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Artistic impressions

The Battalion

Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 02:10

David Cohen

This English Cameo glass vase by George Woodall is one of many rare glass pieces on display at Forsyth.


As the season changes and Fall sets in, Forsyth Center Galleries trades former, vibrant mixed media art and abstract sculptures for soft, Impressionistic paintings and smooth Cameo glass works.

The exhibit, “Highlights from the Runyon Collection” at the Forsyth Center Galleries in the MSC includes a wide array of work. From cameo glass to impressionist paintings, the variety of pieces reflects the values and characteristics of the time in which they were created.


English cameo glass pieces, in addition to American Impressionist and Western paintings, are included in the exhibit. These pieces come mainly from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and showcase different perspectives of the era.


Amanda Dyer, the assistant director at the University Art Galleries Department, said the gallery is eager to become reacquainted with the University through the new exhibit.


“In this highlight collection, we wanted to showcase the entire collection for the students and the rest of the University and community who really haven’t been able to see that much in the last few years,” Dyer said.


Dyer said this highlight collection contains a little bit of everything. Paintings characterized by American Impressionism make up a handful of the current gallery’s exhibit. Pieces by artists such as Mary Cassatt, Winslow Homer, Childe Hassam, Thomas Hart Benton and Guy Carlton Wiggins decorate the Forsyth Center Galleries’ walls. They are meant to exemplify the loose brush strokes and distinct colorings associated with Impressionism.


Dyer said interesting history and information surrounds each piece in this collection. “Winding the Clock” by American impressionist Winslow Homer is one such example.


“Our piece by Homer is called ‘Winding the Clock’ and is one of the few watercolors that he did,” Dyer said. “He really worked in oils mostly and so the fact that we have a watercolor of his is pretty significant.”


The gallery’s exhibit is also compromised of a number of Western paintings, showing society’s fascination with the old west at the time.


“It was a really well-received form of art,” Dyer said. “That’s when the American west and cowboys and things like that were really romanticized.”


Dyer said that with the decline of the frontier at the time, paintings by artists such as Oscar Edmund Berninghaus and Frederic Remington conveyed information much valued and sought after by the people living in the East.


The glasswork, particularly the English Cameo glass, seems to be a very popular part of the exhibit too. Dyer said these pieces reflect both the ancient and more modern in their composures, having been produced in the Greek Revival Period. The intricate patterns and beauty of the glass makes this part of the exhibit a favorite of many students.


“I really like the glass pieces. The different forms are fascinating,” said senior computer engineering major Kunal Chhajer.


The collection the Forsyth Center Galleries has on display is certainly impressive and showcases various parts of history. Anthropology graduate student Laura Short said students are lucky to have access to such a collection.


“It’s the opportunity to see art that most students wouldn’t get to see without the art museum,” she said. “It’s stuff that’s in the A&M collection, so that’s pretty cool too.”


“Highlights from the Runyon Collection” exhibits only a segment of the actual art collection allocated to Forsyth Center Galleries. Though only a sample, the pieces in the display show a rich variety of history in themselves, and the indelible beauty that makes them art.


“Highlights from the Runyon Collection” will be available for viewing in the Forsyth Center Galleries until Dec. 7.

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