Museum showcases art from Allegheny collection

By MEAGAN ROPPO
Contributing Writer
[email protected]

The Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum opened its doors to expose a collection of art pieces from the archives of Allegheny College, the Crawford County Historical Society, Titusville High School, and the New York State Museum.

The Northwestern Pennsylvania exhibit, which opened Sept. 16, is named “In Our Own Backyard.” Each room in the museum features art from a certain artist.

The opening night, which featured more than 75 art pieces, hosted just shy of 100 people.

This display showcased a collection from local artists, vintage and contemporary alike. Pieces from Allegheny’s collection included a Picasso original, a portrait of John Winthrop by William Lewis, pottery from Thailand, bronze statues and water color paintings of local scenery.

The parlor featured pieces by Austa Densmore Studerant, an 1876 graduate of Allegheny College. The old piano in the corner of the room, a fireplace and the pictures hanging around the room created the ambiance of a Victorian sitting room. Likewise, the Reynolds’ bedroom was an isolated tribute to 20th century Meadville artist Alfonso Fugagli, who painted scenes of the area in watercolor.

The work of Clarence Underwood resided in the Library Red Room. His black-and-white images of people walking, sitting and standing are consistent observances of human behavior. Also featured were the photos he took for the covers of The Saturday Evening Post.

“Underwood was a railroad worker around here who would sketch in his spare time,” said Beth Rekas, president of the Historical Society.

“He was consistently badgered by his boss at the Atlantic and Great Western Railroad because he wasn’t doing enough work, but sketching instead,” said Joshua Sherretts, director of the museum.

Works created by the Pennsylvania Route 6 artisans accompany the exhibit each Saturday. Some of their pieces will be for sale.

The yellow Victorian house is a manifest to the town’s history. U.S. Supreme Court Associate Judge Henry Baldwin built the mansion, where his law books and furniture remain. When the museum does not display local pieces, it is set up as an historic house.

“We do everything from exhibits on historical industries, concerts, you name it,” said Sherretts. “It’s a fairly wide mix.”

Sherretts also commented on the size of the exhibit and variety of artwork.

“We’re excited to be able to offer such a wide array of pieces for people to see with this exhibit,” he said. “It’s a collection to be seen in a much larger city.”

Admission is $5 and the show will remain open until Oct. 8. For more information, visit www.baldwinreynolds.org or call (814) 333-9882.