The Harvard Art Museums Free for All Visitors

The Harvard Art Museums Implemented a New Entrance Policy, Enabling Free Access for All Visitors to Its Collection.

Jun 24, 2023By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
The Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums. Via Wikipedia


The Harvard Art Museums are now free for all visitors. The museums implemented a new admission policy, which they presented on Friday, June 23. The goal is for the policy to be long-lived, and to enable public access to collections and works of art in the future. Rockefeller Center and the Harvard President’s Office have the credit for putting this initiative into practice.


Free Entrance to the Harvard Art Museums, Because Art is for Everyone

The Harvard Art Museums
The HAM. Via Wikipedia


Harvard President Larry Bacow said a few sentences about this initiative: “Art is for everyone, and the HAM will now be free to all visitors”. “This initiative ensures that every visitor to our campus will now have the opportunity to view and engage with the phenomenal collections in our care at the Museums”.


For a long time, Harvard’s museums have provided free admission for certain categories of the population: young people, students, locals… Two new initiatives made it possible to expand even more. In September 2021, the museums offered free entrance on Sundays. Also, in April 2022, the museums created a “night program”: free entrance on the last Thursday of each month from five to nine p.m.


harvard yard photograph
A photograph of Harvard, where Rawls taught for over thirty years, via Wikimedia Commons.


It took the institution a while to gather sufficient resources to cover the costly maintenance of the collection, and the salaries of its workers, according to an announcement by Bacow’s office. As previously mentioned, the Rockefeller Center contributed to it. The Harvard Art Museums Director Martha Tedeschi said this initiative enabled the people to know they are always welcome.

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Building Connections With Boston Community

The HAM entrance
The HAM entrance. Via Wikipedia


Since the last initiative, visits have grown up to 20 percent per month, and 40 percent in August 2022. The museums, which endured a significant renovation in 2015, are crucial centers for study, conservation, and exhibiting items from the Harvard collection, which includes artifacts from antiquity through the postwar era in America.


“Taking this step represents our deep commitment to serving all audiences, enhancing our mission of teaching and research, and becoming a center where discovery, exchange, inclusion, and learning can flourish for all”, Martha Tedeschi, the Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director of the Harvard Art Museums said.


Museum entrance
The Museum’s entrance. Via WIkipedia


The new policy leads to greater engagement with the Boston community. “We’re looking forward to just eliminating the barrier completely, so that our local audience increasingly begins to feel this is a place for them”, the representatives continued.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.