Los Angeles’ goal of becoming the Creative Capital of the World is getting more support from the cultural hub of Harvard University. Harvard Provost Alan Garber visited Los Angeles October 24 to update alumni and the Los Angeles arts community about new arts developments at America’s oldest university. As Provost, Garber handles a complex balancing acting familiar to many arts leaders. He must balance the many benefits of art education with the challenges of a weak economy. Garber is an economist who specializes in health care policy and foresees slow economic growth and continued cuts in government spending outside the Social Security system.
Garber presented arts education policy at Harvard as a “work in progress.” While both the performing arts and visual arts play an important role in the Harvard community, most arts programs are extra-curricular. New developments in library collection management and digitization are making it possible for more art scholars to take advantage of the rich art resources at Harvard, owner of one of the ten largest art museum collections in the U.S.
Harvard is undertaking a major renovation of the Harvard Art Museums and planning ahead to incorporate a teaching museum similar to the UCLA Hammer Museum in its plans. Three large museums on campus, the Fogg Art Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Sackler Museum, will unite to form a vibrant cultural complex. Harvard currently only has exhibition space to show about one-and-a half percent of its vast art collection. When finished in 2014, the new Harvard Art Museums complex will add space for rotating exhibitions so that much more of this collection can be viewed by the public.
Harvard President Drew Faust will join filmmaker Ric Burns at the Huntington Library in Pasadena next Wednesday, October 31. Their discussion will engage the Los Angeles cultural community with leading edge concepts about ways that filmmakers and historians can collaborate.
On November 3, Robert D. Mowry, Head of the Department of Asian Art at the Harvard Art Museums, will speak on the history of the teaching of Asian art at Harvard and about the evolution and development of the Asian art collections at the Harvard Art Museums. The program will take place at 2 p.m. at the Lenart Auditorium of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Registration for this free event is at this link.