Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Last week Rachel Tassone and I went to Washington D.C. to present about our Prendergast Digitization Project at a conference. We learned a good amount from our colleagues and were excited to get the word out about our project.
Monday, May 14, 2012
During World War II, works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston were stored at the Williams College Museum of Art, and the MFA was so grateful to the museum for keeping their objects safe during wartime they gave us a facsimile Egyptian head and let us put on a paintings exhibition of their works which were not normally loaned out.
Monday, April 2, 2012
As with our pieces from the Bolles-Rogers family and John Davis Hatch, sometimes the story behind how objects came into the museum’s collection or life events of the donors can be very interesting. Dr. John Henry Haynes donated to the museum thirty-six Mesopotamian clay objects with cuneiform inscriptions.
Monday, March 5, 2012
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…
Monday, February 13, 2012
As Valentine’s Day approaches, we can look to the museum’s collection for portrayals of love and romance. Some of my personal favorites include: “La Declaration d’amour” by Jean François de Troy (circa 1724), Robert Indiana’s “Love” series (1982), and a Peruvian ceramic blackware entitled “Two Lovers” (19th century). I also find the photograph “Le Muguet du metro” (1953) by Robert Doisneau interesting because while it seems romantic that the woman is holding a bouquet of flowers, the couple’s relationship looks very…
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Williams College Museum of Art will be closed Saturday, December 24, 2011 through Monday, January 2, 2012 for the winter break campus shutdown. All of us at WCMA hope you have a joyous holiday and winter season. Since we have yet to receive the sort of weather one normally associates with New England during the December holidays, here is a beautiful winter wonderland image. It is a Japanese woodcut by Kawase Hasui entitled, Zojoji, Shiba (Snow) (from the series…
Monday, December 19, 2011
When I first started working at WCMA in the winter of 2010, the digitization team was working on shooting a group of Egyptian necklaces. The bead work on them is often very intricate and beautiful. You can search our collection database using the quick search with the term “necklace” to view a variety of them. Here are some examples.
There was one however, which was tangled and confused the digitization team in regards to its proper orientation. No one could figure…
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches our thoughts turn to food and family. If you search our collection database using the term “food” under the quick search, you can find a variety of objects. We have World War I posters that warn against wasting food. We have a rice harvesting tool from Vietnam. We have a color, Farm Security Administration photograph of women slicing pies. We also have a small terracotta of a woman baking bread in an oven, which is from Boeotia,…
Monday, October 31, 2011
Just in time for Halloween we have the mystery of the mummified hand. How did it become separated from its arm? How did such an object become part of our collection? What does the museum do with it? What kind of condition is a hand in that is likely thousands of years old?
As to the first question, the object was brought into the collection by Professor Richard Austin Rice. Rice was a professor at Williams College from 1881-1911. According to…
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
When we started working on our Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) ancient art digitization grant a couple of years ago, we began to research some objects that came into the museum with very little information, often with no date or culture to speak of. Laura Lesswing, Williams Art History Graduate class of 2010, was a big help to me. We reviewed the curatorial files for leads on information about the objects. In the file for a group of…