Hidden Gems in New England Museums

Ebook by award-winning Globe art critic includes three works from the Davis

July 12, 2012
Alice Neel’s Wellesley Girls

A new e-book of Pulitzer Prize-winning art critic Sebastian Smee’s popular “Frame by Frame” columns is now available from the Boston Globe, offering an up-close look at dozens of hidden gems in the permanent collections of New England museums, including three works at the Davis Museum:

  • The Peres Maldonado Ex-voto, which Smee called “an “alarming, macabre, and swarmingly beautiful picture that shows an upper-class Mexican woman undergoing breast cancer surgery in the late 18th century;”
  • Alice Neel’s Wellesley Girls, (pictured) a portrait of Wellesley alumnae Nancy Selvage ‘67 and Kiki Djos ‘68, that Smee called “one of those rare portraits that creates a real psychological itch, one that can be satisfied only by more looking;”
  • And, Raymond Duchamp-Villon’s sculpted terra cotta head of the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire, about which Smee said  "One feels Baudelaire himself...would have approved."

“The sheer range of art on display–from trumpeting masterpieces to small and whimsical improvisations is stunning,” says Smee. “And they’re all just waiting there, five, six, or seven days a week, in beautiful, spacious buildings that make it their business warmly to welcome the general public.”

“Sebastian’s ‘Frame by Frame’ columns shine a light on the extraordinary range of art in New England museums," said Lisa Fischman, the Ruth G. Shapiro ’37 Director of the Davis Museum,  "How wonderful to have his insightful essays compiled in an easily accessible e-book–and how delightful to see three great pieces from the Davis collections included!" 

Listen to an interview of Smee with WBUR’s Radio Boston host Adam Ragusea, including a discussion of the Davis Museum’s Peres Maldonado Ex-voto and other works in collections throughout New England.

The Davis Museum’s summer hours are Tuesday through Friday, 12:00-4:00 p.m.  Regular hours resume on Tuesday, September 4.

For more information about the Davis, visit: http://www.wellesley.edu/davismuseum/