2016 Winner: Harvard Art Museums’ Art Study Center
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux
Only a fraction of the Harvard Art Museums’ 250,000-plus objects are displayed at a time, but its Art Study Center allows visitors one-on-one time with Greek vases, Rembrandt etchings and thousands of other works not currently on view. Opened in late 2014 as part of the Renzo Piano-designed renovation, the light-filled fourth-floor space welcomes scholars and inspiration seekers who make appointment requests online two weeks in advance. It also hosts intimate seminars—like June’s look at Dutch and Flemish drawings by masters like Van Dyck—and last summer began offering open hours on Monday afternoons, making up-close meetings with masterpieces even easier.