The Williams College Museum of Art Cosmologies

Exhibition on View September 29 to December 16

By: - Sep 20, 2012


The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) presents Cosmologies. The exhibition will be on view from September 29 through December 16, 2012. Cosmology is the arena in which science, metaphysics, philosophy, and religion converge.  The multitude of cosmological approaches seek to uncover the universe’s origins, fate, meaning and physical laws. 

By studying the universe, from the smallest pieces of matter to the enormous expanse of time and space, we may be able to come to a better understanding not only of its scientific functioning but also humanity’s ultimate purpose.  Drawn from the WCMA collection, Cosmologies considers a few of the many ways in which art can explore these complex themes.  Reflecting the multifaceted nature of this investigation, the featured artists work in a wide array of media, including photography, assemblage, printing, painting, and sculpture, while practicing a variety of conceptual modes.

This exhibition includes works by Kiki Smith, Vija Celmins, Thomas Ruff, Duane Michals, June Wayne, Lynn Chadwick, Joseph Cornell, Wallace Berman, Adolph Gottlieb, Robert Rauschenberg, Vik Muniz, and Barbara Takenaga.

This exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Rooklidge, Graduate Student in the History of Art, Class of 2013. “Cosmology is a particularly apt subject for a teaching museum because it offers so many points of meaningful engagement, for both a wide variety of academic disciplines and personal reflection,” said Rooklidge. “I have long been interested in this topic and I am pleased to be able to contribute, through the strength of WCMA’s collection, to the Museum’s aims.”

“As a college museum, we have the unique opportunity to give graduate student interns the chance to mine our collection and learn the process of curating an exhibition,” says Christina Olsen, Class of 1956 Director at WCMA. “Elizabeth Rooklidge's imaginative exploration of cosmology as a theme that runs through diverse works of art in the collection has been a revelation. We are really fortunate to be able to work with young art historians who bring their personal interests and passions to the museum, allowing us all to see familiar works of art in new ways." 

Williams College Museum of Art

The Williams College Museum of Art is located on Main Street in Williamstown, Massachusetts. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 to 5 pm. The museum is wheelchair accessible and open to the public. Admission is FREE. For more information, contact the museum at (413) 597-2429 or visit