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. These fifteen works of art were sold to Harry Eichleay, a dealer based in Pittsburgh, PA, for $150. 
In 2015, this De Forest painting resurfaced at a dealer in New York City. Thanks to the work of Prof. John Davis and Director Jessica Nicoll, the painting was re-matriated by the SCMA, where it is once again a part of the permanent collection. (Read more here.) In this way, it filled 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.

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