All In-Person Events Canceled through June 30, 2021


32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Due to the ongoing coronavirus health crisis, we regret that all in-person events have been canceled through June 30, 2021.

A woman gestures toward photographs displayed on a long table, with four people listening on in the foreground.
Photography curator Makeda Best teaches a class in the Art Study Center at the Harvard Art Museums.

Art Study Center Seminar at Home: Slavery’s Landscape


Curator Makeda Best explores how photographers such as Alexander Gardner constructed landscapes that illustrated the system of chattel slavery.

This circular sandstone relief, placed on a wooden surface, depicts a flying figure with trailing robes and scarves holding a bowl in its right hand. It is flying toward the left and looking back over its right shoulder.
Flying Apsaras Holding a Bowl, from Tianlongshan Cave 3, near Taiyuan, Shanxi province, China, 534–550. Sandstone. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.53.16.

Art Talk Live: Reframing the Tianlongshan Cave Temple Fragments

Gallery Talk

This talk investigates fragments from China’s Tianlongshan cave temples and new efforts to uncover their recent history and original context.

This photomontage is comprised of four squares. Inside each square is a Student Guide appearing to hold an object, with a faded ivory-toned image of the Harvard Art Museums’ Calderwood Courtyard as a backdrop. In the top left corner, a young man holds an abstract marble sculpture. In the top right corner, a young woman holds a rectangular bronze vessel. In the bottom left corner, a young woman holds a sculpture of a female form. In the bottom right corner, a young woman holds a colorful red and pink abstract painting.
(Clockwise from top left): Vlad Batagui, Kaitlin Hao, Sophia Mautz, and Mei Tercek, each appearing to hold the object they will discuss on the tour.

Virtual Student Guide Tour: Celebrating the Class of 2021


Student Guides on the verge of graduating will reflect on the works of art that won’t let go of them.

Okuhara Seiko, Lotus in Autumn, Japanese, Meiji era, 1872. Hanging scroll; ink on paper. Harvard Art Museums, Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL42147.29.

Vibrant Decay: Drifting among Moonlit Lotuses with Okuhara Seiko


Plunge into an intricate web of tangled ink lines and emerge in a moonlit pond, as Yurika Wakamatsu examines “Lotus in Autumn” by Okuhara Seiko.

A woman presses her cheek against the long blade of a scythe as she works to sharpen it with her riddled hands.
Käthe Kollwitz, German, Whetting the Scythe, plate 3 from the cycle Peasant’s War, 1905. Etching printed in black ink on off-white wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Museum purchase, BR33.36. © Estate of Käthe Kollwitz, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.

Art Talk Live: Käthe Kollwitz and the South African Left

Gallery Talk

Graduate student Jessica Williams explores Käthe Kollwitz’s prints and their influence on South Africa’s young modernists.

Two multicolored birds stand in profile, one in front of the other, with their heads turned toward one another.
Jean-Baptiste Oudry, French, Two Peacocks, from the Avian Album, 18th century. Watercolor and black ink over traces of graphite on off-white antique laid paper, adhered to cream antique laid paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous gift, 1953.75.13.

Creature Feature: Birds of a Feather

Gallery Talk

Explore a vibrant collection of watercolors featuring a flock of fantastic birds in this family-friendly talk.

A painting on a fan mounted flat on cream-colored paper depicts white irises with green stems and leaves on a dark blue background.
Suzuki Kiitsu, Fans of Seasonal Flowers and Plants (iris), Japanese, Edo period, c. 1828–58. One of eight fan paintings; ink, color, silver, and gold on paper. Promised gift of Robert S. and Betsy G. Feinberg, TL42096.12.

Reframing Japonisme: Painting Edo and Beyond


Professors Elizabeth Emery and Chelsea Foxwell examine the construct of Japonisme and ask: who has the right to create new aesthetic categories?