Williams College Museum of Art

BTW Flashback: The Magi in Persian perspective

The scene gleams out of the Renaissance — the three wise men kneel before the barefoot, tired new parents and the infant. The color, perspective and detail come out of Persian miniatures and Mughal paintings from northern India. And the artist is a British painter in the middle of World War I. On a winter…

At WCMA 500-year-old objects tell contemorary stories

How would a carver in 16th-century France get ivory? Why does St. Lucy carry two eyes on a platter? In The Presence of Absence, curator Kevin Murphy presents an unusual collection of medieval objects from France and Spain, Persia and Byzantium, and the text in the show offers some unusual insights.

WCMA rediscovers medieval gallery

The Williams College Museum of Art has recovered a vanished room. It feels like a kind of mythical medieval place, with a floor of handmade tiles and dark plaster walls, oak beams and diamond-paned windows with inset stained glass. It was designed almost 80 years ago, walled away and almost forgotten. The young museum built…

Meleko Mokgosi — Lex and Love at WCMA

Cheetahs raise their hackles against an abstract background like blown sand. Two boys play with a sleek black dog in a spare, shaded room, in a bar of bright sun from the doorway. A well-dressed man in khaki leans back in a director’s chair in a room rich with thick carpet, masks and sculptures, while…

Northern Berkshire art overlaps

In 1999, the summer Mass MoCA opened, Robert Rauschenberg came several times to see his work installed in the football-field-sized gallery in building 5. The 1/4 Mile or 2 Furlong Piece gathered images from athletes and animals to umbrellas and planets. In collage or silkscreened onto fabrics, aluminum and copper, they formed a massive record…

Afro-Cuban rhythm at WCMA

The beat danced. One rhythm played with another, high over low, rolling, swinging, pattering and leaping. Four Afro-Cuban musicians with international stature came together on a fall afternoon at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown. They played smooth, spare wooden sculptures — held them, sat on them and ran their hands over them like…

Zanele Muholi photographs intimacy

South African photographer Zanele Muholi’s work, including the image of a young man from her ‘Buelahs’ series above, now appear in ‘African Art against the State,’ a new group show at the Williams College Museum of Art. In February 2014, Muholi came to WCMA to talk about a solo show of her work there, and I had…