Archivist’s Pick: When the Art of Management Trumped Art Itself

Here’s this month’s piece from the Drucker Institute’s archivist, Bridget Lawlor. By drawing lessons from the vast treasure trove of papers and other objects that are collected in Peter Drucker’s archives, Bridget is giving new life to decades-old material.

While it is widely known that Peter Drucker espoused the value of a broad liberal arts education and that he and his wife, Doris, were serious collectors of Japanese art, it might come as a surprise that at one point he was actually a professor of Japanese art.

In the early 1980s, Drucker taught a popular seminar on the subject at Pomona College—until his duties at what was then known as Claremont Graduate School and its nascent Advanced Executive MBA program began to take priority. This letter from 1984 describes his decision to resign from his role as “Professional Lecturer in Oriental Art.”

As Drucker explains in the letter, he was deeply regretful to have to resign from the class. But he also makes it very clear that his allegiance to the Claremont Colleges community as a whole required that his focus stay squarely on teaching about management.