Public Programs and Special Events

Exhibition

The Furniture of Isaac Vose & Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825

Open 11 May to 14 September 2018 Details

The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

April

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Public Program Grappling with Legacy 17 April 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a reception before the program from 5:30 to 6:00 Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of ...

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

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Public Program Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to ...

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

More
Public Program Begin at the Beginning - Overstepping Their Bounds: How the Puritans Wrested Massachusetts from Gorges 21 April 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts ...

In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts (not including Plymouth) to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Remarkably, ALL of this territory had previously been granted to others. In four separate actions between 1621 and 1623, this land had been granted, by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, President of the Council for New England, to himself and to his associates, and colonized. However, the King's Charter overrode their charters and boundaries.

At this Partnership of Historic Bostons discussion group at MHS, we will replay the struggles and strategies the Mass Bay Colony used to defend, and expand, its land grant against Gorges' accusations of usurpation, sedition, and religious non-conformity, and the efforts to recapture his lost territory by Gorges and his supporters. 

There are five readings (portions of original documents and maps), and a sixth suggested reading.  These will be emailed to everyone who registers thru MHS by Wednesday evening, April 18, and a few copies will be available at the meeting.  

More
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Ethan Carr, UMass Amherst; Alan Banks, National Parks Service; Sean Fisher and Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; moderated by Keith Morgan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The ...

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

More
May
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now; Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston; Madhu C. Dutta-Koehler, City Planning and Urban Affairs, Boston University $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work ...

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

More
Public Program Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives & Lessons of American Child Prodigies 7 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic; and Megan Marshall, Emerson College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of ...

Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of children whose rare accomplishments have raised hopes about untapped human potential and questions about how best to nurture it. The conversation will draw on a range of examples that span a century—from two precocious Harvard boys in 1909 to literary girls in the 1920s to music virtuosos today. Hulbert and Marshall will explore the changing role of parents and teachers, as well as of psychologists, a curious press and, above all, the feelings of the prodigies themselves, who push back against adults more as the decades proceed.

More
Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT MHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical ...

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 is SOLD OUT.

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

Become a Member today!

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

More
Public Program The Burr Conspiracy 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West ...

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

More
Clio 2018 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the eighth Cocktails with Clio!  ...

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

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

More
Public Program Lafayette in America 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero ...

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

More
Public Program Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their ...

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

More
June
Public Program Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman ...

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

More
More events
Public Program Grappling with Legacy 17 April 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a reception before the program from 5:30 to 6:00 Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

close
Public Program Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

close
Public Program Begin at the Beginning - Overstepping Their Bounds: How the Puritans Wrested Massachusetts from Gorges 21 April 2018.Saturday, 1:00PM - 4:00PM

In 1628, King Charles the 1st made a royal grant of what is now the entire state of Massachusetts (not including Plymouth) to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Remarkably, ALL of this territory had previously been granted to others. In four separate actions between 1621 and 1623, this land had been granted, by Sir Ferdinando Gorges, President of the Council for New England, to himself and to his associates, and colonized. However, the King's Charter overrode their charters and boundaries.

At this Partnership of Historic Bostons discussion group at MHS, we will replay the struggles and strategies the Mass Bay Colony used to defend, and expand, its land grant against Gorges' accusations of usurpation, sedition, and religious non-conformity, and the efforts to recapture his lost territory by Gorges and his supporters. 

There are five readings (portions of original documents and maps), and a sixth suggested reading.  These will be emailed to everyone who registers thru MHS by Wednesday evening, April 18, and a few copies will be available at the meeting.  

close
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Public Land 25 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Ethan Carr, UMass Amherst; Alan Banks, National Parks Service; Sean Fisher and Karl Haglund, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation; moderated by Keith Morgan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

Massachusetts has undertaken large scale preservation of open space by government entities. The Boston Public Garden, the Emerald Necklace, the first American public beach in Revere, the banks of the Charles River, and a network of state forests were all significant contributions to keeping open land available to the public. Were these projects pioneering? Have they shaped national discussions? Are similar projects possible today or will projects like the Community Preservation Act offer equivalent impacts?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

close
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: The Future of Our Land 2 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kathy Abbott, Boston Harbor Now; Austin Blackmon, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space for the City of Boston; Madhu C. Dutta-Koehler, City Planning and Urban Affairs, Boston University $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

The Boston metropolitan area is in the enviable spot of having more people who want to live and work here than there is space for. Real estate regularly sells for prices that would have seemed inconceivable twenty five years ago. This situation puts more funds in municipal coffers, but what will this increased demand and density do to plans to preserve open space? How will climate change impact our priorities for preserving open space and how might it limit our options?

 MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

This program is supported by the Barr Foundation.

close
Public Program Off the Charts: The Hidden Lives & Lessons of American Child Prodigies 7 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Ann Hulbert, The Atlantic; and Megan Marshall, Emerson College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Ann Hulbert and Megan Marshall will discuss Hulbert’s new book, which examines the lives of children whose rare accomplishments have raised hopes about untapped human potential and questions about how best to nurture it. The conversation will draw on a range of examples that span a century—from two precocious Harvard boys in 1909 to literary girls in the 1920s to music virtuosos today. Hulbert and Marshall will explore the changing role of parents and teachers, as well as of psychologists, a curious press and, above all, the feelings of the prodigies themselves, who push back against adults more as the decades proceed.

close
Special Event, Member Event Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End Preview & Reception 10 May 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

Isaac Vose CouchMHS Fellows and Members special preview and reception for Entrepreneurship & Classical Design in Boston’s South End: The Furniture of Isaac Vose &Thomas Seymour, 1815 to 1825 is SOLD OUT.

Virtually forgotten for 200 years, Isaac Vose and his brilliant furniture are revealed in a new exhibition and accompanying volume. Beginning with a modest pair of collection boxes he made for his localBoston church in 1788, Vose went on to build a substantial business empire and to make furniture for the most prominent Boston families. The exhibition and catalog restore Vose from relative obscurity to his rightful position as one of Boston’s most important craftsmen. Opening at the MHS on May 11, the exhibition will be on view through September 14.

Become a Member today!

Image: Couch, Isaac Vose & Son, with Thomas Wightman, carver, Boston, 1824. Historic New England, Gift of the Massachusetts Historical Society (1923.507); photograph by David Bohl.

close
Public Program The Burr Conspiracy 15 May 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 James E. Lewis, Jr., Kalamazoo College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1805 and 1806, former vice president Aaron Burr traveled through the trans-Appalachian West gathering support for a mysterious enterprise, for which he was arrested and tried for treason in 1807. The Burr Conspiracy was a cause célèbre of the early republic-with Burr cast as the chief villain of the Founding Fathers—even as the evidence against him was vague and conflicting. James Lewis will explore how Americans made sense of the reports of Burr’s intentions and examine what the crisis revealed about the new nation’s uncertain future.

close
Special Event Cocktails with Clio 17 May 2018.Thursday, 6:30PM - 10:00PM Clio 2018

Watch the recording of this event, embedded below:

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

Thursday, 17 May 2018
6:30 PM

Fairmont Copley Plaza
Boston, Massachusetts

We invite you to join us for a festive evening in support of the Center for the Teaching of History at the MHS featuring Harvard President Drew Faust in conversation with MHS President Catherine Allgor. The evening will begin with a cocktail reception. A seated dinner will follow.

Tickets are $300 per person. Purchase tickets today!

close
Public Program Lafayette in America 21 May 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Alan Hoffman

In 1824 and 1825 General Lafayette made a farewell tour of the United States. The 67-year-old hero was welcomed in an adoring frenzy. The visit to Boston of the sole surviving major general of the Continental Army was one of the largest celebrations the city had ever seen. A “Committee of Arrangements” was organized to rent and furnish an appropriate home and all of the furniture was purchased from Isaac Vose & Son. Alan Hoffman will recount the general’s visit and discuss his translation of Lafayette’s private secretary’s journal.

close
Public Program Apostles of Revolution: Jefferson, Paine, Monroe, & the Struggle against the Old Order in America & Europe 30 May 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 John Ferling, University of West Georgia There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

As Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and James Monroe risked their lives and their liberty for  American independence, and as reformers, each rejoiced at the opportunity to be part of the French Revolution, praying that it in turn would inspire others to sweep away Europe’s monarchies and titled nobilities. But as the 18th century unfolded, these three embarked on different routes to revolution. As writers, soldiers,and statesmen, these three men reshaped their country and the Western world.

close
Public Program Massachusetts Leadership in the Woman Suffrage Movement 6 June 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Barbara Berenson There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Few are familiar with Massachusetts’s role at the center of the national struggle for woman suffrage. Lucy Stone and other Massachusetts abolitionists were some of the first figures who vocally opposed women’s exclusion from political life. Demanding the vote and other reforms, they launched the organized women’s movement at the first National Woman’s Rights Convention, held in Worcester in 1850.Barbara Berenson gives Massachusetts suffragists the attention they deserve in this engaging story and discusses the battle over historical memory that long obscured the state’s leading role.

close

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