Arts & Culture

All Arts & Culture

  • New exhibit at Houghton Library features decorated papers

    In the 1930s when Boston bookbinder and society matron Rosamond B. Loring (1889–1950) was unable to find ornamental papers she considered good enough to serve as end leaves for her books, she took matters into her own hands, teaching herself to make what are known in bookbinding as “decorated papers.” Her initiative, especially with paste papers, led to a revival in the craft and to an extensive personal collection comprising some 10,000 pieces, examples of which are on display at Houghton Library as part of a new exhibition.

  • Bright, imaginative season in offing

    Here’s a party for you. Julius Caesar is sipping wine with Don Juan, Figaro, Mozart, and an art teacher from the Bronx. Two atomic bomb theorists are in deep conversation, while a troubled teenager talks with his 6-foot rabbit. A South African satirist is there in drag. A Jewish trick-rope artist brings a circus tent of odd friends. Shakespeare is there, too. He brought a lost play.

  • New research challenges previous knowledge about the origins of urbanization

    Ancient cities arose not by decree from a centralized political power, as was previously widely believed, but as the outgrowth of decisions made by smaller groups or individuals, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard University, the University of Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh.

  • El Saadawi explores notion of creativity

    Activist, author, psychiatrist, and playwright Nawal El Saadawi delivered the Harvard Committee on African Studies’ annual Distinguished African Studies Lecture on Oct. 9 in the Tsai Auditorium at the Center for Government and International Studies.

  • Life lessons

    On a sultry August day three decades ago, historian Jean Strouse ’67 stopped in Harvard Square to buy daisies. She walked on to the nearby grave site of diarist Alice James, who died in 1892.

  • Light Prop shines again

    This Saturday (July 21), one of the Busch-Reisinger Museum’s most unusual artworks will get a new lease on life.

  • In brief

    ‘HUCTW Creates’ showcases range of talents “HUCTW Creates: The Visual Arts,” a group art exhibit featuring visual artist members of the Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers (HUCTW) will be up through July 31 at Gutman Library, 6 Appian Way. The closing reception will be held July 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.

  • In search of grammatical architecture behind words

    When not in a classroom or laboratory, Maria Polinsky spends time doing fieldwork off the southeast coast of Africa, in Madagascar. She studies Malagasy, a melting-pot language whose influences start in Borneo and now borrow from Swahili, Arabic, and French.

  • With a little help from his PC

    With “The Ringo Starr Fine Art Show” paying a visit to 60 Church St. in Harvard Square for a three-day stint starting today (June 7), some might assume that the man who rocked the kit for the most influential band in the history of rock ’n’ roll has traded in his sticks for paint and brushes. Not so. The beloved Beatle actually uses a computer to make his art. (Fans of Starr’s musical work, meanwhile, can relax: his 15th solo studio album is forthcoming.)

  • From reality TV to reality (really)

    Nate Dern isn’t really a geek, but he plays one on TV.

  • Laurence Coderre sings the praises of China

    Laurence Coderre came upon her concentration in music and East Asian studies almost by accident.

  • Blodgett Artists-in-Residence named

    The Harvard University Department of Music has announced that the Chiara Quartet has been named Blodgett Artists-in-Residence for 2008-11. The Chiara (“clear, pure, or light” in Italian) will be in residence at Harvard for four one-week periods each academic year beginning in October 2008. Recently awarded with the Guarneri Quartet Residency Award for artistic excellence by Chamber Music America, the Chiara Quartet’s other honors include a top prize at the Paolo Borciani International Competition, winning the Astral Artistic Services National Audition, and winning First Prize at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition.

  • Germanic Languages and Literatures names 2006-07 prize winners

    The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures recently announced its 2006–07 award winners. Prizes to undergraduate and graduate students total $9,000.

  • Looking for language’s universal logic

    To Gennaro Chierchia, language’s innumerable combinations and subtle changes of structure and meaning are a window onto the human mind.

  • Nieman Foundation announces U.S., International Fellows for 2007-08

    Thirty U.S. and international journalists have recently been named to the 70th class of Nieman Fellows at Harvard University.

  • David Benjamin Lewin

    At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences May 1, 2007, the following Minute was placed upon the records.

  • ‘By force of thought’

    To say that János Kornai has led an interesting life would be an understatement.

  • Using arts to better the art of teaching

    On a recent Saturday morning, music fluttered up and out of the basement of the otherwise quiet Science Center. Inside a windowless classroom, two dozen students sat and listened to one of their peers sing a song she had written as part of her homework.

  • ‘Walls of Tehran’ panels to explore art, propaganda

    An afternoon panel in association with “Walls of Martyrdom” — a photography exhibit of Tehran’s propaganda murals by Ph.D. candidate in public policy Fotini Christia — will be held May 18 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Center for Government and International Studies (CGIS). Sponsored by the Weatherhead Center, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Office of the Provost, the event and exhibit (set to run May 18 through June 15 in the South Concourse Gallery of CGIS) are free and open to the public.

  • Arts First edges toward the edgy in conceptual public art display

    With John Harvard looking on, four students and their instructor, local artist Gary Duehr, put the finishing touches on their creation, what one of the students referred to as an “interactive piece of visual art.”

  • ‘Accidental opera composer’ speaks

    As a young man, John Adams didn’t like opera. “I never listened to opera as a kid. I didn’t like the operatic voice or the stiff posturing of opera performances.”

  • In brief

    Concert to honor music faculty A farewell concert featuring the music of Harvard Department of Music faculty Julian Anderson and Joshua Fineberg will be held May 21 at 8 p.m. in John Knowles Paine Concert Hall. Anderson, the Fanny P. Mason Professor of Music, and Fineberg, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Humanities, will be leaving the University at the end of the academic year.

  • Heading disaster off at the pass

    Before Hurricane Katrina, you could walk along a street in New Orleans and look up to see a ship glide by — with an ocean of water held in check by just one dike.

  • Treasures of Dental School’s old museum opened wide at exhibit

    The Harvard Dental Museum once held 14,000 specimens, everything from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s dentures to a prehistoric mastodon’s tusk measuring 11 feet in length and weighing 300 pounds.

  • Peabody teams will scan other endangered monuments

    By January, the Peabody Museum’s Corpus of Maya Hieroglyphic Inscriptions Program hopes to be in Copán, Honduras, scanning the imposing but fragile hieroglyphic stairway, the longest inscription in the New World.

  • Scholar: Cave paintings show religious sophistication

    A picture may be worth a thousand words, but for Catherine Perlès, cave paintings provide a link to understanding thousands of years of human history and thought. In examining cave paintings in Western Europe and archaeological sites in the Near East, Perlès said that the similarities and differences between the artifacts shows that, contrary to a controversial theory by archaeologist Jacque Cauvin, human belief in gods pre-existed the birth of agriculture and the cultivation of animals.

  • Humanists gather with evangelical fervor

    A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a … humanist conference.

  • This month in Harvard history

    April 1965 – April 30, 1975

  • William White Howells

    At a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences on April 10, 2007, the Minute honoring the life and service of the late William White Howells, Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, was placed upon the records. Howells is best known for his work on human cranial variation and the analytical use of multivariate statistical techniques.

  • OfA announces undergraduate prize winners

    The Office for the Arts at Harvard (OfA) and the Council on the Arts at Harvard, a standing committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, have announced the winners of the annual undergraduate arts prizes presented in recognition of outstanding accomplishment in the arts for the 2006-07 academic year.