Featured Exhibitions

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture host a wide variety of public exhibitions. This page highlights an exhibition from each of the four HMSC museums. Please click on individual museum names for a complete list of exhibitions currently on view.

Microbial Life: A Universe at the Edge of Sight

February 17, 2018
Scott Chimileski Actino BacteriaMicrobial Life: A Universe at the Edge of Sight takes visitors on a multimedia journey into this fascinating, invisible realm, where bacteria and other microbes bustle about their lives, interacting with one another and with organisms of all sizes in every corner of the globe. Explore the fascinating lives of Earth’s first inhabitants, as they continue to engage with and sustain the planet’s biosphere in ways science is only just beginning to uncover and understand. On view at the Harvard Museum of Natural HIstory.

From Stone to Silicone: Recasting Mesopotamian Monuments

December 16, 2017

Battle SceneThe Harvard Semitic Museum is reimagining its grand third-floor atrium gallery, featuring the arts of ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). This first installment showcases newly fabricated casts from the ancient scenes that once adorned Mesopotamian palace walls. Meticulously created by museum curators and Harvard students, these relief sculptures show how the ancient kings commemorated their military triumphs and civic achievements. Opening Saturday, December 16 in the Harvard Semitic Museum.

All The World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology

April 22, 2017

Image of pipe for the All The World Is Here exhibit at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & EthnologyThe Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology will celebrate its 150th anniversary year by opening All the World Is Here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology. Unveiled within a beautifully restored 4th floor gallery, this new exhibition will feature an astonishing array of over 600 objects from Asia, Oceania, and the Americas, many on display for the very first time. Together they will be woven into a compelling narrative tracing the early history of the museum’s collections and the birth of American anthropology as envisioned and shaped by the museum’s second director Frederic W. Putnam. On view at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology.

Time, Life, & Matter: Science in Cambridge

January 1, 2013

Collection of Historical Scientific InstrumentsHarvard has a rich history of scholarly contributions to the various natural, physical, and social sciences. Time, Life, & Matter features many important instruments that helped make those contributions possible. Highlights of the exhibit include multitude of stories told in part by such items as a geometric sector designed by Galileo, electrical experimentation apparatus purchased on Harvard's behalf by Benjamin Franklin, a suite of clocks illustrating the development of modern synchronized time-keeping, medical apparatus designed, in part, by Charles Lindbergh, and the artifacts of top-secret research conducted during World War II. On view in the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.