I’m back, y’all. It’s been 3 months, and I’ve found my groove to balance blogging and being a mommy. Oh and I start back at work today, too.
This month’s ArtSmart (I hope you followed the other participants while I was on hiatus) is about an art day in a location of our choosing. Since I’ve been in a travel break, and a lot of people focus on Boston proper when they visit the city, I decided to highlight a concentration of Modernist architecture basically at my door. Harvard and MIT had $$$$ to pay top architects as they expanded their campuses in the middle of the 20th century. In Cambridge, you’ll find Le Courbusier, Walter Gropius, and Eero Saarinen among others.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard
24 Quincy St.
The Carpenter Center is the only Le Corbusier building in North America. It’s easy to spot surrounded by more traditional buildings. This 1963 building was built to house the visual arts department and to provide a flexible space for studios. It also has 2 galleries open to the public.
Harkness Commons and Harvard Law School Dorms
Jarvis St. and Massachusetts Ave.
Walter Gropius was in charge of The Architects Collaborative in the late 1940s, and the Harvard Graduate Center was one of the first Modernist commissions by a leading university. Gropius had been hired by Harvard to teach at the Graduate School of Design in the 1930s, and his TAC was like a second Bauhaus for him. Each project was a collaboration among the group of architects. This is my second favorite building in Cambridge after Gehry’s Stata Center at MIT. I love that you can really see Gropius’s style in this complex. You can see his home in Lincoln, MA as well.
Kresge Auditorium and MIT Chapel
48 Massachussetts Ave.
Over at MIT, you can find two buildings by Eero Saarinen. They are so fantastically Mid-Century Modern. The auditorium looks like the roof is floating on glass, but it really is supported at just 3 points where the concrete reaches the ground. The MIT Chapel has a metal screen inside designed by Harry Bertoia.
So if it’s a beautiful day on your next trip to Boston, head over to Cambridge and scope out some Modernist gems. It’s a welcome break from all the colonial style buildings you see in the area, and it’s a little offbeat instead of drinking at the pubs in Good Will Hunting and The Social Network.
What is ArtSmart? A couple fellow travel bloggers with an interest in art and I decided to do a roundtable series focused on making our readers “art smart”, e.g. understanding why certain works of art are famous and worth the visit while traveling. At the end of this post are links to the other ArtSmart posts by participating bloggers. Interested in joining the Roundtable? Check out our Facebook page or email me.
This Month’s Fellow ArtSmart Roundtable Articles:
Alexandra of Arttrav: An art day in Maremma at Daniel Spoerri’s garden
Pal and Lydian of ArtWeekenders: An Art Day at the Kroller-Muller Museum
Christina of Daydream Tourist: Masterpieces for Free: An Art Day in Washington DC
Ashley of No Onions Extra Pickles: An Art Day in Doha, Qatar
Jenna of This Is My Happiness: An Art Day in Napa Valley
Murissa of Wanderfull Traveler: An Art Day in Paris: My Own Accidental Walking Tour