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It is the mission of the Smith College Museum of Art to promote learning, understanding, and enjoyment of art through its collections, exhibitions and programs. The museum collects, preserves, displays and interprets works of aesthetic quality and historic importance from all periods and cultures, with particular emphasis on modern Western art. Through astute collection policies, innovative programming and creative use of resources, the museum strives to respond to the needs and interests of the students, faculty, staff and alumnae of Smith College. A valuable resource within the region, the museum also recognizes a responsibility to the four other member colleges in the consortium, as well as to other educational institutions in the Valley and to the general public-local, regional, national and international.
Smith College began collecting works of art shortly after it was founded in 1871, as part of a commitment to devote "more time...than in other colleges to aesthetical study, to the principles on which the fine arts are founded, to the art of drawing and the science of perspective, to the examination of great models of painting and statuary." At this time, the museum holds nearly 25,000 works of art, including a collection of over 1,700 drawings, and is considered to be among the foremost college or university art museums in the country.
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