Useful Objects: Nineteenth-Century Museums and American Culture

Date: 

Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 4:30pm to 5:45pm

Location: 

Online

Headshot of speaker, Reed Rocheberg, in a gallery with paintings.

Free Virtual Public Lecture

Reed Gochberg, Assistant Director of Studies; Lecturer on History and Literature, Harvard University,

In conversation with:

Brenda Tindal, Executive Director, Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Advance Registration Required.

What can the history of museums tell us about their role in American culture today? What kinds of objects were considered worth collecting, and who decided their value? Join Reed Gochberg, author of Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, September 2021) to learn about the early history of American museums, including Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology. In conversation with HMSC Executive Director Brenda Tindal, she will examine how writers and visitors reflected on a wide range of nineteenth-century collections—and how their ideas continue to inform ongoing debates about the challenges and possibilities museums face today.

About the Speaker:
Reed Gochberg is Assistant Director of Studies and Lecturer on History and Literature at Harvard University where she also teaches in the Museum Studies program at Harvard Extension School. She is the author of Useful Objects: Museums, Science, and Literature in Nineteenth-Century America (Oxford University Press, September 2021) and recently guest curated the online exhibit Women of the Museum, 1860–1920 at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture.
 
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