Harvard Portrait Collection

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Harvard Portrait Collection


The Harvard Portrait Collection began in 1680 with a payment to Major Thomas Smith (the artist) for "drawing Dr. Ames effigies pr Order of Corporation." It expanded rapidly, mostly through the generous gifts of alumni and faculty, and today includes more than 1,200 objects. Strengths of the collection are colonial portraiture, especially the paintings of John Singleton Copley, nineteenth century sculpture, and works by Boston area artists.

Collection Items

Portrait of Johann Gaspar Spurzheim
Produced just after his sudden death, this portrait of Spurzheim holding a symbolical head is said to be one of the best productions from the studio of Boston painter Alvan Fisher. Dr. J. Mason Warren, the son of John Collins Warren, purchased theā€¦
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