Having moved back to Boston 2 years ago, we’ve been trying to explore some of the museums. In doing so, we’d seen the headliner art museums around Boston, including the Museum of Fine Arts and Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. We recently decided to see the Harvard Art Museums, which we found quite nice as well. The MFA and Gardner museums are deservedly more famous, but the Harvard Art Museums are worth seeing.
The Harvard Art Museums are located just outside Harvard Square at 32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Cost and Hours
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10-5, closed Mondays.
Check the Harvard Art Museum’s website for updated information.
Closest subway stop: Harvard Square on the Red Line
Parking: It’s a little tricky parking around Harvard Square. Most street meter parking is limited to 2 hours, and some of the lots are overpriced. Try the SpotHero app.
The Harvard Art Museums
You might ask why the Harvard Art Museums are plural. Well, it is actually three museums that were eventually combined into one: the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum.
The Fogg Museum was established in 1895 and is Harvard’s oldest art museum. It was originally designed at a training museum for art scholars, conservators, and museum professionals, but it quickly became known as a treasure of Western art dating from Medieval days to the present.
Founded in 1901, the Busch-Reisinger Museum was originally named the Germanic Museum. As you can probably guess, it had German origins and primarily held art from German speaking regions in central and northern Europe.
The Arthur M. Sackler Museum was opened in 1985 when Harvard’s collection of Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean art required a larger space.
Eventually, Harvard decided to bring these three museums together and display the art collectively. What a great choice! You can read a longer history on the Harvard Art Museums website.
Our family really enjoyed visiting this museum. The next time you decide to spend some time in Harvard Square, consider visiting the Harvard Art Museums!