Museum history

2019
Far & Near: Selections from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology
Pamela Gerardi. 1/21/2019. Far & Near: Selections from the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, Pp. 112. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

3rd place, 2019 NEMA Awards (Books)

Since its founding in 1886, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University has been collecting, caring for, exhibiting, and researching objects produced by human cultures around the world. This handsomely illustrated, highly portable volume presents a selection of more than 90 objects in honor of the museum’s 150th anniversary in 2016–2017. Dating from Paleolithic times to the present and originating from the Arctic Circle to South Pacific, these selections represent but a fraction of the 1.4 million pieces in the museum’s collections. They range in character from the sacred to the profane, the utilitarian to the highly decorative, the deeply symbolic to the outrageously whimsical.

Chosen by the museum’s curators and staff, the works presented in Far & Near provide a tantalizing glimpse into the wonders of the collections of the Peabody Museum and reflect the skilled artistry of human hands and the endless creativity of the human mind.

2013
Anthropology at Harvard: A Biographical History, 1790–1940
David L. Browman Stephen and Williams. 7/15/2013. Anthropology at Harvard: A Biographical History, 1790–1940, Pp. 602. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

"A monumental achievement"—American Journal of Physical Anthropology

Anthropology at Harvard recounts the rich and complex history of anthropology at America’s oldest university, beginning with the earliest precursors of the discipline within the study of natural history. The story unfolds through fascinating vignettes about the many individuals—famous and obscure alike—who helped shape the discipline at Harvard College and the Peabody Museum. Lively anecdotes provide in-depth portraits of dozens of key individuals, including Louis and Alexander Agassiz, Frederic Ward Putnam, Mary Hemenway, Alice Cunningham Fletcher, Sylvanus Morley, A. V. Kidder, and Antonio Apache. The text also throws new light on longstanding puzzles and debates, such as Franz Boas’s censure by the American Anthropological Association and the involvement of Harvard archaeologists in espionage work for the U.S. government during World War I.

The authors take a “cohort” perspective, looking beyond the big names to the larger network of colleagues that formed the dynamic backdrop to the development of ideas. The significant contributions of amateurs and private funders to the early growth of the field are highlighted, as is the active participation of women and of students and scholars of diverse ethnic backgrounds. A monumental achievement, Anthropology at Harvard makes an important contribution to the history of Americanist anthropology.

"Overall, Anthropology at Harvard provides a comprehensive view of the East Coast development of the discipline and handles a prodigious amount of data remarkably well."—Donald McVicker, Isis >> read the full review

 

"Anthropology at Harvard will serve as an important, though limited, work of reference for historians of archaeology and anthropology."—Vincent Crapanzano, "Natives," The Times Literary Supplement >> read the full review

2011
The Copan Sculpture Museum
Barbara W. Fash. 9/12/2011. The Copan Sculpture Museum, Pp. 216. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

 

Ancient Maya Artistry in Stucco and Stone

 

The Copan Sculpture Museum in western Honduras features the extraordinary stone carvings of the ancient Maya city known as Copan. The city’s sculptors produced some of the finest and most animated buildings and temples in the Maya area, in addition to stunning monolithic statues and altars. The ruins of Copan were named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, and more than 150,000 national and international tourists visit the ancient city each year.

Opened in 1996, the Copan Sculpture Museum was initiated as an international collaboration to preserve Copan’s original stone monuments. Its exhibits represent the best-known examples of building façades and sculptural achievements from the ancient kingdom of Copan. The creation of this on-site museum involved people from all walks of life: archaeologists, artists, architects, and local craftspeople. Today it fosters cultural understanding and promotes Hondurans’ identity with the past.

In The Copan Sculpture Museum, Barbara Fash—one of the principle creators of the museum—tells the inside story of conceiving, designing, and building a local museum with global significance. Along with numerous illustrations and detailed archaeological context for each exhibit in the museum, the book provides a comprehensive introduction to the history and culture of the ancient Maya and a model for working with local communities to preserve cultural heritage.

2004
Dear Jeffie
12/1/2004. Dear Jeffie, Pp. 96. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Jeffries Wyman (1814–74), a pioneer anthropologist of nineteenth-century America and one of its great comparative anatomists, was the Hersey Professor of Anatomy at Harvard University and, later, a trustee of the Peabody Museum and professor of American Archaeology and Ethnology.

Wyman wrote the 59 letters in this volume to his only son Jeffie. Dating from 1866, when Jeffie was two, until Wyman’s death in 1874, when Jeffie was ten, the letters reveal a great scientist trying to instill in his son the concepts of acute observation and wonder. Wyman’s charming, quizzical drawings embellish the text, which will be appreciated by children and adults alike.

1876
Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1868 - 1876
Peabody Museum American Archaeology of and Ethnology. 1876. “Annual Report of the Trustees of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1868 - 1876” 1, Pp. 56. READ ONLINEAbstract

Reports 1868 -1871 (PDF)

1868 p1
1869 p35
1870 p59
1871 p75

Reports 1872-1874 (PDF)

1872 p1
1873 p37
1874 p65

Reports 1875-1876  (PDF)

1875 p1
1876 p65

 

1866
Abstract from the [Trustee] Records, 1884 Seventeenth Report of the Curator
Henry Wheatland. 10/8/1866. “Abstract from the [Trustee] Records, 1884 Seventeenth Report of the Curator .” Peabody Museum Annual Reports, 3, Pp. 334-338. READ ONLINE