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125th anniversary celebration features special art exhibition

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the Jan. 22 opening reception for this exhibition has been rescheduled for March 25.125 exhibit poster

Randolph College will open a special art exhibit featuring 125 of the finest works from its permanent collection this month at the Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College.

An opening reception for the 125 from the Permanent Collection exhibit will be held Friday, March 25, from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibition is part of a year-long celebration by Randolph of the 125th anniversary of the founding of the College. Other events include a special community commemoration on campus and numerous “Birthday Bashes” at alumnae and alumni chapters across the nation on March 10, the actual anniversary of the founding. The College will wrap up the festivities in October with a special Convocation and party during Homecoming weekend.

The 125 paintings featured in the Maier exhibition include 42 works of art that are on permanent display in the front three galleries as well as 83 that will be hung in the Thoresen Gallery. The College’s art collection dates back to 1907, when the senior class commissioned the well-known American artist William Merritt Chase to paint a portrait of the first president, William Waugh Smith. Louise Jordan Smith, the College’s first professor of art, played a crucial role in developing the collection by starting the Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Art in 1911—a tradition that continues today. She ensured continued growth of the collection in 1928, when she helped establish an acquisition fund for the development of the College’s permanent collection.

Works in the 125 from the Permanent Collection exhibit will be hung on the Maier’s walls in “salon-style” as they would have been displayed 125 years ago. Salon-style dates to the 1670s when the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture began annual exhibitions showcasing the works of its recent graduates. Following this style, paintings will be hung in close proximity, frame to frame, in order to maximize the potential of each artist’s work to be seen.

For more information about the exhibit, visit For more information and for a complete listing of events celebrating Randolph College’s 125th anniversary, visit

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