Harvard Art Museums

Anonymous artist. Victoria Maharani with the Princess Royal, c. 1845. Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Harvard Art Museums. © President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Artstor is collaborating with the Harvard Art Museums to release 1,500 images in the Digital Library from the permanent collections of the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

The Harvard Art Museums have internationally renowned collections, which are among the largest art museum collections in the United States. Together, the collections of the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum consist of approximately 250,000 objects dating from ancient times to the present, including objects from the Americas, Europe, North Africa, the Mediterranean, and Asia, across a variety of media. The Harvard Art Museums open their new facility, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, to the public November 16, 2014. This new facility unites the three museums and their collections under one roof for the first time, and provides greater access to these objects for students, scholars, and the general public.

The Fogg Museum, which opened in 1895, is distinguished by its renowned holdings of European and American art from the postclassical period to the present day. Celebrated strengths of the collection include early Italian Renaissance painting; 17th-century Dutch and 19th-century French and British art, especially drawings; one of America’s premier collections of works by the Pre-Raphaelites; and the storied Maurice Wertheim collection of impressionist and postimpressionist works. The museum also houses a significant collection of 18th- to 21st-century American art, including paintings and works on paper; an extensive photography collection that traces the development of the medium from its earliest days; modern and contemporary sculpture; and works in new media.

The Busch-Reisinger Museum opened in 1903 as the Germanic Museum. The only museum of its kind in North America, it is devoted solely to the art of central and northern Europe, with a particular emphasis on art from the German-speaking countries. The Busch-Reisinger collection holds significant works of late medieval sculpture and allows for in-depth study of art after 1880, especially German expressionism, 1920s abstraction, and the multiples of Joseph Beuys, as well as contemporary developments in all media. The museum also holds one of the most significant collections of Bauhaus materials outside Germany, as well as the archives of Walter Gropius (1883–1969) and Lyonel Feininger (1871–1956).

The Arthur M. Sackler Museum, opened in 1985, encompasses significant collections from the ancient Mediterranean, Islamic lands, and South and East Asia. Its substantial holdings span eight millennia and incorporate a range of media including paintings; drawings and prints; sculpture in stone, bronze, and terracotta; ceramic and metal vessels; and other artifacts in a variety of materials. It houses a world-renowned collection of archaic Chinese jades, a superb collection of Persian and Indian paintings and drawings, and a major numismatic collection of more than 22,000 Greek, Roman, and Byzantine coins.