More than nature is represented in the prepared skinof a pink fairy armadillo (Chlamyphorus truncatus) collected by the naturalist Louis Agassizin Mendoza, Argentina, in 1872. It recalls a deep-sea dredging expeditionaround South America on the steamship Hassler in 1871-72. Led by Agassiz and chronicled by his wife [Elizabeth Cary Agassiz, also a naturalist, and the first president of Radcliffe College], the expedition sampled life at the sea bottom and onshore, looking in part for evidence that Agassiz hoped would refute Darwin’s theory of evolution. … [This] specimen is a portal not only into natural history but also human history.
Agassiz’s pink fairy armadillo is an example of the objects that are featured in Tangible Things: Making History through Objects, an exploration of various collections from Harvard University that presents an innovative new framework for thinking about museums.
Photograph by Samantha van Gerbig. Do not use without permission.