President Christ's Leadership, Trustees Establish New Museum
Gallery in Her Name
A new gallery, to be created
in the Smith College Museum of Art, will be known as the
Carol T. Christ Asian Art Gallery. Funded by gifts from trustees,
including a foundational gift from Peggy Block Danziger ’62,
the named gallery will recognize, in the words of Board Chair
Betty Eveillard, President Christ’s “outstanding service
to the college.”
“Carol brought to Smith a deep knowledge of the changing needs of a liberal arts
education and a total understanding of the financial challenges facing private
colleges,” Eveillard said.
Describing President Christ’s contributions as “a
blessing to Smith,” Eveillard said, “Carol leaves the college a much stronger
institution than the one she found when she arrived in Northampton more than
a decade ago.”
Eveillard announced the naming
of the gallery Friday, at the board’s final meeting
of the year. She expressed the trustees’ desire to thank President Christ for
all her good work on Smith’s behalf and her pleasure that a permanent recognition
of her presidency could be created in the context of the arts.
Of the surprise
naming announcement, President Christ said, “Nothing could please me more.”
“The Museum has been such a source of joy to me and Paul,” she said. “It is truly
a jewel of the college.”
She expressed pleasure that
the gallery would reflect the focus on Asia that has been
a hallmark of her presidency.
“I’ve felt so strongly that Asia represented an area of opportunity for Smith,
in responding to a changing world.”
SCMA director and chief curator
Jessica Nicoll notes that art from Asia, both traditional
and contemporary, is the most rapidly developing area of
collection; she says the new gallery, the first dedicated to Asian art, will
be used flexibly to showcase the scope of the museum’s holdings and to facilitate
even greater integration of Asian art across the curriculum.
The new 1,250-square-foot
gallery, to be created through the reconfiguration of space
on the museum’s lower
level, is expected to be open in fall 2015.
For more information about the
holdings in Asian art, visit the current exhibition “Collecting Art of Asia,” which
continues through May 26. It marks the centennial of the first gift of Asian
artworks to the museum, acquired in 1913.