The Etchings of Francisco De Goya
Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746-1828) was one of history's most masterful printmakers and social satirists. Pomona College Museum of Art is proud to own first editions sets of all four of his etching series, a total of 211 prints. Los Caprichos, 1799; Los Desastres de la Guerra, 1810-20; and Los Disparates, 1815-24 (also known as Los Proverbios) were given to Pomona College in 1974 by Norton Simon. In 1998 the Museum purchased La Tauromaquia, 1815-16, with funds provided by the estate of Walter and Elise Mosher. It is exhibited here for the first time.
José Clemente Orozco's Prometheus
Although little known in the United States at the time, Mexican artist José Clemente Orozco would become famous as one of Los Tres Grandes—the three great Mexican muralists: Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Prometheus, painted in 1930, was Orozco's first major mural in this country and the first mural in the United States by one of Los Tres Grandes. The Mexican mural movement’s expansion beyond Mexico can be said to have begun at Pomona College. The idea for a mural in Frary Hall was first suggested by its architect, Sumner Spaulding, shortly after the completion of the dining hall. José Pijoán, Pomona College professor of Hispanic civilization and art history, urged his students to take on this challenge and suggested they commission Orozco. Pomona students arranged for Orozco to come to Claremont, where he lived for two months in a campus dormitory while working on the fresco. Prometheus still presides over Frary, and today, over 80 years later, students experience Orozco’s work daily, and visitors see it in its original setting.
The Kress Collection
In 1961, Pomona College was one of a select group of academic institutions that received a gift of works of art from the extensive collection of Samuel H. Kress. Selected by the college on the basis of intrinsic quality and stylistic diversity, the thirteen works range in date from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century.
Rico Lebrun's Genesis
Rico Lebrun (1900-1064) painted the Genesis mural on the interior wall of the south entrance of Frary Hall in 1960. Along with Jose Clemente Orozco's Prometheus mural, it is one of the most important artistic treasures of Pomona College. The monumental figure of Noah sheltering a child (shown in the image here) serves as the mural's visual and symbolic center, while surrounding Noah are representations of the Deluge, Job, Sodom and Gomorrah, Cain and Abel, and Adam and Eve.
The Native American Collection
Brought together over the last 70 years, Pomona College's superb collection of almost 5000 Native American artifacts is particularly rich in Californian and Southwestern basketry, Southwestern ceramics, both Pre-Columbian and Historic, and in beadwork of the Plains and Great Lakes. These pieces were integral parts of daily life for the peoples who created them; they include clothing and household items like blankets and cookware, as well as decorative works, weapons and ritual objects. While many of the pieces served the same function, all possess unique aesthetic characteristics that make them culturally distinctive. Through superior craftsmanship with an eye for beauty, Native American artists created objects that met their needs while capturing their spirits. In this way, Pomona College's collections are both invaluable anthropological artifacts that inform us about their creators, and extraordinary works of art.