Art Study Center Seminars at Home

May 27, 2020
Two women look closely at one of several prints displayed on tabletop easels on a large gray table. In the background on a projector screen is an image of a dish decorated in blue and green flowers.
Photo: Huixuan Liu

Our monthly Art Study Center Seminars give visitors a chance to look closely at original works of art and discuss new research with curators, conservators, fellows, and special guests. Topics, which vary widely, highlight the depth of the Harvard Art Museums collections and the dynamic research interests of our staff.

Since we are unable to welcome you into the museums at this time, we are bringing our experts to you in a new online series, Art Study Center Seminars at Home. 

All virtual seminars will be presented live in Zoom. They are free and open to all, but registration is required. Please follow the link in each title below to register. We’ll be in touch to confirm your registration and share a Zoom link and password approximately 10 days before each seminar.



This woodcut shows on the left two figures, whose facial features are not detailed, next to train tracks that grow narrower from the bottom of the work to the top.
David Alfaro Siqueiros, Mexican, Two Women Watching a Railroad Track, 1930–31. From 13 Grabados. Woodcut printed in black ink on thin orange wove paper. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Permanent transfer from the Fine Arts Library, Harvard University, Transfer from Tozzer Library, 2008.314.2. © David Alfaro Siqueiros/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/SOMAAP, Mexico.

Friday, June 5, 2020, 11–11:45am (EDT)
Mexico: Prints and Revolution, 1910–45

In the early 20th century, Mexican artists embraced printmaking as a means of reaching a broader audience, creating works that expressed the sociopolitical concerns central to the nation’s 1910–20 revolution and its aftermath. In this seminar, curator Mary Schneider Enriquez will explore the topic through a range of works—from José-Guadalupe Posada’s broadsheets and the iconic, post-revolution images by muralists David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, and Diego Rivera, to the politically charged works of Leopoldo Méndez and the print collective Taller de Gráfica Popular.  

Led by:
Mary Schneider Enriquez, Houghton Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art

A clay sculpture depicts a standing female figure wearing a long, hooded garment with traces of yellow, orange, and blue pigment. One hand rests at her side, hidden beneath her cloak; the other clutches the neck of her garment.
Modern forgery of an ancient clay figurine: Standing woman, 19th–20th century. Terracotta, traces of paint. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of the Misses Norton, 1920.44.98.

Friday, June 19, 2020, 11–11:45am (EDT)
Terracotta Figurines from Antiquity to Modernity

In the 1870s, thousands of ancient terracotta figurines were discovered in cemeteries surrounding the small city of Tanagra in Greece. The figurines became a sensation with Victorian audiences. In this seminar, Frances Gallart Marques will discuss how the brightly colored figures of young women, at once lively and quiet, resonated with and inspired many works by 19th-century painters, musicians, and writers.

Led by:
Frances Gallart Marques, Frederick Randolph Grace Curatorial Fellow in Ancient Art


Friday, May 15, 2020, 11–11:45am
Drawn Together—Conviviality in European Drawings

While drawing is often described as the most intimate medium of art making, artists often take delight in capturing or imagining pleasurable social gatherings and spirited entertainments. In this seminar, Joachim Homann and Margaret Grasselli will examine a selection of European drawings from the 17th to the early 20th century that exemplify companionship and conviviality. They will also discuss how these works reflect, envision, sanction, or deride closeness between people—whether imaginary or well-observed. 

Led by:
Joachim Homann, Maida and George Abrams Curator of Drawings, Division of European and American Art

Margaret Morgan Grasselli, Visiting Senior Scholar for Drawings, Division of European and American Art; and Visiting Lecturer, Department of History of Art and Architecture

Friday, May 1, 2020, 11–11:45am
Arts and Industry in Europe, 1750–1900

In Europe during the mid-18th century, expanding global markets spurred new relationships between artisans, entrepreneurs, and consumers. In this seminar, Casey Monahan and Gabriella Szalay will explore this unprecedented symbiosis between arts and industry, with a special focus on developments in metalwork and the production of ceramics.

Led by:
Casey Monahan, Cunningham Curatorial Assistant for the Collection, Division of European and American Art

Gabriella Szalay, Renke B. and Pamela M. Thye Curatorial Fellow in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Division of Modern and Contemporary Art

Check back soon for more seminars!

For more information about how to join a meeting in Zoom, click here; for general questions about the seminars, email