The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

As summer gets into full swing, things are pretty quiet at the MHS with only two items on the calendar for this week. First, on Wednesday, 26 June, the Society will host the next installment of the Brown Bag Lunch series. Come by at 12:00pm to hear Brooke Newman, Virginia Commonwealth University, present "Island Masters: Gender, race, and power in the eighteenth-century British Caribbean." At its height in the late eighteenth century, Jamaica was the most valuable and productive of Britain’s colonial possessions in the Atlantic world. Yet intertwined with Jamaica’s reputation for unparalleled profit was a growing apprehension of settler degeneration—in manners, morals, bloodlines, and especially life expectancy. The island, as one would-be colonist put it, offers “the most flattering prospect of pecuniary acquisition or death.” Such notions signify Britain’s ambivalent and contradictory relationship with Jamaica, and the West India colonies more generally, during the era of slavery. This event is free and open to the public so pack a lunch and stop on by.

Then, on Saturday, 29 June, visit the Society for The History and Collections of the MHS, 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, 24 June, 2013, 8:00 AM