THE AGNES MONGAN CENTER
The Agnes Mongan Center is the home for the Harvard University Art Museums’ collections of works on paper. It was created by expanding and totally renovating the Naumburg Wing and the former print room of the original Fogg Museum. Prior to 1994, works on paper were stored and curated in disparate corners of the Fogg Art Museum, without climate control or room for expanding the collections. Furthermore, the cramped and separated quarters made it difficult for curators, students, and scholars to teach, undertake research or prepare exhibitions. Now the collections, curators and dedicated study room, gallery, and seminar room are conveniently consolidated in one integrated design.
The scheme for the addition resolves a complicated site geometry with a seemingly simple gesture. Meanwhile, it takes on the site as a complex beyond the Center itself, engaging in a formal dialogue with the nearby Sackler Museum, the Carpenter Center, and Werner Otto Hall.
The program required that the Museum’s teaching and research programs be enhanced while also providing safe and protective storage environments for the delicate collections. All art storage is now rationalized in state-of-the-art, climate-controlled facilities with capacity to add over 60,000 new works of art, while a specially designed cold archive vault provides a suitable environment for color photographs. The curatorial offices, study room, seminar room and framing room were designed in close collaboration with the curators to ensure full satisfaction of their goals, including achievement of the highest security and indoor air quality standards.