- Tuesday, April 28, 7 pm: Barbara Berenson, author of “Boston and the Civil War: Hub of the Second Revolution”
Boston’s black and white abolitionists forged a second American revolution dedicated to ending slavery and honoring the promise of liberty made in the Declaration of Independence. Before the war, Bostonians were bitterly divided between those who supported the Union and those opposed to its endorsement of slavery. The Fugitive Slave Act brought the horrors of slavery close to home and led many to join the abolitionists. March to war with Boston’s brave soldiers, including the grandson of Patriot Paul Revere and the Fighting Irish. The all-black Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment battled against both slavery and discrimination, while Boston’s women fought tirelessly against slavery and for their own right to be full citizens of the Union.
- Wednesday, April 8, 7 pm: Belinda Rathbone, author of “The Boston Raphael”
On the eve of its centennial celebrations in December, 1969, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts announced the acquisition of an unknown and uncatalogued painting attributed to Raphael. Boston’s coup made headlines around the world. Soon afterward, an Italian art sleuth began investigating the details of the painting’s export from Italy, challenging the museum’s right to ownership. Simultaneously, experts on both sides of the Atlantic lined up to debate its very authenticity. While these contests played themselves out on the international stage, the crisis deepened within the museum as its charismatic director, Perry T. Rathbone, faced the most challenging crossroads of his thirty-year career. The Boston Raphael was a media sensation in its time, but the full story of the forces that converged on the museum and how they intersected with the challenges of the Sixties is now revealed in full detail by the director’s daughter.