Inside the Peabody Museum January 2016

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Animal and Human Effigy Ceramics Exhibit

Ask a Volunteer

Peabody Model at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


fish vesselAnimal and Human Effigy Ceramics Exhibit

Long overshadowed by research focusing on other indigenous Central American peoples, ancient Panamanian artists are now recognized as having created unique objects imbued with their singular vision and articulating a complex world view. On view in the museum lobby through March, Panama in Profile features colorful ceramics sculpted in human and animal forms. Many were excavated by the museum in the 1930s.

Fish effigy vessel, Grave 26, Sitio Conte, Panama. Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College, PM# 33-42-20/1858 (digital file# 99320055). 

Volunteer Leah KaplanAsk a Volunteer

We asked a volunteer why she volunteers for Peabody events, and she told us. As a Perkins School for the Blind teacher during the week, and a Harvard Museums of Science & Culture volunteer at Peabody family festivals, Leah Kaplan looks for activities that will "hook" children. "Even if they make something for just a few minutes, they're so proud, and they remember their day at the Peabody as fun," she says. "It's great to open the door to the rest of their lives as museumgoers." 

Kaplan has volunteered behind-the-scenes in various roles, and lately has enjoyed sharing her knowledge with the public at the Day of the Dead Family Event and Amazing Archaeology Fair at Harvard, among other Peabody events. How does she know how to make those hands-on craft projects? She watches short YouTube training videos for the volunteers produced by Education Specialist Andy Majewski. "He makes it easy to be prepared. Such a great idea! All the training is accessible when you want to watch it."

As a lifelong learner, Kaplan appreciates the volunteer trainings. "Every time there's a new exhibition, [Volunteer Coordinator] Carol Carlson does a training. It's a way to keep yourself interested and learning constantly," Kaplan said. "She's always got some kind of training that's interesting, all the volunteers are invited, even if we're not volunteering for that event."

See more about volunteering at Harvard Museums of Science & CultureLeah Kaplan (green volunteer shirt) at Day of the Dead Family Event.

Copan House Model

Peabody Model at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The centerpiece of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Design for Eternity: Architectural Models from the Ancient Americas, is a 15" high model of a house from the Peabody’s collection. According to the exhibition’s curator, Joanne Pillsbury, the model with its carved inscriptions explicitly demonstrates the significance of architectural models as houses for the divine in the earthly world. Excavated from a possible ancestor shrine in the ancient Maya city of Copan in Honduras, the model symbolically links the spheres of gods and humans. Design for Eternity runs at the Met through September 18, 2016. -- Viva Fisher, Registrar  

Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology , PM# 92-49-20/C20 and 92-49-20/C21 (digital file #99260010).

See what's coming up in the Calendar of Events.