Explore Boston

The New Harvard Art Museums & The Top 6 Things to See There

As Harvard Art Museums prepares to reopen Nov. 16 after a stunning renovation and expansion, we asked the museum's curators for their picks of what to see among the outstanding collections

On Nov. 16, Harvard Art Museums reopens its 250,000-piece collection to the public for the first time since 2010. The institution has been closed while Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano and his Renzo Piano Building Workshop have renovated the existing 1927 Quincy Street landmark and added a 204,000-square-foot glass and steel wing. Known for thoughtful renovations of historic buildings, Piano was also called to envision and create Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum's 2012 expansion. So, what’s fresh at Harvard Art Museums? The gorgeous, restored Italian piazza-inspired Calderwood Courtyard featuring open views of five floors and lit by natural sunlight. New exhibition galleries allowing much more of the permanent collection to be placed on view. An additional new entrance. A shop. A cafe. Centers for study and labs for innovation. Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St., Cambridge, 617.495.9400

Calderwood Courtyard at the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge
The Harvard Art Museums, during renovation and expansion, showing the second-floor arcade overlooking the Calderwood Courtyard (©Michel Denancé)

In honor of this momentous reopening, we asked Harvard Art Museums curators to share their top six picks of what to see in the galleries.