Visiting the Fogg | The Roger Thomas Collection

Hands and frames galore at Harvard’s Fogg

In Art and history, Travels and events by Roger Thomas

On a recent trip to Boston, I returned to the scene of my college studies at the Museum of Fine Arts. After that, I made a trip to the newly expanded Fogg Museum at Harvard.

Photographing entire canvases in museums is nearly impossible due to the glare caused by museum lighting installations.

I always concentrate my photos on corners and edges, and this time I found hands galore.

Looking back, I find that the hands are always indicative of the joyful, pensive or powerful pose of the subject. Sometimes tender, sometimes sympathetic, sometimes held in awe.

As a designer, frames are also always a focus of interest when I visit museums and exhibitions. The intersection of image and gallery wall depends greatly on the detail, scale and finish of the frame.

Frames are as telling of the fashion of an era past or present as are the paintings themselves. They can add status to the object and its owner, or increase focus on the image and technique. They can complement, or they can serve to obliterate and overpower.