By Maureen Cowhey ‘19
The Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery is exhibiting a collection of recently gifted photographs entitled “Documenters and Storytellers: Photographic Narratives in the 20th century” through Oct. 18. The exhibition was organized and curated by Scripps student Allegra Cox ‘18. The exhibition is one of two which will be shown at the gallery this semester.
Cox worked at the gallery over the summer as a Wilson Intern, a paid internship in arts administration and conservation funded by the Getty Foundation and alumnae Michael and Jane Wilson (‘64). Sifting through the gallery’s recent acquisitions, Cox was drawn to the documentary photography. She explains that the goal of the show is for “viewers to come away from the exhibit questioning how they used photography in their own lives to tell their own stories.”
In addition to choosing the photographs on display and the theme of the exhibit, Cox also researched the artists and the historical context of the photographs in order to write the wall text that accompanies the images. In addition, Cox worked on the layout, color schemes of the gallery, placement of images, and hanging of the photographs. She displayed the final works at an opening reception with live music on Sept. 12.
Williamson Gallery’s Collections Manager and Registrar, Kirk Delman, said “The show has been a great success from both our students and the community at large.” Delman also stated how valuable the descriptive wall text has been for viewers in furthering the theme of the exhibition. The exhibition is free and open to the public until Sunday, Oct. 18.
The Williamson Gallery will be opening its next exhibition titled “Preserving China’s Past: Paintings of the Ming-Qing Dynasties” on Oct. 31 with live music and light refreshments. Delman said that the show will feature 34 paintings that the College has conserved for the past 23 years. Pre-restoration photographs will accompany the conserved works.
“In addition, we have organized a symposium that brings conservators, curators, and art historians from across the United States to Scripps to discuss the challenges and changes that have refined the nature of conservation,” Delman said. Speakers include Dr. Mimi Gardner Gates, Director Emerita of the Seattle Art Museum; Nicholas Dorman, Chief Conservator Seattle Art Museum; Gu Xiangmei, Chinese painting conservator; and Andrew Hare, Japanese and Chinese painting conservator.
According to Delman, the Williamson Gallery is also welcoming three new Wilson Interns who will put together projects pertaining to the College’s permanent collection of works. The gallery will also be preparing for the Scripps 72nd Ceramic Annual, opening Jan. 23. The exhibition will be guest curated by Susan Beiner, Associate Professor of Art, Ceramics, at Arizona State University. According to Beiner the theme of the exhibition will be comparing sight of two-dimensional paintings with the touch of three-dimensional ceramic forms.