Creating a Collection: A Tour Through the Smith College Museum of Art

Strengthening the collection (filling gaps, adding breadth + depth)

Lockwood De Forest's Ramesseum at Thebes was initially acquired by the museum in the late 1870s or early 1880s. Unfortunately, it was deaccessioned in 1941 along with fourteen other paintings. 

In 2015, this De Forest painting resurfaced at a dealer in New York City. Thanks to the work of John Davis, an art history professor, and Jessica Nicoll, director of the SCMA, the painting was re-matriated by the SCMA, where it is once again a part of the permanent collection. (Read more here.) Now, Ramesseum fills a more recent gap in the collection in the area of "orientalist painting." 

In 2016, Elinor Lander Horwitz '50 donated her collection of Islamic art objects to the SCMA. 

The Horwitz Collection, a donation of 43 ceramic objects and 25 miniature paintings, contributes an invaluable new asset to the SCMA. This discipline of art history was previously unrepresented in the museum's collection. Additionally, this donation coincides with an expansion of the Art History department, as it has begun hiring scholars and teaching courses in the field of Islamic art.

Click on one of the artworks below to explore other works added to strengthen the SCMA's collection. 

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