Investment in the arts and humanities is one of the College’s top priorities. With the founding of the Lunder Institute for American Art in 2017, as well as forthcoming projects for a Downtown Arts Collaborative and the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts, Colby has demonstrated how the arts and humanities serve a key role in the liberal arts experience. On this page, we invite you to learn more about Colby’s partnerships and programs in the arts and humanities.
THE LUNDER INSTITUTE FOR AMERICAN ART
During a meeting of the Colby Trustees in Boston on February 2, 2017, Colby announced that it has received another gift of more than $100 million from Peter and Paula Lunder, preeminent collectors of American Art and longtime Colby benefactors. This donation will add nearly 1,150 artworks to the Museum’s collection and will launch the Lunder Institute for American Art, establishing Colby as the only liberal arts college with a world-class art museum and a global research center on American Art. The Lunder Institute will be dedicated to the practice, study, and exhibition of American art, and will transform Colby’s art collection and scholarly activities by bringing together artists, curators, scholars, and students through cross-disciplinary engagement.
This unique group of paintings, sculptures, photography, and works on paper, date from a 1501 engraving by Albrecht Dürer to a 2014 aquatint by Julie Mehretu, and represents more than 150 artists, including: Mary Cassatt, Jasper Johns, Nina Katchadourian, Jacob Lawrence, Maya Lin, Joan Mitchell, Claes Oldenburg, Betye Saar, Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Ai Weiwei, Fred Wilson, and James McNeill Whistler.
These works will have a major impact on the Museum’s acclaimed collection, which previously contained approximately 8,000 works, and will also serve the teaching mission of the Museum and the College by deeply integrating into the curriculum and becoming a vibrant part of college life.
We hope you make plans to visit the Museum and the new Lunder Institute for American Art, and we look forward to working with you as we continue to invest in the arts at Colby and build an exciting destination for artist, scholars, curators, and visitors.
Carolyn Muzzy Director of the Colby College Museum of Art and Chief Curator
Director of the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs at Colby College
PARTNERSHIPS AND PROGRAMS
CENTER FOR THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES
We aim to make the Humanities the conceptual and physical crossroads of the campus, where students and faculty meet to research, study, and debate topics of shared concern and to create a vibrant culture of creative and innovative work in the various fields that comprise the Arts and Humanities.
—William D. Adams, President of Colby College (2000-2014)
The Center, established through an extraordinary grant in 2012 from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, celebrates the pivotal role of the arts and humanities in the intellectual life of the College and the community, and it promotes the long-term benefits of the skills developed through humanistic research.
Each year, the Center hosts an annual theme with accompanying guest lectures, courses, humanities labs, and events. The 2017 Center for the Arts and Humanities theme, Origins, took an interdisciplinary look into where we come from and where our world is going. On April 3, 2018, Colby welcomed Dr. Cornel West to campus as the Center’s keynote speaker.
The humanities will play an even larger role in Colby’s expanding cross-campus and multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the environment.
A grant award from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has launched an environmental humanities initiative building on current and existing strengths, particularly with the College’s Environmental Studies Program, and establishing an innovative new research and teaching focus at Colby.
This new focus will bring artistic, cultural, ethical, historical, and literary perspectives to environmental topics and will enhance opportunities for faculty collaboration across disciplines and departments, linking courses and scholarship while supporting new curricular connections across the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.