December 21, 2009 — Looking for a way to while away a few hours during the winter break at the University of Virginia? Here are a few exhibits at the U.Va. Art Museum and Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, several of which close in January.
"'On the Origin of Species at 150': The Evolution of an Idea," through Jan. 11 at the Small Special Collections Library at the Mary and David Harrison Institute of American History, Literature and Culture. The exhibit commemorates not only the 150th anniversary of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species By Means of Natural Selection," published in 1859, but also the scientist's 200th birthday.
"From Village to Grounds: Architecture After Jefferson at the University of Virginia," through June 30 at the Harrison Institute/Small Special Collections Library. As the University has grown, Thomas Jefferson's vision has been tried and tested, adapted and interpreted. This exhibit explores the solutions to the architectural challenges posed by adding to the Academical Village – from 19th-century picturesque ideals to the classicism of McKim, Mead & White and the modern architecture of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Library hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Dec. 28-30.
"Thomas Jefferson's Academical Village," through Jan. 3 at the U.Va. Art Museum. As part of the communitywide celebration of the centennial of Carr's Hill, the president's residence at U.Va., the museum is presenting an updated showing of the groundbreaking exhibition, which was first staged at the museum in 1993.
The exhibition features original drawings, prints and letters that Jefferson exchanged with his colleagues as the plan for his iconic Academical Village took shape. The exhibition also will includes a selection of paintings, drawings and decorative objects that portray Jefferson and the men who helped give concrete form to his grand vision.
"The Expanding Eye: Art Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe," through Jan. 3 at the U.Va. Art Museum. Poe's thrilling and challenging words inspired many visual artists from the 19th century to the present. The exhibition includes works by James Ensor, Felix Vallotton, Frederico Castellon, Odilon Redon, Alice Neel, Nathan Oliveira and Shusaku Arakawa. Their art constitutes aspects of what might be called the metaphysical voyeurism of Poe, with images that give the viewer a revelatory shock, sometimes horrible in itself, and opening up vast psychological or spiritual territory, as Poe did in his writings.
Poe attended U.Va. briefly before becoming one of the most influential writers in history.
U.Va. Art Museum hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, closed Dec. 24 and 25.