December 17, 2017

Wellesley College Davis Museum expands after renovation

By Soo Kyeong Kim '19, Assistant Business and Managing Editor

The Wellesley College Davis Museum re-opened after renovation on September 28, 2016. With around 50% of the artwork having gone through some kind of conservation, the museum displays newly pristine artwork and a large collection of different cultures.

The renovations were necessary because the museum was was only being able to display a small number of its works because of it’s limited space. Subsequent to the renovation, the Davis exhibits are more accessible and the museum can share beautiful, supplementary collections.  

The Davis Museum holds a special place in everyone’s heart. “The art at the Davis, which originated as the Wellesley College art collection, was primarily given as gifts or bequests by students, alumnae, and their families.  As such, our collections reflect a commitment to arts education, particularly for women, through multiple generations.” said Dr. Claire Whitner, Assistant Director of Curatorial Affairs/Senior Curator of Collections.

Dr. Whitner supervises the curatorial staff at the Davis Museum and is responsible for determining how to best display artwork. “By organizing the collection by culture, geography, and historic period, we are able to show a broader range of art,” said Dr. Whitner. “The breadth of our collection is visible to an unprecedented extent.”

The most difficult part of the renovation was moving the “the mosaic,” said Mr. Beeman, Manager of Exhibitions, “the gem of the museum.” Mr Beeman, who as the Manager of Exhibitions oversees the physical installation of the Davis Museum, said “The main goal that we had was to keep the collection accessible to all faculties and staff during the renovation. With much effort, we were able to keep a part open throughout the spring.”

The Davis Museum has gone from a small aspect of campus life to an integral part of it. “Built in 1993, it started as a smaller collection” said Dr. Meredith Fluke, Kemper Curator. “Now the Davis museum is one of the largest college campus museum’s in the United States.”

“The museum is a work of art itself. You get a unique experience by moving throughout the galleries and it has a lovely and nice space to be in,” said Mr Beeman. “It makes you walk slowly.”

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