Harvard Art Museums to open renovated and expanded facility in autumn 2014
The Harvard Art Museums, comprising the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum, announced yesterday that the renovation and expansion of the landmark building at 32 Quincy Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will open in the fall of 2014. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the transformative facility will bring the three museums and their collections together under one roof for the first time.
The expansion will create new spaces and resources to advance the Harvard Art Museums' mission of teaching across many disciplines, conducting research, training museum professionals, and presenting exhibitions and programs for the Harvard University community and the public.
Together, the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum have holdings that are among the largest and most renowned in the United States. Totaling over 250,000 objects, the Harvard Art Museums' collections consist of works in all media from ancient times to the present.
"The transformation of the Harvard Art Museums will allow more opportunities for students, scholars, and the public to engage with the magnificent collections held by the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums. We look forward to sharing these resources with the community, as well as with art lovers from around the globe." said Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University.
The new exhibition galleries have been designed specifically to create places for the unhurried examination of and engagement with individual works of art for both the Harvard University community and the general public. wHY Architecture, a design architecture firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York, is designing the interiors and casework for these new spaces.
"Object-based study plays a uniquely central role at the Harvard Art Museums," said Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums. "The expanded and renovated Harvard Art Museums will not only enhance our ability to advance that mission, but will enable us to share with the public the constant experimentation with new ideas and new ways of understanding human expression that underpin our work."
The new facility, which totals 204,000 sq ft, is now weather-tight, and work has begun on the build-out and finishing of interior spaces, which are expected to be completed this fall. The project will add over 12,000 sq ft of new exhibition space, increasing the Harvard Art Museums' gallery space by more than 40%.
The facilities will also include a series of new Art Study Centers and house the Straus Center for Conservation and Techinical Studies. The Calderwood Courtyard and surrounding arcades will serve as the hub of activity and circulation among the facility's new galleries, study centers, and other areas.
With the addition of new exhibition galleries comes the Lightbox Gallery which will showcase the intersections of art and technology. The architects have also introduced a new 300-seat theatre plus lecture spaces and classrooms which are open to the Harvard faculty and students for public workshops and events. The museum shop and café are a part of a new open circulation path throughout the building.