This Month at the MHS

Exhibition

The Private Jefferson

Explore Jefferson’s complexity through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

Details
«January 2016

February 2016

go to today
March 2016»
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6
      7 8 9 10 11 12 13
          • History of Women and Gender SeminarAll Politics Are Reproductive Politics: Welfare, Immigration, Gay M...
            History of Women and Gender SeminarAll Politics Are Reproductive Politics: Welfare, Immigration, Gay Marriage, Foreclosure
            5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Schlesinger Library Laura Briggs, University of Massachusetts—Amherst Comment: Suzanna Danuta Walters , Northeastern University Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
            Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
            More
          • Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Two - Culture of Modernism
            Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Two - Culture of Modernism
            6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Alexandra Lange, Author; Jane Thompson, Thompson Design Group; and Michael Kubo, Collective–LOK This program will be held at the Concord Museum registration required at no cost More
          14 15 16 17 18 19 20
            • Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Three - Politics of Modernism
              Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Three - Politics of Modernism
              6:00PM - 7:30PM There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Liz Cohen, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; Elihu Rubin, Associate Professor at Yale University and Chris Grimley, AIA, Over, Under registration required More
                21 22 23 24 25 26 27
                    • Brown BagFree Religion as Spiritual Abolitionism
                      Brown BagFree Religion as Spiritual Abolitionism
                      12:00PM - 1:00PM Scott Shubitz, Florida State University this event is free More
                    • Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Four - Preservation of Modernism
                      Mass Modern Series, Public Program, ConversationModernism Series: Program Four - Preservation of Modernism
                      6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Henry Moss, AIA, Bruner/Cott & Associates; Ann Beha, AIA, Ann Beha Architects; David Fixler, FAIA, co-founder of DOCOMOMO and Mark Pasnik, AIA, Over, Under registration required More
                          28 29
                              Exhibition The Private Jefferson this event is free 29 January 2016 to 20 May 2016 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The Private Jefferson

                              Thomas Jefferson has been described as an "American Sphinx." As the drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States, he is one of the most famous Americans. Nevertheless, he is an enigmatic figure: an intensely private man who spent more than thirty years in public service; the spokesman for popular democracy who, at the same time, held hundreds of men, women and children as his personal property; an urbane, widely-travelled, and widely-read exemplar of the Enlightenment, who appeared happiest in a meticulously-planned environment that he had created for himself in the back country. The exhibition aims to pull back the veil and uncover the private Jefferson. Kicking off a year-long 225th anniversary celebration, The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society opens at the Society on 29 January and will be on display through May 20, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                              One of the Society’s greatest treasures is the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson manuscripts. The collection is comprised of letters, journals, record books, accounts, and more than 400 architectural drawings—almost 9,500 documents in all—collected by Jefferson’s descendants who lived in Massachusetts and donated them to the Society. 

                              close
                              Early American History Seminar Sound Believers: Rhyme and Right Belief Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                              Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                              2 February 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Wendy Roberts, University at Albany, SUNY Comment: Stephen A. Marini, Wellesley College

                              This essay examines the connection between poetry and evangelicalism in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. It argues that the far-reaching social transformations precipitated by evangelical awakenings depended upon the development of revival poetry. Studying both the first and second “Great Awakenings,” the work explores how both ministers and lay people helped to create a distinct style of Christian poetry.

                              close
                              Brown Bag Making Another Massachusetts of South Carolina: Reconstruction in the Sea Islands this event is free 3 February 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Robert G. Mann, Independent Scholar

                              After Union forces captured the Sea Islands of South Carolina at the end of 1862, well-educated Northerners from wealthy families journeyed to South Carolina, charged by the federal government with the task of educating liberated slaves and employing them as free laborers as part of the so-called Port Royal Experiment.  Many viewed their task as, in the words of one newspaper editor, “to make another Massachusetts of South Carolina.” This work evaluates the achievements and disappointments of a unique, integrated community centered around Beaufort, South Carolina, in the years 1863-1880 through the intertwined stories of three Massachusetts men and one former slave.

                              close
                              Mass Modern Series, Public Program, Conversation Modernism Series: Program One - Brutalism to Heroic registration required 3 February 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Mark Pasnik AIA, Over,Under; Chris Grimley AIA, Over,Under; and Michael Kubo, Collective–LOK

                              Often problematically labeled as “Brutalist” architecture, the concrete buildings that transformed Boston during 1960s and 1970s were conceived with progressive-minded intentions by some of the world’s most influential designers, including Marcel Breuer, Le Corbusier, I. M. Pei, Henry Cobb, Paul Rudolph, Josep Lluís Sert, and The Architects Collaborative. As a worldwide phenomenon, building with concrete represents one of the major architectural movements of the postwar years, but in Boston it was deployed in more numerous and diverse civic, cultural, and academic projects than in any other major U.S. city. Boston was an urban laboratory for the exploration of concrete’s structural and sculptural qualities. Heroic surveys the intentions and aspirations of this period and considers anew its legacies—both troubled and inspired.

                              This program is part of a four part series on Modernism. MHS is pleased to be working with our nonprofit partners, the Concord Museum and DoCoMoMo-New England, on this series. 

                              close
                              Notice Library Closing at 3:00 PM 5 February 2016.Friday, all day close
                              MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 6 February 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

                              The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

                              While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

                              close
                              Building Closed Library and Exhibitions Closed 8 February 2016.Monday, all day

                              Due to inclement weather the MHS library and exhibition galleries will be closed on Monday, 8 February 2016.  

                              close
                              Environmental History Seminar The History of Ecological Restoration: From Bombs to Bac-O-Bits Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                              Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                              9 February 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Laura J. Martin, Harvard University Comment: Brian Payne, Bridgewater State University

                              Environmental organizations spend billions of dollars per year on environmental restoration—a set of practices that encompass invasive species removal, dam removal, prescribed burning, and captive breeding. Should restoration be considered its own movement? This paper explores the intellectual and cultural history of ecological restoration from 1945 to 1965, emphasizing the connections between ecological restoration and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

                              close
                              History of Women and Gender Seminar All Politics Are Reproductive Politics: Welfare, Immigration, Gay Marriage, Foreclosure Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                              Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                              11 February 2016.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM Location: Schlesinger Library Laura Briggs, University of Massachusetts—Amherst Comment: Suzanna Danuta Walters , Northeastern University

                              The collision of  two forces—increasing unpaid care burdens, and ever more need for wage labor—have conspired over the past forty years to radically reconfigure both families and political common sense in particularly racialized ways. In this project, Briggs argues that this issue has driven nearly every other significant policy debate in the United States since the 1970s: not just abortion and daycare, but feminism in general, welfare, immigration, gay marriage, and IVF. Welfare reform was a “who cares for the children” fight; gay marriage cases have been decided in terms of “the children”; the majority of immigrants to the U.S. are women, disproportionately doing care work; and IVF is about the necessity of delaying childbearing into one’s 30s in the U.S., when fertility begins to be reduced. Furthermore, this is by no means a white middle-class or U.S. problem. While being out of the labor force may seem like a privilege particularly of white U.S. suburbanites in the 1950s, both the care crunch and the need to work longer and longer days for shrinking wages have disproportionately affected working-class people, people of color, and a growing segments of the Third World. The ways individuals, households, and communities grind up against these issues accounts for a great deal, including why race, gender, and reproduction have been such central issues in the U.S. and beyond since at least the 1970s.

                              close
                              Mass Modern Series, Public Program, Conversation Modernism Series: Program Two - Culture of Modernism registration required at no cost 11 February 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Alexandra Lange, Author; Jane Thompson, Thompson Design Group; and Michael Kubo, Collective–LOK This program will be held at the Concord Museum

                              While the Boston region was home to a number of large modernist projects, it was also an area that brought the zeitgeist of the movement to stores and museums. Kitchen utensils, fabrics, and furniture brought modern interiors to the average consumer and exhibitions and the cultural spaces made modernism part of the cutting edge scene. 

                              This program is part of a four part series on Modernism. MHS is pleased to be working with our nonprofit partners, the Concord Museum and DoCoMoMo-New England, on this series. 

                              close
                              Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Jefferson’s Journey to Massachusetts: The Origin of the Coolidge Collection at MHS this event is free 12 February 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Peter Drummey, Stephen T. Riley Librarian

                              Most people don’t associate Thomas Jefferson with Massachusetts and yet MHS has the largest collection of Jefferson’s private papers. Peter Drummey, the Stephen T. Riley Librarian at MHS will explain the provenance of the collection. 

                              close
                              MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 13 February 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

                              The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

                              While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

                              close
                              Building Closed President's Day 15 February 2016.Monday, all day

                              The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

                              close
                              Mass Modern Series, Public Program, Conversation Modernism Series: Program Three - Politics of Modernism registration required 16 February 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There is a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Liz Cohen, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University; Elihu Rubin, Associate Professor at Yale University and Chris Grimley, AIA, Over, Under

                              The arrival of Edward Logue as the head of the Boston Redevelopment Authority ushered in a new generation of buildings in Boston. Both the politics and the design of this period could be described as bold, often controversial, and of a scale that had not been seen before. Starting with the completion of the Prudential Tower, this era redefined the skyline, streetscape, and aspirations of the region.

                              close
                              Jefferson Series, Teacher Workshop Adams, Jefferson, and Shakespeare Please RSVP   registration required 17 February 2016.Wednesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM

                              Commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death by investigating his influence on America’s Founding Mothers and Fathers. John and Abigail Adams sprinkled their letters to one another with quotes from the Bard, and Thomas Jefferson owned numerous volumes of Shakespeare’s work. This hands-on workshop will introduce participants to Adams and Jefferson documents in the Society’s collection, and explore Shakespeare’s themes of politics, power, and leadership through these eyes of these revolutionary men and women.

                              This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs or one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

                              Workshop Fee: $25 per person (to cover materials and lunch)

                              To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

                              Program Highlights

                              • Discuss the Founders' understanding of Shakespeare and their use of his works in their own publications and correspondence with Adams Papers editors Hobson Woodward and Emily Ross.
                              • View documents from the Adams Family Papers and the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts.
                              • Preview and brainstorm suggestions for using Adams, Jefferson, and Shakespeare materials in history and English language arts projects.
                              • Take a guided tour of the Society's new exhibition, The Private Jefferson.
                              close
                              MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 20 February 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

                              The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 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.

                              While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

                              close
                              Conversation, Public Program Begin at the Beginning: Boston’s Founding Documents "What News?": Communication in Early New England Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 20 February 2016.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College

                              "What News?": Communication in Early New England  

                              New England was built on letters. Its colonists left behind thousands of these “paper pilgrims,” brittle and browning. But how were they delivered? In a time before postal service and newspapers, how did news travel?

                               

                              Even when it was meant solely for English eyes, news did not pass solely through English hands. Native messengers carried letters along footpaths, and Dutch ships took them across waterways. Rumors flew. Who could travel where, who controlled the routes winding through the woods, who dictated what news might be sent—these questions reveal a new dimension of contest in the northeast.

                               

                              In her new book American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England, Katherine Grandjean reveals a new view of colonial New England.  It is a darker and more precarious place entirely.

                               

                              Reading

                              American Passage: The Communications Frontier in Early New England  (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015), especially the introduction and chapters 1, 2, and 3.

                              close
                              Immigration and Urban History Seminar “The Other Essential Job of War”: Jewish American Merchants and the European Refugee Crisis, 1933-1945 Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                              Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                              23 February 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Niki C. Lefebvre, Boston University Comment: Hasia Diner, New York University

                              Following the rise of Adolf Hitler, political and trade conditions in the United States prevented department stores from collaborating in an effective boycott against German imports. However, individuals did undertake personal campaigns to bring Jewish refugees out of Europe. Drawing on their networks abroad and influence in Washington, a handful of Jewish American merchants in the northeast took great personal risks to pursue what Ira Hirschman called the “other essential job of war”: saving people.

                              close
                              Brown Bag Free Religion as Spiritual Abolitionism this event is free 24 February 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Scott Shubitz, Florida State University

                              This project reexamines the rise of the Free Religion movement and frames it as an outgrowth of both liberal religion and abolitionism. It argues that, rather than being a simple continuation of Transcendentalism, Free Religion represented a continuation of abolitionism during Reconstruction – a new “spiritual abolitionism.” Led by notable ministers like Octavius Brooks Frothingham, Francis Ellingwood Abbot, and William J. Potter, the Free Religion movement sought to overcome the divisions of creed and dogma and to unite people from diverse denominations and religions within one spiritual movement. This project draws on a number of MHS collections, including the papers of Henry W. Bellows and John Weiss.

                              close
                              Mass Modern Series, Public Program, Conversation Modernism Series: Program Four - Preservation of Modernism registration required 24 February 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm Henry Moss, AIA, Bruner/Cott & Associates; Ann Beha, AIA, Ann Beha Architects; David Fixler, FAIA, co-founder of DOCOMOMO and Mark Pasnik, AIA, Over, Under

                              Today, the optimism of the movement is often forgotten and many of the buildings suffer from years of poor maintenance and are facing insensitive renovation or demolition. Architects who have renovated important modernist buildings will talk about the challenges and opportunities and explain their work locally on buildings such as Sert’s BU Law Tower and Alvar Aalto’s Baker House at MIT as well as internationally on sites such as the Gropius’s US Embassy in Greece and the UN Headquarters.

                              close