2019-2020 Policy Library 
    Nov 26, 2022  
2019-2020 Policy Library [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Public Art Program and Policy

Approved by: Board of Trustees
Issued: October 4, 2008
Revised:  May 15, 2010
Revised: September 30, 2016
Revised: September 20, 2017

Related Polices: NA
Additional References: CMC Master Plan
Responsible Official: Office of Vice President for Business and Administration and Treasurer

Program and Policy Statement

“Public Art” is defined as permanent or long-term art in public spaces on campus. This Public Art Program and Policy addresses the review, acquisition, acceptance, siting, and de-accessioning of Public Art. The Public Art Program and Policy is overseen by the Public Art Committee, which is a standing subcommittee of the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees. Once accepted or commissioned, public art becomes the management responsibility of the Office of the Vice President for Business and Administration. 


Entities Covered

All units of the College



Questions about this policy may be addressed to:

Office of the Vice President for Business and Administration and Treasurer 

Telephone: (909) 621-8116



Public Art: Public Art at CMC is considered to be permanent or long-term art in public spaces on campus, including all outdoor campus space and interior public spaces such as lobbies, social spaces, etc.  The Public Art Committee does not presume any authority over works of art, photographs, etc. that faculty and staff place on view in their offices or that departments install in their offices and teaching spaces.  Public Art is considered permanent if it is installed with no anticipated time limit or duration. Also included and subject to the same proscribed guidelines are loans of art. This policy does not address student or faculty art installations with a defined time limit.


Public Art Program and Policy Discussion

A. Mission and Values

Through a robust public art program CMC seeks to enrich the cultural, intellectual and scholarly life of CMC and the Claremont community. The integration of public art into CMC’s traditions of a residential liberal arts college serves to augment and enhance our core institutional values.  The CMC Public Art Program cares for existing works of public art as well as advocating for and securing new works of campus art.

B. Public Art Program Focus

The Public Art Program encompasses commissions, purchases, gifts and loans, and that it will prioritize or focus on contemporary art post-1960.

C. Commissions

With respect to commissions, CMC’s goal is the building and maintaining throughout the campus a unique collection of contemporary and site-specific sculptures by leading artists of our time.

Toward this end, the Public Art Committee oversees the recruitment and designation of a panel of art experts (e.g., museum directors, curators and art academics), which shall be known as the Public Art Commissioning Panel. Under the direction of the Public Art Committee, the Commissioning Panel will meet periodically for purposes of identifying artists, seeking proposals and making recommendations for future commissions. More than one artist may be identified and competing proposals may be considered. Through this process, the placement of future commissions on the CMC campus will be jointly decided by the artist, the Public Art Committee, and the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee.

D. Purchases, Gifts and Loans - Review Process and Criteria for Acceptance or Rejection

Purchases, gifts and loans will exclusively fall under the purview of the Public Art Committee for consideration and acceptance based on the criteria set forth below.

As a first step, all proposals for new works of art on campus will initially be submitted to the Chairs of the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee and Public Art Committee for initial review as to artistic merit prior to consideration by the Public Art Committee. As a matter of practice, loans or gifts with an appraised value of $15,000 or greater will be reviewed and voted on by the PAC for acceptance at its regularly scheduled meetings in October or May, or at a special meeting if appropriate. In any case, any purchase, loan or gift materials must be submitted at least two weeks in advance of a scheduled meeting in order to be considered for acceptance. Gifts or loans appraised at $15,000 or less can be approved by the affirmative votes of the Chairs of the Campus Planning and Facilities and the Public Art Committee.

The Public Art Committee will use the following criteria in considering purchases, gifts or loans of Public Art:

  • The proposed purchase, gift or loan shall display a high level of artistic quality and craftsmanship that supports and enhances the mission of CMC. Gifts or loans contemplated for campus public space shall be of sufficiently high quality to merit inclusion into CMC’s permanent collection.
  • The “message” of proposed artwork, if any, shall be acceptable to current standards and policies of the CMC community.
  • An appropriate site in campus public space shall be available.
  • The proposed purchase, gift or loan shall be structurally sound and present no environmental or safety hazard.
  • The condition or security of the artwork cannot be reasonably guaranteed.
  • An external funding source to cover all costs of acquisition, purchase, shipping, installation, de-installation, wall-to-wall insurance, appraisal, and maintenance shall be determined prior to acceptance. Note: This criterion may be waived in exceptional circumstances by the Board of Trustees. If sufficient funding is not immediately available.
  • Donor’s written statement detailing provenance and confirming that s/he has good title to the work, including purchase records.
  • Authenticity of the work shall be established while cataloging new acquisitions.

The Public Art Committee will consider Loans on a consistent basis with the guidelines identified for Purchases, Gifts and Loans. All loans are subject to the Review Process and Criteria for Acceptance outlined above with one additional consideration of loan duration. A minimum five year loan period should be a standard. The Public Art Committee may consider other loan periods on a case by case basis.

E. Locations

Outdoor Locations

In general, and particularly with respect to commissions, it is the intention of the Public Art Committee to allow the artist to advocate for a particular location on campus for the installation of the artwork.

At the same time, it is important to provide an artist and the community as a whole with the broad context of the College’s Master Plan, including locations of any existing outdoor installations, and locations that have been identified by the Committee as potential opportunities for the future siting of public art.

With that context in mind, attached as Exhibit E is a campus map designating existing outdoor art installations and prospective sites considered priorities for future installations.

Interior Locations

The Public Art Committee plans to establish general guidelines to assist the College in considering possible interior locations for public art throughout the Campus, with a focus on the more public or civic buildings throughout the campus (i.e., non-residential). Placement in residential buildings can be considered on a case by case basis, typically as a lower priority with art work of lesser value.

F. Temporary Installations

The College welcomes temporary installations in public spaces organized by departments or individuals.  The Public Art Committee is generally not involved in monitor short exhibits (six weeks or less). Approval for faculty-initiated temporary installations should be obtained by the Dean of the Faculty’s Office.  Approval for student-initiated temporary installations should be obtained by the Dean of Students Office.

G. Record Keeping and Oversight

Accepted Public Art becomes the management responsibility of the Office of the Vice President for Business and Administration, which responsibility shall include maintaining permanent documentation and other record-keeping for the artwork.

The Director of Board Relations in that office will assume the role as Collection Manager and be assigned the responsibility for overall stewardship of CMC’s public art and will staff the Public Art Committee. A unique database for art will be maintained along with an ongoing program of maintenance, annual condition reports and updated appraisals for insurance purposes.

In addition the Collection Manager will be responsible for creating and maintaining a dedicated website for the CMC Public Art Program. Identifying information will be provided for each artwork covering its title, artist name and biography, location on campus and characteristics of each work in respect to medium used, date completed, whether unique or part of a series, and attribution of benefactor responsible for the gift or loan, if desired. The Collection Manager will also have prepared “labels” for artwork sited indoors or plaques for artwork outdoors. Any monographs prepared to highlight any important new work of art either purchased or commissioned would also fall under the supervision of the Collection Manager.

H. Ownership; Intellectual Property Rights

Ownership, intellectual property rights, and other relevant contractual terms will be set forth in relevant agreement between College on the one hand and the artist, donor, or lender on the other hand. See Exhibit D for standardized forms for use for documenting Commissions, Purchases, Gifts and Loans.

The College will seek to secure appropriate rights to publish images of the artwork in non-commercial publications or on the College’s website.

The College, with the approval of the Public Art Committee, will also seek to reserve the right to sell or donate works of Public Art in appropriate cases. Proceeds realized from the sale of any works of Public Art are to held for future purchases, commissions or otherwise support the mission of the Public Art Program.

I. De-accessioning

The Public Art Committee may consider the de-accessioning of Public Art for one or more of the following reasons in the event that it cannot be re-sited:

  • A work is not, or is only rarely, on display because of lack of a suitable site.
  • The artwork has been damaged or has deteriorated and repair is impractical or unfeasible.
  • The artwork endangers public safety.
  • In the case of site-specific artwork, the artwork’s relationship to the site is altered because of changes to the site.
  • The artwork has been determined to be incompatible within the context of the collection.
  • The College, with the concurrence of the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee, wishes to replace the artwork with work of more significance by the same artist.
  • The artwork requires excessive maintenance or has faults of design or workmanship.

J. Insurance

The CUC Director of Risk Management should be contacted by the Collection Manager when an item of public art is added to, or eliminated from the campus by de-accession or otherwise, to make sure adequate and appropriate insurance is provided. Coverage is to be provided for all public art campus wide including loans. In addition, the Collection Manager will provide periodic appraisal updates.

With respect to outside art, insurance coverage is provided under the Property insurance policy for The Claremont Colleges.  The value of the artwork is included in the College’s property inventory and the premiums would be allocated based on the percentage of the artwork’s value against the total TCC pr