Community Label Project

Looking Back to Move Forward

The Community Label Project is a collaborative effort to contextualize the portraiture of Sayles Hall. In 2021, the University curator invited Brown undergraduate students, graduate students and staff to contribute their voices to the space with object labels and subject panels. Using the collection as a catalyst, the program incorporated community perspectives to explore the ingenuity of Brown’s legacy and answered the question: Why are these individuals here? Participants researched portrait subjects and thematic topics — uncovering, debating and grappling with an institutional history to reveal an ethos that has always looked forward with optimism and hope.  

We are pleased to share the impacts of individuals who have contributed to Brown’s uniqueness. Hopefully we have dispelled myths, recognized truths and revealed unknown facts. 

This effort represents individuals who drew upon a collective, collaborative Brown University body of knowledge. The full potential that these portraits hold for all Brown University community members to better understand this institution and its constituents is yet to be realized, but we hope we have moved the conversation forward.

—  Madison Hofert, Class of 2021

 neuroscience, history of art and architecture