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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Better than a Ryan Cabrera poster by Matt McGann '00

Want a Warhol in your dorm room?

Want a Warhol in your dorm room?

Today is the final exhibition day of the Student Loan Art Collection at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center. The Student Loan Art Program allows MIT students (and only MIT students) to borrow for the entire academic year one of nearly 350 noted pieces of artwork from MIT’s collection. Artists represented in the collection include:

  • Alexander Calder
  • Mark Chagall
  • Joan Miro
  • Nam June Paik
  • Andy Warhol


Each piece in the collection is framed and signed by a leading contemporary artist. Some are photographs, like the original by the late MIT Professor Harold “Doc” Edgerton at right. Others are more abstract works, like the Francesco Clemente below left. Unfortunately, the online collection (aside from these two and a few others) is only viewable within the MIT community, but the annual fall showing — before it is loaned out to students — is open to the general public.

Students view the collection and enter their top choices into a lottery. Over 4 years, 70% of students should “win” at least one year. And the chances increase as time goes on, as we add pieces to the collection each year.

Selected students pick up their art beginning on Wednesday. Any winnings not collected by Friday are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to any student who lost out in the lottery. The LVAC site writes about this plan B, “Each year, bleary-eyed students wake up early to be at the head of the line outside the gallery doors for a second chance to participate in this extraordinarily popular program.”

The artwork is the student’s to keep until the following May. What a way to decorate your room! Whoever said MIT students don’t know fine art?

3 responses to “Better than a Ryan Cabrera poster”

  1. Angie says:

    That’s awesome! It’s extra stuff like, that that makes MIT even more unique… Definetly better that a Ryan Cabrera poster haha! :D

  2. Cinjon says:

    That is just plainly awesome. My physics teacher has a miniature of that poster of the “apple-bullet in slow time” in his room, so now I get to score some snickers by informing him of the photographer. Schwing.

  3. Sam says:

    I always try to increase my odds by picking the least attractive works that are still displayable in my room. However, I’ve been unsuccessful for the past two years. This time, I’ve selected a print by Nara of a creepy, bloody-mouthed little girl emerging from the Pacific Ocean and preparing to eat Japan. Wish me luck.