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Academic and Public Programs

Faculty Resources

With collections that span millennia, media, and cultures, the Harvard Art Museums are an extraordinary resource for Harvard University. And with the Art Study Center, University Galleries, classrooms, and lecture halls, the museums provide powerful opportunities for faculty and students to consider original works of art as engines that drive intellectual inquiry.

The museums’ facility is, in essence, a series of classrooms. Students are invited to engage with the collections in ways that will enrich and inspire their studies.

The museums’ team of educators, curators, conservators, scientists, and technologists consult with faculty from all disciplines to explore how the collections might support their course goals. The museums also bring together faculty for exhibitions, symposia, workshops, lectures, and seminars that deepen and advance university-wide conversations.

Teaching Remotely
Resources for teaching with the collections while the museums are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

For Teaching Remotely:
Laura Muir
Associate Director of Academic and Public Programs
and Louis Miller Thayer Research Curator

Jen Thum
Assistant Director of Academic Engagement
and Assistant Research Curator

Harvard Curricular Support
The Harvard Art Museums collections and exhibitions serve as catalysts for teaching and research projects across disciplines. Museums staff are available to consult with Harvard faculty and teaching fellows to identify ways that the museums can best support course goals, including helping identify relevant works of art for discussion, facilitate gallery conversations, lead materials-based investigations and experiments, design assignments, and share research materials such as collections data, object files, treatment records, and archival documents. The museum setting promotes active learning and interdisciplinary thinking, challenging students and teachers to develop evidence-based interpretations and to make connections across cultures and time.

For Harvard Class Visits and Curricular Support:
Jeanne Burke
Staff Assistant, Division of Academic and Public Programs

Art Study Center
Designed to offer an environment for both small-class and individual study, the Art Study Center provides teaching, learning, and research opportunities through close examination of original works of art. Comprised of three study rooms and two seminar rooms on Level 4, as well as spaces at the museums’ Somerville Research Facility, the Art Study Center provides access to thousands of works of art across all media during weekdays between 10am and 5pm. Faculty are invited to develop class sessions for up to 15 students. Museums staff are available to assist with object selection. To schedule a visit, please fill out a request form.

For teaching in the Art Study Center:
Laura Muir
Associate Director of Academic and Public Programs
and Louis Miller Thayer Research Curator

University Study Gallery
Located on Level 3, the University Study Gallery supports the coursework of numerous Harvard departments and schools. It is a gallery classroom dedicated to the installation of original works of art from the museums’ collections that serve as primary source materials for interdisciplinary study. Installations (which typically include up to eight objects) might relate to general themes of a course, a particular segment, or serve as the subject of an assignment. Class sessions (for up to 15 students) can be held in the gallery or students can visit on their own. If you are interested in developing a course-related installation during the academic year, please fill out a request form.

For the University Study Gallery:
Laura Muir
Associate Director of Academic and Public Programs
and Louis Miller Thayer Research Curator

The Materials Lab
The Materials Lab serves as an environment for art making as a means of learning and knowing. Programs explore the complex physical lives of artworks through close-looking, hands-on experimentation, and interaction with experts. It also supports individual research projects.

For the Materials Lab:
Francesca Bewer
Research Curator for Conservation and Technical Studies Programs