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Paintings, Drawings and Other Framed Items (Group 40)
[81] Paintings, Drawings, and Other Framed Items, 1836-1994, 240 items

Historical Note

Several artists and photographers have created artistic renderings of Oberlin since its earliest days. The paintings, drawings, and other framed items capture images of the town and campus. Some items are more interpretive or abstract than others.

Scope and Content

This record group includes some framed photographs, and both originals and prints of pencil sketches, woodblock prints, etchings, and drawings. Four items exist documenting the campus of the “Collegiate Institute” before 1850. They are: Thirza Skinner Pelton’s watercolor and stencil of Tappan Hall, 1836; Margaret Drake Penfield’s oil on board of Tappan Hall, ca. 1838-1841; H. Alonzo Pease’s watercolor and ink titled “A Partial View of Oberlin,” 1838; and Henry Howe’s wood engraving with color pencil of “The Meetinghouse, Tappan Square and Oberlin Institute Buildings,” 1846.

An alphabetical inventory of framed items lists images, ca. 1840-1910, of the City of Oberlin and of Oberlin College campus buildings. Unframed items include more than 50 etchings, 1912-1936, by Julia G. Severance (1877-1972) on postcards and for college calendars; woodblock prints of Finney Chapel and of the Memorial Arch, 1933, by Edward D. McDowell; and six pencil sketches of Oberlin buildings completed in 1987 by Ivy E. Starr (b. 1909), the mother of President S. Frederick Starr. Kate Emlen Chamberlin executed a color print of Finney Chapel, which was used on the invitation for the inauguration of President Nancy S. Dye, in 1994. Also from 1994 are copies of Paul B. Arnold’s four drawings of “The Hickories,” the Lorain County Historical Society building, located at 509 Washington Ave., Elyria, Ohio.

The work of Canadian architect Julian S. Smith (A.B. 1969) appears in both the framed and unframed categories of drawings. He completed 22 original drawings and prints of campus buildings, ca. 1970, perhaps for the alumni office. Smith’s design for the Oberlin Bandstand Competition was selected in 1985; the Clark Bandstand was erected in 1987. Drawings for this design—which include a site plan, a location plan, a cross section, two elevations, and a rendering of the final structure—are amongst the archives’ framed drawings.

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