In 1952 Skowhegan began an on-campus lecture series that continues to this day. Speakers include resident and visiting faculty as well as distinguished guests. The lectures collectively represent the depth and breadth of post-war American art, including talks on contemporary art and ideas by visual artists, poets, architects, philosophers, journalists, curators, historians, composers, and choreographers.
These recorded lectures have been compiled as an audio collection consisting of more than 600 talks on more than 800 compact discs. The audio lecture CDs and transcripts are available for public use within Bixler Art and Music Library upon request.
In 2019, the Skowhegan School audio lectures became available on ARTstor, as a Colby College institutional collection. Any authenticated user may now listen to these lectures within ARTstor. The audio archive is a unique resource: unlike many artists’ talks, the lectures were originally intended for art students and fellow artists. Speakers often address broader issues that affect artists and offer both philosophical and practical advice. Artists included represent a broad array of visual and performing artists, writers and philosophers: Jacob Lawrence, Alex Katz, Yvonne Jacquette, Bill T. Jones, Merce Cunningham, and many others.
The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts, The W.L.S. Spencer Foundation, and The Henry R. Luce Foundation, originally donated copies of the Skowhegan Lecture Archive to five American art institutions:
Since 2005, The Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, MA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Yale University, the Tate Britain, and others have joined the list of repositories.