Montserrat 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 laboured 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.