Art and Artifacts

Description

Since its inception in 1906, Eastern Kentucky State Normal School (now known as Eastern Kentucky University) began acquiring art and historical artifacts that have shaped and reflected the institution’s unique history.

In that year, for example, when Edgar C. Crawford became the first director of Eastern’s Model School, he arranged--at his own expense--for a table to be moved from his home in Bardstown to his new office in Richmond. Rather than taking the table when he left Eastern in the summer of 1908, Crawford elected to leave a little bit of himself behind, both literally and figuratively. The table was transferred to the library (then located in the Central University Preparatory School Building) where it remained until 1918 when it, along with the library, moved to the second story of the Cammack Building. With the completion of the Crabbe Library in 1924, the table found yet another home. Pictures from the Eastern Progress show the table in the “Kentucky Room,” home of the John Wilson Townsend Collection. Today, the table can be found in the Dean of Libraries’ office, uncelebrated and unrecognized.

As the history of the “Colonel Crawford table" suggests, a variety of objects on Eastern’s campus, ranging from artworks to furniture to plaques, have historical and/or cultural value, yet have not been catalogued or, in some cases, even recognized in the past. In February of 2006, Joyce Miller was hired to identify and inventory these resources and provide a preliminary assessment of their physical condition. To begin this process, she examined university property inventories (completed by Facilities Services), physically inspected campus buildings, and interviewed a variety of faculty and staff to create a list of potential historical resources.

Additional information came from historical studies of Eastern, press releases, newspapers, yearbooks, photographs and university records. Resources were then evaluated in terms of their cultural and historical--rather than strictly aesthetic or financial--value to the university. As a result, this inventory includes the work of internationally-known sculptor Felix DeWeldon, as well as a generic headstone marking the burial place of Mozart, Eastern’s unofficial canine mascot from 1947 to 1964. While many of the items included are quite valuable monetarily, all are important historical resources revealing much about the culture of Eastern, past and present.

Contributor(s)

  • Jackie Couture
  • Daniel Weddington
  • Samantha Jeffers
  • Jennifer Oberhausen

American Woodcock engraving.

A color lithograph by artist Paul Sawyier. An article in Richmond Register (July 8, 1995) indicates that the Kentucky Historical Society and Creative Arts by Sherri (of Richmond) donated "a dozen different" Paul Sawyier Prints (visual works) to the…

A color lithograph by artist Paul Sawyier. An article in Richmond Register (July 8, 1995) indicates that the Kentucky Historical Society and Creative Arts by Sherri (of Richmond) donated "a dozen different" Paul Sawyier Prints (visual works) to the…