Exhibitions & Ongoing Events

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June 2012

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        • Brown BagThe Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775
          Brown BagThe Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775
          12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Jared Hardesty, Boston College

          This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that historians have overstated the significance of freedom as a motivating factor for slaves. Instead, the enslaved acted for myriad reasons, such as the protection of their families or the ability to labor independently, only one of which was liberty.

          this event is free details
            10 11 12 13 14 15 16
                      • Special EventMHS Open House
                        Special EventMHS Open House
                        10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

                        On Saturday, June 16 from 10 AM to 3 PM the Society will host its annual Open House featuring a preview of its summer exhibition Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812. Visitors are invited to participate in tours; listen to gallery talks; enjoy refreshments; and learn more about the Society’s collections, programs, and services.

                        this event is free details
                      17 18 19 20 21 22 23
                        • ExhibitionMr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812
                          begins ExhibitionMr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812
                          18 June 2012 to 8 September 2012 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                          Mr. Madison's WarView items from the Society's rich collections including a midshipman's log of the USS Constitution describing the ship's actions early in the war, letters written by John Quincy Adams to his mother while serving as the American minister to Russia documenting his observations of both the Napoleonic Wars and the war at home, and a brass cannon captured from the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

                          this event is free details
                          • Brown BagNext to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America
                            Brown BagNext to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America
                            12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Tyler Boulware, West Virginia University

                            This talk explores how the cultural meanings of friendship, both Indian and European, influenced personal relationships and inter-group alliances, and how ideas about friendship and its obligations contributed to the violence that erupted between individuals and communities.

                            this event is free details
                              24 25 26 27 28 29 30
                                    • Brown BagFound at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century At...
                                      Brown BagFound at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic
                                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM John Dixon, Harvard University

                                      How did ships move from Port A to Port B? What happened in the middle? This project uses ships’ logbooks and a computer-aided mapping approach to address these foundational, previously unanswered questions about the 18th-century Atlantic World.

                                      this event is free details
                                    • Author Talk, Public ProgramAnnual Jefferson Lecture
                                      Author Talk, Public ProgramDr. Kimball's Time Machine: The Man Who Rediscovered Thomas Jefferson, Architect
                                      6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Hugh Howard, author of "Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson" Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost details
                                      this event is free Exhibition

                                      A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover Adams, 1883-1885

                                      9 February 2012 to 2 June 2012
                                      Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                      A Gilded and Heartbreaking Life: The Photographs of Clover AdamsThe striking photographs of Clover Adams, wife of historian and writer Henry Adams, capture iconic moments of Gilded Age Boston and Washington, D.C., while also opening pathways to her long-concealed inner life. Her photographs tell a story—her story. This exhibition features many of Clover's images, some of which have not been shown publicly, along with her letters, the notebook she used to record the technical aspects of her photographs, Henry's letters, and other family materials.

                                      At the heart of Clover’s story is a mystery: just when she found a powerful way through photography to document her life, it started to unravel. On a gloomy Sunday morning in December 1885, Clover committed suicide by drinking from a vial of potassium cyanide, a chemical used to develop photographs. Henry Adams commissioned a bronze statue by Augustus Saint-Gaudens to mark his wife’s grave in Washington’s Rock Creek Cemetery. But he rarely spoke of her and never mentioned her in his Pulitzer prize-winning The Education of Henry Adams.

                                      What got lost—until now—was the remarkable story of how Clover, in the last years of her life, discovered with her camera an eloquent means with which to express herself.

                                      this event is free Exhibition

                                      The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798

                                      28 March 2012 to 30 July 2012
                                      Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                      Boston Theatre, Federal Street, Engraving by A. Bowen, 1825In 1794, the first public theater in Boston opened on Federal Street despite strong legal and public opposition. The First Seasons of the Federal Street Theatre, 1794-1798 documents the battle over the Federal Street Theatre through playbills from early performances as well as the letters and publications of supporters and opponents of public theater in Boston. The MHS show is a satellite display of an exhibition titled Forgotten Chapters of Boston's Literary History on display at the Boston Public Library (BPL). Created by Professor Paul Lewis of the Boston College English Department and his students, the exhibition tells stories about Boston's literary history through letters, manuscripts, and early editions from the collections of the MHS, the BPL, the American Antiquarian Society, and Boston College. Divided into six “chapters,”  the exhibition follows the rise and fall of reputations, recovers out-of-print materials, and walks the streets of Boston in its literary heyday. The materials at the MHS will be on view 28 March through 30 July.

                                      2 June 2012 this event is free MHS Tour

                                      The History and Collections of the MHS

                                      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      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 abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

                                      5 June 2012 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program

                                      The Fenway Victory Gardens: Finding History Inside and Out

                                      6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                      Pre-Program Reception at 5:30 P.M.

                                      View items from the Fenway Garden Society's collections, which are preserved at the MHS, and take a tour of the nearby Victory Gardens.Presented in collaboration with the Fenway Garden Society to commemorate the 70th birthday of the Gardens.

                                       

                                      Reservations requested. Please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above.

                                      6 June 2012 this event is free Brown Bag

                                      The Origins of Black Boston, 1700-1775

                                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                      Jared Hardesty, Boston College

                                      This project examines the formation of a slave community in pre-Revolutionary Boston and argues that historians have overstated the significance of freedom as a motivating factor for slaves. Instead, the enslaved acted for myriad reasons, such as the protection of their families or the ability to labor independently, only one of which was liberty. By eschewing teleological notions of freedom, we see Afro-Bostonians as dynamic actors capable of decoding their new homeland, ameliorating their condition, and appropriating white values and institutions to better serve their interests.

                                      9 June 2012 this event is free MHS Tour

                                      The History and Collections of the MHS

                                      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      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 abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

                                      11 June 2012 this event requires a feeregistration required Conference

                                      Taking Center Stage: Conflict and Collaboration in the Peopling of Massachusetts

                                      9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

                                      Monday, June 11, 2012
                                      9:00am - 4:00pm
                                      Hogan Campus Center, College of Holy Cross, Worcester
                                      (directions)

                                      Presented by Mass Humanities, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the University of Massachusetts Amherst Program in Public History, the Joseph P. Healey Library and the Public History Track at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

                                      To mark the 100th anniversary of the "Bread and Roses" strike in Lawrence, known for a high level of collaboration between various groups of immigrants, the 2012 Massachusetts History Conference will explore im/migration history in the Bay State.

                                      Visit the Mass Humanities Conference website for an overview of the day or view the Conference Registration page to register or to learn more about registration options.

                                      16 June 2012 this event is free Special Event

                                      MHS Open House

                                      10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

                                      Chesapeake versus ShannonJoin us on Saturday, June 16 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM at our annual Open House featuring a preview of our summer exhibition Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812. Visitors are invited to participate in tours; listen to exhibition talks; enjoy refreshments; and learn more about the Society’s collections, programs, and services.

                                      A variety of activities will be offered throughout the day.

                                      • Starting in the front lobby at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, and 2:00 PM, tours of the Society's public rooms will give visitors a taste of the history and collections of the MHS.
                                      • At 11:00 AM, visitors are invited to "Frederic Baury's Extraordinary War," a detailed description of the brief but illustrious Naval career of a Midshipman during the War of 1812. This talk will be given by Nora Saltonstall Preservation Librarian Kathy Griffin.
                                      • At 1:00 PM, Stephen T. Riley Librarian Peter Drummey will present "War and Peace: John Quincy Adams in St. Petersburg and at Ghent, 1809-1814," a talk focused on John Quincy Adams. While serving as the American minister to Russia, Adams witnessed events leading up to the War of 1812 in America, and at the same time, the “other” War of 1812, the titanic French invasion of Russia. In detailed letters to his parents and voluminous diary accounts, Adams documented his observations of both.
                                      • View Mr. Madison’s War: The Controversial War of 1812 and examine the controversial nature of the war in Massachusetts and the struggles between the Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.

                                      Enjoy refreshments throughout the day and visit our information table to learn about MHS resources, upcoming programs, and how to become a member.  For more information e-mail rsvp@masshist.org.

                                      this event is free Exhibition

                                      Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812

                                      18 June 2012 to 8 September 2012 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                      Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                      Mr. Madison's WarIn 1812, Massachusetts was bitterly divided along partisan political lines and a wave of popular protests greeted the declaration of war on 18 June. The MHS is commemorating the bicentennial with the exhibition Mr. Madison's War: The Controversial War of 1812. The exhibition showcases a number of letters, broadsides, artifacts, and images from the Society's rich collections including a midshipman's log of the USS Constitution describing the ship's first great victory, letters written by John Quincy Adams to his mother while serving as the American minister to Russia, and a brass cannon captured from the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815.

                                      20 June 2012 this event is free Brown Bag

                                      Next to Kin: Native Americans and Friendship in Early America

                                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                      Tyler Boulware, West Virginia University

                                      Native Americans attached deep and varied meanings to friendship. Often inseparable from the structures and obligations of kinship, friendship influenced both informal and formal relationships within Native communities and between Indians, Europeans, and Africans. Boulware is particularly interested in how the cultural meanings of friendship (both Indian and European) influenced personal relationships and inter-group alliances, and how ideas about friendship and its obligations contributed to the violence that erupted between individuals and communities.

                                      23 June 2012 this event is free MHS Tour

                                      The History and Collections of the MHS

                                      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      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 abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.

                                      27 June 2012 this event is free Brown Bag

                                      Found at Sea: Mapping Ships' Locations on the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic

                                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                      John Dixon, Harvard University

                                      How did ships move from Port A to Port B? What happened in the middle? This project uses ships’ logbooks and a computer-aided mapping approach to address these foundational, previously unanswered questions about the 18th-century Atlantic World. Depicting the human geography of the ocean opens the Atlantic to historical questions about the existence and characteristics of sea lanes, the effects of weather conditions on sailing routes, the frequency and nature of meetings at sea (friendly, hostile, and otherwise), the practice of maritime navigation, and captains’ decision-making in the context of these and other complex factors.

                                      28 June 2012 Please RSVP   free eventregistration required at no cost Author Talk, Public Program

                                      Dr. Kimball's Time Machine: The Man Who Rediscovered Thomas Jefferson, Architect

                                      6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                                      Pre-Talk Reception at 5:30 P.M. Hugh Howard, author of "Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson"

                                      Hugh Howard, author of Dr. Kimball and Mr. Jefferson: Rediscovering the Founding Fathers of American Architecture, will discuss Fiske Kimball, the pioneering writer, scholar, and museum director who recovered Thomas Jefferson’s architectural genius from historical memory. View a selection of Jefferson's drawings from the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and learn more about the Society's Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson Manuscripts.

                                      Registration requested: please call 617-646-0560 or click on the ticket icon above to register online.

                                      30 June 2012 this event is free MHS Tour

                                      The History and Collections of the MHS

                                      10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

                                      Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.

                                      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 abentley@masshist.org.

                                      Free and open to the public.


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