Visiting the Harvard Art Museums
I can’t believe it’s taken this long, but we finally went to the Harvard Art Museums, and I must say they are absolutely amazing!
I had been hearing about the museums for a while, but with so many trips and life changes, it wasn’t easy to find the time. When we finally went, we were very pleasantly surprised.
The Harvard Art Museums are part of Harvard University and comprise three museums: the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the (unfortunately named) Arthur M. Sackler Museum, and four research centers: the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies.
The Sackler Building is no longer used for public exhibition spaces, housing academic classrooms and staff offices. So we visited the the Fogg Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum.
The renovated building at 32 Quincy Street united, after work undertaken from 2008 to 2014, the three museums in a single facility designed by architect Renzo Piano, which increased gallery space by 40% and added a glass, truncated pyramidal roof.
The collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media, ranging in date from antiquity to the present and originating in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. The main building contains 204,000 square feet (19,000 m2) of space for public exhibitions, classrooms, conservation and research labs, and other related functions. Approximately 43,000 square feet (4,000 m2) of space are dedicated to exhibitions.
Founded in 1903 as the Germanic Museum, the Busch–Reisinger Museum is dedicated to the study of art from the German-speaking countries of Central and Northern Europe in all media and in all periods. Its holdings include significant works of Austrian Secession art, German expressionism, and 1920s abstraction. The museum holds one of the first and largest collections of artifacts related to the Bauhaus design school (1919–1933). Other strengths include late medieval sculpture and 18th-century art. The museum also holds noteworthy postwar and contemporary art from German-speaking Europe, including works by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, Lovis Corinth, Max Liebermann, Gustav Klimt, Edvard Munch, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Max Ernst, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Franz Marc, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Emil Nolde, Erich Heckel, Heinrich Hoerle, László Moholy-Nagy, Max Beckmann, and one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of works by Joseph Beuys. It also has sculptures from Alfred Barye, Käthe Kollwitz, George Minne, and Ernst Barlach.
The Fogg Museum is renowned for its holdings of Western paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings from the Middle Ages to the present. Particular strengths include Italian Renaissance, British Pre-Raphaelite, and French art of the 19th century, as well as 19th- and 20th-century American paintings and drawings.
The museum’s Maurice Wertheim Collection is a notable group of impressionist and post-impressionist works that contains many famous masterpieces, including paintings and sculptures by Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh. Central to the Fogg’s holdings is the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, with more than 4,000 works of art. It includes important 19th-century paintings, sculpture, and drawings by William Blake, Edward Burne-Jones, Jacques-Louis David, Honoré Daumier, Winslow Homer, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Alfred Barye, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, John Singer Sargent, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
The art museum has Late Medieval Italian paintings including Bernardo Daddi, Simone Martini, Luca di Tomme, Pietro Lorenzetti, Ambrogio Lorenzetti, and Damiançand Bartolomeo Bulgarini. Flemish Renaissance paintings, including Jan Provoost and Aelbert Bouts. Italian Renaissance period paintings from Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Gherardo Starnina, Cosme Tura, Giovanni di Paolo, and Lorenzo Lotto. French Baroque period paintings by Nicolas Poussin, Jacques Stella, Nicolas Regnier, and Philippe de Champaigne. Dutch Master paintings from Rembrandt, Emanuel de Witte, Jan Steen, Willem Van de Velde, Jacob van Ruisdael, Salomon van Ruysdael, Jan van der Heyden, and Dirck Hals. And American paintings by Gilbert Stuart, Charles Willson Peale, Robert Feke, Sanford Gifford, James McNeill Whistler, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Man Ray, Ben Shahn, Jacob Lawrence, Lewis Rubenstein, Robert Sloan, Phillip Guston, Jackson Pollock, Kerry James Marshall, and Clyfford Still.
Like I said, absolutely amazing!
Here are some pictures I took.