Adams Lecture: David Blight
Nov 18 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Historian David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, and winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize in History, is the 2019 Adams Lecturer. In his remarkable biography, Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass’s newspapers. Blight tells the story of Douglass’s two marriages and his complex extended family. Not only an astonishing man of words, Douglass was a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight’s Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves.

David W. Blight is the Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale University. He is is a leading expert on the life and writings of Frederick Douglass and on the Civil War in historical memory and the author or editor of a dozen books, including American Oracle: The Civil War in the Civil Rights Era; and Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory; and annotated editions of Douglass’s first two autobiographies. He has worked on Douglass much of his professional life, and been awarded the Bancroft Prize, the Abraham Lincoln Prize, and the Frederick Douglass Prize, among others. Blight has appeared in several PBS films about African American history and works extensively with museums and other public history projects.

Art in Bloom
Dec 4 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The MFA “Art in Bloom” roadshow makes a stop at the Salem Athenaeum to create a holiday floral arrangement inspired by a famous painting. The presentation is an hour long, featuring half PowerPoint, half live floral demo, and 100% stunning results.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was the first museum in the United States to introduce the public to a show of art and flowers – Art in Bloom – over 40 years ago. During a four-day period every spring, about 50 of the Museum’s art objects are interpreted through floral arrangements. Many other events happen during Art in Bloom, including lectures and Master Classes led by world-renowned floral designers, ongoing demonstrations of flower arranging, activities for children, and more. Art in Bloom is free to members, and is the busiest week of the year for the Museum. This presentation will give you some of its background and many examples of AIB designs.

The flower arrangement made at this event will be raffled off to an audience member.

Samples of 2019 Art in Bloom installations at the MFA. What will they bring to the Athenaeum?


Tea with Isa Leshko
Mar 15 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Fundraiser to benefit Salem Literary Festival

Isa Leshko, author/photographer of Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Animals from Farm Sanctuaries, will give an artist talk and slideshow presentation about her project.
Learn more about Isa’s work.

Baked goods supplied by Jodie Bee Bakes!

Copper Dog Books will be present to sell copies of Allowed to Grow Old, which Isa will gladly sign after her presentation.
Pre-order the book with Copper Dog.

Tickets: $20


Isa Leshko is an artist, writer, and activist whose work examines themes relating to animal rights, aging, and mortality. She has received fellowships from the Bogliasco Foundation, the Culture & Animals Foundation, the Houston Center for Photography, the Millay Colony for the Arts, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. She has exhibited her work widely in the United States, including shows at 516 Arts, the Griffin Museum of Photography, the Houston Arts Alliance, the Houston Center for Photography, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Photographic Resource Center, and the Silver Eye Center for Photography. Her prints are in numerous private and public collections including the Boston Public Library, Fidelity Investments, the Harry Ransom Center, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Isa’s images have been published in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, The Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The New York Times, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. In May 2019, the University of Chicago Press published her first monograph, Allowed to Grow Old: Portraits of Elderly Rescued Farm Animals, which included essays by activist Gene Baur, author Sy Montgomery, and curator Anne Wilkes Tucker. The book, which is now in its second printing, was selected by Buzzfeed as one of the best photography books of 2019, and was a coffeetable book recommendation for The New York Times 2019 Holiday Gift Guide.







CSEM: Luc Beauséjour
Apr 4 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Harpsichordist Luc Beauséjour plays Les Rappel des Oiseaux 
(The Calling of the Birds) featuring music about European songbirds by French composers.

CSEM: In Stile Moderno
May 30 @ 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm

The ensemble In Stile Moderno presents, Come Again: 
Lute songs of John Dowland and his contemporaries, with four singers and a lutenist.