Guide to the Records of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Art Committee
AC.0066

Summary Information

Repository
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
Creator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Art Committee
Title
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Art Committee records
ID
AC.0066
Date [inclusive]
1960-1973
Extent
1.0 cubic feet (1 record carton)
Location
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.
Language
English
Abstract
The collection of the Art Committee covers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) covers the period 1960-1973. Materials document committee work and development of programs for the arts at MIT. The records were kept by Catherine N. Stratton (wife of MIT president Julius Stratton), a founder and active member of the Art Committee, and its successor organization, the MIT Council for the Arts. The collection contains correspondence, minutes and agendas of meetings, news releases, news clippings, working notes, and other records concerning the committee's efforts to build a permanent art collection at the Institute, the placement of specific works of art on campus, information about exhibits, and discussion of the visual arts and programs focusing on the visual arts.

Citation

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Art Committee Records, AC 66. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Historical note

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Art Committee was started by Julius A. Stratton (MIT president, 1959-1966) and was initially known as “Friends of Arts at MIT." Catherine N. Stratton was a founding member of the committee and continued to work actively for many years to secure support for the arts. By 1960 the committee was more organized and used the name Art Committee. Initial projects included working with an existing faculty Museum Committee responsible for Hayden Gallery programs, headed by Professor Herbert Beckwith, and also advising the president on gifts of art. By 1961, the committee also sponsored sales of contemporary art and began building a collection of contemporary art including outdoor sculptures for the MIT campus. The committee studied and advocated for the visual arts, which led to the appointment of a separate Committee on the Visual Arts in 1966 to coordinate the non-curricular program of visual arts at MIT, and the establishment of the Center for Visual Arts in 1967, headed by professor Gyorgy Kepes. The Art Committee was at the same time considering its own future structure and the goal of a larger “arts council” which came into being in 1971 under MIT President Howard Johnson as the “Council for the Arts.” The council was composed of a nationally-based select group of MIT alumni, friends of the arts, faculty, staff, and students. James Killian (MIT president, 1949-1959) and Jerome Wiesner (MIT president, 1971-1980) were also closely involved with the Art Committee and the Council for the Arts. Earlier in 1949, Dr. Wiesner and Dr. Stratton were members of the Committee on Educational Survey, which produced the “Lewis” report that was instrumental in articulating a strong role for the humanities and arts on the MIT campus.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections (Copyright 2010)

MIT Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-4307
617.253.5690
mithistory@mit.edu

Access note

The collection is open for research.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the creating office.

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Related Materials

Related Materials in the MIT Archives

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Committee on the Visual Arts records (AC 48)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the Arts records (AC 230)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Office of the President, 1959-1966, records of Julius A. Stratton (AC 134)

Catherine N. Stratton papers (MC 426)

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Council for the Arts at MIT
  • Friends of the Arts of MIT
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Art Committee
  • MIT Committee on the Visual Arts

Personal Name(s)

  • Kepes, Gyorgy, 1906-2001
  • Stratton, Catherine N.

Subject(s)

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology--History.
  • Science and the arts.

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Bibliography

Art Education for Scientist and Engineer: The Role of the Visual Arts in Modern Education. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1957, 1964.

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes, exhibitions, shows/reviews files 1960-1962 

1 1-4

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Committee membership, policy, letters, conversations, minutes, reports, foundations, publicity, by-laws, acquistions, other arts centers, sculpture files 1962-1964 

1 5-9

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Committee board, minutes, friends, expanded program, gallery, collection, finances, exhibitions, correspondence, by-laws, art education files 1963 

1 10-12

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Marx scholarship donors list circa 1964 

Access note

This file of donor information is restricted.

1 13

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Visual arts articles 1965 

1 14

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Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes 1965-1966 

1 15-16

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Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes 1966-1967 

1 17-21

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Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes 1968-1969 

1 22-23

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Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes 1969 

1 24-25

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Committee correspondence, by-laws, minutes 1969-1971 

1 26

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Committee records 1970 

1 27

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Council for the Arts records 1971 

1 28

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Council for the Arts records 1972 

1 29-32

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Council for the Arts records 1973 

1 33

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