The Davis Museum

By The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

The Davis Museum at Wellesley College is home to distinguished permanent collections from around the globe; holdings include paintings, sculptures, works on paper, photographs, and decorative objects, from antiquity to the contemporary moment. Dynamic gallery presentations and richly varied temporary exhibitions are designed to engage visitors in looking anew at the visual arts, and enhance the Davis’s role as a vital campus resource for cross-disciplinary teaching and study.There’s always something for everyone at the Davis!

Davis Museum Study Gallery 2015 right (2015)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

A Vital Academic Resource

Study from original works of art has been integral to liberal arts education at Wellesley College since the institution’s founding in 1875. The Davis is deeply committed to its role as a teaching resource, and builds and presents its collections in support of student course work and faculty scholarship. We present to you highlights from the Davis Museum collection. 

Archival Photo of Wellesley College Farnsworth sculpture (1000-01-01) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

The Davis Museum traces its origins to the 1889 dedication of the Farnsworth Art Building on the Wellesley College campus. It housed collections that dated to the founding of the College in 1875.

Archival Photo of Wellesley College Farnsworth courtyard (1000-01-01) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Many of the objects on display in the original Farnsworth Art Building can still be seen in the Davis Museum art galleries. A complete reinstallation of the Davis Museum is set to open in 2016.

Sculptor's Model, Head in Profile, Unknown, 16th Century BCE - 13th Century BCE, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Floor from the Villa of Daphne (5th century C.E. - 5th century C.E.) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

In its early life, this mosaic formed the floor of a triclinium in the Villa Daphne, a middle-class house in a suburb of the ancient city of Antioch.

Archival Photo of Wellesley College Students mosaic 1936 (1936) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Students worked to repair the 1500 year old Antioch mosaic that originally laid in the Farnsworth Art Museum at Wellesley College. The mosaic will move to a new location at the Davis Museum in 2016.

Archival Photo of Wellesley College school group Jewett (1000-01-01) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

A school group sits upon the mosaic in Jewett Arts Center at Wellesley College.

State Coin of Alexander the Great with Head of Nike/Athena (336 B.C.E - 323 B.C.E.) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Male Nude (Late Republican or Early Imperial, ca. 100 B.C.E.-100 C.E. - Late Republican or Early Imperial, ca. 100 B.C.E.-100 C.E.) by Unknown; Polykleitos (in the manner of)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Known as the Wellesley Athlete, this Roman classical sculpture was one of the first antiquities acquired by Wellesley. Its style reflects the influence of 5th century B.C. Greek sculptor Polykleitos.

Standing Woman with headdress, Unknown, Gandhara period, Kushan Dynasty, 3rd-5th century C.E., From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Bowl with Mythological Being, Unknown, 300 B.C.E. - 500 C.E., From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Head of a Bodhisattva (3rd Century - 5th Century) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Placenta Jar, Unknown, 5th Century - 6th Century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Standing Noble with Feather Shield (700 - 900) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

This ceramic figure of a man would have originally been brightly painted. Such figurines were used in burials on Jaina Island, Mexico, where Mayans believed the sun descended into the underworld.

Lower body of a Yakshi, Unknown, ca. early 10th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Jug (ca. 1050 - ca. 1150) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Capital (Musician Playing a Vielle) (ca. 1125-50) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Lotiform (Conical) Bowl, Unknown, 10th century - 14th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Saucer, Unknown, 12th Century - 13th Century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Tea Bowl (12th century - 13th century) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

This tea bowl is an example of Jian ware made during the Southern Song Dynasty, an era known for high quality ceramics . This particular glaze is known as “Hare’s Fur” due to its thin brown streaks.

Central Plaque from a Cross (first third of the 13th century) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Christ Mounting the Cross and the Funeral of Saint Clare (ca. 1290) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Tzu-chou Saucer, Unknown, 1368 - 1644, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Saint Catherine of Alexandria (14th century) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Saint Catherine of Alexandria, Unknown, ca. 1460, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Saint Barbara, Unknown, ca. 1460, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Saint Bartholomew Vanquishing a Demon, Fray Alonso de Zamora (attributed to), 1476/1510, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Assumption of the Virgin (ca. 1485) by Pedro BerrugueteThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Bust of the Madonna (1495 - 1500) by Dell' Aquila SilvestroThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Virgin and Child with the Infant St. John the Baptist and Saints Andrew and Jerome (1495 - 1500) by Pinturicchio (Bernardino Di Betto)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Standing figure of a Saint or Apostle, Henning von der Heide, ca. 1500-10, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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St. John the Baptist, Unknown, ca. 1500, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Laughing Fool (ca. 1500) by possibly Jacob Cornelisz. van OostsanenThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

St. Francis Redceiving the Stigmata, Romagna School, 15th Century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Mary Magdalene (late 15th/early 16th century) by Verrocchio, Andrea del (in the manner of)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Raising of the Cross, Treviso, Girolamo Da (The Younger), ca. 1530, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Holy Family with the Infant Saint John the Baptist and Saint Francis (after 1544) by Vasari, Giorgio (workshop of)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Holy Family with Saints Margaret and Francis, Fontana, Lavinia, 1578 - 1578, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Judith with the Head of Holofernes (3rd quarter 16th century) by Unknown and Unidentified Flemish artistThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Rape of a Sabine (from the original of ca. 1583) by Giambologna (after)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

This sculpture depicts a moment in a story about the origins of the ancient city of Rome. The focus is on the spatial problem of interweaving three types of moving bodies into a single composition.

Photograph of a student in 1968 studying Giambologna’s Rape of a Sabine, from the original of ca. 1583. (1968) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

In 1958, the collection moved to the Jewett Arts Center, which provided an intimate environment that enhanced Wellesley’s teaching resources and made the collections available to the entire community.

Lamentation with Saints Augustine and Nicholas of Tolentino (1590s) by Gregorio Martínez y EspinosaThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Portrait of a Man, Palma, Jacopo, il giovane (attributed to), 16th-17th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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The Five Senses (1601 - 1671) by Jan van BijlertThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Archival Photo of Wellesley College student Five Senses (1000-01-01) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

The Jewett Arts Center offered a dedicated gallery for the study of Wellesley’s growing permanent collections and an opportunity to see temporary exhibitions.

Philemon and Baucis Entertaining Jupiter and Mercury (1610 - 1630) by Abraham JanssensThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

St. Francis in Ecstasy, Bernardo Strozzi, ca. 1610-20, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Figure of an Edo King (Oba) (1620 - 1630) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

St. Jerome, Valentin de Boulogne, ca. 1628-30, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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A Double Portrait (1630 - 1639) by Abraham de VriesThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Youth in the Plumed Hat (ca. 1630-36) by Mattia PretiThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Still Life with Side of Beef Before & After, Alonso de (attributed to) Escobar, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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When Davis curators recently delved into storage in preparation for the upcoming 2016 reinstallation project, they uncovered a rare example of seventeenth-century Spanish still life painting.

Still Life with Side of Beef, Alonso de Escobar, 17th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Upon further research, this coveted painting was attributed to Alonso de Escobar and received extensive conservation and a new period frame.

Two Boeier Yachts Close in to the Shore with a Flagship Coming in to Anchor mid-conservation, Willem van de Velde I, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Davis curators were delighted to discover a superlative example of a "pen-painting" tucked away in Museum storage, and pursued conservation treatment to restore it.

Two Boeier Yachts Close in to the Shore with a Flagship Coming in to Anchor, Willem van de Velde I, 1645 - 1655, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Dutch artist Willem van de Velde I (1611—1693) developed the subgenre of "pen-paintings" in the 17th century. These astonishingly detailed works, executed with fine brushes and quill pens, are particularly rare in American collections.

Still Life with Crayfish (1650 - 1660) by Pieter de RingThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Winter Scene (1653 - 1666) by Jan Abrahamsz BeerstratenThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Study for The Sacrament of Ordination, Giuseppe Maria Crespi, 1665 - 1712, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Faun and Satyr, Giuseppe Piamontini, 1664 - 1713, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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The Penitent Magdalen by Carlo DolciThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Mary Magdalen is represented half-length. Her arms rest on a rock and her hands joined in prayer and eyes turned upward. Her face is drawn, hair falling loosely, her expression haunted.

Study for the Triumph of David, Luca Giordano, ca 1690 - ca 1690, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Perseus Freeing Andromeda, Jacopo Amigoni, late 1730s - late 1730s, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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The Proposal (18th century - 18th century) by Gaspare TraversiThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Grant Family Armorial Plate, Unknown, 18th Century, Qianiong Period, Qing Dynasty, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Portrait of Lord Melville, George Romney, 18th century - 18th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Portrait of Miss Anne Dutton (mid-18th century - mid-18th century) by Francis CotesThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Santa Teresa of Avila (ca. 1750) by Francisco Salzillo y AlcarazThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

This Spanish Baroque sculpture depicts Saint Teresa receiving a vision from the Holy Spirit. Her expression is both ecstatic and pained, while her heart is exposed from her chest for dramatic effect.

Portrait of Sir Walter Barttelot, High Sheriff of Sussex, Thomas Gainsborough, 1762 - 1762, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Peres Maldonado Ex-voto (18th century, after 1777) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

The scene in this ex-voto, a devotional painting commemorating the commissioner’s miraculous salvation from an illness or event, focuses on the patron, who endures a painful breast-cancer operation.

Valentine, Proteus, Sylvia and Giulia in the Forest (Scene from "Two Gentlemen of Verona" Act V, Scene IV) (1788 - 1788) by Angelica KauffmanThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Portrait of George Washington, Adolf Ulric Wertmüller, 1794 - 1796, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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George Washington is depicted wearing upper-class civilian clothes rather than military dress to help formulate an international image of the ideal American citizen and statesman that endures today.

Portrait of a Young Woman (1795 - 1810) by Pedro José DíazThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

In 2011, the Davis acquired a portrait of a young woman, made in Lima, Peru, in the 18th century. A remarkable example of Latin American colonial painting, the subject’s identity remains a mystery.

Apothecary Jar (Albarello), Unknown, 18th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Tusk for the Royal Benin (Edo) Ancestral Shrine (1851 - 1888) by Unidentified Artist(s) of the Igbesanmwan Carvers GuildThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Carved ivory tusks were an integral part of royal ancestral altars of the Edo people of the Benin kingdom (Nigeria). Still today, each oba (king) must erect an altar in honor of his deceased father.

Portrait of a Lady mid-conservation, Joshua Reynolds, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Prior to recent conservation treatment, the young woman in this portrait by Sir Joshua Reynolds had the unfortunate nickname of the “Green Lady” — a reference to her once sallow appearance caused by decades of grime and yellowed varnish.

Portrait of a Lady, Joshua Reynolds, Late 18th century - Late 18th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Reynolds was the most prominent portrait artist in England in the 18th century and devised a “Grand Manner” that emphasized the dignity of his sitters and ushered in a Golden Age of British portraiture.

King or Warrior Figure (1801 - 1900) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Portrait of William Sinclair, John Wesley Jarvis, ca. 1815 - ca. 1815, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Portrait of Euphemia Johnston Sinclair, John Wesley Jarvis, ca. 1815 - ca. 1815, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Head of a Woman, Thomas Couture, 1815 - 1879, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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The Inn at Montigny-les-Cormeilles (ca. 1825-31) by Jean-Baptiste-Camille CorotThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Archival Photo of Wellesley College Student Corot (1000-01-01) by UnknownThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Genevieve (1833 - 1843) by Thomas ColeThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Coffee Pot from Coffee Service, Arthur J. Stone, 1847 - 1938, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Still Life with Fruit (1850 - 1860) by Severin RoesenThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Prestige Chair (Akronkomfi), Unknown, 1851 - 1900, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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The Potato Gatherers, Jean-Francois Millet, ca. 1853, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Autumn in the White Mountains (1860 - 1870) by William Louis SonntagThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

La Capresse des colonies, Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, 1861, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Portrait Romantique (1868 - 1870) by Paul CézanneThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Seascape (1870 - 1870) by William Trost RichardsThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Portrait of Miss Cornelia Lyman Warren, Trustee of Wellesley College, Alexandre Cabanel, 1871 - 1871, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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A Gray Lowery Day (1877 - 1877) by George Inness, Sr.The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Inness painted landscapes that captured a personal, spiritual mood. Here, heavy clouds establish a foreboding atmosphere, yet the range of greens, calm water and ducks convey a meditative serenity.

Cattle In Pasture, Constant Troyon, 19th century, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Christ at Calvary (1883 - 1883) by Gustave DoréThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Lobed Bowl, Frans J.R. Gyllenberg, 1883 - 1974, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Campo Saint' Agnese, Venice (1885 - 1895) by John Singer SargentThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Street view of the Campo Sant' Agnese in Venice, inspiration for John Singer Sargent's Campo Sant' Agnese, Venice completed ca. 1882

Breton Landscape (Vaches en Repos), Armand Guillaumin, 1886 - 1900, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Confirmand's Procession, Émile Bernard, 1891 - 1891, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Cream and Sugar Set (1891 - 1978) by Katherine PrattThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Cabanes au bord au Loing AKA Soleil du Matin (1894 - 1894) by Alfred SisleyThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Sisley's 1896 view of the banks of one of the many tributaries of the Seine reflected his continued appreciation of the sun and water’s impression.

View of Venice (1895 - 1895) by Thomas MoranThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

View of St.Mark's square and the Doge's Palace, inspiration for Thomas Moran's View of Venice, 1895

Waterloo Bridge (1899/1903) by Claude MonetThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Monet painted over 40 different views of the Waterloo Bridge on the Thames River in London during the late 1890’s. In the Davis’s version, the bridge is nearly lost to the fog in a brilliant sunset.

Portrait of a Boy (1895 - 1895) by Maximilien LuceThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Eve (after the Fall) (1899 - 1899) by Auguste RodinThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Shoulder Mask (D'mba), Unknown, 1901 - 2000, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Street in Provincetown (1904 - 1904) by Childe HassamThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Still Life with Blue and White Jug (1908 - 1908) by Paul SerusierThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Electric Prisms (1913 - 1913) by Sonia Delaunay-TerkThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Baudelaire, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, 1911 - 1911, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway (1951 - 1851) by John Frederick KensettThe Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Mount Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire was a popular destination for artists in the 19th century. Kensett’s grand pastoral painting became one of the most famous views of this site.

L’écolière (The Schoolgirl), Edgar Degas, Modeled ca. 1880 - Cast ca. 1956, From the collection of: The Davis Museum at Wellesley College
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Davis Museum Study Gallery Fall 2015 (2015)The Davis Museum at Wellesley College

Reinstallation of the Davis Permanent Collections Galleries

We are delighted to announce a major reinstallation of the Davis permanent collections galleries, opening in Fall 2016. Highlighting an array of exceptional objects, many unknown to the Wellesley community and the public at large, this project will reveal artworks of the highest quality from the Museum's encyclopedic holdings and foreground Wellesley College's rich legacy of collecting and philanthropy.

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To learn more about the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, visit www.thedavis.org

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