History of the HMS Committee on Artwork and Cultural Representations
In October 2018, at the direction of Dean Daley to the HMS/HSDM Faculty Council, a subcommittee of the Harvard Medical School Faculty Council was formed to focus on campus artwork and cultural representations and tasked with formulating guiding principles for use in considering HMS history, current spaces, and symbols and how each impacts the School's mission, and for use in general consideration of how and why HMS commemorates certain individuals across its campus. A special task force of the Harvard Medical School Faculty Council Subcommittee on Artwork and Cultural Representations formulated guiding principles for elements for use in considering HMS history, current spaces, and symbols and how each impacts the School's mission, and for use in general consideration of how and why HMS commemorates certain individuals across its campus.
In 2019, the HMS Dean’s Office along with members of the HMS/HSDM Faculty Council subcommittee, applied for and received a grant from the 2019 Dean's Innovation Awards in Diversity and Inclusion for an HMS Artwork and Cultural Representations project. The work under the grant was stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and staff transitions.
The Committee was reconstituted in the Fall of 2022 to reflect broad representation of the HMS community. The Committee additionally meets regularly to support the HMS Artwork and Cultural Representations project to ensure:
(1) that the subject and ultimate recommendation are deeply considered and discussed by a representative cross-section of the community,
(2) that a guiding philosophy is offered to direct future efforts; this is key to ensure that changes avoid a feeling of “tokenism”,
(3) that near-term projects are reviewed prior to implementation.