As flowers begin to peak out on campus, many of Harvard’s most recognizable sculptures have also emerged from their winter covers—just in time for a tour of the Yard’s public art works, hosted by Harvard Art Museums on Friday.
“I am interested in the life of objects,” said Francesca G. Bewer, the research curator who shared details about the artists, materials, and history behind the sculptures. “I am interested in how things are made, and I think other people are too.”
The sculpture tour started with one of Bewer’s personal favorite sculptures on campus, “Large Four Piece Reclining Figure” by Henry Moore, which can be found outside of Lamont Library. Erected in the early 1970s, the abstract bronze statue is the twin of another sculpture in San Francisco.
Bewer also pointed out the “Onion,” a wrought-iron sculpture outside of Pusey Library, and highlighted the inscribed marble pillar resting on the back of a Chinese dragon outside of Boylston Hall. The sculpture is a Chinese stele donated to Harvard in 1936 to celebrate the University’s 300th anniversary. The inscription, which Bewer read aloud, commends the role of Harvard in the world and extolls the benefits of higher education.
After briefly pointing out the “three lies” of the John Harvard statue—namely, the man pictured is not John Harvard, John Harvard did not found the University, and Harvard was not founded in 1638—Bewer concluded the tour with the mural in the Science Center.
The Harvard Art Museums offered the sculpture tour as part of their Harvard Treasures Tour series, which also features tours of various Harvard library collections, photography exhibitions and museums throughout the academic year.
“We walk by these sculptures all the time, so it is nice to finally learn more about each one,” said Jeannie A. Ingram, associate director of fellows and membership at the Harvard Art Museums, who attended the tour.
Cambridge residents and retired Harvard affiliates were among those who participated in Friday’s sculpture tour.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn something new about my Harvard neighbor,” said Lindsay L. Griemann, a resident of Cambridge.
Upcoming events for the Harvard Art Museums include a day trip to visit parks and landscapes on May 16 and the annual Afternoon with the Director on June 7 where attendees can learn more about the current renovations to the art museums.