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Public art curator leads IAP tour of MIT collection

Pablo Picasso, Louise Nevelson, Henry Moore and Alexander Calder have more than their international fame in common--they all also have works on the MIT campus.

On Monday, Jan. 22, Patricia Fuller, curator of public art at MIT, will lead a tour of some of MIT's extensive collection of public art--"art not in a permanent museum collection," according to Fuller.

The tour, which will begin in the Zesiger Center, will focus on the newest pieces in the collection, including Matthew Ritchie's three-part installation called "Games of Chance and Skill," opposite the swimming pool in Zesiger; "Blue Poles," Sarah Sze's small-scale blue fire escape sculpture in Sidney-Pacific Graduate Residence; Dan Graham's "Yin/Yang Pavilion" sculpted of glass, steel, water and gravel in Simmons Hall and Jorge Pardo's "Untitled" ceiling installation in NW-30.

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 semipublic spaces.

All of the pieces on Monday's tour were commissioned by MIT's Percent-for-Art program. The program brings internationally known artists into the architectural design and planning process of MIT's new buildings with specific funds to commission art for each new major renovation or building project.

The Percent-for-Art program has brought much attention to MIT's extensive public art collection. In 2006, the Institute's collection was 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.

"MIT's got a great public program, with great artists and world-class architecture," said Jack Becker, editor and publisher of Public Art Review, last summer. "Plus (they're) a part of the community, which isn't always the case when colleges are a separate independent entity."

The two-hour IAP tour will focus on only the newest pieces and is open to the public, said Fuller. "We get so many requests to see them," she said. "I thought it would be a fun thing for IAP and would help make the works more accessible to people."

Monday's tour starts at 3 p.m. and will convene in the Zesiger Center (W35-199). It runs until 5 p.m. For more information, please see

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