The Art Newspaper follows up on recent stories about the growing number of college-based museum openings with a look at why leading universities like Stanford, Princeton, Duke and Columbia are all launching new museum projects on campus.
The reasoning highlights the pressure that has been building up for institutional collections to acquire art work. Beyond the headline grabbing giga-prices, the long-term price pressure on art comes from the combination of public and private museums that are proliferating around the world:
The rising demand is leading schools that have traditionally marginalised the arts to enter a new kind of arms race. Princeton University in New Jersey “was losing students to some of our rival universities because we didn’t have the visibility in the arts that we should”, says Michael Cadden, the chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts, which anchors a 22-acre, $330m arts-and-transportation hub due to open in October. Princeton has 30% to 40% more students studying the arts than it did ten years ago, according to Cadden. Arts facilities can have a tangible effect on the kind of talent schools attract.
In the decade since Duke Uniersity in North Carolina opened the Nasher Museum of Art, it has seen a steep climb in arts portfolios submitted by prospective students, from 980 in 2006 to more than 2,800 last year. Scott Lindroth, the university’s vice provost for the arts, says that the Nasher “demonstrated very concretely that the arts could play an important role in shaping the cultural climate and the research on campus”. This autumn, Duke is due to open a $50m interdisciplinary arts centre across from the Nasher.
Why US universities are investing in their art museums (The Art Newspaper)