March 2019
Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Panel: Carceral Culture 26 March 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Melanie D. Newport, University of Connecticut—Hartford, and Morgan Jane Shahan, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Elizabeth Hinton, Harvard University This panel examines carceral culture in the twentieth century. Morgan Jane Shahan’s paper, ...

This panel examines carceral culture in the twentieth century. Morgan Jane Shahan’s paper, “‘Making Good’: On Parole in Early 20th Century Illinois,” traces the experience of ex-prisoners, and exposes the negotiations between employers, voluntary organizations, prisons, and parolees. Melanie Newport’s chapter, “‘I’m Afraid of Cook County Jail’: Making Space for Women in Chicago’s Jails,” addresses how women both inside and outside Cook County jail contested the plan to double the jail’s capacity in the 1970s.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation Reuse, Recycling, & Refashioning: Past, Present, & Future in Fashion 27 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Linzy Brekke-Aloise, Stonehill College; Jay Calderin, Boston Fashion Week; Michelle Finamore, Museum of Fine Arts; and Pete Lankford, Timberland; moderated by Kimberly Alexander There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Throughout history, garments have been handed down to be worn in different contexts or to be used as ...

Throughout history, garments have been handed down to be worn in different contexts or to be used as material to create something new. Our panel will talk about the history of reuse and refashioning as well as how designers today are using secondhand clothing or previously disposed of material in new ways. This panel will be the first in an annual lecture series in honor of President Emeritus Dennis Fiori in recognition of his leadership. The lecture series is made possible by gifts from friends of the Society.

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 March 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

 

 

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April 2019
Early American History Seminar Naming Plantations in the 17th-Century English Atlantic 2 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Paul Musselwhite, Dartmouth College Comment: Cynthia Van Zandt, University of New Hampshire The language of “plantation” in early Virginia and New England described a providential, ...

The language of “plantation” in early Virginia and New England described a providential, public process intended to serve the interests of god and the commonwealth. How and why did this civic language become transformed into a place for the private pursuit of agricultural wealth? This paper uncovers the ways ordinary men and women grappled with the definition of plantation by systematically investigating the names they gave to the places they termed “plantations.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag The Shade of Private Life: The Right to Privacy and the Press in Turn-of-the-Century American Art 3 April 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Williams, Yale University This talk considers how American artists shaped the modern concept of "the right to privacy" in ...

This talk considers how American artists shaped the modern concept of "the right to privacy" in response to the increasingly invasive mass media of the Gilded Age. It examines diverse artworks by John White Alexander, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and others in relation to period critiques of the press and the emerging legal discourse on privacy protections.

More
Fashioning the New England Family Exhibitionends Fashioning the New England Family 6 April 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of ...

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

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Library Closed Library Closed 6 April 2019.Saturday, 12:00AM - 11:59PM The MHS Library is CLOSED to allow staff to attend a professional development event.

The MHS Library is CLOSED to allow staff to attend a professional development event.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 April 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

 

 

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Environmental History Seminar “The Dream is the Process:” Environmental Racism and Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980 9 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Michael Brennan, University of Maine Comment: Daniel Faber, Northeastern University When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core ...

When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment, and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities. To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

 

Formerly titled "Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice in Boston."

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Public Program, Author Talk Canceled: Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity 11 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This program has been canceled. Nick Bunker There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In this new account of Benjamin Franklin’s early life, Nick Bunker portrays him as a complex, ...

In this new account of Benjamin Franklin’s early life, Nick Bunker portrays him as a complex, driven young man who elbows his way to success. From his early career as a printer and journalist, to his scientific work and his role as a founder of a new republic, Benjamin Franklin has always seemed the inevitable embodiment of American ingenuity. But in his youth he had to make his way through a harsh colonial world where he fought many battles: with his rivals, but also with his wayward emotions.

 

 

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Teacher Workshop The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 13 April 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person On January 15, 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s most unusual disasters: a devastating ...

On January 15, 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s most unusual disasters: a devastating flood of molasses. The “Great Molasses Flood” tore through the city's North End at upwards of 35 miles per hour, killing 21 and injuring 150 while causing horrendous property damage. With historian and author Stephen Puleo, we will explore how the flood is more than a bizarre moment in Boston history: it offers a lens into Boston and World War I, Prohibition, the anarchist movement, immigration, and the expanding role of big business in society.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

 

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Building Closed Patriots' Day 15 April 2019.Monday, all day The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriots' Day.

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriots' Day.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar The Long 19th Amendment 16 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM RSVP required Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Corinne Field, University of Virginia, and Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Moderator: Susan Ware, Schlesinger Library With popular and scholarly attention focusing on the August 2020 centennial of the ratification of ...

With popular and scholarly attention focusing on the August 2020 centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, this session will explore "the long Nineteenth Amendment" stretching from the woman’s suffrage movement to second-wave feminism and beyond, with an eye toward continuities, challenges, and unfinished business.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Author Talk The City-State of Boston: The Rise & Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630–1865 17 April 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Peterson, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary ...

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, Mark Peterson highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a path-breaking and brilliant new history of early America.

 

 

 

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African American History Seminar Historians and Ethics: The Case of Anne Moody 18 April 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Francoise Hamlin, Brown University Comment: Chad Williams, Brandeis University In the process of conducting research for her book project, Hamlin encountered an ethical conundrum ...

In the process of conducting research for her book project, Hamlin encountered an ethical conundrum regarding the papers of Anne Moody, author of the iconic autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi. This paper explores this case in depth and probes how historians should record the lives of those who might not have wanted to be found.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Boston’s North End: Post-World War II Italian Immigration, Segmented Assimilation, and the “Problem of Cornerville” 23 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required James Pasto, Boston University Comment: Marilynn Johnson, Boston College This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of ...

This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of segmented assimilation. Depending on age, gender, parental style, and opportunity, some immigrants assimilated “downward” into the Italian American street culture of the neighborhood, becoming more susceptible to the drug abuse and violence of the ‘70s and ‘80s, while others assimilated “upward” into a new Italian identity tied to the North End’s gentrification as an Italian neighborhood.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Can She Do It? Special Event, Member Event, Exhibition “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

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Can She Do It? cartoon Exhibitionbegins "Can She Do It?" Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote 26 April 2019.Friday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate ...

Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate the passion of those who argued for and against women’s suffrage.

Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition is open at the MHS April 26 through September 21, 2019, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost. As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the ...

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar (Rescheduled) Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History 30 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by ...

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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May 2019
Brown Bag Shinbone and Beefsteak: Meat, Science, and the Labor Question 1 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly S. Laas, University of Göttingen Medical School Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores ...

Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores the early years of nutrition science in the late nineteenth century by examining the science’s use as a tool for cultural and political change. By looking at how scientists understood the relationship between wages, the cost of living, and better nutrition, my paper will shed light on the political life of scientific ideas.

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Early American History Seminar Panel: After the Fighting: The Struggle for Revolutionary Settlement 7 May 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM RSVP required Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire; Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College; Stephen Marini, Wellesley College; Brendan McConville, Boston University Moderator: TBD In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems ...

In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems and challenges. This panel examines how the revolutionary generation confronted issues of diplomacy, governance and economic growth, and how the legacies of warfare and political convulsion shaped spiritual and social behaviors in those troubled years.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Racism and the Atlantic World 8 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Kettler, University of Toronto This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals ...

This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals throughout the Atlantic World to justify racial dominance. Born of English literature, and agitated during the late Enlightenment, the idea that African bodies smelled perpetuates into modernity as a discourse of embodied racism.

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Teacher Workshop “Shall the Tail Wag the Dog?” The Fight For and Against Women’s Suffrage 11 May 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Registration fee: $25 per person Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first ...

Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first national woman’s rights convention in 1850 and Bostonians, led by Lucy Stone, headed a national suffrage organization and edited a long-running woman’s rights newspaper. In response to these influential reformers, activists formed the first anti-suffrage organizations in Massachusetts as well. Drawing on MHS collections and our new suffrage exhibition, we will explore letters, newspapers, political cartoons, visual propaganda, and other sources that illuminate the history and motivations of women on both sides of the campaign for the vote.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Brown Bag Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: Black Children's Cultural and Political Resistance 15 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Crystal Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston ...

This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston during the late-18th to early-20th centuries by focusing on Black children's labor, play, and schooling. It argues that northern Black children intersected shifting constructions of race and childhood, as a group upon which society experimented with treatments of the newly recognized social category of the child, and came to terms with the social and economic place of the nascent free Black community.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2019.Saturday, all day The MHS is CLOSED for the Memorial Day weekend.

The MHS is CLOSED for the Memorial Day weekend.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 27 May 2019.Monday, all day The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Memorial Day.

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag, Research Fellow The Right to Hail an Officer at Night: Contests of Authority in Occupied Boston 29 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Breault, University of Connecticut Who had authority in occupied Boston? The arrival of British regulars and the encounters that ...

Who had authority in occupied Boston? The arrival of British regulars and the encounters that followed raised such questions for Boston’s night watch. Using official reports and complaints filed by the night watchmen in November of 1768, this talk explores the logistical and emotional dimensions of occupation at street level.

 

This event is free and requires no RSVP or registration.

 

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Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Panel: Carceral Culture Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
26 March 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Melanie D. Newport, University of Connecticut—Hartford, and Morgan Jane Shahan, Johns Hopkins University Comment: Elizabeth Hinton, Harvard University

This panel examines carceral culture in the twentieth century. Morgan Jane Shahan’s paper, “‘Making Good’: On Parole in Early 20th Century Illinois,” traces the experience of ex-prisoners, and exposes the negotiations between employers, voluntary organizations, prisons, and parolees. Melanie Newport’s chapter, “‘I’m Afraid of Cook County Jail’: Making Space for Women in Chicago’s Jails,” addresses how women both inside and outside Cook County jail contested the plan to double the jail’s capacity in the 1970s.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Public Program, Conversation Reuse, Recycling, & Refashioning: Past, Present, & Future in Fashion registration required 27 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Linzy Brekke-Aloise, Stonehill College; Jay Calderin, Boston Fashion Week; Michelle Finamore, Museum of Fine Arts; and Pete Lankford, Timberland; moderated by Kimberly Alexander There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Throughout history, garments have been handed down to be worn in different contexts or to be used as material to create something new. Our panel will talk about the history of reuse and refashioning as well as how designers today are using secondhand clothing or previously disposed of material in new ways. This panel will be the first in an annual lecture series in honor of President Emeritus Dennis Fiori in recognition of his leadership. The lecture series is made possible by gifts from friends of the Society.

 

 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 30 March 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

 

 

close

Early American History Seminar Naming Plantations in the 17th-Century English Atlantic Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
2 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Paul Musselwhite, Dartmouth College Comment: Cynthia Van Zandt, University of New Hampshire

The language of “plantation” in early Virginia and New England described a providential, public process intended to serve the interests of god and the commonwealth. How and why did this civic language become transformed into a place for the private pursuit of agricultural wealth? This paper uncovers the ways ordinary men and women grappled with the definition of plantation by systematically investigating the names they gave to the places they termed “plantations.”

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close

Brown Bag The Shade of Private Life: The Right to Privacy and the Press in Turn-of-the-Century American Art this event is free 3 April 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Williams, Yale University

This talk considers how American artists shaped the modern concept of "the right to privacy" in response to the increasingly invasive mass media of the Gilded Age. It examines diverse artworks by John White Alexander, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and others in relation to period critiques of the press and the emerging legal discourse on privacy protections.

close

Exhibition Fashioning the New England Family this event is free Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Fashioning the New England Family

Fashioning the New England Family explores the ways in which the multiple meanings of fashion and fashionable goods are reflected in patterns of consumption and refashioning, recycling, and retaining favorite family pieces. Many of the items that will be featured have been out of sight, having never been exhibited for the public or seen in living memory. The exhibition will give scholars, students, and professionals in fields such as fashion, material culture, and history the chance to see these items for the first time; encourage research; and, provide the possibility for new discoveries. For the public, it is an opportunity to view in detail painstaking craftsmanship, discover how examples of material culture relate to significant moments in our history, and learn how garments were used as political statements, projecting an individual’s religion, loyalties, and social status. It may allow some to recognize and appreciate family keepsakes but it will certainly help us all to better understand the messages we may have previously missed in American art and literature. 

The exhibition is organized as part of MASS Fashion, a consortium of eight cultural institutions set up to explore and celebrate the many facets of the culture of fashion in Massachusetts. 

close

Library Closed Library Closed 6 April 2019.Saturday, 12:00AM - 11:59PM

The MHS Library is CLOSED to allow staff to attend a professional development event.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 April 2019.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

 

 

 

close

Environmental History Seminar “The Dream is the Process:” Environmental Racism and Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980 Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
9 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Michael Brennan, University of Maine Comment: Daniel Faber, Northeastern University

When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment, and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities. To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

 

Formerly titled "Environmental Racism and Environmental Justice in Boston."

close

Public Program, Author Talk Canceled:
Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity
11 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM This program has been canceled. Nick Bunker There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In this new account of Benjamin Franklin’s early life, Nick Bunker portrays him as a complex, driven young man who elbows his way to success. From his early career as a printer and journalist, to his scientific work and his role as a founder of a new republic, Benjamin Franklin has always seemed the inevitable embodiment of American ingenuity. But in his youth he had to make his way through a harsh colonial world where he fought many battles: with his rivals, but also with his wayward emotions.

 

 

close

Teacher Workshop The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 Please RSVP   registration required 13 April 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

On January 15, 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s most unusual disasters: a devastating flood of molasses. The “Great Molasses Flood” tore through the city's North End at upwards of 35 miles per hour, killing 21 and injuring 150 while causing horrendous property damage. With historian and author Stephen Puleo, we will explore how the flood is more than a bizarre moment in Boston history: it offers a lens into Boston and World War I, Prohibition, the anarchist movement, immigration, and the expanding role of big business in society.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

 

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Building Closed Patriots' Day 15 April 2019.Monday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Patriots' Day.

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History of Women and Gender Seminar The Long 19th Amendment Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
16 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:30PM - 7:45PM Location: Massachusetts Historical Society Corinne Field, University of Virginia, and Katherine Turk, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Moderator: Susan Ware, Schlesinger Library

With popular and scholarly attention focusing on the August 2020 centennial of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, this session will explore "the long Nineteenth Amendment" stretching from the woman’s suffrage movement to second-wave feminism and beyond, with an eye toward continuities, challenges, and unfinished business.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close

Public Program, Author Talk The City-State of Boston: The Rise & Fall of an Atlantic Power, 1630–1865 registration required 17 April 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Peterson, Yale University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In the vaunted annals of America’s founding, Boston has long been held up as an exemplary “city upon a hill” and the “cradle of liberty” for an independent United States. Wresting this iconic urban center from these misleading, tired clichés, Mark Peterson highlights Boston’s overlooked past as an autonomous city-state, and in doing so, offers a path-breaking and brilliant new history of early America.

 

 

 

close

African American History Seminar Historians and Ethics: The Case of Anne Moody Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
18 April 2019.Thursday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Francoise Hamlin, Brown University Comment: Chad Williams, Brandeis University

In the process of conducting research for her book project, Hamlin encountered an ethical conundrum regarding the papers of Anne Moody, author of the iconic autobiography, Coming of Age in Mississippi. This paper explores this case in depth and probes how historians should record the lives of those who might not have wanted to be found.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

close

Modern American Society and Culture Seminar Boston’s North End: Post-World War II Italian Immigration, Segmented Assimilation, and the “Problem of Cornerville” Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
23 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM James Pasto, Boston University Comment: Marilynn Johnson, Boston College

This paper examines the dynamics and impact of Italian immigration in the North End via the lens of segmented assimilation. Depending on age, gender, parental style, and opportunity, some immigrants assimilated “downward” into the Italian American street culture of the neighborhood, becoming more susceptible to the drug abuse and violence of the ‘70s and ‘80s, while others assimilated “upward” into a new Italian identity tied to the North End’s gentrification as an Italian neighborhood.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Special Event, Member Event, Exhibition “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception registration required at no cost 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Can She Do It?

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

close

Exhibition "Can She Do It?" Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote this event is free 26 April 2019 to 21 September 2019 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Can She Do It? cartoon

Colorful political cartoons, engaging campaign materials, and visual propaganda illustrate the passion of those who argued for and against women’s suffrage.

Commemorating 100 years since Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment, this exhibition at the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring dynamic imagery from the collection of the MHS, “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote illustrates the passion on each side of the suffrage question. The exhibition is open at the MHS April 26 through September 21, 2019, Monday through Saturday, from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

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Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage registration required at no cost 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost.

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

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Seminar, Environmental History Seminar (Rescheduled) Amputated from the Land: Black Refugees from America and the Neglected Voices of Environmental History Please RSVP  Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
30 April 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Bryon Williams, Academy at Penguin Hall Comment: John Stauffer, Harvard University

This paper focuses on dictated narratives from the 1840s and ‘50s, accounts delivered by blacks who fled the U.S. to settle in the wilds of Ontario. These first-person accounts of environmental encounter and expertise are unrivaled in depth, breadth, and detail among black ecological writing of any era. New environmental histories need such accounts that not only counter dominant American environmental and political myths, but offer black-lived stories of environmental belonging and agency.

 

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Shinbone and Beefsteak: Meat, Science, and the Labor Question this event is free 1 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Molly S. Laas, University of Göttingen Medical School

Could better nutrition help shore up U.S. democracy in an era of mass inequality? This talk explores the early years of nutrition science in the late nineteenth century by examining the science’s use as a tool for cultural and political change. By looking at how scientists understood the relationship between wages, the cost of living, and better nutrition, my paper will shed light on the political life of scientific ideas.

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Early American History Seminar Panel: After the Fighting: The Struggle for Revolutionary Settlement Seminars are free and open to the public; RSVP required.
Subscribe to receive advance copies of the seminar papers.
7 May 2019.Tuesday, 5:15PM - 7:30PM Eliga Gould, University of New Hampshire; Katherine Grandjean, Wellesley College; Stephen Marini, Wellesley College; Brendan McConville, Boston University Moderator: TBD

In the ten years after the American victory at Yorktown in 1781, the nation faced myriad problems and challenges. This panel examines how the revolutionary generation confronted issues of diplomacy, governance and economic growth, and how the legacies of warfare and political convulsion shaped spiritual and social behaviors in those troubled years.

To RSVP: email seminars@masshist.org or call (617) 646-0579.

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Brown Bag Odor and Power in the Americas: Olfactory Racism and the Atlantic World this event is free 8 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Andrew Kettler, University of Toronto

This talk shows that capitalism incentivized discourses of African pungency applied by intellectuals throughout the Atlantic World to justify racial dominance. Born of English literature, and agitated during the late Enlightenment, the idea that African bodies smelled perpetuates into modernity as a discourse of embodied racism.

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Teacher Workshop “Shall the Tail Wag the Dog?” The Fight For and Against Women’s Suffrage Please RSVP   registration required 11 May 2019.Saturday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Registration fee: $25 per person

Massachusetts citizens played a central role in the suffrage movement; Worcester hosted the first national woman’s rights convention in 1850 and Bostonians, led by Lucy Stone, headed a national suffrage organization and edited a long-running woman’s rights newspaper. In response to these influential reformers, activists formed the first anti-suffrage organizations in Massachusetts as well. Drawing on MHS collections and our new suffrage exhibition, we will explore letters, newspapers, political cartoons, visual propaganda, and other sources that illuminate the history and motivations of women on both sides of the campaign for the vote.

This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee).

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Melchior at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0588.

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Brown Bag Beyond the Boundaries of Childhood: Black Children's Cultural and Political Resistance this event is free 15 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Crystal Webster, University of Texas at San Antonio

This talk examines the lives of African American children in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston during the late-18th to early-20th centuries by focusing on Black children's labor, play, and schooling. It argues that northern Black children intersected shifting constructions of race and childhood, as a group upon which society experimented with treatments of the newly recognized social category of the child, and came to terms with the social and economic place of the nascent free Black community.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 25 May 2019.Saturday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED for the Memorial Day weekend.

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Building Closed Memorial Day 27 May 2019.Monday, all day

The MHS is CLOSED in observance of Memorial Day.

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Brown Bag, Research Fellow The Right to Hail an Officer at Night: Contests of Authority in Occupied Boston this event is free 29 May 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Nicole Breault, University of Connecticut

Who had authority in occupied Boston? The arrival of British regulars and the encounters that followed raised such questions for Boston’s night watch. Using official reports and complaints filed by the night watchmen in November of 1768, this talk explores the logistical and emotional dimensions of occupation at street level.

 

This event is free and requires no RSVP or registration.

 

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