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A man's hand holds a mobile phone that displays a Harvard Art Museums magazine article.

Harvard Art Museums from Home

Experience the Harvard Art Museums from home as we spotlight new stories about our collections and revisit some old favorites.
Within the oval opening of a rectangular gold frame, a woman seen in half-length pours steaming liquid from a cup into a saucer held in her left hand. She is looking down and is turned slightly to the left. Her face is pale except for her cheeks and lips, which are pink. She wears her curly blond hair up in a bun, and a striped scarf is draped over her shoulders.

Art Talk: Precious Deception—The Illegal Use of Gold Leaf in an 18th-Century Print

Meg Grasselli discusses an unusual print with gold leaf—and why artist Louis-Marin Bonnet had to hide the fact that he’d created it.

Rituals and Routines

Our perception of time, sense of order and stability, and feelings of belonging depend on repetitive actions. Art supports, reflects, and reinforces these rituals and routines.

This photograph shows a piece of aluminum foil with a black square on it. The foil is inside a block of glass with a pedestal.

Something You Can’t See

Charlene Briggs, receptionist in the Art Study Center, delves into the story behind one of the most famous materials in the Forbes Pigment Collection.

By Charlene Briggs

Three images show Persian calligraphy. On the left is calligraphy on paper, framed in light blue, red, and gold. On the right is calligraphy on paper, framed in red, orange, and green. The center image, overlapping slightly with the other two, shows a detail of calligraphy.

Art Talk: A Persian Calligraphic Album

Join curatorial fellow Shiva Mihan as she delves into the artistry and aesthetics of a Persian album of calligraphy.

This image shows two side-by-side photographs: the smaller one on the left shows a mottled clay doll figurine in profile, with the head facing left, in the hand of someone wearing a rubber glove. The image on the right is a close-up of a marble sculpture of a little girl’s face and shoulder. She is smiling and looking at the head of a tiny doll figurine just to the right of her. The figures both emerge from a marble surface.

Art Talk: Girls Will Be Girls

Join curatorial fellow Frances Gallart Marqués as she explores two of her favorite objects in the museums.

Two images are shown side by side. On the left is an image of an intricately decorated silver tazza. It depicts a merman sitting on a turtle, blowing into a seashell horn while holding up a silver tray. The image on the right is of a painting of a pale-skinned woman with auburn hair wearing a crown of pink flowers. She bends toward the string instrument she is playing, surrounded by fruits and flowers in the background.

Creature Feature: Merpeople!

Take a virtual trip to the sea! Join curatorial assistants Casey Monahan and Heather Linton to discover sirens and merpeople in our collections.

This photograph shows an ornate wooden turned armchair with a triangular seat supported by three legs and reinforced by a wooden fin attached to the back leg. The two front arms of the chair have turned details above seat height and are rounded at top. At the pointed back of the triangular seat are a total of nine carved rods that support the upper back. Four thick spindles connect the upper arms to the backrest. Many rods and roundels make up the back of the chair, which is topped with six vertical elements.

What Does a Famous Harvard Chair Have to Say about Patriarchy?

What can the “President’s Chair,” a beloved historical object at Harvard, tell us about patriarchy? A lot, as it turns out.

By Heather Linton

Two people, whose backs are to us, are in front of a large-scale abstract painting. The person on the left is standing and is applying a long cotton swab to the painting. The person on the right is wearing a visor and sitting on a stool. The painting consists of interlocking ribbed curves in shades of green against a lighter green background, punctuated with smaller red shapes.

Art Talk: Lifting the Veil from Herbert Bayer’s Verdure

In celebration of the Bauhaus centennial, one of the largest paintings in the Harvard Art Museums collections was cleaned and restored while being studied alongside preparatory works in the collections.

In this detail of a black-and-white print, a young man wearing a large, hooded cloak holds a nude woman in his arms. The woman’s eyes are closed. He bends his head down to kiss her lower neck. He has short, dark-colored hair, and she has long, blond hair. A moon hangs low in the sky beyond the horizon line on the right, and it is partially covered with clouds. To the left of the couple, there is billowing smoke.

Art Talk: One Print—Five Stories

Elizabeth Rudy shares five stories about a late 18th-century book illustration by French artists Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and Barthélemy Roger.

In this painting, a fierce lion is shown wrestling an equal-sized, equally muscular man in a waistcloth. Their eyes are directed at the viewer and the man has his arms around the lion’s neck. The scene has a tawny-yellowish tone with indistinct foliage, and another lion is in the background.

Art Talk: Rubens—Brush and Movement

Join Cristina Morilla to discover how technical analysis of Hercules Strangling the Nemean Lion reveals the secrets of Rubens’s artistic technique.