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A man's hand holds a mobile phone that displays a Harvard Art Museums magazine article.

Harvard Art Museums from Home

Experience the Harvard Art Museums from home as we spotlight new stories about our collections and revisit some old favorites.

A round-topped limestone slab has two horizontal registers. The upper register depicts the god Horus as a child, holding snakes, a scorpion, a lion, and an oryx; he is standing on two crocodiles. To the left of him is his mother Isis, who wears a long dress and a crown of cow’s horns and a sun disk. To the right is Horus as an adult, who has a falcon’s head. The lower register shows the goddess Taweret, who has the face and body of a hippopotamus, the paws of a lion, and the tail of a crocodile. She faces a bald man who makes offerings to her.

A Salve for Your Snake Bites

Curatorial fellow Jen Thum explains how the museums’ ancient Egyptian magical stele speaks to themes of protection, family, and healing.

By Jen Thum

In this drawing on light brown paper, a slender man sits atop a horse, his back turned to the viewer. The horse is indicated by only a few black strokes that define its torso and saddle. The man holds the reins and firmly plants a foot in a stirrup. A few highlights of white dot his shirt and pants, and his sleeves are colored bluish black. His grey face is seen in profile, as he looks to the right. He wears a visor cap that shades his eyes. In the lower left side, the artist’s signature, “Degas,” appears in a red stamp.

Homecoming for a Degas Drawing

Paper conservator Anne Driesse discusses the treatment of a long-lost Degas drawing that only recently returned to the museums.

By Anne Driesse

This framed painting shows an older white man in a tuxedo holding a cigarette. At rgiht, the image is reflected in the glass of a gallery.

Art Talk: Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in Tuxedo

Curator Lynette Roth examines Max Beckmann’s Self-Portrait in Tuxedo (1927) and the ongoing fascination with this enigmatic painting.

In this black and white photograph, several African American and Native American students sit on benches in a classroom. Each holds a small globe. At right, an African American man stands near a blackboard, holding a long pointer to a chalk drawing illustrating the earth’s rotation around the sun. A white woman sits at a desk just underneath the chalkboard. Behind the students is an African American woman standing and looking at the man at the board. A man standing next to her is looking at a globe in his hands.

A Cross-Collection Endeavor: Researching Photographs of Hampton Institute in Harvard’s Social Museum Collection

As part of her research for a Museum of Modern Art publication, MoMA’s Jane Pierce delved into the Harvard Art Museums’ collections to research early 20th-century photographs of student life at Hampton Institute—a school founded in 1868 for recently emancipated African Americans in Virginia.

By Jane Pierce

Six figures occupy a shallow space with a bright yellow background. They are bare-footed and bare-chested and wear red and white garments on their lower bodies. On their upper bodies they wear sashes, necklaces, and gold-colored headgear topped with purple blossoms. The central figure has blue skin. Three figures hold him up, supporting his shoulders, outstretched arm, and upturned foot. To the right and left of the central group stand two animal-headed figures. The one on the left has tan skin, a rounded muzzle, and a long, curving tail; he holds a mace and circular shield. The figure on the right has dark gray skin, a tapering muzzle, and a short, pointed tail; he holds a quiver with arrows. There are four ornamental trees in the background.

Fellowship, in Image and in Practice

Works of art from across the collections offer examples of people drawing strength from social ties, in good times and bad.

This painting is made up of horizontally placed stripes of paint that are brushed or sprayed on and allowed to drip. The grid is four columns across and about six rows down. Orange dominates the right half but the whole work is interspersed with dark red, black, tan, and green. The color blocks mostly follow the grid but often go beyond the gridlines or span two of the carefully applied rectangles varying in length and thicknesses.

Painting Light! Summer Selections of Modern and Contemporary Art

To mark the start of summer, curators and curatorial fellows in the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art explore works across media that are inspired by the season.

A split-screen image shows on the left six prints in a grid-like pattern: three rows include two colored circular prints each on a square gray background. On the right, a young woman wearing a navy sweatshirt and black apron sits at a table with her hands folded, a bulletin board of artist tools behind her.

Art Talk: Dan Flavin’s Relief Aquatint Technique

Join Christina Taylor to discover the relief aquatint printing technique that artist Dan Flavin used to create Untitled (Paper Disc).

At left, a young woman gestures in front of a large expressionist triptych painting. Two people sit on a bench with their backs to the viewer, and a young person is standing at far right. The painting shows many colorful, shadowy figures in a performance.

Virtual Student Guide Tours

Join us live on Zoom for interactive, thematic tours led by Harvard undergraduates from the Ho Family Student Guide Program!

Printed on a sheet of white paper with rough edges and visible paper fibers are the following words in black ink: “To Be Sold on board the Ship Bance-Island, on tuesday the 6th/ of May next, at Ashley-Ferry ; a choice/ cargo of about 250 fine healthy/ Negroes,/ just arrived from the/ Windward & Rice Coast./ —The utmost care has/ already been taken, and/ shall be continued, to keep them free from/ the least danger of being infected with the/ Small-Pox, no boat having been on/ board, and all other communication with/ people from Charles-Town prevented./ Austin, Laurens, & Appleby./ N.B. Full one Half of the above Negroes have had the Small-Pox in their own Country.” To the left of this text is a silhouette of a figure dunking a basketball (a recognizable image of Shaquille O’Neal); to the right a silhouette of a figure dancing (a recognizable image of Michael Jackson).

Reflecting on Freedom

In the final installment of our three-part series, curatorial fellows share works from the Harvard Art Museums collections that reflect on the Black American experience by synthesizing historical narratives, popular culture, and personal stories.