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Displaying items by tag: Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums have named Edouard Kopp the Abrams associate curator of drawings in the museums’ division of European and American Art, officials announced this week. Overseeing the collection of pre-twentieth century drawings, Kopp will develop exhibitions and public lectures while organizing the rotation of works on paper within many of the museums’ galleries. 

Previously, Kopp served as associate curator of drawings for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, where he was responsible for French and Germanic drawings.

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The work done at the Harvard Art Museums’ Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies has been extra visible these past few months: The center’s pioneering technology was behind the museums’ recent Rothko exhibition, which used digital projections to recreate hues that had faded since the paintings were made.

Now, the center will have a new director: Narayan Khandekar. The senior conservation scientist in the Straus Center’s analytical laboratory since 2001, Khandekar replaces Henry Lie, who retired from the post at the end of last year.

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To celebrate the 131st birthday of Max Beckmann today (Thursday, Feb. 12), the Saint Louis Art Museum announces the upcoming publication of a hardcover book by Lynette Roth exploring in depth the museum’s outstanding holdings of paintings by the German artist, the largest collection of its kind in the world.

Roth, a former Mellon Fellow at the Saint Louis Art Museum, is the Daimler-Benz Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard Art Museums, in Cambridge, Mass.

Richly illustrated and filled with detailed information about one of the leading artists of the 20th century, Max Beckmann at the Saint Louis Art Museum will be published in June.

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Just two months after overseeing the completion of a six-year, $350 million renovation, Tom Lentz, the director of the Harvard Art Museums, has announced his intention to step down.

The news comes as a surprise to some in the museum world who thought Lentz might stick around to enjoy the fruits of his many years of labor. But to others in the know, the announcement is no surprise at all.

Lentz, 63, took up the position in 2003, and in the intervening dozen years has been put to the test so many times and in so many ways that many people marvel he lasted so long. He is set to depart on July 1; a search for his replacement begins immediately.

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The Harvard Art Museums at 32 Quincy St. announced the launch of their redesigned and expanded website. The website,, provides an enhanced digital platform, increasing access to the museums’ collections of approximately 250,000 objects.

Works from the collections of the Harvard Art Museums, comprising the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger and Arthur M. Sackler Museums, feature prominently throughout the site, and each of the approximately 250,000 objects also has an individual page with details about its exhibition history, provenance and conservation. Object images are a key component; users can examine works using the site’s improved scrolling and zoom functionality. In many cases, multiple photos are available of the same object at various stages in its history, offering insight into conservation and condition over time.

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Monday, 17 November 2014 16:36

The Harvard Art Museums Reopen Under One Roof

On Sunday, November 16, the Harvard Art Museums -- comprising the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum -- reopened to the public under one state-of-the-art roof. The extensive renovation and expansion, which began in 2008, was helmed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. According to Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, “We [wanted] to create a new kind of laboratory for the fine arts that would support our mission of teaching across disciplines, conducting research, and training museum professionals. We also wanted to strengthen the museums’ role as an integral part of Cambridge and Boston’s cultural ecosystem.”

The renovation involved transforming the landmark Georgian revival building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which housed the Fogg and the Busch-Reisinger Museum, into an arts-centric hub for students, scholars, Harvard faculty, and the public.

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 In the 1960s, the Abstract Expressionist painter Mark Rothko was commissioned by Harvard University to create a series of murals. Completed in 1962, the large panels were displayed in the University’s Holyoke Center (now the Smith Campus Center), which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, from 1964 to 1979. Over time, the constant exposure to natural light caused the murals to fade and the once-vibrant paintings were relegated to storage, where they remained until now.

The Harvard Art Museums, which will reopen on November 16 following a major renovation, have devised a revolutionary technique to restore the murals to their original richness. The process, which was developed over several years by a team of conservators, curators, and scientists from Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, and the University of Basel in Switzerland, involves digitally projecting specially calibrated light to correct the murals’ devastating color loss. The works will be unveiled to the public in the exhibition “Mark Rothko’s Harvard Murals.”

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As flowers begin to peak out on campus, many of Harvard’s most recognizable sculptures have also emerged from their winter covers—just in time for a tour of the Yard’s public art works, hosted by Harvard Art Museums on Friday.

“I am interested in the life of objects,” said Francesca G. Bewer, the research curator who shared details about the artists, materials, and history behind the sculptures. “I am interested in how things are made, and I think other people are too.”

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014 12:32

Harvard’s Art Museums to Reopen in November

On November 16, 2014, the Harvard Art Museums -- including the Busch-Reisinger Museum, the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, and the Fogg Museum of Art -- will reopen to the public under one state-of-the art roof. The project, which began in 2008, has entailed a complete renovation and expansion of Harvard’s museum system. The endeavor has increased gallery space by 40 percent, for a total of approximately 43,000 square feet.

Harvard tapped renowned architect Renzo Piano to transform 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the landmark building that previously housed the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger Museum, into the university’s artistic hub. The new facility combines the 32 Quincy Street building, which was constructed in 1927, with a new addition and a striking glass rooftop structure that will allow controlled natural light into the facility’s conservation lab, study centers, and galleries. The overhaul also includes a theater for lectures and public programming.

The Busch-Reisinger Museum, which was founded in 1903, is the only museum in North America dedicated to the art of the German-speaking countries of Central and Northern Europe. The Fogg Art Museum, which opened to the public in 1896, boasts extensive holdings of American and European art from the Middle Ages to the present. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which holds a remarkable Asian art collection, was established in 1985 in a separate building from the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger. The museum has been closed since June to prepare for its relocation to the new facility.  

Thomas W. Lentz, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, said, “We knew that we had an opportunity to redefine the Harvard Art Museums as an accessible and connected 21st-century facility for teaching and learning, so we engaged Renzo Piano to design a building to implement that vision. We asked him to design it from the inside out—to create a new kind of laboratory for the fine arts that would support our mission of teaching across disciplines, conducting research, and training museum professionals. We also wanted to strengthen the museums’ role as an integral part of Cambridge and Boston’s cultural ecosystem. We look forward to welcoming students, faculty, and staff at Harvard, our Cambridge friends and neighbors, the entire Greater Boston community, and travelers from afar into our new home this November.”

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The Harvard Art Museums announced a promised gift of approximately 300 Japanese works of art thanks to collectors Robert and Betsy Feinberg. Most of the collection is comprised of screens and hanging scrolls on silk and paper from the Edo and Meiji periods. The gift also includes books, handscrolls, fans, sculpture and a lantern. In addition to their contribution, the couple has pledged to fund an art study center in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, which will open in the new Harvard Art Museums facility next fall.

The Feinbergs were inspired to collect Japanese art after a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1972. Later, Betsy’s sister, Amy Poster, the former Assistant Curator of Japanese Art at the Brooklyn Museum, helped them discover and ultimately acquire Edo period paintings. Eventually, the Feinbergs collection grew to include works from various schools and genres of Japanese art.

Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums, said, “The Feinbergs’ transformational gift of works of art enriches our current holdings of Asian art and will inspire and train future generalists and specialists in Japanese art. Their endowment of an art study center further ensures a dynamic environment for teaching and prolonged thinking and learning.”

The Feinbergs’ promised gift will make its way to Harvard over the coming years in several phases, after traveling to museums in Japan, France and the United States.

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