“Artful Lunch” Offers Lecture, Gathering

Elizabeth Milroy, professor of art history, professor of American studies, professor of environmental studies, speaks about a lithograph created by Helen Frankenthaler. The piece is part of the Davison Art Center's collection and was the topic of an "Artful Lunch" Sept. 28.

For 15 minutes, Elizabeth Milroy, professor of art history, describes the life, artistic techniques and style of abstract expressionist painter and printmaker Helen Frankenthaler.

“Here, we see her thinking about framing and edging,” Milroy says, pointing at a lithograph in the Davison Art Center. “She emulates Chinese characters in this print. She bring out lusciousness in lithography.”

Friends of the Davison Art Center member Jean Shaw HON '11 enjoys the "Artful Lunch." Shaw is a former director of the Center for the Arts.

As part of the new series, “Artful Lunch,” faculty briefly speak about an artist, and display one example of the artist’s work from the Davison Art Center’s collection. The series is sponsored and hosted by the Friends of the Davison Art Center as part of the FDAC’s 50th Anniversary. Talks are open to FDAC members, Wesleyan students, staff and faculty.

Milroy presented Frankenthaler’s print titled A Slice of the Stone Itself on Sept. 28. The image was printed from two stones on French handmade paper at Universal Limited Art Editions in West Islip, N.Y. in 1969. The Davison Art Center purchased the print in 1980 with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, and matching funds from the Friends of the Davison Art Center.

Milroy explained how Frankenthaler became known in the 1950s with her “stained” paintings on unprimed canvas. She later moved to lithography and ultimately woodcuts. Milroy visited Frankenthaler’s studio in 1978, located in a converted firehouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

“Frankenthaler’s work is very gestural. She’s certainly influenced by Jackson Pollock,” Milroy says.

“During the Artful Lunch series, we want to bring the DAC collection to more people since only a limited amount of the collection can be on view in the gallery at any one time,” says Mariah Reisner, vice president of the Friends of the Davison Art Center and graphic designer with Wesleyan’s New Media Lab. “This is an intimate way for the community to get up close with more works of art and have the opportunity to listen to a faculty member present on a work.”

More than 25 faculty, staff and community members attended the first "Artful Lunch" on Sept. 28. (Photos by Olivia Drake)

Reisner, who helped establish the series, says the “Artful Lunch” also provides opportunities for the Friends to interact with faculty and staff interested in the arts.

Talk attendees are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy homemade cookies, coffee and conversation.

Faculty begin speaking at 12:10 p.m. in the DAC’s Alsop House. Upcoming speakers include:

Andy Szegedy-Maszak will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Szegedy-Maszak is the Jane A. Seney Professor of Greek, professor of classical studies.

Sasha Rudensky will speak on Tuesday, Nov. 8. She is an assistant professor of art and teaches photography.

David Schorr will speak on Wednesday, Feb. 15. He is a professor of art and teaches printmaking.

Wesleyan President Michael Roth will speak on Wednesday, March 28.

Joe Siry will speak about the Alsop House on Wednesday, April 25. Siry is chair and professor of art history.

For more information e-mail the Friends of Davison Art Center at fdac@wesleyan.edu or visit their blog online at fdac.blogs-staging.wesleyan.edu.