Since 1996, full-time undergraduate and graduate students at MIT have been sharing their living spaces and offices with original prints, posters and photographs by the likes of Berenice Abbott, Alexander Calder, Jasper Johns, Robert Motherwell and Andy Warhol. The works -- over 300 signed posters, prints and photographs by 20th century artists -- are part of the List Visual Art Center's Student Loan Art Collection, on view to the public in the List Center galleries (Building E15) through Monday, Sept. 20.
After students peruse the gallery and sign up for their top three choices of artworks, the pieces are awarded through a lottery system.
While the lottery is for MIT students only, the annual Student Loan Art Exhibition is a favorite of many members of the MIT community and general public, who come back each year to view the collection. Gallery hours are daily from noon-6pm. For more information, call x3-4680.
Jill Aszling, the fine arts registrar of the List Center, provided some interesting facts about the collection:
Number of works in Student Loan collection: 309
Average yearly number of students requesting works: 550
Number of artists represented in collection: 195
Number of living artists represented in the collection: 183
Number of works by Andy Warhol: 1
Number of works by Berenice Abbott: 24
Number of lithographs by Joan Miro: 16
Most unusual work: Sol Lewitt's Wall Drawing #869C -- a conceptual artwork in which the student makes a wall drawing using instructions from the artist.
Student favorites (varies greatly): 1. Neil Welliver's Landscapes 2. Karl Gerstner's Color Sounds II 3. Miro's Untitled lithographs.
Jill Aszling's favorite: Lesley Dill's The Poetic Body: Poem Gloves, 1992.
New works available for loan: Nine pieces by artists Bourgeois, Tiravanija, Stroud, Shepherd, Wozniakowska, Rollins/K.O.S., Cambronne, Conner and Eliasson located on the north face wall of the gallery (walk in, make the right hand turn, turn left and left again).
Latest artistic technique: IRIS (intense resolution imaging system) prints are made on a special high-resolution ink jet printer. The collection has two of these works.
The latest acquisitions, which will be available for loan next year, are hanging in the 3rd floor mezzanine of the Student Center.
A version of this article appeared in the September 15, 1999 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 44, Number 5).