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HMSC Member Night at the Museums

Wander the museum after hours, enjoy seasonal treats, and go behind the scenes to see objects not currently on exhibit. This is a great time to get your holiday shopping done at The Shop at HMNH, where members receive a special 25% discount during the month of December. Not a member? Join today so you […]


African Twilight: Vanishing Ceremonies of the African Continent

For the last forty years American born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher have journeyed over 300,000 miles travelling through 44 countries and recording over 150 cultures on the African continent. Their recently published double volume book, African Twilight, the subject of this lecture, is the magnum opus of these two pioneering documentary photographers of […]


The Remarkable Nature of Edward Lear

Robert McCracken Peck Curator of Art and Artifacts, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University Edward Lear (1812–1888), best known for The Owl and the Pussycat and other nonsense poetry, was also an accomplished painter of birds, mammals, reptiles, and landscapes, and an adventurous world traveler. His paintings of parrots, macaws, toucans, owls, and other […]


The Future of Immortality: Remaking Life and Death in Contemporary Russia

Anya Bernstein John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University The international transhumanist movement believes that humans can harness science and technology to transcend their physical and mental limitations. Some of its practitioners support cryonics and the creation of robotic bodies for future “consciousness transfer.” Drawing from her ethnographic […]


Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Celebration

Celebración Nocturna/Evening Celebration Remember and celebrate your departed loved ones at this year’s Día de los Muertos altar, savor traditional Mexican hot chocolate and pan de muerto, and enjoy live music. Special Event. Free and open to the public. Reservations required; request a reservation.


The Peril and Promise of Solar Geoengineering

David Keith Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University Solar geoengineering research aims to reduce the impacts of global climate change. One possibility is to put aerosols into the stratosphere to alter Earth’s energy budget. This emerging […]


Anthropology, Colonialism, and the Exploration of Indigenous Australia

Philip Jones Senior Curator in Anthropology, South Australian Museum, and Affiliate Lecturer, Department of History, University of Adelaide In 1938–1939, Harvard University funded an expedition to Australia aimed at understanding how colonization had affected Indigenous peoples and their physiology, and at informing government policy as it shifted from segregation to assimilation. Led by anthropologists Norman […]


Fabulous Fungus Fair

Explore the wondrous world of fungi! Join Harvard students for a closer look at the mushrooms, yeasts, and molds found in gardens, forests, and labs—even in our own refrigerators. This is an opportunity to investigate fungal diversity and participate in hands-on activities led by Harvard students.


Zapotec-Style Painting Family Workshop

Back by popular demand! Learn to paint Zapotec design motifs with visiting artists from Oaxaca, Mexico. The father-son team of Ventura and Norberto Fabian continues the tradition of creating hand-carved and painted wooden figures known as alebrijes. Select an original, small figure to paint and take home. Instructors: Ventura and Norberto Fabian Taught in Spanish […]


Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Lonnie G. Bunch III Secretary, Smithsonian Institution Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University In A Fool’s Errand (Smithsonian, 2019), Lonnie Bunch shares the vision and leadership he brought to the realization of the National Museum of African American History and Culture—a […]


Special Activity for International Archaeology Day: A Mayan Vessel in AR

“Shrink” yourself down to “walk” into an ancient Maya vessel using augmented reality! Maya women were often essential for uniting kingdoms. When a marriage was arranged between Maya royal families, kings would exchange gifts like this ceramic three-legged plate for serving chocolate. Use the museum’s iPad as a “magic window” to discover fine details on […]


National Fossil Day

Celebrate National Fossil Day with ancient trilobites, sea scorpions, saber-toothed cats, giant ground sloths, and more. Meet Harvard paleontologists and learn about the amazing prehistoric animals on exhibit. Bring your curiosity and questions to this event for all ages!