Exhibitions & Ongoing Events

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This Month at the MHS

 
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July 2013

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  • Brown BagNavigating the Other North American Coast: New England Merchants an...
    Brown BagNavigating the Other North American Coast: New England Merchants and Sailors Approach the North American Pacific, 1780s-1820s
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Jen Staver, University of California - Irvine

    This program will present research from a project that investigates social and environmental change along the far Pacific coast of North America from 1760 through 1820 by focusing on knowledge of and labor in the region’s oceanic and littoral landscapes.

    this event is free details
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                  14 15 16 17 18 19 20
                    • Public Program, Teacher WorkshopOld Towns/New Country
                      begins Public Program, Teacher WorkshopOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                      15 July 2013 to 16 July 2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM This workshop will take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society this event requires a feeregistration required details
                    • Fashion Across Borders and Seas: Print Culture, Women's Networks, a...
                      Fashion Across Borders and Seas: Print Culture, Women's Networks, and the Creation of Feminine Identities in the British Atlantic World, 1750-1900
                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Anna Bonewitz, University of York this event is free details
                    • Public Program, Teacher WorkshopOld Towns/New Country
                      ends Public Program, Teacher WorkshopOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                      8:30 AM - 3:30 PM This workshop will take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society this event requires a feeregistration required details
                    • Public ProgramLest We Forget: The Massachusetts 54th
                      Public ProgramLest We Forget: The Massachusetts 54th
                      12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Noah Griffin

                      Join us as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment's attack against Fort Wagner, South Carolina.

                      this event is free details
                      21 22 23 24 25 26 27
                                28 29 30 31
                                  • Public Program, Author Talk"The People's Martyr" and the Dorr Rebellion
                                    Public Program, Author Talk"The People's Martyr" and the Dorr Rebellion
                                    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Erik J. Chaput

                                    Author Erik J. Chaput will discuss the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 rebellion in Rhode Island that bears his name.

                                    this event is free details
                                  • Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country
                                    begins Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                                    30 July 2013 to 31 July 2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM This workshop will take place in Lancaster & Leominster, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area. this event requires a feeregistration required details
                                  • Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country
                                    ends Teacher Workshop, Public ProgramOld Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation
                                    8:30 AM - 3:30 PM This workshop will take place in Lancaster & Leominster, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area. this event requires a feeregistration required details
                                  • Empire of Learning: Natural Scientists and Caribbean Slavery in the...
                                    Empire of Learning: Natural Scientists and Caribbean Slavery in the Seventeenth-Century English Atlantic
                                    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Eric Otremba, Macalester College this event is free details
                                  this event is free Exhibition

                                  "Estlin Cummings Wild West Show"

                                  13 June 2013 to 30 August 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                  Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

                                  Estlin Cummings Wild West Show“Estlin Cummings Wild West Show” features a selection of E.E. Cummings’s childhood writings and drawings, showcasing the young poet’s earliest experiments with words and illustrations. Drawings and paintings include ink blots, watercolors, and sketches in pen and pencil of cowboys and Indians, boats, the “world’s tallest tower,” wild west shows, hunting expeditions, locomotives, zoos, circuses, elephants, and house plans.

                                  Image: “Estlin Cummings Wild West Show,” drawing by E. E. Cummings. From the Cummings-Clarke family papers. Artwork by E.E. Cummings. Used by permission of the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.

                                  this event is free Exhibition

                                  "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind"

                                  13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                  Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

                                  Letter from John Adams to Abigail, August 28, 1774From 13 June through 7 September, the Society will display letters written by John and Abigail Adams to each other, to their children, and to friends and family regarding their views on education.

                                  In a letter to his wife, Abigail, dated August 28, 1774, John Adams writes: “The Education of our Children is never out of my Mind. Train them to Virtue, habituate them to industry, activity, and Spirit. Make them consider every Vice, as shamefull and unmanly: fire them with Ambition to be usefull-make them disdain to be destitute of any usefull, or ornamental Knowledge or Accomplishment. Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.”

                                  this event is free Exhibition

                                  The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society

                                  13 June 2013 to 7 September 2013 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                                  Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM

                                  Object of HistoryWhat is the meaning of historical objects? Why are they preserved, and why have they survived? Are they valued for their associations with notable historical figures or landmark events, as objects of beauty, as the survival of relics from a distant past, or for the stories they convey? The exhibition explores these questions through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlework, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver.

                                  1 July 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                  Navigating the Other North American Coast: New England Merchants and Sailors Approach the North American Pacific, 1780s-1820s

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Jen Staver, University of California - Irvine

                                  This program will present research from a project that investigates social and environmental change along the far Pacific coast of North America from 1760 through 1820 by focusing on knowledge of and labor in the region’s oceanic and littoral landscapes. Beginning in the late eighteenth century, Spanish missionaries and soldiers, Russian hunters, and British traders, as well as New England-based merchants and sailors, began traversing North America’s Pacific coast, forming new relationships between these ocean-based travelers, North American indigenous peoples, and the coastal environment. Using the logs and diaries of sailors as well as the journals, account books, and letters of merchants, the brown-bag presentation will focus on the specific ways that “Boston men” and their backers understood, approached, and literally navigated the physical and the social geographies of the North American Pacific.

                                  3 July 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                  "The Spirit of Enterprise excited by the Acquisition of Louisiana": New Englanders and the Orleans Territory, 1803-1812

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Lo Faber, Loyola University of New Orleans

                                  In 1803 and 1804 New Englanders warily eyed their country's vast new acquisition. Some worried that Louisiana was a “savage,” uncivilized land that would corrupt the new nation; others that it would reduce the already-declining political importance of New England; others that it would become a new addition to the “empire of slavery.” Still others, however, especially Jeffersonian republicans, dismissed these and other concerns and celebrated the Purchase and the economic opportunities it would bring. A few went so far as to move south in search of fortunes in the Orleans Territory.

                                  4 July 2013 Library Closed

                                  Fourth of July

                                  all day

                                  The MHS library and exhibitions galleries will be closed.

                                  4 July 2013 Notice

                                  Special 4th of July Exhibition

                                  12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

                                  The MHS gallery spaces will be open from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, including a special exhibition of materials related to the Declaration of Independence. 

                                  6 July 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                  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.

                                  13 July 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                  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.

                                  this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Teacher Workshop

                                  Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation

                                  15 July 2013 to 16 July 2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
                                  This workshop will take place at the Massachusetts Historical Society

                                  This two-day workshop will focus on how to use local resources – documents, artifacts, landscapes and the rich expertise in every town – to examine historical issues with a national focus. We will concentrate on the period just after the Revolution and the concerns and conflicts, hopes and fears, experiences and expectations of the people living in the Boston area at a time of uncertainty, fragility, and possibility. We will investigate such questions as: What was it like to live in a town that had been around for a long time in a country that was new? When the nation was first forming after the Revolution, what were people in our town/region worried about? How much did the geography, economy, culture, and social makeup of our region influence those concerns? How can we find out? What resources/pieces of evidence does our community have that relate to this time period and the people living in it? How can we best present this evidence and allow people of all ages to discover answers to some of these questions? How does our local focus add a crucial dimension to our understanding of a key period in American history?

                                  The workshop is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts. Workshop faculty will include Jayne Gordon and Kathleen Barker of the MHS Department of Education and Public Programs, Historian Benjamin Park, MHS Teacher Fellow Betsy Lambert, and Elaine Grublin, MHS Head of Reader Services. There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Saltonstall Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

                                  Additional two-day workshops will be held in the Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area towns of Leominster and Lancaster (central Massachusetts) on July 30/31, at Coolidge Point in Manchester (North Shore) on August 13/14, and in Pittsfield (Berkshires) on November 8/9.

                                  To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

                                  For Additional Information: Contact the Education Department: 617-646-0557 or education@masshist.org.

                                  15 July 2013 this event is free

                                  Fashion Across Borders and Seas: Print Culture, Women's Networks, and the Creation of Feminine Identities in the British Atlantic World, 1750-1900

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Anna Bonewitz, University of York

                                  Fashion Across Borders and Seas: Print Culture, Women’s Networks, and the Creation of Feminine Identities in the British Atlantic World, 1750-1900 examines the diverse media through which women learned about fashion, and how ideas of fashion were circulated around and between Britain and the United States from the time of the enigmatic fashion doll, to the birth of modern advertising. 

                                  This project considers how the circulation of visual and material sources for fashion information such as fashion dolls, portraits, fashion illustrations, cartes-de-visite and advertisements, as well as fashion accessories created through reproductive processes such as fans and shawls, was as much a process of learning as it was of sharing. The circulation of these objects enabled women to form valuable networks whereby ideas of femininity, politics, national identity and imperialism were created, solidified and challenged. 

                                  17 July 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                  The Book Madness: Charles Deane and the Boston Antiquarians

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Denise Gigante, Stanford University

                                  A discussion of research into a hub of bibliomaniacs associated with the early years of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Among the circle of learned historians, friends of dusty research and poetry, were George Livermore, Charles Deane, Alexander Young, and Edward Crowninshield. Livermore was fond of bibles and illustrated and large paper copies, and Deane kept minutes of his painstaking bibliographic and historical research on fly-leaves, margins, memoranda, and scraps of paper scattered between the pages of his 13,000 books. Together, these amateur men of letters provide a unique outlook on the culture of book collecting and the formation of private and public libraries in mid-19th-century America.

                                  18 July 2013 this event is free Public Program

                                  Lest We Forget: The Massachusetts 54th

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Noah Griffin

                                  Join us as we commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth Regiment's attack against Fort Wagner, South Carolina. The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers to be raised in the North during the Civil War. Prior to 1863, no concerted effort was made to recruit black troops as Union soldiers. The passage of the Emancipation Proclamation in December of 1862 provided the impetus for the use of free black men as soldiers and, at a time when state governors were responsible for the raising of regiments for federal service, Massachusetts was the first to respond with the formation of the Fifty-fourth Regiment.

                                  Our guest speaker, Noah Griffin, is a man of many talents. Educated at Harvard Law, Yale and Fisk University, he spent 35 years in government, politics, media, and journalism before embarking on a career as a singer, actor, and inspirational speaker. Visit his website to learn more about his work: http://www.noahgriffin.com/Home.html.

                                  Learn more about the Massachusetts Fifty-fourth, as well as the Society's manuscripts and photograph collections related to the regiment at our 54th Regiment! site.

                                  20 July 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                  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.

                                  24 July 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                                  Speculation Nation: Land Speculators and Land Mania in Post-Revolutionary America

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Michael Blaakman, Yale University

                                  This project reconstructs the business and political methods of post-revolutionary land speculators, aiming to trace the causes and consequences of the early republic's first wave of large-scale land speculation, from 1776 to 1812. In routing their capital through the new nation’s most important resource, land speculators situated themselves at the center of contentious debates about property, equality, and political economy in a democratic republic. Speculators sought to profit off the extension of the United States' revolutionary republican society; in the process, their methods shaped and changed the Revolution's outcome.

                                  27 July 2013 this event is free MHS Tour

                                  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.

                                  29 July 2013 this event is free Public Program, Author Talk

                                  "The People's Martyr" and the Dorr Rebellion

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Erik J. Chaput

                                  The People's Martyr tells the story of the life of Thomas Wilson Dorr and the 1842 rebellion in Rhode Island that bears his name. Thomas Dorr's attempt at constitutional reform set off a firestorm of debate over the nature of the people's sovereignty in Jacksonian America. Historian Erik J. Chaput devotes particular attention to issues of gender and race, especially the profound fears held by southern politicians that Dorr's ideology would lead to slave insurrections.

                                  Erik J. Chaput received his doctorate in early American History from Syracuse University in 2011. Chaput is on the faculty in the School of Continuing Education at Providence College. Dr. Chaput's research has appeared in numerous publications, including Rhode Island History, Common-Place, American Nineteenth Century History, The New England Quarterly, the U.S. Catholic Historian, The Catholic Historical Review, Historical New Hampshire, and the Historical Journal of Massachusetts. Chaput is the co-editor with Russell J. DeSimone of a digital edition of the letters of Thomas Wilson Dorr. The letters are avilable on the Dorr Rebellion project site hosted by Providence College.

                                  this event requires a feeregistration required Teacher Workshop, Public Program

                                  Old Towns/New Country: The First Years of a New Nation

                                  30 July 2013 to 31 July 2013 8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
                                  This workshop will take place in Lancaster & Leominster, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area.

                                  This two-day workshop will focus on how to use local resources – documents, artifacts, landscapes and the rich expertise in every town – to examine historical issues with a national focus. We will concentrate on the period just after the Revolution and the concerns and conflicts, hopes and fears, experiences and expectations of the people living in the Boston area at a time of uncertainty, fragility, and possibility. We will investigate such questions as: What was it like to live in a town that had been around for a long time in a country that was new? When the nation was first forming after the Revolution, what were people in our town/region worried about? How much did the geography, economy, culture, and social makeup of our region influence those concerns? How can we find out? What resources/pieces of evidence does our community have that relate to this time period and the people living in it? How can we best present this evidence and allow people of all ages to discover answers to some of these questions? How does our local focus add a crucial dimension to our understanding of a key period in American history?

                                  The workshop is open to teachers, librarians, archivists, members of local historical societies, and all interested local history enthusiasts. Workshop faculty will include Jayne Gordon and Kathleen Barker of the MHS Department of Education and Public Programs, Freedom's Way Director of Education Maud Ayson, Historian Mary Fuhrer, MHS Teacher Fellow Timothy Castner, and Nancy Heywood, MHS Digital Projects Coordinator. Additional partners include the Freedom's Way National Heritage Area, Leominster Public Library, and the First Church of Lancaster. There is a $25 charge to cover lunches both days; program and material costs have been generously funded by the Saltonstall Foundation. Educators can earn 14 PDPs and 1 Graduate Credit (for an additional fee) from Framingham State University.

                                  Additional two-day workshops will be held in Boston on July 15/16, at Coolidge Point in Manchester (North Shore) on August 13/14, and in Pittsfield (Berkshires) on November 8/9.

                                  To Register: Please complete this registration form and send it with your payment to: Kathleen Barker, Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

                                  For Additional Information: Contact the Education Department: 617-646-0557 or education@masshist.org.

                                  31 July 2013 this event is free

                                  Empire of Learning: Natural Scientists and Caribbean Slavery in the Seventeenth-Century English Atlantic

                                  12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                                  Eric Otremba, Macalester College

                                  This project examines confluences between the scientific and progressive ideas associated with the early English Enlightenment and the concurrent proliferation of Caribbean slave plantations. Through a study of sugar plantations, it demonstrates how both slavery and the Enlightenment shared common roots within the expansionist discourse of natural science in the late seventeenth century.


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