The Impact of a Collection

Installation view of Carved, Cast, Crumpled

By Anthony Hirschel, Dana Feitler Director

This is an extraordinary year for the Smart Museum. With the presentation this fall of Carved, Cast, Crumpled: Sculpture All Ways as the first of our 40th anniversary exhibitions, we provide persuasive evidence of the extent to which the ongoing presence of great works of art can help to define a museum’s path and establish its reputation.

The Joel Starrels, Jr. Memorial Collection of sculpture and related works arrived as a founding gift to the Smart through the friendship of members of the Starrels and Smart families. The collection, the subject of the inaugural exhibition in 1974, immediately established the Smart as an art museum of consequence.

Now, 40 years later, Carved, Cast, Crumpled pays tribute to the Museum’s early days; the Smart’s first exhibition inspired our decision to remake the entire Museum, turning our galleries over entirely to sculpture in all its glorious diversity. It makes for a remarkable and entirely unique transformation.