The Environment of Landscape: Works from the Olivia and Ellwood Straub Collection

Synergy Seminar Gallery, May 17 – September 25, 2005

Created in 1991, the Olivia and Ellwood Straub Endowment steers the Bates College Museum of Art in the acquisition of works of art that challenge viewers to look critically at our environment and landscape. In this first exhibition of the collection we are offered the opportunity to admire each work individually and as a focused group accumulated over time. A collection concentrated on a specific topic is an intriguing exploration in depth. It reveals how different artists present a concept differently and how the art illuminates the intention of the donor, the decisions of curators and the culture of Bates College.

Joel Babb Falls on Nesowadnehunk Stream, 1999 oil on paper Gift of the Olivia and Ellwood Straub Endowment and the Berkshire Taconic Foundation BCMA 2001.11.1

Nearly all purchases of art by the museum are made possible by funds designated for acquisition. To support artists, challenge viewers and strengthen our collection the purchasing of art is essential to the mission of the Bates College Museum of Art. For example, Philip Barter’s Falling Leaves encourages a visual conversation with modernists such as Marsden Hartley, exemplifying Hartley’s ongoing legacy within the discourse of contemporary art. Joel Babb’s Falls on Nesowadnehunk Stream illuminates the museum’s interest in the landscape of Maine as well as the work of one of the state’s finest painters. The Straub endowment’s newest acquisition, Estuary by Dozier Bell, leads Bates in its continuing critical look at how artists perceive our ever-changing and threatened environment and landscape.