Founded as the Germanic Museum at the turn of the 20th century, the Harvard Art Museums/Busch-Reisinger Museum has reinvented itself spatially and conceptually on several occasions over its nearly 120-year history. In recent years the museum’s curatorial team has been reassessing what these moments of reinvention mean for the museum’s identity in the 21st century. How can the Busch-Reisinger remain vital well into the future? How will the contours of the museum change, whether through new acquisitions, the reframing of current holdings, or the changing demands of contemporary audiences?
In order to address these questions and more, the museum launched a virtual space for examining and redefining the boundaries of a collection that specializes in art from central and northern Europe. Named for the historic site of the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Adolphus Busch Hall, @busch_hall is a new Instagram account that reimagines German art, national identity, and our shared global future.
Each week, @busch_hall features works of art in order to address key issues, such as the foundations and origin myths of the museum, race and migration, and the interplay of art and identity. The posts reframe both icons and underexamined works in the museum’s collection — many by women artists — and historicize the narratives around them. @busch_hall also engages with peer institutions by situating the re-evaluation of the Busch-Reisinger in dialogue with current exhibitions, film screenings, and new scholarship.
On select Wednesdays at 12pm (EDT) every month, @busch_hall hosts conversations with established and emerging scholars, contemporary artists, and museum peers on Instagram Live. Launched in February 2021, the Busch Hall Conversations series presents a variety of perspectives that situate the museum within contemporary scholarship in art history, visual culture, and German studies.
Join the conversation at instagram.com/busch_hall.