Science, Education, and Character: Reflections on the First Fifty Years of the Peabody Museum, 1866–1916

Date: 

Oct 06, 2016, 6:00 pm

Location: 

Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA
Peabody Museum Room 35 with model of El Castillo. PM# 2004.24.7186  (digital file# 132320005). ©President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Peabody Museum Room 35 with model of El Castillo. PM# 2004.24.7186 (digital file# 132320005). ©President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

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Public Lecture

Curtis Hinsley, Regents’ Professor Emeritus of History and Comparative Cultural Studies, Northern Arizona University

The Peabody Museum was founded at a time of epistemological and political turmoil, seven years after the publication of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and one year after the end of the Civil War. The chaotic decades following the war proved to be an era of unprecedented economic opportunity, but also a time of corruption, disillusionment, and oppression. In the world of instruction, museums held the promise of teaching not only scientific facts, but proper values as well; a museum of anthropology might serve a vital moral function in the emerging society. As Peabody director Frederic Putnam wrote in 1891: “Many an indifferent idler straggling into a well-arranged museum goes forth with new ideas and fresh interests” to enrich “an otherwise aimless and weary life.” In this lecture Curtis Hinsley will consider the hopes and intentions of the Peabody Museum in its early years.

Free and open to the public. Free event parking available at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Presented as part of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology's 150th anniversary. See all Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology 150th anniversary events.

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