Meera at the Harvard Art Museum

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag

For many years, Harvard’s Fogg Museum showcasing a beautiful collection of 19th century French and American art, was one of my favorite past-times in Boston. Harvard also hosted a unique Degas at Harvard exhibition – Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers. A few years ago, Harvard undertook a major renovation of the Fogg Museum, expanded it, and brought together collections from the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Arthur Sackler Museum and Fogg Museum. This was my first visit to the renovated and renamed Harvard Art Museums with Meera as a curious companion. Thankfully, they did not change the main layout and courtyard, but extended the side wings and added a Louvre-style, roof top glass pyramid.

Meera had a wonderful time reading the layout map and leading me from section to section. She was particularly intrigued and recognized the portraits of American Presidents. Obviously this first grader thought all the renaissance paintings with scantily clad women were “gross”. She was terrified of peering into the courtyard from the upper level verandahs. This is not the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum and I was not expecting a plethora of Indian art – they had a 13th century Chola bronze of Shri Rām, a few pieces of Buddha and other miscellaneous artwork.

We had a wonderful meal at the cafe and ended our visit at the gift shop – Meera’s favorite. She did say she liked the Harvard Museum of Natural History better and I promised her a return trip this week.

This day I loved this work by the 16th century, Italian Baroque painter, Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin and the Sleeping Christ; see how kindly she shields the child with her diaphanous veil.

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag
Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin with Sleeping Christ, 1610


Mumbai’s Terminal T2, more

pics of art and murals at Mumbai's Terminal T2 by Arun Shanbhag

After my earlier passage through Mumbai’s new T2 terminal, I knew what to expect. On arrival, as everyone else darted to Baggage Claim (and staring at flapping slats whizzing by), I strolled through the endlessly curved, glass-lined walkway. I paused at each exhibit and took it in. The breadth of art types on display was stunning. Ubiquitous worker bees hovered nearby and demonstrated practiced busy-ness. Art was not simply a picture or a sculpture, an entire south Indian courtyard (for e.g.) was recreated; Mumbai was mapped with computer mother boards. And despite my earlier reservations, the exhibits were well maintained. Continue reading “Mumbai’s Terminal T2, more”

Meera Visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Pics from Meera visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History by Arun Shanbhag

A couple of weeks back, I took a day off and brought Meera to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. HMNH is quite small, but packed with an amazing collection of dinosaur skeletons, stuffed large animals, skeletons of whales and many other species, including a sizable bird and small animal grouping. I had been here before and throughly enjoyed my visit. Continue reading “Meera Visits the Harvard Museum of Natural History”

Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers

pics of Edgar Degas ballet dancers and bathers at the Harvard Art Museum by Arun Shanbhag

If you get a chance to see the works of the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, traipse over. That's what we did recently, at the Degas at Harvard Exhibition. This was only the second, one-man show for Degas. Coincidentally, the first one was also here in 1911, when he was still alive. Since then the collection has mushroomed. His study of ballet dancers is well know and I looked forward to seeing them. On previous visits to the exhibit halls, I had seen the bronzes Arabesque(s) and Little Dancer. Seeing the above painting “The Rehearsal” here was a complete surprise! Continue reading “Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers”

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