The exhibitions program supports the mission of the Davis Gallery at Houghton House and the educational goals of Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Exhibitions at the Gallery are intended to enrich the curriculum of the Colleges and to provide an educational and scholarly forum outside the classroom, laboratory, and studio. Faculty and student participation are essential to the exhibition program, from research and planning to installations and related educational programs. Faculty are encouraged to utilize exhibitions in their courses and to engage students in the study of original works of art.
The rotating exhibitions program is broadly based, presenting diverse media and genres. Contemporary and historical exhibitions include creative work by regional, national, and international artists including works from the Collections. Exhibitions are organized and curated by faculty, the Visual Arts Curator, and traveling exhibitions organizations, drawing objects from the Collections, museums and arts institutions, artists, private lenders, and commercial galleries. By presenting significant works and exhibitions utilizing high standards of display, the Gallery strives to be recognized for excellence in aesthetics and scholarly and cultural activities.
The Davis Gallery presents a program of exhibitions which begins each year with a faculty exhibition which might focus on a particular artist or architect or might be a group show of studio faculty.
The Gallery accepts exhibition proposals from faculty and independent artists. Proposals are reviewed each year by the full Department of Art and Architecture. After feasibility is determined, responsibilities and resources for projects are and to recommend and an exhibitions schedule is determined for the following year.
The exhibitions program is complemented by related educational materials and activities such as catalogues and instructional texts, lectures, workshops and demonstrations, and critiques devised by faculty and students. Individual and class tours are provided by Gallery staff, students, curators, and artists upon request.
Collection Development Policy
The Visual Arts Curator, in conjunction with the Department of Art and Architecture, is the custodian of the Collections of art objects and artifacts. The Collections’ purpose is to "acquire, preserve, interpret, exhibit, and otherwise provide access to works of art" and to enhance the Colleges academic programs and the cultural life of the community at large.
Nineteenth to Twentieth-first century American and European works on paper, including prints, photographs, and drawings represent the strengths of the Collections. Holdings in Asian, African and Pre-Columbian works enhance ongoing programs of study at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
The Colleges view the Collections primarily as an educational resource. As such, original art objects and artifacts serve a variety of pedagogical objectives, which include the following:
To fulfill the objectives set forth in the Collection Development Statement, the Colleges will acquire, through gift or purchase, art objects and artifacts for accession into the Collections of Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
An art object or artifact may be submitted for consideration as a gift or purchase in consultation with the Visual Arts Curator, the Department of Art and Architecture and the Office of Institutional Advancement. The Colleges will not acquire an object without attempting to obtain valid title and a verifiable record of authenticity and provenance. Normally, title to any object acquired, whether gifts or purchases, should be obtained free and clear without restrictions to use or future disposition.
Gifts of Visual Arts Materials Policy
Hobart and William Smith Colleges welcome donations of visual arts materials as a valuable way to develop the Colleges’ Art Collection. All gifts entail initial expenses to the Colleges to review, register, frame, restore, and process, as well as continuing expenses to house and preserve materials that have been added to the collection. Therefore, the Colleges must be selective in accepting gifts to ensure donated materials support the Colleges’ goals for collection development. The donor is strongly encouraged to consider a gift to support the preservation of the contributed materials.
Visual Arts Curator