Williams College

The chartering of Williams College in 1793 was an act of faith and certainly an act surpassing the modest intentions of Colonel Ephraim Williams, for whom the college is named. (See also the Williams College Archives and Special Collections online exhibit "The Life of Ephraim Williams, Jr.")

Colonel Williams had not intended to found a college. Enroute with his regiment of Massachusetts militia to join the battle with the French and Indians at Lake George, the Colonel had tarried long enough in Albany to write his last will and testament on July 22, 1755. In it he bequeathed his residuary estate for the founding and support of a free school in West Township, where for some years he had commanded a detachment of militia at Fort Massachusetts, farthest outpost of the province. The will stipulated that West Township, then in dispute between Massachusetts and New York, must fall within Massachusetts and that the name of the township must be changed to Williamstown, if the free school was to be established at all.

On September 8, 1755, Colonel Williams was killed at the Battle of Lake George. On October 26, ... [ Read All ]


United States

Bascom House, 33 Stetson Court
MA 01267
Phone: 413.597.2211
Fax: 413.597.4052
Website: http://www.williams.edu/A

College Photos (10)

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Our Aims

We are to regard the mind, not as a piece of iron to be laid upon the anvil and hammered into any shape, nor as a block of marble in which we are to find the statue by removing the rubbish, or as a receptacle into which knowledge may be poured; but as a flame that is to be fed, as an active being that must be strengthened to think and to feel-and to dare, to do, and to suffer.


Location and Getting there


Department and information about the department


Degree Shows
  • Senior Studio: "Nineteen" (11-05-2007)

  • Academic Staff and Description


    Academic Staff Art Work (10)

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    News and Events


    Information For  Undergraduates

    Art History:
    The history of art is different from other historical disciplines in that it is founded on direct visual confrontation with materials that, while objects of the past, are concretely present. We concentrate on architecture, painting, sculpture--the richest visual expressions of culture. Since works of art embody human experience, we use the work of all other disciplines to understand them, such as social history, perceptual psychology, engineering, psychoanalysis, and archaeology. Because of its concentration on the visual experience, the Art History major increases one's ability to observe and to use those observations as the basis for critical thought.


    Studio Art:
    The studio division of the Art major has been structured to foster the development of a critical understanding of making art; to support creative interests and to develop students' perceptions and imaginations as they investigate a variety of visual media. Drawing I, ArtS 100 or ArtS 103, serve as an introduction to the basic drawing and design principles which establish the foundation ...  [ Read All ]

    Information For  Postgraduates

    Williams College, in cooperation with the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, offers a two-year course of study leading to the degree of Master of Arts in the history of art.


    Information For  International Students


    Student Facilities


    Student Life

    Williamstown is tucked away in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, about a five-minute drive south of Vermont, and about 10 minutes east of New York State. With the majority of professors living in town, and all students guaranteed on-campus housing, many find that the small town atmosphere affords them the opportunity to be continuously engaged, both intellectually and culturally, with the town’s diverse inhabitants. Self-governance is paramount, and is evident in the active role that students play in shaping campus life. So, the question becomes: What’s there to do in Williamstown?



    Housing at Williams is guaranteed for all four years. This fact, coupled with a truly unique first-year living experience, makes residential life an integral part of a student's four years at Williams.


    How To Apply


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