The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Here is the weekly round-up of events going on at the MHS this week, presented in a 3-2-1 fashion.

First, there are three exhibitions currently on display, all interrelated. The main feature, "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land: Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865," highlights the work of Boston abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison and his famed newspaper the Liberator. Through manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts, the exhibit looks at the work of Bostonians to thwart the spread of slavery as well as the fierce resistance met by their radical movement.

In complement to the main feature, the Society has two smaller exhibits which focus on Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and the Emancipation Proclamation. "Lincoln in Manuscript & Artifact" includes a bronze cast of the life mask and hands of Lincoln made by Leonard Volk in 1860 along with a letter to Joshua Speed which demonstrates his evolving views on slavery. In addition, "Forever Free: Lincoln & the Emancipation Proclamation" displays the pen that Lincoln used the sign his famous Proclamation along with paintings, broadsides, and manuscripts that tell the story of Boston's celebration of the Emancipation. All of these exhibits are free and open to the public, available for viewing Monday-Saturday, 10:00am - 4:00pm.

Next on the calendar, the MHS has two public seminars this week. On Tuesday, 19 March 2013, drop by the MHS for the latest Immigration and Urban History Seminar, "Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-1945." Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School, presents a paper which highlights the paradox of bodybuilders like Charles Atlas who marketed diet and exercise regimens by emphasizing their own innate weaknesses while, at the same time, espousing eugenics techniques of the day. Ms. Padurano also argues that, in a time when the nation was not a hospitable place for foreigners, both techniques served as sorts of assimilation strategies within immigrant and ethnic bodybuilding communities. Martin Summers, Boston College will provide comment. The seminar will begin at 5:15pm and is free and open to the public. RSVP required. Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar paper.

Then, visit the Society again on Thursday, 21 March, for "Subjects in Context: The Role of Place in the Writing of Bigoraphy." In this panel discussion, part of the MHS Biography Seminar series, Carla Kaplan, Diane McWhorter, and Lois Rudnick will present their views on the topic through the prisms of their respective projects. Ms. Kaplan will highlight her forthcoming book on white women in the Harlem Renaissance; Ms. McWhorter will focus on the civil rights struggle and the growth of the military-industrial comples in postwar Alabama; and Ms. Rudnick discuss Mabel Dodge Luhan and her circle of friends in New Mexico. The discussion will be moderated by Carol Bundy. This event is also free and open to the public and will begin at 5:30pm. Again, RSVP required.

And rounding out the countdown this week, there will be one public tour happening. Come in on Saturday, 23 March 2013, for a free docent-led tour of the Society. The History and Collections of the MHS is a 90-minute tour that touches on the history and collections of the MHS, as well as some of the art and architecture on display in the Society's public rooms. No reservation required for individuals or small groups but parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending the tour. For more information, please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or Tour will begin at 10:00am in the lobby.



permalink | Published: Monday, 18 March, 2013, 8:00 AM


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