The (New And Improved) Harvard Art Museums

Harvard Art Museums, courtesy of their website

Harvard Art Museums, courtesy of their website

The new museums on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, MA, are beautifully accessible in many ways.

IMG_3403Formerly in three separate museums, Harvard’s works of art are now collected in one recently renovated space called the Harvard Art Museums.  My subway trip took me an hour (just as the MBTA trip planner said it would).  The Harvard Square stop on the Red Line is accessible, as is the path through Harvard’s campus to get to the new museum.    Were you to drive in, beware that parking is costly.

For Cambridge residents, entrance to the museum is free.  It is free on Saturdays for Massachusetts residents from 10 am to noon.  An adult pays  $15 to get into the museum.

IMG_3450There is a small (um, rather expensive) cafe, Jenny’s Cafe, in the lobby with accessible seating in the courtyard.

IMG_3426I spent about two hours looking, perhaps, at the architecture as much as the works of art.  Three separate, historic, museums (the Fogg, the Busch-Reisinger, and the Sackler) have now been united with glass, steel and cedar.  The museums do have a wonderfully presented collection of early American portraits (my favorite is Joseph-Siffred Duplessis’ Benjamin Franklin, with his gorgeous, basset-hound eyes;  a close second being John Singleton Copley’s dignified old Yankee, Sarah Morecock Boylston).  The Busch-Reissner Museum (originally the “Germanic museum”) has a significant collection of German expressionism and materials related to the Bauhaus.  Don’t miss the lightbox gallery on the top floor, which has a digital play on the museum’s holdings.

Having poured over many and many a website looking for accessibility info, I have to give the Harvard Art Museums a giant shout-out for a truly “accessible” statement on accessibility on their website.  In general, I find their website masterful in that it is easy to navigate and it has succinct information.  You can also access the  on-line directory of the museum’s complete collections from the comfort of your own home, which might tide you over until you can get there in person.IMG_3389

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