Capturing Color

summer hours  

The Reeves Museum of Ceramics is open Wednesday — Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The University Chapel & Galleries are closed until July 13. Beginning July 13 hours are: 
Wednesday — Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Watson Galleries are closed until August 24.

Free admission and all are welcome. 

Capturing Color
Paintings by Louise Herreshoff Eaton

On View: September 1, 2021 (ongoing)

Location: The Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery, Reeves Museum of Ceramics
(Photo Left):  Three Trees, No. 2, n.d.
Louise Herreshoff Eaton
Oil on canvas
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Euchlin D. Reeves in memory of Mrs. Chester Green Reeves and Miss Lizzie H. Dyer, U1967.1.15

About the Exhibition

Almost 200 portraits, landscapes and still life paintings by Louise Herreshoff Eaton (1876 – 1967) were a surprise find in a significant donation of ceramics that the artist and her second husband, alumnus Euchlin Reeves '27, gave to Washington and Lee in 1967.

On view in the Elisabeth S. Gottwald Gallery in the Reeves Museum of Ceramics, the exhibition Capturing Color highlights a selection of Herreshoff's bold and expressive oils paintings created in the 1920s during visits to Cape Ann, Massachusetts – a popular area for painters and art colonies during the last 150 years. The works depict harbor scenes and landmarks still found in Gloucester, Rockport, and other areas on the North Shore.

This exhibition offers fresh and focused access to a selection of Herreshoff’s paintings and begins to examine the artist in her cultural context. An unknown but talented artist, Herreshoff worked and exhibited during a pivotal, vigorous and transitional moment in American art. She is a prime example of late 19th- and early 20th-century upper-class women who were able to study art abroad in an environment that was more costly, but far more supportive, than anything available at the time to women in the United States. Her paintings were accepted several times into the Paris Salon and were hung in quality venues in and around New York and Rhode Island during the 30-plus years of her creative production (1895 – 1928). In Providence, Rhode Island, and on Cape Ann, Massachusetts, she shared exhibition space with well-known artists such as Frederick Childe Hassam and Maurice Prendergast. When in Gloucester, she may have painted in the company of Cecilia Beaux, John Sloan, Stuart Davis, Milton Avery and Jane Peterson. Herreshoff incorporates into her paintings an understanding and exploration of early modern art movements, including impressionism, post-impressionism and fauvism.

Related Exhibition

To See Color First: Watercolors by Louise Herreshoff Eaton

On View: September 1 — 30, 2021, Staniar Gallery, Wilson Hall

To See Color First is a cross-departmental effort to showcase over 50 bold and expressive watercolors by early 20th century artist Louise HerreshoffEaton, whose paintings make up a prominent portion of Washington and Lee University’s art collection.  

Organized by Clover Archer, director of the Staniar Gallery, and co-curated by Patricia Hobbs, senior curator of art for the Museums at W&L, and Tracy Bernabo, curator of Try-me Gallery (Richmond, VA), this exhibition and its companion catalog highlight the life and work of a relatively unknown but very talented artist, thanks to the meticulous research of the curators and their students. It is the first significant public display of Herreshoff's work outside of the university's Reeves Museum of Ceramics since 1976, when the artist was featured at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

Our Mission

The Museums at W&L advance learning through direct engagement with the collections and facilitate an interdisciplinary appreciation of art, history, and culture.