Campus & Community

Details, details

5 min read

Amidst the bustle of daily activities at Harvard, still lives of stone, bronze, iron, and glass surround us. Artistic and architectural details on campus boast a dizzying array of fine craftsmanship — both ornamental and functional — ranging across centuries. With the quiet calm of the attentive photographer, teacups, tomes, and the steadfast hands of a tuxedoed artist come into focus.

"H" is for handsome. In the right light, this embossed Harvard shield glistens inside Robinson Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
These moss-edged swirls are actually curls of a lion's mane. The stone statue sits in front of Yenching Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Ebony and ivory. These keys wait untouched, reflected in a glossy encasement that protects the piano inside the Music Building. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
These elegant maidens bustle with life in the quiet sanction of the Harvard Faculty Club’s reading room. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This lone tree is psychedelically distorted in a glass wall of the Carpenter Center. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
With rainbow colors, this painting inside the Sackler Museum looks more like confetti than leaves. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This gold-plated volume inside Houghton Library glows with wonder, as if holding the secrets of the world. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A network of strings intersects in a River House piano. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Stony beasts bend over the entrance to Austin Hall at Harvard Law School. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A head above. Here, John Harvard gazes over the Thompson Room fireplace in the Barker Center. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Like a Rothko painting, these gradations of color on columns outside Austin Hall meld with a simple yet unearthly beauty. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
What seems like rich bronze is actually wood: These distinctive embellishments blaze inside Widener Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The signature of e.e. cummings punctuates a page in Houghton Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The Emily Dickinson Room in Houghton Library is home to a graceful tea set owned by the reclusive poetess. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The stairs at Andover Hall at Harvard Divinity School light the way toward a righteous education. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The death mask of John Keats rests above the mantel in the Keats Room of Houghton Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The plaintive hands of Helen Keller hover above these painted pages in the Barker Center's Thompson Room. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This Memorial Church window reveals a wintry entanglement of trees in Harvard Yard. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The pulpit stairs of Memorial Church spiral skyward. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
An ornamented music stand awaits a concerto in a River House rehearsal room. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Focus converges on a piano hinge in the Music Building. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A well-worn volume inside Houghton Library could be mistaken for ancient stone. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Inside Houghton Library, chandeliers reflect off a glass case housing elegantly bound 15th century volumes. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The hands of Max Beckmann are immortalized in his "Self-Portrait in Tuxedo" on display in the Sackler Museum. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The transept of Memorial Hall boasts elegant stained glass windows. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A marbleized cover decorates a volume inside the stacks of Widener Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Refined ladies convene on the walls of the Sackler Museum. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A haunting and stately carved face collects majestic light inside the Semitic Museum. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The rising curves of the Henry Moore sculpture "Large Four Piece Reclining Figure" are on display outside of Lamont Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Repeating circles form a patterned grate inside the Ames Courtroom of Austin Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This imposing face overlooks the entrance of Robinson Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A grandfather clock in the Barker Center's Thompson Room exhibits the Veritas shield. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
This angelic marble figure keeps watch in Widener Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A volume intricately decorated in crimson and gold is on display in Houghton Library. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
These flower patterns line the exterior walls of Robinson Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
Garlanded ornaments decorate Memorial Hall. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A grandfather clock measures time for Dudley House inhabitants. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A pensive maiden illustrates the face of a grandfather clock in a Dudley House reading room. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
A cherubic figure adorns a grandfather clock in the Thompson Room of the Barker Center. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer
The impressive mantel inside the Keats Room of Houghton Library is reflected in the bookcase. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer