The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Current Exhibitions

Downloads: Fall 2015 poster (PDF)

Robert Kushner: Pleasure and Solace
June 16 - September 12, 2015

One of the founders of the pattern and decoration movement in painting, Robert Kushner combines organic elements with abstracted geometric forms to create works that celebrate surface. He draws from a broad spectrum of artistic and historical movements: fabric design, fashion, and couture; oriental rugs, kimono patterns, and Japanese screen painting; Renaissance masques, symbolist music, and opera. While Western artists throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries found inspiration in Islamic and Far Eastern cultures, Kushner rejected the concepts of “exoticism” and “primitivism” often cited in those societies in contrast with European styles. Instead, he responded to the long-standing sophistication of Eastern knowledge, innovation, and spirituality.

The paintings on display in this exhibition span nearly a decade of work: Huntington Library Cactus Garden II, 2014; Chrysanthemum and Sunflower, 2010; and Spring Scatter Summation, 2005. A painting by Kushner in the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s collection, also titled Sunflower, dates to the early 1990s and is on display in the Resource Room. Representations of flowers have long been of interest to the artist; his work segues effortlessly from glittery, overblown blooms on canvas to modest depictions on antique book pages. Kushner has said, “I never get tired of pursuing new ideas in the realm of ornamentation… Decoration has always had its own agenda, the sincere and unabashed offering of pleasure and solace.”

The paintings in this exhibition are on loan from DC Moore Gallery, New York.

robert kushner

Robert Kushner, Spring Scatter Summation (detail). Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery.


A Gift of the Heart: Original Children's Book Illustrations from the Collection of Nancy Ruth Patterson
June 22 - September 12, 2015

This exhibit features sixteen original illustrations created for five children’s books written by local educator and beloved author Nancy Ruth Patterson. These charmingly detailed paintings and drawings, created by the artists Leslie Bowman, Karen A. Jerome, Patty Weise, and Thomas F. Yezerski, visually interpret Patterson’s stories. Collected by Patterson through purchase or gift, these works are a recent bequest to the Museum’s permanent collection.

Patterson began writing children’s books after she retired from teaching in the Roanoke City Schools (1966-1999). She is a faculty member of the graduate program in children’s literature at Hollins University, has spoken at more than 500 national conferences and workshops, and has written numerous articles on the craft of writing. Her books have been honored on master reading lists in ten states, and three have been adapted for stage. This exhibit is presented in conjunction with the Hollins MFA and MA programs in Children’s Literature and Children’s Book Writing and Illustration.

nancy ruth patterson

Leslie Bowman, Megan, Nannie, and Boo on Steps from The Christmas Cup. Courtesy of Nancy Ruth Patterson.


Scott Noel
Mythologies: Paintings 1995-2015

August 6 - November 14, 2015

Scott Noel is a prolific painter of cityscapes, still lifes, portraits, figures and elaborate mythological constructions. This exhibit at the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University presents Noel’s large-scale classically inspired works. Noel paints exclusively from direct observation. In his contemporary retellings of Greek and Roman history and myth, he locates his Arcadia in his studio in Manayunk, a suburb of Philadelphia. His models are local artists, students, family members and friends who play out relationships codified in thousands of years of verse and pictorial history.

Scott Noel is an Associate Professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This exhibition is curated by Elise Schweitzer, Assistant Professor of Art, Hollins University, who is a former student of Scott Noel, and a contributing essayist to the accompanying catalogue.

scott noel

Scott Noel, Octavia and Antonia Divide the Empire (detail), 2009. Oil on linen. 72 x 108". Courtesy of the artist.


Hollins University
Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Box 9679 : 8009 Fishburn Drive : Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6532 •
Tues-Sun: 12-5 pm
Thurs: 12-8 pm
twitter facebook