Eleanor Delaney “Siddy” Wilson graduated from Hollins with a degree in chemistry. She went on to become an accomplished actress on Broadway and to receive a Tony nomination. She directed plays, performed with the USO, and worked in television and movies. She pursued her interest in art by studying with Margaret Stark and Rafael Soyer in New York City. Siddy’s desire was that her beloved Hollins have a world-class art museum. This museum, named in her honor, is the culmination of her philanthropic generosity and benefits both the Hollins and greater Roanoke communities.
In 2008, Tanya Bickley and Sheri Dean, executors of her estate, gave the museum an extensive archive of documents, including photographs, journals, writings, and artwork by Siddy, to be used as an educational resource.