Not only have Harvard Art Museums staff been incredibly busy preparing for the opening of our new facility in November—planning installations, writing labels, restoring works of art—many have also been carrying on their research and getting it ready for publication. Here is just a sampling of forthcoming books as well as some recently published essays.
Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes (Harvard Art Museums; distributed by Yale University Press, November 2014)
Susanne Ebbinghaus, the George M.A. Hanfmann Curator of Ancient Art, edited this volume focused primarily on significant bronzes from the Harvard Art Museums’ holdings. With essays from art historians, conservators, and scientists, the book is a much-needed, accessible introduction to ancient bronzes. In addition to Ebbinghaus, contributors to the book include Harvard Art Museums’ Lisa Anderson, the Frederick Randolph Grace Assistant Curator of Ancient Art; Francesca Bewer, research curator for conservation and technical studies programs; Katherine Eremin, the Patricia Cornwell Conservation Scientist; and Henry Lie, director of the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies and conservator of objects and sculpture.
American Paintings at Harvard, Volume 1: Paintings, Watercolors, and Pastels by Artists Born before 1826 (Harvard Art Museums; distributed by Yale University Press, November 2014)
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., curator of American art, emeritus, and Melissa Renn, former senior curatorial research associate, have edited this second book in a series about American paintings at Harvard (the first installment, Volume 2, was published in 2008), many of which are in the Harvard Art Museums collections. The beautifully illustrated volume features nearly 500 paintings, watercolors, pastels, and miniatures from Harvard University’s storied, yet little-known, collection of American art. Highlights include a rare group of 17th-century portraits, along with important paintings by Robert Feke, John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, and Washington Allston.
Max Beckmann at the Saint Louis Art Museum: The Paintings (Delmonico Books, Prestel in association with the Saint Louis Art Museum, forthcoming 2015)
Lynette Roth, the Daimler-Benz Associate Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, is a specialist in German art of the early 20th century. Roth’s book is the first to explore in depth the Saint Louis Art Museum’s outstanding holdings of paintings by Max Beckmann—the largest collection of its kind in the world. Featuring some of Beckmann’s most celebrated paintings, the book offers insights into the artist’s life and art, in particular his underappreciated early work and previously unexplored aspects of his final years in the United States. Accompanying each chapter are discussions of relevant works, documentary photographs, and comparative illustrative material that will deepen readers’ understanding of Beckmann’s evolution as an artistic force.
“The Material Wound,” in The 9th Hiroshima Art Prize: Doris Salcedo (Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, 2014)
Mary Schneider Enriquez, the Houghton Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, is a contributor to the exhibition catalogue commemorating the ninth Hiroshima Art Prize, which was awarded this year to Colombian artist Doris Salcedo. The artist personally asked Schneider Enriquez to contribute an essay because she had recently completed her thesis on the artist’s work, some of which is part of the Harvard Art Museums’ collections. Salcedo’s solo exhibition is on view at the Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Japan through October 13, 2014.
“Researching the Wertheim Collection at the Harvard Art Museums,” in Collections: A Journal for Museum and Archives Professionals (Summer 2014)
Elizabeth Rudy, the Cunningham Assistant Curator of European Art, recently published the results of a two-year conservation and archival research project focused on the Harvard Art Museums’ Wertheim Collection. In the article, Rudy reveals what was discovered about Maurice Wertheim’s collecting practices, about some of the objects’ frames, as well as about the collection’s exhibition history before it arrived at Harvard. For more on Rudy’s collaboration with the Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies in researching the Wertheim Collection, check out these earlier stories in Index.