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Louis Comfort Tiffany, Floriform Vase, c.  1900.  Glass.  Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Gift of Murray Anthony and Bessie Lincoln Potter, 1957.43.  (On view at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, in the Glass Flowers gallery.)

Tangible Things

Harvard University / January 24 - May 29, 2011 / Cambridge, Massachusetts


Questioning the modern Western intellectual categories that distinguish art from artifact, specimen from tool, and the historical from the anthropological, Tangible Things brings together materials from Harvard’s museum and archival collections. Beginning in the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the exhibition introduces visitors to established ways of organizing things and challenges them to classify an assortment of objects according to these scholarly conventions. Where in the University do items like John Singer Sargent’s palette or the beads and dress of a Camp Fire Girl belong? Why? Armed with these questions, visitors are invited to discover the many guest objects carefully inserted into exhibitions of Harvard’s public museums.

Harvard University
Various Locations
Cambridge, Massachusetts

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