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The new Harvard Art Museums, opened in November 2014, holds world-class collections of painting & sculpture second only to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.


Head of a Buddha, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
Head of a Buddha, Pakistan, 2nd century CE.
Arthur M Sackler Museum








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In collecting significant works of art, Harvard University has advantages: smart, sensitive people to recognize great art, successful, wealthy alumni/ae to collect it and donate it to the university, and a long history of doing both.

The good taste, careful selection of works, and generosity of Harvard people has produced a world-class museum second only to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. If you love great art, do not miss it!

Digital tours of the collections start here; and digital records of all works on view in the museum are accessible from your mobile device using the Browse Our Collections tool.

The new Harvard Art Museums building designed by Renzo Piano and opened on November 16, 2014 brings together the outstanding collections of Harvard University's three formerly separate art museums:

Fogg Museum

The new building preserves the 1927 Fogg Museum building, incorporating it into the new, ultra-modern Harvard art complex. The Fogg's collections include European and American art from the Middle Ages to the present: Italian early Renaissance, 17th-century Dutch, 19th-century French and British art, works by the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, as well as a significant collection of 19th- and 20th-century American paintings.

Harvard Art Museums, Quincy Street Entrance, Cambridge MA
The renovated Fogg Museum façade on Quincy Street...


Busch-Reisinger Museum


  "Self-Portrait in Tuxedo" by Max Beckmann, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
 

Self-Portrait in Tuxedo by Max Beckmann, Busch-Reisinger collection.

The Busch-Reisinger Museum's wonderful collections of Central and Northern European Germanic art, moved from Adolphus Busch Hall to the new Harvard Art Museums, include works of late medieval sculpture, 18th-century art, Vienna Secession art, German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and Bauhaus. There are also postwar 20th and 21st-century Germanic pieces including works by Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter, and Rosemarie Trockel.

I'd go just to see Max Beckmann's Self-Portrait in Tuxedo.

Arthur M Sackler Museum


  "Horse with Roman-Style Bridal Ornaments," Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
 

Horse with Roman-Style Bridle Ornaments, China, 2nd century CE

The Sackler Asian collections include fine archaic Chinese bronzes, ceramics and jades, Japanese surimono and lacquer boxes, ceremonial weapons, Buddhist cave-temple sculptures, ceramics from Korea, and much more.

The ancient Mediterranean and Byzantine collections have works in all media from Greece, Rome, Egypt, and the Near East, including Greek vases, small bronzes, and coins.

From India and the Muslim world, the Sackler has paintings, drawings, calligraphy, and manuscript illustrations, with particular strength in Rajput art, and Islamic ceramics from the 8th through 19th centuries.

The Harvard Art Museums building, east of Harvard Yard on Quincy Street between Prescott Street and Broadway (map), is open every day from 10am to 5pm, closed on major holidays. There is a moderate admission fee for non-Harvard visitors.

Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA 02138
Tel 617-495-9400

—by Tom Brosnahan


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  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Harvard Art Museums, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts

The Harvard Art Museums, Broadway & Prescott Street
façade, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.

 

"Seated Bather," by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
Seated Bather by Pierre-Auguste Renoir,
in the Fogg collection.

George Washington, by Charles Wilson Peale, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
George Washington, by Charles Wilson Peale.

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