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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Nevelson, Louise
Culture:American (1899 - 1988)
Title:Distant Column
Date Made:1963
Materials:wood painted flat black
Place Made:United States
Measurements:overall w/base: 80 x 15 x 12 1/2 in.; 203.2 x 38.1 x 31.75 cm
Accession Number:  SC 1972.10
Credit Line:Purchased with funds given by Donald Millar in honor of his daughters, Brenda M. Baldwin (Brenda Millar, class of 1949) and Mrs. John W. O'Boyle (Nancy Millar, class of 1952)

Currently on view

three sided column with various pieces of wood attached to sides painted matte black; abstract

Label Text:
Born in Kiev, Russia, Nevelson immigrated as a young girl to Maine. She trained at the New York Art Student's League, then studied with Hans Hofmann in Germany.

Although she occasionally used other materials for her sculpture, Nevelson always preferred wood. "Distant Column" is composed of varied pieces of wood, assembled into a unified visual statement. In her earlier sculptures, Nevelson tried to achieve uniformity by sanding all the surfaces, then, in the 1950s she began painting her assemblages in a matte black. Here, the dull finish minimizes reflections and shadows, so no single element stands out or distracts from the unity of the whole sculpture.

Meant to be viewed from all sides, the effect of "Distant Column" changes at each vantage point. Regardless of one's perspective, however, it draws the viewer in while projecting a quiet power.


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