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Nature of Things exhibit showcases gifts

The Gallery at Cazenovia Public Library is pleased to announce the exhibition "The Nature of Things: Gifts from the Permanent Collection." The exhibition, which spans more than 175 years of community history, will be on display through Nov. 26 and will feature a sampling of the library's holdings including a newly restored 19th century Cazenovia streetscape; prints by naturalist, John A. Weeks; and new gifts to the collection-- paintings by Lucy Eliot, Rodger Mack, Tom McCobb, and Jim Ridlon.

"The community has been so generous to the library," said Betsy Kennedy, library director. "Paintings by contemporary Cazenovia artists and artists with ties to our community are such important additions to the collection."

The exhibition's title pays tribute to the artist John A. Weeks, whose weekly radio program, "The Nature of Things", was broadcast for 24 years on WRVO-FM. Weeks, an advocate for the power of observational learning, believes that the essence of living things can be learned by close examination of habits and habitats. Three prints by Weeks are featured in the exhibition.

"Much can be learned about Cazenovia's essence by an examination of its art and artists," said Kennedy.

Two works by the first teacher of John Singer Sargent, the German artist Charles Feodor Welsch (1828-1904), are included in the exhibition. Welsch, an academically-trained painter, moved to the United States in the first half of the 19th century. He was a teacher of painting and sculpture at the Cazenovia Seminary in the 1850s. Later he returned to Europe and established a studio in Rome; Sargent became his student in 1868.

Dr. Paul S. D'Ambrosio, Vice President and Chief Curator of the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, will present a talk on the American artist John Singer Sargent and the Fenimore's exhibition: John Singer Sargent: Portraits in Praise of Women at 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The event, sponsored by Friends of the Cazenovia Public Library, is free and will be held in the Library's community room.

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