Samuel Joseph Brown (American, 1907-1994); Boy in the White Suit, ca. 1940-41; watercolor on paper. Gift of the artist through the Pennsylvania W.P.A. Art Project. (PA.10) x1200
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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Experience East Los Angeles

Can’t afford a vacation to L.A.? Plan a stay-cation this Spring and experience East Los Angeles right here in the Berkshires. First, visit the exhibition Asco: Elite of the Obscure at the Williams College Museum of Art. Then, catch Los Lobos on April 5 at MASS MoCA. Two museums, just a few miles apart in Williamstown and North Adams, are highlighting Chicano art and music, and the results are an inspiring journey through the turbulent politics of Southern California in…

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Watching People, Watch people watch art…

Inspiration has a funny way of stepping right up to your face and telling you to “LOOK!”

I was wandering the Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA), feasting my eyes on some conceptual candy, when I paused to take in my surroundings. There was art—everywhere. There were people, scattered and stooped, pondering like myself over each framed spectacle. Then, there were the guards, whose presence dissipated and reappeared.

The longer I gazed, the more the gallery came to life. The paintings waited…

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Claims to Space and Public Art at Williams

Institutions like Williams College face a unique challenge when it comes to the issue of public art, claims to space. Claims to space are created by the publics, which use them. There are many publics which inhabit any given space on this condensed campus including students, faculty, staff, tourists and town residents just to name a few of the broadest groups. Each of these publics has their own goals, histories and uses for any given space on campus. Public art…

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Talking about Asco

C. Ondine Chavoya, far left, with Asco artists and scolars at WCMA

Williams art and Latina/o studies professor C. Ondine Chavoya has spent two decades studying Asco, a performance and conceptual art group that was active in Los Angeles in the 1970s and ’80s. In the March 2012 Williams Alumni Review Chavoya talks about some of Asco’s most significant images.

Above Images:
Asco artists, curators and scholars at the WCMA reception for the exhibition Asco: Elite of the Obscure,…

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Dig this! Archeology Family Day

Last Saturday, the Berkshire community had the opportunity to explore the museum’s collection of ancient art, dig for artifacts, hunt for sounds and meanings in ancient languages, and make Assyrian fashion accessories. Featuring WCMA’s Assyrian Reliefs, a project called “Accessorizing with the Ancients” enticed people to look closely at the dress and style of the ancient Apkallu guardians.

Families made elaborate headdresses, arm bands, and bracelets and enjoyed posing with the imposing stones!

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Speaking To Us: Jenny Holzer—Artwork in the WCMA Collection and Upcoming Artist’s Lecture

We often refer to art in linguistic terms.  A painting, we might claim, “speaks to us.”  Sculptures in a gallery are said to be “in dialogue” with one another.  Artworks, we imply, have voices—or at least the power to communicate with their own compelling language.

Contemporary artist Jenny Holzer takes this connection one step further, mediating and manipulating the space between art and language.  First emblazoning her self-described “truisms”—pithy yet provocative phrases that engage, incite, and inspire—in the public arena of…

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Cosmetics & Fashion in the Ancient Collection

A couple of summers ago, our Williams student intern Chelsea Church ’12 helped me move artwork as part of our IMLS funded ancient art digitization project.  She got very excited about many of the fashion accessory items, especially the ancient Greek gold jewelry. She got so excited in fact, that she ran up to the museum’s PR department so that she could show her friend, who was also working as an intern, just how beautiful these pieces were. As we…

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Asco Tour

In November 2011, we organized a Williams Alumni event at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), an opportunity for alumni in the region to see the exhibition Asco: Elite of the Obscure. CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director of LACMA Michael Govan (Williams ’85) spoke to the large group near Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008) before we rode up the exterior escalator of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) at LACMA to see Asco.

Williams alumnus and LACMA Director Michael…

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