Collections

In addition to changing exhibition in our galleries, the List oversees permanent and public art collections across the Institute, as well as MIT’s Percent-for-Art program. 

The collections distinguish themselves from conventional museum holdings not only by the focus on contemporary art, but also by public visibility. The Institute itself has become the museum, with works of art sited either outdoors or in offices, lobbies, libraries, corridors, and conference rooms, thus becoming integrated into daily life and working situations of those affiliated with MIT and of MIT’s many visitor populations — visiting scholars, students, parents, alumni, and friends.

Visitors can enjoy a customized, self-guided tour of public art and architecture across the Institute through our Public Art Map and Audio Guide. The Audio Guide features an introduction to MIT’s public art collection by actor, film director, and photographer Leonard Nimoy. Visitors can listen to commentary by artists, architects, scholars, and curators—including Victor Burgin, Dan Graham, Cai Guo-Qiang, Beverly Pepper, Jaume Plensa, Matthew Ritchie, Sarah Sze, and Lawrence Weiner—focusing on 51 works of art and architecture located throughout the campus.

Audio content can be accessed by viewing individual works of art on our website, by calling the toll-free phone number listed on artwork signage, or scanning an art object’s QR code.

Artwork from our permanent collection is also available for on-campus loans to the MIT community through the Student Loan Art Program and Campus Loan Art Program.