“Our future is ﬁlled with countless possibilities. The renovation and expansion of our facility is leading the way toward more intimate, transformative experiences with works of art for all visitors.” —Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director
“The new structure will be a vital and vibrant space where students, faculty, and the community will engage with the collections for generations to come.” —Drew Gilpin Faust, President, Harvard University
When the new building of the Fogg Museum of Art opened at 32 Quincy Street in 1927, it was a modern marvel—the ﬁrst facility of its kind in North America to combine exhibition galleries with conservation labs and classrooms. That institution, joined by the Busch-Reisinger Museum (1903) and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum (1985), became what are today the Harvard Art Museums. A comprehensive renovation and expansion project, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2014, is under way at the 32 Quincy site.
Far more than a building plan, this project is an essential reinvention of the Harvard Art Museums, a rethinking of the museums’ role in the community and the place of the arts in an advanced education. This project is designed to make our world-renowned collections more accessible as tools for teaching and learning, integrate them more fully into the curriculum and into student life, and encourage their use in the university’s increasingly interdisciplinary programs. The new building will help us fulﬁll these goals and allow us to better serve students, faculty, scholars, and the public.
In collaboration with world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, we are creating a single state-of-the-art facility that will bring together our three museums—Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Sackler—while allowing them to maintain their distinct identities. The new facility will seamlessly combine the landmark 1927 building, a striking new addition on its east side (along Prescott Street), and a new glass rooftop structure that will bridge old and new. The rooftop addition, designed with sensitivity to surrounding historic structures, will allow controlled natural light into the conservation lab, study centers, and galleries, as well as the courtyard below.
The new Harvard Art Museums building will carry forward into the 21st century a concept that Director Edward W. Forbes introduced over 100 years ago: the museum as a “laboratory for the ﬁne arts.”