This weekend, Porches will be welcoming the families of Williams College students for graduation weekend. We’re fortunate to be in a college town – between Williams and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, these fine institutions offer all kinds of programs for the community, many for free. The Williams College Museum of Art (WCMA) is one of the finest college art museums in the US, focusing on American art, modern and contemporary art, and the art of non-Western civilizations.
Anyone interested in fashion will want to see the two exhibitions of Edward Steichen’s photography opening June 6th at the WCMA, where 300 rarely-seen prints are now on view. One exhibition includes images from Steichen’s work during the 20s and 30s for Vogue and Vanity Fair (think Chanel, Schiaparelli, Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper!) and the other explores the technical and artistic issues of the artist’s career. This is a chance to see the work of an American modernist who influenced generations of artists and photographers—Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Bruce Weber are among his stylistic successors. Steichen’s work helped shift the public perception of American women from soft, romantic creatures to direct and engaging commanders of their femininity and power.