Charles Loring Elliott, Portrait of Matthew Vassar, 1861

In the News

Legendary folk singer Pete Seeger performs in a free concert on October 10, 2009.

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—In conjunction with the Art Center’s exhibition Drawn by New York, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center and Vassar College’s Office of Campus Activities will present a concert featuring Pete Seeger, the living legend of the Hudson Valley, on Saturday, October 10, on the Chapel Lawn.

The concert will begin at 12:00pm with performances by three groups – the Roundabout Ramblers; the Bearcats Jazz Band as well as Vassar junior Max Kutner on guitar. Seeger will begin his performance at 2:00pm. All are invited to attend, but please remember to bring blankets or folding chairs for seating, as well as food for picnicking. (In case of rain, the concert will be held in the Chapel). There are no tickets for this free concert, just please come and enjoy.

Patricia Phagan, the Philip and Lynn Straus Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Center, contacted Seeger to see if he would join with the Art Center in celebrating the Hudson River Quadricentennial and the Art Center’s show, Drawn by New York, and was delighted with his affirmative reply.


Phagan noted that Seeger’s championship of the Hudson River and commitment to folk culture were deciding factors for the invitation during the celebratory year of Hudson’s historic voyage. She said, “I can think of no better person today who symbolizes an explorer’s spirit and perseverance, and who could share their thoughts and talents with our students and the local community of Poughkeepsie.” She noted that his presence will have a profound and far-reaching effect on this generation of Vassar students, as it has during his past visits to campus.



Hudson River champion Seeger was recently awarded the 2009 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize as he has “made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.” Last May, Seeger’s 90th birthday was celebrated with a star-studded, sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden.

Seeger, a regular on 1940 radio music shows, played and sang with The Weavers in the 1950s, the song “Goodnight, Irene” being their most popular hit. A prolific songwriter, he wrote or co-wrote some of the most memorable songs associated with the 1960s, including “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” and “If I Had a Hammer.”

Continuing to inspire generations of Americans with his songs and messages of social awareness and responsibility, Seeger founded Clearwater, an environmental and educational organization that in 1969 built a replica of one of the types of ships that sailed the Hudson River in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Through programs and classes aboard ship, Clearwater and Seeger have become leaders in the environmental movement to restore the Hudson to “clear water once more.”


One of the Northeast's favorite Jazz and Swing bands, the Bearcats Jazz Band were formed in 1977 by Joe Hanlon for the purpose of preserving and promulgating one of America's national treasures- traditional jazz. Soon performing the Bearcats were performing for jazz societies and festivals in throughout the East Coast, including at the Connecticut Traditional Jazzfest (Guilford, CT), Suncoast Jazz Fest (Clearwater, FL), and Pennsylvania Jazz Fest. The band made its West Coast debut in 2000 at Big Bear Lake, CA, and has performed at the Spokane Jazz Festival, and in California at the Orange County Jazz Fest and the Sacramento Jubilee Jazz Fest. The members of the Bearcats include leader Joe Hanlon on cornet, Skip Hughes on trombone and vocals, Noel Kaletsky and Sherman Kahn on clarinet and saxophone, Gim Burton on banjo, guitar and vocals, Vassar media specialist Greg McCurty on tuba and bass, arranger Charlie Freeman on piano and keyboards, Ed Stockmal on drums and percussion. They all are devoted and skilled musicians with a style firmly rooted in the New Orleans tradition and a flair also for the variations known as Chicago and West Coast.

Vassar junior Max Kutner from Long Island frequently performs on campus and at “Late Night at the Lehman Loeb.” He performs both covers and original music: singing and playing guitar, piano, and harmonica. Kutner released his first album, California Life in 2002, followed by The Golden Day Sessions (2003), and Songs for the Long Ride (2005), Falling EP (2007). Since then, he has participated in other projects, including with the bands The Abortionists, the Satellites, and in a duo with chanteuse Samantha Hicks. He plans to pursue a career in film.

The Roundabout Ramblers (formerly known as the Raymond Avenue Ramblers) are a group of Vassar professors and students who perform a mix of acoustic folk, country, and Irish music. The group includes founding member David “D.B.” Brown, dean of students, on guitar and vocals; Randolph “Randy” Cornelius, professor of psychology, guitar and vocals; Jeremy Davis, assistant professor of biology, baritone vocals; Jennifer Kennell, professor of biology, on fiddle and vocals, and her husband Erin Linder, on bass and vocals; Paul Ruud, professor of economics; alumna Ellen Butler ’09, sings, plays percussion; and students Joseph Kim ’12 and mando player Rebecca Rose ’11. The Roundabout Ramblers will be releasing a CD that they recorded in April 2009 and can be heard performing in the area, frequently at Babycakes Café in Arlington.



This concert will be held in conjunction with the special exhibition, Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Watercolor from the Collection at the New-York Historical Society, will be on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center through November 1.




Drawn by New York celebrates the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s famed river voyage and the 200th anniversary of Fulton’s inaugural steamboat trip, while highlighting the history of drawing and watercolor in New York State and the Hudson River Valley.



Roberta J. M. Olson, curator of drawings, New-York Historical Society, curated this exhibition, which was originally on view last year at the New-York Historical Society (NYHS). The NYHS holds one of the nation’s earliest assembled public drawings collections and includes a special concentration of works that reflect New York’s scenery, settlements, and citizens. Eighty-one works were selected for display at the Art Center from the original NYHS exhibition with additions from the Society’s permanent collection. These span six centuries, from rare mid-16th-century watercolors of European birds—precursors of the work of Audubon—to representations of the World Trade Center before and after September 11, 2001.

Benjamin Genocchio noted in his New York Times review of Drawn by New York that the exhibition “is a show everyone will love. It is compact, beautiful and thought-provoking, presenting 81 drawings and watercolors from the mid-16th century to the present.”

Following its presentation at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, the exhibition will travel to the Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati, Ohio (November 20, 2009 through January 17, 2010).




The exhibition at the New-York Historical Society and the publication of the catalogue and its research were generously supported by The Getty Foundation, Leonard L. and Ellen Milberg, Barbara and Richard Debs, Pam and Scott Schafler, Eli Wilner & Company, Inc., The Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund, Alexander Acevedo, and Graham Arader.




The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center was founded in 1864 as the Vassar College Art Gallery. The current 36,400-square-foot facility, designed by Cesar Pelli and named in honor of the new building's primary donor, opened in 1993. The Lehman Loeb Art Center's collections chart the history of art from antiquity to the present and comprise almost 18,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares. Notable holdings include the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints, an important group of Hudson River School paintings given by Matthew Vassar at the college's inception, and a wide range of works by major European and American 20th- century painters. Vassar was the first U.S. college founded with a permanent art collection and gallery, and at any given time, the Permanent Collection Galleries of the Art Center feature approximately 350 works from Vassar's extensive collections.




Admission to the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is free. The art center is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm; Thursday, 10:00am–9:00pm; and Sunday, 1:00–5:00 pm. Located at the entrance to the historic Vassar College campus, the Art Center can be reached within minutes from other Mid-Hudson cultural attractions, such as Dia:Beacon, the Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt national historic sites and homes, and the Vanderbilt mansion. The Art Center is wheelchair accessible. For more information, the public may call (845) 437-5632 or visit




Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space and/or assistance may not be available. Directions to the Vassar campus are available online.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, September 28, 2009


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Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
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