Museums


Harvard Pledges to Return Hundreds of Native American Hair Samples Housed at Peabody Museum

Harvard’s Peabody Museum on Thursday pledged to return hundreds of hair samples taken from Native American children who were enrolled in government-run schools in the 1930s and apologized for keeping the clippings in its collections.


Descendants Call for Immediate Return of Human Remains in Harvard Museum Collections, Criticize University Report

Harvard agreed to return the remains of 19 likely enslaved individuals to their descendants in a report published last week. But some descendants of enslaved individuals and Native American scholars voiced concerns about Harvard’s lack of specificity on repatriation timelines.


Harvard Pledges to Return Human Remains of Enslaved People to Descendents

Harvard University agreed on Thursday to return the human remains of 19 individuals who were likely enslaved to their descendants, accepting recommendations from a committee tasked with examining how the school should treat human remains in its museum collections.


‘It’s Meant Everything’: Tomahawk of Chief Standing Bear Returned from Harvard’s Peabody Museum to Ponca Tribe

On June 3, after pandemic-induced delays, a delegation of Ponca Tribe representatives traveled to Cambridge for a repatriation ceremony for Ponca Tribe chief Standing Bear’s pipe tomahawk.


Mass. Supreme Court Allows Emotional Distress Claim Against Harvard to Proceed in Suit Over Photos of Enslaved People

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overturned a lower court’s dismissal of Tamara K. Lanier’s emotional distress claim against Harvard, according to a decision released Thursday morning, allowing Lanier to continue to seek damages from the University.


Cambridge City Council Calls On Harvard to Return Human Remains of Enslaved People, Native Americans

Following reports last week that Harvard University holds the human remains of at least 19 individuals who were likely enslaved and nearly 7,000 Native Americans, the Cambridge City Council adopted a policy order urging the University to relinquish the remains to their descendants during a Monday meeting.


Harvard Holds Human Remains of 19 Likely Enslaved Individuals, Thousands of Native Americans, Draft Report Says

Harvard University holds the human remains of at least 19 individuals who were likely enslaved and almost 7,000 Native Americans — collections that represent “the University’s engagement and complicity” with slavery and colonialism, according to a draft University report obtained by The Crimson.


Peabody

Harvard’s Peabody Museum has agreed to return a pipe tomahawk that once belonged to Ponca chief Standing Bear to tribal leaders.


After Agreeing to Repatriate Ponca Tomahawk, Peabody Museum Awaits Visit from Tribal Leaders

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology removed a pipe tomahawk that once belonged to Ponca chief Standing Bear from its collections last September, after calls for the museum to return the tomahawk to the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma garnered international attention.


Harvard Art Museums Implement 'ReFrame' Initiative

The Harvard Art Museums have made progress in implementing their “ReFrame” initiative, which was announced last fall. The initiative aims to bring previously unseen collections out of storage and reframe existing curations.


Visitors Laud Science and Culture Museums’ Public Reopening

After an extended shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture and its programs reopened to both Harvard affiliates and the general public last week.


Mass. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments Over Harvard’s Possession of Photos Depicting Enslaved People

In the opening salvo of their effort to appeal the March dismissal of Lanier v. Harvard, lawyers for Tamara K. Lanier and Harvard argued before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court about whether the University unlawfully possesses and profits from historic photos Lanier says depict her enslaved ancestors.


Tindal Lays Out Vision as New Museums Director, Addresses Recent Controversies

Brenda D. Tindal, the new executive director of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, shared her vision for the HMSC and her passion for museums, community engagement, and civic dialogue during a virtual fireside chat Tuesday evening.


HMSC Fireside Chat

Brenda D. Tindal, the executive director of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, held a conversation on Tuesday night about her priorities in this new role.


Documentary on Harvard Daguerreotypes Lawsuit Premieres as Court Hearing Looms

A documentary on a Black woman trying to reclaim her family’s history by suing Harvard University over its possession of photographs depicting her enslaved ancestors premiered Friday at a Harvard Square movie theater.


Harvard Art Museums

After being closed since March 2020 due to the pandemic, the Harvard Art Museum reopened to the public on Saturday.


Peabody Museum in Talks To Repatriate Ponca Tomahawk Following Descendant’s Request, Nebraska Legislature Resolution

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology is in talks with Ponca tribal leaders and a descendant of Ponca chief Standing Bear to repatriate to the Ponca people a pipe tomahawk that once belonged to Standing Bear, Museum Director Jane Pickering said in an interview on Thursday.


Tindal Named New Director of Harvard Museums of Science and Culture

Brenda D. Tindal will serve as the new executive director of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture,  Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Claudine Gay announced Tuesday.


Peabody Museum Apologizes For Practices Around Native American Cultural Objects, Announces Policy Changes

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology administrators apologized for the “pain” the museum caused by its refusal to voluntarily return certain funerary objects to Native American tribes and pledged to reverse the policy in response to a letter from the Association on American Indian Affairs last month criticizing the museum.


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