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

Academics

Mary Lyon

Walker Evans, Mary Lyon Hall From Campus 2, 1941. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, Mary Lyon Hall, 1941. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.Walker Evans, Mary Lyon Hall and President's House, 1940. © Copyright Walker Evans Archive, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New Seminary Hall, later named Mary Lyon Hall, was built in 1849 and funded by the Wheaton family. At the time of its construction, the “New Sem” looked like an enlarged version of the original Seminary Hall that once stood in its place. However, additions were made to the building in 1878, including the science wing to the south, a gymnasium and library in the west wing, and an east wing that housed additional classrooms. The grand stairway and cupola were also added at this time.

Evans takes advantage of the updates to the building, choosing to photograph Mary Lyon from the viewpoint of the Dimple. From this perspective, the front of the building, which is the only side of the structure that remains from its original 1848 construction, is left unseen. Six of the plates in Wheaton College Photographs depict Mary Lyon Hall, making it the second most numerous subject for Evans in the series.

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