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Since its founding in 1962, the Friends of the Davison Art Center (FDAC) has been devoted to the growth and public enjoyment of the DAC collection through a wide variety of events for both its members and the greater community.  The primary mission of the FDAC is to expand and promote the Davison Art Center collection at Wesleyan University.  Learn more about the FDAC here.

Become a Friend

Please join the Friends!  As a member, you support the acquisition of new works for the DAC collection.  With a volunteer Board of Directors and minimal overhead expense, the FDAC directs a high percentage of its membership dues directly to its mission.  Wesleyan students can join the FDAC free of charge – click here to become a student member today!


By Clare Rogan, Davison Art Center Curator

Henri Evenepoel (Belgian, 1872-1899), Au Square (At the Public Gardens), color lithograph from L’Estampe moderne, 1897. Purchase funds, 1959.181.28. (photo: M. Johnston)

Henri Evenepoel (Belgian, 1872-1899), Au Square (At the Public Gardens), color lithograph from L’Estampe moderne, 1897. Purchase funds, 1959.181.28. (photo: M. Johnston)

With a swirling striped skirt, elegant leg o’mutton sleeves, and a green hat topped with exuberant feathers, the Parisienne turns to leave the scene. Her red parasol shields her from the summer sun as she catches the eye of the artist, Henri Evenepoel. But she can’t leave yet! Her daughter—perhaps two years old, perhaps a little younger—is not ready to leave the park! Grasping her red pail, the child leans in the opposite direction, obstinately unwilling to go home.

This humorous observation of everyday life in Paris is found in Henri Evenepoel’s color lithograph, Au Square (At the Public Gardens), published in November 1897 as part of the series L’Estampe moderne. Evenepoel was a young Belgian artist who came to Paris in 1892 to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, under P.V. Galland, then Gustave Moreau. By 1894, the young artist was exhibiting at the Salon, and he rapidly joined the Parisian avant-garde, closely studying the work of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pierre Bonnard.

The monthly portfolio L’Estampe moderne was part of a boom in original artist’s color prints in the 1890s. Major exhibitions of Japanese art in the 1880s and 1890s had introduced European artists to the flat planes, repeated patterns, and cropping of Japanese color woodblock prints, known as ukiyo-e. By the mid-1890s, the youngest generation of French artists had embraced original color prints. Au Square is printed in red, pink, yellow, green, and ochre from five lithographic stones . The tight cropping, the calligraphic line, the flat color planes, and the pattern of the polka-dotted sunbonnet all evoke the hallmarks of ukiyo-e prints.

Yet this is a thoroughly Parisian scene of an elegant mother with her recalcitrant child. The small girl’s costume humorously echoes the mother’s fashion. In the distant future, the pink ruffled sunbonnet will be swapped for a flirtatious hat, and the child’s red hair will be arranged in artful tendrils like her mother’s. But right now, as of this very moment, all she wants is to play in the park.


Mural Update

In the May Monthly Message we reported that the first mural as part of a project at John Lyman Elementary School in Middlefield, CT, is complete! The project was  led by Kate TenEyck, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art Studio Technician.

We are happy to report that the second mural is now complete as well. Here it is underway last month…

And here is “Math Party” complete:

Learn more about this colorful project on the CFA Blog.

Friends of the Davison Art Center Soirée

Save the Date: October 22, 2015

Friends of the Davison Art Center Soirée October 22, 2015 Join the Friends of the Davison Art Center at the President’s House for a special evening of music and art hosted by President Michael Roth and Professor Kari Weil. Enjoy an intimate piano performance by Professor Neely Bruce of American parlor music and vote on one of three works to be added to our distinguished collection. Ticket information coming soon.

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