Inside the Peabody Museum August 2015
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Located near two Hubway bike share stops, multiple bus lines, and the Harvard Square T stop, the Peabody Museum loves visitors who use public transportation. But on days when a car is the best choice, take advantage of special weekend-only garage parking nearby. Single day parking permits are available at the Harvard Museum of Natural History front desk for $7 each when you purchase your museum admission. Stop by the front desk with your license plate number to purchase your permit BEFORE parking in the 52 Oxford Street Garage. After parking, walk to either the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue) or Harvard Museum of Natural History entrance (26 Oxford Street). You're welcome!
Summer is the time-honored season for road trips. Recently, Peabody staff were fortunate to visit the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, Alaska as part of a Save America's Treasures grant to study and conserve, among over 100 items, a rare 19th-century Alutiiq kayak. The Alutiiq Museum collaborated on the grant with the Peabody and several on-site consultations have taken place in Cambridge. All of these efforts are directed towards the long term preservation of the objects and greater accessibility to them by both the Harvard and Alutiiq communities. (Read more about previous exchanges.)
This time, Peabody staff spent a week in Kodiak consulting on collections care and conducting a conservation workshop with artists and Alutiiq Museum staff members. The blended team surveyed the Alutiiq Museum’s archaeological holdings, discussed labeling and storage for historic gutskin objects such as pouches, boots, and kayak models, and reviewed the museum’s gallery. Although quite busy, the team found time to sample some of the freshest halibut, salmon, and black cod. Peabody staff also conducted sessions on humidification and repair of gutskin materials, cleaning and labeling techniques, integrated pest management, and the importance of condition-assessment. Two Alutiiq skin-sewing artists led discussions and demonstrations of waterproof stitching techniques for skin and gutskin followed by a hands-on workshop on embroidery techniques.
Stay tuned for a Peabody Museum video featuring an Alutiiq kayak maker whose newly-constructed kayak frame was inspired by the rare 19th-century Alutiiq warrior-whaler kayak in the Peabody Museum collecitons.
Conservation of the Peabody Museum historic Alaska Native kayaks and related collections was supported in part by a federal Save America's Treasures grant administered by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Peabody Museum tours led by Harvard students resume in the fall, but the Harvard Semitic Museum just across the street will offer a free lunchtime tour this summer. The Harvard Semitic Museum is less than a one-minute walk from the Peabody, and features archaeological materials from the ancient Near East. On Wednesday, August 19, explore the museum's latest exhibition, From the Nile to the Euphrates: Creating the Harvard Semitic Museum. The exhibition celebrates the vision of Professor David Gordon Lyon (1852–1935), the museum’s founder and first director. Come learn about the rich collection of Middle Eastern antiques Lyon assembled. The tour is from 12:30-1:00 PM. Large groups should contact the museum for more information about docent-led tours.
See what's coming up in the Calendar of Events.