Harvard Public Art Tours: Allston

Named after Washington Allston—a visionary painter and 1800 Harvard graduate—the town of Allston features vibrant, eclectic art that reflects the neighborhood's creativity and diversity. On this self-guided tour, you'll discover "can't-miss" public art installations along Western Avenue (and beyond!) and learn the stories behind them and their artists. Follow along to explore hand-painted murals, sky-high sculptures, 25-cent art prints, and more!

Discover Public Art

Take this free, self-guided tour by downloading the Visit Harvard mobile app,
available on iOS and Android devices.

Download on the Apple App Store    Download on Google Play

What You'll See:

Walls on Western Garage Murals

12 Murals

Pictured: Hand-painted murals featured on the Walls on Western garage at Zone 3.

Quest Eternal sculpture

10 Sculptures

Pictured: The bronze sculpture, 'Quest Eternal' as seen near the entrance of Smithfield Playground in Allston.

WE ALL installation

And More!

Pictured: Art installation 'WE ALL' in The Grove, a pocket park on the corner of North Harvard St. & Western Ave.

  • What You'll Learn:

    Presence Sculpture


    Stories behind the art

    Pictured: Presence by Mary Frank, 1985–86, bronze. HBS Art and Artifacts Collection
  • What You'll Learn:

    Artist IMAGINE posing by their mural, Saya Patri (One With One Hundred Petals)


    Artist inspirations

    Pictured: The artist, IMAGINE (aka Sneha Shrestha), posing in front of the mural 'Saya Patri (One With a Hundred Petals)'
  • What You'll Learn:

    Interconnected - Sophy Tuttle


    Local history

    Pictured: 'Interconnected' by Sophy Tuttle, painted on the facade of the old New England Deposit Library

..

Choose Your Own Path:

Whether you only have 30 minutes or you're on your way to/from Cambridge, we've compiled a list of recommended routes for you to take in order to get the best tour experience! Find previews below and learn more by downloading the Visit Harvard app!

Download on the Apple App Store    Download on Google Play

Photo by Paul Connors/Media News Group/Boston Herald

Playground Path

Going to the Smith Field Playground? This route features stops between Zone 3 and Trader Joe's—with plenty of time to take a ride down a slide!

 

Allumination art installation

Short On Time

Are you strapped for time? Need a new dog walking route? Take a quick and easy stroll along Western Avenue for beautiful murals by local artists. Route highlight: Get your quarter out for your own copy of Art in Print!

Search sculpture

Coffee & Greenspace

Stop in one of several bakeries or cafes for a coffee (and a sweet treat!) before making your way towards the Harvard Business School campus, featuring sky-high sculptures and innovative art installations.

Views of Canadian Geese on the Charles River, Weeks Bridge, and Dunster House

Crossing the Bridge

Are you coming from or heading to Cambridge? Check out the art installations closest to this commute and learn about Harvard's cultural initiatives along the way. Route Highlight: Take a peek into Harvard's 15,856 sq ft ceramics studio!

The Science and Engineering Complex

Campus Loop

Hit all the tour stops located around Harvard's Allston campus, including the ArtLab, Harvard Business School, Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Complex, and the Harvard Ed Portal.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Visit Harvard mobile app?

Visit Harvard is a free mobile app by the Harvard Visitor Center that features a collection of self-guided tours centered around the Harvard University experience. The Visit Harvard mobile app can be downloaded by anyone with a smartphone, tablet, or desktop, to be enjoyed from wherever you might be visiting, whether it’s in-person or from the comfort of your own home.

What are Harvard Public Art Tours?

The Harvard Public Art Tours are part of a self-guided tour collection that highlights the local art that surrounds—and beautifies— the Harvard community, from hand-painted murals to sky-high sculptures. The first released tour in the collection focuses on the Allston neighborhood, specifically along the Western Avenue corridor and into the Harvard Business School campus. Not only will you be guided to view these artworks in-person, you'll also learn the history behind each piece as well as the artist who created them. The tour features guided mapping, photos, and audio tracks for convenience and accessibility.

In the near future, we will release the next tour in the collection which focuses on the public art throughout Harvard's Cambridge campus.

How long is the mobile tour?

This self-guided tour takes place across 28 mapped stops along Western Avenue, including several stops on Harvard Business School's campus. At a standard walking pace, it will take up to 1 hour to complete the 2 mile long tour.

Note that we have also included information about several shorter tour routes in the app. Some of these routes include options that will only take 30 minutes to complete. You can view this information by downloading the Visit Harvard app and selecting "Harvard Public Art Tours: Allston."

Where does the mobile tour begin?

The official tour route begins at the tour stop Evo, located at 395 Western Avenue, Allston, MA 02134. In the app, we've suggested several other routes that begin at other locations, including the Harvard Business School or Barry's Corner.

What is the terrain like for people who use mobility aids, like wheelchairs or canes?

This self-guided tour takes place on flat terrain (easy grade urban sidewalks) and is mobility-friendly, wheelchair accessible, and stroller-friendly. The self-guided tour also has additional in-app accessibility options for visitors who are visually or hearing impaired, including voiceover and image descriptions.

Can I take the mobile tour in-person or virtually?

This mobile tour is designed to be accessed in-person throughout the Western Avenue corridor in Allston. It can also be viewed from the comfort of your own home. Simply download Visit Harvard in the app store, select the Harvard Public Art Tours: Allston, and begin your journey!

Where can I download the Visit Harvard mobile app?

You can download the Visit Harvard mobile app on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Who should I contact if I have further questions?

For any questions about the Visit Harvard mobile app, you can contact the Harvard Visitor Center.


The Harvard Public Art Tours are part of a collection of self-guided tours featured on the Visit Harvard app by the Harvard Visitor Center. For more information about Visit Harvard or other tour offerings (including virtual and in person student-guided tours), please visit the Harvard Visitor Center's official website.