Colleges’ Collections Goes Digital – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Colleges’ Collections Goes Digital

The Colleges’ Collections, home to a multitude of important works by internationally acclaimed artists, such as Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Romare Bearden (1911-1988), has made the move to digital.

Thanks to a brand new interactive section on the HWS website, works from the Collections are now available for easy-to-access online viewing. Presented on The Collections of Hobart and Williams Smith Colleges page, the new multimedia art display showcases significant works, including pieces by Arthur Dove (1880-1946), Robert de Niro (1922-1993), Chiang Chao-shen (1925-1996), Norman Rockwell (1894-1978), and Nancy Spero (1926-2009), among numerous others.

Visual Arts Curator Kathryn Vaughn says she’s excited about the launch of the digital gallery, hoping that the new offering will help to advance the connection between the campus community and the Collections.

“I’m hoping the online galleries will introduce students, faculty and alums to the art collection across disciplinary borders.” Vaughn says. “Art is capable of bridging borders throughout our lives. The Colleges’ collection is a valuable resource for our educational mission, as well as a point of pride for the institution.”

The Colleges’ Collections are hosted under the Davis Gallery; however, visitors of the new online platform now have access to many works that are not on display there. Located in Houghton House, Davis Gallery has served as a forum for creative expression since its opening in 2009. More than 70 donors have made generous contributions to the rich myriad of works housed in the Collections.

The advent of a digital gallery now allows works of artists represented in the Colleges’ Collections the opportunity to reach a larger audience. This unique way to market the collections allows website visitors to peruse images of sculptures, paintings, and prints within the Colleges’ Collections.

The Collections contain many original works of art in media, such as drawing, painting, prints, sculpture, photography and decorative objects. The Collections are particularly strong in works on paper from the 19th through the 21st centuries.

The Colleges’ Collections provide students, faculty, scholars and a broad regional community the opportunity to study and enjoy original works of art. Works of art from the Collections are regularly utilized for exhibition, classroom and research purposes. Students participate in all aspects of collection management, learning museum standards of art handling and registration, assisting with the installation of exhibits and campus displays, as well as conducting research for curatorial purposes and educational programs.

“With works from the Colleges’ Collections available online, it would be wonderful to see interest piqued from across academic disciplines on campus,” Vaughn says. “We hope it will provide a point of access that’s more interdisciplinary for research and study.”

As the online gallery continues to develop, Vaughn says videos featuring faculty members discussing selected works from the Collections also will be added to the digital offering.  She says the video series will launch this spring and will be titled “Musings.”

In addition to the online gallery, the Colleges’ Collections also are made accessible to the public through an active campus display program. Works of art from the Collections are presented throughout more than 20 administrative and academic buildings across the campus, including Admissions, the Abbe Center for Jewish Life, Alumni House, the Warren Hunting Smith Library, Coxe Hall and Stern Hall.

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