Ana Diaz '10 is researching and cataloging a segment of the Emerson Gallery's collection of Pre-Columbian art of Mesoamerica and helping organize an exhibition of art from the permanent collection that examines astrology in ancient Mesoamerican culture. Diaz has received assistance from leading scholars in the field of Mesoamerican art in cataloging the collection, which has been built from gifts from Hamilton families and a local museum. The exhibition will be on view with others organized around the theme of astronomy and will offer a fresh look at the ancient imagery. The exhibition will open at the gallery January 2010.
Arika Madouros '10 (Computer Science/Art History), Kunter Kula '11 (Economics/Art History), Kelly Du Xiaohan '12 and Thea Spittle '12 are volunteering their time to assist at the Emerson Gallery. The students are learning many aspects of working in the museum field, including how to mat, hang, accession and handle objects properly, and are assisting with the development of an online database of the college's art collection.
Emerson Gallery assumed stewardship of drawings and sketchbooks from the William C. Palmer Papers that have been in the library's special collections since they were bequeathed to the college in 1996. The holdings include nearly 1,000 drawings, studies, design proposals and sketchbooks by Palmer and the gallery staff, along with the asistance of Joshua Hicks '09, Ruth Isserman, and Matt Saunders, spent the summer cataloging, digitizing, re-housing and evaluating the preservation needs of the collection. William Palmer came to Clinton to found the Art School at Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute in 1941 and held a joint appointment as Artist-in-Residence at Hamilton until 1948. As the first instructor in painting on campus, Palmer is responsible for developing the Studio Art program and was instrumental in bringing his successors, Paul Parker and James Penney to The Hill. Archival materials from the bequest can also be found in the college archives.
The Emerson Gallery has launched Emancipation and Denigration: Thomas Nast Pictures Black America, a new online exhibition re-created from an earlier gallery presentation (January 14 - April 13, 2008) by Nina Platt '10 and Walcott-Bartlett Professor of Religious Studies Jay Williams '54. This exhibition of prints by Harper's Weekly artist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) explores the experience of black Americans during the Reconstruction era through political cartoons. Co-designed by Ilana Carlin '09, the online exhibition features Williams' curatorial remarks and an audio tour prepared by Platt.
Click here to visit the online version of Emancipation and Denigration: Thomas Nast Pictures Black America
Ilana Carlin '09 co-organized this exhibition on view at the Emerson Gallery January 19 – April 5, 2009. The Art of Transformation features 11 masks from West and Central Africa. Ms. Carlin helped select masks for the exhibition, research them, and write interpretive text for each mask. The exhibition is part of a trio of exhibitions that explore masks and masquerade traditions. In addition to her curatorial work, Ms. Carlin gave a gallery talk in which she discussed the challenges one faces when curating an exhibition of cultural materials.
Click here for more information on The Art of Transformation exhibition.
Three students, Katerina Adair '10, Ilana Carlin '09 and Sophia Franck '08 are working with Associate Professor of Art History Deborah Pokinski, Associate Director and Curator Susanna White and artist William E. Williams '73 on an exhibition featuring Mr. Williams' contemporary photographs of important Underground Railroad sites. The exhibition features sites from across the country with a special emphasis on Central New York. The exhibition will also include art and artifacts related to alumni of Hamilton College who were active in the Underground Railroad, including abolitionist Gerrit Smith, Class of 1818. The exhibition is on view January 14 - April 13, 2008.
Click here to visit the online version of Uncovering the Path to Freedom: Photographs of the Underground Railroad
Sixteen sophomores participated in a seminar team-taught by Professor of Art William Salzillo and Associate Director and Curator Susanna White during the spring '07 semester. The seminar, Art and Interpretation: The Genesis of an Exhibition, taught art appreciation and exhibition planning and was based on the teaching philosophy of Edward W. Root, Class of 1905, Hamilton's first lecturer in art. As a final project, each student produced a podcast segment for an audio tour of the gallery exhibition The Best Kind of Life: Edward W. Root as Teacher, Collector, and Naturalist. The exhibition celebrating Mr. Root's contributions to the world of art, and art education at Hamilton was on view in the galleries from September 27, 2007 - January 6, 2008. iPods were made available in the galleries for the audio tour.
Ana Diaz '10 is researching the Emerson Gallery's collection of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican art. The Emerson currently holds approximately fifty pieces of Pre-Columbian art. Ms. Diaz is cataloging the collection and plans to produce an online exhibition. She is working with John and Anne Fischer Professor in Fine Arts John McEnroe, Susanna White, Emerson Gallery associate director and curator and Dana Krueger, registrar.