Following a long selection process, the Davis Museum was Moneo’s first commission outside Spain. It was received with great joy because, having decided to return to Madrid after five years as chairman of architecture at Harvard, Moneo would be able to stay in touch with a country that both attracted and intrigued him. The assignment was to build an annex to the architect Paul Rudolph’s Jewett Arts Center, which had interested Rafael Moneo even as a student at the Madrid School of Architecture. As home to the art collection of a college, the annex would be a place for storing pedagogical material, not simply a sanctuary. Nevertheless, the art collection of Wellesley College – one of the first liberal arts colleges founded exclusively for women – must be viewed as a symbol of the devotion and loyalty of its alumnae. So, would it be possible to reflect both pedagogy and devotion in an architectural work? “The cubic space could be understood as a coffer, presenting all at once the pieces in the collection. The artworks in the collection are like memories of those alumnae who lived here and who thought there could be no better place than Wellesley to which to leave the objects they loved so much. Therefore, I very much wanted the Museum to be understood as a treasury, a treasury that speaks about the lives of those people who received their education here.” Hence, the building aims to accomplish this double mission, with a complex stair system that takes visitors upwards from contemporary to ancient art, the latter including not only western art (Ancient Greece and Rome) but also art from other cultures, with special importance given to pre-Columbian times.