Esther Atkinson Museum

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The MISSION of the Esther Thomas Atkinson Museum is to support the College's mission to form good men and good citizens in an atmosphere of sound learning by collecting, preserving and interpreting objects that enhance the College's educational offerings and promote the history of the College and its role in the history of Virginia and our nation.


Mise en Scène

Mise en Scene exhibit at Hampden-Sydney CollegeFebruary 17-March 20
"Mise en scène" will feature paintings, drawings, and sculptures by Jonathan D. Metzger, Visiting Assistant Professor of Fine Arts, and Allison Wegren-Metzger. Opening reception is February 17, 4 - 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the community and is co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Department and the Atkinson Museum. Read more...



The Universe in Color: The Astrophotography of Robert Gendler

The Universe in Color ExhibitOctober 23-December 12
Robert Gendler, a physician, was inspired by photos he saw at New York's Hayden Planetarium as a boy and took up astrophotography as an adult, shooting first from his home in Connecticut and later, via the internet, with a robotic telescope in New Mexico. Rob's mosaic image of the Andromeda galaxy was selected by Astronomy magazine as one of the greatest astronomical photographs of the last thirty years, and his image of IC405, the "Flaming Star" nebula, was issued on a stamp by the Royal Postal Service in 2006. A collection of his work appears in his book A Year in the Life of the Universe, published in 2006.


An American Silence: Walker Evans & Edward Hopper

Jeffrey Allison, art historianNovember 9
Hampden-Sydney College and Central Virginia Arts will co-sponsor, "An American Silence: Walker Evans & Edward Hopper", a lecture by art historian Jeffrey Allison.

This talk will explore the works of photographer Walker Evans and painter Edward Hopper. Allison will expand on the ways in which these American artists tore themselves away from European ideals at the start of the 20th century.    

Jeffrey Allison is the Paul Mellon Collection Educator at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and a professional photographer. He holds a B.A. in photography and film from Virginia Intermont College and an M.F.A. in photography from VCU. Among others, he is currently involved in programs at the VMFA on Henri Rousseau, Visual Art, Berthe Morisot, and William Blake.   

The program begins at 3:00 PM in the Esther T. Atkinson Museum's Back Gallery, and it has been organized by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and is supported, in part, by the Paul Mellon Endowment and the Jean Stafford Camp Memorial Fund. Admission is free and open to the public.


Fine Arts Student Exhibition

Student Art ExhibitionMay 1-11
The 2014 Fine Arts Student Exhibition is open May 1-11. Featuring thesis projects by Justin Tisdale: The Bear Essentials and William Henry: Figure/Ground, the exhibit will also display the work of the Photography II and Drawing II classes. The opening reception on May 1 from 4-5:30 PM is free and open to the public.


The Play's the Thing

The Play's the ThingApril 24
Hampden-Sydney Professor Shirley Kagan hosted a talk on the past and future of Hampden-Sydney theatre on April 24. The talk, followed by a one-act play, The Interview, by Anthony Rowe '14, was presented in conjunction with the exhibit Hampden-Sydney Stage, the history of theatre at Hampden-Sydney College, curated by the Student Museum Board. 


Jefferson's Architecture and Dabney Cosby in Southside Virginia

Art Historian Richard G. Wilson at Hampden-Sydney CollegeOn April 17, Hampden-Sydney College hosted nationally-known architectural historian, Dr. Richard Guy Wilson as he presented his lecture: "Jefferson's Architecture and Dabney Cosby in Southside Virginia."

The lecture highlighted Cosby's participation in shaping some of the buildings at Hampden-Sydney College and provided a look at the man who brought a touch of Thomas Jefferson to campus.

Dr. Wilson currently holds the Commonwealth Professor's Chair in Architectural History at the University of Virginia where he specializes in architectural design and art of the 18th to the 21st century. Dr. Wilson has received a number of academic honors including a Guggenheim fellow, prizes for distinguished writing, and in 1986 he was made an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). 

This event was co-sponsored by the Lectures and Programs Committee, the Fine Arts Department, the Architectural Society, and the Esther T. Atkinson Museum.


First Ladies: Hampden-Sydney's Mothers, Matrons, and Favorites

First Ladies of Hampden-SydneyThe Esther Thomas Atkinson Museum's exhibit, First Ladies of Hampden-Sydney, was on display through March 14.

Although the mission of Hampden-Sydney College is to form good men, some of her good citizens have been women who have played an important role in the lives of students. They have been first ladies, faculty, trustees, and even graduates. Mention the names Erlene Bowman, Dottie Fahrner, or Gerry Pettus to any graduate of the last twenty years and you will likely hear stories of the smiles, care, and support these women have provided to their Hampden-Sydney "sons." This support goes back to the 1890s and Ms. Minnie Lacy, daughter of the College physician, who ran a boarding house for students. Read more...