The Busch-Reisinger Museum
Harvard University Art Museums
Peter Nisbet (ed.), with an essay by Joseph Leo Koerner
- Only major book presenting the collection of the Busch-Reisinger
- Features the Museum’s holdings of Austrian Secession art, German Expressionism, late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque sculpture and many others
The Busch-Reisinger Museum is the only museum in America devoted to promoting the informed enjoyment and critical understanding of the arts of central and northern Europe of all periods, with a special emphasis on the German-speaking countries. This beautifully illustrated book is the only full-scale publication of the museum’s collection available to the public. Founded in 1901 as the Germanic Museum, through the efforts of Kuno Francke, professor of German literature at Harvard, the museum originally contained only reproductions, notably plaster casts of major Germanic sculptural and architectural monuments. Under the curatorship (1930-1968) of Charles L. Kuhn, the museum developed into one of the leading collections of modern art from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and related cultures. It was renamed the Busch-Reisinger Museum in 1950 in honour of the related St. Louis families who had contributed decisively to its support. Today, the museum has especially important holdings of Austrian Secession art, German Expressionism, 1920s abstraction and material related to the Bauhaus (including archives of Lyonel Feininger and Walter Gropius). In addition to notable collections of late medieval, Renaissance and Baroque sculpture, 16th-century painting and 18th-century porcelain, the museum has recently focused on deepening its holdings of postwar and contemporary art from German-speaking Europe. The collection of unique and editioned artworks by the postwar artist Joseph Beuys is among the world’s most comprehensive.
Peter Nisbet is the Daimler-Benz Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, one of the Harvard University Art Museums. Joseph Leo Koerner is Professor of Art and Architecture at Harvard University.