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Harvard University Art Museums
Fogg - Sackler - Busch - Reisinger

32 Quincy Street / 485 Broadway
Cambridge, MA

Phone: 617 495 9400

Statement of Purpose:

Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Straus Center for Conservation.




The mission of the Harvard University Art Museums is to serve as a catalyst for instruction and scholarship in the history of art by acquiring and conserving works of art, teaching, researching, preparing and implementing exhibitions, publishing catalogues and special studies, offering lectures, organizing symposia, and working closely with students and other faculty of Harvard University, the faculties of other universities, the curatorial staffs of other museums the world over, and all interested members of the general public, in the use of our collections and resources for scholarly and pedagogical purposes, as well as for personal pleasure and inspiration, and in training future museum curators and conservators in the details of our profession.

A Brief History:

The Harvard University Art Museums include the Fogg Art Museum (founded in 1891, opened in 1895), the Busch-Reisinger Museum (founded in 1902), and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum (opened in 1985). Their mission is to provide resources for the teaching of art history and related fields in the humanities; to serve as a catalyst for research in the humanities; to expose undergraduates to the importance of art in all cultures; to train professionals in the field of art museum administration; and to encourage the broader understanding of art and its history among the general public.


The Harvard University Art Museums comprise three museums, all located on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA, at the intersection of Quincy Street and Broadway, adjacent to Harvard Yard and five minutes walking distance due east of the Harvard Square MBTA Red Line stop, Church Street exit. The Busch-Reisinger Museum is located in Werner Otto Hall. Enter through the Fogg Art Museum at 32 Quincy St. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum is located at 485 Broadway across from the Fogg. The Harvard University Art Museums' facilities are wheelchair accessible (enter the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger through the Fine Arts Library on Prescott Street).

Highlights & Collections

Main Attractions:

Walk through the galleries of the Fogg Art Museum and you will recognize major paintings and sculpture by American and European artists such as Copley, Monet, van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Rothko and David Smith.

In the Sackler Museum you will discover Indian sculpture, ancient Chinese jades and bronzes, Korean ceramics, Greek and Roman coins, and Greek vases.

In the Busch-Reisinger you will find the finest collection of modern German and Northern European art with works by Beckmann, Beuys, Feininger, Kandinsky, Klee, Kirchner, Kokoschka, Klimt, Moholy-Nagy, Marc, and Munch.

As well as being major public art museums, the Harvard University Art Museums are part of one of the world's greatest universities. Professors, museum directors, and curators from around the world have studied at Harvard. Today, the Harvard University Art Museums along with the Straus Center for Conservation, are a major center for art historical research and training.

Each year, leading scholars at Harvard and from around the world arrange major exhibitions at the Art Museums, many of them the first of their kind in America. This tradition began in 1911, with the first American exhibition of Edgar Degas, and it has continued ever since. Visit these exhibitions and you will be on the forefront of new discoveries and revelations about the world of the visual arts.


The collections of the Art Museums consist of more than 150,000 objects in all media, with works ranging from antiquity to the present and from Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

They range from antiquity to the present and are divided among eight curatorial departments (Ancient, Asian, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Drawings, Islamic and Later Indian, Prints, Photographs, and Western Paintings and Sculpture). They are comprehensive and encyclopedic within their areas.

Developed with an emphasis on their value for teaching and research, the collections comprise a unique resource in terms of breadth and quality, and are one of the finest university art collections in the world.

Fogg Museum: The drawings collection comprises 10,000 European and American drawings from the 14th century to the present. Major strengths include French 17th and early 19th centuries (in both fields the most comprehensive holdings in any U.S. collection), 16th century Italian and 18th century Venetian, German 18th and 19th centuries, and American and English 19th century works.The collection of 50,000 prints is particularly strong in old-master etchings, engravings, and woodcuts with extensive representation of the works of such masters as Schongauer, Dürer, Rembrandt, and Goya. It also includes outstanding examples by Blake, Turner, Constable, Daumier, Manet, Degas, Picasso, and Munch. The collection of 2,000 Western paintings is especially strong in early Italian Renaissance, 19th century French, 19th century British, and American painting (including the largest holdings of Copley in the country.) The largest segments of the collection are 19th and 20th century American, 19th century British, 17th century Dutch, 19th and 20th century French, and 14th-16th century Italian, although nearly 30 cultures and over 850 artists are represented. The 1,000 works of sculpture include significant holdings of French and Spanish Romanesque stone pieces, Italian Renaissance placquettes, an important group of 17th century Roman terracotta studies by Bernini and others, 19th century French sculpture (notably Rodin and Barye) and varied 20th century holdings. The photograph collection includes 7,000 works, 3,500 of which are by Ben Shahn, the primary collection of his photographic oeuvre. The 3,750 objects in the collection of Western decorative arts include 17th and 18th century American and English silver, 18th century Wedgewood pottery, 17th and 18th century clocks, Renaissance Limoges enamels, tapestries, and considerable quantities of European and American furniture.

Photography of the Middle East Reveals History of Western Impressions at Harvard's Fogg Art Museum

During the past decade, the Fogg Art Museum has presented a range of significant drawings exhibitions showcasing new scholarship, including:

The Harvard University Art Museums’ dedication to collecting and presenting drawings has its roots in the work of pioneering scholars who played a significant role in shaping the Art Museums. During the middle of the 20th century, the Fogg Art Museum was the epicenter in North America of the study of drawings. The Fogg’s then associate director, Paul J. Sachs, and its distinguished curator of drawings who served for 45 years, Agnes Mongan, presented a wide range of works from local private collections and the Fogg’s holdings. Konrad Oberhuber, curator from 1975 to 1987, carried on their legacy with distinguished exhibitions and acquisitions.

Since 1988 the drawings collection has been curated by William W. Robinson, Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings.

The Drawings Collection

The collection encompasses drawings, watercolors, pastels, sketchbooks, and albums, as well as 9,000 manuscript pages of drawings and notes by Stuart Davis. Unusual in its breadth and depth, the collection combines masterpieces from the American and principal European schools with large numbers of works of secondary and tertiary significance. The holdings’ teaching and research potential are enhanced by the balanced representation of the art of many periods and schools.

Major strengths include:

The collection is also distinguished by the strength of its holdings of works by individual artists:

The drawings collection includes the following works:

Exhibits & Special Events:

Exhibition and event schedule for Fall 2011 at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. 


Deborah Bright, David Hilliard, Sue Johnson, Peter Kuper, Terah Maher, Allen Sayegh, Jeff Sheng, and Amber Davis Tourlentes
Main Gallery: August 29 – October 9, 2011
Reception with the artists: Thursday, September 8, 5:30-6:30 pm

The artists will give talks about their work throughout the year, on Thursday evenings at 6 pm.

September 22 – Jeff Sheng
October 6  – David Hilliard
October 20 – Allen Sayegh
October 27 – Deborah Bright
November 10 – Peter Kuper
February 23 – Amber Davis Tourlentes
March 8 – Terah Maher
April 5 – Sue Johnson

Exhibition of drawings by Pavel Schmidt, Swiss painter, illustrator, and installation artist, that explores connections between Kafka’s life, his narrative characters, and his journals.

Sert Gallery: September 13 – October 16, 2011

Panel Discussion and Opening Celebration: Thursday, September 29, 2011, 6 pm
Opening Remarks : Prof. John Hamilton (Harvard)
Critical Engagements: Prof. Stanley Corngold (Princeton), Prof. Judith Ryan (Harvard),
Prof. Andreas Kilcher (Zürich), and Prof. Almut-Barbara Renger (Berlin).
Response: Pavel Schmidt
This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and the Departments of Comparative Literature and German, and made possible with support from the Consulate of Switzerland and Pro Helvetia.
Zig Gron, Katrina McElroy, Felicity Nove, Barbara Parmet, Susan Sironi, Elizabeth Tobias & Meeson Pae Yang 
Co-curated by Lisa Randall, Frank B. Baird Professor of Science at Harvard University, and artist Lia Halloran
Measure for Measure  is an exploration of the concept of scale through contemporary art expression. Scale plays an important role both in understanding the makeup of the universe and in how we perceive it. This exhibition asks us to reinvigorate our thoughts and expand our perceptions when recognizable objects and spaces in architecture and nature are viewed in from different vantage points or are shifted in scale.

Main Gallery: November 4 – December 22, 2011

"Let Them Eat Cupcakes"  Performance by Elizabeth Tobias, Thursday, November 3, 5 pm

Panel discussion and Opening Celebration with curators Lisa Randall and Lia Halloran
and Peter Mays, executive director of the Los Angeles Art Association
Thursday, November 3, 6 pm


Presented in collaboration with the Harvard Art Museums.

A selection of videos by the artist, filmmaker, and photographer Laurel Nakadate, whose work pushes the boundaries of voyeurism, exhibitionism, and vulnerability.

Sert Gallery: Nov 17, 2011 — Dec 22, 2011

M. Victor Leventritt Panel Discussion with the artist and Opening Celebration
Thursday, November 17, 6 pm     


Exhibition and event schedule for Spring 2012 at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. 
Exhibition dates: February 14 – April 1, 2012
Main Gallery & Sert Gallery
Lemieux's investigations of memory and meaning present us an with unfiltered personal and poetic connection to the vivid lives of objects.
Thursday, February 16, 2012, 6 pm
Opening Celebration
Artist Talk by Annette Lemieux, followed by a discussion with Lemieux, curator Lelia Amalfitano, and Susan Stoops, curator of contemporary art at the Worcester Art Museum
Reception to follow
Thursday, March 1, 6 pm
Reception with the artist to follow
Thursdays, Room B-04, 6 pm


March 8 –  TERAH MAHER
April 5 –  SUE JOHNSON



Three videos by Ernie Gehr focus on verticality and urban sightseeing.


The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University presents, at the Sert gallery from February 14 through April 1, 2012:


Ernie Gehr: Picture Taking 


This is the second exhibition in a newly created space for viewing moving image works located on the third floor of the Carpenter Center.


Programming will run on three monitors mounted on the exterior wall of the Sert Gallery.


"PICTURE TAKING is part of an ongoing cycle of new works on New York City that began with SURVEILLANCE, a 4-channel installation exhibited in Madison Square Park in 2010, opening in late March at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington DC, as part of their permanent collection (Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image).


PICTURE TAKING is focused on "verticality" and urban sightseeing as well as on some of the pictorial possibilities of the HD digital format.” —Ernie Gehr, February 10, 2012

About the Artist


A luminary member of the post-Brakhage generation of American avant-garde filmmakers, Gehr began to work with film in 1967, and with digital media in 2000. He is a recipient of a Stan Brakhage Vision Award (Denver International Film Festival 2009), a Princeton University Humanities Fellowship, (2007), and a Maya Deren Award (American Film Institute, 1990). A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gehr has also received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Arts Foundation, California Council on the Art, as well as commissions for standard single single-screen work (Museum of Modern Art, 2000; Vienna International Film Festival, 2003), and

digital installations (Museum of Modern Art, 2002, 2007/08; Madison Square Park Conservancy, NY, 2010). Retrospectives of his work were presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art; Arsenal, Berlin; Centre Pompidou, Paris; San Francisco Cinematheque; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Pesaro International Film Festival; and at the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York.

Gehr has taught at various institutions across the country, including SUNY Binghamton, SUNY Buffalo, Bard College, University of Colorado at Boulder, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Art Institute.


Ernie Gehr, still from Picture Taking

Ernie Gehr, still from Picture Taking, 2010

Exhibition Hours:

Sert Gallery: (third floor, at the top of the ramp): Tuesday–Sunday, 1:00–5:00 pm

Free and open to the public.

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Program Manager, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

T: 617-495-5666; E:

About the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

The only building in North America designed by architect Le Corbusier, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA) is the home of the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies for undergraduate study in the visual arts and a graduate program in film and visual studies at Harvard University, two public art galleries, and the Harvard Film Archive. The Carpenter Center hosts a Thursday night lecture series that brings renowned contemporary artists to Harvard to speak about their work, as well as Visiting Faculty artist talks, and a wide variety of exhibition-related programming and

film screenings.


Main Gallery: Monday—Saturday, 10:00 am–11:00 pm; Sunday, 1:00–11:00 pm
Sert Gallery (3rd floor at the top of the ramp): Tuesday—Sunday, 1:00-5:00 pm

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Harvard University
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Information number to be published with listings: 617.495.3251

Coins of Alexander the Great

The Persistence of Memory: Continuity and Change in American Cultures

Circa 1874: The Emergence of Impressionism

France and the Portrait, 1799-1870


Listed below are descriptions of thematic installations in the permanent collection galleries. These installations usually hang for one to three years. If you are planning or organizing a trip to the Harvard University Art Museums in the future please check with the Public Relations office on the status of these installations.

The Art of Identity: African Sculpture from the Teel Collection

Investigating the Renaissance

Sublimations: Art and Sensuality in the Nineteenth Century

Severan Silver Coinage

American Art after 1950

Gian Lorenzo Bernini: Sketches in Clay

Wall Drawing #830: Four Isometric Figures with Color Ink Washes Superimposed


The Harvard University Art Museums' facilities are wheelchair accessible. For general information, please call (617) 495-9400. For more information on events, please contact the Friends, Fellows, and Special Programs Office at (617) 495-4544.

World Wide Web:

Harvard University Art Museums

The Harvard University Art Museums is one of the leading arts institutions in the United States and the world. It is distinguished by the range and depth of its collections, its groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of its staff. For more than a century, it has been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and scholars and is renowned for its seminal and ongoing role in the development of the discipline of art history in this country.

The three art museums at Harvard—the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Fogg Art Museum—are all outstanding institutions in their respective fields. The Fogg also houses the Straus Center for Conservation, long a leader in the research and development of scientific and technology-based analysis of art. The 150,000 objects in the art museums’ collections range in date from ancient times to the present and come from Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Each museum also has an active program of special exhibitions that promotes new scholarship in its areas of focus.

As an integral component of the Harvard University community, the three art museums serve as a resource for all students, adding a special dimension to their areas of study. The public is welcome to experience the collections and special exhibitions as well as to enjoy lectures, symposia, and other programs in the various museums.

The collections are divided among ten curatorial areas: Ancient Art; Architecture and Design; Asian Art; Busch-Reisinger Museum; Drawings; Islamic and Later Indian Art; Modern and Contemporary Art; Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts; Prints; and Photographs. Developed with an emphasis on their value for teaching and research, these holdings are a uniquely broad and rich resource that is continually enhanced through gifts and acquisitions. Together, the holdings of the three museums constitute one of the finest university art collections in the world, with resources rivaling those of many major public museums.

The Straus Center for Conservation is the oldest fine arts conservation treatment, research, and training facility in the United States. The Center specializes in the conservation of paintings, sculpture, decorative objects, historic and archaeological artifacts, and works of art on paper. Its team members are pioneers in developing new applications of digital imaging in conservation. The Center’s state-of-the-art facilities support a broad range of analytical services.

Visitor Information


The Fogg Art Museum and the Busch-Reisinger Museum are located at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum is located next door at 485 Broadway. Each Museum is a short walk from the Harvard Square MBTA station.


Monday through Saturday:10:00 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
The Museums are closed on national holidays.


Groups of 8 or more must pre-register by calling 617-496-8576.
New group rates:

The Harvard University Art Museums receive support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. More detailed information is available at 617-495-9400 or on the Internet at

The Art Museums are within five minutes walking distance of the Harvard Station MBTA bus and Subway terminals.

By car from downtown Boston, the Central Artery, or the Cambridge exit off the Massachusetts Turnpike, take Storrow Drive to the Harvard Square exit, go over the bridge onto JFK Street; proceed north through Harvard Square, intersect Massachusetts Avenue, and bear right through the underpass onto Broadway. The Harvard Art Museums are just past the fire station.

The Harvard University Art Museums' facilities are wheelchair accessible. For general information, please call (617) 495-9400. For more information on events, please contact the Friends, Fellows, and Special Programs Office at (617) 495-4544. World Wide Web:

The Harvard University Art Museums is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

Key Personnel

Thomas Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot, Directors, Harvard University Art Museums

CAMBRIDGE, MA (March 7, 2005)

Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard University Art Museums, today announced the appointment of Susan Dackerman as the new Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Fogg Art Museum. Dackerman will assume the position on July 5, 2005, after the retirement of the incumbent, Marjorie B. Cohn, longtime curator and conservator and former acting director of the Art Museums.

"Susan brings exceptional enthusiasm, dedication, and experience to the position," Lentz said. "Her insights as a scholar and educator and her expertise in curatorial affairs make her an ideal choice to lead our teaching, collecting, and program efforts in the area of prints, and a worthy successor to Jerry Cohn."

CAMBRIDGE, MA (October 27, 2006)

The Harvard University Art Museums announced today the appointment of Helen Molesworth as its new curator of contemporary art, effective February 5, 2007. Molesworth becomes the first full curator of contemporary art since the Art Museums established the department of modern and contemporary art in 1997. A distinguished scholar, writer, and curator, Molesworth comes to the Art Museums from the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio where she has been serving as chief curator of exhibitions since 2003, with oversight of the Center’s exhibitions, programs, and publication

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