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Exhibitions & Events

Highlights of ongoing and upcoming events from across Harvard's libraries. Find more events by visiting the Harvard Library calendar, or submit a library event.

 
 

JFK’s Harvard / Harvard’s JFK

On view now in Pusey Library, the exhibition reflects the important relationship between Kennedy and Harvard.

JFK's Harvard/Harvard's JFK
 
 

Exhibitions

 

Art and War: The Endangered Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan

Through Jun
30
Art and War: The Endangered Cultural Heritage of Afghanistan

Throughout its long history, Afghanistan has been a crossroads of civilizations, where peoples, religions and cultures—Achaemenid, Hellenistic, Buddhist, and Islamic—have met and interacted. Many of the country’s cultural and artistic treasures that survived to the late 20th century are now imperiled by looting and armed conflict. The aim of this exhibition is to draw attention to efforts to preserve and record this heritage and to the Fine Arts Library’s resources—including rare photographs and publications—that document Afghanistan, its monuments, its museum collections, and its archaeological sites. The exhibition will be on display through June 2017.

 

Houghton and the Presidents

Through Jul
3
Cartoon of Theodore Roosevelt

This exhibition presents a thematic approach to the presidency, covering large swathes of American history to explain that multifaceted office. 

 

At the Intersection of Science and Art: Edwin H. Land and the Polaroid Corporation: The Formative Years

Through Jul
28
At the Intersection of Science and Art: Edwin H. Land and the Polaroid Corporation: The Formative Years

At the Intersection of Science and Art draws from the wealth of material in the Polaroid corporate archives at Baker Library, bringing into focus the formative years and trajectory of the Polaroid Corporation and the career of Edwin H. Land. The exhibition is on display at Baker Library, Harvard Business School, until July 28.

 

John Lithgow: Actor as Artist

Through Jul
29
John Lithgow: Actor as Artist

John Lithgow enrolled at Harvard in 1963, intent on becoming a painter. Even as a professional actor, he has never lost interest in the visual arts. To honor Lithgow as this year’s recipient of the Harvard Arts Medal, Houghton Library presents an exhibition of the actor’s drawings, featuring designs for student productions at the Loeb Drama Center and caricatures depicting his career on Broadway and in television, including memorable performances in M. Butterfly, the hit sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun, and Netflix’s The Crown. The exhibition is on display at Houghton Library until July 29. 

 

Francis Barber: A Jamaican in Dr. Johnson’s Circle

Through Aug
19
Portrait of Francis Barber

Born enslaved in British Jamaica, Francis Barber (ca. 1742-1801) grew up, gained his freedom, an education, employment, and married while living in the London household of Dr. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), the celebrated lexicographer and man of letters. The Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Johnson at Houghton Library is home to most of the surviving letters documenting Johnson and Barber’s long-lasting and close relationship, an unusual one for the period. 

 

Open House 75: Houghton Library Staff Select

Through Aug
19
Exterior of Houghton Library

Houghton Library staff celebrate the library’s 75th anniversary with an open-house-inspired showcase of its outstanding collections.

 

Henry David Thoreau at 200

Through Sep
2
Drawing of Thoreau with walking stick

"Henry David Thoreau at 200" invites you to examine the life and thought of the author of “Civil Disobedience” and Walden. Highlights of the exhibition include first editions of his major works; drawings of Thoreau by his close friend, Daniel Ricketson; Thoreau’s own copy of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Nature; one of his Harvard College examination papers; manuscripts of “Reform and the Reformers” and “Walking”; and the recently discovered notes on his search for Margaret Fuller after her shipwreck.

 

Playing Fair? Title IX at 45

Through Sep
15
Radcliffe College Field Hockey Team, ca. 1932

Over the past four decades, the phrase “Title IX” has become practically synonymous with women’s sports. The events leading up to Title IX’s passage in 1972 and the struggle ever since to figure out how to implement the law fairly demonstrate how athletics became part of the broader political and cultural struggles of contemporary American life. The 45 years that Title IX has been in effect has been a period of enormous change in women’s (and men’s) lives, on and off the playing field. The women’s sports revolution is here to stay, but gender equity in education and society in general is still incomplete. Title IX remains an important tool in the ongoing struggle. This exhibition is on display in Schlesinger Library through September 15. 

 

Manuscript Maps: Hand-Drawn Treasures of the Harvard Map Collection

Through Sep
27
Manuscript Maps

Whether made in surveying land, fighting wars, learning geography, planning cities, preparing for publication, or presenting beautiful maps to the public, manuscript maps all emphasize the process by which they came into being and the individual stories they carry with them. This exhibition highlights the process of mapmaking by looking at maps drawn by hand.. On view in Pusey Library through September 27. 

 

Scale: A Matter of Perspective

Through Dec
8
Image from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Scale has long captivated the human imagination, as evidenced in classics such as Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and in today’s popular movies and television shows. Scale: A Matter of Perspective examines the concept of scale and its power to transform perceptions of the world and our place in it. Featuring a wide selection of microscopes and telescopes from the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments and an array of models, miniatures, and cultural and scientific artifacts from collections across the University, the exhibition will challenge visitors to make connections to the world in surprising new ways. It is open through December 8 at the Science Center's Special Exhibition Gallery. 

 

JFK's Harvard/Harvard's JFK

Through Dec
22
JFK's Harvard/Harvard's JFK

Just as Harvard shaped “Jack” Kennedy during his time as a student, John Fitzgerald Kennedy influenced Harvard during his political career, first as US senator, then as President of the United States. This year, a century after his birth, the nation will reflect on the life and legacy of the man who became the 35th President. The objects in this exhibition, drawn from the collections of the Harvard University Archives, are presented as evidence of the important relationship between Kennedy and Harvard University. Kennedy, as a young politician, was in some ways shaped by his experience at Harvard before World War II; in turn, the policies he pursued as President would have an influence on Harvard as well. The exhibition is on display in the Pusey Library Gallery through late fall of 2017.