Arty Facts: Three things you might like to know about the Museum of Art...
1. Visitor numbers have been on the rise at the Smith College Museum of Art. In recent years the museum has embarked on a variety of innovative programs and exhibitions to broaden its audience and deepen visitors' experiences. The efforts seem to be paying off. Some 34,330 visitors walked through the museum's galleries during fiscal year 2006; attendance in the following year increased to 41,446.
2. This past fall, the Museum of Art hosted the exhibition Bauhaus Modern featuring almost 100 posters, prints, paintings, furnishings and architectural drawings by a variety of artists associated with the experimental German art school, the Bauhaus (1919–33). The show featured many materials from the museum's own holdings as well as others on loan. Bauhaus Modern at Smith's Museum of Art was in the vanguard of a number of important Bauhaus exhibitions going on view in 2009 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the school's founding in Germany. Currently scheduled is a collaborative retrospective on the Bauhaus at New York's Museum of Modern Art. It is the first comprehensive treatment of the Bauhaus at MoMA since 1938.
3. The artist–designed restrooms on the museum's lower level were recently ranked among the top five public restrooms in the United States. The distinctive men's and women's rooms, which are (obviously) permanent installations and part of the museum's collections, received the honor as part of the 2008 America's Best Bathroom contest, conducted for Cintas Corporation.
Both restrooms are water–themed. The women's room, titled "Catching the Drift," was created by artist Ellen Driscoll and features hand–painted tiles and etched glass panels depicting sea creatures and an underwater world. By contrast, the men's room, which was designed by artist Sandy Skoglund '68, uses a stark black and white palette and is titled "Liquid Origins, Fluid Dreams."