James T. Woolley. Footed Bowl. Early 20th century. Sterling silver. Image and data provided by The Davis Museum at Wellesley College.

James T. Woolley. Footed Bowl. Early 20th century. Sterling silver. Image and data provided by The Davis Museum at Wellesley College.

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College (the Davis) has contributed an additional 7,600 images of its permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library bringing their total to over 8,000.*

With this rich contribution the coverage of the Davis collection in Artstor nears complete representation and includes selections from every curatorial area. An eclectic mix of highlights presents an engaging glimpse of the collection. From European paintings the unflinching and incisive Double Portrait, 1630s, by Abraham de Vries typifies the Dutch Golden Age aesthetic that appealed to early American collectors, while Abraham entertaining the Three Angels, c. 1620, attributed to the Italian painter Jacopo Vignali, casts biblical narrative in delightful fantasy.

From the Baroque era, we fast-forward to the twentieth century with the sleek bronze Sculpture Méditerranéenne II, 1942 by Hans Arp and the whimsical Out of the Blue, 1985 by Helen Frankenthaler.

Three diminutive and exquisite objects from the collection demonstrate its geographic diversity and excellence: a Cycladic marble Folded-Arm Figure from the third century B.C.E.; an early twentieth century silver-footed bowl by the American James T. Woolley (above); and a Fertility Figure from the Asante culture of Ghana, late nineteenth-early twentieth century.

American art, a particular strength of the collection, is represented here by a sublime Seascape, 1870,  by the marine painter William Trost Richards. Finally, the field of photography, another deep curatorial area, is encapsulated by the timeless Femmes aux fleurs, Portugal, 1958, by Édouard Boubat.

The Davis, one of the oldest academic collections in America, is home to approximately 11,000 works of art and objects dating from antiquity to the present, with strengths in painting, sculpture, works on paper, and photography. Highlights include the work of historical painters from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, from Jacopo Pinturicchio to Mary Cassatt, as well as respected modernists and living artists from Willem de Kooning to Lygia Pape.

The Davis debuted in 1889 as the Farnsworth Art Building on the Wellesley College campus with a collection that originated with the college founder Henry Fowle Durant, who deemed it necessary to a liberal arts education for women; when Wellesley introduced art history in 1885, it was among the first American colleges to offer the subject.

In 1993, a building designed by Rafael Moneo became the home of the newly named Davis Museum and Cultural Center (in honor of the benefactor and alumna Kathryn Wasserman Davis and her husband).

The Davis Collection is being released as part of a thematic launch on American college museums that includes selections from the Ackland Art Museum (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); the Bowdoin College Museum of Art; the Davison Art Center (Wesleyan University); the Ringling Theatre Collection (University of Florida); Tufts University Art Museum; the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Art Collection; and the Williams College Museum of Art.

View the collection in the Artstor Digital Library, or learn more at The Davis Museum at Wellesley College collection page.

*Image totals may vary from country to country, reflecting Artstor’s obligation to address the specifics of international copyright.