History of the College

Montserrat's Founding FacultyMontserrat was born in the late sixties, a time when people were questioning the status quo and seeking new solutions. A group of artists who were working and teaching in the Boston area had a bold idea: to create a new kind of art school in Massachusetts for professional education in the visual arts – a school that would not only focus on the arts, but would also focus on the individual needs of each student. A simple idea, but one that had seldom been attempted and rarely achieved. Foregoing the security – but also the limitations – that traditional institutions offered, these artists labored to breathe life into their idea.

In the early years, Montserrat School of Visual Arts, as it was then called, offered a professional diploma in the same studio concentrations for which it is known today. By the 1980s, this still-young Massachusetts art school was accredited and granted the authority to award the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. With that milestone came a new name: Montserrat College of Art.

By 1990, Montserrat had outgrown its original facility and moved to historic downtown Beverly, Massachusetts, into the Hardie Building, a newly renovated, nineteenth century building with expanded teaching facilities. Steadily, the art college acquired residence halls and the Cabot Studio Building, establishing a vibrant and eclectic seaside Massachusetts campus.

Today, the dream of those artists back in the sixties is a reality. Just as they had hoped, creativity flows at Montserrat College of Art. Students are drawn by the intensive studio environment and one-on-one instruction from our faculty of accomplished artists, designers, and scholars. At Montserrat art school you will find a place of inspiration, respect, and encouragement, where you can develop your talents and achieve your vision of the future.

To learn more about the college’s history, watch this video 

produced by alumni Mel Powsner ’17 and Dino Rowan ’16 from their class with Professor Ethan Berry.