Research shows that those who study the arts develop analytical skills, creativity, critical thinking abilities, and aesthetic judgment. Bowdoin students take at least one arts class before graduating, so as to expand their understanding of artistic expression and judgment through creation, performance, or analysis of dance, film, music, theater, or visual art. In the past ten years, the College has spent nearly $50 million upgrading its arts facilities.
The museum’s collection is among the oldest and most significant of any college or university in the United States. Above all, the museum is a teaching facility — classes from sociology to environmental studies examine original prints, photographs, and other works, using the museum as a teaching facility.
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Bowdoin’s theater complex includes performance, rehearsal, set, and instructional facilities. Pickard Theater seats 600 and has a proscenium stage equipped with a full fly system and computer lighting. The 150-seat Wish Theater, designed for experimental theater, is a flexible, small space with professional grade lighting and sound. Studzinski Recital Hall is a 280-seat, state-of-the-art facility for small- and medium-sized musical performances. The hall includes a rehearsal room, nine practice rooms, and a number of Steinway pianos. Kanbar Auditorium features raked seating, exceptional acoustics, sophisticated technical capabilities, and a stage designed to accommodate different performance configurations.
Three main studios, along with prime exhibition space, are in the centrally located Visual Arts Center, which features spectacular light from large windows, and expansive views of the campus. Painting studios, computer studios, architecture studio, faculty studios, and the photography facilities are located a short distance away in the McLellan Building. The printmaking studio is housed in a renovated carriage house across the street from the Visual Arts Center, and the sculpture studio is in a
renovated textile mill in town.
The Pierce Art Library comprises approximately 18,000 volumes, an extensive picture file, art-related journals, museum bulletins, exhibition catalogs, and periodical indexes. The Visual Resources Collection consists of more than 130,000 35mm slides.