Defy the winter doldrums: attend a gospel concert, take kids to see Oliver Twist, or dip into the diverse array of exhibits on offer. This season, museums and libraries in and around Harvard Square provide a wide range of close looks at people (Leonard Bernstein and H.W. Longfellow), places (New England and the Arctic), and things (Peruvian pottery and Islamic metalwork.)

Listings by category:


Gospel Tribute to the Kings (Sanders Theatre; www.boxoffice.harvard.edu; 617-496-2222)

  • January 13 at 8 p.m. — “Joyful Noise 2007,” an annual gospel concert featuring the Harlem Gospel Choir, celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and offers a special memorial tribute to Coretta Scott King.


Valentine’s Jam (Sanders Theatre; www.boxoffice.harvard.edu; 617-496-2222)

  • February 16 at 8 p.m. — The Radcliffe Pitches join the Harvard Krokodiloes in this annual a cappella Valentine’s Day concert.


The American Repertory Theatre (www.amrep.org; 617-547-8300)

  • Through January 13 — The Onion Cellar, a musical mystery, features the Dresden Dolls, a punk cabaret duo from Boston. Conceived by Amanda Palmer and Marcus Stern.

  • Through January 14 — The Importance of Being Earnest. The American premiere of the Oscar Wilde play as performed by Ridiculusmus, an avant- garde British group. Directed by Jude Kelly.

  • January 20-February 11— Britannicus, by Jean Racine, is a political thriller and family drama set during Nero’s reign. Directed by Robert Woodruff.

  • February 17-March 24 — In Oliver Twist, Neil Bartlett’s staging of the Dickens classic offers a vivid depiction of nineteenth-century London and a child’s perilous journey through it.



The Harvard Film Archive (http://hcl.harvard.edu/hfa; 617-495-4700; Visit the website for complete listings.)

  • January 5 to February 19 — Jacques Rivette: A Differential Cinema explores the major works of this French New Wave director, combining such popular films as Celine and Julie Go Boating with lesser known works, such as Duelle and The Story of Marie and Julien.

  • January 19-31 — The seventh annual New Films from Europe Festival offers works by filmmakers who challenge prevailing notions of national identity and push the boundaries of formal convention.

  • February 6-28 — Poetic Horror, Pop Existentialism, and Cheap Sci-Fi: Cold War Cinema 1948-1964. Curated by the visiting lecturer and critic J. Hoberman, this series explores postwar tensions in the United States.

  • February 20-27 — The Lives of Others: Selected Films of Helmut Käutner presents a rare sampling of Käutner’s film work both during and after World War II.



Houghton Library (617-496-3359; www.hcl.harvard.edu/libraries)

  • Opening January 16 — Public Poet, Private Man: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow at 200. The exhibition offers a new look at the poet’s connection with his audience, and his efforts to expand the international dimension of American literature.

  • Continuing: Leonard Bernstein’s Boston, which explores the composer’s historic ties to musical and educational communities in and around the city.


Cabot Science Library (www.hcl.harvard.edu/libraries)

  • Closing January 23 — Envisioning the Landscape provides a geological glimpse of the New England countryside, notably Cape Ann, Martha’s Vineyard, and parts of Maine.


Pusey Library (617-495-2413; www.hcl.harvard.edu/libraries)

  • Continuing: Theodore Roosevelt: Imagery for a President. Photographs and cartoons illustrate key themes and slogans from TR’s administrations.


Schlesinger Library (www.radcliffe.edu/schles; 617-495-8647)

  • February 7 at 6 p.m. —The screening of A Place of Rage, a documentary film about African-American activists by Pratibha Parmar.

  • February 20 at 4 p.m. — Barry Gewen, an editor at the New York Times Book Review, discusses the role of books and culture in contemporary life.

  • Continuing: Images of Women: Selections from the Collection of Sally Fox. The prolific photographer and researcher, who died in February, documented women’s lives around the world.


Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology (www.peabody.harvard.edu; 617-495-1027)

  • Closing February 27 — Michael Rockefeller: New Guinea Photographs, 1961. This exhibit of black-and-white images, most of which have never been publicly displayed, documents the life of the Dani people in the Baliem Valley (today part of Indonesia). Rockefeller ’60 took more than 3,500 photographs during the Peabody Museum’s New Guinea Expedition (1961-1963).

  • Continuing — The Moche of Ancient Peru: Media and Messages. The display of more than 100 objects, principally ceramic pieces, explores one of South America’s most complex early societies.


Harvard Museum of Natural History (www.hmnh.harvard.edu; 617-495-1027)

  • Closing January 7 — Looking at Landscape: Environmental Puzzles from Three Photographers. Visitors can decipher themes in American landscapes through noting scale, color, patterns, and other visual cues in works by Alex S. MacLean, Anne Whiston Spirn, and Camilo José Vergara.

  • Opening January 27 — Echoes in the Ice: Collages of Polar Explorers. Visual artist and filmmaker Rik van Glintenkamp melds archival imagery, writings, and reproductions of personal memorabilia into collages that depict Arctic and Antarctic explorations that span nearly four centuries.

  • March 18, at 2 p.m. Tickets go on sale February 27 to hear Jane Goodall speak at Sanders Theatre; she will also be awarded the 2006 Roger Tory Peterson Medal. A book signing by Dale Peterson, author of Jane Goodall: The Woman Who Redefined Man, follows the lecture. (www.boxoffice.harvard.edu; 617-496-2222)

  • Continuing: Arthropods: Creatures That Rule is a multimedia exhibit that looks at how these creatures—insects, spiders, crustaceans, and centipedes—have evolved over 500 million years. Includes fossils, specimens, photographs, and video presentations.


Semitic Museum (www.fas.harvard.edu/~semitic; 617-495-4631)

Continuing: The Houses of Ancient Israel: Domestic, Royal, Divine features a full-scale, furnished replica of a two-story Iron Age (ca. 1200-586 B.C.E. village house; Nuzi and the Hurrians details everyday life in northern Mesopotamia ca. 1400 B.C.E. Also on display are ancient Cypriot artifacts from the Cesnola Collection.


Busch-Reisinger Museum (617-495-2317)

• Opening February 24 — Multiple Strategies: Beuys, Maciunas, Fluxus. This show stages a dialogue between the artists, both of whom sought to erase the boundary between art and life.


Fogg Art Museum (617-495-9400/9422)

• Closing February 11 — “A Public Patriotic Museum”—Artworks and Artifacts from the Artemus Ward House includes paintings, furniture, textiles, and agricultural tools associated with Ward, general of the colonial militia that besieged Boston before George Washington took command.

• Closing February 25 — DISSENT! presents dozens of printed images that express resistance to religious, political, and social systems, demonstrating the role of printmaking in disseminating opinions.


Sackler Museum (617-495-9400/9422)

• Opening January 20 — Classified Documents: The Social Museum of Harvard University, 1903-1931. Established as a cornerstone of the then-new department of social ethics, the museum aimed to “collect the social experience of the world as material for university teaching.” The surviving collection contains more than 4,500 photographs and nearly 1,500 illustrations, a portion of which are now on display.

• Continuing: Overlapping Realms: Arts of the Islamic World and India, 900-1900. A sampling of art, primarily ceramics and metal work, produced by people inhabiting a region that stretched from southern Europe through South Asia. Phase two of the exhibit, which incorporates photographic arts, begins February 25.

Nature and Science

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (www.cfa.harvard.edu/events.html; 617-495-7461; Stargaze and learn about the planets on the third Thursday of every month. Free and open to the public. Phillips Auditorium, 60 Garden Street)

• January 18 at 7:30 p.m. — “The Great Observatories Look at Andromeda,” by astronomer Pauline Barmby.

• February 15 at 7 p.m. — Smithsonian astronomer Andrew Szentgyorgi talks about “Hunting for Extrasolar Planets.”


Jazz Festival

• February 16 at 7:30 p.m. — The main Harvard Club of Boston (374 Commonwealth Avenue) hosts the Jazz Combo Festival, in which student groups perform three works to compete for prizes. Free and open to the public. (www.harvardclub.com; 617-536-1260)


Sanders Theatre (www.boxoffice.harvard.edu; 617-496-2222)

• January 21 at 2:30 p.m. —The a cappella St. Olaf Choir, comprising 75 mixed voices, performs.

• February 3 at 8 p.m. — Enjoy an evening of soulful songs with Kathy Mattea and her five-piece band.

• February 4 at 2 p.m. — The Boston Conservatory presents an afternoon program of Dvořák, Mozart, and Shostakovich.

• February 10 at 8 p.m. — The Gyuto Monks are a Tibetan choir renowned for multiphonic singing and Buddhist tantric rituals.

• February 22 at 7:30 p.m. and February 25 at 3 p.m. — The Boston Philharmonic Orchestra performs works by Beethoven and Sibelius.

Events listings also appear in the University Gazette.

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