skip navigation

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Past Exhibitions

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 |2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


Diane Edison
2019 Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence
January 17 – April 28, 2019

In 1986, Diane Edison began to focus on self-portraits and images of family members, co-workers, and friends. She has become well known for these intense, honest, larger-than-life, close-range portraits. Edison creates her work using color pencil on black paper. The intricately detailed works draw the viewer in for scrutiny, and offer an extreme psychological and physical depiction of the people within the artist’s circle.

Edison earned her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1976 and her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. Edison has been a member of the faculty at the Lamar Dodd School of Art since 1992. Her college textbook, Dynamic Color Painting for the Beginner, was published in 2008 by Harry Abrams in New York City and simultaneously with Laurence King Ltd. in the United Kingdom.

Established by an anonymous donor in 1997, the endowed Frances Niederer Artist-in-Residence program allows the University to bring a nationally recognized artist to campus each academic year. In residence during the spring semester, the visiting artist creates work in a campus studio and teaches an art seminar open to all students.

diane edison

Diane Edison, Large Self-Portrait, 1993. Pastel on black paper. Courtesy of the artist and George Adams Gallery.


Power and Beauty: Women Artists from the Collection
January 22 – February 10, 2019

In 2005, the inaugural exhibition for the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum featured the powerful work of Carrie Mae Weems and culminated in the acquisition of a photograph from the artist’s Kitchen Table Series. To celebrate the past 15 years of hosting exhibits on the first floor of the Richard Wetherill Visual Arts Center and to honor museum benefactor Siddy Wilson, the museum presents an exhibition highlighting artwork from the museum’s collection by contemporary women artists.

matika wilbur

Matika Wilbur, Dr. Mary for Project 562, 2014-15. Copper photogravure. Museum purchase, 2018.018.


Momoyo Torimitsu: Somehow I Don't Feel Comfortable
February 14 - April 14, 2019

Installation artist Momoyo Torimitsu pushes the boundaries of viewer comfort and investigates the phenomenon of “cuteness syndrome” with oversized inflatable pink bunny rabbits. The artist writes, “A bunny is one of the stereotyped images of cuteness: an innocent, pure, small something that should be protected… This oversized bunny I created that looks down on you doesn’t seem cute anymore – it’s kind of disturbing.”

Torimitsu works in a variety of forms, including sculpture, installation, video, photographs, performance, and site-specific projects. Her work is inspired by the hypocritical imagery of corporate culture and media stereotypes of cuteness and happiness, reexamined through the lenses of irony and humor. Born in Japan, Torimitsu earned her BA from Tama Art University in Tokyo. She has lived and worked in New York since 1996, when she joined the P.S. 1 International Studio Program. Torimitsu received grants from Rema Hort Foundation and Asian Cultural Council, and she completed residencies with Art Omi International in Ghent, NY, and ISEA in collaboration with National University of Singapore’s computer science laboratory. Torimitsu has had numerous solo and group exhibitions and installations nationally and abroad. This exhibition is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.


momoyo torimitsu

Momoyo Torimitsu, Somehow I Don't Feel Comfortable, 2000. Inflatable nylon balloons. Courtesy of the artist and Misa Shin Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. Photo by Kioko Keizo.


20th Century Photographs from the Rugaber Collection
February 21 - April 28, 2019

This exhibition presents 53 black-and-white works by prominent 20th century photographers and loaned to the museum by Walter and Sally Rugaber. The collection includes landscape, architectural, and portrait photography that showcases life in the late 19th and 20th centuries. It features historic photographs from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) including work by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, Ben Shahn, and others. The collection also includes photographs by Eugene Atget, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Danny Lyon, Sally Mann, and many more.

Walter and Sally Rugaber are longtime supporters of the arts in the Roanoke valley. They each began their respective careers in journalism and met while working at the Atlanta Journal. They have lived in southwest Virginia since 1982, during which time Mr. Rugaber worked as publisher and president of the Roanoke Times and Landmark Publishing Group. Additionally, Mr. Rugaber was a Trustee on the Hollins University Board from 1993-2007, and served as the university’s interim president in 2001-02. While on a visit to Santa Fe, NM, the Rugabers purchased their first photograph from the FSA era. The Rugabers note, “We certainly didn’t intend to become ‘collectors’… somewhere in there decided we loved those scenes from the 30s and wanted more of them.”

This exhibit is sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.


Marion Post Wolcott, Negro Man Entering Movie Theater to “Colored” Section, Belzoni, Mississippi, 1939. Photograph. Courtesy of Walter and Sally Rugaber. Photo by Kyra Schmidt.



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