October 2013
Early American History Seminar Town Hall Meeting with the New Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture 1 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Karin A. Wulf, College of William and Mary and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

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.

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Brown Bag “New Englands Teares, for Old England's Feares”: Comparing Attitudes Toward Infertility in Early Modern England and Colonial New England 2 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marisa Benoit, University of Oxford This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and ...

This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and colonial New England from c.1650 to 1750 through analysis of a wide variety of contemporary sources. To compare early modern England with its own “child,” colonial New England, is to examine two societies linked by cultural and religious norms but facing different challenges. These challenges are explored by analyzing infertility’s representation in popular, religious, and medical literature and personal writing from both societies. As the two societies’ relationship was often described through reproductive language, analyzing representations of infertility provides a different angle through which to view the links between “Old” and New England while highlighting the connections between the sources themselves. The topic of infertility provides the opportunity to untangle the web of emerging anatomical discoveries, social ideas about gender relations, the family, and the importance of children, and religious ideas about generation that characterized attitudes toward reproduction in the early modern period.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 3 October 2013.Thursday, all day More
Desk and bookcase Special Event, Member Event The Cabinetmaker & the Carver - Preview Reception 3 October 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for the Society’s fall ...

Desk and bookcaseMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for the Society’s fall exhibition. The Cabinetmaker & the Carver provides visitors with an opportunity to view nearly 50 examples of rarely seen furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from teh 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.

To Reserve: Tickets are $25 (no charge for MHS Fund Giving Circle members). Please click on the registration link to purchase tickets.

The exhibition is presented as 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. Photograph by Laura Wulf

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Public Program, Exhibition New Thoughts on Old Things: Four Centuries of Furnishing the Northeast 4 October 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 5:30PM Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the ...

Co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Historical Society, this day-long symposium is devoted to new scholarly research on the design, production, and circulation of furnishings in New England. New Thoughts on Old Things will feature keynote speaker Glenn Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, along with a select group of emerging scholars. The event is associated with Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture—a collaborative of 11 institutions celebrating furniture and furniture-making in Massachusetts. For more information on the Four Centuries initiative and events, please visit: http://www.fourcenturies.org/.

To Reserve: The symposium is free with admission to the museum. Advanced ticketing recommended. For information, please contact Lauren Spengler at lspengler@mfa.org.

Event Details

Keynote Speaker: Glenn Adamson, Head of Research, V&A Museum, Furniture History: The View from Old England

Speakers

  • Tania Batley, E. W. Vaill Patent Chair Manufacturer (Worcester, MA)
  • Nicole Belolan, Aunt Patty's Furniture: Adult Cradles and the History of Physical Mobility Impairment in Early America
  • Louisa Brouwer, “Vanishable Antiques”: The Story of Israel Sack, Inc., and the Building of an American Industry
  • Ben Colman, Between Memory and Antiquity:The Circulation of Seventeenth-Century Furniture in 18th-Century Plymouth
  • Philippe Halbert, Noblesse in New France: Furnishing the Hôtel de Vaudreuil and the Chateau Saint-Louis 1725-1760
  • Marissa S. Hershon, The Egyptian Revival in the 1870's: The Reception Room at Cedar Hill (Warwick, RI)
  • Jennifer N. Johnson, Patterns of Gentility: Pictorial Needlework Upholstery of Eighteenth-Century Newport
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Exhibitionbegins The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections 4 October 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm This exhibition provides visitors with a rare opportunity to see nearly 50 examples of significant ...


This 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.

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Teacher Workshop Painless: A Survival Guide to the "Dreaded" History Project 5 October 2013.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM WHO: For teachers, students, librarians, archivistsWHAT: A FREE ...
WHO: For teachers, students, librarians, archivists
WHAT: A FREE hands-on workshop
WHEN: Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
WHERE: Massachusetts Historical Society

 

Using the broad theme of “Rights and Responsibilities” as a springboard, you’ll explore how to approach primary source research in special libraries and archives, the Massachusetts Historical Society & the National Archives, through a range of historical documents, including letters, diaries, songs, petitions, and government records.

You’ll collect evidence, analyze information, draw conclusions, assemble your findings into an historical narrative, and design a history project as a paper, website, exhibit, documentary, or performance.

By applying National History Day methodologies, the “dreaded” history project is transformed into the creation of imaginative, engaging, and meaningful history experiences. Representatives from Massachusetts History Day will share how the program works.

This free workshop is open to students, teachers, librarians, and archivists. Lunch will be provided. Teachers can earn 10 Professional Development Points.

For more information, or to register, please contact Kathleen Barker at the Massachusetts Historical Society: education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557.

This workshop is presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the National Archives at Boston in collaboration with Massachusetts History Day.

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 5 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the ...

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.

More
Environmental History Seminar From Wilderness Environments to Well-Ordered Plantations: The Gifts of God Perfected by Industry 8 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM John Lauritz Larson, Purdue University Comment: Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

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.

More
Brown Bag An Empire of Fakes: Counterfeit Goods in Eighteenth-Century America 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Catherine Cangany, University of Notre Dame This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of ...

This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of spurious merchandise in early Anglo-America. In so doing, it reclaims forgotten commercial actors and networks and downplays the primacy of mercantilism to emphasize individualism (defined by counterfeits' propensity to subvert legal commerce for personal gain). Given that the underground economy constituted half of all economic transactions in this period, individualism may have been the more important commercial doctrine, a full century earlier than most scholarship suggests.

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Public Program Behind the Scenes at the Museum: The Curator’s View of "Boston Furniture from Private Collections" 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Gerald W. R. Ward, Museum of Fine Arts Boston This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series Boston’s history is written not only in documents and manuscripts but in the three-dimensional ...

Boston’s history is written not only in documents and manuscripts but in the three-dimensional objects that its craftsmen and factories have made, and its citizens have used, since 1630. This presentation will offer an opportunity to learn about and tour this loan exhibition of more than 40 rarely seen examples of Boston furniture from ca. 1690 to ca. 1900 with guest curator Gerald W. R. Ward.

Gerald W. R. Ward is the Katherine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar "Qualified Women": Women, Performance and Political Labor in the New Deal 10 October 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Location: Schlesinger Library Kate Dossett, University of Leeds Comment: Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biography Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

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.

More
MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 12 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the ...

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.

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Special Event, Public Program MHS Open House 14 October 2013.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM This event is free and open to the public. Join us as part of the Fenway Cultural District’s Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest ...

Join us as part of the Fenway Cultural District’s Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural events. Visit the MHS and view The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections and enjoy a demonstration related to furniture on display by craftsmen from the North Bennet Street School.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Columbus Day 14 October 2013.Monday, all day The MHS library will be closed on Monday, 14 October in observance of Columbus Day. The exhibition ...

The MHS library will be closed on Monday, 14 October in observance of Columbus Day. The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open as part of the Fenway Alliance's Opening Our Doors event.

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Public Program, Author Talk Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations 16 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Charlene Mires, Rutgers University In 1945–1946, Bostonians pursued an ambitious dream: to become not only “the Hub” ...

In 1945–1946, Bostonians pursued an ambitious dream: to become not only “the Hub” but also the Capital of the World—the headquarters site for the new United Nations. Drawing from her book, Charlene Mires will present an illustrated talk about the dramatic, surprising, and often comic story of civic boosterism awakened by the UN ’s search for a home.

Charlene Mires is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers University—Camden. She is the author of Independence Hall in American Memory, editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, and a co-recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin 17 October 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Location: Boston Public Library, Copley Square Jill Lepore, Harvard University Jane Franklin, the sister of Benjamin Franklin, was a constant presence and influence in her brother ...

Jane Franklin, the sister of Benjamin Franklin, was a constant presence and influence in her brother's life. Like her brother, Jane Franklin was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator. Making use of a collection of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and recently discovered portraits, author Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life. Lepore provides a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister and a history of history itself.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public. Visit the Boston Public Library's website for additional information and directions.

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Public Program, Exhibition The Call of Classicism: Boston Furniture from the Early 19th Century 18 October 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Exhibition Spotlight Irfan Ali The early 19th century was a time of prosperity for the City of Boston and produced some ...

The early 19th century was a time of prosperity for the City of Boston and produced some extraordinary furniture. Irfan Ali, a collector of American furniture, will examine Boston’s answer to the call of classicism by looking at furniture made by craftsmen such as Thomas Seymour, Isaac Vose, and Archibald and Emmons.

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

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Brown Bag Reviving a Spirit of Controversy: Early American Catholicism and the Separation of Church and State, 1633-1839 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Pellegrino, University of Nevada, Las Vegas This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, ...

This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, and expand conceptions of religious liberty in early America. Virtually ignored in church-state historiography until the 1840s, Catholics played a heretofore overlooked role in challenging and redefining America's ideal church-state relationship during the colonial period and in the early Republic. By paying closer attention to how Catholics interacted with the laws and culture around them, this project offers fresh insights into questions pertaining to church-state relations and the history of religious freedom.

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Public Program, Exhibition “Newest Fashion” Furniture in Boston, 1690–1730: A Transatlantic View 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Yale University This event is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series This program will explore how the influx of English cabinetmakers and chairmakers and the ...

This program will explore how the influx of English cabinetmakers and chairmakers and the fashionable desires of a new Boston elite combined to transform the furniture trade in Boston in the period after the establishment of the new Charter in 1691. Producers and consumers collaborated to invent a new Boston that was a commercial center more than a providential city on a hill. 

Edward S. Cooke, Jr., the Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, has published extensively on both historical and contemporary furniture. Prior to returning to Yale in 1992, he was a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and taught at Boston University.

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.

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Biography Seminar Telling Lives: Megan Marshall Interviews George E. Vaillant about the Harvard Grant Study 24 October 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM George E. Vaillant, Harvard Medical School, author of Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study Moderator: Megan Marshall, author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568.

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 26 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM Join us for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the ...

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.

More
Immigration and Urban History Seminar Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45 29 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School Comment: E. Anthony Rotundo, Phillips Academy Andover Be sure to RSVP for this program by emailing seminars@masshist.org or phoning 617-646-0568. Authors ...

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.

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Round About the Earth Author Talk, Public Program Around the World in 500 Years 30 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University Are we more "global" today than people in the past were, better able to span and understand the ...

Round About the EarthAre we more "global" today than people in the past were, better able to span and understand the entire planet?  Planetary consciousness, our awareness of living on a globe with finite resources, did not begin with those luminous, exquisitely beautiful Apollo 8 photographs of the Earth taken from space in 1968, as is often asserted. Rather, it began with the now-500-year-old tradition of going around the world, the longest human activity done on a planetary scale. Around-the-world travelers' long and self-aware tradition of engagement with the planet questions our sense of uniqueness and may teach us something worth knowing about why we think of the Earth the way we do.

Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University and author of Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit.

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.

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Early American History Seminar Town Hall Meeting with the New Director of the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture 1 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Karin A. Wulf, College of William and Mary and Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture

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.

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Brown Bag “New Englands Teares, for Old England's Feares”: Comparing Attitudes Toward Infertility in Early Modern England and Colonial New England 2 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Marisa Benoit, University of Oxford

This project is a comparative study of attitudes toward infertility in early modern England and colonial New England from c.1650 to 1750 through analysis of a wide variety of contemporary sources. To compare early modern England with its own “child,” colonial New England, is to examine two societies linked by cultural and religious norms but facing different challenges. These challenges are explored by analyzing infertility’s representation in popular, religious, and medical literature and personal writing from both societies. As the two societies’ relationship was often described through reproductive language, analyzing representations of infertility provides a different angle through which to view the links between “Old” and New England while highlighting the connections between the sources themselves. The topic of infertility provides the opportunity to untangle the web of emerging anatomical discoveries, social ideas about gender relations, the family, and the importance of children, and religious ideas about generation that characterized attitudes toward reproduction in the early modern period.

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Notice Library Closing @ 3:30PM 3 October 2013.Thursday, all day close

Special Event, Member Event The Cabinetmaker & the Carver - Preview Reception 3 October 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Desk and bookcase

Desk and bookcaseMHS Fellows and Members are invited to a special preview and reception for the Society’s fall exhibition. The Cabinetmaker & the Carver provides visitors with an opportunity to view nearly 50 examples of rarely seen furniture borrowed from distinguished private collections in the greater Boston area. Ranging in date from teh 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.

To Reserve: Tickets are $25 (no charge for MHS Fund Giving Circle members). Please click on the registration link to purchase tickets.

The exhibition is presented as 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. Photograph by Laura Wulf

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Public Program, Exhibition New Thoughts on Old Things: Four Centuries of Furnishing the Northeast 4 October 2013.Friday, 10:00AM - 5:30PM Location: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Co-sponsored by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Historical Society, this day-long symposium is devoted to new scholarly research on the design, production, and circulation of furnishings in New England. New Thoughts on Old Things will feature keynote speaker Glenn Adamson, Head of Research at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) in London, along with a select group of emerging scholars. The event is associated with Four Centuries of Massachusetts Furniture—a collaborative of 11 institutions celebrating furniture and furniture-making in Massachusetts. For more information on the Four Centuries initiative and events, please visit: http://www.fourcenturies.org/.

To Reserve: The symposium is free with admission to the museum. Advanced ticketing recommended. For information, please contact Lauren Spengler at lspengler@mfa.org.

Event Details

Keynote Speaker: Glenn Adamson, Head of Research, V&A Museum, Furniture History: The View from Old England

Speakers

  • Tania Batley, E. W. Vaill Patent Chair Manufacturer (Worcester, MA)
  • Nicole Belolan, Aunt Patty's Furniture: Adult Cradles and the History of Physical Mobility Impairment in Early America
  • Louisa Brouwer, “Vanishable Antiques”: The Story of Israel Sack, Inc., and the Building of an American Industry
  • Ben Colman, Between Memory and Antiquity:The Circulation of Seventeenth-Century Furniture in 18th-Century Plymouth
  • Philippe Halbert, Noblesse in New France: Furnishing the Hôtel de Vaudreuil and the Chateau Saint-Louis 1725-1760
  • Marissa S. Hershon, The Egyptian Revival in the 1870's: The Reception Room at Cedar Hill (Warwick, RI)
  • Jennifer N. Johnson, Patterns of Gentility: Pictorial Needlework Upholstery of Eighteenth-Century Newport
close

Exhibition The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections 4 October 2013 to 17 January 2014 Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm


This 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.

close

Teacher Workshop Painless: A Survival Guide to the "Dreaded" History Project 5 October 2013.Saturday, 9:00AM - 3:00PM
WHO: For teachers, students, librarians, archivists
WHAT: A FREE hands-on workshop
WHEN: Saturday, October 5, 2013 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
WHERE: Massachusetts Historical Society

 

Using the broad theme of “Rights and Responsibilities” as a springboard, you’ll explore how to approach primary source research in special libraries and archives, the Massachusetts Historical Society & the National Archives, through a range of historical documents, including letters, diaries, songs, petitions, and government records.

You’ll collect evidence, analyze information, draw conclusions, assemble your findings into an historical narrative, and design a history project as a paper, website, exhibit, documentary, or performance.

By applying National History Day methodologies, the “dreaded” history project is transformed into the creation of imaginative, engaging, and meaningful history experiences. Representatives from Massachusetts History Day will share how the program works.

This free workshop is open to students, teachers, librarians, and archivists. Lunch will be provided. Teachers can earn 10 Professional Development Points.

For more information, or to register, please contact Kathleen Barker at the Massachusetts Historical Society: education@masshist.org or (617) 646-0557.

This workshop is presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society and the National Archives at Boston in collaboration with Massachusetts History Day.

close

MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 5 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

close

Environmental History Seminar From Wilderness Environments to Well-Ordered Plantations: The Gifts of God Perfected by Industry 8 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM John Lauritz Larson, Purdue University Comment: Joyce Chaplin, Harvard 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.

close

Brown Bag An Empire of Fakes: Counterfeit Goods in Eighteenth-Century America 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Catherine Cangany, University of Notre Dame

This project investigates the market, commodities, producers, suppliers, vendors, and consumers of spurious merchandise in early Anglo-America. In so doing, it reclaims forgotten commercial actors and networks and downplays the primacy of mercantilism to emphasize individualism (defined by counterfeits' propensity to subvert legal commerce for personal gain). Given that the underground economy constituted half of all economic transactions in this period, individualism may have been the more important commercial doctrine, a full century earlier than most scholarship suggests.

close

Public Program Behind the Scenes at the Museum: The Curator’s View of "Boston Furniture from Private Collections" 9 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Gerald W. R. Ward, Museum of Fine Arts Boston This program is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series

Boston’s history is written not only in documents and manuscripts but in the three-dimensional objects that its craftsmen and factories have made, and its citizens have used, since 1630. This presentation will offer an opportunity to learn about and tour this loan exhibition of more than 40 rarely seen examples of Boston furniture from ca. 1690 to ca. 1900 with guest curator Gerald W. R. Ward.

Gerald W. R. Ward is the Katherine Lane Weems Senior Curator of American Decorative Arts and Sculpture, Art of the Americas, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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.

close

History of Women and Gender Seminar "Qualified Women": Women, Performance and Political Labor in the New Deal 10 October 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:00PM Location: Schlesinger Library Kate Dossett, University of Leeds Comment: Susan Ware, General Editor, American National Biography

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.

close

MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 12 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

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Special Event, Public Program MHS Open House 14 October 2013.Monday, 10:00AM - 3:00PM This event is free and open to the public.

Join us as part of the Fenway Cultural District’s Opening Our Doors, Boston’s largest single day of free arts and cultural events. Visit the MHS and view The Cabinetmaker & the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections and enjoy a demonstration related to furniture on display by craftsmen from the North Bennet Street School.

This event is free and open to the public.

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Library Closed Columbus Day 14 October 2013.Monday, all day

The MHS library will be closed on Monday, 14 October in observance of Columbus Day. The exhibition galleries, featuring The Cabinetmaker and the Carver: Boston Furniture from Private Collections, will be open as part of the Fenway Alliance's Opening Our Doors event.

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Public Program, Author Talk Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations 16 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Charlene Mires, Rutgers University

In 1945–1946, Bostonians pursued an ambitious dream: to become not only “the Hub” but also the Capital of the World—the headquarters site for the new United Nations. Drawing from her book, Charlene Mires will present an illustrated talk about the dramatic, surprising, and often comic story of civic boosterism awakened by the UN ’s search for a home.

Charlene Mires is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities at Rutgers University—Camden. She is the author of Independence Hall in American Memory, editor-in-chief of The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, and a co-recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in journalism.

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.

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Public Program, Author Talk Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin 17 October 2013.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Location: Boston Public Library, Copley Square Jill Lepore, Harvard University

Jane Franklin, the sister of Benjamin Franklin, was a constant presence and influence in her brother's life. Like her brother, Jane Franklin was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator. Making use of a collection of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and recently discovered portraits, author Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life. Lepore provides a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister and a history of history itself.

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper '41 Professor of American History at Harvard University and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

To Reserve: This event is free and open to the public. Visit the Boston Public Library's website for additional information and directions.

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Public Program, Exhibition The Call of Classicism: Boston Furniture from the Early 19th Century 18 October 2013.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Exhibition Spotlight Irfan Ali

The early 19th century was a time of prosperity for the City of Boston and produced some extraordinary furniture. Irfan Ali, a collector of American furniture, will examine Boston’s answer to the call of classicism by looking at furniture made by craftsmen such as Thomas Seymour, Isaac Vose, and Archibald and Emmons.

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

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Brown Bag Reviving a Spirit of Controversy: Early American Catholicism and the Separation of Church and State, 1633-1839 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicholas Pellegrino, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This project explores the ways in which American Catholics fought to establish, preserve, reclaim, and expand conceptions of religious liberty in early America. Virtually ignored in church-state historiography until the 1840s, Catholics played a heretofore overlooked role in challenging and redefining America's ideal church-state relationship during the colonial period and in the early Republic. By paying closer attention to how Catholics interacted with the laws and culture around them, this project offers fresh insights into questions pertaining to church-state relations and the history of religious freedom.

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Public Program, Exhibition “Newest Fashion” Furniture in Boston, 1690–1730: A Transatlantic View 23 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Yale University This event is part of the Massachusetts Furniture Series

This program will explore how the influx of English cabinetmakers and chairmakers and the fashionable desires of a new Boston elite combined to transform the furniture trade in Boston in the period after the establishment of the new Charter in 1691. Producers and consumers collaborated to invent a new Boston that was a commercial center more than a providential city on a hill. 

Edward S. Cooke, Jr., the Charles F. Montgomery Professor of American Decorative Arts in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University, has published extensively on both historical and contemporary furniture. Prior to returning to Yale in 1992, he was a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and taught at Boston University.

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.

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Biography Seminar Telling Lives: Megan Marshall Interviews George E. Vaillant about the Harvard Grant Study 24 October 2013.Thursday, 5:30PM - 7:30PM George E. Vaillant, Harvard Medical School, author of Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study Moderator: Megan Marshall, author of Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

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

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MHS Tour MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS 26 October 2013.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

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.

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Immigration and Urban History Seminar Dynamic Tensions: Charles Atlas, Immigrant Bodybuilders, and Eugenics, 1920-45 29 October 2013.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Dominique Padurano, Scarsdale High School Comment: E. Anthony Rotundo, Phillips Academy Andover

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.

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Author Talk, Public Program Around the World in 500 Years 30 October 2013.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM Pre-talk reception at 5:30 pm Joyce Chaplin, Harvard University Round About the Earth

Round About the EarthAre we more "global" today than people in the past were, better able to span and understand the entire planet?  Planetary consciousness, our awareness of living on a globe with finite resources, did not begin with those luminous, exquisitely beautiful Apollo 8 photographs of the Earth taken from space in 1968, as is often asserted. Rather, it began with the now-500-year-old tradition of going around the world, the longest human activity done on a planetary scale. Around-the-world travelers' long and self-aware tradition of engagement with the planet questions our sense of uniqueness and may teach us something worth knowing about why we think of the Earth the way we do.

Joyce E. Chaplin is the James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History at Harvard University and author of Round About the Earth: Circumnavigation from Magellan to Orbit.

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.

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    Key to event colors:
  • MHS Tours
  • Seminars
  • Public Programs
  • Brown Bags
  • Special Events