MIT's public art collection has been named one of the 10 best campus art collections in America by Public Art Review, considered the leading national journal in the field of public art.
The announcement was made in the magazine's Spring/Summer 2006 "Art on Campus" issue.
Administered by MIT's List Visual Arts Center, the Institute's collection of public art consists of nearly 50 public artworks plus approximately 1,600 permanent works, many of which are displayed in offices and other semi-public spaces.
Public Art Review determined its "Big Ten" by polling 500 art professionals, architects and artists, taking into account the sculpture and new architecture on campuses. MIT's acclaimed outdoor sculpture collection features works by international artists such as Alexander Calder, Henry Moore and Louise Nevelson.
"MIT's got a great public program, with great artists and world-class architecture," said Jack Becker, editor and publisher of Public Art Review. "Plus [they're] a part of the community, which isn't always the case when colleges are a separate independent entity."
MIT's Percent-for-Art policy, established in 1968, allots funds to commission art for each new major renovation or building project on campus. The program brings internationally known artists into the architectural design and planning process. MIT's Percent-for-Art policy is unusual for a private university, according to Patricia Fuller, curator of public art at MIT, who notes that most similar programs are mandated by legislation at state universities.
"Through the Public Art Program MIT students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to live with works by some of the most important artists working today. Similarly, selecting the artists and implementing their works provides artists direct contact to great scientists and scholars. It's a wonderful process, and I feel it's a privilege to be a part of it," said Jane Farver, director of the List Visual Arts Center.
The other schools named to Public Art Review's "Big Ten" are Arizona State University in Tempe, Johnson County Community College in Kansas, Pratt Institute in New York City, Texas Tech, the University of South Florida, Western Washington University, Wichita State University, the University of California at San Diego and the University of Minnesota at Minneapolis/St. Paul.
For more information, visit web.mit.edu/lvac or call 617-253-4400.