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  • Virtual
    Timothy O’Sullivan is America’s most famous war photographer. His image A Harvest of Death, taken at Gettysburg, is an icon of the Civil War.  His next subject was the American West. Join the celebrated writer Robert O’Sullivan for a discussion of the artist’s life and work, the history of photography and our country, as he follows O’Sullivan’s path on his own personal exploration of the West.

    The acclaimed Civil War photography Timothy O’Sullivan was among the first photographers to elevate what was then a trade to the status of fine art. The images of the American West he made after the war, while traveling with the surveys led by Clarence King and George Wheeler, display a prescient awareness of what photography would become. At the same time, we know very little about O’Sullivan the man and landscapes he captured.

    Robert Sullivan’s Double Exposure sets off in pursuit of these two enigmas. This book documents the author’s own road trip across the West in search of the places, many long forgotten or paved over, that O’Sullivan pictured. It also shows how changes to our country and its landscape were already under way in the 1860s and '70s, and how these changes were a continuation of the Civil War.

    Partner:
    American Ancestors
  • Virtual
    In celebration of the July 4 holiday, join us for a fascinating presentation and discussion of one phrase from the Declaration of Independence, “the pursuit of happiness.”  With Jeffrey Rosen of the National Constitution Center and host of the We the People weekly podcast, we’ll look at what this unalienable right meant to our nation’s Founders, how it defined their lives and became the foundation of our democracy.

    In profiles six of our country’s most influential founders—Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton—this new, thought-filled book shows what pursuing happiness meant in their lives. It was a quest for being good, not feeling good, demonstrating a pursuit of lifelong virtue, not short-term pleasure. Among those virtues were the habits of industry, temperance, moderation, and sincerity. Their views were inspired by readings of the classical Greek and Roman moral philosophers. More than an elucidation of the Declaration’s famous phrase; The Pursuit of Happiness is a revelatory journey into the minds of the Founders. Join us to hear from Jeffrey Rosen and gain a deep, rich, and fresh understanding of the foundation of our democracy.
    Partner:
    Boston Public Library American Ancestors
  • Virtual
    A glittering portrait of the golden age of American department stores and of three visionary women who led them. Journalist Julie Satow draws back the curtain to reveal the masterminds behind the creation and shopping experience at Hortense Odlum’s Bonwit Teller, Dorothy Shaver’s Lord & Taylor, and Geraldine Stutz’s Henri Bendel.

    The twentieth century American department store was a palace of consumption where every wish could be met under one roof – afternoon tea, a stroll through the latest fashions, a wedding (or funeral) planned. It was a place where women, shopper and shopgirl alike, could stake out a newfound independence. Whether in New York or Chicago or on Main Street, USA, men owned the buildings, but inside, women ruled. In this hothouse atmosphere, three women and their department stores rose to the top, Hortense Odlum (Bonwit Teller), Dorothy Shaver (Lord & Taylor), and Geraldine Stutz (Henri Bendel). They took great risks and forged new paths for the women who followed in their footsteps. A stylish account, When Women Ran Fifth Avenue captures the department store in all its glitz, decadence, and fun, and showcases the women who made that beautifully curated world go round.


    Partner:
    American Ancestors Boston Public Library
  • Julie Satow is an award-winning journalist and the author of The Plaza, a New York Times’ Editor’s Choice and NPR Favorite Book of 2019. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times.
  • Virtual
    On June 1, 1774, British officials shut down the port of Boston as punishment for the dumping of East India Company tea six months earlier. Overnight, ship traffic stopped and the wharves fell silent.

    In this lecture, Joseph M. Adelman will discuss how Bostonians lost access to goods and work that they relied on and explore how working people coped with the economic fallout.
    Partner:
    Paul Revere Memorial Association
  • Joseph M. Adelman is an associate professor of history at Framingham State University and an associate editor of The New England Quarterly. He is the author of Revolutionary Networks: The Business and Politics of Printing the News, 1763-1789.
  • Virtual
    Join Biodiversity For A Livable Climate to learn how one furry critter can help us restore wetlands, protect biodiversity and deal with both floods and fires.

    The February 26th fire in Texas was the largest in their history. In Canada, the fire season never really ended, as zombie fires smoldered under cover over winter and started up again come spring. Policy makers seem to be at a loss with some efforts at burning the forest on purpose, or logging huge swaths to create fire breaks. Is our only option for preventing forest fires to destroy the forests? Maybe not.

    Ten percent of North America was once covered in wetlands, most of which were created and maintained by beavers! About 200 million beavers. What would it take to shift our relationship with beavers from considering them pests to partnering with them to restore the vast swaths of aquatic habitat that once kept the continent wet, cool and full of biodiversity?

    For 20 years, Brock Dolman and Kate Lundquist, WATER Institute Co-Directors from the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) have been working to provide education and advocacy for a healthy watershed. It turns out that beavers can play a big role in that. Dolman & Lundquist will share with us how they moved from community action to recently supporting the creation of a state-led Beaver Restoration Program in California, and the joy of seeing beavers released in the wild in CA for the first time in nearly 75 years in collaboration with tribal partners from the Maidu Summit Consortium.
    Moderated by Beck Mordini, Biodiversity For A Livable Climate Executive Director.
    Partner:
    Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
  • Kate Lundquist co-directs the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center’s WATER Institute and the Bring Back the Beaver Campaign. Kate collaborates with landowners, communities, tribes, conservation organizations and resource agencies across the arid west to uncover obstacles and identify strategic solutions to conserve watersheds, recover listed species, increase water security and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
  • Brock Dolman is a co-founder of the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (www.oaec.org), where he co-directs the Permaculture Program, Wildlands Program and the WATER Institute in Sonoma County, California. He is a wildlife biologist, permaculture designer and watershed ecologist and has been active in promoting the idea of Bringing Back the Beaver in California since the late 1990’s.
  • Researchers are learning more and more about the detrimental effects of too much screentime on our mental health, and especially our children's. At the same time, we are gaining a deeper understanding of the importance of playtime for all animals, including humans.

    Join Cambridge Forum as we bat around the most recent research including the upside of boredom for kids: guests are Dr Michael Rich, director of the Clinic for Interactive Media and Internet Disorders at Boston Children's Hospital and Professor David Toomey from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst who has just written a new book on why animals play.
    Partner:
    Cambridge Forum