Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

The comeback

Cowduck now a sculpture

Cowduck installationIn a way, Cowduck has returned to Peacock Pond.

The beloved black-and-white spotted duck—a longtime familiar figure around the pond and nearby Chapel Field—was memorialized this spring with a bronze statue in her likeness. Cowduck died of natural causes last July.

“After Cowduck passed away, the school was definitely missing her presence, and many staff and faculty members, including [Arts Events and Publicity Manager] Jessica Kuszaj and Assistant Professor of Art Kelly Goff, were looking for a way to memorialize her and bring her essence back to campus,” said Charlotte Middleton ’18, a studio art major. “I had previously done an independent study with Professor Goff for ceramic sculpture, and I think, there he saw my passion for sculpture and asked if I would be interested in helping out with the return of Cowduck.”

Honored by the request, Middleton eagerly got onboard. [Read more...]

Uncovering stories

Students’ research shedding light on art collection

“Cataloguing Curiosity” students dive into researching the Providence Athenaeum’s art collection.

“Cataloguing Curiosity” students dive into researching the Providence Athenaeum’s art collection.

Behind any collection of objects, there are stories to uncover. How were these pieces created? Where have they traveled? What do they mean together?

These are some of the questions that the students in Professor of Art Tripp Evans’s “Cataloguing Curiosity” course considered this spring as they sat together in the art room of the Providence Athenaeum, amid tightly packed bookshelves, stone busts and oil portraits.

They were helping to bring to light the stories of the athenaeum’s collection through scholarly research that will be shared with the public. Once a hybrid between a library and an art museum, the Providence Athenaeum is a member-supported institution founded in 1836. It has deep roots in local history and a diverse collection of art that complements its extensive literary holdings.

While much of its art is on public display, athenaeum staff lack the time for the extensive research needed to make the whole collection accessible to visitors and scholars. [Read more...]

Little house, big opportunity

Barbara Kellner ’49 provides a place to create

Key West HouseThe three-room brown house tucked away on a side street in Key West, Fla., is tiny. But what it has offered Wheaton faculty members during the past few years and what it will offer students in the future is huge, thanks to alumna Barbara Kellner ’49.

Kellner, who died in June 2013, bequeathed her house to Wheaton. An artist herself, she made an agreement for it to serve as an artist-in-residency space for faculty members for three years and then be sold, with the majority of proceeds going to Wheaton. The funds will be used to establish the Barbara Kellner ’49 Endowed Fund for the Performing Arts, which will support programming for students for many years to come.

So far, 12 faculty members have taken the opportunity to spend one to three weeks at the house delving into ongoing scholarly, teaching and curricular projects related to the arts and approved by Wheaton’s Committee on Faculty Scholarship.

They all agree that Kellner’s gift has provided two things every creative person craves—time and space to be inspired. [Read more...]

See shells

Wheaton receives grant to digitize marine biology collection

Digitizing of the collection is being supported locally by Wheaton’s Digital Initiatives Department, part of Library Information Services, and by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Digitizing of the collection is being supported locally by Wheaton’s Digital Initiatives Department, part of Library Information Services, and by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges.

Someday soon, scholars around the world will be able to view thousands of shell specimens from a Wheaton College biology collection—and may even be able to produce plastic replicas using a 3D printer.

It’s part of an ongoing effort among colleges and universities to digitize material collections and make them available to a larger audience, and it’s a cause supported locally by Wheaton’s Digital Initiatives Department, part of Library Information Services, and by a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC).

Former Digital Initiatives librarian Amy Bocko first came across Wheaton’s shell collection—more than 3,500 specimens dating as far back as the late 1800s and currently managed by Professor of Biology Scott Shumway—about a year and a half ago, when she was asked to photograph a portion of the collection to highlight on the college website. When the CIC grant opportunity came up more recently, she immediately thought of the shells.

“The grant was aimed at finding hidden collections on campus, digitizing and preserving them, and bringing them to life,” Bocko said.

[Read more...]