your space. When you purchase the book, you receive one free ticket and the option to purchase a second ticket for $5.

Finally, on Friday, 3 May 2013, MHS Librarian Peter Drummey will present an exhibition spotlight, "The Three Lives of Anthony Burns." This program will explore the heroic, and tragic, life of Anthony Burns through documents on display at the Society. Who was Anthony Burns? How was his rendition - his return from Boston to slavery in 1854 - a turning point in the Abolitionist stuggle? What happened to him after he was free and his celebrity faded? Come by the MHS at 2:00pm to hear the answers to these questions. And while you are here, be sure to check out the three complementary exhibitions currently on display until May 24.

permalink | Published: Saturday, 27 April, 2013, 1:10 PM


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