Museum and Cultural Center
Rafael Moneo, 1993
severe red-brick mass from the outside, a light and exciting exhibition
space from the inside, the Davis Museum and Cultural Center houses a 61,000-square
foot museum along with a cinema, café and administration and conservations
spaces. It is built opposite the 1958 Jewett Art Center, with which it
completes a plaza. As Moneo describes it,
'The mass of the
new museum was to be very simple-much more radical than the delicately
crafted mass of Jewett. This cubic space could be understood as a coffer,
presenting all at once the pieces in the collection.'
The dramatic approach to the
Davis Museum from beneath the Jewett is below; the cinema is in the low-level
block on the left, with the museum behind the massive blank red-brick wall
on the right, whose scale becomes apparent only as you emerge from under
the earlier building.
dramatic sawtooth windows covering the roof of the building provide natural
light for all floors of the museum. Bright exhibition spaces on each floor
contrast with more enclosed paths between each floor - stairways with treads
so shallow they feel like walkways, with beautifully finished wood walls
emerging into the next open and naturally-lit exhibition floor.
attractive airiness of the museum was emphasised on my visit by the total
absence of other visitors, despite an impressive if eclectic art collection
spanning from ancient Chinese pottery to modern American abstract.
Simon Glynn, 1999
museum is open to the public, with free admission and car parking.
museum is in the Wellesley College campus in central Wellesley, about 45
minutes from Boston. Take the I90 west, then I95 (Route 128) south, then
Route 16 west into central Wellesley. In the center, take Route 135 west
(Central Street); Wellesley College is on your left. Follow signposts to
find the right one of multiple entrances and the car parking for the museum.
detailed information on how
to get there, including public transportation, is provided by Wellesley
museum is open every day except Mondays. To check times and up-to-date
visiting information call +1 781 283 2051.
and other web sites