This Month at the MHS

Extended
to May 26

Exhibition

The Private Jefferson

Explore Jefferson’s complexity through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

Details
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                • Brown BagGetting Old in the Young Nation
                  Brown BagGetting Old in the Young Nation
                  12:00PM - 1:00PM Rebecca Brannon, James Madison University this event is free More
                • Public Program, Jefferson SeriesJefferson and His Gardens
                  Public Program, Jefferson SeriesJefferson and His Gardens
                  6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author registration required More
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                  • Brown BagValuing the Body of the Enslaved: From the Cradle to the Grave
                    Brown BagValuing the Body of the Enslaved: From the Cradle to the Grave
                    12:00PM - 1:00PM Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin this event is free More
                  • Public Program, Jefferson SeriesJefferson the Architect
                    Public Program, Jefferson SeriesJefferson the Architect
                    6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. registration required More
                    • Public ProgramPostponed: Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum
                      Postponed:
                      Public ProgramInnovation Hub: Mass Momentum
                      6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University More
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                      • Public ProgramA History of Boston in 50 Artifacts - SOLD OUT
                        Public ProgramA History of Boston in 50 Artifacts - SOLD OUT
                        6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author registration closed More
                      • ExhibitionThe Private Jefferson
                        ends ExhibitionThe Private Jefferson
                        10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM this event is free More
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                          Exhibition The Private Jefferson this event is free 29 January 2016 to 26 May 2016 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The Private Jefferson

                          Thomas Jefferson has been described as an "American Sphinx." As the drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the third president of the United States, he is one of the most famous Americans. Nevertheless, he is an enigmatic figure: an intensely private man who spent more than thirty years in public service; the spokesman for popular democracy who, at the same time, held hundreds of men, women and children as his personal property; an urbane, widely-travelled, and widely-read exemplar of the Enlightenment, who appeared happiest in a meticulously-planned environment that he had created for himself in the back country. The exhibition aims to pull back the veil and uncover the private Jefferson. Kicking off a year-long 225th anniversary celebration, The Private Jefferson: From the Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society is open at the MHS through 20 May, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

                          One of the Society’s greatest treasures is the Coolidge Collection of Thomas Jefferson manuscripts. The collection is comprised of letters, journals, record books, accounts, and 400 architectural drawings and sketches—almost 9,500 documents in all—collected by Jefferson’s descendants who lived in Massachusetts and donated them to the Society. 

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                          Early American History Seminar “They bid me speak what I thought he would give”: The Commodification of Captive Peoples during King Phillip’s War Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
                          Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
                          3 May 2016.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota Comment: Kate Grandjean, Wellesley College

                          This essay will address the systems of human trafficking that circulated both Native American and English captives during King Phillip’s War. Using the examples of Mary Rowlandson and King Phillip’s nameless son, the study explores the processes that turned captive peoples into commodities exchangeable for currency, material goods, or other humans. It argues that this commodification facilitated the circulation, exchange, and exploitation of captive peoples through human trafficking during King Phillip’s War.

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                          Brown Bag Fear and Loathing at the Crystal Palace: the Failure of America's First World's Fair this event is free 4 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Michael Zakim, Tel Aviv University and the Charles Warren Center

                          Inspired by the spectacular success of London's Crystal Palace Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in 1851, an enthusiastic group of New Yorkers hoped to repeat that achievement two years later and so position the New World firmly at the center of a new global economy. Instead, they ended up stoking ongoing American debate over the changing meaning of industry in these years of industrial revolution.

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                          MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 7 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

                          The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                          While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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                          Public Program Canceled:
                          Mad for Glory: The true story of two Americans and the fate of the Pacific world
                          7 May 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. Robert Booth, Author

                          While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, Robert Booth came across the story of a naval vessel sent out under Capt. John Downes, who took unauthorized bloody reprisal for an incident at Sumatra involving a Salem merchant vessel. He wondered how this came about and found that 20 years earlier Downes had been lieutenant under Capt. David Porter on board the frigate Essex. Investigating the story, he found that Captain Porter had gone rogue with a U.S. Navy ship only to meet an American ambassador who had organized a new nation overseas and led its armies into the field. In 1813, during the confusion of the War of 1812, two charismatic Americans played out an astonishing drama of nation-building and imperialism in the Pacific.

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                          Brown Bag Getting Old in the Young Nation this event is free 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Rebecca Brannon, James Madison University

                          What was it like getting old in a nation self-defined as a young nation? This research considers changes in how old men in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries self-conceptualized their own aging process, and how others around them perceived their aging. The American Revolution’s embrace of youthfulness—epitomized in constant descriptions of the young nation, and in the young men who largely led the Revolution—undermined traditional assurances of respect for the aged.

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                          Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson and His Gardens registration required 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author

                          For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.

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                          Special Event Cocktails with Clio registration closed 12 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Cocktails with Clio 2016

                          Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio!

                          Thursday, 12 May 2016
                          6:00 PM

                          John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
                          Columbia Point
                          Boston, Massachusetts

                          Tickets are $300 per person

                          As part of the Society’s 225th anniversary celebrations, we invite you to join us for a festive evening that will raise funds in support of MHS outreach initatives and educational programs. The evening will begin with cocktails in the lovely pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow along with a conversation between the 71st Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston radio and television personality Jim Braude. Sit back and listen as Governor Patrick reflects on his time in office, talks about how the Commonwealth’s great history affected his governorship, and makes connections between past and present leaders.

                          Registration is now closed.


                          Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

                          Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s educational and outreach efforts continue to expand. The additional funding provided by Clio enables the MHS to offer a wide array of educational services including engaging workshops and hands-on student programs; online classroom tools; lesson plans and curricular resources; fellowships for students and teachers; and community partnerships. The Society also reaches out to students and teachers in its role as state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts. Become a sponsor and join with other history enthusiasts in demonstrating your commitment to promoting the study of American history and deepening our nation’s understanding of the diverse stories that define our past.  

                          For more information, visit www.masshist.org/clio/sponsor or e-mail cknauff@masshist.org.

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                          Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Touch Art Gallery brings Jefferson to the Digital Age this event is free 13 May 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Andries van Dam and team, Brown University

                          The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was made possible by Microsoft and a team of undergraduates at Brown University who created the Touch Art Gallery program. The faculty guide and the students who worked on the project will show the technology and explain how it was created.

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                          MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 14 May 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM

                          The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                          While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition.

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                          Brown Bag Valuing the Body of the Enslaved: From the Cradle to the Grave this event is free 16 May 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Daina Ramey Berry, University of Texas at Austin

                          Based on 10 years of research in northern and southern archives, Daina Ramey Berry will share some of her discoveries about the price of human chattel. Enslaved people were valued from before birth and beyond death and Berry has created a framework for understanding this phenomenon.

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                          Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson the Architect registration required 16 May 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

                          Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, but he was also an influential architect in the early republic. Although he is best known today for the design of his own house, Monticello, Jefferson was very important as a champion for and scholar of neoclassical design. His plans for the Virginia State Capital and the University of Virginia helped define how Americans thought of public spaces for the following century. Henry Adams will explore the impact of Jefferson in American architecture and the legacy he has left on our country's built environment. 

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                          Brown Bag The Lives of Textiles: Trading and Consuming Clothing, Fabrics and Apparel Accessories in French and British North America, 1720s-1770s this event is free 18 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Sarah Templier, Johns Hopkins University

                          This program will present an overview of Templier's dissertation research, which addresses how clothing and textiles, particularly valuable and exchangeable goods in the eighteenth-century Atlantic, circulated across social scale, through formal and informal channels of exchange.

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                          Public Program Postponed:
                          Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum
                          19 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University

                          This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial Drive - Cambridge)

                          Massachusetts is the birthplace of more world changing innovations than almost anywhere on earth. From the first modern anesthesia to the first venture capital firm to the legalization of same sex marriage, these innovations have shaped the world.  

                          Our region’s future as a global innovation hub can’t be taken for granted.  Five leaders from divergent sectors who focus on innovation will address critical questions about how to keep our region innovative:

                          Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe

                          Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

                          Rob Go, NextView Ventures

                          Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge

                          Moderated by Robert Krim, Dir., Innovation Center, Framingham State University

                           

                          They will tackle questions such as:

                          • What innovation drivers have consistently been a part of our region and what can we do to strengthen them for the future?
                          • Why have major social innovations, from being the 1st state to abolish slavery to the 1st state to legalize gay marriage (and many others) happened here?
                          • What can our region learn from previous losses?
                            • The 1st decade of the auto industry was centered in Boston & Hartford. How did we lose it?
                            • Greater Boston was the center of early computer development (in the ‘40’s), the transistor revolution of the ‘50’s as well as some early digital breakthroughs in the 1960’s. Why did the next wave of innovation move west?
                          • How did waves of innovation in each of four centuries bring the region back from depression to national and global innovative leadership? 
                          • How can these lessons help retain the current “innovation generation” in this region?

                          This program has been made possible through the underwriting support of Framingham State University and Legal Sea Foods. 

                          Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society working with MIT, the Russell Museum at MGH, Cambridge Innovation Center, Framingham State University and faculty from Suffolk University.

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                          Brown Bag "My principles for my government …are fixed," Declarations of Independence between Fathers and Sons in the Age of Revolution this event is free 20 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Travis Jacquess, University of Mississippi

                          Unlike their colonial counterparts who had a vested interested in keeping their sons close to home as a source of labor for the family farm or as an otherwise participant in the family business, fathers in the Revolutionary era emphasized their sons' individual achievement and development over communal interests. Jaquess argues that the spirit of independence, the  spirit of ’76 if you will, gave rise to the spirit of individualism, which was  passed from father to son as a natural product of their experience in the Revolution and their engagement in the new American Republic.

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                          Public Program, Conversation Begin at the Beginning: John Gyles’ Odd Adventure: A Different Captivity Narrative Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 21 May 2016.Saturday, 1:00PM - 3:00PM Partnership of Historic Bostons/Abby Chandler, UMass Lowell

                          Most Puritan captivity narratives tell a tale of horror and fear. John Gyles, captured at the age of nine, tells a very different story of his upbringing among the Micmac and Maliseet peoples: that of understanding and respect. Join us for the last in this season’s discussion of primary readings, led by Dr Abby Chandler, and open to all. 

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                          Brown Bag Serendipity and Literary History: The Problem of "Firstness" in Histories of the American Novel this event is free 23 May 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Karen Weyler, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

                          Beginnings matter in literary histories, because they beget endings. Weyler will talk about some of the traditional inception points for literary histories of fiction in British America and the early United States and then suggest how some of her findings at the Massachusetts Historical Society might challenge these traditional narratives of the novel.

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                          Public Program A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts - SOLD OUT registration closed 24 May 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author

                          istory is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents.

                          THIS PROGRAM IS SOLD OUT

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                          Brown Bag "For the Good of the Country": Captive Trade Networks in the Colonial Northeast, 1630-1763 this event is free 25 May 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Joanne Jahnke Wegner, University of Minnesota

                          Between 1630 and 1763, multiple, intersecting captive trades developed in the colonial northeast as Native Americans, the English, and the French competed for geo-political power in the northeastern borderlands. The captive trades that emerged and evolved did so in the broader context of settler colonialism, where captive bodies became fungible commodities circulated by individuals and corporate bodies for economic, social, or political gain. The development of these captive trades depended upon the commodification of captive peoples who were trafficked in the colonies, across imperial borders, and into the Atlantic world.

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                          Brown Bag From the Partisan Press to the Political Procedural this event is free 27 May 2016.Friday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Mary Hale, University of Illinois - Chicago

                          This project considers  the development of a new post-Civil War genre of political novels specifically by looking at Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner's The Gilded Age and Henry Adams's Democracy. It examines the way in which Twain and Adams turn to the novel after their experiences working as political journalists and how this move from the partisan press to the political novel enables them to imagine new forms of nonpartisan political activity.

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                          Building Closed Memorial Day 28 May 2016.Saturday, all day

                          The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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                          Building Closed Memorial Day 30 May 2016.Monday, all day

                          The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed. 

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