Harriet Warm recalls the first work of art she ever purchased. It was a signed Pablo Picasso print of a nude, which she still owns. Harriet was at Wellesley College exploring a love of art history and a burgeoning interest in contemporary art. She paid $75 for the Picasso.
Harriet shared her passion for art and collecting with her late husband, Dick Blum, and together they grew their collection, acquiring mostly contemporary works that represented exceptional artistic quality and brought them lasting enjoyment. Collecting art remains an important part of Harriet’s life and something she shares with her six children and 13 grandchildren.
Harriet became more involved with the CMA when she joined the Womens Council in 1995. She was delighted to discover the many opportunities available to her to engage with the museum and its programs. In 2002, Harriet and Dick became Museum Associates participants (now called Inside the CMA), which introduced them to even more facets of the museum. Their involvement continued to expand when they joined several director-led trips. Harriet describes their motivation: “The more you are involved, the more you see.”
In 2016, Harriet helped to establish a Leadership Circle committee, which she co-chaired with Dick. At the time, the Leadership Circle comprised just 12 members who sought to expand the program and to build upon museum membership and increase donor involvement. Harriet and Dick’s forward-thinking vision for the group was the catalyst for what is now an enormously successful program—with Leadership Circle membership growing to over 400 households in 2023.
Still active with Womens Council, and a member of the Painting and Drawing Society, Asian Art Society, Contemporary Art Society, Friends of African and African American Art, and Friends of Photography, Harriet and her guiding influence and enthusiastic presence across a variety of programs inspire the entire CMA community.
Harriet’s philanthropic giving to the CMA is also extraordinary. She provides generous support to major initiatives and has gifted significant artworks to the museum’s permanent collection. Her recent, impactful endowment gift—in honor of Dick—will advance the success of groundbreaking special exhibitions in perpetuity. Additionally, Harriet has chosen to provide multiyear support to the CMA Fund for Exhibitions as well as a multiyear commitment to the Leadership Circle. These incredible gestures will dramatically shape the future of the CMA by providing general operating support and bringing compelling exhibitions to all audiences.
Harriet’s caring and intentional service to the CMA is comprehensive and selfless, and yet her dedication to discovery and learning is perhaps her greatest contribution—inspiring others through her actions, enthusiasm, and unbridled curiosity. She says of her dedication to the CMA: “I have received much more than I have given.”