Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Wonders of Nature @ The Harvard Museum of Natural History, Cambridge, MA

I worked at camps almost every summer of my young adult life.   One summer though, I decided I should get a REAL job that would build my resume.  I fell into an unpaid internship at Cultural Survival, an amazing non-profit loosely linked to the Harvard Anthropology Department that works to protect indigenous cultures around the globe.  Sometimes at lunch I would wander into the old Peabody museum and the glass flowers collection.  I am sure this somehow led me to my first job in teaching at the Museum School in New York, somehow...

As amazing as the collection was in 1992, it has since been totally renovated into a state-of-the-art, world class exhibit space.  We have gotten lost a few times with the boys in the endless Hall of Mammals.  And while many of the specimens are starting to crack a bit, it is no less impressive to look up at a whale skeleton here than it is to peer upon the blue whale at our fav the American Museum of Natural History in NYC. 

After a quick swing through the glass flowers and Minerals, Gems and Meteorites I rediscovered my roots.  There in the back corner was a hallway connector to the Peabody.  Three floors of amazing ethnographic discoveries just waiting for kids.  I couldn't recall back 18 years to whether those twenty foot murals from ancient Central America in Encounters with the Americas had stolen the show.  And as a big fan of Mexican culture, we were engrossed in the Dia de los Muertos exhibit (it didn't hurt that Halloween and hence Dia had just passed.)  Yet, we barely skimmed the surface and we will need another return trip.  I thought I was running out of Beantown Dadventures, it looks like I can book one at least.


scott davidson said...

How about this for a design for a wall painting, in the tried-and-true Art Nouveau style?:, by the famous English artist, Audrey Beardsley himself. You can also order a canvas print of the picture from