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.


Read the reviews:

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


Related events:

Wednesday, October 11, 6:00 pm Tales of Hopi Pottery: The Legacy of Historic Museum Collections 

Wednesday, November 8, 6:00 pm Decoding Maya Hieroglyphs with 3D Technology

Thursday, November 30, 6:00 pm “Let the Indian Paint His Own Picture”: Alice Fletcher and Cultural Representation Paradoxes

Wednesday, December 6, 6:00 pm All the World Is Here: Anthropology on Display at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair 




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