Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Visit to the Smith College Museum of Art

This college campus museum, in bucolic western Massachusetts, is one of our local art treasures. With a nice sampling of art, it offers more than the typical number of art works by women. Here is a sampling of the works I most enjoyed. I threw in two of Robert Motherwell's paintings for Steve. Examining the Motherwell paintings in real life (for the first time; because truthfully, I used to just walk pass them) gave me a greater appreciation of his work. I still can't say I'm a huge fan but I do see the emotion in them and sometimes even playfulness and glee.

I apologize for the glare on the photos of the paintings. It was difficult for me to avoid due to both a lack of expertise with a camera and the lighting in the building.

WP told me that this Northampton, Massachusetts mansion was the setting for the film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Robert Motherwell


Woman with a Monkey

small panel of a study for A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte


click to enlarge and notice the details
(I loved this one)

Emma Amos

One Who Watches


(another favorite "new artist discovery")

Carmen Lomas Garza

The Blessing on Wedding Day

Mary Bauermeister
Eighteen Rows

Margarita Azurdia
La Libertad

More photos of this visit can be viewed on my Picassa web album.

I hope you're staying warm and dry. And if you live somewhere sunny and mild, I don't want to hear about it unless I can come visit! ;-)


  1. I love the photographs, especially the last one. Have always been fascinated by day of the dead art. It It is cold, snowy and miserable here. UGH!

  2. The floral framing of the Amos piece is stunning.

  3. I didn't realize how blurry the enlarged photo is. Disappointing. Did you notice the small, silkscreens of Manet's Olympia on the border? I loved that.

    Let me go see if I can find a good photo of this piece on the web for my image collection.

  4. I have always loved 'Lady with a Monkey'

    makes me think of Queen singing 'fat bottom girls'

    or ... "I like big butts and I cannot lie ..."

    I think the photos are all wonderful - it's difficult to take shots in a museum

  5. Nice sampling - Thanks!! I like the second Motherwell much better than the first. I love the unexpected placements. And I like the Carmen Lomas Garza, too. Lovely use of blue, and I like the way she placed her figures. Almost like Egyptian wall painting, everything arranged so it's fully revealed, and set as if it were the center of attention. It's ALL the center of it's own little area of quiet drama. And that's another thing that this piece holds - expectancy. It's quiet but full of ANTICIPATION. Nearly every figure or little group has it's own kind of pause - its own kind of waiting. The beautiful peace before the event sweeps everyone up and washes them all away to their separate destinations.

  6. these are all lovely, as always, and if I had a memory I could tell you...oh wait, it just dawned...ok

    the Seurat is lovely as is the Degas and the Beaugereau and Carmen Garza painting - loved that one the best of all! I loved the blues and how lively and colorful it seemed full of meaning, which I'm sure it is/was...

    thanks, as always, for sharing these with us :)

  7. See, I find the second Motherwell sad and absurd. The first I like: it's happy and silly. Sorry about how simplistic that sounds but his paintings cause this sort of basic reaction for me. I can't get beyond that but at least I've come this far regarding Motherwell!

    This was a fun visit; thanks for enjoying it with me, my friends.

  8. Great Scott! Seurat, Degas, and Hopper... I now need to add the Smith College Museum of Art to my "places to go" list!

    And I think your photos work great - especially the shots of the Bauermeister and Azurdia pieces.

  9. It's a pretty amazing little museum, Random Man. This is the first time I've been there since it was renovated and expanded a few years back.

    One of the cool things about the Smith museum is how much input students have in helping to acquire works. A group of Asian students, for example, got together to organize funding to purchase a couple of works of modern art by Japanese artists.

    And then, of course, are all the artworks by women, which is fitting since it is a women's school.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. These made me laugh out loud with delight!

    SG2 suggested that we go there, she's sure I'll love it. :)

    My favorites are the Fish, the Garva and the Bauermeister, though I'm certain that they're all going to make me weep when I get there.

    Thanks so much for your commitment to sharing your finds as you explore the wide world of art, my dear friend!

  11. CR: you WILL love it there. I mostly hung out with SG2 because we go much slower than WP and MP. SG2 and I took our time; savoring each of our favorites. But she would not let me photograph her.


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