Fabricating the Authentic: Presenting Anthropology at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition


Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6:00pm to 8:00pm


Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

ld_bakerRace, Representation, and Museums Lecture Series

Lee D. Baker, Dean of Academic Affairs for Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Mrs. A. Hehmeyer Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Duke University

Frederic Ward Putnam, one of the Peabody Museum’s earliest directors, played a key role in establishing anthropology as a scholarly field. He was also a driving force behind the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he aimed to present authentic exhibits about Indigenous cultures. His vision, however, was compromised by both the Exposition’s administration, which framed the exhibition of Indigenous people as entertaining freak shows, and by “friends of the Indian,” who wanted to show their “progress” toward civilization.  Lee Baker will discuss how anthropology became publicly mired in racial politics and the contested arena of Indigenous representation.

Free and open to the public. Free parking at 52 Oxford Street Garage

Presented by Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology in collaboration with the Departments of Anthropology and Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University