About

Just as MIT pushes at the frontiers of scientific inquiry, it is the mission of the List Visual Arts Center, located on the campus of MIT, to explore challenging, intellectually inquisitive, contemporary art making in all media.

Although best known for annually presenting five to eight changing exhibitions, most accompanied by catalogues, the List Visual Arts Center is active in many areas. The Percent-for-Art Program is developing at an extraordinary rate, as internationally-known artists and architects collaborate on the many new buildings being constructed on campus. The staff of the List Visual Arts Center maintains and develops a Permanent Collection that includes dozens of publicly-sited sculptures by such artists as Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Pablo Picasso, and Alexander Calder, and hundreds of paintings, prints, and photographs located throughout campus buildings and offices. Each year more than 500 works of art, primarily prints and photographs, are borrowed by MIT students through a highly popular Student Loan Art Program.

Mission Statement

To reflect and enhance MIT’s position on the leading edge of investigation into the world, using contemporary art as the vehicle of presentation and analysis

To present, through an ongoing and internationally recognized series of changing exhibitions, the highest quality, most challenging contemporary art and design by professionals practicing in diverse media

To take a national leadership role in bridging the gap and suspicion that exists between contemporary art and its potential audience by providing associated educational activities that create a context for understanding how the contemporary visual arts reflect and express the complex social and cultural issues underlying a changing world

To enhance and enliven the quality of MIT’s visual environment and support the above educational initiative by encouraging direct and daily contact with original works of art through the publicly sited Permanent Collection and the Student Loan Art collections

In pursuit of its mission, the List Visual Arts Center is committed to the principles of artistic and intellectual freedom.

"The great universities have long sought to achieve an environment where distinguished art, architecture, and landscaping are not just embellishments or luxuries, but are an essential and natural part of the process of education and growth..."
former MIT president James Killian