Terra Foundation-supported Events

Exhibition: The Philosophy Chamber: Art and Science in Harvard’s Teaching Cabinet, 1766–1820

This exhibition reunites an extraordinary collection of paintings, portraits, and prints; mineral, plant, and animal specimens; scientific instruments; American Indian artifacts; and relics from the ancient world. Originally assembled in the Philosophy Chamber, an ornately decorated room devoted to the discipline of natural philosophy, this early teaching collection at Harvard College was founded in 1766. Artists, scientists, students, and advocates of American Independence—John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, George Washington, John Adams, and James Monroe, among others—came to the Philosophy Chamber to discover and disseminate new knowledge. The collection and the chamber played a vital role in teaching and research at Harvard, while also serving as the center of artistic and intellectual life in the greater New England region for more than 50 years.

The exhibition is also on view at The Hunterian, University of Glasgow (

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