News & Upcoming Events

Julia Marciari-Alexander '89, first female executive director of Walters Art Museum, highlighted by the Wellesley Daily Shot!

Julia Marciari-Alexander stands in front of sculptures at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
Julia Marciari-Alexander '89

Julia Marciari-Alexander, a Wellesley College Art History major in the Class of 1989, spoke to our very own student-run Art History Club this April about her current ground-breaking position, the impact a Wellesley education has had on her life and career, and the general status of women in the arts today.

As museum administration has long been a male-dominated field, Marciari-Alexander's ascendance has been a real testament to her own talents and to the education that Wellesley College was able to provide. The Walters Art Museum first opened as public institution in 1934, and although a number of women were involved in the founding of the museum, it had never had a woman leading its administration until Marciari-Alexander came on board in 2013.

The Wellesley Daily Shot featured Julia Marciari-Alexander on June 27, 2016. A conversation with Marciari-Alexander around the time of her Art History Club visit was published in the Wellesley News back in April. Check out both articles to learn more about the work being done by this alum!


Art Dept. staff member Thomas Willis interviewed by Big, Red & Shiny

screenshot of Thomas Willis video: woman wearing stretched canvas glasses; Retrofit Painting
Video still from Thomas Willis' Retrofit Painting Boston Release Party 2016.
CAGE Coordinator and Art Department staff member Thomas Willis was recently interviewed by Ileana Selejan for local online arts magazine Big, Red & Shiny.


Talin Ghazarian, '16, wins Susan Rappaport Knapfel Scholarship!

Talin Gazarian in Lebanon
Talin Ghazarian, Class of 2016, in Lebanon.


Talin Ghazarian, an Art History and Middle Eastern Studies major in the Class of 2016, has just won the Susan Rappaport Knapfel '52 Scholarship for Foreign Study, which funds a year of study for a senior who wants to pursue a specific subject that requires contact with foreign scholars, libraries, or other resources.

She will be working toward a master of philosophy degree in Assyriology at the University of Cambridge. Her research will focus on violence, alterity, and the body in neo-Assyrian art.

Congrats Talin, and congratulations to all the other Wellesley scholarship and award winners!



Art History professors featured in Wellesley Magazine!

Professors Kimberly Cassibry and Nikki Greene
Professors Kimberly Cassibry and Nikki Greene (right photo by Richard Howard)


Interested in what our faculty are up to? Take a look at these articles about our professors, their studies, and what they're doing with their classes in the Winter and Spring '16 issues of Wellesley Magazine.



Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium

Saturday, March 5, 2016
Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium - Modernism in New England


Modernism in New England
Saturday, March 5th
9:00 – 4:30
Collins Cinema, Wellesley College


A symposium funded by the Barra Foundation and co-sponsored by the Grace Slack McNeil Program for Studies in American Art at Wellesley College and Historic Deerfield, Inc.

The Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium will explore the impact of Modernism on New England’s art and architecture. Though long stereotyped as a bastion of conservative culture and overshadowed by milestone events such as New York City’s 1913 Armory Show, twentieth-century New England was home to a vibrant group of visual artists, architects, curators, collectors, and educators who embraced Modernism and looked for ways to develop its tenets and new media as a regional expression. Illustrated presentations by scholars from across the country will address the influence of Modernism on New England architecture, city planning, interior design, and the visual arts during the twentieth century.

The symposium is free and open to the public but seating is limited. To register in advance please sign up here

To download a copy of the Symposium Program click here



Monday, September 28, 2015
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory

Jenny Yurshansky will speak in Jewett Arts Center 450 at 4:30 PM on Monday, September 28.

This multi-modal project stems from the ground research of collecting, studying, and digging into the histories of invasive plant species in Claremont, California. Restricting my investigation to vegetation classified as invasive by the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, I was able to determine which invasive species have infiltrated the local area.

At its root the project investigates the distinction between native versus invasive species. The discourse surrounding a list of "invasive" or "alien" flora species has interesting and fruitful correlations to policies regarding immigration, multiculturalism, and evolving ideas about national identities that are inherently tied to the identity of border cultures and specifically California, a location that has carried the name of a number of nations throughout the historical record.

Artist bio: Jenny Yurshansky is an American artist who was born in Rome. She received her MFA in Visual Art from UC Irvine and was a participant in the post-graduate Critical Studies course at the Malmö Art Academy. She is the co-founder of Persbo Studio, an artist residency, sculpture park, and creative space in Sweden. In 2014 she was an Artist-in-Residence at Pitzer College Art Galleries, developing a site-specific project for a solo show in 2015. This year she has been a Guest Artist Researcher at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. In 2010 Yurshansky was the first international artist awarded the Maria Bonnier Stipend from Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, the prize was awarded along with an exhibition. Yurshansky has also participated in group shows at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Laguna Beach Art Museum, MAK Center, and LAXART, the Torrance Art Museum, the Armory Center for the Arts, the 7th Istanbul Biennial, the Hammer Museum, Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art in Malmö, and the Toyota Museum. She is the recipient of numerous artist and curatorial grants. More information is available at

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Retrofit Painting Presents…Installation by Thomas Willis
Thomas Willis

Location: Jewett Sculpture Court
On View: January 25 to February 26, 2016
Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 26th 4 - 6 pm
Artist Talk: Thursday, February 25th, 12:30 - 1:30pm JAC 450

Examining the relationships and disparities between the history of painting, trademark, and entertainment, Thomas Willis’ installation, Retrofit Painting Presents… brings a representation of the hedonic Las Vegas Strip to the academic Jewett Art Center with his conceptual art brand, Retrofit Painting. Willis’ Retrofit Painting, part parody, part praise, is a designer label and online store created to market and sell paintings crafted as objects for everyday use. The label’s “luxury products” range from ready-to-wear painting shoes, bags, sunglasses, hats and other custom accessories. During the summer of 2015 The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas invited Willis as their summer artist-in-residence. He transformed the appearance of their art studio (positioned among shops and restaurants) into a “high-end retail boutique.” In this installation Willis displayed the brand's paintings-as-objects to the casino visitors as a retail outlet, while alluding to the problems and perceptions of flatness on the Las Vegas Strip. For the Jewett Sculpture Court Gallery Willis will surround the “products” and “promotional materials” of Retrofit Painting with the cultural elements of a Las Vegas nightclub to create a theatrical setting for viewing the art.
Within the context of Las Vegas and beyond, Retrofit Painting appropriates high production media, commercial advertising, minimal design, and capitalist business practices to expound on and bring into question the potency and consumption of surface in the marketplace. Visit the piece’s website, or for more information on the project.
Thomas Willis (1985) is the Technology Support Specialist for the Department of Art at Wellesley College, managing the photo, video, and new media labs and equipment for the Jewett Art Center. Willis is a Boston-based artist originally from Las Vegas, NV. He received his BFA in painting and drawing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2009. His art has shown in numerous exhibitions across the United States, with works in institutions such as the Luo Ruvo Center for Brain Health, Bentley University, and the deCordova Museum. Willis currently has a studio at the Dorchester Art Project in the neighborhood of Field’s Corner, Boston.


Thursday, November 19, 2015
Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Class of 1919 Art Lecture

Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Class of 1919 Art Lecture

Ken Lapatin "Why Fakes Matter: Authenticity in Ancient Art"

Ken Lapatin is the Associate Curator for Antiquities at the Getty Villa.



Sophie Kerwin '16 speaks at the 8th Undergraduate Art History Symposium









Jewett Art Gallery
May 10 - 27, 2016
Jewett Art Gallery
Feb. 29 - April 1, 2016
Jewett Sculpture Court
Feb. 29 - April 1, 2016
Laconia Gallery, Boston
Feb. 5 - March 20, 2016
Jewett Art Gallery
Jan. 25 - Feb. 26, 2016
Jewett Art Gallery
Nov. 16 - Dec. 18, 2015