Pulitzer - Harvard will do better than the Art Warehouse

Harvard announced yesterday the the largest donation in the history of its museums. Emily Pulitzer, the widow of the late newspaper mogul Joseph Pulitzer Jr., has donated $45 million for the renovation of the Fogg and 31 pieces of art worth $200 million.

Pulitzer is a member of Harvard's President’s Advisory Committee on the Allston Initiative, and she commented to Harvard Magazine about Harvard's abortive attempt to build an arts building in Allston that would have been more a warehouse and office building and less a place for display and enjoyment of art. The modest gallery space in that building certainly would not have had the "large galleries for monumental contemporary works" now on the drawing board for Allston.

Pulitzer told Harvard Magazine:

“I think [having cancelled the Allston project is] really fortunate in a way, because what [ultimately] comes in Allston will be so much better”—in the wake of Harvard’s forthcoming revision of the Allston plans and the pending task-force report on the arts at Harvard in general. New art museum spaces, a new plan for the Peabody Museum, and new performing-arts facilities as yet unimagined are all part of the Allston possibilities she envisions.

Hopefully others at Harvard share her ambition and what Harvard includes in its new master plan is worthy of her lofty goals.

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