Harvard Art Museums are now open to all visitors free of cost. The new policy is effective immediately, and includes access to all of the museum's collections and exhibits.

Daron Manoogian, director of communications for Harvard Art Museums, said the new initiative was Museum Director Martha Tedeschi’s top priority when she started the position in 2016.

“It's important for us, as a university museum, to create as much access as we can to our collections and the resources that we have,” he said.

A new endowment was created to support the initiative, funded by a contribution from the Estate of David Rockefeller and supported by the Office of the President at Harvard University. President Lawrence Bacow, who is stepping down from his position in July, wanted to make free admission possible by the end of his tenure, Manoogian said.

The policy applies to all visitors, regardless of where they traveled from.

The museum has introduced free programming on certain days in the past, Manoogian said, and the number of visitors to the museum went up.

“What it really demonstrated to us was admission fees can sometimes be the last barrier for people,” he said. “We want to create as much access as we can for the local community, for people that come from all over the world, really to visit Harvard. So doing this is a huge step forward in creating that accessibility for people.”

Manoogian hopes the free admission policy increases opportunities for people to visit the museums.

“You don’t have to be an expert in art history or an expert in art to visit a museum,” he said. “You should feel welcome and feel comfortable coming in with your family or friends for a visit of any kind. As a university museum, we are interested always in teaching and learning, but that can be at all different levels.”

Harvard Art Museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. More information can be found here.