C. Jane Hurley Wilson ’64 and Michael G. Wilson Photograph and Print Study Room

An enormous enrichment to the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery is the C. Jane Hurley Wilson ’64 and Michael G. Wilson Photograph and Print Study Room. The Wilsons’ generous support made possible the creation of this space with a climate control system and storage for the Scripps College collection of works on paper, with a special focus on Japanese prints and books as well as European and American 19th and 20th century photographs. This room provides students, scholars, and the public (by appointment) with the opportunity to see works of art firsthand in a comfortable setting, a place where classes in the history and practice of photography and printmaking meet regularly.

Japanese Prints

Among these works are over 2,550 Japanese woodblock prints and more than 150 illustrated books, dating from the 17th to the 20th century. The collection includes works by Chikanobu, Hiroshige, Hokusai, Kogyo and Yoshitoshi. In 2007, an exhibition organized by Professor Bruce Coats entitled, Chikanobu: Modernity and Nostalgia in Japanese Prints, was first displayed at the Gallery, and went on to tour U.S. and Japanese museums. It was accompanied by a sumptuously illustrated catalog of the same title, produced by Hotei Publishing.

Yet another exquisite exhibition of Japanese woodblock prints was presented at the Gallery in the fall of 2012: Genji’s World in Japanese Woodblock Prints, also organized by Scripps Professor Bruce Coats. Written over 1,000 years ago, The Tale of Genji  has proven to be a great influence on Japanese culture. Featured in this exhibition was a rich array of woodblock prints by many of Japan’s leading artists on The Tale of Genji, selected from the remarkable collection of Paulette and Jack Lantz, as well as the collections at Scripps. The exhibition was accompanied by a handsome catalog, bearing the same title, produced by Hotei Publishing. Both the Chikanobu and the Genji catalogs can be ordered by visiting the Gallery’s Publications page.

Donors to the Japanese Print Collection at Scripps include the Aoki Endowment, Mrs. Frederick Bailey, Dr. and Mrs. William E. Ballard, Mrs. Simon Bolivar Buckner, Mrs. James W. Johnson, Stanley and Mary Wig Johnson ’35, Paulette and Jack Lantz, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Marer and Ms. Lilian Miller.


Our collection of works continues to grow steadily. Students now have access to a wide variety of works that extend back to the beginnings of photography in the early nineteenth century, through the twentieth century, and into the present day. Among the works on hand are those by  Gordon Abbott, Julia Margaret Cameron, Roger Fenton, Francis Frith, Eadweard Muybridge, Jack Delano, Edward Weston, Berenice Abbott, Nadar, Herman Leonard, Consuelo Kanaga, Anthony Friedkin, Carrie Mae Weems, John Outterbridge – the list of pieces continues to lengthen, most often due to the generous gifts of donors who see the tremendous benefit that access to fine works of art provides to students.

Early on in the growth of the collection, an extraordinary gift of 27 photographs from the 19th and 20th century was given to the college by C. Jane Hurley Wilson ’64 and Michael G. Wilson who thoughtfully selected works that will enhance students’ understanding of the history of photography.

In addition, visitors may view works by Mark Anthony, Henri Bechard, Julia Margaret Cameron, Rudolf Eikemeyer, A.E. Goddard, Jr., Consuelo Kanaga, Eadweard Muybridge, Nadar, and Doris Ulmann, donated in 2005 by Sharon and Michael Blasgen.

Also accessible are photographs by Eileen Cowin, Janet Delaney, Anthony Friedkin, Robbert Flick, George Hurrell, and Max Yavno, donated in 2006 by the Yarema Family Trust.

More recently, a stupendous collection of 21 works by the incomparable Ansel Adams, was given to the College by the Ansel Adams Museum, through the Virginia Adams Charitable Trust. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, abundant gifts came from Sally Strauss and Andrew E. Tomback, which include groups of works from photographers Dmitri Baltermants, Marilyn Bridges, Paul Capinigro, Leonard Freed, Ken Heyman, Leo Levinstein, Jacques Lowe, Louis Stoumen, Paul Woolf and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Recognizing the value of making works available to our students and scholars, in 2013, the family of photographer Dody Weston Thompson, who co-founded Aperture magazine and worked closely with Edward Weston and Anselm Adams, entrusted the Williamson with Thompson’s life’s work in photography. This gift offers students the opportunity to analyze an entire career lasting decades.

Contemporary Prints

In 2007, Scripps College inaugurated the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection in honor of Dr. Samella Lewis, who taught at Scripps from 1969 to 1984. An artist, art historian, curator, editor, and filmmaker, Dr. Lewis wrote the first textbook on African American art history, as well as monographs on leading artists Elizabeth Catlett and Richmond Barthé. The collection focuses on contemporary artists, with a special emphasis on art by women and African American artists. Featured are mixed-media works by Stas Orlovski and Susan Rankaitis; drawings by Elizabeth Turk; prints by John Biggers, Elizabeth Catlett, Sue Coe, Floyd Coleman, Samella Lewis, Nancy Macko, Adrian Piper, Faith Ringgold, Alison Saar; and photographs by William Anderson, Joyce Campbell, Anton Hardt, and Carrie Mae Weems. (For other photographs, see the Scripps College 19th and 20th Century Photographs collection.) These works and many others are available to our students, faculty, and to independent scholars.

To See the Scripps Collection

Browse the collection online through our Electronic Collection.

To make a reservation to visit the Wilson Photograph and Print Study Room or assistance with viewing the collection online, contact John Trendler, Curator of Visual Resources at [email protected]