RSS Feed

Paper + People is a blog about the Smith College Museum of Art’s collection of over 18,000 prints, drawings, and photographs. Here you will find a diverse array of posts written by museum staff, students, scholars, and other paper enthusiasts about anything pertaining to the collection.

Any works you see featured here are available to view by appointment.

  • Thursday, October 8, 2015

    Dislocation/Urban Experience

    Dislocation/Urban Experience: Contemporary Photographs from East Asia is the first exhibition in SCMA’s new Carol T. Christ Gallery for Asian Art which opens Friday, October 9. Named in honor of the former president of Smith College, the gallery honors her commitment to Smith as a global community and acknowledges the exponential growth in SCMA’s collections of art from Asia.


    Shi Guorui, Chinese, 20th century. Shanghai Tower 10-11, August 2013. Gelatin silver print camera obscura. Courtesy of the artist.


    Curated by Samuel C. Morse, SCMA’s Curatorial Consultant for Asian Art, Dislocation/Urban Experience focuses on the phenomenon of the megacity in China, Japan, and Korea. Today, East Asia is home to some of the largest metropolises on the planet. The population of Shanghai, the greatest in China, tops 22 million, but it is just one of five Chinese urban centers with populations over 10 million. While metropolitan Tokyo is no longer the largest city in East Asia, the megacity of Greater Tokyo remains the most expansive urban conglomeration in the world; one quarter of Japan’s entire population resides there.  The population of Seoul is just over 10 million, yet the sprawling metropolitan area around the city houses more than 25 million people, almost half the residents of South Korea. Urbanization is not new in East Asia. However, its current scale is without precedent, and megacities are wreaking extreme pressures on the lives of people in China, Japan, and Korea.

    Recording these changes in a variety of ways is a generation of photographers who have come of age during this period of rapid and unchecked urbanization. Some photograph the changing face of their cities: the high rise towers, theme parks, and rebuilt neighborhoods.


    Seung Woo Back, Korean (born 1973). Real World I #47, 2006. Lamda print. Museum purchase with the Carroll and Nolen Asian Art Acquisition Fund. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2015:5-3


    Others capture the lives of the residents, at home, on train platforms, or on the streets of the built-up landscape.


    Kim Taedong, Korean. #018 (Boy standing near concentric circles) from the Day Break Series, 2011. Digital pigment print. Courtesy of the artist.



    Mikiko Hara, Japanese (born 1976). Untitled, from the series Primary Speaking, 1999. C-print.  Museum purchase with the Carroll and Nolen Asian Art Acquisition Fund. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2015:5-1


    Many reveal the disparities in the lives of the new urban dwellers. All capture the sense of dislocation that dominates the lives of the residents of East Asia’s megacities.


    Preparators Stephanie Sullivan and Nick Sousanis working on the installation


    Installation in progress—the Carol T. Christ Gallery for Asian Art at SCMA


    The exhibition is currently being installed. Check it out at SCMA’s free Second Friday program, Friday October 9, 4-8 pm.


  • Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    Announcing the Student Picks 2015-16 Winners!

    The Student Picks Sweepstakes ended last Friday, and we have our six winners!

    Student Picks gives students the chance to curate their own personal, individual art show using works from the Museum, on view for one day in the Cunningham Center for Prints, Drawings and Photographs. Six lucky students are chosen by lottery as part of a campus-wide sweepstakes that takes place each September.

    Photography by Jess Berube

    We picked three winners and an alternate each from the paper and online ballots. This year had our most entries in the history of the program--almost 2000 in total!

    This year’s Student Picks winners are ...

    November 6, 2015 – Amalia Leamon '18

    December 4, 2015 – Stephanie Pinedo '18

    February 5, 2015 – Anna Saunders '17J

    March 4, 2016 – Junmanee Cadenhead '16

    April 1, 2016 – Beryl Ford '17

    October 7, 2016 – Ellen Sulser '18


    Congratulations to the winners!


  • Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    Student Picks: SHE

    Student Picks is a SCMA program in which Smith students organize their own one-day art show using our collection of works on paper. This month’s student curator and guest blogger Yu Yan '18  discusses her show "SHE" which will be on view FRIDAY, October 2 from 12-4 PM in the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs. We hope to see you here!

    The reason I picked these photographs is simple and direct: to find different “she”.

    Imogen Cunningham, American (1883-1976). Helena Mayer, Fencer, 1935. Gelatin silver print mounted on paperboard. Purchased. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 1976:19-10

    Judy Dater, American (born 1941). Imogen and Twinka, Yosemite, 1974. Gelatin silver print. Purchased with the gift of the National Endowment for the Arts. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 1977:10-6

    How did women evaluate themselves? How did the photographer define the women through the lens? What kind of role was expected to be played by women? And how did women respond to the social expectations that already existed?

    Felice Beato, British, born Italy (1825-1904). At her Toilette, ca. 1868. Albumen print with hand coloring mounted on cream colored paperboard. Purchased with the Hillyer-Tryon-Mather Fund, with funds given in memory of Nancy Newhall (Nancy Parker, class of 1930) and in honor of Beaumont Newhall, and with funds given in honor of Ruth Wedgwood Kennedy. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 1982:38-2 (4)

    Among these photographs, women are depicted with diverse values and roles, over a really wide range of cultures, time periods, locations, religions and many other social backgrounds.  In this exhibition, I set up several groups for these photographs about women, so it will be interesting if you could imagine any connections between two photographs in one group.

    Joel Meyerowitz, American (born 1938). NYC Easter, 1984. Vintage chromogenic contact print. Gift of Nicole Moretti Ungar, class of 1982, and Jon Ungar. Photography by Petegorsky/Gipe. SC 2014:53-57