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About Us

History of the Addison

Thomas Cochran created the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy in 1931 as the most extraordinary of his many gifts to the school. Guided by Cochran's goal "to enrich permanently the lives of the students," the Addison's programs demonstrate a central concern for education. The museum is a teaching resource for Phillips Academy students and faculty as well as an art center for the greater Boston area and the nation at large.

By the Terms of Trust under which the Addison Gallery was founded, the museum's collection is limited to works of art or craftsmanship produced by native-born or naturalized citizens of the United States, with the following exceptions: photographs and books by other than native-born or naturalized citizens; portraits or busts of Americans and portrayals of American scenes or vessels by artists of foreign birth produced not later than 1800; pieces of pottery or glassware of whatever origin or date decorated with American scenes; and scale models of famous ships connected with the history of the United States.