Inside the Peabody Museum: June 2012

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Feel the Urge to Grill? So Did Our Ancestors

hand-colored engraving by de Bry

"The brovvyllinge of their fishe ouer the flame" [English translation] in "Wunderbarliche, doch warhafftige Erklärung, von der Gelegenheit vnd Sitten der Wilden in Virginia . . ." [America, pt. 1, German], Frankfort: Theodore De Bry, 1590, p. 65. North Carolina Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Wet marinade or dry rub? Grass-fed or grain-fed beef?

Okay, our ancestors did not ask these questions, but award-winning author and PBS grill chef Steven Raichlen answered them in his talk "Man Food Fire: The Evolution of Barbecue."

To watch video of the full presentation, click the hand-colored engraving image at the right. Raichlen illustrated his talk with this and many other images of ancient, historic, and contemporary grilling around the world, along with helpful tips for home grillmasters. Is it best to prepare lean foods only with marinades and prepare fatty foods only with dry rubs? (No, both methods work for lean and fatty foods.) Grass-fed or grain-fed beef? (a compromise: organic beef raised on grass and finished with corn).

For barbecue enthusiasts who prefer to outsource the cooking, Raichlen, a former Cambridge resident, named local chefs who inspire him: Chris Schlesinger, founder of East Coast Grill in Cambridge, and Andy Husbands of Tremont 647 in Boston. Hungry yet?

Read more about Raichlen's talk in a Harvard Gazette article.

New Exhibition: From Daguerreotype to Digital: Photography and Anthropology

daguerreotype to digital exhibition

Anthropology and photography have a long history together, dating back nearly to their origins in the mid-nineteenth century. Starting with daguerreotypes, photographic innovations were embraced by anthropologists and others seeking new ways to portray human physiognomy, culture, and experience. As anthropologists moved from armchairs to the field, their photographic equipment grew lighter and more portable. Each technical innovation allowed anthropologists to expand their examination of human existence around the world, from early daguerreotypes to today's digital photographs and video.

This new exhibition highlights some of greatest inventions in photographic history while exploring the implications for anthropology. Each photograph or set of photographs in the exhibition tells a number of stories—about the people or actions depicted within, about who took it and how it came to be taken, and about the photograph as an object and the technology used to produce it.

Please join us at an opening reception for From Daguerreotype to Digital: Photography and Anthropology on Thursday June 28 from 4:30 to 6:30 PM.

June is for Cat Lovers: Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month

cat incense burner

We celebrate June's Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month with a selection of cats from the Peabody's collection. This Japanese cat is both a lovely sculpture and an incense burner. (Click the photo to see more cats, and visit this link to find an animal shelter near you.)

While Japan's love affair with cats is perhaps best known for the ubiquitous Hello Kitty character, Japan also popularized Maneki Neko or Beckoning Cat, the seated cat figurine that appears in many stores and restaurant windows. To a Westerner, the cat seems like it's waving "hello" with a raised paw facing outward, but in Japan the gesture beckons people in, conferring good fortune or wealth, depending on which paw is raised.


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







Did you miss any lectures? You can listen to them here or download them to your mobile device through iTunes U. Look for Harvard's Peabody Museum lectures.

June 16

Noon-4 pm

Drop-in Family Event

Float Your Boat Discovery Room


June 28

4:30-6:30 pm

Exhibition Opening

From Daguerreotype to Digital: Photography and Anthropology