Happy Fall & Autumn Equinox!
Come visit this print and other pieces showcasing the power of visionary Black art spanning three generations in the exhibition “Gettin’ It Done: A Selection of Work by Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis, Betye Saar, Emma Amos, Alison Saar, Letitia Huckaby, LaToya Hobbs, and Kenturah Davis.
🍁On display in the RCWG until October 15
⏰New hours! 12-4 PM | Wed. through Sun.
🖼️ Join us during your lunch break!
ALISON SAAR (b. 1956)
Fall, 24/25, detail, 2014
Etching, monotype and chine colle
Courtesy of Jordan D. Schnitzer and his Family Foundation
Williamson Gallery, Scripps College
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Here is their link for registration to this FREE event!
Robinson viveu na França por vários anos e gravitava em torno de Giverny, o vilarejo que se tornara o centro do impressionismo no país, devido à presença de Claude Monet, e onde registrou esta paisagem. Os dois pintores tornaram-se amigos e chegaram a ser vizinhos por um período.
Esta pintura pertence à Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, em Claremont (EUA).
“It has been wonderful learning about the structure of arts organizations, the career positions available in the industry, and people’s career paths.” Cindy loves this fun photograph by Dmitri Baltermants called "Hippopotamus Bath" from the recent photography donation that she is working on. “It is an interesting scene and I am fond of hippos.” Follow Williamson Gallery, Scripps College on Instagram for more:https://www.instagram.com/p/B0o6Lx4Jttd/
We’re kicking off with Emma Dubery (Scripps ‘19), our Peggy Phelps Curatorial Intern. She is curating 3 shows using the Japanese print collection at Scripps, one on yōkai (Japanese ghosts)👻, one on foxes in Japanese folklore 🦊 and one of the woodblock prints made by Lilian May Miller. “My favorite pieces in the collection are the Night Scene prints by 20th-century artist Kawase Hasui. 🌕I love the blue tones he used and how you can feel the stillness of nighttime in the prints.” Mark your calendars for Emma’s yōkai show at the Clark Humanities Museum fall 2020! ✨
This exhibition of more than forty objects, will include works from the Otis group as well as highlighting many others, including, Laura Andreson, Robert Arneson, Hans Coper, Phil Cornelius, Jun Kaneko, and Jim Melchert.
During the mid 1950s the ceramics department at Otis Art Institute (then Los Angeles County Art Institute) was a place of artistic vitality and innovative energy. At Otis, Peter Voulkos led a “revolution in clay” by questioning the tradition that ceramic forms must be utilitarian and by creating instead nonfunctional, sculptural works that gave the medium a new freedom of expression. Voulkos and other notable artists maintained the momentum of this philosophy in Northern California at U.C. Berkeley.
The Scripps collection is also remarkable in that it came to the college through one donor, Fred Marer, who was not a man of wealth but a teacher of modest means. Fred Marer was a mathematics professor at Los Angeles City College, and never had substantial resources, but amassed his collection slowly through actual contact with the artists themselves. Because his budget was limited, he most often bought works directly from the artists. Fred began collecting in the early 1940s, first acquiring a piece by one of the leading ceramists in Southern California, Laura Andreson. This purchase piqued his interest in clay and encouraged him to investigate further.
It was due to the influence of renowned ceramist Paul Soldner, who came to Scripps after graduating from Otis and built the Scripps ceramic program into a major center of study. Soldner’s leadership of the Scripps program along with the Scripps Ceramic Annual (celebrating its 75th ceramic annual exhibition in January, 2019), were the prime reasons Marer decided to make this generous gift to the college.
Special thanks to Mary MacNaughton, Kirk Delman, Teresa Eileen Rogers Robert-Pacini, Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, and Scripps College for their support of this show.
Image: Pot, Karen Karnes, Scripps College Permanent Collection.
Image: Harrison McIntosh (1914-2016)
Gift of Jean Goodwin Ames
Scripps College Permanent Collection
Proudly supporting 2nd Saturday Artwalk - Downtown Pomona in The City of Pomona
Thanks to Williamson Gallery, Scripps College, Teresa Eileen Rogers Robert-Pacini, Kirk Delman, Mary MacNaughton
Image: Lidded Container, Otto and Vivika Heino, 1960, Scripps College Permanent Collection.
Our focus is education, and we steward a rich array of art, including world-renowned ceramics.
Happy Fall & Autumn Equinox!
Hi! I’m Cecelia Blum, a rising senior majoring in English. As the Ludwick Campus Preservation Intern, my role this summer is to conserve bronze statues and Shakespearean plaster reliefs around campus. I’ve been learning new skills, doing hands-on work, and seeing tangible results. I’m also interviewing artists and writing about their work for future features on the Gallery website.
My favorite piece in the collection is “Cherries After Artemisia” by Sherrie Wolf. This piece incorporates a work by female Renaissance artist Artemisia Gentileschi, known for her masterful technique and expressions of feminism. I love the striking red color and surreal glassiness of the cherries. I find this work incredibly seductive and unique.
Portrait of Cecelia Courtesy of Jacqueline Legazcue
Sherrie Wolf (b.1952)
Cherries After Artemisia (2000-2001)
Ink and Colors on Paper
14 in x 11 ½ in
Gift of the artist, Sherrie Wolf
Images 3 & 4: conservation work on campus
Hello! I’m Jessica Yim, a rising junior double majoring in Art Conservation and Studio Art at Scripps. This summer, as the Gallery’s Getty Marrow Collections/Conservation Intern, I’m working with professional conservator Donna Williams to clean and repair a variety of objects. I’m currently treating ceramics as well as bronze sculptures on campus such as “Man and Nature” by Albert Stewart, which has never been conserved before!
As a studio art major, I’m interested in learning about how to handle diverse materials, and this internship has given me the perfect opportunity to do so. In addition to my interest in artist materials, I also love learning about and looking at contemporary artworks. One of my favorite pieces in our collection is “Freedom, A Fable,” an artist book by Kara Walker. This piece initially seems like a whimsical and fun children’s book, but it addresses serious issues regarding racism and gender discrimination. Despite gaining emancipation, the female slave cannot escape her oppression – freedom is a fable. It’s powerful how Kara Walker’s typically wall-sized installations become so intimate and personal through this pop-up story.
Hello, my name is Lena Kohls! I’m a second-semester senior at Scripps majoring in Media Studies with Art & History minors. This summer I’ve been working at the Williamson Gallery as the Getty Curatorial Intern! Most of my role involves preparing for our upcoming fall shows, as well as assembling the catalogue for next year’s Ceramic Annual. I’m also developing a personal exhibition focusing on feminine adolescence and working with the other interns on our group show.
My current favorite piece in our collection is Winslow Homer’s “The Four Fishwives,” which was painted in 1881 and depicts four women walking along a beach in the coastal village of Cullercoats, in North East England. This painting is a product of Homer’s time living abroad–he spent close to two years in the fishing community and developed a fondness for the fisherfolk, particularly the women. One of my favorite things about “Fishwives” is the richness and depth that Homer was able to achieve through watercolor, which shows an impressive amount of skill. Homer is one of my favorite painters, so I’m thrilled that we have some of his works in our collection.
Portrait of Lena Courtesy of Jacqueline Legazcue
Winslow Homer, (1836–1910)
Four Fishwives, 1881
Watercolor on Paper
18 in. x 28 in.
Gift of General and Mrs. Edward Clinton Young
My name is Olive Gaetz and I am a rising junior at Scripps, majoring in Studio Art with a minor in Spanish. Though my academic focus is digital art, I also have an interest in painting, linocut printing, and embroidery.
This summer, as the Wilson Arts Administration Intern, I am contributing to the Gallery’s social media – creating content for the upcoming academic year -- as well as helping plan academic programming and future exhibitions.
I’m curating a show called “Signs from Above” that features 12 bird-related multimedia pieces from the Gallery’s collection. Paired with poetry, this exhibition analyzes the symbolism of birds across five different cultures with works spanning 1,000 years of history.
One of my favorite pieces in the Gallery’s permanent collection is the lithograph print “Just Friends” by Paul Gardner Darrow, a local artist and former professor at Scripps College. The title and content are so charming, and the artist depicts so much character in these animals. I love the simplicity that comes with relief printmaking and it’s impressive to see the amount of detail Darrow captures in his work.
Portrait of Olive, Courtesy of Jacqueline Legazcue
Paul Gardner Darrow (1921–2019)
Just Friends, 1966
Ink on Paper
19 in. x 13 7/16 in.
Gift of the Fine Arts Foundation
My name is Mica Barrett and I'm a rising senior at Scripps dual majoring in History and Digital Media Studies. Last summer I interned at the Williamson Gallery and was lucky enough to work with artist and Gallery benefactor Elizabeth Turk '83, designing literature and promotional material for her artistic endeavors. This summer I've continued my work as a Turk Intern, creating educational material for the Williamson Gallery's upcoming traveling exhibition, "YOKAI: Scenes of the Supernatural in Japanese Woodblock Prints.” It’s been incredibly exciting to research and gather inspiration as I create illustrations to pair with the exhibition’s educational guide. I’ve also enjoyed meeting with professionals who facilitate interactions between sites of artistic and cultural importance and surrounding communities in the Los Angeles area.
1-3: Photographs courtesy of Jacqueline Legazcue
Hello! I'm Rosy Weber, a rising senior at Scripps College majoring in studio art. My interests are printmaking, sculpture and installation art. This summer I'm working at the Williamson Gallery as the Wilson Conservation Intern. In this role I have the opportunity to work with LA-based conservator Donna Williams to preserve both historical buildings as well as art pieces. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring the rich ceramics collection here at Scripps, as well as the opportunity to meet with and learn from professionals working in a variety of fields related to the museum and art world.
My name is Gigi Hume and I’m a rising Scripps senior majoring in Media Studies. As the Williamson Gallery’s Arts Administration Intern, I am curating an exhibition called “Star Machine: Power and Politics of Women in 1930s Hollywood.”
“Star Machine” showcases five photographs from the Gallery’s permanent collection paired with 20 loans from other institutions like the Los Angeles Public Library and the Margaret Herrick Library. I’m currently in the process of finalizing my labels before the exhibition goes live September 9th on the Williamson Gallery website.
One piece that I love from our collection is Ted Allan’s portrait of Jean Harlow—the original “blonde bombshell.” I’m excited to draw inspiration from exhibitions shown at both the Williamson Gallery and other institutions to create a narrative about this fascinating time and place.
My name is Alyssa Damore, and this summer I have worked at both the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery and Denison Library as the Getty Marrow Visual Resources Intern. I am a senior at California State University Long Beach majoring in Art History.
Over the course of my internship I learned how to use EmbARK to catalog and organize the incredibly vast and diverse collection of artworks at the Williamson Gallery, as well as organizing the personal archive of photographer Dody Weston Thompson. Thus far, my favorite piece in the collection would be Suzuki Goro’s “Bird Plate.” This was one of many pieces in the collection that required a bit of detective work, which made it incredibly satisfying to finish cataloging and upload to our gallery website.
Hello! I am a sophomore at Scripps majoring in Art Conservation with a minor in Japanese. As the Williamson Gallery's Getty Marrow Collections/Conservation Intern, I have been working with paper conservator Erin Jue on mending and repairing objects from a variety of sources. I have a personal interest in Japanese prints, which, luckily for me, Scripps has amassed an incredible collection of.
While on campus, I've been able to handle many of these prints, which has allowed me to enjoy the craftsmanship and attention to detail up close. My favorite piece in the collection is "A Nasty Cat” by Utagawa Kunisada III, which features a scene from Tsuruya Nanboku IV’s kabuki play "Traveling alone to the Fifty-Three Stations.” I’ve found Nanboku’s dark and grotesque scripts to be incredibly enthralling in the past, especially "The Ghost of Yotsuya," so to learn more about his other works and be able to engage with it in a more visual and hands-on way has been an absolutely invaluable experience for me.
Meet our incredible team! The Williamson Gallery welcomes interns each summer. We'll highlight projects they're working on and their favorite pieces from the collection.
Hello! My name is Maya and I'm a rising senior at Scripps, majoring in History, with a focus on 18th century Europe and history of thought. This summer I am the Getty Marrow Curatorial Intern. I've been working with Interim Gallery Director Kirk Delman on the 78th Ceramic Annual as well as exciting upcoming projects and exhibitions in the Gallery.
One of these projects is assisting Scripps Dance Professor Kevin Williamson along with his collaborators Maria Gillespie and Nguyen Nguyen on their exhibition "to get there from here" which will be on view from August 24-October 9, 2022. I think this will be an interesting installation that will expand on ideas of geographies, identity, and space. The exhibition also ties together many different mediums of art that allow for various ways to connect with the show. I am super excited to witness the end result!
My interest in the arts and museum work comes from believing that it is an integral space for connection, learning, and history. I have really enjoyed getting to explore the Gallery’s collection and have come across so many great pieces. One that I find particularly interesting is Lillian Matilda Genth’s “Flower of the Desert." Not only is it a beautiful painting, but Genth’s own relationship with portraying female bodies was dynamic as she shifted from painting n**e portraits to fully clothed women. The history of the body has been a prevalent topic in many of my classes and I think this painting is an interesting supplement to those conversations.
Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) was a German actress, singer, and activist. She got her start as a silent film star in 1920s Berlin before garnering international acclaim for her performance in Josef von Sternberg’s The Blue Angel (1930). She signed a contract with Paramount Pictures and moved to the United States. Once here, Dietrich continued cultivating a “glamour girl” persona marked by her slicked-down blonde hair, androgynous clothing, and cool, enigmatic air. In celebrity circles, Dietrich was openly bisexual and counted herself as a member of Golden Era Hollywood’s “Sewing Circle”—an informal network of le***an and bisexual industry actors. Though not open with the public about her sexuality, there were hints of her attraction to women. Specifically, in the film Morocco (1930), she initiated one of the first on-screen kisses between two women.
In the years preceding and during World War II, Dietrich was a fierce anti-fascist. She renounced her German citizenship, sold war bonds, financed the escapes of several German friends, and recorded anti-Nazi broadcasts for German audiences. In November 1947, the West Point Military Academy awarded Dietrich the Medal of Freedom for, as Paramount reported, her “extraordinary record entertaining the troops overseas during the war.”
On her career spent in the spotlight, Dietrich wrote in her book, Marlene Dietrich’s ABC, “Camera: A friend of mine. We understood each other.” The above images taken by famed Golden Era Hollywood photographers George Hurrell and Mack Elliott certainly capture that understanding.
Today, when we think of the legacy of Marlene Dietrich, we can marvel at her magnetic charisma displayed both on and off screen and her unwavering morality in the face of fascism. She has more than earned a place at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and Hollywood histories.
Be sure to explore more Hollywood portraits in the RCWG online collection (link in bio) and seek out some of Dietrich’s films. The Blue Angel is available for rent on Amazon Prime and Morocco is streaming on HBO Max.
- Gigi Hume SC '23, Wilson Arts Administration Intern
Congratulations Class of 2022! We hope you're enjoying a celebratory summer -- cheers to you for persevering, overcoming adversity, and graduating from Scripps!
Photo: Williamson Gallery intern Tess Anderson '22, standing in front of John Gregory's Shakespeare relief of Macbeth that she helped conserve during summer 2020.
Our lives have been in a constant state of flux over the last two years, forcing us to adapt as the pandemic pulls us at its will. Flux, the first in-person Scripps Senior Art Show since 2019, grapples with identity, change, and personal history in times of transition. Eight artists search for stability in the wake of lost time.
The opening reception is this Saturday, April 30th from 7-9 PM at the Williamson Gallery, featuring live music and light refreshments.
Please join us in celebrating Sophie Cleator, Sophia Doane, Kenza Fernandez, Sophie Fron, Margaret Kraus, Madeleine Neff, Grace Tomblin Marca, and Carrie Young in their senior art exhibition.
Our closing reception is this evening from 7-9 PM. We hope you join us for live music and light refreshments! Masks are required inside.
With deep thanks to for guest curating “On Fire: Contemporary Trailblazers” and cheers to our artists .aj
setting conditions for something to happen.
I was thinking about prisons and cages —
containment vs freedom —
structure vs chaos —
Artist Anna Sew Hoy’s words assembled into a poem by 77th Ceramic Annual essay writer Leah Ollman.
Come see ceramic poetry and more at our closing reception this Saturday from 7-9 PM. There will be live music and light refreshments. Masks required inside.
“Clay is a trans material to my mind,” Green said. “It does this sort of transformation from liquid slip to plastic, moldable clay to porous but hard to vitreous, super dense, strong stone. It has this fluidity to it.”
Excerpts from “‘Gender Alchemy’ Is Transforming Art for the 21st Century” by Jori Finkel, New York Times, Sept. 8, 2021
Images: “Pillar of Earth” installation
"As scout and spy, nurse and train, swing low."
Esteemed Scripps alumna and artist Alison Saar '78 donated her sculpture "Swing Low, Harriet Tubman Memorial" to the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College. Saar's sculpture of the renowned abolitionist is located outside the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery on campus.
Poet Laureate for the City of Los Angeles Lynne Thompson '72, pairs illuminating words on the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman with the power of Saar's sculpture in her poem "Swing Low, Free."
Link in bio to watch and Lynne Thompson celebrate the incredible force that was
Image: Lynne Thompson, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, and Samella Lewis at the dedication ceremony for "Swing Low, Harriet Tubman Memorial" at Scripps College on March 10, 2010.
Gallery Assistant designed this charming animation for the 77th
Link in bio to reserve tickets!
"Grateful to the trees, the quails, the banana slugs, and this California land that continues to shape me; Grateful for love and friendships, professional and personal supports that have been the sunshine during these difficult times; Grateful for my studio and this life as an artist."
-Artist Ashwini Bhat, Curator of the 77th Scripps College Ceramic Annual
Live Oak Yoni, 2022
Glazed ceramic, thistle, thread, and gold chain
Since 2016, the Williamson Gallery has partnered with American Museum of Ceramic Art] to give the guest curator of the Ceramic Annual a solo show. As Ashwini told , "AMOCA’s building was once a bank, and my show will be in what used to be the bank’s vault. It’s an interesting and intimate space, and the small Imprinted works are at the right scale to take advantage of it.”
See Ashwini's exhibition, "Imprinted, Assembling California" American Museum of Ceramic Art] on view now through May 1, 2022.
Visit the Ceramic Annual at from February 5 through April 17. Instead of an opening reception there will be a closing reception on April 16, more details to follow, and link in bio to reserve your timed-entry tickets.
Hi! My name is Vivian (SC ’23) and I’m the Summer 2021 Getty Marrow Undergraduate Curatorial Intern. I’m dual majoring in Media Studies and Studio Art, with a focus in digital art and painting.
This summer I’ve been helping out with the artist profiles for the 77th Scripps College Ceramic Annual, which will take place in January. I also get to curate my own exhibition, which will be on contemporary alumnae artists. I’m focusing on three incredible artists who graduated from Scripps: Susan Hertel, Alison Saar, and Elizabeth Turk. While each artist makes very different work, I’ve noticed a commonality in the way artistic practice is not just a profession, but a way of life for them all. I’m excited to explore more about these artists and their connection to Scripps.
I can’t pick a single favorite from the work of Hertel, Saar and Turk, so I’m going to have to go with a different piece from the collection - “Untitled (Museum)” by Carrie Mae Weems. It’s the kind of photograph that you have to pause to look at every time you come across it while browsing the database (a frequent occurrence for me lately). It portrays such a powerful message about the history of museums, and it’s also a very striking visual.
This internship has been one of the most enjoyable parts of my summer. I’ve always wanted to work in the arts but never realized how many opportunities are actually out there. It’s given me some direction, and made me much more excited for my future career.
Hello! My name is Ishta Nabakka, I am a rising junior (SC '23) majoring in Philosophy and the Humanities. This summer, I am the Getty Visual Resources Intern at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery (RCWG) and Denison Library.
At the RCWG, I work with John Trendler, the Curator of Visual Resources, to organize and increase accessibility to the digital collection of objects found in the Wilson Photograph and Print Study Room in Baxter Hall. Recently, we've been working on organizing, scanning, accessioning, and cataloguing a new acquisition of photographs in the Tomback-Strauss collection. At Denison Library, I am working with Jennifer Martinez Wormser, the Director of Denison, to archive a collection of materials left by a Scripps alumna from the Class of 1931.
In addition to my work at the Gallery and at Denison, I am currently working on a curatorial project based on images from the Gallery's recent Tomback-Strauss acquisition. The images capture a variety of civil and social movements in the 60s, so I would like to curate an exhibition that explores protesting and rioting methods from the 60s and 2020. This exhibition will be the first time these newly acquired photographs are on display.
As a museum and library intern, I am learning about and exploring a variety of positions available in the gallery, library, archive, and museum (GLAM) world such as curatorial, archival, and digital work. I thoroughly enjoy every facet of my internship because I exercise and develop different skill sets. The combination of digital, archival, and curatorial work has given me insight on how to approach GLAM projects and research. I appreciate all the work that is being done by the Gallery and library staff at Scripps to provide students with an abundance of resources. I am grateful that I have been able to collaborate and work with the staff and interns at the RCWG and Denison Library.
I am interested in the nature of protesting and rioting as a vehicle for administrational and social change. My favorite photograph from the collection depicts a scene at the May Day protest in 1971, and it communicates the power and importance of collective civil disobedience.
Hi! My name is Sophie Schwartsman (SC ’22) and I am the current Wilson Arts Administration Intern at the Williamson Gallery. I am a rising senior from Boise, Idaho majoring in Art History and minoring in English.
My most recent art history course at Scripps explored Soviet avant-garde art, which is why I am delighted to be curating an exhibition on the photographs of Dmitri Baltermants, a 20th century Soviet photojournalist, this summer. My favorite piece from the collection (thus far) is Baltermants’ photograph of a Soviet pilot, which showcases his talent as a wartime correspondent, photojournalist, and portrait artist all in one single shot.
Hi, my name is Netra Char Bhat and I am the Getty Collections/Conservation Intern! I am a rising junior double majoring in History and Math at USC. This summer, my work includes going to art conservator Donna Williams’ studio in Hollywood twice a week to conserve damaged ceramics from the Williamson Gallery’s collection, as well as going on site visits with Donna. I was given the opportunity to curate my own exhibition, with guidance from my supervisor, Margalit Monroe, and Scripps College art history professor, Julia Lum. The exhibition will focus on Indian modernism and feature pieces from this movement, which began in the late nineteenth century, along with prominent literature at the time from the Denison Library’s collection. The exhibition will contrast these pieces with older objects and photographs that offer insight into the socio-political environment and the regional styles that inspired Indian modernist artists.
Other aspects of my work are coming to the Williamson Gallery once a week to assist with organizing and inventorying items in the collection and developing educational guide content for an upcoming travelling Yokai exhibition. It is thoroughly exciting to work on various projects and be introduced to different fields in the art world through my experiences and the weekly speaker series. The most enjoyable part of my internship was visiting Rubel Castle in Glendora with Donna during the first week. I was blown away by the layers of historical significance that a castle built in the 1960s could have.
My favorite items in the collection are a set of seven cloisonné demonstration vases from China as they show the intricately detailed process of making such vases and provide viewers with a deep appreciation for this artwork.
Design by Mica Barrett, photos courtesy of Netra Bhat.
Meet our incredible team! The Williamson Gallery welcomes interns each summer. We'll highlight projects they're working on and their favorite pieces from the collection.
Hi friends, my name is Mica Barrett and I'm from Oak Park, IL. I'm the Turk Intern at the Williamson Gallery this summer, and a rising junior double majoring in Digital Media Studies and History.
For the first time, MacArthur "Genius Grant" Fellow and Scripps alumna Elizabeth Turk ’83 supervised and mentored the Turk Summer Internship. I worked directly with Elizabeth and her arts non-profit, ET Projects, to write and design widely shared documents that describe the meaning, context, logistics, and needs of her interactive artworks.
In May, Elizabeth invited me to join her and professional museum colleagues to de-install her interactive sculpture "Tipping Point" on Catalina Island (photo 2). Working with Elizabeth created opportunities to experience modern sculpture and interactive artworks up close.
My academic and artistic background in Surrealist paintings is clear in my choice of favorite piece from the Williamson Gallery’s collection: Yuki Rei’s contemporary woodblock print “The Moonlight/Gekko." I'm looking forward to continuing my work as a Turk Intern during the academic year and hope to see you at the Gallery!
In this colorful print, a maiko (trainee geisha) is wearing a summer kimono and an obi (belt) decorated with nadeshiko (wild carnations), a symbol of summer and feminine beauty. She gazes towards a great bonfire in the shape of the character Dai (大) on Mt. Daimonji in eastern Kyoto's Higashiyama District.
The bonfire is one of five okuribi, or “send-off fires,” lit on five Kyoto hills for the Daimonji festival on August 16. This marks the end of O-Bon, the season when families honor their deceased, believing it possible to receive visits and messages from departed ancestors. On this night the fires help light their ancestors' path back to the spirit world.
Did you notice the shadowy silhouettes in the bottom left? Could they be ghostly travelers?
Maiko in Four Seasons: Summer
Hasegawa Sadanobu III (1881-1963)
Japan, c. 1950
Full-color woodblock print
Scripps College Collection, 2015.1.89
Purchase by the Aoki Endowment for Japanese Arts and Culture
In the late 1870s, the artist Yosh*toshi designed a series of prints called “Beauties and the Seven Bright Flowers,” which paired beautiful women from the Imperial Court with the most popular seasonal flowers. Here, the Lady Uematsu Masako (or Chikako) is paired with peonies, a flower that has long been associated with feminine beauty and a symbol of summertime. She is shown in a colorful kimono carrying a paddle-shaped hand fan (uchiwa) to help her stay cool in the summer heat.
Peony Uematsu Chikako from the series Beauties and the Seven Bright Flowers
By Tsukioka Yosh*toshi (1839-1892)
Full color woodblock print
Scripps College Collection, 2008.1.52
Legendary vaudeville seductress and movie star Mae West (1893–1980) returned to the screen in Gore Vidal’s Myra Breckenridge after a twenty-seven-year-long absence. In a career spanning more than seven decades, Mae West crafted a b***y, witty, sexually charged persona that captured the attention of audiences and censors alike. From the 1920s onwards, West was an early supporter of gay rights, even as she was limited by the ideas of sexuality of the times.
In Myra Breckenridge, West played a supporting role in a movie that focused on the titular character’s gender reassignment surgery and complicated relationships. Since discussing transgender people was still relatively taboo, West once again faced censorship and critique for her work in the film.
-Gillian Holzer SC '19
Mae West, Twentieth Century Fox Studios, Hollywood, CA, set of Myra Breckenridge, 1969
Gelatin silver print on paper
20 x 16 in.
Gift of Michael Childers
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