News & Upcoming Events


Professor Nikki A. Greene to join panel on Performativity and the Social Body 

Episode 5: Wednesday, October 21, 11:00 AM EST

NIKKI GREENE part of Vanderbilt University's Engine for Art, Democracy and Justice panel
Performativity and the Social Body
Along with Cecila Vicuña, Doris Sommer, and Shamell Bell. 


Professor Alice Friedman named Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians

Alice Friedman

Congratulations to Professor Alice Friedman, Grace Slack McNeil Professor of American Art.  The Board of the Society of Architectural Historians named her a Fellow as part of the Class of 2020. From SAH: "The Board of Directors names as Fellows of the Society of Architectural Historians individuals who have distinguished themselves by a lifetime of significant contributions to the field. These contributions may include scholarship, service to the Society, teaching and stewardship of the built environment.

Professor Friemdan's citation was written by Kathryn O'Rourke '02, Associate Professor of Art & Art History at Trinity University:


“Hard questions mean incomplete answers and lots of research and thinking by groups of people working together, but there are often awkward silences, and sometimes even a price to be paid, professionally and personally, before better answers can be found.” Alice Friedman spoke these words in her SAH plenary address 10 years ago. Although she was talking about our discipline, her words illuminated her own extraordinary contributions to it.


For four decades Alice has shown us how to ask not only hard questions, but better questions—especially about how gender and sexuality have shaped the history of architecture, and about who has been left out of it. Combining meticulous archival research, broad readings in cultural history, and painstaking formal analysis, in numerous essays, and in three field-changing books, Alice asked questions about architects, and about clients and societies. Whether in analyses of Renaissance houses, glass houses, or houses of worship, she taught us to see architectural history as a consequence of decisions made by a larger and more diverse set of protagonists than we had ever imagined, and in the process revolutionized our understanding of canonical buildings.


For 40 years Alice has taught at Wellesley College, in the Department of Art and the Women’s Studies program, and she has held two chairs. Early in her career she founded Wellesley’s Architecture Program, which she long co-directed. In prestigious visiting professorships, numerous research groups, and in fellowships at institutions including Harvard and the American Academy in Rome, Alice has shared widely her legendary generosity as a mentor and interlocutor.


As a director of the SAH, Alice served our Society well, but as a pioneer in bringing feminism to architectural history, her even greater service lies in having helped transform our discipline, and thereby helping make the Society we know today—the SAH Affiliated Groups, and the SAH that is increasingly willing to ask difficult questions about whom and how it serves.


Relatively few people have the privilege of studying with Alice. But for those of us who do, the experience is life-changing. Through the Architecture Program at Wellesley, she has made the questions of architectural history central to the training of future architects, and helped ensure that the architectural history of the future includes more women.


Please join me in congratulating Alice Friedman as she is inducted as a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians.




Congratulations to Professor Friedman on this well earned honor. We're fortunate to have you in our department ushering the next generation of Architectural Historians.





Wellesley students marching in a 1915 suffrage parade (Image Credit: Wellesley College Archives)
Wellesley College students marching in a 1915 suffrage parade. Credit: Wellesley College Archives


From Suffrage to Stonewall: The Visual and Material Culture of Social Justice

The 2020 Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium

This symposium will examine the visual and material culture of social justice movements in the United States.  Illustrated scholarly presentations will explore artistic expressions deployed to foster social, political, economic, and cultural change.

The years 2019 and 2020 mark significant anniversaries in the history of social justice movements in the United States, commemorating the many reform campaigns that have taken place from the 19th century to the present, including abolition/antislavery, women's rights, and the civil rights movements for the African-American, LGBTQ, Native American, and disability communities.  These campaigns sought political, social, economic, and cultural change, and they all deployed visual and material culture to advance their goals.  The 2020 Wellesley-Deerfield Symposium will focus on research related to the wide range of artistic expression generated by social justice movements, from painting, sculpture, public performance, and installation to ephemera, costume, and craft.

Saturday, March 14, 8:30 AM - 5 PM

Collins Cinema

Generously supported by the Barra Foundation.

Upcoming events this week: Halverson Lecture and Frank Williams Visiting Artist

text-based poster for Black Spaces Matter lecture
Join the Art Department on November 5 for the 2019 Harry Halverson Lecture on American Architecture, this year featuring architect and architectural historian Pamela Karimi. Karimi's talk, Black Spaces Matter: Learning from an Abolitionist Neighborhood, will center on her work with the architectural history of New Bedford, MA to look further into its role in the history of abolition and post-industrial renewal.
Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019
5:00 pm
JAC 450
A brief reception in the Jewett Sculpture Court will follow the event. This talk is free and open to the public.
poster for Marco Maggi talk, empty-looking white box gallery space with text overlay
Wellesley Art events this week continue on Friday with the Fall 2019 Frank Williams Visiting Artist: Marco Maggi. New York and Uruguay-based artist Marco Maggi uses a range of unexpected, everyday items to create drawings, sculptures, and interventions in space. Through humor and metaphor, his works refer to dense histories and coded forms of information without resorting to direct reference. Meticulously crafted, Maggi's artwork rewards slow and close examination by the viewer, something he considers an integral part of his practice. He has exhibited extensively in the US and internationally, in galleries and museums. He represented Uruguay in the 2015 Venice Bienniale.
Friday Nov. 8, 2019
12:45 pm
Collins Cinema

A reception in the Davis Museum lobby will follow. This talk is free and open to the public.


posted on Nov. 4, 2019



poster for Race-ing the Romans lecture featuring photo of Shelley Haley standing outside
Join us for "Race-ing" the Romans: Uncovering the Racial Constructs of Ancient Rome, a talk by Shelley Haley, PhD, the Edward North Chair of Classics and Professor of Africana Studies at Hamilton College, NY. Hosted by the Art Department, this event is co-sponsored by the Africana Studies, Classical Studies, and Sociology departments, as well as the CLCE program.
The talk will be at 5:00 pm on Monday, October 21 in Collins Cinema, with a reception to follow. This event is free and open to the public.
posted October 16, 2019


Professor Rebecca Bedell's new book highlighted

Rebecca Bedell standing in front of gilt-framed landscape paintings
Professor Rebecca Bedell. Photo by Samara Pearlstein.
Professor Rebecca Bedell's new book, Moved to Tears: Rethinking the Art of the Sentimental in the United States, was highlighted in a recent Washington Post article. Art critic Sebastian Smee writes about Winslow Homer and the two Massachusetts exhibitions of his work up now. Smee agrees that Homer's work operates in the realm of the sentimental, and that this, far from being a weakness in the art, is actually a strength to be admired and respected.
Prof. Bedell's book may be purchased here, or from any number of other vendors.
Sept. 12, 2019



Fall 2019 Art Dept. Events


collage of images: woman in profile made up of black ink marks; painting of two hands with black background; head shot of Nikki Greene; empty gallery space; photo of St. Peter's Basilica dome; photo of gallery exhibition
Fall event images clockwise from top left: Facts are Stubborn Things, monotype and screenprint by Rozanne Hermelyn Di Silvestro (Print Biennial); painting by Professor Daniela Rivera (Fitchburgh Art Museum and Rappaport Prize); Professor Nikki Greene (Newhouse lecture); exhibition view of Black Spaces Matter at Boston Architetural College (Halverson Lecture); St. Peter's Basilica (Bakwin Lecture); Global Myopia at the Venice Biennial by Marco Maggi (Frank Williams Visiting Artist)


August 26 - September 29
The 2019 Boston Printmakers North American Print Biennial
Jewett Art Gallery and Jewett Hallway Galleries
This biennial exhibition, run by the Boston Printmakers and hosted in 2019 by the Wellesley College Art Department, showcases artwork featuring a wide variety of print processes and techniques from over 100 artists in the US, Canada, and Cuba. This year's show was juried by Shelley Langdale, the Curator and Head of Modern Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. For more information on the exhibiton, see the Boston Printmakers page here.
Juror's Talk: Sunday, Sept. 8, 1:00 pm
Jewett Auditorium
Opening Reception: Sunday Sept. 8, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Jewett Gallery
Juror's Gallery Talk: Monday, Sept. 9, 12:40 pm
Jewett Gallery
September 21 - January 12, 2020
Daniela Rivera: Labored Landscapes (where hand meets ground)
opening reception 3:00-5:00 pm, Fitchburg Art Museum
This solo exhibition of new work by Studio Art professor Daniela Rivera features three distinct installations. Among the works on view are a number of paintings that explore the hands and bodies of miners, rendered at a scale that makes their relationship to monumental earthworks explicit. For more information on the exhibition, see the Fitchburg Art Museum page here.
Opening Reception: Saturday Sept. 21, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Monday, September 23
Newhouse Center Faculty Series - Nikki Greene
4:30-6:00 pm, Newhouse Center
Art History professor Nikki Greene presents her ongoing research project, "Sugar makes me cry": María Magdalena Campos-Pons and the Performance of Bittersweet Histories. Campos-Pons, a Cuban-born, Massachusetts-based contemporary artist, uses performance, video, sculpture, installation, photography, and collaborative sound works to reflect on histories of slavery, radical embodiment, and endurance. For more information, see the Newhouse Center page here.
Wednesday, October 23
Rappaport Prize Lecture - Daniela Rivera
6:30 pm, deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
Professor Daniela Rivera is the recipient of this year's Rappaport Prize, a prestigious award given to an accomplished contemporary New England artist. She will present the Rappaport Prize Lecture on October 23. For more information, see the deCordova's page here.
Monday, October 28
Bakwin Lecture - William E. Wallace
5:30-7:30 pm, Jewett Auditorium
This year's Dr. Ruth Morris Bakwin Class of 1919 lecture will be given by William E. Wallace, the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History at Washington University and an internationally renowned scholar of the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. For more information, see the event page here.
Tuesday, November 5
Halverson Lecture - Pamela Karimi
5:00 pm, JAC 450
Architect and architectural historian Pamela Karimi will present "Black Spaces Matter: Learning from an Abolitionist Neighborhood," a talk examining issues in the built spaces of New Bedford, MA, as the 2019 Harry Halverson Lecture on American Architecture. For more information, see the event page here.
Friday, November 8
Frank Williams Visiting Artist - Marco Maggi
12:40 pm, Collins Cinema
The Fall 2019 Frank Williams Visiting Artist, Marco Maggi, will present an artist talk on his art and practice. Maggi is a contemporary artist based in New York City and Uruguay. His work makes use of prosaic, everyday objects to invite slow contemplation and create a form of sly humor. For more information, see the event page here.


September 3, 2019


Winter 2019 Faculty Updates


Professor Will Van Beckum has a solo exhibition of new photographs on view at Gallery 263 in Cambridge. The show is up from Jan. 10 - Feb. 9, 2019.
Professor Liza Oliver's article, "Confronting the Relics of the Old South," was published in the Boston Review.
Professor Alexandria Smith was interviewed by the Boston Globe.
Professor Daniela Rivera was announced as one of the 2019 cohort of Now+There Accelerator Artists.
Professor Patricia Berman will be at a conference, Symbolist Art and the Baltic Sea Region, 1880-1930, at the Kumu Art Museum in Tallinn, Estonia. She is moderating the Feb. 1 panel The Nordic Horizon of the Emerging Baltic Art: A View from the Riga at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, and will be participating in a roundtable discussion on Feb. 2.
January 31, 2019


Frank Williams Visiting Artist: Annette Lemieux

Frank Williams Visiting Artist: Annette Lemieux

poster for Annette Lemieux talk showing multicolored photo collage on left, grayscale photo collage on right

Please join us for the Fall 2018 Frank Williams Artist Talk, featuring artist Annette Lemieux!
Based primarily in the Boston area, Lemieux teaches at Harvard University and is represented by Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York. An interdisciplinary and multimedia artist, Lemieux's work defies easy categorization. She often works with film and literature, pulling themes, images, clips, and concepts from the realm of art into that of real life and back again. Her work is widely collected in museums, including the MoMA, the Met, the Guggenheim, the Hirshhorn Museum, and many more. A recent solo exhibition, Mise En Scène, featuring sculptural installations inspired by classic films to which Lemieux feels a connection, was on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston earlier this year.
Friday, October 26, 2018
12:30 pm
Collins Cinema
This talk is free and open to the public.
posted October 22, 2018


Halverson Lecture 2018


sepia and white poster for Archaism & Humanism Taliesin West lecture


The 2018 Harry Halverson Lecture on American Architecture will be Archaism and Humanism at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West, by Kathryn O'Rourke '02.
Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright's part-time home and studio in the Arizona desert, has long been considered one of the architect's more enigmatic works. With its rough stone and concrete walls, its powerful orientation toward natural forms, and its evocation of a deep history of architecture, it differed markedly from his more celebrated buildings. Taking Taliesin West's strangeness as a point of departure, this talk considers how the building's archaic qualities and Wright's humanism, as expressed in his writings, illuminate developments in the architectural modernism of the 1930s.
Kathryn O'Rourke '02 is an architectural historian and Associate Professor of Art History at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. She received her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on 20th-century architecture in the Americas. O'Rourke is the author of Modern Architecture in Mexico City: History, Representation, and the Shaping of a Capital, which received the 2018 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians, and is vice chair of the State Board of Review of the Texas Historical Commission and secretary of the Society of Architectural Historians.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
Monday, October 15
6:00 pm
JAC 450
posted October 4, 2018



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