Neighbors #5
Arne Svenson
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School
Schwartz Art Collection, Harvard Business School

Arne Svenson’s latest project The Neighbors was started when he inherited a telephoto bird watching lens and began to record the quotidian activity of his neighbors in the glass-walled apartment across the street from his downtown New York loft. Framed by the window structures, completely unstaged and unbeknownst to the subjects, each image seems to quote historical artists such as Delecroix, Vermeer and Hopper. His careful attention to composition and soft eye for color, light and texture are accentuated by the cropping of his images. The interplay between the softness of the figures, obscured through dirty windows, with the hard-edged panes of glass and metal supports creates painterly tableau with real human emotion and classic gestures. In this image, the figure bends to clean the floor of an apartment under construction. With a wrapped renaissance-style skirt in rich green, Svenson has transformed this urban loft to appear as a timeless fresco, a humble moment captured with subtlety.


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.