The installation of four bronze plaques of the Stations of the Cross, created by Frances A. Hart and donated to the Colleges by Dr. George N. Abraham ’59, will take place on Friday, Feb. 24.
Chaplain Lesley M. Adams will bless the Stations in St. John’s Chapel, where the bronze plaques will make their home, at 5 p.m. The service will include musical interludes provided by gifted pianist and donor Abraham. Following the blessing, Adams will host a reception with the plaques’ artist, Hart, at 6 p.m. in the Chaplain’s House at 630 South Main St.
Commissioned by Rambusch Decorating Company in 1966 and finished in 1967, the Stations of the Cross were intended for the Mont La Salle Chapel in Napa, Calif., but due to liturgical changes, were instead purchased by Abraham from the artist in 1967 and subsequently given to the Colleges in 2011. The only other set of Stations is a painted and aluminum foil accented plaster cast set that were commissioned by St. Thomas More Church in Sarasota, Fla., which was founded in 1981 and dedicated in 1985.
An enduring symbol of Abraham’s generosity, the Stations of the Cross are the most recent of his donations to the Colleges, which comprise several important artworks including: James Rosenquist’s “Sailor-Speed of Light;” Jasper Johns’ “After Holbein,” Robert Rauschenberg’s “People Have Enough Trouble without Being Intimidated by an Artichoke,” and Kathe Kollwitz’s “Death, Woman and Child.”
After graduating from Hobart with a B.S. in math and chemistry, Abraham went on to earn both his M.S. and medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Abraham’s medical career took him to California, New York and Washington, D.C. where he worked on a variety of national initiatives surrounding cancer research and treatment. The author of more than 100 scientific articles, three books and three patents, he is currently a medical center professor emeritus of medicine, microbiology, immunology and pediatrics, and oncology. He also serves on the board of directors of the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center. A dedicated philanthropist, Abraham also serves the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, the Eastman School of Music as well as Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Hart received a master of fine arts degree from Catholic University and studied in New York City at the Art Students League with George Grosz, the Pratt Graphic Center, and the Craft Students League. At the Delaware Art Museum, she studied weaving with Louise Todd and welded steel sculpture with LeRoy Smith. At the University of Delaware, she studied etching and lithography with Michael Miller, Patricia Zirin, and Rosemary Lane Sooper, and egg tempera painting and indirect oil painting with Hilton Brown. Hart has exhibited paintings, prints and sculpture in many group shows and juried exhibitions in New York City, Washington, D.C., West Chester, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Venues include the National Arts Club, The Smithsonian Institute, the Delaware Art Museum and the University of Delaware.
The event is sponsored by the Department of Art and Architecture.