Harvard Art Museums
288 pages | 211 images
American Alliance of Museums, First Prize, Museum Publications Design Competition, 2013
This book examines Harvard University’s Social Museum, open from 1907 to 1931 and established by Francis Greenwood Peabody. The museum’s contents included roughly 1,500 graphic illustrations and 4,500 photographs by amateur and professional photographers, including Lewis Hine and Frances Benjamin Johnston. Social science students used these materials to research and understand social problems. One artifact is a captivating map titled “Race and Occupation of Immigrants by Destination.” The map, printed on the inside of the French-fold book jacket, is large enough to be read. In the museum, the photographs were presented on gray boards with labels, which inspired the gray board for the cover. Peabody’s Social Museum endorsed industrial progress and the use of new technologies. The typography conveys the essence of the time period, including a slab serif, which first appeared during the industrial revolution in handbills and posters, and can be seen in the ephemera from the collection. The book includes a full facsimile of a pamphlet, from 1911, listing the contents of the museum. This book received an award from the American Alliance of Museums.