Harvard: the Politics of Art

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Harvard University has become concerned that too many of the portraits that decorate campus are of white men. There are 750 oil portraits on campus. Some 690 of them are of white dudes.

So it’s time to diversify, reports the Boston Globe. According to an article by Tracy Jan:

Groundwork for the minority-portraiture project was laid by a group of minority students who surveyed the portraits hanging in university buildings in 2000. They expressed their concern about the lack of diversity to Sandra Grindlay, then-curator of the university portrait collection.

“They were just looking around and feeling like they could not identify with this institution that had this kind of materials on the walls,’’ said Grindlay, who retired in August.

That is, of course, because most major financial donations to Harvard were made by white men.

The full cost of attending Harvard as an undergraduate, meanwhile, is now $50,724 year. This would seem to ensure that the number of ethnic minorities at the school will remain rather limited. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer