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Looking down on the Pebble Garden and a backdrop of trees changing colors for fall

Welcoming Autumn and the Rhythms of Fellowship

Posted On September 29, 2023 | 10:12 am | by briggsm01 | Permalink
From Thomas B.F. Cummins, Director of Dumbarton Oaks

Thomas B.F. CumminsOn behalf of all of us at Dumbarton Oaks, I welcome the start of the fall semester and the arrival of our largest group of fellows ever. While DC had been unbearably hot and humid, as the fellows arrived so too did beautiful weather. All was ready to begin September. As always, the gardens are splendidly beautiful and a peaceful refuge from the arduous but fulfilling toil in the library. There is, however, much more at Dumbarton Oaks than merely a place and time for repose, as the fall is full of events. This included the Opening of Term Party on Monday, September 18, followed by a first-ever Music Symposium, “Washington, D.C.: Music-Political Center,” held September 22–23. The Symposium was enlivened by an open-air concert on the North Vista by Be’la Dona on Friday, September 22. On Thursday, September 28, Elizabeth Boone, our former director of Pre-Columbian Studies and now visiting scholar from Tulane University, gave a lecture on the use of space in Mexican codices. On Friday, September 29, we celebrate the inauguration of Claudine Gay, Harvard’s thirtieth president, alongside our colleagues in Cambridge. And we will host the annual Pre-Columbian Symposium, “Out of the Shadows: The Beginnings of South American Civilization,” held October 6–7.

This is all just a teaser for what is on offer during the fall semester. As our fellows settle into their lunches at the Refectory and establish new and renew old friendships, the rhythms of study will quickly forge and the library will begin to hum with the sounds of scholars getting back to work.