Arts Policy Committee Acquires More Art for University

Posted: February 12, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

This spring, George Mason will receive a loan of 45 plaster casts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The casts of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculptures and reliefs will be a long-term loan to the university, and will be placed in various buildings on all three campuses. They will arrive at the Fairfax Campus this month and, after some cleaning and restoration, they will be placed in George Mason buildings by the end of August.

“We always need more art,” says Carol Mattusch, Arts Policy Committee chair and Mathy Professor of Art History. “The plaster casts will be wonderful for study. They reproduce some of the best-known antiquities from the Mediterranean world–the Parthenon Frieze, the Barberini Faun, the sculptures from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, and a Molossian Hound.”

The Arts Policy Committee was created five years ago to provide clear guidelines and centralized responsibility for art at George Mason, and to give art a presence at the university. So far, the committee has developed gift and loan policies, found exhibition sites for art accepted by the university for its collections, and arranged for installation and conservation of art on campus. The committee is also working to include art in plans for new buildings and spaces in the development of George Mason’s campuses.

Mattusch believes the art chosen for the campuses helps to form an identity for the university. The statue of George Mason, for instance, has become a centerpiece for the Fairfax Campus. It serves as an easily definable landmark and as a specific meeting point on the campus.

“It is our policy to place art in places around campus that will not only define places, but that will also surprise people, give them pleasure, and give each campus a specific character,” says Mattusch.

The committee has published an annotated map of the arts on the Fairfax Campus, as well as several brochures that describe particular objects and collections at George Mason. With the help of students, the committee will also prepare a brochure about the plaster casts.

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