When the new Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University opened in 1927 as an architectural and academic experiment: it was the ﬁrst structure in North America designed for the specialized training of art scholars and museum professionals. The new Fogg gave architectural expression to the idea that learning and research in the ﬁeld of art would be best shaped by the interactive study of objects, images, techniques, and texts in a single, uniﬁed space.
This generously illustrated book—a history of the formative years of the Fogg Art Museum—discusses the educational and cultural philosophies behind its conception, its historical, social, and economic circumstances, its teaching activities, its art collections, and its research, library, and technical resources. It also places the Harvard institution in relation to contemporary initiatives in Germany (Aby Warburg’s cultural-historical library in Hamburg and the Kunstinstitut at the University of Marburg), Britain (the Courtauld Institute of Art), and the United States (Princeton University, New York University, the University of Chicago, and others). The book combines institutional, intellectual, cultural, and social history, providing a lively portrait of a leading American art institution and the personalities involved in its reinvention.
Kathryn Brush is associate professor of art history at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.
This book was published in honor of the 75th anniversary of the opening of the second Fogg Art Museum building and in conjunction with an exhibition at the museum, May 29–August 22, 2004.