Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown

4.5
#2 of 8 in Things to do in Williamstown
Art Museum Museum
The Williams College Museum of Art is a college art museum in Williamstown, Massachusetts. Situated at the Williams College campus close to MASS MoCA and the Clark Art Institute, its growing collection encompasses more than 14,000 works, with particular strengths in contemporary art, photography, prints, and Indian painting. The museum is free and open to the public.HistoryWCMA was established in 1926 by Karl Weston, an art history professor who made it his mission to provide students a venue for firsthand experience of art. The College's art collection, in large part donated by Eliza Peters Field in 1897, had been housed in two small wings of what was then the College library, Lawrence Hall, designed by Thomas A. Tefft in 1846. When the library was moved to Stetson Hall in 1920, however, Weston transformed the octagonal brick building into an art museum, adding a T-shaped wing in order to provide additional space for galleries and the College's rapidly expanding art history curriculum.Over the next half-century, under a series of directors, the College enlarged the art department and the museum's collection. In 1981, Director Franklin W. Robinson hired Charles Moore to redesign the building in order to raise facilities to professional standards and double exhibition space. This coincided with an expansion of WCMA's staff, educational programs, and exhibition schedule.Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1993 and re-accredited in 2004, the museum has been the site of dozens of exhibitions (see Past Exhibitions, below). In 2012, WCMA hired its current director, Christina Olsen.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
201 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I spent about an hour and a half on a recent Saturday afternoon exploring this little gem. Living in western Massachusetts for several years, we finally found the time to go and were so...  more »
  • They had this exhibit on the first floor of everything that the museum acquired from 1960 to 1963 in order of its acquisition - a bit like fireworks. Very fun to see what one person decided to acquire...  more »
  • There was nothing special on exhibit and much of the permanent collection was on loan judging from the numbered blank spots on the walls, though I did find Lex and Love: Meleko Mokgoski interesting to...  more »
Google
  • Good work of art and pottery. Soothing and calming environment.
  • A small college museum on a beautiful campus... mostly features very comtemporary, mutli-format student art in various mediums. Not my personal cup of tea, but surely creative. Be sure to visit the rooms with the ancient stone excavations. Very interesting to think how these pieces were acquired back when there were not laws covering archaeological digs. Nonetheless, grateful to the college explorers who excavated and transported these pieces for all of us to enjoy today. There's no entry fee, so certainly worth a visit to expand one's personal horizons!
  • Free art = five stars. Negatives: 90% of the permanent displayed collection is by dead rich white men, for dead rich white men. Bland, boring, all looks the same. Positives: the teaching exhibits were interesting, and gave you a more immersive experience with select objects of the collection, albeit an occasionally confusing one. I much prefer to be confused by art than bored by it. By far the highlight of the museum was African Art Against the State: an extremely interesting, engaging, feeling-inducing exhibit of contemporary art. Unfortunately it's a temporary exhibit. Hopefully they'll get something equally good to replace it.
  • Great pieces of art, worth the trip!
  • Intimate & interesting.

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