The Program for Harvard College has received a $1.5 million gift to establish a center for the Visual Arts, Alexander M. White '25, general chairman of the fund, announced last night.
White, speaking to 1400 prominent Bostonians at two simultaneous dinners in the Statler and Somerset Hotels, said that Mr. and Mrs. Alfred St. Vrain Carpenter of Medford, Oregon, have offered "to completely underwrite a Harvard Visual Arts Center."
No location was announced for the new building, which will promote various visual arts, including painting, sculpture, drawing, scenic design, and shopwork.
The structure will house a Design Workshop for the architectural sciences and will contain facilities to promote student creativity in photography, woods, stone, metals, and ceramics.
Studies for visiting artists, to allow them to confer with students and work on individual projects during their stay at the University, will be an added feature of the new building.
Operate Pear Orchards
Mr. and Mrs. Carpenter, donors of the new building, operate pear orchards in Oregon. Their interest in the visual arts was greatly stimulated when their son, Harlow Carpenter '50, of Waitsfield, Vt., received a master's degree from the Graduate School of Design in 1956. The elder Mr. Carpenter is a member of the Class of 1905.
Chairman White also reported that the fund has received five individual gifts, including the Carpenter grant, each over one million dollars. Only one of the other four donations, from John L. Loeb '24, to establish a theatre, has been designated for a special use.
Since the program began, in June, 1956, White said, "$22 million has been pitched into the barn, and that isn't hay." He expects the fund to reach $30 million in an extremely short time "if all pledges now made come through in writing."
White said that the Program hopes to complete its drive for $82.5 million by June, 1958.