From the Collections of Harvard College Library, Events and Exhibitions 2016
May 16 – August 12, 2016
Henry James: Commemoration
“We possess a great man most when we begin to look at him through the plate glass of death“
Henry James (1843-1916) penned those words as part of his tribute to Robert Browning (1812-1889), when the great Victorian poet was interred in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey. Visitors to this Centennial Exhibition can look at James himself through the plate glass of eight display cases, filled with books, manuscripts, photographs, and many other collateral testaments to a great man’s legacy.
In this exhibition you will see some of the many forms through which Henry James obeyed a deeply felt need to eulogize others—and even to commemorate the halting evolution of his own consciousness. While some have alleged that James was drawn to morbid plots and characters in his fiction, in his more personal writing—in his letters and private journals—occasions of mortality more typically provoke an almost Transcendental response, a kind of sacred reflex, urging him to hallow the memory of those he has lost.
As a fitting complement in this the centenary year of James’s passing, the exhibition also allows viewers to see (and hear) how others were moved to commemorate the author after his death. It would take several decades until a “James Revival” began in earnest, initiated in no small way by Harvard Professor F. O. Matthiessen, who taught the English Department’s first course devoted to the author; but by publishing a series of path-breaking books devoted to James’s life and art, Matthiessen brought others to a broader and more intelligent understanding of the writer’s achievement.
As Cynthia Ozick has observed (with a certain sense of awe), “with the passing of each new decade, James becomes more and more our contemporary—it is as if our own sensibilities are only just catching up with his.”
Michael Anesko, Guest Curator
April 5 – June 3 2016
“The Genius C.B.”: Charlotte Brontë, 1816-1855
Despite a tragic young life, punctuated by the deaths of her mother and siblings, Charlotte Brontë grew to be one of the most important writers of the Victorian period. Her semi-autobiographical novel Jane Eyre, published in 1847 under a pseudonym, turned her into a reluctant celebrity, and the revolutionary work has influenced countless writers and artists. This exhibition includes juvenilia, manuscripts and first editions, and examples of the influence Brontë’s work.
March 21, 2016 – January 31, 2017
The Bull Moose and the China Cabinet: Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement
Following the Republican Party’s nomination of incumbent William Howard Taft for president in 1912, supporters of Theodore Roosevelt’s candidacy formed the Progressive Party, which centered upon returning power to the people and creating a more equitable country by the right treatment of its citizens. For nearly 100 years, women had been fighting for equal rights on every front—education; labor; and intellectual, moral, legal, and human rights. Roosevelt’s Progressive Party placed women’s suffrage in its official platform. It was the first major political party to do so. This exhibition examines Roosevelt’s evolving position on women’s suffrage, and includes a page from his Harvard senior paper on women’s rights, correspondence, contemporary newspaper accounts and political cartoons, and artifacts documenting the role and influence of the women in Roosevelt’s life.
The exhibition was guest curated by Melanie Bayless Veteto, a student in the Museum Studies program at the Harvard Extension School. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
February 12 – May 27, 2016
The Charlie Archive at the Harvard Library, 2015–
The attacks of January 7, 8, and 9, 2015 against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris sparked a vigorous debate about fundamental political and ethical issues, such as freedom of expression, the relation between state, religion and society, respect for other beliefs and perspectives, inequality, and the disenfranchisement of individuals and communities. The Western Languages Division at Widener is currently building a collection of materials produced in the aftermath of these events. The Charlie Archive at the Harvard Library, 2015– contains a wide array of materials, including manuscript, printed, digital, and ephemeral content, from a diverse range of perspectives. The objective of the archive is to document a peculiar moment in the early 21st century when the word “Charlie” all of a sudden took on tragic significance and became charged with conflicting emotions, opinions, and agendas. This exhibition presents a selection of representative materials from the archive, including magazines, books, handmade signs, and digital images.
Lamont Library, Third Floor
October 18, 2015 – June 4, 2016
One Hundred Years of Chinese Piano Music
This year marks the one hundredth anniversary of the first publication of piano music in China. To commemorate the occasion, the Shanghai Conservatory Press produced a ten-volume anthology of piano works by Chinese composers which documents the evolution of expression from a relatively simple use of pianistic techniques to a gradual assimilation of Western musical styles. This exhibit traces that development by showcasing signature works and personalities along with milestone events in that eventful century of piano music in China.
November 12, 2015– May 6, 2016
Embellishing the Map:
Empty Spaces and Treacherous Waters
This exhibition is an exploration of the imaginative imagery that early cartographers used to populate the unknown areas of the world. Including dragons, sea monsters and flying turtles.
March 23, 2016 – March 31, 2017
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 23, 2016 – May 6, 2017
2016 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, Formalists! Musical Scores of Suppressed Soviet Composers, submitted by Alexander P. Ioffreda, Harvard College, Class of 2015.
May 23, 2016 – May 6, 2017
2016 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.
- Such a curious dream! Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at 150
- "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