“... Mr. Calatrava’s designs are both
delicate and powerful.”
— The New York Times
"I am deeply grateful that MIT should recognize
my work and the ability of art to inform
and influence the exact sciences."
— Santiago Calatrava
2005 Recipient of the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT
The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT recognizes innovative talents and offers the recipient a $100,000 prize and a campus residency.
Established in 1974 by the Council for the Arts at MIT, the Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT is bestowed upon individuals whose artistic trajectory and body of work indicate that they will achieve the highest distinction as leaders in their fields. One of the most generous arts honors in the US, the Award reflects MIT’s commitment to risk-taking, problem solving and to the idea of connecting creative minds across disciplines. The Award is considered an investment in the recipient’s future creative work, rather than a prize for a particular project or lifetime of achievement.
A distinctive feature of the Award is a campus residency, which includes a celebratory event at which the Award is presented, a public presentation of the artist’s work and significant interactions with students, faculty and staff. The goal of the residency is to provide the recipient unparalleled access to the creative energy and cutting-edge research found in the MIT community and to have the recipient connect with departments, laboratories and research centers throughout the Institute in ways that will be mutually enlightening.
The Selection Process
The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT may be given to an artist working in any field or cross-disciplinary activity, including architecture, creative writing, dance, design, filmmaking, media arts, music, theater and visual arts. Award nominees are identified by an Advisory Committee, which is composed of international leaders in arts and culture. An Award Committee, chosen by the Council for the Arts at MIT and comprised of arts leaders at MIT, then selects the recipient.
The Award honors Eugene McDermott (1899-1973), cofounder of Texas Instruments and long-time friend and benefactor of MIT. The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT was created by the Council for the Arts at MIT in 1974 and further endowed by Eugene’s wife, Margaret.
A geophysicist, Eugene McDermott was a member of the MIT Corporation from 1960 to 1973. The scholarship funds he established at MIT reflect his commitment to education and the public art he donated a conviction, shared with his wife Margaret, that the physical environment of a campus has great influence upon the character of an institution. They commissioned Eugene’s Stevens Tech classmate Alexander Calder to create The Great Sail, which was dedicated in 1966 on McDermott Court, facing the Green building. In 1976, the McDermott family and other friends of MIT made a gift of Three Piece Reclining Figure, Draped, by Henry Moore, which graces Killian Court.
World renowned architect, engineer, and artist Santiago Calatrava. Calatrava is well known for his neofuturist style and his wild feats of engineering. The Milwaukee Art Museum, his first building in the United States, is famous for its shading “wings” that open and close in response to the position of the sun. His complex of buildings in his native Valencia is also a frequent pilgrimage site for architecture enthusiasts.
Born in 1951 in Valencia, Spain, Calatrava achieved a degree in architecture from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. He later received both an undergraduate and doctorate degree in engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Calatrava is also an accomplished sculptor and painter, and his work is regularly displayed in venues such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Learn more about Santiago Calatrava.
This residency is presented by The Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts at MIT.
Boston Globe: Architect’s towering talent leads to MIT honor
MIT Tech Talk: Calatrava talks about his recent designs
MIT Tech Talk: Poet of glass and steel
Images and Press Inquiries
Communications Manager, Arts at MIT