Wu Man with Shanghai Quartet

Music from Ancient and New China

Sunday, April 3, 2016 - 3:00pm
Diana Chapman Wash Alumnae Hall Auditorium

Get reservations for the concert HERE!

Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet explore the great music of China in a program that features a new multimedia work by the eminent Chinese composer, Zhao Jiping, in collaboration with his son, Zhao Lin, performing some of his most famous scores of Chinese cinema – Raise the Red Lantern, To Live and Farewell My Concubine, among others. The program also includes a suite of traditional Chinese folk songs arranged by 2nd violinist Yi-Wen Jiang, as well as solo pipa works by Wu Man. Looking back to their roots with a contemporary vision, these artists meld sounds of China with western string quartet and pipa in an unforgettable evening of grand music.

Recognized as the world’s premier pipa virtuoso and leading ambassador of Chinese music, Grammy Award-nominated musician Wu Man has carved out a career as a soloist,  educator and composer giving her lute-like instrument—which has a history of over 2,000 years in China—a new role in both traditional and contemporary music. Through numerous concert tours Wu Man has premiered hundreds of new works for the pipa, while spearheading multimedia projects to both preserve and create awareness of China’s ancient musical traditions. Her adventurous spirit and virtuosity have led to collaborations across artistic disciplines allowing Wu Man to reach wider audiences as she works to break through cultural and musical borders. Wu Man’s efforts were recognized when she was named Musical America’s 2013 Instrumentalist of the Year, marking the first time this prestigious award has been bestowed on a player of a non-Western instrument.

Renowned for its passionate musicality, impressive technique and multicultural innovations, the Shanghai Quartet has become one of the world's foremost chamber ensembles. Its elegant style melds the delicacy of Eastern music with the emotional breadth of Western repertoire, allowing it to traverse musical genres including traditional Chinese folk music, masterpieces of Western music and cutting-edge contemporary works. Formed at the Shanghai Conservatory in 1983, the Quartet has worked with the world's most distinguished artists and regularly tours the major music centers of Europe, North America and Asia. 

The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Cinephile Sunday: Exquisite Combinations

Sunday, February 14, 2016 - 3:00pm
Collins Cafe, Collins Cinema

In honor of the 200th anniversary of the conception of the classic novel Frankenstein, this semester's Cinéphile Sundays series includes films with some connection to author Mary Shelley. The theme, Exquisite Combinations, comes from a quote in the preface to Frankenstein, and is also a nod to the game Exquisite Corpse, in which various written or hand-drawn parts from different players who know only a fraction of what the others have done comes together to create a new composite reality. Exquisite Combinations explores the fear evoked when evil is manmade, as well as the opportunities and dangers of combining man and machine. 

The first film in this season’s Cinéphile Sundays series celebrates an elaboration on Shelley’s creative endeavor. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is the first sequel to the 1931 hit Frankenstein. It takes place immediately after the events of the first film, and is rooted in a subplot from the original story. In the story, Dr. Frankenstein has abandoned his plans to create life when his mentor, Dr. Pretorius, coerces him into constructing a mate for the monster. In the film, Elsa Lanchester plays the dual role of the Bride of Frankenstein and Mary Shelly, Colin Clive reprises his role as Dr. Frankenstein, and Ernest Thesiger plays Dr. Septimus Pretorius. Boris Karloff, acclaimed for his roles in horror films, stars in the role of Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster.

Aesthetically and historically, The Bride of Frankenstein has become one of the best-known horror films of all time, and is one of the few sequels in the history of film to have ever equaled or bested its predecessor. It has been critically acclaimed as director James Whale’s masterpiece, and recognized as an icon in the genre of classic horror. The film represents a formative moment in the production and design of classic horror films. The makeup artists at Universal Studios spent extra time on the design of both the monster characters, adding scars and injuries to Frankenstein’s monster. Most well known, though, is the Bride of Frankenstein’s conical hairstyle with white lightning-trace streaks on each side, which was originally based on Egyptian queen Nefertiti.

Four additional films follow the launch of the Exquisite Combinations series with The Bride of Frankenstein:

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927), with a live soundtrack by Alloy Orchestra, February 28

Paprika (Satoshi Kon, 2006), March 13

El espíritu de la colmena (Victor Erice, 1973), April 10

Conceiving Ada (Lynn Hershman Leeson, 1997), May 1

Please refer to the Related Links at the top right of the page for more information on each film.


All films are free and open to the public. Cinéphile Sundays is generously supported by the Wilson Fund.

"What Is Left"

Alice C. Cole Alumnae Fellowship Exhibition

February 5-March 20, 2016
Laconia Gallery, 433 Harrison Avenue, Boston

The Alice C. Cole ’42 Alumnae Fund provides project-based support to recent Wellesley College alumnae for the development, production, and exhibition of new projects in painting or sculpture, broadly construed. This exhibition features recent works from six 2015–16 award recipients: Laura Cincotta ’02, Jennifer Cawley ’07, Becky Parker ’10, Eliza Murphy ’10, Mary Mullaj ’04, and Alexandra Olivier ’11.

This exhibition is shown at the Laconia Gallery in Boston’s South End Arts District. Please select the link above for information on and directions to the gallery.

This program is generously supported by the Alice C. Cole ’42 Alumnae Fund.

image: Laura Cincotta

The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer

February 10–June 26
Chandler Gallery, Gerald and Marjorie Schechter Bronfman Gallery

This spring, the Davis Museum proudly presents The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer, the first museum retrospective dedicated to the work of a single video game maker. Rohrer's work is deft, engaging, and often surprisingly moving. It refers to a diverse set of cultural influences ranging from Borgesian fiction to Black Magic; at the same time, it also engages pressing emotional, intellectual, philosophical, and social issues. Rohrer's substantial recognition, which has included feature coverage in Wired, Esquire and The Wall Street Journal as well as inclusion in MOMA's initial videogame acquisition, has been built on a singularly fascinating body of games. These range from the elegantly simple—such as Gravitation (2008), a game about flights of creative mania and melancholy—to others of almost Byzantine complexity.  The exhibition will feature four large build-outs that translate Rohrer’s games into unique spatial experiences, alongside a section dedicated to exploring the artist’s larger oeuvre.

Curated by Michael Maizels, Mellon New Media Art Curator/Lecturer at the Davis, with an exhibition catalogue featuring contributions from University of Chicago game studies scholar  Patrick Jagoda, distributed by MIT Press. The exhibition, catalogue, and related programs are generously supported by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with additional funds provided by Wellesley College Friends of Art.

Image: Jason Rohrer, The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer exhibition catalog, distributed by MIT Press. (2011)

Museum hours: Tuesday - Sunday, 11:00am - 5:00pm

Abiola Irele: An Identity of Passions

Negritude in the Black and Postcolonial World

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 7:00pm
GRH-235 Newhouse Conference Rm, GRH-240 Newhouse Conference Rm, GRH-237 Newhouse Lounge

Francis Abiola Irele, formerly Professor of French, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, was for several years Professor of African, French, and Comparative Literature at the Ohio State University. After retiring from Ohio State in 2003, he became Visiting Professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University before moving back to Nigeria. Among his many publications are The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature (edited with Simon Gikandi) and two collections of essays, The African Experience in Literature and Ideology and The African Imagination: Literature in Africa and the Black Diaspora. He is a contributing editor to The Norton Anthology of World Literature and General Editor of the Cambridge Studies in African and Caribbean Literature series. (source: W.W. Norton and Company)

Irele has been called the doyen of Africanist literary scholars worldwide. In 1960 he graduated from Ibadan University, and immediately after graduation, he went to Paris to learn French and completed a Ph.D in French at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1966. He held teaching positions at the University of Ghana, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), and University of Ibadan. Irele is also a former provost of Kwara State University in Ilorin, Nigeria,which recently established the Abiola Irele School of Theory and Criticism in his honor.


Betsy Wood Knapp '64 Lecture

in the Social Sciences: "Opportunities and Challenges for Reducing America's Use of Incarceration"

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 4:15pm
Knapp Atrium in Pendleton East

The Knapp Social Science Center welcomes Anne Morrison Piehl for the second annual Knapp Lecture. Piehl is a professor in the Department of Economics and director of the Program in Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, and is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Piehl's research focuses on the economics of crime and criminal justice. Nearly one-fourth of those incarcerated in the world on any given day are in American jails and prisons. In this unexpected moment of bipartisan concern about whether criminal justice policies in the U.S. are both fair and effective, Piehl examines which aspects of law enforcement practice may be most promising for reform. The way in which the criminal justice system has operated over the past 30 years has erected a number of impediments to dramatically reducing the rate of incarceration. She identifies these challenges and points to the commitments that will be necessary to achieve lasting change. Her current research analyzes the causes and consequences of the prison population boom, determinants of criminal sentencing outcomes, and the connections between immigration and crime, both historically and currently.

In addition to her position at Rutgers, Piehl is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Piehl serves on the on two committees of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, a standing Committee on Law and Justice and an ad-hoc committee on the Causes and Consequences of High Rates of Incarceration. She has testified before the United States Sentencing Commission and the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Immigration and served on the New Jersey Commission on Government Efficiency and Reform (GEAR) Corrections/Sentencing Task Force. Before joining Rutgers in 2005, she was on the faculty of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and has also been a visiting professor at the University of Michigan Law School. She received her A.B. from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Princeton University, both in economics (rutgers.edu). 

This event is free and open to the public.


Retrofit Painting Presents...

Art installation by Thomas Willis

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 6:00am
Jewett Art Center Art Sculpture Court

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 www.retrofitpainting.com, or www.thomaswillis.net 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.

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 12:30pm
Houghton Chapel Upper Chapel

Join the Office of Religious and Spiritual life for an ecumenical Ash Wednesday service.  

Basketball @ Mount Holyoke

Saturday, February 13, 2016 - 1:00pm
Mount Holyoke College

Gendered Value: Curators' Choice

February 10–June 5, 11:00 AM–5:00 PM Tuesday through Sunday
Freedman Gallery

Gendered Value: Curators' Choice places the permanent collections of the Davis Museum within the context of feminist art history. This exhibition seeks to illuminate the complex interplay between gender and value via artworks that have rarely been on view. Selected by eight members of the curatorial staff, the works highlight a unique cross-section of the collections, across periods, genres, and cultures. Drawing upon individual expertise, each curator examines works that encapsulate their personal conception of “Gendered Value."

Curated by Alicia LaTores, Curatorial Assistant, with generous support from the Wellesley College Friends of Art.

Museum hours: 11:00am - 5:00pm, Tuesday through Sunday

photo: Circle of Annibale Carracci, Christ and the Woman of Samaria, ca. 1620-30.  Oil on canvas, 13 1/4 in. x 20 in. (33.7 cm x 50.8 cm). Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur K. Solomon. 1953.21.