Creating a Collection: A Tour Through the Smith College Museum of ArtMain MenuHow do museums build and unbuild collections?How This WorksInstructions on How to Use this WebsiteHow to Read a Museum LabelThis will help you navigate the SCMA and other museumsWhat is "Public Trust"?Why Museums CollectHow Museums CollectWhy Museums Remove Objects from their CollectionsHow Museums Remove Objects from their CollectionsSamantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
Winslow Homer's "Song of the Lark"
12017-03-21T19:31:12-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c1562341876, oil on canvas, 38 5/8 x 24 1/4 in., Chrysler Museum of Art 83.590, Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. in honor of Dr. T. Lane Stokesplain2017-04-28T07:07:33-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
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12017-03-21T19:33:20-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cShipyard of GloucesterSamantha Page5plain2017-05-03T14:06:44-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
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12017-03-08T08:39:35-08:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cHow do museums build and unbuild collections?Samantha Page35structured_gallery2017-04-26T10:22:39-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
12017-03-08T17:41:09-08:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cPurchasedSamantha Page17Works of art purchased from an artist or dealerstructured_gallery2017-05-03T17:38:09-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
12017-03-08T17:31:21-08:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cDeaccessionedSamantha Page16Works of art formally removed from the collectionstructured_gallery2017-04-28T06:37:41-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
12017-03-20T19:27:21-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cBuilding a new collectionSamantha Page9structured_gallery2017-05-03T14:00:57-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
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12017-03-21T19:32:04-07:00Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5cWinslow Homer's "Shipyard at Gloucester"31871, oil on canvas, 13 1/2 x 19 3/4 in, SC 1950:99, Purchasedmedia/homer_shipyard.jpgplain2017-04-15T11:52:49-07:00All Reproduction Rights Are Reserved and RestrictedSMITH COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ARTNorthampton, MA 01063Registrar / Collection Manager413-585-2765413-585-2763 (main)Samantha Page4d4aad3cbb232d6b14d08c9a79a502129237df5c
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12017-03-08T17:41:09-08:00Purchased17Works of art purchased from an artist or dealerstructured_gallery2017-05-03T17:38:09-07:00One way for the SCMA to acquire works of art it really wants to add to its collection is to buy them. The museum can buy works from galleries and dealers, and directly from the artists creating the objects.
Buying art directly from artists ensures the artwork's authenticity, demonstrates a commitment to the working creative, and shows an active interest in contemporary art. Smith demonstrated an interest in and commitment to these values as an early teaching institution dedicated to the arts.
In the SCMA's earliest days, in the 1870s, artworks were often bought directly from the artists who created them. Examples of this include Abbott Handerson Thayer's Winged Figure (now at the Art Institute of Chicago), Thomas Wilmer Dewing's Lady with a Lute (now in the National Gallery of Art), and Winslow Homer's Song of the Lark (now at the Chrysler Museum of Art).
Bought from a dealer
When being re-matriated (added back into the collection) in 2015, Ramesseum at Thebes was spotted and bought from a dealer in New York City. The SCMA used money from the Hillyer-Mather-Tryon Fund (a combined source of funds given by three major donors to the SCMA) to purchase the artwork.
Click on these other artworks to explore works PURCHASED by the SCMA
12017-03-20T19:27:21-07:00Building a new collection9structured_gallery2017-05-03T14:00:57-07:00In 1879, just four years after the opening of Smith College, the school began buying art to support the study of art and art history. Most of the artworks bought in these early years were bought directly from contemporary American artists. These early purchases included paintings by Winslow Homer, Louis C. Tiffany, George Inness, and Thomas Eakins.
In 1920, the museum finally developed its first official collecting policy, which focused on acquiring modern art. This marks a slight change away from American art, which was similar to other interests in the art world at the time.