Tag Archive for Davison Art Center

“Artful Lunch” Offers Lecture, Gathering

Elizabeth Milroy, professor of art history, professor of American studies, professor of environmental studies, speaks about a lithograph created by Helen Frankenthaler. The piece is part of the Davison Art Center's collection and was the topic of an "Artful Lunch" Sept. 28.

For 15 minutes, Elizabeth Milroy, professor of art history, describes the life, artistic techniques and style of abstract expressionist painter and printmaker Helen Frankenthaler.

“Here, we see her thinking about framing and edging,” Milroy says, pointing at a lithograph in the Davison Art Center. “She emulates Chinese characters in this print. She bring out lusciousness in lithography.”

Friends of the Davison Art Center member Jean Shaw HON '11 enjoys the "Artful Lunch." Shaw is a former director of the Center for the Arts.

As part of the new series, “Artful Lunch,” faculty briefly speak about an artist, and display one example of the artist’s work from the Davison Art Center’s collection. The series is sponsored and hosted by the Friends of the Davison Art Center as part of the FDAC’s 50th Anniversary. Talks are open to FDAC members, Wesleyan students, staff and faculty.

Milroy presented Frankenthaler’s print titled A Slice of the Stone Itself on Sept. 28. The image was printed from two stones on French handmade paper at Universal Limited Art Editions in West Islip, N.Y. in 1969. The Davison Art Center purchased the print in 1980 with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and matching funds from the Friends of the Davison Art Center.

Milroy explained how Frankenthaler became known in the 1950s with her “stained” paintings on unprimed canvas. She later moved to lithography and ultimately woodcuts. Milroy visited Frankenthaler’s studio

Wesleyan Presents Prints of Julie Mehretu, Masculinity in Sports Exhibit

Julie Mehretu's lithograph and screenprint, "Entropia (review)," from 2004, will be on exhibit in the Davison Art Center Sept. 16-Dec. 11. The exhibit is free and open to the public.

Wesleyan will present two traveling exhibits this fall.

The Davison Art Center gallery will host Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu, Sept. 16-Dec. 11. Mehretu is best known for her large-scale paintings and drawings, which layer maps, urban planning grids and architectural renderings with whorls of abstract markings and bright shapes of color. This the first-ever comprehensive exhibition of prints produced by the artist thus far in her career.

A gallery talk is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Oct. 5 with Cole Rogers, artistic director and Master Printer at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking. Rogers will speak on his experience working with the artist, and the complex technical and aesthetic interweaving of her prints.

Accompanying the show is a beautiful, 44-page color catalog with plates of the prints and an essay by Siri Engberg, curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minn. In her catalog essay, Engberg traces this visual vocabulary back to Mehretu’s graduate studies at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she first worked with intaglio printmaking and the necessity of breaking imagery down into its component layers.

DAC’s Catalog Wins Museum Publication Award

From left, Clare Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center; artist/author Robin Price and Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections and Archives hold samples of the prize-winning catalogue, "Counting on Chance." (Photo by Olivia Drake)

The Davison Art Center’s exhibition catalog, “Counting on Chance: 25 Years of Artists’ Books by Robin Price, Publisher” (DAC 2010) has won third place in the 2011 New England Museum Association Publication Award Competition in the  category “Exhibition Catalogues over $10.”

Counting on Chance features Robin Price's artists' books.

The catalog will be featured in the summer issue of NEMA News.

The catalog was organized by Suzy Taraba, university archivist and head of Special Collections and Archives.  The original exhibition at the DAC was co-curated by Suzy Taraba and Clare Rogan, curator of the DAC.

“We are absolutely delighted by this award,” Rogan says.

First place in this category was awarded to the Portland Museum of Art catalog, “Winslow Homer and the Poetics of Place.”  Second place was the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, “Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition.”  Overall, 206 publications were entered from 64 museums in 16 categories.

Funding came from the Friends of the Davison Art Center, the Friends of the Library,  the Lemberg Fund, and an unrestricted bequest of William Manchester.

Book Artist, Publisher Robin Price Embraces Chance in Talk, Exhibit

Book artist, fine press printer and publisher Robin Price spoke on "Chance and the Artist's Book (Thank You, John Cage)" March 25 in the Center for the Arts Hall. Her lecture was followed by an opening reception at the Davison Art Center.

Book artist, fine press printer and publisher Robin Price spoke on "Chance and the Artist's Book (Thank You, John Cage)" March 25 in the Center for the Arts Hall. Her lecture was followed by an opening reception at the Davison Art Center. Price is known for taking artistic risks within the context of the traditional format of the book. Her work embraces chance, serendipity, and randomness, and she thrives on collaboration with a wide range of artists.

Davison Art Center’s Boothby Dies at Age 89

Janette  Boothby, 89, formerly of Middletown, died Feb. 16 at the Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield, Conn. where she had been a resident for 17 years. She was employed for more than 30 years by the Art Department and the Davison Art Center at Wesleyan  as librarian and registrar of the Davison Art Center Print Collection.

She pursued other forms of artistic expression in her life, including drawing, painting, graphic design and calligraphy. She won many prizes for her watercolor paintings and was a member of several area arts organizations. After her retirement from Wesleyan, she volunteered with The Middlesex County Historical Society.

Born June 16, 1920, she grew up in Lexington, Mass. and graduated from the Museum School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She developed her talents in theater arts and photography at the Weston (Vermont) Playhouse in the summers of 1941-42. Throughout her formative years, Janette’s deep artistic nature connected her to the natural world.

She is survived by her daughter, Deborah Boothby, and son-in-law, Gary Chassman, of Burlington, Vt.; her sister, Audrey G. Jennings, and her brother-in-law, Charles Jennings of Sebastopol, Calif.; her nieces, Marcia Salera of Sebastopol, and Erica Collins of Maui, Hawaii; and her nephew, Douglas Jennings of Fort Bragg, Calif.

Memorial gifts in her honor may be made to Friends of the Davison Art Center, c/o The Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459.

More information is published in the Feb. 24 edition of The Middletown Press.

Wesleyan’s Alsop House Named National Landmark

The historical Alsop House - now the Davison Art Center -

The historical Alsop House - now the Davison Art Center - was designated a national historic landmark.

The Davison Art Center/Richard Alsop IV House, located at 301 High Street in Middletown, was designated a national historic landmark in January. The site was recognized for its role in U.S. history.

The landmark was suggested by the National Park System’s advisory board and designated by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne.

The historic Alsop House is a distinguished architectural monument of the pre-Civil War period. The lot was acquired in 1835 and the house was built between 1838-1840 by Richard Alsop IV, son of the poet and “Hartford wit,” Richard Alsop III. Originally built for Alsop’s widowed mother, Maria Pomeroy Alsop Dana, the house remained in the Alsop family (although not occupied by them for a number of years) until 1948. In that year, it was purchased by Wesleyan with funds given by Harriet and George W. Davison, class of 1892.

Holiday Print Sale Benefits Davison Art Center

uffin O'Dench, former curator; Claire Rogan, title, and Jean Shaw, title, browse artwork for sale during the Friends of the Davison Art Center Holiday Print Sale Dec. 4.

Ellen D'Oench, curator emerita; Claire Rogan, curator of the Davison Art Center, and Jean Shaw P'79, browse artwork for sale during the Friends of the Davison Art Center Holiday Print Sale Dec. 4. A percentage of each sale helped fund acquisitions for the Davison Art Center collection.

John Frazer: Professor of Art, Emeritus Taught Drawing, Film for 42 Years

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes consecutively at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

John Frazer, professor of art, emeritus, taught drawing and film classes at Wesleyan from 1959 to 2001. He's pictured here in his Middletown studio with two of his own still life paintings. (Photo by Olivia Bartlett)

After 42 years of teaching, and a lifetime of painting and drawing, John Frazer isn’t ready to rinse his brushes clean just yet.

Although the professor of art, emeritus, is wheelchair-bound after six knee surgeries, his art studio remains intact. Set-up easels, brushes and oil paints, a painter’s palate and untouched cotton canvases await his return.

“I haven’t been able to paint in over a year, but I will return to painting. I am sure of that, but I prefer to work standing up,” Frazer says. “It’s the only way I’ve ever worked.”

Frazer, a Texas native, came to Wesleyan in 1959 for a one-year appointment teaching painting and drawing to undergraduates.

“I got off the bus on Main Street in Middletown, walked up to campus and looked at the Davison Art Center, and said, ‘I’m going to stay here,'” he recalls.

Frazer, now 76, was 27 years old at the time. He had recently completed a Fulbright grant