Harvard Tries to Diversify Portraits on Campus

WHDH-TV (Boston), November 7, 2010

Harvard University {snip} is hanging portraits of members of its community who are black, Asian and otherwise nonwhite, moving away from a gallery that’s too predominantly white.

A 2002 inventory by the curator of the university’s portrait collection found that of about 750 oil portraits in libraries, dining commons and undergraduate residences, about 690 were of white men. Only two portraits, commissioned in the 1980s and 90s, were of minorities.

The remaining portraits were of white women–Radcliffe professors, benefactors’ family members, presidents’ wives.

Dr. S. Allen Counter, director of The Harvard Foundation for Intercultural and Race Relations, says Harvard officials want to place more portraits but will not displace other portraits.


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