Lois Orswell (1904–1998) was a pioneering collector of abstract expressionist art and modern sculpture. She was notable not only for the quality of her acquisitions but also for her exceptional position as a woman collector at a time when men dominated the art world. Orswell focused her attention on sculpture and drawings, rather than paintings, and her collection features the work of such canonical artists as Kline, de Kooning, Rodin, Calder, Moore, Nevelson, and many others. Of all these artists, none was more important than David Smith—arguably the greatest American sculptor of the twentieth century—and the book highlights the close connection between collector and artist.
This handsome volume publishes for the ﬁrst time the correspondence between Orswell and Smith, which sheds important new light on the sculptor’s personality and professional practice. The book also tells the history of the Orswell Collection, which numbers over 340 objects and is housed at the Fogg Museum.
This book accompanied an exhibition at the Fogg Museum, September 21, 2002–February 16, 2003.
Marjorie B. Cohn is the Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Curator of Prints at the Fogg Museum. Sarah B. Kianovsky is Assistant Curator of Paintings, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Fogg Museum.