Back in 2006, I moved to Boston, Massachusetts after landing my first library management gig at the Harvard Business School, Baker Library/Bloomberg Center, giving me the opportunity to leave Washington, D.C. and finally live and work in New England; something I’d wanted to do for a long time. Needless to say, Boston, MA is worlds apart from the “Chocolate City” even if they do both share a coast. The level of culture shock rattled all of my cultural sensors. I had a long period of adjustment, refinement, and adaption that took me all the way back to my experience of moving from Dallas, Texas to New York City in my early twenties.

The weather, very little racial diversity, the accent, working at an R1 institution, and being in a very New England town required months of feeling like a character in a Twilight Zone episode. Then it all came together: I had easy access to lobster and Portuguese bakeries; I loved, loved the architecture and the history of the region; I embraced the North and South Shore lifestyle and the amazing regional food; I began to understand how diversity looks in New England (Portuguese, Cape Verdean, Haitian, French-Canadian, etc.); AND, I discovered Cape Cod. I visited Cape Cod for long weekends in the past but that was just a taste; I was introduced to the lifestyle, the “Upper Cape” and “Lower Cape”communities, glorious Provincetown (Ptown) and the many, many dimensions of Martha’s Vineyard.

The East Coast boasts a very active miniature community and Boston was my gateway to quirky miniature stores, events and miniaturist connections all the way up to the state of Maine.

But those first six months were hard, not to mention adjusting to a challenging management role and a new job in a very different library workplace. What kept me going and gave me space for respite, escape and reflection was the amazing Schwartz Art Collection that filled the halls and common spaces of the Harvard Business School. I have never forgotten it, and the collection is both contemporary art, diverse and continues to grow and represent an impressive swath of the art world, a testament to the masterful curation.

The mission and purpose of the Schwartz Collection is to inspire students to think creatively and incorporate art into their lives.

I roamed those halls during breaks and sat in the common areas during lunch time and especially after work, not wanting to face the T heading home. I loved all of the contemporary artists and the range of art: (prints, posters, comic strips, photography, etc.) I was introduced to some of my favorite artists: Sally Davies, Carrie Mae Weems, Radcliffe Bailey, Marjorie Weiss, Robert & Shana ParkeHarrison, Teun Hocks, and Mark Bischel, but the spark that pushed me out of my loneliness, adjustment period and feeling like a fish out of water was the miniature representation in that collection and here they are:

Artist/Art work (from bottom to upper right)

  1. Lori Nix  (American, born 1969) Natural History, 2005
  2. Jim Budman  (Canadian) Goo Goo, 1999
  3. Martabel Wasserman  (American, born 1987) Tea Time with Daisy, 2003
  4. Sage Sohier  (American, born 1954) Sculptor with Model of Chuck Close in His Summer Studio, Norwalk, CT, 2005
  5. Lori Nix  (American, born 1969) Circleville, 1999
  6. Lori Nix  (American, born 1969) Natural History, 2005
  7. Vandana Jain  (American, born 1975) Untitled, 1998
  8. Sally Davies  (Canadian, born 1956) Bryant Gumbel Show, 2000

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