My Favorite Object: Marjorie Augenbraum

February 26, 2014
Index Magazine

My Favorite Object: Marjorie Augenbraum

Vincent van Gogh, Three Pairs of Shoes, 1886–87, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum.

In this series, Index asks our colleagues “What is your favorite work of art in our collections and why?” This is a tall order, given that we have about 250,000 works in our collections. At a recent weekly coffee hour, our intrepid reporters posed the challenging question to unsuspecting staff. Click here to see other responses in this series.


Marjorie Augenbraum, Human Resources Consultant

“If I had to pick one work that I could take home with me (don’t tell Security), it would have to be Van Gogh’s Three Pairs of Shoes. It’s so beautiful. The palette is more evocative of his early work… it sort of ties the early work and the later work together. The combination of the style and the texture and the subject is really compelling… This is the one that I could sit and stare at for hours and hours. Empty shoes are so emotionally evocative. At the Holocaust Museum in Washington, they have a pile of empty shoes. And when there used to be gatherings on the steps of the [Massachusetts] State House to commemorate people who died from domestic violence, they would line up pairs of shoes. There’s just something about shoes without people in them. Worn shoes.”