(Cambridge, March 8, 2017) On Saturday, April 22, 2017, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology will mark 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 1893 Chicago Exposition will be familiar to readers of the best-selling novel The Devil in the White City.) All the World Is Here 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 exhibition will also juxtapose older museum practices with contemporary approaches to collection and exhibit development. Modern day practices such as 3D scanning, modeling ancient Maya monuments, close collaborations with indigenous peoples to conserve Native American cultural heritage, and a display reflecting Hopewell beliefs drawn from research among the culture’s descendant communities, will all be included in the exhibition. In a series of videos, historians, anthropologists, and scientists will explain how views of race have evolved since the museum’s early days. The exhibition will mark both accomplishments and obstacles in the progress toward understanding world cultures.
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.
All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology opens to the public Saturday, April 22 at 9:00 AM at Harvard University's Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at 11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, Mass. It will remain on view through at least 2022.
See related events, including a Free Admission Day at the museum:
3/21 Fabricating the Authentic: Presenting Anthropology at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition
4/30 The Magic of Java: Free Admission Day in Honor of the Peabody Museum’s 150th Anniversary
See all Peabody Museum anniversary events:
See highlights from the Peabody Museum’s history:
Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
One of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture
11 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
617-496-1027 public information
Media contact: Faith Sutter 617-495-3397 email@example.com
High resolution images available on request.