The history of Harvard Art Museums and its guiding principle has made it a great institute that is leading and taking innovative steps in preserving, extracting, and discovering old and new forms of art. It is amazing how humans or in particular, artists have carved our imagination throughout generations. The beauty lies in simplicity, yet the complex emotion of these paintings and sculptures run deep inside. The Harvard Art Museums have successfully committed to the work of bringing out this passion for creativity and imagination within the artist and showcase the exciting world to the everyday people.
The Harvard Art Museum is mainly composed of three different buildings, each of which has its inception point, the story behind its philosophy and guiding principles. This makes it attractive to discuss the story of each of them to learn more about the fascinating facts and history that has made it the great museum that it is today.
So let us dive deeper into each of these buildings’ details!
The Fogg Museum
It was built during 1895 when Mrs. Elizabeth Fogg gave funds to create an art building in the loving memory of her husband. Richard Morris Hunt designed it in the earlier phase, but then it was moved to a new location which was designed by architects Shepley, Bulfinch, Coolidge, and Abbott of Boston. The Fogg Museum was started to study the American Art history. Today, its mission has expanded to create a new generation of scholars who will preserve and research on North American Art.
It was founded during 1901 as a Germanic Museum. During the early phases, the museum shifted to Adolphus Busch, and it was partially funded by Hugo Reisinger who was Adolphus Busch’s son-in-law. Hence, the name Busch-Reisinger came into effect. Gwathmey Siegel & Associates designed the present building. The main hall continues to host some of the most magnificent medieval art and sculpture of Central Europe with a specific focus on German art. It is a famous hall which serves as a venue that holds concerts at Flentrop pipe organ which is world famous.
Arthur M. Sackler Museum
In 1912, the first-ever class on Asian Art was conducted at an American University. By 1977, the stock of Asian art, painting, and other creative creation grew to a significant level. With the generous aide of Mr. Arthur M. Sackler, the Harvard Art museums founded a museum purely dedicated to the advancement of study and research of Asian art which also include Islamic and Indian Art & Crafts.
The legacy of these three museums continues to amaze today’s generation. The recent advancement regarding building infrastructure continues to unite the different Art museums under one roof. One such example includes the responsive design of Renzo Piano Building Workshop’s which retained the beauty of 1927’s Fogg museum legacy and at the same time, made the area capable enough to handle modern day requirements. The long-term project on renovation has made it possible to get 40 percent more gallery space, conservation labs, and classrooms, an expanded Art Study Center, and a striking new glass roof bridging the facility’s historical and contemporary architecture.
The Harvard Art Museum has been striking hard to innovate regarding sustainable development which increases the glamour of all the buildings. Ranging from water conservation to electricity saving regarding lightning, the Harvard Art Museum is continuously innovating in the sustainability department, yet implementing the modern technology. The Museums have been awarded LEED Gold certification for incorporating various green technologies.
The Harvard Art Museum has been the most remarkable institute in human history, especially for North America. The fusion of three different spheres of art at one place in proximity is what makes it impressive to come and visit the site and admire the incredible diversity. The beauty lies in the fact that other than just hosting art from a different culture, it represents our efforts as a civilization to advance through creative means and acknowledging the unique beauty in each of the various cultures.
Ready for your experience? Pack your bags!
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