George Segal, (American, 1924-2000), Couple in Open Doorway, 1977, plaster, paint, wood, metal. Gift of The George & Helen Segal Foundation, Inc. © Visual Artists and Gallery Association (VAGA). _1200

Summer 2014 at WCMA

For immediate release: May 19, 2014

The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) kicks off its summer season with an exciting lineup of exhibitions and programs. This summer, WCMA, The Clark, and MASS MoCA invite visitors to make the most of the vibrant arts community here in the Berkshires. From July 5 through October 13, visitors save 20 percent off combined admission to the Clark and MASS MoCA, and receive 20 percent off purchases in the WCMA gift shop. These tickets will be available for purchase at all three venues.

At WCMA, Franz West, opens on June 7. Franz West (Austrian, 1947-2012) made his mark with willfully unserious, non-ideological, and sometimes mischievously erotic mixed-media drawings, sculptures, and furniture. Intentionally crude collages combine isolated figures from magazine ads with slapdash coats of thick paint and representations of the artist’s own work. His large colorful sculptures of lacquered aluminum reference and gleefully mock the usual formal decorum of abstract sculpture. This exhibition is drawn from the Hall Collection and presented in conjunction with the Hall Art Foundation’s installation of West’s monumental outdoor sculpture Les Pommes d’Adam (2007) at MASS MoCA.

Material Friction: Americana and American Art opens on June 12. Material culture from the dawn of the United States shoulders in among work from WCMA’s American art collection. Samplers and blanket chests take up residence next to luminous paintings from the Hudson River School and works of high Modernism by the likes of Georgia O’Keeffe. It’s Joseph Cornell in conversation with a Colonial cabinetmaker and John Frederick Kensett talking with a limner from Connecticut.

This summer, WCMA offers visitors a taste of the academic experience with Summer School: Slightly Twisted Learning.  Mini Courses, Roving Office Hours, and Field Trips to Field Farm tease out new ways of thinking about WCMA’s collection.

Mini Courses
Get schooled by faculty from across campus with a 50-minute dose of art through a different lens. Then head to our patio, have a glass of wine, and let it all sink in.
Courses meet from 4-4:50 pm. The Patio is open until 8 pm.

WCMA 101

Painting the Solution to the Mind/Body Problem

Thursday, July 10

Dr. Joseph Cruz, Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science

We think of ourselves in two ways: as physical bodies interacting with our environment, and as minds with private emotions. The synthesis of these two views is the mind/body problem, and is one of the great challenges of science and philosophy. By offering us embodied experiences with minds that aren’t our own, can art help us resolve the mind/body split?

WCMA 102

A Look Behind the Slide

Dr. Stefanie Solum, Associate Professor of Art

Thursday July 24

Looking at art offers us powerful insights into historical and contemporary life, but what can we learn from decoding a work of art? Taking a sharpie to projected images of iconic works of art, we will unpack their structural underpinnings. Then we’ll head to the galleries to put fresh insights to work.

WCMA 103

Staging the Gallery: Visual Research in Set Design

David Morris, MFA, Assistant Professor of Theatre

Thursday July 31

Art offers a “window onto the world,” but how does its role change when viewed as research for the creation of imagined realms onstage? We will think about art objects as source material for  a set design process: how the choice of  an early American arm chair can affect an actor’s posture, or a Hudson River School painting might become the emotional touchstone for an entire scenography.

WCMA 104

Palate to Palette: The Aesthetics of Art and Wine

Dr. Peter Pedroni, Professor of Economics

Thursday, August 21

Using two very different landscape paintings as starting points, we’ll taste wine and talk art: how do notions of symmetry, balance, and structure apply to each? How can a single varietal or genre express itself across differences in time, style, and geography? We’ll navigate the sequencing of impressions of the eye, nose, and palate. Enrollment in this course in limited to 35 people. Please call 413.597.2038 or email to reserve your spot.


Roving Office Hours

We’re bringing our offices into the galleries this summer. Track down our roving desk and sit down with the Director, a Registrar, a Curator, or a Program Producer to get a grasp on WCMA’s inner workings.  What’s the latest discovery in the Prendergast archive?  What’s in the new strategic plan?  How does a 1500 lb. ancient relief leave the building to go out on loan?
Drop in from June 1–August 22 between 1 and 3 pm


Field Trip to Field Farm

The Trustees of Reservations invite you to South Williamstown’s Field Farm to explore an idyllic outpost of WCMA’s collection, and the former home of Lawrence H. Bloedel ’23.  Join Williams students for a tour of two architectural gems, a collection of midcentury art and furniture, and outdoor sculptures.

Meet at the Field Farm Guest House, 554 Sloan Road.

Contact or 458-3135 for more information.

$5; WCMA Friends, Trustees of Reservations members, and children are free.

First and Third Sundays at 2 pm

July 6                           August 3

July 20                         August 17


WCMA stays open late on Thursday evenings in July and August, and so does the patio. From 5-8 pm, WCMA extends an open invitation to wander the galleries, and to linger in the summer sun with a glass of wine.

The museum becomes a performance site in collaboration with the Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF). In celebration of Independence Day, WTF actors will conjure the spirit of a nation in the making in The Founding Documents Come Alive. Catch their rousing and raucous reading of the Declaration of Independence and the British reply, then visit the galleries for a close look at the documents themselves. The event will take place at 10 am on July 4; the galleries will be open from 10 am to 1 pm. At 4 pm on July 17 and August 7, the museum will host All the Gallery’s a Stage. See what happens when WTF actors dig into the museum collection to find inspiration for a new site-specific performance. Come along on a roving show that infuses the galleries with a fresh creative buzz. Then join us on the patio for a glass of wine.