Nature and the Artist by Rufino Tamayo

Reproduced with the permission of the Smith College Museum of Art.

"Nature and the Artist: The Work of Art and the Observer," by Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991) was installed in the Brown Fine Arts Center atrium in Spring 2005, above the entrance to Hillyer Art Library. The enormous mural (9 feet high by 43 feet long) was painted on the walls of the original Hillyer Art Library and was removed and mounted on panels in 1970 when the library building was razed for construction of the Fine Arts Center. Commissioned in honor of Mrs. Dwight W. Morrow (Elizabeth Cutter, class of 1896) in 1942 and completed in 1943, the painting is a true fresco--pigments applied directly to wet plaster.

The history of the mural including many illustrations of preparatory drawings and details, photographs of its original installation, a statement by the artist, and technical notes about the removal of the work are documented in Nature and the Artist: The Work of Art and the Observer, Rufino Tamayo: A Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition of Rufino Tamayo's Fresco for Smith College published by Smith College Museum of Art in 1993 (available in the art library collection, ND 259.T3 A4 1993).

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