Williams College Museum of Art

left: original 1846 rotunda, now the Faison Gallery, sculpture: Robert Morris, Hearing, 1972, © 1986 Steve Rosenthal; right: the atrium with WALLWORKS installation by William Ramage, 1988, photo by Nicholas Whitman

Williamstown, Massachusetts




Celebrating 75 Years-American Dreams: American Art to 1950 in the Williams College Museum of Art

June 30, 2001 ­ June 2002


"Celebrating 75 Years-American Dreams: American Art to 1950 in the Williams College Museum of Art," the exhibition opening at the Williams College Museum Art on June 30, 2001, proposes a new representative group of American works of art that takes into account the hopes, histories and dreams of American artists who created their own unique vision of their experiences, their ideas and, their home, America. Too often surveys of American art which are meant to represent America's peoples and multi-faceted history do not. Exhibitions of and books about the art of this country regularly leave out works by equally important artists and members of the population, such as women, native Americans, African-Americans, and the anonymous artists and craftsmen that produced works worthy of national pride. Fifty-six paintings, works on paper, and sculptures will be included in this exhibition drawing from one of the strengths of WCMA's holdings, American art to 1950.

The inspiration for the exhibition came from the museum's decision to publish a book this coming fall of essays highlighting those works of American art in the WCMA collection that offered a more diverse and accurate history of artistic endeavor in this country. An exhibition was a natural outgrowth of the book since the selected objects convey a new vision of the history of American art. This is revealed through the essays in the book written by a diverse group of scholars and students, many of whom are Williams alumni. The resulting exhibition offers an extraordinary array of works of art from ca. 1769 to 1950 by artists such as Kay Sage, an anonymous Native American, Edward Hopper, Grant Wood, the anonymous craftsman of a New England side chair, Hans Hofmann, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jacob Lawrence, and Thomas Eakins.

The catalogue, American Dreams: American Art to 1950 in the Williams College Museum of Art, will be published in October of this year. The 240-page book will include the individual object essays, which are 1,000-1,500 words in length, and color reproductions of the works. Also included is an introductory essay by Nancy Mowll Mathews that traces the development of the study of art and the American art collection at Williams College.

Images pending:

Marguerite Thompson Zorach (American, 1887-1968), Ella Madison and Dahlov, ca. 1919, oil on canvas, Williams College Museum of Art, Museum purchase, John B. Turner '24 Memorial Fund and Karl E. Weston Memorial Fund 91.32

Edward Hopper (American, 1882-1967), Morning in a City, 1944, oil on canvas, Williams College Museum of Art, Bequest of Lawrence H. Bloedel, Class of 1923

This exhibition was organized by Nancy Mowll Mathews, Eugénie Prendergast Curator, and Vivian Patterson, Curator of Collections.

Read more about the Williams College Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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