The Art Museum of West Virginia University and The Friends of the Art Museum announce the first “Art Up Close!” event of the spring semester, focusing on individual works of art from the museum collection. The Feb. 2 presentation will feature the George Hand Wright etching, “Valley Forge.”

Titled “George Washington’s Bicentennial Birthday: Transforming History into Myth,” the lecture will be presented by Melissa Bingmann, director of Public History at WVU.

The George Hand Wright etching is from “The Bi-Centennial Pageant of George Washington,” 1932, a suite of 20 etchings illustrating events in Washington’s life, edited by John Taylor Arms and Harry A. Ogden, New York, and published by the George Washington Memorial Association, Inc.

It shows a compassionate Washington at Valley Forge, keenly alert to the desperate plight of his men, and overwhelmed with his responsibility.

The “Art Up Close!” presentations are held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Museum Education Center (formerly the Erickson Alumni Center) adjacent to the WVU Creative Arts Center. All the events are free and open to the public.

Dr. Bingmann holds a doctorate from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina.

Her research interests include historic site interpretation, United States cultural history, the interwar period in America, gender, and the American West.

Each “Art Up Close!” presentation features an original work of art and commentary by WVU faculty, followed by a question-and-answer session and light refreshments.

This series of lectures is designed to give an in-depth look at a single work of art selected from the WVU art collection. Audience members will have the opportunity to view the actual work of art.

For more information, contact the Art Museum of WVU at (304) 293-2141 or see the website at:


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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