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Public Art on South Campus: University of Massachusetts Lowell

college campus with snow, students walking and campus buildings
South Campus at UMass Lowell. Photo by Michael Page


The buildings and green spaces of South Campus are home to a notable collection of public art. The objects range from examples of the classical tradition to the avant-garde and represent artists of both international and local renown. We invite you to tour the collection and learn more about the history of the university.

This guide complements a walking tour of the collection; a link to a pdf of the tour brochure can be found on this page. Each entry is also available as an audio file—just look for the “Listen Here” button.

sculpture with a mans head and arm in front of a contemporary academic building of massive spaces mounted on narrow colums

The idea to create a walking tour of the art on South Campus began as a class project in Prof. Marie Frank’s American Art class in the Spring of 2022. Each of the students in the class contributed research or observations about the individual works and then developed themes that united them. The themes varied in creativity, insight, and humor, but all ultimately centered on the mission of the university to foster intellectual and creative abilities. In the words of class member Elvena Bielecki, “Education and creativity are two things that we, as a university, place in high value [and] that we believe play an essential role in bettering our community.” The entries in this guide have been enriched by the contributions of the students in American Art.

Claude Debussy by Miko Kaufman. South campus, in front of Durgin Hall. Photo by Michael Page.

Formalizing the walking tour continued in the Fall of 2022 with the aid of the Emerging Scholars Program in FAHSS. Two graphic design majors, Josephine Parsons and Michael Page, worked with Professor Frank to design the brochure, assemble historic and current photographs, and develop the audio tour. Meg Shields, (library Digital Services) took on the task of creating this library webpage.

Interested in seeing more art on South Campus?  Then visit our gallery in Mahoney Hall:

Check this site for opening hours and current exhibitions.

large group of people holding instruments a concert ban from the 1950's

Music students assembled in front of the murals, The Knoll, 1952 

mural before repair removal of paint

The murals under two coats of beige paint in 2015. Photo by Marie Frank

two people up on staging working on repairing a wall mural

The murals at the beginning of the removal of the beige paint. Photo by Gianfranco Pocobene Studio

murals undergoing restoration

The murals after the removal of the beige paint. Photo by Gianfranco Pocobene Studio

coburn hall mural repair

The murals restored. Photo by Ed Brennan

This series of photos captures the recent restoration of the WPA-era murals in Coburn Hall: the completed mural can be seen behind a 1952 yearbook photo of music students, then the same wall covered by the 1980s with two coats of beige paint, followed by two images during the 2018 restoration, and then the final restored mural.


Text by Marie Frank; photographs by Josephine Parsons except where otherwise noted.