Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Old Ideals and New Horizons

Academics

The Chapel

Walker Evans, Cole Memorial Chapel, 1940. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, Science Building and Chapel, 1940. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, Chapel from Athletic Field, 1940. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, The Spire, 1940. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, Cole Memorial Chapel with Students, 1941. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Cole Memorial Chapel was designed by Ralph Adams Cram and constructed in 1917. Being one of President Samuel Valentine Cole’s most significant aspirations, the Chapel was named for President Cole in 1926, the year after his death. It appears as though Walker Evans found a great interest in Cole Memorial Chapel since it is the most pictured structure in Wheaton College Photographs and its image opens the work.

One of the photographs of the Chapel is unique since it is the only image from the series to include people. However, the students in the photograph serve only as a means of illustrating the size of the Chapel and this particular image was left out of the published Wheaton College Photographs. Evans also seemed to admire the Chapel's spire. Even in Evans’ photographs of other campus structures, the Chapel’s spire sometimes steals the show from the background, ascending into the sky and demanding admiration.

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