by Sam Roschewsk
We have all seen the dozens of admissions bulletins with pictures of the angel statues in front of Rosse Hall, but have you ever wondered where they came from, and how long they’ve been there? The answer is simpler than you might think. Most of the installation art on campus was on loan until recently donated by Graham Gund ’63 and his wife, Ann. In addition to being an architect whose name is sprinkled across this campus, Gund is a collector of contemporary art. “The arts have always been particularly important to me,” Gund said in an alumni publication in 2013. “Somewhat like architecture, the arts are looking at new ideas in a spatial and visual way.”
One of the most well-known art pieces donated by Gund is the Dale Chihuly piece, Gilded Silver and Aquamarine Chandelier, was installed in Storer Hall. Dale Chihuly works in making glass sculptures which are known for their abstract and spindly forms. The sculpture was made in 2000, and Graham Gund purchased it and had it in his personal collection before figuring out where on campus it should be placed. In addition to the Chihuly piece, the angels in front of Rosse Hall also came from Gund’s personal collection in 2003; the sculpture, made by Carl Milles’s, is entitled The Five Angel Musicians.
However these aren’t the only works donated to the campus. In addition, there is the brass sculpture, Large Spindle Piece by Henry Moore, found at the center of the science quad, and Paul Manship’s Indian Hunter and Pronghorn Antelope sculptures, found on the patio behind Peirce Hall. “[Gund] has really been the instigator of the installation art, and it really makes the campus,” Associate Professor of Art Read Baldwin said.
The crows on top of Ransom Hall, made by Peter Woytuk ’80, were installed in the early ’90s as a pun on the building’s namesake, John Crowe Ransom.
All these pieces are familiar fixtures, but Kenyon will continue to import decor. “I think there are still some places on campus that would benefit from beautiful works of art,” Baldwin said. Last semester, a truckful of art donated by Graham Gund arrived and entered the basement of Gund Gallery and is currently being catalogued, according to Director of the Gund Gallery Natalie Marsh.
The art adds personality to the campus. While the campus certainly is lauded for its natural beauty, the artistic scenery adds a distinct flavor to the Kenyon scene.