Feature Stories Campus Events

New Home for Cy Twombly in NYC

The late artist Cy Twombly, of the Class of 1953, left Washington and Lee after only one year because Marion Junkin, who had founded the Department of Art at W&L, made it clear there wasn’t much he could teach Cy because the young man possessed such an advanced talent.

So Cy left Lexington for New York and the Arts Student League there; as he developed his art and increased his stature, he spent most of his time in Rome and Lexington. Now his work will again be a presence in New York since, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Twombly Foundation has purchased a mansion on East 82nd Street to create “an education center and a small museum to celebrate the artist’s work and burnish his reputation.”

As Ralph Lerner, secretary of the foundation, told the Journal: “He is an American painter and deserves an American presence.”

Last year, the Twombly Foundation further strengthened Cy’s ties to W&L, by awarding Washington and Lee a $400,000 grant to help fund two scholarships at the University — the Class of 1943/Cy Twombly Scholarship and The Edwin Parker (Cy) Twombly Scholarship. Both scholarships, which are awarded to students based on financial need, were established in honor of Twombly’s father, Edwin Parker (Cy) Twombly Sr., who served for 53 years as swimming coach, golf coach and athletic director at W&L.

The Class of 1943/Cy Twombly Scholarship was established in 1993 by members of the Class of 1943. The Edwin Parker (Cy) Twombly Scholarship was established in 1972 by many friends of Cy Twombly Sr. This is the second gift that the Twombly Foundation has made regarding these scholarships. In all, the foundation has awarded $475,000 in support for their endowment.