From the Arts to the Artful: Wellesley Spring and Summer Attractions

May 22, 2015
HIM Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran

When most students are heading off campus for summer internships, international study, or simply a healthy dose of warm-weather downtime and reconnection with friends and family, enrichment at Wellesley takes on a slightly different form than it does during the school year. Academics continue, of course, through the co-ed summer sessions and the Pre-College Residential Program (now in its second year at Wellesley), but there are other opportunities to enjoy campus as well.

The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company’s production of Three Sisters recently opened and will run through June 21. Anton Chekhov’s 1901 play tells the story of a Moscow-bred family enduring the increasingly hopeless lifestyle of the provincial town to which they have been displaced, and provides insight into an era of political upheaval and marked social change in Russia.

The Wellesley Summer Children’s Theatre will continue the tour of Russia, but on a much more playful note, when it presents Princess Vasilisa and the Firebird. The company’s new interpretations of classic Russian folk tales will be featured in matinees scheduled for June 20-21. Information and tickets for both theatre shows are available at the Wellesley Summer Theatre Company website.

Through June 7, visitors to the Davis Museum will have a final opportunity to view the work of Parviz Tanavoli, in an exhibition that includes sculpture, paintings, prints, jewelry, and books spanning the artist’s illustrious 50-year career. WBUR/NPR described the eponymous exhibition as “a groundbreaking retrospective.” Parviz Tanavoli has, according to Sotheby’s, “exploded on the global media scene… Tanavoli is, after all, the father of modern art and sculpture in Iran.” The exhibition has garnered reviews in the New York Times, China Post, Financial Times, Artfixdaily, Harpers Bazaar, and dozens of other publications.

Hanging with the Old Masters: Davis Museum Reinstallation, also on view at the Davis, showcases Old Master Italian paintings as it walks guests through the curatorial process of selecting and preparing artwork for public viewing. This study serves as a prelude to the reinstallation of the museum’s permanent galleries, to be unveiled in the fall.  In order to prepare the space, the Davis will be closed from June 7 until its Fall Celebration on September 16, 2015.

Before the Davis goes on hiatus, visitors are also invited to enjoy five additional exhibitions: Rembrandt and the Landscape Tradition; Edged in Black: Selections from SMS; Michael Craig-Martin: Reconstructing Seurat; Warhol @ Wellesley; and What Does History Know of Nail Biting? Details on all exhibitions and museum hours are available at

People whose summer explorations lean more toward the outdoors can spend hours enjoying the extraordinary diversity of the thousands of plants in the Wellesley College Botanic Gardens. The gardens’ 22-plus acres, including the scenic area surrounding Lake Waban and the iconic topiaries of the H. H. Hunnewell Arboretum, were featured earlier this year on WCVB’s Chronicle in a story that referred to the expanse as “a nature lover’s dream.”  The outdoor spaces are free and open daily to the public, dawn to dusk. Complimentary guided tours are available.

Looking ahead to the fall, guests from both on and off campus are invited to join us as we kick off a full schedule of arts and cultural events. To receive the Arts and Culture at Wellesley College Fall 2015 Calendar when it is released in August, and/or to be added to our email list for a monthly update of scheduled events, please sign up for our Arts and Culture at Wellesley mailing list.

Photo: HIM Empress Farah Pahlavi of Iran at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College. Courtesy of the Davis, photo by Sara Xu '15.