Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 8247 In honoring Selle, President McCartney said the donation of her collection will “elevate the reputation of the Smith College Museum of Art and make it possible for students to learn not only from studying the master drawings themselves but also from Carol’s own experience as a collector.” It is exactly what Selle hoped for when she decided to leave these master drawings to Smith. “They will have the most impact there,” she says. “Why break up the collection? I want it to benefit students and inspire others to give as well.” SELLE BEGAN DEVELOPING AN EYE FOR GREAT ART at a young age. Growing up in Chicago, she regularly attended the Art Institute of Chicago, where she’d sit in a large auditorium with dozens of other children and draw for hours. “There would be a model up front and we’d sketch and then they would give out honorable mentions for the best drawings,” she says. “I still have some of those early drawings of mine somewhere.” She attended the Francis W. Parker School and the Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA, for two years. From there, at her mother’s insistence, Selle enrolled at the Uni- versity of Michigan, despite having been accepted to the Yale School of Architecture. Selle realized quickly, though, that the university wasn’t right for her. “I applied to Smith and that definitely changed the course of everything,” she says. What drew her to Smith, she says, was a desire to study art with some of the leading scholars of the time: Phyllis Lehmann, Leonard Baskin and architectural historian Henry-Russell Hitchcock, who was also director of SCMA from 1949 through 1955. “He was a heavyweight,” Selle recalls. “Nobody was teaching what he was teach- ing at that time. ”It was Baskin, her studio art instructor, who first instilled in her a desire to collect. “He had an impressive collection himself,” she says. “His collecting instinct inspired all of us, I think. In fact, one of the very first pieces I bought while I was at Smith was a Baskin.” A career in art education and curating followed Selle’s graduation from Smith, as did a master’s degree in art from the University of Chicago. Her first job was in the education department at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she would lead tours and deliver lectures to hundreds of visitors daily. Later, she organized and helped curate an exhibition of German Realist drawings from the 1920s at the Guggenheim and an exhibition of Matisse drawings and cutouts for the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in Germany. She also curated a Larry Rivers show in 1970 for the Art Institute of Chicago after he drew her portrait. “I ended up finding all of these drawings in his studio,” Selle says. “I used bread to clean them up so they could be displayed.” What stayed with her was her deep interest in collecting. From the time she bought a tiny Victor Hugo drawing while still a student at Smith, Selle felt the joy that comes from acquiring great works of art and then preserving them for others to enjoy and learn from. She often worked with dealers and other collectors to find pieces she was interested in and used her own extensive knowledge and keen eye to curate her collection. ONE THING SELLE QUICKLY DISCOVERED WAS the brutal competitiveness and often unfair gamesman- ship of the collecting world. Being a woman didn’t make it easier. While working at the Art Institute of Chicago she recalls being asked to give back a Fernand Léger drawing from the 1930s she had purchased so that the curator at the museum could buy it himself. “I thought that was terribly unfair and incredibly poor sportsmanship,” she says. It dawned on her that if she was going to be a successful collector, she was going to have to play by her own rules. Months later, while waiting outside the Art Institute, she saw a dealer walking toward the building. She stopped him and asked what he had that day. He pulled out a Matisse drawing. “I told him, ‘Say, that’s nice. How much?’” Selle recalls. “He told me, and I whipped out my checkbook, wrote him a check right there and put the drawing under my arm and walked home with it. I knew that if I’d said anything they would have made me give up that drawing.” Over the years, smarts like that helped Selle amass an enviable collection of master drawings, with a particular emphasis on German art. She can’t pinpoint a reason why she focuses on drawings, but, she says, it might go back to the hours and hours she spent drawing at the Art Institute of Chicago as a child. “It wasn’t until later in life that I realized I was concentrating on the human figure,” she says.