I’ve made a habit of attending museums after dark in the past few years. First it was Musee d’Orsay , then the British Museum and now Harvard Art Museums. The latter was a special occasion though, as they re-opened just yesterday after undergoing major renovation led by renowned architect Renzo Piano. A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to see and hear his speak about the renovation, his concept and his willingness to create a public space within the museum itself.
He calls this space “Piazza” and indeed the museums atrium, which also lets natural light come in, does resemble a little Italian square. It should also be noted that the museum’s atrium is going to be open to the public that would like to walk through. Public spaces are of great significance to Mr. Piano. As he said to the presentation mentioned above “Public space is the essence of cities. So the next move for me is to visit the Museum on a sunny (preferably) day in order to see how it looks like in daylight!
Art wise you’re going to find a little bit of everything in here: Impressionists, Dutch painters, Antiquities, Modern Art. There’s also a special exhibition going on featuring Rothko’s murals, commissioned by Harvard, which will be on display until July 2015 (see photo above on the left). We started out visit from the top because we were eager to see the Conservation Center. It must be lovely to have all that daylight coming through the roof instead on depending only on artificial light. Then we descended the floors one by one, admiring the art that was on display in the galleries. I’ve made a little collection here of my favorite exhibits!
On the left (top to bottom): Henri Rousseau “On the Banks of Oise”, Georges Pierre Seurat “Seated Figures, Study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte). On the right: Georgia O’ Keefe “Red and Pink”
Detail from Auguste Renoir’s painting Spring Bouquet.
View of the atrium on the second floor and photos of the exhibits of Harvard Art Museums.
On the left: Hilaire Germain Edgar Degas “Little Dancer Aged Fourteen” (modeled 1880-81, cast after 1920) On the right: Sanford Robinson Gifford “Leander’s Tower on the Bosporus”
View of the Piazza from above
Drawings by John Singleton Copley. On the left Abigail Bromfield Rogers and on the right Nicholas Boylston. Thanks to these exhibits I learned a bit about the names behind Copley Place and Boylston street here in Boston!
Jackson Pollock, No2
On the left: Moon flask with decorations of the eight Buddhist treasures (Chinese, Qing dynasty, 1736-95). On the right: A Japanese screen.
Joan Snyder, Summer Orange
View of the atrium and the Piazza.