The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Last week saw the close to the seminar season here at the Society and as summer approaches the calendar opens up a bit. Still, there are some great programs coming up this week to experience. Here is what is on tap at the MHS this week.

First, on Wednesday, 15 May 2013, come on in for a Brown Bag Lunch discussion as Reiner Smolinski of Georgia State University presents "Cotton Mather encounters the gods of Egypt: The Transatlantic Enlightenment and the Origin of Pagan Religions." The presentation is based on Prof. Smolinski's ongoing work for his forthcoming intellectual biography of Cotton Mather. Brown Bag lunches are free and open to the public and begin at noon.

The following day, Thursday, 16 May, the MHS hosts "The Tender Heart & Brave: The Politics and Friendship of Charles Sumner & Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." This talk, co-sponsored by the Longfellow House-Washington National Historic Site and the Boston African American National Historic Site, examines how the fiery abolitionist Sumner and the genteel poet Longfellow became the closest of friends. Dramatic readings of actual historic documents such as letters, journals, poetry, and speeches will show the deep personal relationship shared between the two men. The reading, done by author Stephen Puleo and the Longefellow House's Rob Velella, takes listeners from the earliest friendship to antislavery advocacy of these two men, from personal triumphs and tragedies to their final years, weaving through the events of the nation during their lifetimes, including the Emancipation. Mr. Puleo, author of "The Caning: the assault that drove America to Civil War" will provide commentary and sign copies of his book. Reservations are requested for this event at no cost. Please RSVP. Contact the education department for more information at 617-646-0560/ Program begins with a reception at 5:30pm, talk begins at 6:00pm. 

And on Saturday, 18 May, come to 1154 Boylston at 10:00am for a free building tour, The History and Collections of the MHS. This 90-minute, docent-led tour takes guests through all of the Society's public rooms while providing information about the history and collections of the institution. 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

Finally, there are only two weeks left to view three current exhibitions, all focusing on varying aspects of the path to Emancipation in the mid-19th century. Exhibits are open to the public six days a week, Mon-Sat, 10:00am - 4:00pm. The present displays are on view until Friday, 24 May, so do not miss them!



permalink | Published: Monday, 13 May, 2013, 1:00 AM