Columbia Artist

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On September 1, 2007, neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks was named the first Columbia Artist. The position's function and applicability outside Sacks' appointment is unclear, but if the appointment serves as a model for future Columbia Artists, such individuals will lecture broadly across university disciplines. In this sense, the Columbia Artist position, connoting "artist" as more of a polymath or Renaissance man, differs from the Artist in Residence position, which is held on a more temporary basis and which connotes promotion of the arts in the more common, creative sense.

Like the Artist in Residence position, however, the Artist position was spearheaded by Arts Initiative head Gregory Mosher.