|Photo via www.arts.WVU.edu|
On my way to Lexington KY, I decided to stop in Morgantown, in order to visit West Virginia University. It is not a place that many people just happen to find, but it is beautiful part of the country, and worth the trip.
Morgantown sits along the Monongahela River in a valley between ridges of the Allegheny mountains. While there is some small industry, the University is the city’s primary business. Morgantown was founded in 1772 by brothers Zachquill and David Morgan. It was positioned at a great spot, because the Monongahela is completely navigable up to the point it joins with the Allegheny to form the Ohio River. West Virginia was made a state in 1863, because the residents in this area did not agree with Virginia’s decision to join the Confederate States. In 1867, the state legislature created a land-grant university and established it on the site of three schools in Morgantown. One year later this was renamed as West Virginia University.
In 1870, WVU started construction of Martin Hall, the first hall built for the new school. It was constructed on what would become Woodburn Circle, and this is where you will find the oldest buildings on campus - Martin Hall, Woodburn Hall, and Chitwood Hall.
Across the street is the Mountainlair, WVU’s student center, which was built in 1968. Next door to the Lair is Stewart Hall, the original Library for the campus.
The reason for my visit to Morgantown was the see the WVU Art Museum. It is located on the Evansdale Campus, about two miles from Downtown campus. The museum has four galleries and offers exhibits of both local and national artists. This spring, they are hosting several excellent shows. One is From the Mountain: Malcom David and the Art of Shino. Malcom Davis (1937-2011) was a world renowned ceramicist. Who developed his style of Shino. - a traditional Japanese-style glaze.
The second main exhibit is True Colors: Picturing Identity. This show is composed of works from the collection of James Cottrell and Joseph Lovett. There are paintings and sculptures by Andy Warhol. Keith Haring, and Deborah Kass, among others. The show is an exploration of the ways contemporary artists use the human figure to explore and express diverse aspects of “identity.”
|Nee Nee in Braddock by Swoon|
|Judy Blume by David Hockney|
|Untitled by Keith Haring|
|How do I Look? by Deborah Kass|
The two other galleries are offering exhibits of wood cuts by Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) and Cubist painting by Blanche Lazzell (1878-1956).
|Noble Lady by Louise Nevelson|
|Jungle Figures by Louise Nevelson|
|Abstract Tempora No. IV by Blanche Lazzell|
|Shell by Balnche Lazzell|
The WVU Art Museum offers an excellent collection of contemporary art, and is worth a visit when you are in the Morgantown area.
Nuts and Bolts:
- Art Museum of West Virginia University is located at 20 Fine Arts Drive, Morgantown WV
- Open Thur. - Sun. 12:30 PM - 6:00 PM. Admission is free at all times.
- Parking: Use short term lot 1 ($0.50/Hour) or 9 ($1.25/hr). Both lots are free after 4PM and on weekends