Marguerite in 2A, Night
James Romberger
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School

Romberger's work is essentially a visual anthropology of the East Village and Lower East Side of New York, and his pastel genre scenes capture the dingy grandeur of this wonderful neighborhood. He is basically an urban romanticist, and his hazy, lazy, daylit drawings suggest a latter-day John Sloan. His sensitive pastels carefully document the physical character of the area with a moody naturalism. The aging tenements seem to sway in gauze-filtered sunlight. Garish and lively, his night scenes, with their solemn blackish-blue hue, have a visual bite that is distinct from the vaporous daytime views. Romberger's drawings focus intently on the cityscape. When present, his figures seem to be used as accents; they are conceptual social highlights in these oddly miasmic representations of Manhattan's hard, dense and crazily jumbled urban reality. His drawings manage to capture the prosaic social interaction, the emotional character and the magnetic attraction of this legendary New York City area. —Calvin Reid, Art in America


About the collection

Gerald Schwartz believes the presence of provocative art promotes creative thinking, remembering that "artistic presence was the only thing missing at HBS when I went there. I wanted to change that." In 1995, Gerry Schwartz and a team from HBS together began purchasing contemporary art for the HBS buildings most frequented by students. Inspired by the growing collection, a small group of MBA students founded the HBS Art Appreciation Society in 2001. It quickly grew into one of the largest student clubs on campus, sponsoring events in Boston area galleries and museums, as well as an annual weekend in Manhattan to meet artists, tour exhibitions, and attend theater. The club's co-presidents accompany Mr. Schwartz on his annual buying trip to purchase additional art for the School's collection.

About Gerald Schwartz, MBA '70

Gerald Schwartz, MBA ’70, is the Founder and CEO of Onex Corporation. He has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Gerry Schwartz is Vice Chairman and member of the Executive Committee of Mount Sinai Hospital, a director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, a trustee of The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Chairman of its Canadian Friends, and a governor of Junior Achievement of Metro Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba, a Masters in Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School, and several Doctor of Laws (Hon.) degrees. He lives in Toronto with his wife, Heather Reisman, founder and CEO of Indigo Books and Music.