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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Jessie Ball duPont Library: Exhibits

The Jessie Ball duPont Library at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN, offers an extensive range of resources and services to support teaching and learning.

Current Exhibits

Modern and Contemporary Art: Selected Works from the Permanent Art Collection
University Archives and Special Collections
February 5 - July 31, 2018

Modern and Contemporary Art selected works from the Permanent Art Collection will be exhibited in the University Archives Gallery.  Representative works from early twentieth century artists Kathe Kollowitz, Alexander Calder, Josef Albers to a twenty-first artist, Laurel Nakadate, will be shown.  Many of the works are from generous donors over the years or from University acquisitions.  Jeff Thompson, Head of the Art Department, will give a talk on February 8th at 5:30 p.m. in the Lytle Reading Room about some of the highlights of the exhibition.  A reception will follow the talk.

Sewanee Women
Torian Room, duPont Library

Created by Hannah Clevenger (C'16), and Meg Beasley (C'73, Interim Archivist), the exhibit highlights a handful of examples from among the female donors and community members in Sewanee’s first 100 years. Sewanee thrives today in part because of its diversity and the richness of its individuals. This exhibit helps display that thus it has always been.

The Woodpeckers of North America: Art of Edward von Siebold Dingle, 1893-1975
Jessie Ball duPont Library

Edward von Siebold Dingle (1893-1975), a native of South Carolina, was known as the Audubon of the South. This extensive series of original watercolors, entitled The Woodpeckers of North America, was donated to the University Archives and Special Collections in 1964. The exhibit can be viewed in the front hallway on the main floor of duPont Library -- go to your right at the Circulation Desk.

Past Exhibits

Creativity and Craftsmanship: Selections from the Permanent Collection
University Archives and Special Collections

August 30 - December 15, 2017

The University of the South’s Permanent Collection is a remarkable source of fine and applied arts, housing thousands of objects spanning many centuries of styles and media. This exhibition showcases a representative selection from these extensive holdings and shares both unfamiliar and unexpected examples of fine and decorative arts.  In addition to illustrating the depth of the Permanent Collection, the exhibit contains pieces intended to promote the expertise and artistry of conservation including two desks that were once housed in Rebel’s Rest  and a restored diptych by Johann Rottenhammer which illuminates the process of conserving oil painting. In addition, a recently uncovered portrait of St. Ignatius of Loyola serves to reinforce this aspect of the exhibition. 

Communal Spirit: 3,000 Years of Mexican Artistry
University Archives and Special Collections

Sept. 6 - Dec. 16, 2016

This exhibit explores the creativity and workmanship of artists working in Mexico beginning in 800 B.C. and concluding in the 1990s.  The installation incorporates diverse Pre-Columbian artifacts from both western and eastern Mexico, representing eight different indigenous civilizations.  The twentieth-century folk art features many of the same regions, inspiration, and creative techniques.  Highlights include a Huastec female ball player ca. 100 B.C. a Veracruz flute from 600 A.D, celebrations of the Day of the Dead, and a marketplace scene with more than one hundred clay figures, fruits, vegetables, and animals. 


Founded to Make Men: Explorations of Masculinity at the University of the South

Museum Gallery of University Archives and Special Collections

Guest Curators: Tanner Potts, C’15 and Woody Register, C’80, Department of History

Introductory remarks by Woody Register and Tanner Potts were presented on September 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm. 

The exhibit follows and examines a dynamic array of ideas about Sewanee’s cultivation of and reliance on the manly character and quality of its students across the University’s 150-year history.  Although focused principally on the experiences of undergraduate men, the exhibition considers how other men and women have been fundamentally important makers of Sewanee from its inception; and they also are represented in this exhibition. Rather than recording men’s achievements, the materials and artifacts in this exhibition highlight and examine the historical dimensions of masculinity at the University of the South.


Home Front, War Front: Sewanee and Fort Oglethorpe in WWI
October 3, 2013- February 28, 2014
University Archives and Special Collections

The exhibit centers on two perspectives / stories that are linked by both geography and time period. First, the exhibit examines, through artifacts and images, the experiences of various Sewanee community members, students, and alumni during World War I. The second part of the exhibit explores how the war impacted the home front, specifically this region. As local men were being sent to the European front, a large number of Europeans – mainly Germans and Austrian-Hungarians – were arrested and detained at a camp in Ft. Oglethorpe, Georgia, the largest prison camp maintained during the war. By focusing on the Sewanee veterans and the prisoners at Ft. Oglethorpe, the exhibit attempts to shed light on the local dimensions of the war by explaining how the international arena impacted this region in both expected and unexpected ways.

Selections from the Hawkins Collection
Easter Semester 2014
University Archives and Special Collections

The Library at Sewanee: Past, Present and Future
Jessie Ball duPont Library, Main Lobby
October 2013- May 2014

This exhibit tracks the history of the library at the University of the South from its modest beginnings in a small wooden structure, to its move into the Jessie Ball duPont Library in the 20th century, to plans for future renovation. In addition to an interesting history of the physical facilities, the exhibit also highlights some of the remarkable works that comprise our collections, often thanks to our generous benefactors.