Setting the Stage

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. 

Setting the Stage
A Glimpse Inside 150 Years of the University Chapel Auditorium

On View: November 11, 2021 (ongoing)

Location: University Chapel Galleries
Photo (left): University Chapel stage, ca. 1921
Photograph from a scrapbook that belonged to Franklin L. Riley, head of the W&L History Department in the 1910s and 1920s.
Leyburn Library Special Collections


About the Exhibition

During the last 150 years, the stage in the University Chapel auditorium was variously decorated for centennials, celebrations, and anniversaries. Over time, the original gas lights were replaced with electric ones; a painted university banner came and went; fabric draperies were removed; metal gates were changed; and furniture on the stage was frequently added and subtracted. Portraits were added in 1875 and multiplied over the years. They included historic figures, university donors, and university presidents, and the paintings were frequently rearranged and ultimately spilled over to the side walls.

This exhibition documents many of those changes and includes portraits and artifacts that decorated the stage area. The exhibit also includes the 1796 Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington and the 1866 J. Reid portrait of Robert E. Lee, which were relocated from the auditorium into the gallery in Fall 2020.

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.