Student Loan Art Program

A unique and popular MIT tradition, students have been borrowing artwork since 1969, and since 1977 the collection has been exhibited annually every September.  Through this annual loan program, individual students and student groups may borrow original works of art from the collection for their private rooms and communal spaces.  Although only MIT students may borrow work from the exhibition, the galleries and related public programs are open to the general public.

For details about the 2016-2017 Student Loan Art Program Exhibition and Lottery, please visit the exhibition page here

The Collection

The collection now includes more than 500 framed original works of art, primarily prints and photographs by leading artists, which are made available to students for loan each September. The collection is comprised of the Catherine N. Stratton Collection of Graphic Arts, established in 1966, the List Student Loan Collection, established in 1977, and the Ronald A. Kurtz Student Loan Collection, established in 1985. Approximately fifteen new works are added to the collection annually to expand the breadth of its offerings. The previous year’s purchases are exhibited in the Stratton Student Center (Building W20, third floor) for one academic year, after which they are moved to the active collection for borrowing.

The Exhibition and Lottery

During the course of a two-week exhibition in the main galleries, MIT students may view the available artworks in our galleries and register their top five preferences. After the conclusion of the exhibition, List Visual Arts Center staff administer the lottery. Students receive their result via email. Generally about 600 works of art are lent out every year to students.

Undergraduate students who are selected to receive an artwork for the academic year are required to return it to the List Visual Arts Center in May; graduate students have the option to keep artwork until August. If a student leaves MIT before the end of the academic year, he or she is required to return the artwork to the List Visual Arts Center offices before departing. Loans are not transferable.

Program Support

Generous support for this program has been provided by Vera G. List, MIT’s Campus Activities Complex, MIT List Friends of Boston Art, Council for the Arts at MIT, endowments established by John Taylor and Alan May, and new purchases supported by Brit d’Arbeloff, Karen & Greg Arenson, Rhea Cohen, Margaret Anne Cullum, Maryanna McConnell, Jane & Neil Pappalardo, and Susan E. Whitehead.

The Graduate Students’ Reception is supported by Student Life Fees and Christine Ortiz, Dean for Graduate Students.  New acquisitions include generous gifts by Andrew Katz and Melinda Home, Cynthia F. and Dr. Michael W. Weisfield (‘66), Julie and Gerald Jay Sussman, Beth and Richard Marcus, Jeane and Don Stanton, and Sara-Ann Sanders whose gift was provided in honor of Martin Rosen (‘62). 

Having [artwork] in my apartment made me look for beauty in my own ordinary possessions. It made me more aware of everything around me.
Jennifer Schloss, Graduate Student, Course 8 (Physics)