The Williamson’s Year at a Glance, 2018 – 2019

2018-2019 offers an exciting roster of exhibitions focusing on celebrated ceramic artists and the very beginnings of photography.

John Mason, Irvine, 1973, Photo by the artist, John Mason Archives

Here’s a look at what is planned for the 2018-2019 academic year. See what the Williamson is up to:


John Mason’s Firebrick Installations

AUGUST 25 – OCTOBER 21, 2018
Opening Reception: September 15, 7-9 p.m.
Williamson Gallery

Los Angeles was the site of a “revolution in clay” in which a small group of artists challenged studio pottery’s traditional focus on utilitarian ware to create sculptural forms. One of the central figures, John Mason, emerged as a sculptor of power, creating new works in clay that claimed equal footing with art in other media. Mason went on to work with clay and space as a visionary. In his Hudson River Series, Mason turned to manufactured firebricks as a medium, revealing most distinctly his deep interest in the role of the viewer and his fascination with the process of perception. The John Mason exhibition at the Williamson is dedicated to this series, and will consist of one very large firebrick installation, entitled Irvine, which demonstrates Mason’s fascination with the idea of perspective, including, but not limited to, the perspective of the viewer.

John Mason: Firebricks
And Shifting Notions of Scale and
Process in Sculpture

Tuesday, October 16, 4:30 p.m.
Steele Hall, Rm. 101

This presentation by Edward Cella, director, Edward Cella Art & Architecture, will be given in conjunction with the exhibition Meditation on Material: John Mason’s Firebrick Installations.


Early Photography 1840-1860

Opening Reception: November 10, 7-9 p.m.
Williamson Gallery

Salted paper prints, one of the earliest forms of photography, is a uniquely British invention, unveiled by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.  Salt prints spread across the globe, creating a new visual language of the modern moment. This revolutionary technique transformed subjects from still lifes, portraits, landscapes and scenes of daily life into images with their own specific aesthetic: a soft, luxurious effect particular to this photographic process. The few salt prints that survive are seldom shown due to their fragility, and this exhibition is a singular opportunity to see the rarest and best early photographs of this type in the world. The exhibition was recently on view at the Tate Museum in London. Salt and Silver appears at the Williamson through the generosity of Jane and Michael Wilson and the Wilson Centre for Photography.

The Boston Globe‘s Mark Feeney offers an entertaining overview of the exhibition, well worth perusing, here.

Salt and Silver Symposium

Saturday, November 10, 3-4:30 p.m.
Humanities Auditorium


Hope Kingsley, Wilson Centre of Photography, London: “An Introduction to Salt and Silver

Chitra Ramalingam, Assistant Curator of Photography, Yale Center for British Art:
“Knowing the World Through Early Photographs”

Kathleen Stewart Howe, Sarah Rempel and Herbert S. Rempel ’23 Director of the Pomona College Museum of Art and Professor of Art History: “Paper Photography’s Identity Crisis”



JANUARY 26 –APRIL 7, 2019
Lecture and Opening Reception: January 26

This year, the Ceramic Annual, the longest-running exhibition of contemporary ceramics in the nation, turns 75! Curator Kirk Delman, who has worked with the collection for decades, has selected some of the choicest works from the College’s renowned Marer Collection to display in the exhibition. Fred Marer, who collected artwork in the mid-twentieth century, befriended and supported some of the greatest ceramic artists of the time. Many of the works he purchased directly from those artists will be on display as we celebrate 75 years of ceramic exhibitions. The lecture, held at the Humanities Auditorium, will be on Sat., Jan. 26, at 4 pm, followed by the opening  at the gallery, from 7 to 9 pm.



APRIL 26 – MAY 12, 2019
Opening: April 26, 7-9 p.m.
Williamson Gallery

An annual exhibition of final thesis projects created by graduating studio art majors, the Senior Art Show is a cornerstone of the studio art major at Scripps. In addition to producing the works displayed, seniors conceptualize the show, install their pieces, write artist statements, and design publicity for the exhibition. Works are displayed in the gallery for two weeks, through the end of commencement. The opening of the exhibition at the Gallery includes a reception that will be held in the Bixby Courtyard on Friday, April 26, from 7 to 9 pm.



Fragrant Visions
Painting Buddhist Ritual in China, Circa 1178

Wednesday, October 10, 7 p.m.
Steele Hall, Rm. 101

Phillip Bloom is the June and Simon K.C. Li curator of the Chinese Garden and director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. He will focus on a few paintings that actually depict the performance of Buddhist rituals, and discuss how those depictions link real practice and imagined visions.


Roles of the Museum Conservator

Tuesday, February 4, 2019, Noon
Hampton Room, Malott Commons

Geneva Griswold ’07, Associate Conservator, Seattle Art Museum, will present her lecture as part of the Art Conservation Lecture Series, Tuesday Noon Academy.



All locations are on the Scripps College campus. The map of the campus can be accessed here.

Dates are occasionally subject to change. Events are open to the public. Admission is free.

The Gallery is only open during exhibitions. Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, from noon to 5 pm.

While selected works from the permanent collection are displayed in exhibitions each year, the permanent collection is not on display. 

Slider image: Paul Soldner, Wall Piece, 1982, 4 1/4 x 18 x 31 in., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer, Scripps College, Claremont, CA

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