Local history seen through art work

By Gus Bode

Discovering local history through art work

University museum presents Familiar Faces and Places

Factoid:For more information, call 453-5388 or e-mail [email protected]. Visit www.museum.siu.edu


On July 4, 1854, the first Carbondale resident, Daniel Brush, celebrated Independence Day by lighting fireworks as the first train entered through Carbondale’s railroad. This scene is depicted through local artist Polly Winkler-Mitchell’s art, using brightly-colored paper cut-outs.

The theme of familiarity is displayed throughout the University Museum’s gallery titled, Familiar Faces and Places. The gallery, on the north end of Faner Hall, presents various works by local artists and graduates of SIUC and will continue until March 31.

Beside every artwork is an informative summary about the artist and the subject. Curator Lori Huffman said the gallery’s structure educates visitors about the art and its history with the city.

The diverse collection display, which includes wood carvings, portraits, landscape photography and sculpture, are just a few objects on display from the museum’s total of more than 53,500 fine arts, geological and humanities objects.

It gives people a chance to see things put together in an unusual way. This is a unique way to show a collection, Huffman said.

This is the second year of Familiar Faces and Places. In January 2001, the museum received a grant through Rural Southern Arts Fund, a Carbondale-based art collection organization, for the event.

Some of the featured works are Carolyn Plochmann’s painting of the Old Main building, which was burned on June 8,1969. Some of the gallery’s artists were considered amateurs because they were hired by the federal government through the Federal Art Project (FAP) and other work relief programs for artists during the Great Depression.


Visitors will also find other valuable works from artists outside of Illinois. Samuel Chamberlain’s Manhattan Twilight portrays the elegance of New York’s atmosphere during a windy evening. French artist Antoine Bourdelle’s Beethoven:A Tragic Mask symbolizes the composer’s deafness.

The next exhibit, A Modern Institution:Design at SIU During the Delyte Morris Era, 1948-1970, begins March 30. Morris was SIUC’s president from 1948-1970 and promoted the University’s modern architectural and design in the 1950s and 1960s.

An expansion of at least 300 square feet will be added to the museum’s existing 8,000 square feet for this exhibit, said Donna Bachman, museum director.

We will be emptying out the storage space to display more things as possible, Bachman said.

Reporter Jane Huh can be reached at [email protected]