Feature Stories Campus Events

Special Collections and Archives Department Launches Its First Online Search Tool

Researchers now have an easy way to comb through the 1,000 collections of manuscripts and photographs at Washington and Lee University’s Special Collections and Archives. “The department has launched its first online search tool, which will enable researchers to discover these treasures,” said Alston Cobourn, digital scholarship librarian at W&L. “It contains descriptive information about manuscript and photographic collections, as well as institutional records. Scans of documents from some collections are available online, and links to these are included when available.”

The department holds the collections of such organizations as the Rockbridge Historical Society, the American Shakespeare Center and the Mountain Valley Preservation Association. A diverse set of subjects includes American and Virginia history, regional genealogy, the history of propaganda, and Southern literature and theater.

The tool contains a basic description of all its university archives’ record groups, the vast majority of its manuscript collections, and many of W&L’s photographic collections, with more information being added daily. The department is beginning to add descriptions of the Rockbridge Historical Society’s manuscript collections as well.

The search tool can be accessed through the Special Collections and Archives webpage at library.wlu.edu/specialcollections.

If you have questions about the department’s materials, please call (540) 458-8663.

Questioning Passion Interdisciplinary Series to be Held During 2015-2016 Academic Year

Washington and Lee University’s Questioning Passion Interdisciplinary Seminar Series is a year-long colloquium that explores passion: Is it good or bad, unwise or necessary, the key to happiness or a distraction from the path to success?

The 2015-2016 series is organized around six visiting speakers chosen for the discipline they represent as well as for the perspective they will bring to questioning passion. Each is a leader in his or her field and is known for success in addressing a general audience. Each of the six public lectures will be held at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons on the day noted.

The professors who organized the series are Jeffrey Kosky, professor of religion; Karla Murdock, David G. Elmes Professor of Psychology; Jon Eastwood, Laurent Boetsch Term Associate Professor of Sociology; Tim Diette, Harry E. and Mary Jane W. Redenbaugh Term Associate Professor of Economics; and Art Goldsmith, Jackson T. Stephens Professor of Economics.

“There is a lot of talk in the popular media about passion, and it is a theme that young people and their parents increasingly take into consideration as they think about their futures,” said Kosky. “We hear a series of competing claims: sometimes we are told that finding our passion is the key to success in life, but at other times we are told to be more calculating and deliberate in how we approach life if we want to succeed. Clearly there is a lot of confusion about the topic.”

Kosky continued, “My co-organizers and I chose passion as the topic of the series for this academic year not so much because we want to clear up the confusion but because we believe a university is one of the rare and special cultural institutions that can stage it so as to respond to it thoughtfully and meaningfully. In fact, academic experts in many disciplines are thinking about passion and the passions in new, exciting, and sometimes contradictory ways. We hope that this series provides a setting where academic expertise can be shaped by popular concern, while popular concern can be liberally educated by experts in the university.”

Although the series will be centered on the speakers and their public lectures, W&L students, faculty and staff who choose to register as seminar participants will also meet the speakers during luncheon programs and attend additional sessions on the topic throughout the academic year.

Students, faculty and staff can sign up through the seminar’s website: http://www.wlu.edu/questioning-passion.

The series speakers are:

  • Sept. 17, 2015 – Psychologist Barbara Fredrickson will give the first talk, which is also the 2015-16 Root Lecture, “On Passions, Positivity and Love.” Her latest book, “LOVE.2.0,” provides a new way of thinking about love in addition to romantic or passionate love, focusing more on momentary interactions and ordinary, everyday experiences that generate love.
  • Oct. 22, 2015 – Art historian, critic and writer James Elkins’ recent work raises serious questions about the place passion and passionate response might or might not have in a university classroom in general and, and more particularly, in a critical discussion of artwork.
  • Nov. 12, 2015 – Literary critic Philip Fisher’s recent book, “The Vehement Passions,” analyzes the nature and value of intense emotion. He is working on a book about passions that move us ethically, in particular kindness and malice.
  • Jan. 14, 2016 – Philosopher Lars Svendson was asked to address boredom, which could be understood as the absence of passion, because this seems an appropriate place from which to glimpse the significance or insignificance of passion and the passions.
  • Feb. 4, 2016 – Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher has written several books on the evolution and future of human sex, love and marriage. Her recent research uses fMRI to study the brain systems and chemistry involved in romantic love and mating.
  • March 3, 2016 – Economist Robert H. Frank is well known for complicating the foundational model of the rational actor as an agent of economic life with his account of the important role that passion and emotions play in decision making.

The lectures and other events making up Questioning Passion are possible with funds provided by the Office of the Provost, the Root Lecture Fund, the Johnson Endowment, University Lectures Fund, The Class of ’63 Lecture Series, the Office of the Dean of the Williams School and the Office of the Dean of the College.

Gray Borden ’01 Appointed U.S. Magistrate Judge

Gray M. Borden, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2001, will fill the U.S. magistrate judge’s vacancy created in the Middle District of Alabama after the retirement of the Hon. Charles S. Coody. He will serve an eight-year term and can be reappointed.

As reported by the AL.com website, a merit selection panel of attorneys and other community members reviewed applicants for the position and recommended Gray to the District Court.

Gray, a native of Montgomery, is an assistant U.S. attorney with the Middle District of Alabama. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr., and worked for several years with the Birmingham civil litigation firm of Lightfoot, Franklin and White.

In 2014, Gray received the Spartan Award, which recognizes prosecutors for their dedication and extraordinary effort to investigate and prosecute large-scale drug dealers and money launderers.

Keith Watkins, chief U.S. district judge for the Middle District of Alabama, said, “Gray Borden is exceptionally well qualified to serve as magistrate judge. He has a wide range of legal experience, an excellent temperament and a tremendous work ethic.”

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Staniar Gallery Presents “the sun that never sets,” an Exhibit by Paul Ryan

Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “the sun that never sets,” an exhibit of paintings by Staunton-based artist Paul Ryan. The show will be on view Sept. 7-Oct. 4. Ryan will give an artist’s talk on Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall.

The lecture will be followed by a reception for the artist. The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

As an abstract painter, Ryan combines a natural attentiveness to formal problems with a reflective consideration of conceptual ideas. In his new work he is developing a visual vocabulary derived from the forms of everyday commercial packaging—the unfolded shapes of the cardboard cartons and containers and the eccentric visual structures that occur when their silhouettes are combined within the picture plane.

Ryan is equally interested in the conceptual implications of his source material, which have inherent associations with desire, exchange, acquisition and consumption—activating the paintings as visual metaphors for the operations and effects of late capitalism.

The exhibition is accompanied by a complimentary catalogue, available while supplies last, that includes an essay by Ashley Kistler, the director of the Anderson Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth School of the Arts.

The exhibition will travel to the Center for the Arts at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Virginia) where it will be on view from Dec. 3-Feb. 7, 2016, and Reynolds Gallery (Richmond, Virginia) where it will be on view from Feb. 26-April 8, 2016.

Ryan, a painter and art critic, is a professor of art at Mary Baldwin College. Since 1983, he has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions in a variety of venues, including Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia (Fredonia, New York), Hartell Gallery at Cornell University (Ithaca, New York), The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond, Virginia) and the Taubman Museum of Art (Roanoke, Virginia).

He has been a contributing editor for Art Papers Magazine since 1990. Since 1989, his writing has appeared in publications such as Art Papers Magazine, Sculpture Magazine, ArtLies and Art in America.

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.

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Merci, Madame Jennifer

For the past two years, Jennifer Latham Shotwell, a 1995 graduate of Washington and Lee University, and her students at Randolph-Macon College, in Ashland, Virginia, have been involved in an unusual literacy project — writing children’s stories in French.

When her W&L classmate Cathy Gartin Kononetz heard of Jennifer’s efforts at their recent 20th reunion in Lexington, she thought the project would be a perfect fit for Humankind, a new social video product featuring positive news stories that is part of the Gannett/USA Today network. Cathy, who is the Senior Director of Gannett’s Video Production Center, pitched the story to her staff and helped produce a story and video about the project using footage that Jennifer shot while in Haiti. The story ran on the Humankind site on August 14th and has also been picked up by The Huffington Post. Jennifer noted on Facebook, “I’m honored and humbled by the result of some Class of ’95 teamwork!”

Jennifer, who is a French professor and director of RMC’s Butler Multimedia Learning Center, challenged her students to write the stories. “In my elementary-level college French class, my students have an opportunity to use the language in a unique way by writing children’s books,” she explained. “Though some learners don’t think they can produce much with a new language, my students are learning to express themselves and create entertaining stories that we ultimately share with disadvantaged children who are also learning French.”

The first books, which she shipped to St. Gabriel’s school in Lascahobas, Haiti, were handmade and illustrated by students as well. This year, Jennifer started a Kickstarter campaign to print more durable paperback books, and in June, she and some of her students were able to hand-deliver 90 books.

As the USA Today story reports, “Children stood by their tables, flipping through the pages and looking at the colorful drawings. Leaning against the walls of the school, uniform-clad students read stories out loud in French. At the end of the day, a loud and resounding, ‘Merci, Madame Jennifer,’ could be heard.”

You can read more about Little French Books here.

Mike Smitka Quoted in The Street

Mike Smitka, professor of economics, was quoted by the business website, The Street, Aug. 20 in a story about foreign investors’ trust in Japanese companies in the wake of a Toshiba Corp. accounting scandal. The article notes Japan’s “tight-knit, slow-to-adapt corporate culture” has been resistant in the past to accept reforms to boost international investor confidence.

The Street asked Smitka if the replacement of Toshiba’s board and the inclusion of seven outsiders signals a new direction for both the company and Japanese corporate culture.

He said that the quick departure of Toshiba’s top executives means “that the state of corporate governance in Japan is good, at least in formal terms.” Smitka said the company’s action was “prompt, both internal and external. There may be other cases that will pop up, but I don’t think is the tip of the iceberg. A lot of heads have rolled, the fraud was much more fundamental.” Smitka specializes not only in Japan, but also in the economics of the automobile industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard and a doctorate in economics from Yale.

James Whitehead, Co-Founder of W&L's Reeves Center, Dies at 93

James Walter Whitehead Sr., co-founder and Director Emeritus of the Reeves Center at Washington and Lee University, died on Thursday, Aug. 20, in Houston. He was 93.

In addition to his work with the Reeves Center, Whitehead served W&L for 34 years, as director of university relations, assistant to the president for administration, director of development, treasurer, secretary of the Board of Trustees and chair of the American Revolution Bicentennial Committee.

“Jim Whitehead was one of W&L’s legendary figures of the late 20th century. He spent 34 years serving W&L, and not just in one position, but in several, and often at the same time,” said Kenneth P. Ruscio, president of Washington and Lee. “We owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for his work with university relations, fund-raising and the Board of Trustees. Perhaps his greatest gift to us, however, is the Reeves Center, with its invaluable collection of Chinese export porcelain and beautiful paintings.”

Whitehead was born on Oct. 20, 1921, in Columbus, Georgia, to Dr. and Mrs. William Freeman Whitehead. He received a B.S. in business administration and sociology from the University of Tampa in 1942.

He served in World War II as an aviator with the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1945. He married Celeste Dervaes — also an aviator — in 1945.

From 1945 to 1950, Whitehead was the director of public relations for the University of Tampa. From 1950 to 1955, he worked as the national finance director for the National Conference of Christians and Jews. And from 1955 to 1958, he was the executive director of the Empire State Foundation of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges.

Whitehead arrived at W&L in 1958 as the director of university relations and assistant to the president for administration. He then worked as treasurer of the university from 1966 to 1980. From 1968 to 1987, he also served as the secretary of the Board of Trustees. And from 1972 to 1976, he chaired W&L’s American Revolution Bicentennial Committee. From 1982 to 1992, he headed the Reeves Center, performing that role full time after 1987. When he retired in 1992, the university named him Director of the Reeves Center Emeritus.

In 1967, thanks largely to the Whiteheads’ friendship with Euchlin Reeves, a 1927 graduate of the W&L School of Law, and his wife, Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves, the Reeveses gave to W&L their important collection of Chinese export porcelain. Together the Whiteheads (aided by the president’s housekeeper and other interested parties) cleaned and cataloged every item once the collection arrived in Lexington. They then exhibited and promoted the collection; it forms the nucleus of today’s Reeves Center, which opened in 1982.

The Reeveses had kept their priceless pieces in two overflowing homes in Providence, Rhode Island. The first time Whitehead visited Euchlin Reeves, “every flat surface was covered with cups, saucers, plates, bowls, vases, pitchers, urns, auction catalogues and antique journals,” he wrote in his 2003 book, “A Fragile Union: The Story of Louise Herreshoff.” “Not only were the surfaces of furniture covered with ceramics, items were stored under the bed, on and under the piano, atop and below the chairs. The drawers of the chest, the secretary bookcase, and the desk were also overflowing with pieces of porcelain.” The next-door house boasted a similar décor.

When the movers packed up the treasures (including furniture and other items), they showed Whitehead framed artworks that were so grimy, he thought they could be useful only for their frames. Back at W&L, however, Whitehead discovered that they enclosed “beautiful, brilliant paintings,” as he said in a 1990 news release. The artist was Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves.

Whitehead became a champion of Herreshoff’s work, rescuing several more of her paintings from the new owners of the Reeveses’ homes. In 1976, he arranged an exhibition of her paintings at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. He wrote articles about Herreshoff and the Reeves porcelain, culminating in his book, “A Fragile Union,” which featured a foreword by Tom Wolfe, a 1951 graduate of Washington and Lee.

While juggling his multiple roles at W&L, Whitehead lent his talents to fund-raising. In the mid-1970s, he issued a license to Wamsutta to produce bed linens that featured designs from the porcelain collection. The pattern “Blue Porcelain Butterfly” became a bestseller and brought the university substantial royalties. He also arranged for another company to reproduce in porcelain a few pieces from the Reeves collection.

As Wolfe described Whitehead in the book’s foreword, “his clothes lay lovingly tailored upon his well-fed-and-cared-for contours. His cravats would have made England’s legendary cravateur, Beau Brummel, twitch with envy. He had a peculiarly Southern courtesy and conversational ease and a Columbus, Georgia, voice that could have charmed the Rolex off your wrist, had he entertained any such prospects. I hasten to add that he didn’t.”

“I was one of the first interns at the Reeves Center, and Mr. Whitehead became my mentor for the next 40-plus years,” said Peter Grover, a member of the W&L Class of 1973. He retired from the university this past June after 12 years as director of university collections and art history. “He never lost track of me and was always providing guidance and counsel.”

“I first met Jim Whitehead in 2003 at a luncheon in Lynchburg with his wife, Celeste. What a dynamic and genteel couple they were,” said Patricia Hobbs, associate director of university collections at W&L. “Mr. Whitehead and I talked often about the paintings of Louise Herreshoff Eaton Reeves, which he had single-handedly rescued from oblivion. He would even call me at home to chat about them. Mr. Whitehead claimed that he knew nothing about art, and yet when I began to curate the university’s art collection, I was surprised to learn that, in addition to his important work creating the Reeves Center, throughout the 1970s and ’80s he fostered the growth of our broader collections of paintings, prints and sculpture.”

“If it wasn’t for him, the Reeves Collection at Washington and Lee simply wouldn’t exist,” said Ronald Fuchs, curator of the Reeves Collection. “It was his vision that recognized that a ceramic collection could be an educational resource, and his enthusiasm and energy that made it happen.” Fuchs knew that whenever he had a question, he could call Whitehead. “He would tell me exactly what I needed to know about the object, or the donor, or why something was done the way it was done. I am going to miss that connection to the collection’s beginnings.”

Whitehead’s renowned hospitality also embraced two campus visitors, Joella and Stewart Morris, of Houston, Texas. In turn, they generously underwrote the restoration of a 19th-century home on campus that is now the guest quarters known as the Morris House. Whitehead also made possible the Marian Carson Collection of George Washington prints, the John G. Hamilton Program Fund and the Watson Pavilion, an annex of the Reeves Center that houses a Japanese tearoom.

During the nation’s bicentennial, Whitehead oversaw traveling exhibitions of W&L’s Custis-Lee collection of 18th- and early-19th-century paintings and of the Reeves Collection of Chinese export porcelain.

For his myriad contributions to W&L, Whitehead twice received the Ring-tum Phi Award from the student body, in 1975 and 1979, and, with his wife, the Lynchburg Citation in 1976, the highest honor an alumni chapter may confer. The Lynchburg Citation read, in part: “His devotion to Washington and Lee is as strong and as carefully thought out as that of our most ardent real alumnus.”

He belonged to Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society founded at W&L, and received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Tampa, his alma mater, in 1954.

Two funds at the university honor the Whiteheads’ contributions. In 1991, the Gulf States Paper Corp. established the James W. and Celeste Whitehead Fund to care for the William Winstanley painting of George Washington, which was a gift from Jonathan W. (Jack) Warner ’40, CEO of Gulf States Paper Corp. And in 1992, an anonymous donor created the James W. Whitehead Reeves Center Endowment to honor Whitehead’s W&L career.

Whitehead served his community as well, with stints as the chair of the advisory board of the First National Exchange Bank of Lexington and the president of the Rockbridge Chapter of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. He also sat on the boards of the Stonewall Jackson Hospital and the Rockbridge Concert Guild.

Whitehead’s professional service included terms on the board of governors and as secretary for the Decorative Arts Trust, on the board of directors of the American Ceramics Circle, as president for the South of the Scotch-Irish Society of America, and on the advisory board of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association of the Union. He belonged to Beta Gamma Sigma commerce fraternity.

His wife, Celeste Dervaes Whitehead, his partner in his W&L career, died in 2010. He is survived by two sons, James Walter Whitehead Jr., a member of W&L’s Class of 1968, and Paul Dervaes Whitehead; two grandchildren, James Walter Whitehead III and Carson Key Whitehead; and two great-grandchildren, Claire Dervaes Whitehead and Graham Horn Whitehead. A granddaughter-in-law, Elizabeth Munson Whitehead, is a member of the W&L Class of 1999.

The family requests that memorial contributions go to the James W. and Celeste Whitehead Fund or the James W. Whitehead Reeves Center Endowment, both at W&L.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m. in Lee Chapel on the W&L campus. A reception will follow immediately afterward at the Reeves Center and the Hotchkiss Alumni House, both also on the campus.

W&L Law Journals Make Top 10 Ranking from Article Submission Service ExpressO

The Washington and Lee Law Review and the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice, published by students at Washington and Lee University School of Law, have been included in a new ranking from ExpressO, one of the leading systems for journal article submission.

The W&L Law Review placed third on the list of top 100 most popular law reviews chosen by authors using ExpressO, based on 2014 submission data. The Law Review was sixth in the ranking last year.

In a note to Law Review staff, one author whose work appeared recently in the publication wrote, “Last time I published with W&L, it was the best publication experience of my life. I actually have articles that were accepted by other journals one or two semesters before my last W&L acceptance — and they are still not out due to law review delays.”

ExpressO also publishes top 10 specialty rankings. The W&L Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice (JCRSJ) was again included in the civil rights category, appearing in sixth place.

The student editors and staff writers at the Law Review and JCRSJ together produce six volumes each year in addition to hosting symposia on key and emerging legal issues. For example, last year the Law Review brought together scholars and policy makers for an event exploring cybersurveillance. The JCRSJ examined in its symposium developments in civil and voting rights since the landmark passage of the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act 50 years ago.

The next Law Review symposium will take place Feb. 5-6, 2016 and will focus on ethical, legal, and public policy issues surrounding the use of the death penalty. The JCRSJ symposium is scheduled for Jan. 28-29 and will address policing power in the U.S.

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Alex Maragos ’13 Joins WMAQ-Channel 5 News in Chicago

Alex Maragos, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 2013 with a degree in journalism and mass communications, has joined the staff at NBC-owned WMAQ-Channel 5, in Chicago.

Alex was previously a morning and midday reporter and news anchor for News 18 WLFI, a CBS affiliate in West Lafayette, Indiana, which is ranked at No. 187 in the media market by Nielsen Co. The Chicago station is ranked No. 3.

Frank Whittaker, station manager and vice president of news at NBC 5, announced that starting Aug. 11, Alex will be a general assignment reporter. “We’re excited to bring Alex back to his home town,” Whittaker said. “His experience in Chicago and his passion for breaking news will be a great addition to our news team.”

A Chicago native, Alex held internships at Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Cumulus Media news/talk WLS AM 890 and ESPN Radio sports talk WMVP AM 1000.

He’s received a number of awards, including first place, Best Breaking News Story, Indiana Broadcasters Association (2014); first place, Best Breaking News Coverage, SPJ Indiana (2014); second place, Best Newscast, SPJ Indiana (2014); second place, Best Newscast, Indiana Broadcasters Association (2014); and third place, Feature Story, SPJ Indiana (2014).

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Alumni in the Picture: The Millennium Gate Museum Features the Late I-Hsiung Ju

The Millennium Gate Museum at Atlantic Station, in Atlanta, Georgia, which is celebrating its seventh anniversary, has an exhibition of the works of the late Chinese artist I-Hsiung Ju, a former professor of art and artist in residence at Washington and Lee University.

There are many wonderful connections to this show. First and foremost is Ju, who was born in Jiangyin, Jiangsu, China, and taught at W&L from 1969 to 1989. While in Lexington he established the Art Farm, where he and his wife, Chow Soon Chuang, taught Chinese calligraphy and brush painting, culinary arts, flower arrangement and other aspects of Chinese culture. They also held exhibitions of the work of young artists at the farm.

Ju is considered a major figure of Asian art. The Millennium Gate Museum director, Jeremy Kobus, said in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “ had the ability to blend two worlds of style, technique and idiom to produce a unique form of painting that is both modern and traditionally East Asian.”

That style captured the attention of Sam Perkins, a member of W&L’s Classes of 1980 and 1983 Law, now the CEO of Purgenix. As a married student, he often took his family to the Art Farm to look at the works of Ju, as well as of other artists exhibited there. His daughter, Elizabeth Perkins Warland ’99, was too young to remember those trips, but when her parents visited Lexington when she was a student, they visited again. “It was definitely a nostalgic trip for my parents and an educational one for me,” said Elizabeth, who was at the time taking an art class from the late Joan O’Mara, associate professor of art history. “It all came together,” she remembered. “We saw that painting — ‘House Mountain at a Distance’ — and immediately thought, ‘He did that painting just for us.’ Besides its amazing beauty, I think it spoke to us because of the strong ties our family has to Lexington and because House Mountain is such an iconic symbol.”

Sam bought the painting, and a few years later gave it to his daughter as a wedding present. “I was going to be living in Belgium with my husband,” Elizabeth noted. “When you’re moving out of the country and starting a new life, you want something as a reminder. My dad asked, ‘What do think of when you’re thinking of home?’ For me, one of those important connections has always been Lexington and House Mountain. And so the painting ended up in my suitcase.”

After returning to the U.S., Elizabeth and her husband settled in Atlanta, and in 2009, she attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Millennium Gate Museum, a project spearheaded by Rodney Cook Jr., W&L Class of 1978, the founder and president of the National Monuments Foundation.

Like the Perkins family, Rodney Cook had a deep connection to Ju. “I took every single one of his studio art classes,” he said. “He was such an importance influence on my life, and I’ve got his name, along with Professor Futch, Dean Gilliam and W&L, carved into the side of the Millennium Gate. That is my tribute to those who taught me so much.”

When the Ju family approached him about mounting this exhibition, he needed no persuading. “His Yangtze River brush-painting series and his scroll-painting series of Huangshan Mountain are his magnum opus,” said Rodney. “I’d seen these on display in two other museums. They are majestic.”

As well as the paintings, the museum’s theater is showing videos of the murals Ju painted in the great rooms of some houses in Georgia. “It’s a who’s who of the political leaders and civil rights leaders who carried us through the turbulent ’60s and ’70s,” Rodney noted. There are also photos of Ju, in his blue silk gown, giving Chinese painting demonstrations to raise money for Atlanta’s historic Fox Theater, as well as his brushes, inkwells and other personal belongings.

On opening weekend, the museum was packed. “I think Professor Ju would be proud,” said Rodney. “I know he would be happy — he was always happy. When I’m in the gallery where we have several monitors showing his lectures, he’s talking and painting away. It’s an absolute pleasure to hear his voice — he has such a distinctive voice. It’s a delight to have him in my house.”

You can find more details about the exhibition, which runs until Oct. 18, here.