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Skowhegan School Lecture Archive: Overview

The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Lecture Archive is comprised of over 600 audio lectures and transcripts representing the ideas of the finest visual artists, poets, architects, philosophers, curators, and performing artists of our time.

About the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture

Faculty Seminar, 1967. Robert Mangold, Philip Pearlstein, James McGarrell, Sidney Hurwitz, Henry Varnum Poor, Ann Poor, and Ben Shahn

About the Skowhegan Lecture Archive

The Lectures

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.

The Archive

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 ARTstorThe 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 Museums

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:

  • The Archives of American Art, Washington, DC
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, Ryerson Library, Chicago IL
  • The Colby College Museum of Art, Colby College Libraries, Waterville, ME
  • The Getty Research Institute, Research Library, Los Angeles, CA
  • The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY 

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.

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