Inside the Peabody Museum April 2017

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150th Anniversary Exhibition to Open

The Magic of Java Special Event for All Ages  

School Vacation Week Activities

Egypt, Tanzania, Cape Town, and Washington, DC Featured in Lecture Series

Haida pipe150th Anniversary  Exhibition to Open

On April 22, 2017, the Peabody Museum will celebrate 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 will feature an astonishing array of over 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, many on display for the very first time. Together they will be 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 will enter the world of a late 19th-century museum and be 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 will 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.

Related events:

Event details: Friday, April 28, 2017 All the World Is Here Gallery Talk

Event details: Sunday, April 30, 2017 The Magic of Java

Event details: Thursday, May 4, 2017 Curiouser and Curiouser: Why Twenty-First-Century Wonderlands Need Anthropology Museums More Than Ever

shadow puppet

The Magic of Java Special Event for All Ages

Free Admission Day in Honor of the Peabody Museum’s 150th Anniversary  

Jody Diamond, Artist in Residence, Music Department, Harvard University, with Gamelan Si Betty

Shadow theater and live music, popular highlights of the Javanese village at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, come to the galleries of the Peabody Museum! Enjoy a contemporary performance based on The Magic Flute, featuring intricate leather puppets and the sonorous gong-chime instruments of Harvard's Javanese-style gamelan orchestra, led by Jody Diamond with musicologist Hayley Fenn and theater director Mitchell Polonsky. Touch beautiful hand-painted puppets, play the instruments, and sample coffee from the islands of Indonesia.  

Special Event (all ages). Free and open to the public. Small charge for coffee tasting. 

Related events

Event details: Saturday, April 22 Exhibition opens All the World is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology 

Event details: See all anniversary events.


The Natural History of Your Favorite Foods

School Vacation Week Activities

See the world through the eyes of a scientist and explore what research reveals about life and our planet. Graduate students will share their research and lead hands-on activities in the connected Harvard Museum of Natural History galleries on Wednesday, April 19 for two hours. All activities are designed to actively engage families in learning more about science and our natural world. And in the Peabody on Saturday, April 23 for two hours, you get to play with your food! Meet archaeologists and use your observational skills to compare ancient wild plant and animal species to modern ones. Taste, process, and handle new and old world ingredients from favorite foods like pizza, french fries, and chocolate cake, and learn how they became the staples of the American diet we enjoy today. 

Event details: Wednesday, April 19, 10:00 am–12:00 pm, Meet a Scientist at the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Event details: Saturday, April 23, 10:00 am–12:00 pm, The Natural History of Your Favorite Foods

The National Museum of Tanzania

Egypt, Tanzania, Cape Town, and Washington, DC Featured in Lecture Series  

In the first of next month's Race, Representation, and Museums lectures, historian Donald Reid explores anxieties about race in Egyptology and Egyptomania from 1890 to1960.
Event details Thursday, April 6, 6:00 pm

The final lecture in the series this year features anthropologist Corinne A. Kratz. She will look at how assumptions about race and ethnicity become embedded in museum exhibitions, from Cape Town, South Africa to Washington, DC.
Event details  Tuesday, April 25, 6:00 pm

In the 2017 Hallam L. Movius, Jr. Lecture, the director of The National Museum of Tanzania Audax Mabulla will discuss the history of the museum and the innovative policy changes it is implementing to promote an understanding of Tanzania’s heritage, while also contributing to building peace, unity, and democracy in the nation. 
Event details Tuesday, April 11, 6:00 pm

Image credits:  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. PM 94-57-10/R195; Shadow puppet Garuda figure, Java. PM 11-49-70/83325. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. Copyright President and Fellows of Harvard College. Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Harvard University.  © President and Fellows of Harvard College. 

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