Want to spruce up your space with a Chagall or liven up your living room with a Landau — for free?
Not a problem.
Through The Graphic Arts Loan Collection, UC Berkeley students, staff and faculty can borrow from an eclectic collection of about 850 prints, across a wide range of artists and styles.
“It’s one of my favorite parts of the job,” said Jennifer Osgood, technical processing lead for the Arts & Humanities and International & Area Studies, who has been involved with the art exchange since 2015.
As it turns out, it’s popular among students, too. As of Tuesday afternoon, 91 pieces had been checked out already, and 101 were on hold — up from combined total of 103 from the previous year at the same time.
The collection grew by 24 works last year — all donations — so students have an evolving set of prints to choose from.
Among the items of interest this year? Two pieces that are perhaps the oldest in the collection (one from 1550 and one from 1613) were snapped up by the same student. (In case you’re wondering, the older one is by the artist Hieronymus Cock. Its title? “Ruins of the Greater Palatine Hill.”)
This year, the art became available for students Aug. 23 and will become available for staff and faculty starting Sept. 4. (Because the program originated in 1958 to serve students, they still get priority.)
The circulation of art stops at the end of April; the service isn’t offered in the summertime. Patrons can check out up to two pieces at a time.
With all that art moving from place to place, has there been any serious damage to any of the pieces?
Just “the normal wear and tear,” said Scott Peterson, head of Morrison Library, emphasizing that those wishing to borrow shouldn’t be discouraged by the fear of causing a little bit of damage here and there. That sort of thing is expected and won’t cause sky-high fees for students.
What students will gain, however, is a deeper appreciation for art, Osgood said. The program helps show that art is not just something you see in libraries and museums.
“I love when (students’) faces light up when they realize this art is for them, too,” she said.
If you’re interested in the service, go to Morrison Library at 5 p.m. Aug. 30 for a presentation about The Graphic Arts Loan Collection. Students who attend and sign an agreement form can walk away with free art.