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Wander Thoreau’s Maine Woods

Harvard museum commemorates book’s 150th with photos, artifacts


Henry David Thoreau’s The Maine Woods, published 150 years ago, consisted of lyrical essays based on his three excursions to what was then largely uncharted wilderness. Since then, the now classic book has inspired many to follow in his footsteps, among them the photographer Scot Miller, who has crisscrossed the state for years, documenting the fauna and flora described by Thoreau, one of New England’s most influential and widely admired native sons. The Harvard Museum of Natural History is commemorating the publication’s anniversary with a special exhibition titled “Thoreau’s Maine Woods: A Journey in Photographs with Scot Miller.”

The exhibition highlights Miller’s photographs of the many places Thoreau explored, along with historical artifacts including a Penobscot Indian–made snowshoe owned by Thoreau. It will also draw on Harvard’s collection of plant samples gathered in northern Maine by the famed author, poet, philosopher, naturalist, and historian, who was born in Concord, Mass., in 1817 and is today best known for Walden, published in 1854 . Maine Woods was published 10 years later, two years after his death at age 44.

The exhibition, which complements the museum’s permanent exhibition “New England Forests in the Zofnass Family Gallery,” runs through February 2015.

Open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Harvard Museum of Natural History is located at 28 Oxford St.. Cambridge. (Take the MBTA Red Line T or 66 bus to Harvard Square. There is limited street parking at meters.)  General admission is $12 for adults, $10 for non-Harvard students with ID (Harvard ID holders and one guest admitted free), $10 for seniors, and $8 for children ages 3–18; children under 3 admitted free. More information is available here

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