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Harvard Art Museums Archives & Special Collections

The official archives of the Harvard Art Museums: the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.

Added Names/Aliases: Archives, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum Archives, Art Museum Archives, Harvard University Art Museums, Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies
 
 
 
 

HOURS OF OPERATION

 
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Archives Hours
 
 

CONTACT INFORMATION

 
Contact by Phone
Reference:
(617) 495-2384
To schedule an appointment (required):
(617) 495-2384
Contact by Email / Web
am_reference@harvard.edu
To schedule an appointment (required):
am_reference@harvard.edu
Website
 
Official Website
Baloon
Harvard Art Museums Archives, 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Map
 
 

ABOUT

 

Available for research by appointment, Archives & Special Collections collects, organizes, and preserves the institution’s historical documents and makes them available to students, scholars, and interested members of the international art community. Its mission is to document and promote knowledge and appreciation of the Art Museums’ history, programs, and goals, and the professional and personal accomplishments of its principals. Archival materials, crucial to the Art Museums’ institutional memory, mandate, and mission, supply a vital complementary narrative to the works of art themselves, recording their acquisition, history, and use. Holdings include significant papers of individuals and groups associated with the Art Museums’ history, as well as comprehensive materials on the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Arthur M. Sackler museums, which integrated to form the Harvard Art Museums in 1983.

Available for research by appointment, Archives & Special Collections collects, organizes, and preserves the institution’s historical documents and makes them available to students, scholars, and interested members of the international art community. Its mission is to document and promote knowledge and appreciation of the Art Museums’ history, programs, and goals, and the professional and personal accomplishments of its principals. Archival materials, crucial to the Art Museums’ institutional memory, mandate, and mission, supply a vital complementary narrative to the works of art themselves, recording their acquisition, history, and use. Holdings include significant papers of individuals and groups associated with the Art Museums’ history, as well as comprehensive materials on the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Arthur M. Sackler museums, which integrated to form the Harvard Art Museums in 1983.

 

Collections

 

Archives

Official records of the Harvard Art Museums. Includes the correspondence of former directors, curators and other staff members, notably Edward W. Forbes, Paul Sachs, Agnes Mongan, Charles H. Moore and John Coolidge. Also material on the history of the Fogg, records of past exhibitions, building plans, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia. Collections of personal papers include: Agnes Mongan, David Smith, Chaim Soutine, Denman W. Ross, Grenville L. Winthrop, Alfonso Ossorio and many student papers, and the records of the Howard Wise Gallery. Published materials include Fogg annual reports, exhibition catalog, and curatorial publications relating to Museum collections.

Busch-Reisinger Museum

Collection includes Bauhaus materials; visual materials by/from Walter Gropius and of Lyonel Feininger; papers of Alexander Dorner. The Bauhaus materials are comprised of student notes and exercises, textile and wallpaper samples, photographs, books, and Bauhaus publications from 1919-33; also student exercises from other art schools founded on the Bauhaus model. The Walter Gropius Archive contains architectural drawings, blueprints, and photographs of German and American projects, 1910-56. The Lyonel Feininger Archive includes 5,000 cataloged items: sketches, some correspondence, unfinished oil paintings, and photographs. The Alexander Dorner Papers consist of 18 boxes of correspondence, book and article typescripts, as well as newspaper and magazine clippings on a wide variety of cultural, social, and scientific topics.

Department of Photographs

Founded in 1972, the Fogg’s photograph collection is comprised of an anthology collection representing the history of fine art photography as well as the aesthetic use of photography largely in the United States and Western Europe from 1839 to the present, with special emphasis on modern and contemporary photography. It also holds six research collections that focus on American documentary, social reform, vernacular, and professional photography: Ben Shahn; Cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards; Tintypes; American Professional Photographers Collection; Social Museum Collection; and the Boston Elevated Railway Collection.

Harvard Portrait Collection

The Portrait Collection consists primarily of portraits of people associated with Harvard University: presidents, deans, administrators, faculty, benefactors and illustrious alumni. From this small group the collection has grown, through gifts as well as commissions, to include more than 2,000 paintings and sculptures. The collection has particular strengths in American colonial painting, and nineteenth century American sculpture. Documentation for the University's portrait collection: curatorial files for over 2,000 paintings, sculpture and drawings; accession books. Files includes photographs, acquisition information, notes and references from Corporation records related to specific portraits, original correspondence (primarily concerning commissions or gifts; letters from artists, donors), bibliography, exhibition history and conservation history.

Archaeological Exploration of Sardis

The Archaeological Exploration of Sardis, sponsored by the Harvard Art Museums and Cornell University, has been excavating at Sardis since 1958. The site has yielded artifacts from the Lydian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and other cultures. During the past 50 years more than 14,000 objects have been inventoried and many thousands more have been saved for future study.

Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies

The Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies provides analysis and treatments for the Harvard Art Museums’ more than 250,000 objects in all media, ranging in date from antiquity to the present, from Europe, North and South America, North Africa, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, and East Asia.

 
 

LIBRARY SERVICES

 
  • Photographic Reproduction
  • Photocopying by staff only.

 
 

VISITOR POLICIES

 
  • Access
  • Open to all, by appointment only.  Researchers must contact the Archives as far in advance of a visit as possible; a minimum of three weeks is requested. Appropriate identification required. To request an appointment, please contact the Archives at am_reference@harvard.edu.