The Houghton House Renaissance – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The Houghton House Renaissance

For decades, the Colleges have been steadily building a remarkable and ever-growing collection of art, ranging from the Realism of the late 19th century to the Abstract works from the end of the 20th century.

With impressive originals, lithographs and prints hanging in academic and administrative buildings across campus, the Collections of Hobart and William Smith Colleges has become a pride point for students, faculty, staff and alums alike.

This spring, several significant pieces from the Collections were framed and put on display in “Moments in Time: Lithographs from the HWS Art Collection,” a 21-piece selection of lithographs and etchings. The exhibition is currently on display in the Houghton House Gallery and will have its closing reception on Friday, April 24 from 7 – 9 p.m.

The exhibition includes chronological highlights from the Collections’ full historic spectrum. Exhibition-goers can expect to find everything from 19th century works, such as Henry Walton’s lithograph of “Hobart Free College,” to 20th century works, such as James Rosenquist’s “Sailor – Speed of Light.”

To help transform the generous donations of HWS alums into officially catalogued and annotated works of art, Kathryn Vaughn, visual resources librarian, and Patricia Mathews, professor of art, brought in five art students for the job.

Barry Samaha ’10, Emily Sarokin ’10, Diana Haydock ’09, Anna Wager ’09 and Tim Starr ’08 have collectively written catalogue entries and annotated bibliographies of selected lithographs, crucial aspects of a professional exhibition.

“The students working with us were asked to research four to six lithographs from the collection in order to compose a catalogue entry as well as an annotated bibliography to be used in the future,” said Mathews.

Explaining why he got involved in the project, Samaha said: “As an art history major, I believe that it is better to look at a work directly rather than through a slide. I look forward to sharing these pieces and my knowledge about them with the campus community.”

To complement the work done by Samaha and his peers, Anne Wakeman ’09 spent a semester alongside Associate Professor of Art Nick Ruth in an intensive graphic design internship, producing the show’s graphics, including the exhibition’s publicity materials as well as a central part of the exhibition itself: a poster explaining the history and creation of lithography.

“The value to these students is tremendous. They’ve learned an unbelievable amount,” says Vaughn. “They’ve done professional-level work of the caliber you’d expect to see in a museum.”

The Houghton House Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., daily.