Exhibitions & Ongoing Events

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December 2013

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      • Early American History SeminarOccupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre
        Early American History SeminarOccupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre
        5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

        As the records of some forty marriages of military men and more than a hundred baptisms of their children make clear, women constituted a fundamental component of the British army’s experience in Boston. This chapter from a larger study of the intimate occupation of Boston examines the personal, social, and political meanings of these new families.

        Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
        Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
        details
      • Brown Bag"To Spread Liberty to the North": The Invasion of Canada and the Co...
        Brown Bag"To Spread Liberty to the North": The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776
        12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Amy Noel, Boston University this event is free details
      • Public Program, ExhibitionElegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston
        Public Program, ExhibitionElegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston
        6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Richard and Jane Nylander This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series

        Early 19th-century Boston witnessed new styles of architecture and furniture. Homes were embellished by a wealth of imported goods such as paintings and sculpture, porcelain, and luxurious fabrics. This lecture will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest citizens.

        Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required details
      • Special Event, Member EventMHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party
        Special Event, Member EventMHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party
        6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Sold-out event. Please call 617-646-0552 to be added to the waiting list.

        St. NicholasMHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS at a special year-end reception.

        Become a Member today.

        registration closed details
      • Public Program, Author TalkEnd of Days
        Public Program, Author TalkEnd of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
        2:00 PM - 3:00 PM James Swanson

        Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy,  historian James. L. Swanson, offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your seat, storyteller's mastery to the subject.

        Author & historian James L. Sawnson. Photo by Lisa Nipp.

        this event is free details
      • MHS TourMHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS
        MHS TourMHS 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.

        this event is free details
      8 9 10 11 12 13 14
          • Environmental History SeminarPanel Discussion: Telling Environmental History
            Environmental History SeminarPanel Discussion: Telling Environmental History
            5:15 PM - 7:30 PM Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, Karl Haglund, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University, Aaron Sachs, Cornell University Moderator: Anthony N. Penna, Northeastern University

            This panel discussion will explore different ways of presenting environmental history, including the use of GIS, the intersection of environmental history and planning history, incorporating visual materials, and environmental history as narrative. Please note: There are no precirculated papers for this program.

            Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
            Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
            details
          • Brown BagThe Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native ...
            Brown BagThe Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native Northeast
            12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College this event is free details
          • Public ProgramMaking History
            Public ProgramMaking History: The Salem Witch Trials in Documents & Artifacts
            6:00 PM - 7:30 PM Presentation & Exhibition Viewing Facilitator: James H. Johnson, Boston University

            Students of the Boston University course “Making History” discuss the MHS exhibition on the Salem Witch Trials that they have researched and compiled over the course of the semester.

            free eventregistration required at no cost details
          • History of Women and Gender SeminarWomen versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battle...
            History of Women and Gender SeminarWomen versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles
            5:30 PM - 7:00 PM Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University

            In the early 1970s lawsuit Abele v. Markle, Women versus Connecticut coupled litigation with grassroots organizing in a strategy that stimulated public discussion of reproductive rights and brought women’s experiences of Connecticut’s abortion laws to bear on what went on in the courtroom. The story illustrates the role of the feminist reproductive rights movement in shaping Roe v. Wade.

            Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
            Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
            details
          • Public Program, ExhibitionPatriotic Banding
            Public Program, ExhibitionPatriotic Banding: Red, White, and Blue
            2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Exhibition Spotlight Michael Wheeler this event is free details
          • MHS TourMHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS
            MHS TourMHS 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.

            this event is free details
          15 16 17 18 19 20 21
              • Library ClosedLibrary closing at 4:45PM
                Library ClosedLibrary closing at 4:45PM
                all day

                The MHS library will close at 4:45PM due to inclement weather.

                details
                      22 23 24 25 26 27 28
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            all day

                            The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            all day

                            The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            all day

                            The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. 

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          29 30 31
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            NoticeExhibition Galleries Open
                            all day

                            The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          • Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            Library ClosedLibrary Closed
                            all day

                            The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 25 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.

                            details
                          Exhibition

                          The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections

                          4 October 2013 to 17 January 2014 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
                          Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

                          Desk and bookcaseThis exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from the late-17th-century to about 1900, these privately held treasures, generously lent by their owners, provide a look at the trajectory of cabinetmaking in the Hub. They are supplemented with documents, portraits, and other material from the Society's collections that help place the furniture into historical context.

                          The exhibition is part of Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture a collaborative project of the Massachusetts Historical Society and ten other institutions that features exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and publications to celebrate the Bay State's legacy of furniture-making. Visit fourcenturies.org.

                          Image: Desk and bookcase, carving attributed to John Welch, Boston, Mass., ca. 1750–1755, private collection. Photo by Laura Wulf.

                          3 December 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          Early American History Seminar

                          Occupying Boston: An Intimate History of the Boston Massacre

                          5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                          Serena Zabin, Carleton College Comment: Lisa Wilson, Connecticut College

                          Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

                          Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

                          4 December 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                          "To Spread Liberty to the North": The Invasion of Canada and the Coming of American Independence, 1774-1776

                          12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                          Amy Noel, Boston University

                          This project seeks to explain the enormous changes taking place in American society between 1774 and 1776 by examining the failed invasion of Canada. The campaign played a crucial role in shaping colonial attitudes toward Catholicism and Britishness, the escalation of rebellion into an imperial civil war, and the looming issue of American independence.

                          4 December 2013 Please RSVP   this event requires a feeregistration required Public Program, Exhibition

                          Elegant Interiors in Early 19th-Century Boston

                          6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                          Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Richard and Jane Nylander This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series

                          Early 19th-century Boston witnessed new styles of architecture and furniture. Homes were embellished by a wealth of imported goods such as paintings and sculpture, porcelain, and luxurious fabrics. This lecture will provide a glimpse of the interiors of the homes of some of the city’s wealthiest citizens, among them Nathan Appleton, Charles Russell Codman, Benjamin Bussey, Barney Smith, and David Hinckley.

                          To Register: Tickets are $10 per person (no charge for Fellows and Members). Please call 617-646-0560 or register online by clicking the ticket icon above.

                          5 December 2013 registration closed Special Event, Member Event

                          MHS Fellows & Members Holiday Party

                          6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
                          Sold-out event. Please call 617-646-0552 to be added to the waiting list.

                          St. NicholasMHS Fellows and Members are invited to celebrate the season with the Trustees and staff of the MHS at a special year-end reception. The event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members.

                          Become a Member today.

                          6 December 2013 this event is free Public Program, Author Talk

                          End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

                          2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
                          James Swanson

                          Fifty years ago, our country was jolted by tragedy: our 35th president was shot. In End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, Edgar award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the highly acclaimed Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase For Lincoln's Killer and historian James. L. Swanson, offers a comprehensive understanding of this historic day, lending edge-of-your seat, storyteller's mastery to the subject. With fascinating, colorful detail culled from vast historic resources, Swanson sets the stage for his central drama: the unfolding of the private final hours of John F. Kennedy and Lee Harvey Oswald as their destinies converge in a rifle's crosshairs-one man bound for infamy, the other for myth. Told in characteristic riveting narrative style, End of Days tracks the seemingly inevitable, and equally improbable, collision course between two men that would change history, devastate a hopeful generation, and spur one of our country's greatest national mysteries.

                          To Register: This event is free and open to the public.

                          7 December 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.

                          10 December 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          Environmental History Seminar

                          Panel Discussion: Telling Environmental History

                          5:15 PM - 7:30 PM
                          Brian Donahue, Brandeis University, Karl Haglund, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Megan Kate Nelson, Brown University, Aaron Sachs, Cornell University Moderator: Anthony N. Penna, Northeastern University

                          Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

                          There are no precirculated papers for this program.

                          11 December 2013 this event is free Brown Bag

                          The Memory Frontier: Memorializing King Philip's War in the Native Northeast

                          12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
                          Christine DeLucia, Mount Holyoke College

                          The late 17th-century conflict known as King Philip's War has haunted colonial New Englanders and diverse tribal communities.  Their remembrances of this violence have taken shape in highly local ways, through material objects, performances, and stories about landscapes.  This study highlights the importance of such overlooked sources for understanding the persistent, widespread effects of warfare and settler colonialism in the Northeast.

                          11 December 2013 free eventregistration required at no cost Public Program

                          Making History: The Salem Witch Trials in Documents & Artifacts

                          6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
                          Presentation & Exhibition Viewing Facilitator: James H. Johnson, Boston University

                          Students of the Boston University course “Making History” discuss the MHS exhibition that they have researched and compiled. The semester-long project on Salem and the wider fear of witches in England and colonial America includes work on letters and diaries, sermons, early printed books, and objects from the period. James H. Johnson, who teaches the course, is Professor of History and a prize-winning author.

                          To Register: This event is free and open to the public. Please call 617-646-0560 or email education@masshist.org to register.

                          12 December 2013 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to received advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          History of Women and Gender Seminar

                          Women versus Connecticut: Insights from the Pre-Roe Abortion Battles

                          5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
                          Amy Kesselman, SUNY at New Paltz Comment: Linda Gordon, New York University

                          Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

                          Authors will not read their essays but will offer brief remarks; please read the paper ahead of time and come prepared to join in the discussion. If you are not a subscriber to the series (subscribers receive online advance access to the papers) you may pick up a copy at the MHS front desk on the day of the program. Please phone 617-646-0568 with any questions.

                          13 December 2013 this event is free Public Program, Exhibition

                          Patriotic Banding: Red, White, and Blue

                          2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
                          Exhibition Spotlight Michael Wheeler

                          In the federal period (1790-1820), wealthy Boston merchants expanded trade to the West Indies and China. As part of this trade, they imported rare and expensive lumber into Boston. Mechanical inventions and the harnessing of waterpower made sawing this lumber into thin veneers possible. New specialists, known as inlay makers, were able to dye, stack, and cut those veneers into decorative geometric bandings which cabinetmakers used as inlays in neoclassical furniture.

                          Guest speaker Michael Wheeler has recently discovered that red, white, and blue banding was made in Boston during the federal period of the new republic. In his presentation, he will take us through his discovery and research, followed by a gallery tour of the inlaid furniture in our exhibition and his example of modern patriotic banding.

                          To Register: This program is free and open to the public.

                          14 December 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.

                          17 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library closing at 4:45PM

                          all day

                          The MHS library will close at 4:45PM due to inclement weather.

                          24 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          25 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          26 December 2013 Notice

                          Exhibition Galleries Open

                          all day

                          The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                          26 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          27 December 2013 Notice

                          Exhibition Galleries Open

                          all day

                          The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                          27 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          28 December 2013 Notice

                          Exhibition Galleries Open

                          all day

                          The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                          28 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          29 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          30 December 2013 Notice

                          Exhibition Galleries Open

                          all day

                          The MHS galleries, featuring our current exhibition The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open to the public from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                          30 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 

                          31 December 2013 Library Closed

                          Library Closed

                          all day

                          The MHS library will be closed Tuesday, 24 December 2013, through Wednesday, 1 January 2014.  The library will return to regular business hours on Thursday, 2 January 2014.  The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinet Maker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, Thursday, 26 December, through Saturday, 28 December, and Monday, 30 December. 


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