For Immediate Release

New Director to Lead Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

(Cambridge, December 5, 2012) Jane Pickering has been appointed executive director of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC), a new consortium of Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) museums at Harvard University which includes the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The other partner museums are the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard University Herbaria, and the Mineralogical and Geological Museum (which already collaborate as the Harvard Museum of Natural History), the Semitic Museum, and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

"Harvard is fortunate to have some of the most comprehensive and impressive museum collections of any of our peers. In addition to enabling critical faculty research, these collections offer unparalleled resources in support of our teaching mission," wrote FAS Dean Michael D. Smith in yesterday's announcement. "The creation of HMSC and Pickering’s appointment as the first executive director of the new consortium will help us maximize the many benefits that these museums and their world-renowned collections bring to our campus and the general public."

The HMSC museums work both independently and together, in concert with Harvard faculty, students, museum curators, and members of the Harvard community, to provide interdisciplinary exhibits, events and lectures, and educational programs for students, teachers, families, and the general public.

Pickering is currently deputy director and director of public programs at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History. She has over 20 years' museum experience, including stints as a curator at the Oxford Museum of Natural History and as director of the M.I.T. Museum.

“Jane Pickering is an accomplished and creative museum director,” said Jeffrey Quilter, William and Muriel Seabury Howells Director of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. “She will be a visionary leader for the new Harvard Museums of Science and Culture. As a member museum of HMSC, the Peabody Museum looks forward to partnering with her on exhibitions, education, and events that highlight the Peabody’s and the other museums' extraordinary collections.”

The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture's goal is to foster curiosity and a spirit of discovery in visitors of all ages, enhancing public understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, science and human cultures. Together Harvard's public HMSC museums welcome more than 220,000 visitors annually from the Harvard community and Greater Boston, as well as from all 50 states and 149 countries.


About the Peabody Museum
The Peabody Museum is among the oldest archaeological and ethnographic museums in the world with one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere. It is home to superb materials from Africa, ancient Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, Oceania, and South America in particular. In addition to its archaeological and ethnographic holdings, the Museum’s photographic archives, one of the largest of its kind, hold more than 500,000 historical photographs, dating from the mid-nineteenth century to the present and chronicling anthropology, archaeology, and world culture.

Hours and location: 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., seven days a week. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, $8 for children, 3–18. Free with Harvard ID or Museum membership. The Museum is free to Massachusetts residents Sundays, 9 A.M. to noon, year round, and Wednesdays from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. (September to May). Admission includes admission to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. For more information call 617-496-1027 or go online to: The Peabody Museum is located at 11 Divinity Avenue in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.

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Media Contact:

Faith Sutter
Communications Coordinator
Peabody Museum
Tel: 617-495-3397


Jane Pickering appointed Executive Director, of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC). Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology is a member of HMSC.

Read the related Gazette article and related Harvard Magazine article.