The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

On Wednesday, 12 June, the Society will host its annual business meeting, a special event for elected MHS Fellows. The meeting will begin at 5:00pm and registration is required at no cost.

Following the annual meeting, MHS Fellows along with Members will be invited to a special preview reception for MHS Fellows and Members to get a glimpse of the upcoming exhibition, "The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society." Starting at 6:00pm, the evening will begin with remarks by Peter Drummey, Stephen T Riley Librarian of the Society, followed by a reception and exhibition preview. Registration is required at no cost.

The next day, Thursday 13 June, is the official opening of three concurrent exhibitions. First is "Estlin Cummings Wild West Show." This small exhibit features childhood writings and drawings of e.e. cummings. Drawings and paintings of zoos, circuses, wild west shows, and house plans, along with a story about life on Joy Farm and the 1914 poem "From a Newspaper" showcase the earliest experiments with words and illustrations by the young poet. This exhibit will be on display from 13 June 2013 until 30 August 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Saturday.

Second, "The Education of Our Children Is Never out of My Mind" 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. The title of the exhibit comes from a letter that John wrote to Abigail, dated 28 August 1774, in which he exhorts her to train their children to "Fix their Ambition upon great and solid Objects, and their Contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones." This exhibit will be on view until 7 September 2013, 10:00am-4:00pm, Monday-Saturday.

Finally, the Society's main exhibition will open to the public on 13 June. "The Object of History: 18th-Century Treasures from the Massachusetts Historical Society" explores questions about the meaning of historical objects, why they are preserved, and where their value lay, through the display of 18th-century portraits and objects from the Society's collections, along with rarely seen engravings, needlwork, maps, weapons, furniture, clothing, scientific instruments, and silver. This exhibit will also run until 7 September and will be on view Monday-Saturday, 10:00am-4:00pm. All of the Society's exhibitions are free and open to the public during viewing hours.

On Friday, 14 June, stop by for a free public program in conjunction with the new exhibition as J.L. Bell presents the Curator's Choice.Bell will discuss the provenance, history, and people connected with Ephraim Moors's powder horn, one of the items featured in The Object of History. Bell will also delve into his investigation into the object's details and what they tell us about the Siege of Boston. Carvings on the horn include a crude drawing of the Continental Army encampment at Winter Hill, five grenadiers, a mansion house, and the head of a beast. J.L. Bell is a Massachusetts writer specializing in the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. His blog,, features "history, analysis, and unabashed gossip about the start of the American Revolution in Massachusetts." This program will begin at 2:00pm and is free and open to the public.

And on Saturday, 15 June, there will be another free tour of the Society's home at 1154 Boylston St. The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute docent-led tour that explores all of the public rooms in the building will touching on the art, architecture, history, and collections of the Society. 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


permalink | Published: Monday, 10 June, 2013, 1:00 AM