If you enter the Vassar campus through the Main Gate, you may notice a small glass building to their right; an Art Deco-influenced structure that stands in stark contrast to the Victorian-style buildings surrounding it. This is the entrance to Vassar’s art gallery: the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. The Loeb is a landmark of the Vassar campus, home to the work of esteemed artists from Picasso to Pollock, and host to a variety of events held by groups at Vassar.
Students can visit the Loeb Tuesday through Sunday to browse the gallery, research artwork for a class assignment or just enjoy its creative, quiet environment. The art center typically closes at 5 p.m., but on Thursdays it is open until 9 p.m. for Late Nights at the Loeb. During your typical Late Night, the Art Center’s atmosphere transforms completely; the statue garden will occasionally become the venue for musicians and the gallery a gathering place for Vassar students.
Besides Thursday nights, the art center functions as a resource for students and teachers alike to research paintings, sculptures, prints, and various other artworks. The gallery holds over 19,000 works of art including Hudson River School paintings and the Warburg Collection of Old Master prints.
Not only does this gallery house a great number of artwork ranging from antique to contemporary styles, it is also a work of art itself. The Loeb was designed by Cesar Pelli, who also designed the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia and the Cira Centre in Philadelphia. Opened to the public in 1993, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center added a modern touch to a campus filled with old-style buildings.
Even after you’ve pored over every piece of art adorning the walls of the Loeb, there is still more to be seen throughout the year. Special exhibitions open up as the year progresses, and sometimes well-known artists will put up installations in the gallery.
This year, the exhibitions will include “Faces and Figures in Self-Taught Art,” “Imperial Augsburg: Renaissance Prints and Drawings, 1475-1540,” “XL: Large-Scale Paintings from the Permanent Collection” and “Through the Looking Glass: Daguerreotype Masterworks from the Dawn of Photography”. Last year artist Todd Knopke installed his monumental work of art titled Deluge in the gallery, and the Loeb is sure to see other pieces brought in during the upcoming years.
New students should check out the Loeb and make use of its many resources for people who are interested in art or are looking for a moment of tranquility. Whether you would like to look through the gallery, enjoy an upbeat Thursday night at the art center, or simply wander through the statue garden, the Loeb truly is a worthwhile experience that can cater to every type of student.