While Tony Walker, a member of the Washington and Lee University Class of 1964, visited campus this past fall for his 50th reunion, he stopped by the University’s art collection in the Kamen Gallery in the Lenfest Center for the Performing Arts. The Western theme struck a chord with him, and he decided to give W&L a contemporary painting of a Western landscape by Vermont-based artist David Brewster (davidbrewsterfineart.com).
Tony, who studied philosophy with Professor Emeritus Harry Pemberton, believes the content of the painting is “so poignant and right for the school.” He described the subject as “a violent storm where all the elements are present: heat, sun, dryness.” The landscape reminds him of the abandoned Rockbridge County farms he encountered as a student at W&L in the 1960s, when he hiked all over the countryside within a 50-mile radius. He described the farms as “down and out” and said, “That suffering and toughness to live through the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s is in contrast to Washington and Lee University and the environment now.”
Tony was inspired to give this painting “as a reminder to what we have” and offered it “in honor of my friend and mentor Harry Pemberton.”