I am writing to let you know that the portraits hanging in the Coolidge Room at Ballou Hall will be removed this week so the space can be configured as a classroom. The conversion of Coolidge Room into a classroom space is part of the effort to utilize additional spaces on campus for in-person classes while allowing for appropriate social distancing. We do have a university policy about not displaying artwork in classrooms and while these are certainly unanticipated and extraordinary times, we think it best to relocate the portraits, and display the most recent of them elsewhere in Ballou.
The portraits of Larry Bacow, John DiBiaggio, and Jean Mayer will be placed at alternate locations within Ballou Hall, while the remaining portraits will be audited, and placed temporarily in storage, so we can document their condition, and perform conservation work as needed, prior to returning them to public display on campus.
The transformation of the Coolidge Room into a classroom will provide us with the opportunity to consider appropriate alternate locations on campus for these portraits while also engaging in the broader work of ensuring that art on campus tells a more complete story about our university. We look forward to getting input from the Public Art Committee, which is undertaking a comprehensive audit of art across the Tufts campuses.