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Now everyone is an insider!

In order to provide an open forum for ALL of the museum’s collection and activities, the Paper + People blog is being renamed SCMA Insider. With its expanded focus, SCMA Insider will act as a go-to place for sharing information on the diverse collections and many voices and visions that shape SCMA.

If you want to contribute to the blog, please contact the Brown Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellow, Shanice Bailey, at

  • Friday, June 16, 2017

    On View: The Hilary Tolman, class of 1987, Collection of Twentieth-Century Japanese Prints

    Shin'ichi Nakazawa. Japanese, born 1956. Ratio - VIII, ca. 2006. Etching printed in color with gold leaf on medium thick, moderately textured, white paper. Gift of The Tolman Collection, Tokyo, in honor of Hilary Tolman, class of 1987, on the occasion of her 20th reunion. 2007:10-10

    In honor of the thirtieth reunion of the class of 1987, selections from The Hilary Tolman Collection--a landmark gift of Japanese prints from the 1950s to the present day--are currently on view in the Christ Gallery. Featuring works. from thirty different artists, this exhibition spans a wide variety of styles and subject matter within the realm of Japanese printmaking. 

    Wako Shuji. Japanese, born 1953. Fuji Over Letter Under Seas, 1998. Lithograph printed in color on paper. Gift of The Tolman Collection, Tokyo, in honor of Hilary Tolman, class of 1987, on the occasion of her 20th reunion. 2007:10-20

    The exhibition will only be on view until July 23, so come see it while you still can!

    Hiromitsu Takahashi. Japanese, born 1959. Juzu, 2001. Stencil printed in color on paper. Gift of The Tolman Collection, Tokyo, in honor of Hilary Tolman, class of 1987, on the occasion of her 20th reunion. 2007:10-19


  • Friday, June 9, 2017

    The Modern Machine

    The Smith College Museum of Art is dedicated to bringing out works on paper into the main galleries, where all visitors can see them. Since works on paper are more sensitive to light than other mediums, SCMA has installed special Works on Paper cabinets throughout the galleries for the display of prints, drawings and photographs. Today’s post is part of a series about the current installations of the Works on Paper cabinets, which will remain on view through summer 2017. 

    Charles Sheeler. American, 1883 - 1965. Drive Wheels. 1939. Gelatin silver print .Gift of Dorothy C. Miller (Mrs. Holger Cahill), class of 1925. SC 1978:34

    Charles Sheeler’s paintings and photographs of machinery were quintessential depictions of the American industrial age. Though they span a variety of time periods, the selected photographs in this cabinet—one of which is by Sheeler—capture a fascination with the aesthetics of power. Absent of their human architects and operators, these machines stand alone in their photographs. These artists found beauty in the functionality of these new machines, capturing fixed images of these inherently dynamic mechanisms.


    Imogen Cunningham. American, 1883 - 1976. Fageol Ventilators. 1934. Gelatin silver print mounted on paperboard. Purchased. SC 1976:19-9

    Cunningham and Noskowiak both depict their respective industrial sites as objects of physical beauty, drawing attention to the straight, grid-like towers of Fageol Ventilators and the rolling curves of Machinery.  Close-cropped and silhouetted against empty skies, the photographs are absent of any indication as to what purpose these machines actually serve.

    Sonya Noskowiak. American born Germany, 1900-1975. Machinery. n.d. Vintage gelatin silver print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. SC 2006:56-37


    Ruth Gray. American, 20th century. Study of Sculpture in Front of Ford Building at World's Fair. 1939. Gelatin silver print. Purchased. SC 1939:13-1


    The statue in the photograph on the right conveys the concept of machinery rather than the reality—abstracting its forms into bold curves and threaded towers. It is a massive, futuristic visualization of the power of technology, displayed at the World’s Fair, one of the most popular tourist attractions of its generation.


    William M. Rittase. American, 1887-1968. Industrial Collage. 1930's. Vintage gelatin silver print. Purchased with the fund in honor of Charles Chetham. SC 2010:41-2

    Upon initial comparison, the Ritasse photograph seems like a simple image of a factory. However, he uses multiple exposures to superimpose images of a moving wheel and smokestacks upon one another. Ritasse takes the precision and attention to detail seen in this genre of photography and twists it to the surreal, giving this “collage” an uncanny feel.


  • Friday, May 19, 2017

    Reunion Class Gifts

    William Kentridge. South African, 1955–. Atlas Procession I. 2000. Soft-ground etching, aquatint, drypoint, letterpress, and hand painting on BFK Rives paper. Purchased with gifts in memory of Christine Swenson, class of 1972.       

    Welcome back, reunion classes! We’re so excited to have you all on campus. Today and next Friday, the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings and Photographs is open to the public on the second floor of the Museum. Art donated by your classmates is on view for you and everyone to see.

    Nikki S. Lee. Korean, 1970-. Untitled from The Punk Project (2). 1997. Duraflex print (2/5). Duraflex print (2/5). 

    In addition, admission fees are also waived for both Commencement and Reunion Weekends.

    Stop by and take a look!

    Leslie Starobin. Italian, 1781–1835. Untitled. 1989 negative; 1990 print. C-print. Gift of Ruth Rosen Singer, class of 1952.