Press Release

Exhibition Schedule, Spring 2011

Thu, 02/03/2011 - 17:16 -- wds
Cambridge, MA
February 16, 2011

Editors: The information in this schedule is current as of February 16, 2011.
Dates are subject to change. Please confirm information with the Communications office prior to publication.

Permanent Exhibition, Arthur M. Sackler Museum

Re-View
Opened September 13, 2008; on long-term display
Floors 1, 2, and 4
This survey features a selection of over 600 objects drawn from the collections of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums that reflects the diversity and richness of the Harvard Art Museums’ holdings. Well-known objects are included alongside rarely displayed works in thematic gallery spaces: European and American art since 1900 is on the first floor, Islamic and Asian art is on the second floor, and the fourth floor features Western art from antiquity to the turn of the last century. Re-View represents a powerful distillation of the collection, fulfilling a wish to make available important works—some of them familiar highlights and many of them integral to the Art Museums’ core mission of teaching and research.

Re-View is on long-term display at the Arthur M. Sackler Museum at 485 Broadway while the Art Museums’ building at 32 Quincy Street—the former home of the Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums—is closed for renovation. This major renovation and expansion project, designed by architect Renzo Piano, with completion anticipated in 2013, will unite the three museums in a single, state-of-the-art facility.

NOTE: The first-floor gallery of modern and contemporary art will be closed to the public from Tuesday, April 12 until Tuesday, May 3, while we reconfigure the current installation. The reimagined space will feature 14 new objects and retain key objects from the original installation—all of which present a broadened perspective on the history of art from 1900 to the present. The new works include paintings by Josef Albers, Georg Baselitz, Georges Braque, Max Ernst, and Robert Motherwell; sculpture by Jean Arp, Robert Gober, Victor Grippo, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Doris Salcedo, Henry Moore, and David Smith; and works on paper by Robert Rauschenberg and Tim Rollins and K.O.S. The works on paper will be rotated approximately every four months.

Re-View has been made possible by a generous grant from the NBT Charitable Trust, as well as the Art Museums’ Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund; Anthony and Celeste Meier Exhibitions Fund; and Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Exhibition Fund.


Temporary Installations, Arthur M. Sackler Museum

A limited number of objects in the exhibition Re-View are rotated periodically. On the second floor, thematic installations typically highlight paintings, drawings, calligraphy, and photographs in the Islamic and Later Indian gallery and the Asian galleries. Two niches on the fourth floor feature works on paper, recent acquisitions, and installations tied to university courses (see Teaching Galleries section).

Brush and Ink Reconsidered: Contemporary Chinese Landscapes
November 23, 2010–May 14, 2011
Floor 2
This installation offers highlights from the Harvard Art Museums’ growing collection of recent Chinese ink paintings, which invite us to examine the meaning of “contemporary” in non-Western contexts. While using traditional materials, formats, and subjects, the 11 artists represented employ new techniques and work in styles that draw on both Western and Chinese sources. Curated by Robert D. Mowry, Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums.

Related event: New Takes on Old Traditions: Contemporary Chinese Landscapes, Two-Point Perspective Gallery Talk, March 31, 2011, 3:30pm.

I Was Not Waving but Drowning
December 3, 2010–April 2, 2011
Floor 2
This sequence of 14 photographs captures contemporary Indian artist Atul Bhalla’s act of submergence in the Yamuna River. In these contemplative images, the artist and river have equal prominence. Bhalla engages with water as a medium, exploring contemporary political and environmental issues and drawing on cultural and religious associations with water as a life source. Curated by Maliha Noorani, 2009–11 Norma Jean Calderwood Curatorial Fellow, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums.

Related event: Through the Artist’s Lens: Exploration of the Photographic Works of Atul Bhalla, Two-Point Perspective Gallery Talk, March 2, 2011. 3:30pm.

Related event: In Conversation with Atul Bhalla, Panel Discussion, March 3, 2011, 5:30pm.

Company to Crown: Perceptions and Reactions in British India
April 8–September 24, 2011
Floor 2
The hybrid Indo-European style known as Company painting developed in India beginning in the late 18th century, when agents of the British East India Company emerged as important patrons of Indian artists. This installation will focus on figural representations—typologies and portraits of individuals—demonstrating a shift in aesthetic sensibility between the period of the Company Raj (1757–1857) and that of the British Crown Raj (1857–1947). The paintings draw attention to the artistic cross-examination that took place between Britons and Indians and its delightfully curious results. Curated by Maliha Noorani, 2009–11 Norma Jean Calderwood Curatorial Fellow, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums.

The installation is made possible by the Islamic and Later Indian Art Scholarship Support Fund.


Teaching Galleries, Arthur M. Sackler Museum

These installations accompany undergraduate courses in Harvard University’s Department of History of Art and Architecture (HAA) and feature a select group of objects from the Harvard Art Museums’ collections. Coordinated by Amy Brauer, Diane Heath Beever Curator of the Collection, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, Harvard Art Museums.

The Origins of Modernity: The “New” 18th Century
January 14–March 5, 2011
March 11–June 18, 2011
Floor 4
Accompanying a course of the same name taught by Ewa Lajer-Burcharth, William Dorr Boardman Professor of Fine Arts, this installation explores how and why the 18th century has been defined as the inaugurating moment for modern art and visual culture. The two rotations feature drawings and prints by French artists including François Boucher, Charles-Joseph Natoire, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, and Antoine Watteau. The first rotation focuses on training, technical procedures, and conceptual models that shaped artistic practice and self-understanding. The second considers the image of the body and changing approaches to its representation and meaning.

The installation is made possible by funding from the Gurel Student Exhibition Fund.

Arts of Asia
January 22–March 12, 2011
March 19–May 28, 2011
Floor 4
Planned in conjunction with a new General Education course, this installation highlights artifacts from China, Korea, and Japan to introduce representative formats, materials, genres, and subject matter. The first rotation will include works of Buddhist art, calligraphy, and illustrated narratives; the second will focus on ceramics and prints. The course, offered by Melissa McCormick, Professor of Japanese Art and Culture; Yukio Lippit, Harris K. Weston Associate Professor of the Humanities; and Eugene Wang, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, will require students to create their own virtual exhibition.

The installation is made possible by funding from the Harvard College Program in General Education and the Art Museums’ Gurel Student Exhibition Fund.

Berlin and Moscow 1918/1933: Artists, Media, Politics
January 22–March 12, 2011
March 19–May 28, 2011
Floor 4
This installation complements a seminar taught by Maria Gough, Joseph Pulitzer Jr. Professor of Modern Art, and Benjamin Buchloh, Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Modern Art. It examines two of the greatest cultural experiments of the early 20th century—Weimar Germany and the Soviet Union—and the extraordinary dialogue that took place between them. Two rotations include works by Otto Dix, El Lissitsky, Alexander Rodchenko, and Kurt Schwitters.

The installation is made possible by funding from the Gurel Student Exhibition Fund.


Off-Site Exhibition

Tangible Things
January 24–May 29, 2011
Various Harvard University campus locations
Questioning the modern Western intellectual categories that distinguish art from artifact, specimen from tool, and the historical from the anthropological, Tangible Things brings together materials from Harvard’s museum and archival collections. Beginning in the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, the exhibition introduces visitors to established ways of organizing things and challenges them to classify an assortment of objects according to these scholarly conventions. Where in the University do items like John Singer Sargent’s palette or the beads and dress of a Camp Fire Girl belong? Why? Armed with these questions, visitors are invited to discover the many guest objects carefully inserted into exhibitions of Harvard’s public museums.

Tangible Things is the foundation for the General Education course “Tangible Things: Harvard Collections in World History.” Curated by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, 300th Anniversary University Professor, History Department; and Ivan Gaskell, Senior Lecturer, History Department; with Sara Schechner, David P. Wheatland Curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments; and Sarah Anne Carter, Lecturer on History and Literature. Organized by the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments.

This exhibition is made possible by funding from the Harvard Arts Initiative, Harvard College Program in General Education, the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the Office of the Provost, and the Harvard Art Museums’ Gurel Student Exhibition Fund.

Harvard University campus locations (see individual institutions for hours information):
Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Special Exhibitions Gallery and Putnam Gallery, Science Center, 1 Oxford Street
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, 485 Broadway
Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street
Houghton Library, Harvard Yard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 11 Divinity Avenue
Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 10 Garden Street
Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue

Related event: Misplaced Objects? Things from Other Harvard Collections in the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Two-Point Perspective Gallery Talk, April 28, 2011, 3:30pm.


Upcoming Exhibition

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe
Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe examines the participation of artists in the scientific inquiries of the sixteenth century. By investigating the close working relationships between the artistic and scientific communities, it attempts to break down the artificial boundaries of interpretation between the work of artists, natural philosophers, natural historians, cosmographers, medical practitioners, and instrument makers, and offers instead a vision of correlated, and sometimes collaborative, production. Through displays of prints, books, maps, and such scientific instruments as sundials, globes, astrolabes, and armillary spheres, the exhibition questions the perception of artists as illustrators in the service of scientific practitioners. It proposes instead a more integral role for them in facilitating the conceptualization of ideas, especially through printmaking during the century and a half after its development in northern Europe. At the project’s core is an exploration of the characteristics of printmaking that make it such a dynamic matrix for the production of knowledge. A catalogue, due out in fall 2011, accompanies this exhibition. Curated by Susan Dackerman, Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints, Division of European and American Art, Harvard Art Museums. Organized by the Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, in collaboration with the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.

Prints and the Pursuit of Knowledge is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities, Mrs. Arthur K. Solomon, Lionel and Vivian Spiro, Walter and Virgilia Klein, Julian and Hope Edison, Novartis on behalf of Dr. Steven E. Hyman, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Barbara and Robert Wheaton, the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and an anonymous donor. Additional support is provided by the Harvard Art Museums’ endowment funds: The Alexander S., Robert L., and Bruce A. Beal Exhibition Fund; Anthony and Celeste Meier Exhibitions Fund; Charlotte F. and Irving W. Rabb Exhibition Fund; and Melvin R. Seiden and Janine Luke Fund for Publications and Exhibitions.

  • Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, MA
    September 6–December 10, 2011
  • Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    January 17–April 8, 2012

Related event: Harvard Treasures Tour of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Member Event, February 11, 2011, noon.


Traveling Exhibition

Feininger at Harvard: Drawings, Watercolors, and Photographs
The Busch-Reisinger Museum has organized two complementary exhibitions of little-known drawings, watercolors, and photographs by the modernist Lyonel Feininger. Derived largely from holdings at the Busch-Reisinger and Harvard’s Houghton Library, the two exhibitions and their accompanying catalogues examine the aesthetic and intellectual dimensions of the artist’s achievements within these distinct media. Many of the works included have never before been exhibited or published and thus allow for a fresh assessment of this otherwise well-known figure.

Lyonel Feininger: Drawings and Watercolors from the William S. Lieberman Bequest to the Busch-Reisinger Museum highlights an important recent acquisition of a stunning group of drawings and watercolors from the collection of the legendary curator. Curated by Peter Nisbet, former Daimler-Benz Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and current Chief Curator at the Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Organized by the Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, in cooperation with the Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München.

Lyonel Feininger: Photographs, 1928–1939, assembled primarily from Harvard University’s Houghton Library, is the first to explore the artist’s little-known photographic work. Curated by Laura Muir, Assistant Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art, Harvard Art Museums. Organized by the Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum, Cambridge, in cooperation with the Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

  • Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Germany
    February 26–May 15, 2011
  • Staatliche Graphische Sammlung München, Pinakothek der Moderne, Germany
    June 2–July 17, 2011
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    October 25, 2011–March 11, 2012 (photographs only)
  • Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Cambridge, MA
    March 30–June 2, 2012 (photographs plus selected drawings and watercolors)

About the Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums, among the world’s leading art institutions, comprise three museums (Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler) and four research centers (Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis). The Harvard Art Museums are distinguished by the range and depth of their collections, their groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of their staff. The collections include approximately 250,000 objects in all media, ranging in date from antiquity to the present and originating in Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. Integral to Harvard University and the wider community, the art museums and research centers serve as resources for students, scholars, and other visitors. For more than a century they have been the nation’s premier training ground for museum professionals and are renowned for their seminal role in developing the discipline of art history in this country.