All the World Is Here

Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology

Haida effigy pipe"A striking new exhibition" -- Wall Street Journal

"A kaleidoscopic overview of human cultures, anthropology’s origins, and, the evolution, in real-time, of both." -- Harvard Magazine

On April 22, 2017, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology celebrated its 150th anniversary year by opening All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology. Unveiled within a beautifully restored 4th floor gallery, this new exhibition features an astonishing array of over 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, many on display for the very first time. Together they are woven into a compelling narrative tracing the early history of the museum’s collections and the birth of American anthropology as envisioned and shaped by the museum’s second director Frederic W. Putnam.

Visitors enter the world of a late 19th-century museum and are transported into the midst of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition where Putnam and the Peabody presented their anthropological vision and collections to a wider world.  The exhibits display remarkable and historically significant items including the dog sledge of Arctic explorer Admiral Robert Peary, exotic materials traded and collected by 18th-century Boston ship captains, and stunning archaeological works of art excavated from Ohio’s Turner Mounds.  The Peabody Museum is pleased to open its doors and collections to the 21st-century public and invite them to be immersed in the fascinating story of a Victorian-era museum’s rise alongside the then-emerging field of American anthropology.

Exhibition videos






Related Lecture Videos and Events

See all the Race, Representation, and Museums Lecture Series related to this exhibition

Wednesday, October 11, 2017  Tales of Hopi Pottery: The Legacy of Historic Museum Collections 

Thursday, November 30. 2017  “Let the Indian Paint His Own Picture”: Alice Fletcher and Cultural Representation Paradoxes

Quick Stops by Harvard Student Guides During the School Year

Wednesdays, 3:30 pm
Sundays, 11:30 am

During fall and spring while classes are in session, let a Harvard student help you focus on one special object in the galleries. Each Quick Stop lasts about 15 minutes and offers replica objects to handle while engaging in lively conversation about a few interesting artifacts. Be sure to check the schedule for blackout dates. 

Media coverage

Anthropology Anew: The Peabody's Prized Collections, Harvard Magazine

‘All the World Is Here’ Exhibition ReviewHistory of Anthropology Newsletter

How a Fake Monster Creeped into Our MuseumsHyperallergic

Fascinating Harvard exhibit explores the rise of anthropology, Boston Globe

All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology’ ReviewWall Street Journal

The World in an ExhibitHarvard Gazette

Anthropolology Anew: The Peabody's Prized CollectionsHarvard Magazine (Preview of All the World Is Here exhibition)

Harvard museum marking 150 years with new exhibitAssociated Press

Putting a new face, and new faces, on the 1893 World’s FairHarvard Gazette

Haida Effigy Pipe. Carved wood and ivory, with hinged arms. Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, Canada. Ca. 1840. Native American impressions of their non-Indian partners in the Boston China trade can be seen in the objects they created for the wider market. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, PM 94-57-10/R195 (digital file #60742839) © President and Fellows of Harvard College