The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Past Exhibitions

2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


Hélion Highlights: Selections from the Blair Family Gift
February 2 – March 26, 2017

In May 2016, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University was the recipient of a a gift from the Blair family: a collection of over 385 preliminary paintings, drawings, and prints by Jean Hélion (French, 1904-1987). This gift (the largest in the history of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum) is an important collection of studies by one of France’s noted modernists. French by birth, Hélion married an American from Virginia and spent time living and working in the United States. He lived with his wife in Virginia from 1936-1940 and returned during WW II to work in New York City. This exhibition will present selections from this generous gift, most of which has never been exhibited to the public. This collection makes Hollins University a major repository for Hélion studies.

Inspired by the organization, rhythm, and patterns that would come to characterize his abstract paintings, Hélion’s early interests included poetry, chemistry, and architecture. In the mid-1920s, he abandoned his studies in favor of drawing classes at the Académie Adler in Paris. Over the next several years, he met and drew inspiration from abstract and cubist artists including Otto Freundlich, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, and Piet Mondrian. In 1936, Hélion moved from France to the United States. Living in New York and Virginia for four years before returning to France, Hélion deliberately changed his style to be more representative.

After World War II, Hélion’s career grew to include radio and lecture appearances as well as a best-selling book about his months as a prisoner of war. Even as his later painterly interests became figurative and naturalistic, his work relied on shape and repetition in the same manner as his abstractions.
Jean Helion

Jean Hélion,Study of a Standing Nude Female before Cheval Mirror, 1973. Pastel on grey paper. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University.


Screen Swap
175th Celebration: Roanoke College and Hollins University
April 1–16, 2017
In partnership with Roanoke College’s Olin Hall Galleries, the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum will present an exhibition of “film shorts” created by students of Hollins University under the direction of the Chair of the Film Department, Amy Gerber-Stroh along with selected works from Roanoke College’s “Basically Tarantino” film contest under the direction of Joe Boucher, Director of Student Activities at the Colket Center. This exhibit will premier at Roanoke College, March 13-March 31, 2017, followed by a public screening of the selected films for the joint exhibitions at the Grandin Theater on March 30, 2017. The show will then travel to the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, April 1 – April 16, 2017.
hollins university

Screen Swap.


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