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February 2019

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            • Public Program, Author TalkLincoln & the Jews: A History
              Public Program, Author TalkLincoln & the Jews: A History
              6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). More
            • Public Program, ConversationPeter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony
              Public Program, ConversationPeter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony
              6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Douglas L. Winiarski and Stephen Marini Registration is required at no cost. More
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                  • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                    Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                    all day More
                  • Public Program, Author TalkSeparate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey fro...
                    Public Program, Author TalkSeparate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation
                    6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post Associate Editor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). More
                  • History of Women and Gender SeminarPanel: Feminist Economics
                    History of Women and Gender SeminarPanel: Feminist Economics
                    5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Danielle L. Dumaine, University of Connecticut, and Julie R. Enszer, University of Mississippi Comment: Juliet Schor, Boston College More
                  • Public Program, ConversationUncivil Society
                    Public Program, ConversationUncivil Society
                    6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University; Michael Tomasky, Democracy; and Robin Young, WBUR and NPR There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
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                        • Modern American Society and Culture SeminarCanceled: Our Own Orient: Mecca, California, and Dates
                          Canceled:
                          Modern American Society and Culture SeminarOur Own Orient: Mecca, California, and Dates
                          5:15PM - 7:30PM Eleanor Daly Finnegan, Harvard University Comment: Laura Barraclough, Yale University Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          More
                        • Public ProgramYou Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England...
                          Public ProgramYou Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England, 1760s–1770s
                          6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). registration required More
                        • Public Program, ConversationThe Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor and the Molasses Flood
                          Public Program, ConversationThe Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor and the Molasses Flood
                          6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell; Carlos Aramayo, and moderator Karilyn Crockett Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House. registration required at no cost More
                        Exhibition Fashioning the New England Family 5 October 2018 to 6 April 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family

                        Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

                        The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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                        MHS Tour Canceled:
                        The History and Collections of the MHS
                        2 February 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                        The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                         

                         

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                        Public Program Mentioning Unmentionables: An Exploration of Victorian Underclothes 4 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Astrida Schaeffer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                        Nineteenth century fashion shaped and added to the body in a variety of ways. This inside tour of the myths and realities of Victorian corsets, crinolines, bustles and more introduces ladies who challenge our stereotype of the tiny-waisted, fainting Victorian woman, shares what critics thought of these fashion trends, and reveals the clever illusions that made waists seem smaller than they really were.

                         

                         

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                        Early American History Seminar Colonial Mints and the Rise of Technocratic Expertise in the British Atlantic, 1650-1715 5 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Mara Caden, MHS-NEH Fellow Comment: Penelope Ismay, Boston College

                        (Previously titled: Making Money in the Massachusetts Bay Colony: the Boston Mint, 1652-1686)

                        Governors, assemblies, and inhabitants of Britain’s American colonies routinely tried to set up mints to coin money during the seventeenth century, including in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This paper explains why every effort to establish a mint in British America failed, with the exception of the Boston mint, and why the mint in Boston was shut down in the 1680s. It explores the ways in which the Officers of the Royal Mint employed technical knowledge to curtail monetary autonomy in Britain’s overseas dominions. Finally, it examines the rise and fall of a strategy that colonial governments used to try to attract foreign coins to their shores in lieu of minting their own money.

                        To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                        Brown Bag To Make a Breathing Picture: John Singleton Copley’s Disturbingly Vital Portraits in Enlightened Boston 6 February 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Caroline Culp, Stanford University

                        This talk uncovers a peculiar desire of mid-18th century art: to make pictures so realistic they seemed to live and breathe. Focusing on Boston artist John Singleton Copley (1738-1815) and poet Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784), among other cultural figures, it explores superstitious beliefs that lingered in an enlightened, empirical, and rational citizenry.

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                        MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 February 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                        The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                         

                         

                         

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                        Public Program, Author Talk Lincoln & the Jews: A History 11 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                        Historian Jonathan D. Sarna reveals how Lincoln’s remarkable relationship with American Jews impacted both his path to the presidency and his policy decisions as president. Expressing a uniquely deep knowledge of the Old Testament, employing its language and concepts in some of his most important writings, Lincoln also befriended Jews from a young age, promoted Jewish equality, and appointed numerous Jews to public office.

                         

                         

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                        Building Closed Building Closing at 1:00 PM 12 February 2019.Tuesday, all day

                        Due to forecasted weather conditions the MHS will be closing at 1:00 PM today.

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                        Environmental History Seminar POSTPONED Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History 12 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University

                        This event has been POSTPONED due to inclement weather.

                        This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

                        To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                        Public Program, Conversation Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony 13 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Douglas L. Winiarski and Stephen Marini Registration is required at no cost.

                        Please join us for a special evening in which Douglas L. Winiarski will receive the 2018 Gomes Prize for Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in 18th-Century New England. Winiarski will join historian Stephen Marini in a conversation about religious revivalism and the shaping influence of religious awakenings on faith and culture in eighteenth-century New England.

                         

                         

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                        MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 16 February 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                        The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                         

                         

                         

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                        Library Closed Library Closed 18 February 2019.Monday, all day

                        The Library and Exhibition Galleries are CLOSED for Presidents' Day. The building opens at 5:00PM for visitors attending the evening program.

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                        Public Program, Author Talk Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation 18 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post Associate Editor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                        Steve Luxenberg presents a myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first.

                         

                         

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                        History of Women and Gender Seminar Panel: Feminist Economics 19 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Knafel Center, Radcliffe Institute Danielle L. Dumaine, University of Connecticut, and Julie R. Enszer, University of Mississippi Comment: Juliet Schor, Boston College

                        These papers begin a conversation on the intersection of the study of the women’s liberation movement with the history of capitalism. Danielle Dumaine’s paper, “Sisterhood of Debt: Feminist Credit Unions, Community, and Women’s Liberation,” examines the role of Feminist Credit Unions in the women’s liberation movement. Julie Enszer’s paper, “‘a feminist understanding of economics based on a revolutionary set of values’: Feminist Economic Theories and Practices,” looks at the feminist organizations that created the Feminist Economic Network.

                        To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                        Teacher Workshop Teaching the Industrial Revolution in Massachusetts 20 February 2019.Wednesday, 9:30AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

                        Lowell’s water-powered textile mills catapulted the nation – including immigrant families and early female factory workers – into an uncertain new industrial era. Nearly 200 years later, the changes that began here still reverberate in our shifting global economy. Hosted in partnership with the Tsongas Industrial History Center, this workshop will explore the history of industrial growth in New England and its impact on immigration, labor movements, women’s rights, and communities in New England and beyond.

                        Note: This workshop will be taking place off-site at the Tsongas Industrial History Center in Lowell, MA.

                        This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

                        If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

                         

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                        Public Program, Conversation Uncivil Society registration required 21 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University; Michael Tomasky, Democracy; and Robin Young, WBUR and NPR There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                        American political discourse has become so dysfunctional it is hard to imagine reaching a national consensus on almost anything. Longstanding historical fault lines over income inequality, racial division, gender roles, and sexual norms coupled with starkly different senses of economic opportunity in rural and urban America have fueled a polarized political landscape. Julian E. Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, and Michael Tomasky, If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved, and Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR and NPR, will discuss how we got here and if there is a way back.

                         

                         

                         

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                        MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 February 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                        The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                         

                         

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                        Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: “A water to comfort ye hearte”: 17th century medical recipes 23 February 2019.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM

                        THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

                        In the 1600s, housewives were called upon to be healers. They had a wealth of recipes available to them for a variety of ailments. In this reading discussion group, we will utilize recipes from both manuscript and print collections to delve into the world of lay medicine in the 1600s.

                        This is a discussion group co-hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Partnership of Historic Bostons. To learn more visit: http://www.historicbostons.org/ 

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                        Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Canceled:
                        Our Own Orient: Mecca, California, and Dates
                        Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                        Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                        26 February 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Eleanor Daly Finnegan, Harvard University Comment: Laura Barraclough, Yale University

                        Residents changed the name of Walters, California to Mecca in 1904. They were trying to use the exoticism of the Middle East to sell dates. This paper will focus on Mecca, California and the Indio Date Festival, looking at the complicated ways in which Orientalism has changed in the United States, its relationship to consumerism, and the economic connections made to the Middle East.

                        To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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                        Public Program You Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England, 1760s–1770s registration required 27 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

                        Our guest curator will explore the social values placed on luxury and thrift in New England in the late 18th century. What messages were telegraphed by a person’s clothing and how were these understood? Did everyone in society read these messages the same way or were there statements only meant to be understood by a select few?

                         

                         

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                        Public Program, Conversation The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor and the Molasses Flood registration required at no cost 28 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell; Carlos Aramayo, and moderator Karilyn Crockett Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House.

                        After the collapse of an industrial tank of molasses left a North End neighborhood devastated, a legal battle for reparations ensued, prompting questions about the role and responsibilities of businesses within a community. Using the Molasses Flood as an historical backdrop, this panel will explore questions around labor rights and safety, the function of government regulations and the relationship between the public and big business interests; issues that still resonate today as modern Bostonians grapple with a changing corporate landscape and city-wide gentrification.

                        This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. It will be held at Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.

                        This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

                         

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                        • MHS Tours
                        • Seminars
                        • Public Programs
                        • Brown Bags
                        • Special Events