Past’s Presence

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe InstitutePhoto by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute
Harvard Magazine
September 28, 2017
By Natasha Lasky

The Radcliffe Institute's annual barbecue felt a bit like a cafeteria on the first day of high school. Heavy rains the previous night forced the event into a nearby lecture hall, and the new fellows shuffled from table to table, making small talk about their projects and trying to find a place to sit. In the line for the buffet, a woman in front of me politely asked what I was studying. I told her, “History and literature,” and she sighed.

“It seems like everyone studies history here,” she said, a little wearily, as I scooped a pile of baked beans onto my plate. “Even the scientists. It’s not enough just to do biology or chemistry these days, you have to do the history of science as well.”

I could see why she had that impression: the barbecue was also being held to celebrate the opening of a new public art installation, “100+ Years at 73 Brattle,” itself the product of careful historical research. Every two years, the Radcliffe Institute has a competition among members of the Harvard community to create an art installation to fill the Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Garden, a roughly square-shaped vacant lot, hemmed with trees, across the street from the Loeb Drama Center. 

Read the complete article at Harvard Magazine.

 

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