After a quick visit to the bayou, one of West Virginia University’s signature works of art is back home.
As part of a wager, WVU and Louisiana State University agreed to bet the loan of a work of art based on who won the schools’ football match this season. LSU won, and consequently showcased a Rockwell Kent painting owned by the Art Museum of WVU.
The Rockwell Kent painting entitled “To Make Dream Homes Come True” was housed in the Modern Gallery of the LSU Museum of Art from Oct. 31 until Dec. 12. It depicts a giant figure holding a piece of coal that sheds light on a future housing development.
In 1947, WVU received the painting, one of 10 commissioned by the Bituminous Coal Institute from a noted artist of the time, Rockwell Kent. Each painting was given to a university that was strongly intertwined with coal’s history.
LSU Museum of Art Executive Director Thomas Livesay said the painting was a novelty to patrons who would have been unlikely to see a Kent work there otherwise.
“The kids, naturally, provided the best insight to the painting,” he said. “One assumed that—taking a literal approach—it ‘must be God playing Monopoly.’
“We did have some people, including Mississippi artist Roland Golden, who came a long distance just to see the Rockwell Kent work. He was quite taken with the technique and style of the work. Overall, it proved to be a great loan for us and we are most appreciative.”
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