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Harvard Art Museum: The Best Guide To The Fogg Museum

As part of the much larger art complex, the Fogg Museum has a leading role in promoting the importance and appreciation of art. With its rich collection of exhibited art, the Fogg Art Museum stands side by side with other world-known art institutions.

Just like in the case of every place of interest, you should pay attention to a few things. That’s why we are bringing you the best guide to the Fogg Museum that will help you plan your visit.

Lace-up your walking shoes and discover one of the most interesting museums in the United States of America.


History Of The Fogg Museum

A museum with an interesting name has settled under an art roof in Cambridge’s much bigger complex. After the extensive renovation and enormous expansion, Fogg Museum got his roommates in Harvard Art Museums’ complex. Ever since their founding, these museums have been dedicated to supporting learning at Harvard University. Their role is important in not only the local community but also all around the world.


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Through research, public education, teaching, and numerous exhibitions, Harvard Art Museums became an institution with one primary goal. To emphasize the importance and appreciation of art and to encourage the development of art history and conservation science. All their programs encourage collaboration with campus and community partners, as well as the production of new scholarships.

Today, Fogg’s original building has been expanded into a new modern structure with airy spaces, a gorgeous anchored atrium, and a striking glass rooftop. It took six years for this modern work of art to be completed. A combination of historical Georgian revival architecture and modern, transparent details makes this museum a favorite art hub for students, Harvard faculty and the public.

All the credit for this architectural masterpiece goes to Italian architect Renzo Piano. He reunited two structures and by pointing glass rooftop, made the controlled natural light that enters the facility’s reinstalled galleries, conservation labs, and innovative research center. It now provides 40 percent more gallery space than before and includes a new theater for public lectures and programming. Furthermore, interior space is well organized around the existing central courtyard.

Also, a great lightening emphasized the beauty of each work of art, while the transition from one room to another is very flowing and fluid. The circulation rather suggests than directs, so every visitor can choose the path and learn along the way he likes.


What To See In The Fogg Museum

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In addition to the Fogg Art Museum, the Harvard Art Museum comprises the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. Each of them offers a dazzling art collection with different depth and diversity. The Busch-Reisinger Museum is the only museum in North America that is dedicated to German art. The Arthur M. Sackler Museum holds some of the most significant collections of Asian art, including archaic Chinese jades, Buddhist sculptures, Japanese works on paper, etc.

On the other hand, the Fogg Museum exhibitions are rich displays of different paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the present. At your disposal are drawings dating back to the Pre-Raphaelites, Western decorative art, prints and photos from the 19th and 20th centuries. Here you can also admire American and French art, Italian Early Renaissance paintings and silverware collection made of Neo-classical arts and crafts.

The Fogg Museum houses some of the most notable works of art by Impressionists and Post-Impressionists such as Matisse, Cezanne, Picasso, Degas, Van Gogh, and many others.

The Fogg Museum is a true art history textbook; each room presents a different period of art, each artwork is explained in detail.


Fogg Museum: What Are Current Must-Visit Exhibitions?

Currently, the Fog Art Museum houses some of the most interesting exhibits.


Winslow Homer: Eyewitness

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A great exhibit that helps you learn how American artist Winslow Homer shaped his career as a painter and watercolorist.

Due to his war service as a correspondent for Harper’s, Homer produced numerous sketches of soldiers. All represent battles on the front field or quiet moments back at the camp. Eyewitness is one of his famous works of art, in line with the aforementioned theme and painted with oil on canvas.

Exhibition’s duration period: August 31, 2019 – January 5, 2020


Clay – Modeling African Design

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Discover African artistic innovation and creativity through the traditions of ceramic arts. An exhibition tells an interesting story about the remarkable diversity of African art objects and styles. Through numerous exhibits, you will learn that some of the assumptions of Africa are not true. Their society is changing; though unlike current beliefs, it’s not strongly bound to customs and traditions.

The exhibition houses more than 50 works of art on loan from the Peabody Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, as well as works from the Harvard Art Museums’ permanent collections.

Exhibition’s duration period: November 17, 2018 – November 14, 2021


Crossing Lines, Constructing Home: Displacement And Belonging In Contemporary Art

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Another great Fogg Museum’s exhibition that is a must-visit. Through more than 40 works of art, the exhibition explores how culture can persist, embraced despite displacement. It gives answers to important questions such as ‘What does it mean to be displaced from home and culture?’ and ‘Which historical contexts are important for understanding contemporary moment?’.

Moreover, Crossing Lines investigates two parallel ideas. First are national, political and cultural boundaries, borders and conceptions. The other ones are evolving languages, identities, spaces and beliefs created by the movement of nations.

Exhibition’s duration period: September 6, 2019 – January 5, 2020


Critical Printing

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An exhibit that will enchant experienced art lovers, as well as art students, is Critical Printing. This is actually an experimental course offered by Harvard’s Department of Art, Film and Visual Studies that merges seminars and studio instructions. This way, students can explore prints as artists and scholars at the same time.

Don’t be surprised when you see that prints are not organized chronologically, but by fundamental modes of critical thinking. That is why all work is grouped in some of the following themes. In Pressure, printing includes the transfer of an image under pressure, between two surfaces. Reversal shows the reversed image as it passes between the paper and the matrix, which can a block or plate. Replicability brings the ability to print multiple images while creating the form of visual life. Depth shows various qualities of thickness and resistance, while Color Separation emerges color structure in different layers and effects.

The exhibition shows more than 20 prints of these interesting themes.

Exhibition’s duration period: August 31, 2019 – January 5, 2020


Early Christian Africa: Arts Of Transformation

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Visit the exhibit that celebrates the art of transformation and learn about Christianity’s important roots in Ethiopia and the Nile Valley.

Numerous exhibits emphasize local African values such as aesthetics, simplicity and moral values over wealth and power. This art of the people is shown through various materials: using wood and terracotta instead of gold, bone instead of ivory, wool instead of silk and limestone rather than marble. On the other hand, a transformation is one of the most important motives in early Christian art, which connects with the life of Jesus and the life-changing impact.

You will also find diverse manuscripts about the transformational nature of African religious practice and a wide range of themes like healing, pilgrimage, prayers, festivals, etc.

Exhibition’s duration period: August 31, 2019 – January 5, 2020


Upcoming Exhibition: Painting Edo – Japanese Art From The Feinberg Collection

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A special exhibition that offers a rare glimpse into the rich visual culture of Japan’s early modern era is something that you shouldn’t miss. More than 300 works of art from the collection of Robert and Betsy Feinberg will teach you about the history of Japan and their fascinating culture. It will also be one of the largest exhibitions to have been presented in the Fogg Museum’s complex.

The backbone of this artistic story is the interesting fact which says that by the 18th century, present-day Tokyo was called Edo and it was the largest city in the world. Through a variety of beautiful paintings, artists try to creatively display that period of efflorescence in Japanese art. They mix past and present, elegant and vulgar, and eternal and contingent. By using a wide range of styles and formats, they explore how the city has changed over time. They also tell a comprehensive story about painting during the Edo period (1615 – 1868).

The exhibition will display all the best highlights of the finest private collection of Edo paintings in the United States.

Exhibition’s duration period: February 14, 2020 – July 26, 2020


Plan Your Visit To The Fogg Museum

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To make the most of your visit to the Fogg Museum, we are bringing you some important information.

  • The Fogg Museum is opened daily from 10 am until 5 pm. Also, you can find it at the address 32 Quincy St, Cambridge, United States of America.
  • You can buy tickets at the museum’s admission desk during operating hours. A price for adults is $15 and $13 for seniors (65+). Entrance is free of charge for everyone under 18, Harvard ID holders, Harvard Art Museum Members, Cambridge and Massachusetts residents (don’t forget to bring your ID!). Active duty military personnel can also visit the museum for free and bring plus up to five family members.
  • Group tours are available and include group visits, family visits, and student guide tours. If you are visiting the Fogg Museum with eight or more people, you should register a place in advance. If you opt for student guide tours, keep in mind the schedule. During the fall, tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays in two-time terms: 11 am and 3 pm.

For more information, check out their calendar.

  • The Harvard Art Museum is accessible to visitors using wheelchairs and other mobility devices.


Fogg Museum Amenities And Facilities

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  • Find refreshment in Jenny’s Café and try their tasty coffee or delicious snacks. It is open daily from 10 am until 4 pm. Also, there is no gallery admission charge for visiting the café bar.
  • Browse interesting art books and publications or buy a unique souvenir in the museum’s shop. You will also find a wide range of jewelry, textiles and gift items for home and offices. The shop is open 10 am – 5 pm and there is no gallery admission charge.
  • For all those who want to know more, the museum has opened the doors of the Art Study Center. This extensive space with lots of natural light, thanks to a glass rooftop, allows you to interact with original works of art. It is also a great place to learn and connect with people with equal affinities. Before visiting the Art Study Center, you will need to book an appointment. The entrance is free with museum admission during operating hours from Monday to Friday.

Have you already visited the Fogg Art Museum? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments below!

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