Curiosities Coming to Light at the Harvard Museum

The Harvard Museum is renowned institution dedicated to anthropology. Recently, it’s going through some big changes to re-establish its role in the field of study. For one day only some of its odder holdings will be showcased to celebrate the museum’s 150th anniversary.


It’s called “All the World is here: Harvard’s Peabody Museum and the Invention of American Anthropology” and the exhibit opens in April. It will feature approximately 600 objects!

Some of the curiosities that will be featured will be Lewis and Clark’s grizzly bear claw necklace, the infamous Fiji mermaid, and prehistoric earthwork. However, some items, like the mermaid, will soon be re-established so they can be permanently viewable by the public.

The museum currently houses over 1 million artifacts, but only a fraction are currently on active display. This is a push to show-off and share with the public all the museum has to offer.

Jeffrey Quilter, the Peabody’s director, says These collections are never dead. They’re constantly being revitalized by people who come back with new ways to study them.” This is a certainly a lively way to prove that.

It is interesting to note that P.T Barnum curiosities still provide wonder for those who view them, just as they did when they were actively carted around the world.