From the Collections of Harvard College Library, Events and Exhibitions 2014
January 12 – April 25, 2015
Signs and Science from the Skies
Throughout the ages, we have looked to the night sky in a search for meaning. Comets, meteors, eclipses, and other celestial events have been used by scientists to better understand the physical universe, by sages to predict the future, and by writers seeking inspiration. Starry Messengers brings together books and manuscripts from Houghton's collections that demonstrate how these events were understood in the early modern world.
November 20, 2014 - February 10, 2015
At a Glance:
Early Methods of Cartographic Visualization
From their earliest manifestations, maps have embodied some form of data visualization. Whether describing geographical coordinates, navigational hazards, transportation routes, or the night sky, maps have served to distill the complexities of our observations and render them more readily comprehensible. However, the cartographic techniques used to depict topographical features and the built environment were often of limited utility in illustrating data derived from in-depth investigations of the physical universe, the biosciences, the economy, or the social system. This exhibit explores early experimentations in visualization impelled by the explosion of empirical data (and the infrastructure for collecting statistics) since the late 18th century. It includes thematic maps of disease, crime, geological strata, ethnographic patterns, and electoral results.
October 27, 2014 – January 16, 2015
Ruskin, Norton, and J. M. W. Turner's Liber Studiorum:
Fine Arts Instruction at Oxford and Harvard
Between 1807 and 1819 the British artist J. M. W. Turner executed a series of exquisite landscape prints known collectively as the Liber Studiorum. Victorian art critic John Ruskin, an early champion and collector of Turner, recognized their utility as exemplars to prospective art students, and urged his lifelong friend Charles Eliot Norton to obtain Liber prints for Harvard. In their respective professorships of art at Oxford and Harvard, Ruskin and Norton influenced a generation of students, artists, museum curators, and collectors in their appreciation of Turner's work. This exhibition features original letters of Turner, Ruskin, and Norton; a copy of the Liber Studiorum; and Ruskin's own magnifying glass.
September 8 – December 19, 2014
John Knowles Paine: Attainment and Legacy
The Loeb Music Library's latest exhibit examines the career of composer, educator, and Harvard's first professor of music, John Knowles Paine (1839-1906). Born in Maine to a musical family, Paine developed an early proficiency on the organ and piano, broadened his musical knowledge with composition studies in Germany (where he met and played for Clara Schumann, among other musical luminaries), and returned to settle in Boston, becoming University organist and choirmaster at Harvard’s Appleton Chapel in 1862. Paine was appointed full professor in 1875, by which time he had instituted a curriculum for the study of music which became the model for liberal arts institutions throughout the country. In the course of a long career, he trained a large group of future composers, critics, and music lovers, became the first American-born composer to achieve fame for large-scale compositions, many of which were heard abroad, and became known as the dean of American composers. The exhibit displays scores of many of his large-scale works, as well as several manuscripts of smaller items, traces Paine’s musical development throughout his Harvard years, and documents the reception and influence of his work over the course of a long and fruitful life in music.
Exhibit Area, Second Floor, Loeb Music Library
For details, please contact Patricia O'Brien at 617-495-2794
January 26 - December 31, 2014
Theodore Roosevelt – "How I Love Sagamore Hill" by Xiomáro
Harvard University's Houghton Library opens the New Year with selections from this photographic series. The New York artist was commissioned by the National Park service to photograph the interiors of the president's "Summer Whitehouse" at what is now Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.
Xiomáro's photographs show the house in a historically rare condition: the 23 room mansion, usually chock full of furnishings and mementos, was nearly vacant as part of a three-year, $7.2 million structural rehabilitation. The last significant body of interior photographs, albeit fully-furnished, is at the Library of Congress and was created in 1966 by Samuel Gottscho.
Xiomáro's exhibit is timely in that filmmaker Ken Burns, a Harvard graduate, is releasing The Roosevelts, a new PBS documentary that explores the political dynasty of TR, FDR and Eleanor Roosevelt. The exhibit is also unique in that Xiomáro's photographs do not solely focus on TR, but also draw attention to his wife, children and servants to give a sense of what life was like in the household. "Even though the rooms are nearly vacant, the photographs reveal the imposing character of America's 26th president and the more intimate domestic nature of his family," explained the artist. "Some of these nuances are overwhelmed by a room's furnishings or inaccessible to visitors behind velvet rope barriers."
December 17, 2013 - February 16, 2015
Annual International Photo Contest
Photos taken by Harvard students who have studied, worked, interned, or done research abroad during the past year are on exhibit. For more information on the contest, see the photo contest page.
Level B, first and third floor display cases,
Lamont Library (Hours)
For details contact Lynn Sayers at 617-495-2455
May 27, 2014 – May 9, 2015
2014 Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting Books or Art
The Philip Hofer prize is awarded each year to a student at Harvard whose collection of books or works of art best exemplifies the traditions of breadth, coherence, and imagination represented by Philip Hofer, A.B. '21, L.H.D. '67, founder and first Curator of the Department of Printing and Graphic Arts in the Houghton Library and Secretary of the Fogg Art Museum. The prize, which is to encourage student interest in collecting, was established in 1987 by Melvin R. Seiden, A.B. '52, L.L.B. '55. Students competing for the prize submit an annotated list or bibliography and an essay describing the scope, contents, and goal of the collection. On exhibition are samples of this year's first prize winning collection, , A History of the 1933 Goudey Baseball Card Set: From Artwork to Copyright Registration, submitted by Benjamin Lee, Class of 2017.
May 27, 2014 – May 9, 2015
2014 Undergraduate Book Collecting Prize
Established in 1977, the Visiting Committee Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting recognizes and encourages book collecting by undergraduates at Harvard. Students competing for the annual prize submit an annotated bibliography and an essay on their collecting efforts, the influence of mentors, the experience of searching for, organizing and caring for items, and the future direction of the collection. On display are samplings of the collections of this year's prize-winning entries, along with personal commentary.
There are no lectures scheduled at this time. Please check back.
Exhibition includes Gerard Mercator's terrestrial (1541) and celestial (1551) globes that reflect new discoveries in world geography and cosmography as well as new techniques in charting, printing, and globe making. Only 22 matched pairs survive, Harvard's being the only matched pair in America.
- In Africa it is another story: Looking back on Italian Colonialism
- "Music, First and Last": Scores from the Sir Georg Solti Archive
- Boston's Crusade Against Slavery
- A History of Medieval Christian Preaching as Seen in the Manuscripts of Houghton Library
- Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, 1909-1929: Twenty Years That Changed the World of Art
- "I Shall Ever Be Your Dearest Love": John Keats and Fanny Brawne
- "Let Satire Be My Song": Byron's English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers
- The Adventures of Thackeray In His Way Through the World: His Fortunes and Misfortunes, His Friends and His Family
- Going for Baroque: The Iconography of the Ornamental Map
- Life is in the Transitions: William James, 1842-1910
- Books in Books: Reflections on Reading and Writing in the Middle Ages
- Harvard's Lincoln
- A Monument More Durable Than Brass: The Donald & Mary Hyde Collection of Dr. Samuel Johnson
- History of the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Collection
- Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200