Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown
(4.6/5 based on 170+ reviews on the web)
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.
Put Williams College Museum of Art into our Williamstown holiday planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
Source
Create a full Williamstown itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Williamstown

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Williamstown by other users

16 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: June, teens, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in New England BY A USER FROM ITALY November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 40 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, relaxing, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in New England BY A USER FROM PANAMA July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 59 days in New England BY A USER FROM PANAMA July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 20 days in United States BY A USER FROM PARAGUAY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Dartmouth, Rhode Island & Williamstown BY A USER FROM PARAGUAY August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: August, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • What a lovely experience. The temporary exhibition was wonderful and the permanent collection impressive. I enjoyed the gift shop and the staff was friendly and informative. 
  • Though not nearly as good as the nearby Clark, some of the permanent exhibits are OK, with the various special exhibits trending toward the PC, avant-garde or just plain weird. No entry fee. Only 4-5 ...  more »
  • A gem of a museum in an attractive location - friendly informative staff - not to be missed and it's free 
Google
  • 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.
  • We visited in August 2015 to view the Andy Warhol By the Book exhibit. It was a wonderfully laid-out exhibit with illustrations Warhol had done for various books, books he had written, and correspondence related to the books. I just wish the gift shop had some cards or something else I could have purchased with Warhol's art on it. We were also pleasantly surprised by the Museum's Trojan War Art in it's permanent collection
  • Very nice place and complimentary admission! Must see.
  • Great place, free admission can't wait to go back.