Trip Planner: USA / Massachusetts / Berkshires / Williamstown / Museums / Williams College Museum of Art
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.
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I took myself along to the museum on a rainy day and really enjoyed the walking around the exhibitions. They had a mix of classic paintings, sculptures and modern work downstairs and upstairs they had... more »
Whose idea was it to arrange an presentation of art works by the date of acquisition? The result is a hodgepodge. The interior of the building is imaginative, and there are some interesting works. Lex... more »
They always have excellent shows, usually curated by William's College's excellent faculty and students. It's free and definitely worth going to. more »
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.
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.
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