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Staniar Gallery Presents Louise Herreshoff Eaton Exhibition The exhibition is the first comprehensive study of the artist's watercolors.

Louise-Herreshoff-1023x768 Staniar Gallery Presents Louise Herreshoff Eaton ExhibitionUntitled; c. 1922; watercolor on paper; 16 x 21/25 inches; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Euchlin D. Reeves Collection in memory of Mrs. Chester Green Reeves and Miss Lizzie H. Dyer, UR1967.1.32

Washington and Lee University’s Staniar Gallery presents “To See Color First,” the first comprehensive study of the watercolors of Louise Herreshoff Eaton, an artist who figures prominently in Washington and Lee University’s permanent collection. The exhibit will open on Sept. 1, and the works will be on display through Sept. 30, with a curator’s talk on Sept. 21 at 5:30 p.m. in the Wilson  Concert Hall.

The exhibition and lecture are free and open to the public. All visitors are expected to be masked indoors as in compliance with the campus’s Covid-19 guidelines.

As an academic gallery, a crucial aspect of Staniar’s mission involves mounting temporary exhibitions of works that enhance the courses and curriculum in the art department. Typically, on view for 4-5 weeks, the gallery’s shows expose students to a broad array of art and topical creative explorations. These exhibitions model a diverse range of creative practices and related discourse, but in-depth study of the original artworks is not always possible given the brief amount of time the works are on campus. The chance to organize an exhibition from the university’s permanent collection provides an exciting opportunity to expand the pedagogical role of the gallery and highlight W&L’s cultural resources.

With their new research into the life and works of Louise Herreshoff Eaton, put forth in the exhibition catalogue, co-curators Tracy Bernabo and Patricia Hobbs lay a scholarly foundation upon which students can continue to gain inspiration and develop art historical analyses long after the show comes down. Tracking Herreshoff’s artistic development in relationship to the trajectory of the contemporaneous movements in her lifetime, Bernabo and Hobbs demonstrate the significance of her oeuvre as a reflection of the dynamic times in which she worked. Their research shines light on the life and works of this relatively unknown painter, sparking new lines of inquiry that imbue the university’s rich collection of Herreshoff’s paintings with fresh relevance for students and future scholars.

The 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 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please call (540)-458-8861.

Read more about the Herreshoff exhibit in Senior Curator Patricia Hobbs’ From the Collections column.