From its beginnings in the 1870s, the Smith College Museum of Art (SCMA) has been guided by the understanding that original works of art can be a powerful component of the liberal arts education, embodying aesthetic rewards and a wealth of information about history and human culture. The commitment to forming an art collection that would be a vital part of educational experiences was articulated as one of the founding goals of Smith College. The museum that has grown from that early vision has evolved in concert with the academic program it exists to support. Today SCMA is widely recognized as one of the leading academic museums in the nation, contributing meaningfully to Smith College’s mission to educate women of promise for lives of distinction             and purpose.