Juniata Produces Catalog for Stottlemyer Art Collection
(Posted October 20, 2014)
Art historian Karen Rosell spends most of her time at Juniata College in the classroom teaching such courses as "Women in Art" and "20th Century Art." But in what spare time she has, the professor has just finished overseeing two years of work on a new book, "The Stottlemyer Collection: A Journey," detailing each of the more than 400 pieces in the Juniata College Museum of Art's Worth B. Stottlemyer Collection.
The 360-page catalog, which is currently sold at the Juniata bookstore, documents every work of art donated by Quayton Stottlemyer '51, son of Worth Stottlemyer and a former scientist for the DuPont company. His donation now forms the lion's share of the permanent collection of the Juniata College Museum of Art.
Over the last two years, Rosell has shepherded more than 15 current and former students through the complicated process of documenting, researching and writing about each piece in the collection. Students were involved in every phase of the project, with 2014 graduate Jerika Jordan, now interning at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and current student Rika Opio, of Pittsburgh, Pa., doing most of the writing, while designer Haining Zhu, an international student from China, and photographers Erica Quinn, a 2010 graduate, and Shelby Miller, of Pottstown, N.Y, documented each piece visually.
Juniata faculty and staff were not left out, either. Amy Mathur, associate professor of English, edited the book and museum registrar Elizabeth Gordon helped student researchers access the paintings and wrote several catalog entries as well.
The resulting catalog is a comprehensive record of the collection amassed over the lifetime of Worth B. Stottlemyer, a real estate agent in Waynesboro, Pa. and Washington, D.C who collected art from 1927 until his death in 1951. Worth Stottlemyer bequeathed his extensive collection to his two sons, Quayton and Carmen. When Carmen Stottlemyer was killed in an automobile accident in 1952, Quayton took over full ownership of the collection.
From 1952 until 1985, the large trove of artworks were stored in a rural farmhouse in Wolfsville, Md., where pieces were hung throughout the house and stored in trunks, drawers and other areas. At an alumni weekend, Stottlemyer attended a class taught by Rosell and asked if she'd be interested in looking at his family's art collection as a possible gift to the College. Rosell enlisted now-retired art professor Sandy McBride to help her evaluate the collection.
Over the last two years, Rosell has shepherded more than 15 current and former students through the complicated process of documenting, researching and writing about each piece in the collection.
"He brought two huge binders and as we were paging through it we just about jumped out of our skin," Rosell says. "We both thought to ourselves 'This is phenomenal.'"
Works by Rembrandt, James Whistler, Thomas Moran and works by many members of the Hudson River School. including Albert Bierstadt. Asher B. Durand, and William Casilear, were part of the collection. In 1998, the College accepted the donation of art from Stottlemyer.
The timely donation also inspired Juniata in 1998 to expand its Shoemaker Art Gallery into the Juniata College Museum of Art. Over the ensuing 16 years, the museum has expanded its staff, started selecting works for a pro-bono restoration consultant for several of the key pieces in the collection, and built the College's museum studies program into one of just a dozen similar programs in the United States.
Cataloging the collection is just the latest step in transforming the art museum into formidible regional facility. Rosell began the process nearly two years ago, using a semester-long sabbatical to map out how to collate the publication materials and organize the team of student and alumni contributors. The team's hard work was rewarded On Oct. 14, when the first editions of the catalog were made available for sale at a book party at the art museum.
Juniata College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, specializing in experiential learning, science research and education, and personal attention for all students. Juniata offers a college experience that emphasizes a student-alumni-faculty community extending beyond graduation.
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