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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

West Virginia Division of Culture and History to continue new Collegiate Series on Jan. 15

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will continue its new Collegiate Series featuring a talk on the rich history of fine painting in the Mountain State by Dr. John A. Cuthbert on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m.

The program will be held in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex in Charleston. The series consists of performances and lectures by students and faculty from West Virginia University and Marshall University. First Lady Gayle Manchin is the host of the program. The Collegiate Series is free and open to the public.

Cuthbert will concentrate on artwork from the late 18th to the early 20th centuries. His talk will be illustrated with an array of slides including images of many of the most significant works in West Virginia’s art history. Artists covered include John Drinker, a portrait painter active in the Eastern panhandle during the early 1800s; David Hunter Strother, a painter and illustrator of the mid-1800s; and William Robinson Leigh, a landscape and portrait painter in the late 19th century who worked well into the 20th century.

A graduate of Worcester State College, the University of Massachusetts and West Virginia University (WVU), Cuthbert is curator and director of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection and Special Collections at the WVU libraries. He has written extensively on many topics in West Virginia history.

Cuthbert’s latest book by WVU Press, 2000, is Early Art and Artists in West Virginia which has won him accolades including the West Virginia Humanities Council’s, Charles H. Daugherty Award in 2001 and the West Virginia Library Association’s 2002 Literary Merit Award. West Virginia Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, a collector of West Virginia art, notes in the book’s foreword that “sophistication and elegance have long coexisted with the state’s celebrated mountain folk culture,” and says that the “book is groundbreaking, because it establishes a foundation upon which we can begin to elaborate the history of art in West Virginia.”

For more information about the lecture by John Cuthbert or the new Collegiate Series, contact Jacqueline Proctor, deputy commissioner of the Division, at (304) 558-0220.

The Collegiate Series will continue on Tuesday, Jan. 22, with a performance by seniors in the WVU College of Creative Arts acting program doing selections from Love’s Fire, original works by contemporary playwrights inspired by the sonnets of William Shakespeare.

For more information about the Division’s programs, visit


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