George Biddle

Art on the Road: Becoming modern

Harvard and Philadelphia exhibits are suffused with a desire to take stock of past periods that might inform us of how to handle the present

Something is in the air – and I am not just referring to mobiles, although every museum I set foot in during a short trip to the East Coast last week seemed to have something floating about.

Harvard Art Museum

Philadelphia Museum of Art

MFA Boston

Rather, the air is suffused with a desire to take stock of periods of the past that just might inform us about how to handle the present, in our understanding of art history as well as that of our times. Two current exhibits are the perfect examples of this: Inventur at the Harvard Art Museum in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Modern Times at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.