The Museum is closed while the staff is hard at work changing out the galleries in preparation for our upcoming exhibition The Adjacent Possible (Opens August 27).
Muscarelle Museum of Art (Sheridan & Spigel Galleries) | August 27 – September 27, 2019
This exhibition, curated by Elizabeth Mead, Professor of Art and W. Taylor Reveley Interdisciplinary Faculty Fellow, seeks to analyze how humans cogitate and process our experience when viewing works of art. The title of the exhibition is a term borrowed from the scientist Stuart Kauffman who defines “the adjacent possible” as the limits of creative potential and how those boundaries grow and enlarge the more one explores them. The Adjacent Possible ponders an area of science called neuro-aesthetics and offers first-hand experiential interaction with contemporary abstract works from a distinguished group of living artists comprised of Michelle Benoit, Phil Chang, Stefan Chinov, Jaynie Crimmins, Sara Dochow, Diane Englander, Pamela Farrell, Karen Fitzgerald, Helen O’Leary, Lorraine Tady, Jo Volley, and Susan York.
Check back here for updates!
Muscarelle Museum of Art (Sheridan & Spigel Galleries) | October 4 – October 27, 2019
Faculty Show 14 highlights the diverse talents of the William & Mary studio instructors in a variety of media including drawing, painting, photography printmaking, sculpture and ceramics. A long-standing collaboration between the Museum and the Department of Art & Art History, participating artists include David Campbell, Suzanne Demeo, Michael Draeger, Eliot Dudik, Michael Gaynes, Mike Jabbur, Brian Kreydatus, John Lee, Jayson Lowery, Elizabeth Mead, Edwin Pease, Kristen Peyton, and Nicole McCormick Santiago.
Muscarelle Museum of Art (Sheridan & Spigel Galleries) | November 6, 2019 – January 12, 2020
This exhibition marks the 400 year-anniversary of the arrival of the first documented African slaves in Colonial Virginia that, while part of the greater narrative of slavery in the Americas, helped to set into motion the ongoing repercussions of this historical event. As a contemporary response to the 1619 commemoration in Virginia, 1619 / 2019 will feature art works from African American and Native American emergent and established artists in a variety of media expressing a complexity of experience, addressing the past and present.
William & Mary students curated this exhibition as part of a required practicum course for Art History majors called The Curatorial Project (ARTH 331). The exhibition explored ceremony as a vital cultural impulse expressed by communities and individuals around the world through an incredible diversity of artistic forms and objects.
Objects of Ceremony was curated by the following students in The Curatorial Project, a course taught by Alan C. Braddock, Ralph H. Wark Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies, in alphabetical order: Greer Bateman, Grace Bland, Vanessa Cai, Ronghong Dai, Emma Efkeman, Melissa Hudson, Lizzie Johnson, Kathleen Lauer, Davidson Norris, Matt Parciak, Clara Poteet, Sarah Roberts, Sam Ros, Emma Shainwald, Caitlin Wagner, Alijah Webb, and Kathryn Willoughby.
Muscarelle Museum of Art (Sheridan & Spigel Galleries) | April 5 – June 6, 2019
This spring, William & Mary students curated this exhibition as part of a required practicum course for Art History majors called The Curatorial Project (ARTH 331). The exhibition explores ceremony as a vital cultural impulse expressed by communities and individuals around the world through an incredible diversity of artistic forms and objects, some grand and some quotidian, some celebratory and others somber. Drawing upon collections at the Muscarelle, Special Collections Resource Center at William & Mary Libraries, and elsewhere around William & Mary, along with sociological ideas about the effervescent liveliness of communal artifacts Objects of Ceremony presents a rich and complex portrait of ritual events that shape and define daily life.
Free to Members, W&M Students, Faculty, and Staff. Non-Members: $5. Reserve or purchase tickets here!
Image citations (left to right):
AMALIA MESA-BAINS | American, b. 1943 | Plants of Mourning, Remembrance of Things Past (detail), 1997 | Digital print on Arches Aquarelle | © Amalia Mesa-Bains | Purchase, the Michael Darren Kelm Memorial Fund and the Kelm-Malis Family | 2000.020
WAYNE MORTON THIEBAUD | American, 1920 – 2011 | Eight Lipsticks, 1988 | Color drypoint and etching | © 2019 Wayne Thiebaud / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY | Purchase, Jean Outland Chrysler Fund | 1988.084
CAROLYN AUTRY | American, 1940 – 2011 | Relationship of Things ─ Belief XXXV (detail), 1981 | Line etching and aquatint | © Estate of the artist | Gift of Peter Elloian in Memory of his wife Carolyn Autry | 2018.051
TORII KOTONDO | Japanese, 1900 – 1976 | Tomomori (detail), c. 1950 | Woodblock print | Gift of David Libertson | 2016.255
Stryker Center | May 1 – June 17, 2019 | Monday through Friday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 1 – 5 PM (except for May 26)
Sankofa is an Adinkra symbol from Ghana, which translates as “to look into one’s past in order to move forward.” Sankofa: Looking Back, Moving Forward is composed of drawings and prints by artist Steve Prince. His work offers a candid look into America’s past and challenges us to look deeper for meaning and understanding of how we have collectively arrived at this juncture in history. The art challenges us to not only be cognitive of the history and the scars we have sustained, but also posits a message of hope for communal renewal if we dare work together to solve the deep-set communal issues.
The artist will be in residence at the Stryker Center, ready to engage with visitors while he completes his latest drawing from the series May 13 – 17, 2019. Please join Prince at the Stryker Center on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM and on Tuesday/Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 PM.
VIRTUAL MUSCARELLE is proud to present Building on the Legacy: African American Art from the Permanent Collection comprised of paintings, drawings, and sculptures by renowned artists.
Created to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first African American students in residence at William & Mary, Building on the Legacy: African American Art from the Permanent Collection was part of a yearlong program of special events during the 2017-2018 academic year, which spoke to themes of parity and desegregation. The original exhibition, held at the Muscarelle Museum of Art (September 2, 2017 – January 14, 2018), featured works that encompassed a variety of media, styles, and eras, exemplifying the plurality of vision among these accomplished artists. Re-created and expanded for VIRTUAL MUSCARELLE as part of AMERICAN EVOLUTION™, the 2019 commemoration in the Commonwealth, Building on the Legacy embraces a panoply of approaches, ranging from the 19th-century realism of Henry Ossawa Tanner to the contemporary conceptualism of Martin Puryear.
The Muscarelle Museum of Art is proud to present the virtual exhibition “Women with Vision: Masterworks from the Permanent Collection” in recognition of the 100 Years of Women celebration at William & Mary. This panoramic virtual tour allows the user to view works from the Muscarelle collection alongside curatorial research expressly chosen to honor the contribution women have made in the arts. Women with Vision online launches the Museum’s digital initiatives project called VIRTUAL MUSCARELLE. For optimal viewing, we suggest using Google Chrome, Safari, or Opera web browsers.
Miriam Schapiro | American, 1923 – 2015 | In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee, 1993 | Color lithograph | © Miriam Schapiro | Museum Purchase | 2000.022
February 10 – May 13, 2018
In the Light of Caravaggio: Dutch and Flemish Paintings from Southeastern Museums features important Caravaggesque paintings from the renowned collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, North Carolina Museum of Art, Speed Museum, Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery, and Chrysler Museum of Art including recent acquisitions to the collection of the Muscarelle. As seen previously in 2014 at the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Michelangelo Merisi called Caravaggio (Italian, 1571-1610), had an enormous influence on Baroque art with his dramatic use of light and emotive realism. Paintings by Rembrandt, ter Brugghen, van Baburen, Honthorst, Janssen and Rombouts exemplify Caravaggio’s influence on Dutch and Flemish painters of the seventeenth century. This rare gathering of masterworks, on view together for the first time in twenty years, provides a unique opportunity for Muscarelle visitors to see an embarrassment of riches from Southeastern Museums.
Image citation: DIRCK VAN BABUREN | Dutch, c. 1590 – 1624 | Narcissus Gazing at his Reflection (detail), c. 1621 – 1622 | Oil on canvas | Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | 2016.003
February 10 – May 13, 2018
The Muscarelle Museum of Art is proud to present Women With Vision: Masterworks from the Permanent Collection in conjunction with William & Mary’s 100 Years of Women celebration. This exhibition features over thirty works by prominent women artists from the permanent collection and is comprised of a variety of media styles and time periods expressing their vision.
Image Citation: GEORGIA O’KEEFFE | American, 1887 – 1986 | White Flower, 1932 | Oil on panel | Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William & Mary | Gift of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. | © Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, ARS | 1934.007
February 10 – May 13, 2018
We are proud to present Guerrilla Girls: Conscience of the Art World in the Herman Graphic Arts Room as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of coeducation at William & Mary and in Virginia. In 2017, the Museum acquired the Guerrilla Girls Portfolio Compleat, a portfolio that contains over 125 posters and projects created by the Guerrilla Girls from 1985 through 2016. Since 1985 and even more stridently today, the Guerrilla Girls have been concerned with broader discrimination; particularly social oppression related to race, class, and gender. In this exhibition you will see how the Guerrilla Girls use a combination of humor, advertising styled graphics and statistics to openly protest the imbalance of men and women artists in galleries and museums worldwide.
September 2 – December 10, 2017
Fred Eversley, 50 Years an Artist: Light & Space & Energy features a survey of the artist’s work representing an extraordinary fifty-year career. Eversley, trained as an engineer, began making his polyester resin sculptures with an aim to “create kinetic art without using kinetic elements such as mechanical movement or artificial light changes.” Eversley’s strong interest in energy has led to further creations that utilize wind current to create dynamic acrylic cast forms. This retrospective exhibition featuring the works of Fred Eversley, an important African American sculptor and innovator, will coincide with the College’s fiftieth anniversary of the first residential African American students. Interestingly, as the artist has pointed out to us, the dates of desegregation at the College of William & Mary in September 1967 is the exact month and year that he embarked on his exceptional career as an artist.
Image citation: Fred Eversley | American, b. 1941 | Blue Para, 2004 | Cast polyester resin | 20 x 20 x 6 inches | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Photo: Maria Larsson
September 2, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Building on the Legacy: African American Art from the Permanent Collection is comprised of more than thirty paintings, drawings, works on paper and sculptures by some of this country’s most renowned artists. This academic year of 2017-2018, the College of William & Mary commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the first African American students in residence: Lynn Briley, Janet Brown and Karen Ely. In honor of this milestone, the Muscarelle Museum of Art is proud to showcase works from the permanent collection that encompasses a variety of media, styles and time periods, exemplifying the plurality of vision among these accomplished artists. The selection embraces a panoply of approaches, ranging from the nineteenth-century realism of Henry Ossawa Tanner to the contemporary conceptualism of Martin Puryear. The subjects include portraiture by realist and folk artists, black-and-white abstractions and colorful landscapes, including recent acquisitions.
To learn more about 50th commemoration events, click here.
Left: JEANNE MOUTOUSSAMY-ASHE | American, b. 1951 | Maya Angelou, 1993 | Silver print with hand coloring | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | © Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe | 2015.027
Right: JOHN WILSON | American, 1922 – 2015 | Martin Luther King, Jr., 2002 | Etching on chine collé | Muscarelle Museum of Art | Acquired with funds from the Board of Visitors Muscarelle Museum of Art Endowment | © Estate of the artist | 2015.011
The Bones of the Earth: Scholars’ Rocks and the Natural World in Chinese Culture, Selections from the Robert Turvene Collection
April 21 – August 13, 2017
In Chinese philosophy and ancient legend, Scholars’ rocks were viewed as “the bones of the earth”. Since the Song dynasty (960–1279), these natural sculptures have been regarded as artifacts of the sacred relationship between man and nature and described in folklore as otherworldly. Collectors of these stones use them for contemplation and inspiration. The selections on view at the Muscarelle Museum of Art are part of larger group and promised gift from the Collection of Robert Turvene (W&M ’53) and are comprised of every revered type including Lingbi, Ying, Taihu, Mohu, Nine Dragon, Kun, Meng and Three Gorges.
Curated by Lowry Palmer (W&M ’17) and Elizabeth Dowker (W&M ’20).
Press release is available here.
February 11 – August 13, 2017
The Art and Science of Connoisseurship explores the creative narrative behind six paintings attributed to Agnolo Bronzino, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Peter Paul Rubens, Peter Lely, and Paul Cézanne. This exhibition presents a series of visual examinations and scientific analyses that address the questions of who, what, where, when, and why surrounding these recently-acquired paintings. From observations of stylistic progression and considerations of an artist’s chronology, to the identification of retouched surfaces and studies of paint samples, each of the Muscarelle’s new works presents distinctive issues in connoisseurship.
May 6 – August 13, 2017
This exhibition represents a celebration and first public showing of an outstanding collection of Chinese art recently donated to the Muscarelle Museum of Art. The generous gift comprised of twenty-one superb works, covers an arc of almost two thousand years of the world’s greatest tradition of pottery-making, dating from circa 475-221 BC in clay and 400-201 BC in bronze spanning through 1279-1368 AD. In the course of this journey, the exhibition and the visitor will encounter enchanting examples from two golden ages of Chinese art, the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and culminating in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 906 AD).
Curated by Dr. John T. Spike with assistance from Phoebe Warren (W&M ’17) and Abigail Bradford (W&M ’17).
Botticelli and the Search for the Divine: Florentine Painting between the Medici and the Bonfires of the Vanities
February 11 – April 5, 2017
The restless genius of Sandro Botticelli (Florence, 1445-1510) is explored in depth in the most important Botticelli exhibition ever seen in the United States, Botticelli and the Search for the Divine; a major international loan exhibition organized by the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Va., in partnership with Italy’s Associazione Culturale Metamorfosi. Every phase of the artist’s tumultuous career is represented in this selection, as well as nine works by his master Filippo Lippi, the only pupil of Masaccio. Botticelli was guided to success by the Medici dynasty, the patrons for sacred altarpieces and sensuous paintings of classical mythology, including several in this unprecedented exhibition. After the fall of the Medici, many of his paintings were lost in the bonfires of the vanities.
In the fourth such partnership, the exhibition will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston as its only other venue and will include one of only two of Botticelli’s paintings of an isolated Venus, on view for the first time in the United States. This exhibition is curated by Dr. John T. Spike.
February 11 – April 5, 2017 at the Muscarelle Museum of Art
and April 15 – July 9, 2017 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Image credit: Sandro Botticelli and workshop | Venus (detail) | Oil on canvas, transferred from wood panel | Galleria Sabauda, Turin, lnv. 172
February 11 – May 21, 2017
Unpublished and on view for the first time, these letters are an important new resource for research and scholarship, providing viewers with a unique, inside glimpse of the man who served as President of the United States from 1817 to 1825. Playing out as a drama in letters, these documents shed light on Monroe’s deliberations, particularly when making political appointments, revealing the sometimes uneasy task of granting positions of power. The letters’ exhibition and their accessibility to researchers at the Special Collections Research Center create the exciting potential for new discoveries. Uncovering lost details of Monroe’s life and leadership, they provide a new lens through which to view one of the nation’s early leaders.
February – August 2017
Thomas Jefferson’s Honorary Degree , from collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society, is the only diploma Jefferson received from his alma mater and confers upon him “gladly and eagerly of the degree of doctor in the civil law.” This pocket exhibition focuses on Jefferson’s years at William & Mary and the mentors who helped shaped the mind of the third President of the United States.
This exhibition is co-sponsored by the Office of the President at William & Mary. Read more about Jefferson’s diploma here.
Hark Upon a History: The 1929 Journey to England, curated by Sydney Stewart, ’16 and Michaela Wright, ’16, is a companion exhibition to Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School. The exhibition tells the story of William & Mary President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler and his journey to explore and shed light on the English heritage of the College. In the spring of 1929, President Chandler and school architect, Charles Morrison Robinson, set sail for England to investigate the history of the College and the origins of the Brafferton.
For an in-depth look at the materials and research used to curate the exhibition, please click here.
Contemporary American Marine Art: 17th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists
September 10 through December 2, 2016
Hosted every three years by museums across the U.S., the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) holds a juried competition for the best in contemporary marine art. ASMA is a non-profit educational organization whose purpose is to recognize and promote marine art and maritime history, and to encourage cooperation among artists, historians, academics, enthusiasts and others engaged in activities relating to marine art. The Muscarelle Museum of Art kicks off the national tour in conjunction with the First National Marine Art Conference in Williamsburg (September 8-11).
Unique to the Muscarelle display, the Museum will partner with the Virginia Coastal Policy Center (VCPC) at the College of William & Mary Law School for a series of lectures featuring marine topics ranging from sea level rise, to the Clean Power Plan and the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Through the First Tuesday Lecture Series, free and open to the public, the Museum will serve as a neutral space for open dialogue about complex coastal resource management issues among a backdrop of more than 120 works of art from the nation’s leading marine artists.
September 10, 2016 through
January 8, 2017 Due to the inclement weather, the Muscarelle will be closed this weekend. We regret that January 6 will be the last day to come and see “Building the Brafferton” exhibition. However, stay tuned for a forthcoming online version and exhibition catalogue.
Constructed in 1723, the Brafferton Indian School remains a strong visual symbol on the campus of the College of William & Mary. This is the first exhibition to examine the history of the Brafferton within the wider trans-Atlantic networks of trade, politics of church and state, and Great Britain’s colonial enterprise in North America. New research on the Brafferton connects Indian students from the Pamunkey, Cherokee, Nottoway, and Wyandot tribes, to wider narratives of our shared past. Historical paintings, engravings, archival documents, and contemporary Native American Art, are assembled to explore the founding, funding, and legacy of one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed institutions of higher learning.
Curated by Danielle Moretti-Langholtz, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology and the Muscarelle Museum of Art, and Buck Woodard, Ph.D., American Indian Initiative, Division of Historical Research and Interpretation, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Hark Upon a History: The 1929 Journey to England
As a companion exhibition to Building the Brafferton: The Founding, Funding and Legacy of America’s Indian School, Hark Upon a History is dedicated to William & Mary President Julian Alvin Carroll Chandler’s journey to explore and shed light on the English heritage of the College. In the spring of 1929, President Chandler and school architect, Charles Morrison Robinson, set sail for England. The pair were on a mission to investigate the history of the College and the origins of the Brafferton, which up until that point lay forgotten. This exhibition marks the first time that materials pertaining to their journey are on view. Curated by Sydney Stewart, ’16 and Michaela Wright, ’16, Hark upon a History will be on display in the Herman Graphic Arts Study Room.
April 16 – August 14, 2016
The Muscarelle Museum of Art is pleased to announce the North American premiere of Museumscopes: Photography by Massimo Pacifico, a colorful exhibition on the surprising theme that laughter, tears, sleeping and dancing happen every day – even in museums. In his worldwide travels to shoot stories on five continents, renowned Italian photographer Massimo Pacifico discovered along the way that museums are also great places to see people just being themselves. He focuses his lens to portray, sometimes with humor and always with sensitivity, the expressions and gestures of his fellow visitors as they stand, watch, ignore or mimic, the statues and paintings all around them.
April 16 through August 14, 2016
Our signature series, Curators at Work, returns in its sixth installment and features significant works from the permanent collection as well as exciting recent acquisitions. This annual exhibition provides the opportunity for undergraduate students from the College of William & Mary to serve as curators under the direction of Dr. John T. Spike in his seminar Curating, Collecting and Connoisseurship (INTR 220-01).
February 6, 2016— April 10, 2016
From Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographic studies of animal locomotion to Richard Misrach’s contemporary chromogenic prints, Light Works explores the history of photography. Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and many other celebrated photographers are highlighted in this exhibition. Drawn primarily from the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Light Works also features works from the Muscarelle Museum of Art permanent collection as well as important loans.
Photo credit: EADWEARD MUYBRIDGE, Animal Locomotion, Man with a Donkey, 1887, collotype. Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Gift of Wm John Upjohn.
September 12, 2015 – January 17, 2016
Recent works of the teaching studio art faculty including visiting instructors and emeriti professors of The College of William & Mary are featured in Faculty Show 13. This exhibition encompasses a variety of media including ceramics, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking and sculpture. A long-standing collaboration between the Museum and the Department of Art & Art History, Faculty Show 13 includes works from the following artists: William Barnes, David Campbell, Linda Carey, Lewis Cohen, Suzanne Demeo, Michael Draeger, Eliot Dudik, Michael Gaynes, Kathleen Hall, Mike Jabbur, Marlene Jack, Brian Kreydatus, John Lee, Jayson Lowery, Elizabeth Mead, Ed Pease and Nicole M. Santiago.
May 2 – August 30, 2015
This exhibition is the culmination of the Curating, Collecting and Connoisseurship seminar taught under the tutelage of Dr. John T. Spike. Fifth in the series, students have the opportunity to step into the role of exhibition curators as they select prints and drawings from the permanent collection. The Museum serves as a laboratory for experiential undergraduate learning and, for this exhibition, students research and write the text that document the social and political context of individual works. The exhibition primarily focuses on new acquisitions and covers a broad spectrum of time periods, styles and media.
The Muscarelle Museum of Art, in its first collaboration with the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary is pleased to present Matilda of Canossa and the Origins of the Renaissance. This is the first monographic exhibition in the United States ever dedicated to Matilda, one of the great leaders and women of the Middle Ages. Curated by Michèle K. Spike, noted biographer of Matilda of Canossa and adjunct professor of law at the Marshall-Wythe School of Law, this exhibition will be on view from February 7 to April 24, 2015.
April 25, 2015 – January 17, 2016
On view through January 2016, Twilight of a Golden Age: Florentine Painting after the Renaissance, Masterworks from the Haukohl Family Collection provides the opportunity to see some of the finest examples of paintings and objects from the Florentine Baroque period. Florentine Baroque paintings, dating from the late sixteenth to early eighteenth centuries, utilize vibrant colors and a brilliant use of shadow to portray dramatic scenes wrought with emotion. The Haukohl Family Collection has been carefully curated by Sir Mark Fehrs Haukohl and this exhibition is made possible through his generosity.