Harvard Art Museums to reopen Sept. 4

Harvard Art Museums.

Harvard Art Museums, an arcade overlooking the Calderwood Courtyard. Photo by Matthew Montieth

3 min read

The Harvard Art Museums have announced plans to reopen to the public on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021. Advance reservations will be required for visitors and will be available up to three weeks in advance. Reservations can be made on the museum website beginning August 20. A limited number of tickets may also be available each day to walk-in visitors. In conjunction with the reopening plans, the museums are also pleased to announce a new “Free Sundays” initiative. The museums will offer preview days for members and supporters on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 2–3, before opening to the general public.

“We are thrilled to be reopening to all visitors after the extraordinary events of the last year and a half,” said Martha Tedeschi, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director. “I am enormously proud of the efforts of our talented and dedicated staff, who helped keep the museums a vital resource through online programs even while our doors have been closed.” She continued: “It is with great joy that we now look forward to welcoming everyone to visit in person, whether you know us well or are visiting for the first time. The galleries, study rooms, and the beloved Calderwood Courtyard have been re-energized with you in mind.”

A new “Free Sundays” program will be launched when the museums reopen in September. Advance reservations will be required on Sundays until further notice. Each Sunday, the museums will offer free admission to all visitors; this new program supplements the museums’ preexisting opportunities for free admission, which extend to Harvard ID holders, all students (regardless of institution), Harvard Art Museums members, youth under 18, and all Cambridge residents, among others. Besides free admission, Cambridge residents can also receive additional benefits by joining the museums’ new Cambridge Friends program. As part of this complimentary program, Cambridge Friends will receive the museum newsletter, invitations to select Friends programs, and a discount in the museum shop, among other benefits. The museum shop and Jenny’s Cafe are both expected to reopen in the fall.

“We view the reopening as an opportunity to provide additional points of access that make it easier to visit,” said Tedeschi. “Our online museum community grew exponentially while we were closed because of the pandemic, and we now want to turn our attention to extending the warmest possible invitation to every visitor to the museums, whether new or returning.”

In alignment with Harvard University policies and guidance, the museums have been closed since March 2020. Upon reopening, the museums will operate at reduced capacity to prioritize the health and safety of visitors, staff, and the wider campus community. Other helpful visitor information, including additional health and safety measures, is updated regularly on the museum website. Visitors are encouraged to check the website as they plan their visit.

Four new exhibitions and many new gallery installations will be on view this fall at the Harvard Art Museums. To learn more, visit