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Randolph sponsors screening of Penn & Teller film


Randolph College and the James River Arts Council are joining forces with the Academy of Fine Arts to present the screening of the Penn & Teller film Tim’s Vermeer followed by an in-person lecture by the film’s subject, inventor Tim Jenison.


The screening will be held Tuesday, December 9, at 7:30pm in at the Academy of Fine Arts. As a sponsor of the event, Randolph College has a limited number of free tickets available for faculty, staff, and students. To request tickets, members of the Randolph community should email by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 3 and give their names, along with the names of any guests. Tickets are normally $12 for adults and $9 for students and can be purchased online at or via phone at (434) 846-8499.


The acclaimed documentary follows Jenison as he attempts to answer an enduring question that has long baffled artists and academics: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer (the painter well-known for “Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically 150 years before the invention of photography?


Jenison set out to answer that question by learning about the materials and techniques available to 17th Century painters so he could attempt a painting in the style of Vermeer. The film spans a decade, covering his adventure from Holland and Yorkshire and eventually to Buckingham Palace. Jenison’s epic project ultimately succeeds as he uses 17th century technology to develop a technique that may have been used by Vermeer, supporting a theory as extraordinary as his discovery.


“It’s great to be working with the Academy and the James River Arts Council to enrich opportunities in Lynchburg,” said Randolph College President Bradley W. Bateman. “This is exactly the kind of work that we should be doing together.”


Cameo Hoyle ’10, executive director of the James River Council for the Arts and Humanities, is enthusiastic about the partnership as well. “We’re delighted to sponsor this event,” she said. “The Academy is a critical resource to a thriving cultural community, and this event encourages not only engagement in the history of arts but also brings cultural conversation to the Lynchburg community.”

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