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Harvard Squared


Events on and off campus during September and October

From left: Child 1980, a dye-diffusion print, among works by photographer Olivia Parker at the Peabody Essex Museum; the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, in Sanders Theatre; from Fruits in Decay, at the Harvard Museum of Natural History
From Left: Photograph by Olivia Parker/courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum; Harvard Radcliffe Orchestra; Photograph courtesy of the Harvard Museum of Natural History 

Film |  Nature and Science | Lectures | Music | Exhibitions & Events | Theater



Harvard Film Archive
“The B Film” series screens The Octopus!, Kid Glove Killer, and Weird Women, among other genre films from the mid 1930s to the 1948 Paramount Decree, underscoring the argument that they should be “recognized as a unique and quintessentially American art form.” (September 13-November 25)

Democratic Republic of Congo documentarian Dieudo Hamadi, director of Kinshasa Makambo, the extraordinary 2018 account of three young political activists, is this year’s McMillan-Stewart Fellow in Distinguished Filmmaking, and will be on hand to share and discuss his work. (October 4-9)

GlobeDocs Film Festival
This annual event, sponsored by The Boston Globe, features timely films, community gatherings, and conversations with journalists. Brattle and Coolidge Corner Theatres. (October 2-6)


Nature and Science

Garden In the Woods
Step out for late-bloomers, libations, live music, and after-hours strolls during Asters in the Evening. (September 27)

The Arnold Arboretum
Fabric, Fiber & Phenology offers botanical-art prints, made from pressed leaves and other materials, by Steffanie Schwam and the citizen-science Tree Spotters Program. (Through October 6)



Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
“Writing Black Lives.” Institute dean and Harvard Law School Paul professor of constitutional law Tomiko Brown-Nagin, joined by Princeton’s Hughes-Rogers professor of African American studies Imani Perry and Harvard professor of studies of women, gender, and sexuality Robert Reid-Pharr, discuss how their work as biographers addresses timely topics. Knafel Center. (October 11)

“Science Symposium on Gene Editing” brings together leading international scientists, clinicians, and ethicists to explore case studies of select gene therapies—and the bioethical implications of such research. Knafel Center. (October 25)


Courtesy of Natalia Arbelaez

Works by Colby Charpentier and Natalia Arbelaez, Harvard Ceramics Program artists in residence, stretch the expressive language of clay—in the disparate directions of mind and body.

In “Devitrified,” which refers to the growth of crystalline structures, Charpentier’s technically precise, clean forms explore material questions: “What if we took clay out of the vessel and glaze was all that remained?” and “What does it mean to replicate a 3-D printing process by hand?” (September 3-27)

The Miami-born, Colombian-raised Arbelaez, however, creates earthy figures, like Montañas de Fuego (right). They evoke collective human memory and cultural identity, namely of Latin American and Amerindian people. As Arbelaez explains, these objects “contribute to a contemporary dialogue while simultaneously continuing the work of my ancestors.” (October 5-November 1)

Harvard Ceramics Program
224 Western Avenue, Allston (Boston)



Harvard Music Department
The Blodgett Chamber Music Series features the Parker Quartet performing works by Shostakovich and Dvořák. Paine Concert Hall. (September 20)

The riveting Canadian conductor and soprano Barbara Hannigan, subject of the documentary I’m a Creative Animal, delivers the Elson Lecture on “Equilibrium.” Paine Concert Hall. (September 23)

Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra
The student-managed, professionally conducted symphony orchestra opens its 212th season with Gustav Mahler’s monumental Ninth Symphony, his final completed work. Sanders Theatre. (October 5)


Exhibitions & Events

Harvard Museum of Natural History
A temporary special exhibit of the celebrated glass flowers, Fruits in Decay, features fascinatingly precise renditions of formerly edible objects. (Opens August 31)

Harvard Art Museums
Winslow Homer: Eyewitness highlights illustrations that the American realist produced for Harper’s Weekly. (Opens August 31)

Through more than 40 works by a cross-section of global contemporary artists, the ambitious exhibit Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement and Belonging in Contemporary Art examines the concepts of both national, political, and cultural boundaries and “evolving hybrid spaces, identities, languages, and beliefs created by the movement of peoples.” (Opens September 6)

Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
To help mark 2019 as the “Year of Indigenous Languages,” Mexican designer Gabriella Badillo, among others, presents her work during a program about “Maintaining Heritage Languages in Our Communities” (September 12). Badillo is also a featured guest for “Animated Tales for All,” a series of short films narrated in 68 different indigenous languages of Mexico. (September 14)

Rose Art Museum
Through photographs, prints, drawings, sculptures—and rarely seen archival materials—Gordon Matta-Clark: Anarchitect explores the role of an artist in activism and in chronicling homelessness and derelict urban environments, especially during the tumultuous 1970s. (Opens September 21)

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Truthiness and the News highlights the evidentiary role of photography, from the first half of the twentieth century and the heyday of print newspapers to the current era of “alternative facts.” (Opens October 11)

RISD Craft
A smorgasbord of unique, cutting-edge works by more than a hundred of the school’s student and alumni artists, like Candy Barr, Susan Freda, and Ahrong Kim. Peruse everything from wearable art and housewares to photographs, sculptures, and fine jewelry—with plenty of holiday-gift options. (October 12)

Peabody Essex Museum
Order of the Imagination: The Photographs of Olivia Parker reveals the artist’s masterly ability to spur dialogues among “nature and abstraction, permanence and ephemerality.” (Through November 11)



Courtesy of the Trustees

Catch the last of this year’s family-friendly “traveling biergartens” hosted by The Trustees and Notch Brewing. The European-style community gatherings (at various beautiful and historic sites owned by the conservation organization) offer locally crafted, lower-alcohol “session” beers, along with activities like lawn games, live music, scavenger hunts, and property tours. This fall, the gatherings are held at: Minton Stable Community Garden, in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood (September 20-21); Appleton Farms, in Ipswich/Hamilton (October 4-6); and at Weir River Farm, in Hingham (October 12-13). If biergartens aren’t appealing, then check out “After Work Adventure: Bonfire on the Beach” (September 19 and 24), featuring a twilight hike in the dunes, sunset views, and a cozy blaze at The Trustees’s Crane Beach, on Boston’s North Shore.



American Repertory Theater
In Black Light, performance artist Daniel Alexander Jones sings, struts, and tells it like it is as his glamorous alter-ego Jomama Jones. Oberon. (September 19-29)

Billed as a galvanizing musical testament to “girl power,” Six spotlights the historic stories of King Henry VIII’s doomed wives. Loeb Drama Center. (Through September 27)

Central Square Theater
The Crucible. A well-timed production of Arthur Miller’s American classic about corrosive power. (September 12-October 13)

Huntington Theater
Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning tragicomedy Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead envisions the trajectories of two minor characters from Hamlet. (September 20-October 20)

Boston Lyric Opera
The season’s debut, Pagliacci, stars tenor Rafael Rojas and soprano Lauren Michelle. (September 27-October 6)