Kota Ezawa (German, b. 1969); The Unbearable Lightness of Being, 2005; DVD. Courtesy of Murray Guy, New York. x1200
WCMA Blog
Feed

Category: Behind-the-Scenes

Art of the Month Club: Jim Gipe

Anonymous, Intaglio with seated angel, Anonymous gift. (93.1.44)

I am one of a handful of people who has seen, handled, photographed, studied, and marveled over every ancient object in the museum’s collection as part of WCMA’s ongoing digital imaging project. That’s more than 2,000 objects, and among them the beads are the smallest.

Read more

This Week in the Museum’s History

Facsimile of the alabaster head of King Mankaure in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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.

Read more

Backstage—Museum Models: Students Take On Celebrated Architects

Exhibitions are somewhat similar to theatrical performances.  Audience members revel in the final production—often unaware of all the staging and preparation that occurs beforehand and behind-the-scenes.

Though Museum Models: Students Take On Celebrated Architects has been on view at WCMA for two months, its history is even longer.  Featuring nearly 100 models produced over a decade in Williams College Professor Ann McCallum’s architectural design courses, this exhibition highlights student creativity and explores a layering of architectural history, pedagogic practice, and educational…

Read more

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…

Read more

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…

Read more

African Americans and the American Scene: Behind-the-Scenes

By Dalila Scruggs, Mellon Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts
The official opening reception for my exhibition African Americans and the American Scene, 1929-1945 is today!

After several months of research, writing, and planning, my co-curator Sandra Burton and I finally installed our exhibition African Americans and the American Scene, 1929-1945 over the course of one hectic week. On Monday the galleries were empty—“fresh, with no mistakes in them” (as Anne of Green Gables might say). And by Friday night, all…

Read more

Love & Romance

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…

Read more

Preparation for the Opening of Asco

This week WCMA staff installed a large mural in the atrium of the museum in preparation for the opening of the exhibition Asco: Elite of the Obscure A Retrospective, 1972–1987 which will be on view this Saturday, February 4–July 29, 2012.

The mural Bound by Patssi Valdez was first laid out and condition checked in the Rose Study Gallery.

Then it was brought into the atrium and raised into position.

Next the mural was carefully tacked to the wall.

Patssi Valdez, Bound, 2011, acrylic…

Read more

Behind-the-Scenes of the Installation of Asco

The installation of the exhibition Asco: Elite of the Obscure has begun. Allison McCloskey, Assistant Conservator of Textiles and Objects from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center paid a visit to WCMA to install a costume (boots, helmet, and velvet suit), c. 1974.

The mannequin and under layer of the suit are assembled.

The velvet suit is unpacked. It’s condition is checked and documented.

Allison adjusts the jacket.

Here is the full costume. Note the fabulous Platform Sadler boots customized by Pasquale di Fabrizio with…

Read more

Egyptian Beadwork

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…

Read more