Q: How can I determine the value of my work of art?
A: The Smithsonian American Art Museum provides information about appraising your object. Alternatively, you can also contact a local auction house, art dealer, or art gallery.
Q: What does the Fogg label on the back of my picture mean?
A: Works of art enter the Fogg Museum for a number of reasons, including conservation treatment, examination, photography, exhibition, or acquisition. When they come in, they are registered and given a unique loan number, which may appear on a Fogg label. By tracing the number, we can tell you why and when the work of art was here, but we will not divulge the name of the owner. Note that objects are registered using the owner’s description of the object, which does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Fogg Museum. For more information about a specific Fogg label and/or number, please contact the am_cm [at] harvard [dot] edu (Registrar's Office) at 617-495-2379.
Q: Do I have the original Picasso drawing Mother and Child and Four Studies of Her Right Hand?
A: The original Picasso drawing Mother and Child and Four Studies of Her Right Hand (1904) has been in the Fogg Museum collection since 1929. Many years ago very good facsimile reproductions of the drawing were made, and these have often been confused with the original drawing. There is a nude self-portrait on the verso (back) of the drawing that does not appear on the facsimile. Because the facsimile is a photographic reproduction, like a poster, it has little commercial value. The reproductions were originally printed with a white or off-white margin around the image (although this has often been cut down to show just the image). The margin includes a printed description of the original drawing, including the artist, title, and the words “Fogg Art Museum.” We receive many inquiries about this image every year. Although we cannot be sure without looking at the work itself, we can say that if your picture looks just like our drawing, it is almost certainly a reproduction. Mother and Child and Four Studies of Her Right Hand is related to a gouache (opaque watercolor) drawing, Maternité (1905), which is in a private collection.
Q: Where can I find a conservation specialist or have my art object repaired?
A: The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works maintains a web page outlining how to choose a conservator.
Q: Does the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies accept outside work?
A: The Straus Center rarely accepts outside client treatments and technical examination projects, although those with significant research and teaching potential may be considered. For more information, contact the center at 617-495-2392.
Q: How do I make a financial contribution?
A: Please make your check payable to Harvard Art Museums and address your envelope to Harvard Art Museums, c/o Institutional Advancement, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 to expedite processing. You may also give online. For more information about supporting the museums, visit the Make a Gift section of this website.
Q: How do I make a donation of artwork?
A: The Harvard Art Museums welcome works that advance the teaching mission of our institution. If you would like to discuss a gift of a work of art, please contact the am_cm [at] harvard [dot] edu (Registrar for Collections) at 617-495-3902 and we will be happy to guide you through the process.
Q: How can I find out about job openings and apply for a job at the Harvard Art Museums?
A: Job postings for the Harvard Art Museums are listed on Harvard University’s main employment site. All applications should be submitted through the Employment@Harvard website.
Q: Are images of artworks in the Harvard Art Museums collections available on your website?
A: Yes, the majority of the artworks in our collections are viewable via our collections search tool. Our artworks have online object records that are searchable in many ways. Most records have images (many enlargeable) as well as a section containing each object’s basic information such as artist, title, date, and culture. Description, bibliography, and provenance and exhibition history sections are also provided when available. The tool's Lightbox function allows you to email artwork images and details or create a PowerPoint presentation.
Q: Is it okay to use the images from the Harvard Art Museums website?
A: Yes, you may use the images for personal, noncommercial, educational, or scholarly purposes, or for other fair use to the extent permitted under the law. For more information, please see image copyright.
Q: How do I order images of artworks from the Harvard Art Museums’ collections?
A: For information regarding images for study or publication, please complete an image request form or contact our artmuseumsimages [at] harvard [dot] edu (Visual Resources Department) at 617-495-8211.
Q: Is it true that Harvard University students can rent works of art for their dorm rooms?
A: In the past, Harvard students could rent prints from the Fogg collection through our Student Rental Program. The program was suspended indefinitely in 2008, when our historic building on Quincy Street closed for a major renovation and expansion. For more information, please contact the am_moderncontemporary [at] harvard [dot] edu (Division of Modern and Contemporary Art).
Q: What online research tools pertaining to the Harvard Art Museums collections are available?
A: Our art search tool provides access to detailed information and images for the over 250,000 works of art in our collections. Selected areas of our collections have also been organized into thematic Research Tools, which provide more in-depth information about particular artists and collections.
Q: Where can I find historical information about the people and programs of the Harvard Art Museums?
A: The Harvard Art Museums Archives is the official repository for the administrative records of the institution from 1895 to the present. Holdings include the correspondence of past directors and curators; architectural drawings; scrapbooks; and many other primary source materials related to the history of the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums.
Q: Are photography amd filming allowed at the Harvard Art Museums?
A: With the exception of personal photography by visitors, any photography or filming on Harvard Art Museums property is prohibited unless prior permission is granted by the museums’ Communications Division. All such requests to photograph or film on museum property must be directed to jennifer_aubin [at] harvard [dot] edu (Jennifer Aubin), Public Relations Manager, to determine approval in consultation with appropriate departments. The Harvard Art Museums limits photography or filming projects in its buildings, and preference is given to projects that are directly related to its mission of furthering scholarship and research on the works of art under its care.
Please note that it is not possible to photograph or film our collections at this time. All galleries and study rooms are closed as we complete the final stages of our renovation project. Access to the collections will be reinstated when the new Harvard Art Museums facility at 32 Quincy Street opens in the fall of 2014.