Symposium of 1960 Grads Discuss Art

A panel of 1960 Harvard alumni shared their thoughts on the future of the arts and their personal relationship with the field at a symposium for fellow graduates yesterday afternoon.

Fielding questions from moderator Joseph W. Zeigler ’60 in Sanders Theatre, a sculptor, a music critic, a playwright, and an arts trustee extolled the liberty fostered by the arts.

Paul P. D’Andrea ’60 said that the freedom experienced in playwriting translates into “a source of joy in one’s life.”

“That’s joy, and if the writer does a good job, it will be a joy for the reader or the audience,” he said.

But that freedom does not come without several forms of support.


Having travelled across Europe to conduct research on female composers, Cecelia A. H. Porter ’60—a critic for The Washington Post—said that her ability to reap the benefits of art was supported by her family’s encouragement.

And Jose A. Buscaglia ’60, a sculptor who has worked in Venezuela, emphasized that full artistic freedom required basic necessities like decent living conditions and freedom of thought.

Audience members—most of whom were 1960 graduates—shared their opinions and asked questions about the revolutionary nature of art.

In the final minutes of the symposium, one audience member asked if the art world is undergoing a “planetary renaissance.”

“I’d like to think that newness is inevitable,” said Paul A. Buttenwieser ’60, the chairman of the board of trustees of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. “I think it’s almost tautological.”

—Staff writer Naveen N. Srivatsa can be reached at