The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is closed until further notice. We will post Loeb updates here. Please visit the College's COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Updates page for all developments.

Past Exhibition

Catching Light

When: May 8 - July 26, 2009

About the Show
Artists have treasured the free-flowing, luminous qualities of watercolor for centuries. However, only in the eighteenth- and early nineteenth centuries did this medium come into its own with works by English and French artists. The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center has extraordinary works by many of these artists in the permanent collection, a majority of which were original gifts from Matthew Vassar, who acquired them from trustee Elias Lyman Magoon. Featured in the exhibition from this period are light-filled watercolors by J. M. W. Turner, John Ruskin, John Sell Cotman, John Webber, Anthony Vandyke Copley, Joseph Michael Gandy, Augustin Pugin, and Charles-Louis Clerisseau. Their sun-cloaked landscapes, picturesque ruins, and architectural views form poetic documents to their makers’ creative talents and to the era’s insistence on keen observation.

Watercolor also thrived in the modern period. In the late nineteenth century and early years of the twentieth century, artists, both European and American, chose watercolor to expand their expressive descriptive range in highly detailed landscapes and portraits. Sterling examples in the exhibition are by William Trost Richards, with his lovingly rendered, atmospheric scenes of England, and Hilda Belcher, in a highly polished, casual portrait of a woman in a checkered dress, perhaps a portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe. With the abrupt rise of modernism in the early years of the twentieth century, watercolor served as an expressionist means, but it also served as a way to build glowing shapes important for their own formal properties. Modernist watercolor is a rich vein in the collection, and the exhibition features vital works from this era by John Marin, Oscar Bluemner, and Charles Demuth. The exhibition concludes with later watercolors by Nell Blaine, Jim Dine, Jane Freilicher, and Andrew Wyeth.


Mon Closed
Tue 10am-5pm
Wed 10am-5pm
Thu 10am-5pm
Fri 10am-5pm
Sat 10am-5pm
Sun 1pm-5pm

Closed Easter, Thanksgiving, and from Dec. 22 through Jan. 15.

Print Room - Students & Public

Wed 3pm-5pm
Fri 2pm-4pm

It is best to make an appointment with the curator of prints and drawings, Patricia Phagan.

Late Nights suspended

Thursday Late Night at the Lehman Loeb is suspended, pending further review.


Admission is free and open to the public. All galleries are wheelchair accessible.

Group visits are welcome. To schedule a reservation, please contact:

Coordinator of Public Education and Information

(845) 437-7745


The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

124 Raymond Ave Box 703
Poughkeepsie, NY 12604
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(845) 437-5237
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