W&L Museums Reopen with New Exhibits and Events

“UR1967.1.93,” Museums at Washington and Lee University: Online Exhibits, accessed September 13, 2021, https://exhibits-museums.omeka.wlu.edu/items/show/81.
The Yellow Tree, ca. 1925 by Louise Herreshoff Eaton. Collection of the Museums at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

Washington and Lee University has announced their plans to reopen their museum to the public on Thursday, September 16. It will be the first time the public has had access to the museums since spring 2020. Here are the exhibits that await ...

- September 6 - December 4, 2021 -
Watson Galleries

Curated by Class of 2022 student Amelia Lancaster and senior curator of ceramics Ron Fuchs II, Auspicious Animals is an exhibition of 1700s and 1800s decorative porcelain animal figurines. Each piece reflects "Chinese traditions that see many animals as auspicious, meaning they symbolize good fortune." The most elaborate and expensive figures exported from China to Europe found their way into "grand European homes" and are considered both rare and prized.

- September 16 - December 4, 2021 -
Watson Galleries

Nine prints by artist Elizabeth Catlett are on display under the title My Art Speaks for Both My People, a nod to a 1970 article in Ebony magazine where she is quoted as saying, "I am inspired by black people, and Mexican people, my two peoples." Catlett became a citizen of Mexico in 1962 and holds the honor of being the first female sculpture professor in the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. My Art Speaks for Both My Peoples is curated by senior curator of art at Washington and Lee, Patricia Hobbs.

- Ongoing -
The Elizabeth S. Gottwald Gallery, Reeves Museum of Ceramics

In 1967 artist Louise Herreshoff Eaton and her husband Euchlin Reeves (W&L '27) gave Washington and Lee a considerable donation of ceramics as well as nearly 200 paintings. Capturing Color is an exhibition featuring a selection of the artists' 1920s paintings from a visit to Cape Ann, Massachusetts. The landscapes are "bold and expressive oil paintings" that "depict harbor scenes and landmarks still found in Gloucester, Rockport, and other areas on the North Shore."

- through September 31, 2021 -
Staniar Gallery, Wilson Hall, Lenfest Center

More than 50 Louise Herreshoff Eaton watercolors have been selected for the To See Color First exhibition by the director of the Staniar Gallery, Clover Archer, senior curator of art for the Museums of W&L, Patricia Hobbs, and curator of Try-me Gallery in Richmond, Tracy Bernabo. Together they have created a companion catalog to "highlight the life and work of a relatively unknown but very talented artist" in this, "the first significant public display of Herreshoff's work outside of the university's Reeves Museum of Ceramics since 1976."

Visiting W&L Museums

Fall 2021 hours are Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Masks are required for entry regardless of vaccination status.

About W&L Museums

The Reeves Museum of Ceramics showcases one of the country’s finest collections of ceramics made in Asia, Europe, and the Americas over the last 500 years. The Museum also includes the Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery that highlights early modern paintings by artist Louise Herreshoff Eaton.

The University Chapel was built in 1868 as the gathering space for the campus community. During the academic year 2022-23 the historic building will be restored to its original design, while creating a separate space for historic exhibitions within the 1883 annex. This two-story addition includes the University Galleries that include Valentine's memorial sculpture of Robert E. Lee depicted as a confederate general, Lee's presidential office, a portrait exhibit, an institutional history exhibit, and the Lee Family Crypt. The portrait and history galleries will open in November 2022 and April 2023, respectively.

Watson Galleries houses two changing exhibition spaces for Asian and contemporary art, and the Japanese Tea Room. The Tea Room was built to serve as a culturally immersive classroom for the study of Chanoyu, the Way of Tea.

Image Credit: Collection of the Museums at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA

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