Art Rental Program Lowers Fees, Draws Students

Harvard Art Museums
Students will once again be able to rent artwork from the Harvard Art Museums through the Student Print Rental Program this semester.
As students put the finishing touches on their dorms, the Harvard Art Museums are offering an opportunity to supplement posters and string lights with notable artwork.

Run by the art museums, the Student Print Rental Program allows students staying in campus housing to rent a print for the academic year. Students may select from a collection of over 250 works of art that include well-known artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, and Andy Warhol.

According to Associate Curator of Prints Elizabeth M. Rudy, the curatorial staff evaluates the program’s existing collection every summer, choosing “interesting” pieces in good condition.

“We’re also looking for prints that are very fresh—that is to say, very contemporary—that we think would be inspiring for students to live with for a year,“ Rudy said.

New this year is a discounted rental price: citing a desire to increase the program’s accessibility, overseer of the program Jessica M. Diedalis lowered the rental price from $50 to $30. Students unable to afford the price saw their fee waived.

“We hoped this adjustment would reach a broader audience in the Harvard community so that more people could enjoy art in their living spaces and really make it a part of their everyday lives,” Diedalis said.

According to Diedalis, the program saw a “really great, positive response” this year and ran out of prints by 2:30 p.m. on the second day of the rental period. The museums offered last-minute rentals during the Harvard Student Late Night at the art museums Thursday, when dozens more students showed up.

Several attendees said that they were hoping to take advantage of Harvard’s resources by participating in the program.

“We thought it would add a nice touch to our room and also make good use of Harvard’s resources,” said Nazeli I. Hagen ’21, who attended the Late Night event with her roommates. “How often can you say you have an actual piece of art in your room for only 30 dollars?”

Justin J. Hancock ’21, who also attended Late Night, said that he was looking to add some decoration to his Thayer dorm room.

“I think it’s really important to create an atmosphere of having a room be some place that you want to live in, and so having this amazing art in your room really provides life to the room,” Hancock said.

—Staff writer Angela N. Fu can be reached at angela.fu@thecrimson.com. Follow her on Twitter @angelanfu.

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