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Expanding Vision: The Plan for the Harvard Art Museums

In 2008, the Harvard Art Museums embarked upon a major renovation and expansion of the historic facility at 32 Quincy Street, to be supported by the largest capital campaign in the institution’s history. The campaign, “Expanding Vision: The Plan for the Harvard Art Museums,” seeks to raise $265 million through private philanthropy to fund construction and renovation costs, as well as to provide endowment resources to sustain and enhance expanded programming in the new museums. As of September 2014, over $245 million has been committed in gifts and pledges toward the campaign goal by many generous donors and university benefactors.

The new facility, designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, preserves the landmark 1927 structure while transforming the space to accommodate twenty-first-century needs. Following a six-year building project, the collections of the three Harvard Art Museums—the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum—are now united under one roof for the first time. In November 2014, the museums opened with new and expanded exhibition galleries, research centers, classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture halls, public education spaces, and visitor amenities. Central to the transformation is a new Art Study Center, where visitors will be able to request private viewings of original works of art for study, learning, inspiration, and enjoyment.

Although the new museums have now opened, the campaign to support and endow them will continue as a key priority within the university’s overall Harvard Campaign, a seven-year effort extending through 2019. Pledges (payable over a five-year period) are still needed to fund and endow yet-unnamed galleries and educational spaces in the new museums. To realize the promise and potential of the museums’ teaching and research mission, endowment support is also needed to sustain expanded and enhanced programming in the new museums.

Many named gift opportunities for galleries and educational spaces remain available in the new museums for interested donors, as well as opportunities to endow programmatic areas such as the Art Study Center, the Department of Academic and Public Programs, conservation, curatorial and conservation training, exhibitions, publications, and acquisitions of art. For further information, please contact Liz Cartland, Director of Major Gifts and Strategic Initiatives, at 617-495-9980.