Did all our readers spend yesterday exploring Williams history via JSTOR? No? That’s OK. EphBlog dug up this 1956 pdf for you.


Throughout his long and useful life, Karl Ephraim Weston was identified with Williams College, where he served as Amos Lawrence professor of art and director of the Lawrence Art Museum, which he founded.

The article, by Weston’s student and colleague, Professor S. Lane Faison ’29, is a wonderful eulogy. Read the whole thing. How many professors at Williams will be remembered as fondly by their students as Weston (class of 1896) was by Faison?

For the next 15 years he taught the history of art single-handed until mounting enrollment in his courses made necessary the addition of an instructor to assist him, and an addition to Lawrence Hall to contain his students. At a time when the field enjoyed no such nation-wide boom as is now in evidence he attracted on the average of over half of the entire student body to his instruction.

Weston’s role in the rise of Art History at Williams would make for a great senior thesis. Was he the key figure in making Williams the best college in NESCAC (or in the world?) for a student interested in Art History?

Prof. Weston was instrumental in the decision by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Sterling Clark to place their extraordinary collection of art in Williamstown, and he served on the board of directors which they founded.

Is “instrumental” a statement of historical fact or a generous compliment by a former student and close friend? Hard to know. Wikipedia reports:

They [Robert and Francine Clark] visited Williamstown, Massachusetts in 1949 and began having conversations with town leader and the administrators of Williams College and the Williams College Museum of Art. Sterling had ties to the college through his grandfather and father, both of whom had been trustees. A charter for the Clark was signed on March 14, 1950 and the Institute opened to the public on May 17, 1955.

Want to write a senior thesis that dozens of people would read? Tell the story of how the Clark came to Williamstown.

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