2023-2024 Policy Library 
    Jun 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Policy Library

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

Revised: September 28, 2023
Related Polices: NA
Additional References: CMC Master Plan
Responsible Official: Director of Public Art

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 Subcommittee, 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 Director of Public Art under the oversight of the Office of the Vice President for Campus Planning and Capital Projects. 

Entities Covered

All units of the College



Questions about this policy may be addressed to:

Director of Public Art

Telephone: (909) 607-2275



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 subcommittee 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. Goals and Values

Through a robust public art program CMC seeks to integrate arts into all aspects of campus life and provide an opportunity to engage with the arts and others constructively. The addition of public art on the CMC campus serves to augment and enhance core institutional values of a residential liberal arts college and support CMC’s distinct mission. 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 and that of living artists.

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 Subcommittee oversees the recruitment and designation, as commission opportunities arise, of a panel of art experts (e.g., museum directors, curators and art academics), called the Art Advisory Panel. Under the direction of the Public Art Subcommittee, the Art Advisory Panel will meet to review active proposals. Generally, more than one artist may be identified for a commission and competing proposals will be considered. Through this process, the placement of future commissions on the CMC campus will be jointly decided by the artist, the Public Art Subcommittee, with endorsement by the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee and the final approval of the Board of Trustees.

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 Subcommittee 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 Chair of the Public Art Subcommittee for initial review as to artistic merit prior to consideration by the full Public Art Subcommittee. As a matter of practice, loans or gifts with an appraised value of $50,000 or greater will be reviewed and voted on by the subcommittee for acceptance at its regularly scheduled meetings in Fall or Spring, 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 less than $50,000 can be accepted or declined by the Chair of the Public Art Subcommittee who will inform the subcommittee by e-mail of their intention pending the subcommittee’s request for further discussion. The Chair reserves the right to bring any gift or loan regardless of value to the subcommittee for its review at any time.

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

  • The proposed purchase, gift or loan displays a high level of artistic quality and craftsmanship that supports and enhances the mission of CMC. Gifts or loans contemplated for campus public space will be of sufficiently high quality to merit inclusion into CMC’s permanent collection.
  • The “message” of proposed artwork, if any, is acceptable to current standards and policies of the CMC community.
  • An appropriate site in campus public space is available.
  • The proposed purchase, gift or loan is structurally sound and presents 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 is 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 they have good title to the work, including purchase records.
  • Authenticity of the work is established while cataloguing new acquisitions.

The Public Art Subcommittee 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 standard. The Public Art Subcommittee may consider other loan periods on an individual basis.

E. Locations

Outdoor Locations

In general, and particularly with respect to commissions, it is the intention of the Public Art Subcommittee 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 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 Subcommittee in consultation with the Campus Planning and Facilities Committee as potential opportunities for the future siting of public art.

Interior Locations

The Public Art Subcommittee maintains 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 an individual basis, typically as a lower priority with artwork of lesser value.

F. Temporary Installations

The College welcomes temporary installations in public spaces organized by departments or individuals.  The Public Art Subcommittee is generally not involved in monitoring short exhibits (six weeks or less). In consultation with the Director of Public Art, approval for faculty-initiated temporary installations should be obtained by the Dean of the Faculty’s Office and 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 Director of Public Art, and responsibility will include maintaining permanent documentation and other record-keeping for the artwork.

The Director of Public Art will be assigned the responsibility for overall stewardship of CMC’s public art and will staff the Public Art Subcommittee. Inventory for art will be maintained along with an ongoing program of maintenance, annual condition reports and updated appraisals for insurance purposes.

In addition, the Director of Public Art 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 Director of Public Art 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 Director of Public Art.

H. Ownership; Intellectual Property Rights

Ownership, intellectual property rights, and other relevant contractual terms will be set forth in relevant agreement between the College on the one hand and the artist, donor, or lender on the other hand.  Standardized forms will be used 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 Subcommittee, 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 Subcommittee may consider the de-accessioning of Public Art for one or more of the following reasons if 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 Claremont Colleges Director of Risk Management should be contacted by the Director of Public Art 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 Director of Public Art will provide periodic appraisal updates.

With respect to outside art, insurance coverage is provided under the Property insurance policy for The Claremont Colleges.  The deductible is $5,000 per occurrence.  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 property values.