skip navigation

The Eleanor D. Wilson Museum | Hollins University


Current Exhibitions

Seeds From the East:
The Korean Adoptee Portrait Project
September 29 - December 11, 2022

A.D. Herzel is an internationally recognized artist, educator, designer, and writer currently living in Blue Ridge, Virginia. She is also a Korean adoptee who explores her identity and creates community through her art. Herzel was adopted in 1970 by a religious family which adopted three Korean children and sponsored about 50 other children. This exhibit presents graphite portraits of Korean adoptees accompanied by silhouettes executed in gold ink and drawings of flowers, seeds, spirals, and other imagery specific to each portrait. Herzel offers her art as a way to help process grief and trauma, as well as to join the larger conversation about place and belonging in immigrant communities across the globe.

Herzel writes, "It has taken me 50 years to give light to the shadow of my adoption story. This current flowering moment, rooted and wrapped in the tendrils of history is seeded by the currents of global, religious and political history. My story though textured with facets, divets and spikes is just one story in the Korean diaspora and one of the many American immigrant stories worth examining."

Find more of Herzel's work on her website.

This exhibit and its associated programs are sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

herzel lily

A.D. Herzel, Lily of the Valley, Home Again, Home Again, 2020


Renewing Threads:
Tapestries and the Art of Textile Conservation
October 5, 2022 - February 26, 2023

In 1950, Hollins art department chair John Ballator purchased two Flemish Renaissance tapestries from a traveling exhibition presented at Hollins and organized by French & Co. From 1907-1959, French & Co. was known as the largest dealer in tapestries worldwide. For decades, these two tapestries graced the walls of Hollins’ Little Theatre and were deeply beloved by generations of students. In 2012, the tapestries were removed during the theatre’s renovation; while in storage, they received water damage which caused localized surface mold and staining on the tapestry surfaces and outer linings. In September 2020, the tapestries were sent to the not-for-profit Intermuseum Conservation Association (ICA) in Cleveland, Ohio. At ICA, textiles conservator Jane Hammond worked on both tapestries and undertook surface cleaning, mold remediation, lining replacement, stabilization of open seams and areas of pronounced weakness, removal of disfiguring mends (from pre-1950s conservation), reduction of stains, and photodocumentation of these procedures.

In Renewing Threads: Tapestries and the Art of Textile Conservation, the tapestries are on view for the first time in ten years, accompanied by photos of the conservation treatment at ICA. With information uncovered through the treatment process, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum director Jenine Culligan has started new research on the tapestries’ makers and provenance as we reintroduce these textiles to Hollins and beyond.

You can watch textile conservator Jane Hammond's presentation on the conservation process on the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum's YouTube channel.

This exhibit and its related programs are sponsored in part by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

hollins tapestry

Marcus Aurelius and the Physicians, ca. 1660-1679. Courtesy of Hollins University and the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum.


Figurative Work from the Permanent Collection
October 13, 2022 - January 8, 2023

The occupation of a body is one of the very few universal experiences, the portrayal of which often attempts to convey or subvert imagined ideals of society at any given time and place. (DE)CONSTRUCTING: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection explores the gendered construction and deconstruction of the body and its representations. From figurative studies and intimate self-portraiture to fictional narratives, the exhibition offers a survey of multiple media and artistic strategies that span from abstract expressionism to contemporary photography. In dialogue, the artworks consider questions of possession in relation to scientific inquiry, societal constructs, pleasure and the act of looking. The way in which artists portray their subjects, themselves, and humanity more broadly can both uphold and redefine societal ideals of the body and its many forms.

(DE)CONSTRUCTING: Figurative Works from the Permanent Collection is curated by Eleanor D. Wilson Museum programs coordinator Kyra Schmidt and intern Madeleine Etheridge, Hollins University class of 2023.

dean carter

Dean Carter, Two Figures, 1950. Ink and watercolor. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2009.020.


Basics #50 by Matthias Neumann
May 30, 2021 - May 28, 2023
located on the creek side of West Campus Drive (near the pond)

Brooklyn-based Matthias Neumann was trained as an architect in Stuttgart, Germany. Since 2015, he has been using common 2’ x 4’ lumber in an additive configuration to explore physical notions of form, space, and utility. This sculpture is part of the Roanoke Arts Commission's sixth “Art in Roanoke” (AIR) temporary sculpture exhibit titled New Life: Reimagining Roanoke. Most of the sculptures will be on view in Elmwood Park, but the city is also placing sculptures in outlying neighborhoods – the Hollins campus being one of those. More of the artist’s Basic sculptures can be seen on his website.

This exhibit is sponsored by the City of Roanoke through the Roanoke Arts Commission.

matthias neumann at work

Matthias Neumann building Basics #50, 2021


Expanding Narratives:
Conversations with the Collection
currently available online

Faculty members from across academic divisions have collaborated with museum staff to select works from the collection that investigate key course concepts and provide extended access to the individual works of art. Participating departments include art history, biology, classics, English, gender and women studies, history, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and studio art.

and now her own

Tip Toland, And Now Her Own, 2019. Stoneware clay and mixed media. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2020.001.


Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins
currently available online

In spring 2020, students in the Cultural Property, Rights and Museum course began working on an exhibit, Unveiling the Past: Reckoning with Our History of Enslavement at Hollins University, in conjunction with members of the Hollins University Working Group on Slavery and Its Contemporary Legacies. The exhibit examines objects and images held by the University Archives in the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University. Material researched by students are on display in this virtual exhibit. Those working on this exhibit wanted to create a public space to reckon with our Hollins past and give a forum to those who were not given a voice, name, space, or attention in the past. It is the goal of this exhibit to show the lasting effects slavery has had, and continues to have, here; and, to recognize that Hollins continues to benefit from a history of enslavement.

clem in long coat

Clement “Clem” Read Bolden (b. ≈ 1846, d. February 19, 1929). Courtesy of the University Archives in the Wyndham Robertson Library at Hollins University.


Exploring Visual and Conceptual Space:
Student Selections from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum
currently available online

Using selected works from the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum’s permanent collection, student curators put theory into practice in this virtual exhibit which is the culmination of the spring class, “Behind the Scenes: Principles and Practice.” As part of the class, students collaborate and share responsibility for conceptualizing, researching, designing, and interpreting a cohesive exhibition. Each student selected two works that spoke to them based on academic, personal, and aesthetic interests. The exhibit features works created by well-known artists Giovanni Battista Piranesi, John James Audubon, Käthe Kollwitz, Paul Klee, Salvador Dalí, and Andy Warhol, as well as works by Hedley Fitton, Jean Lurçat, Paule Gobillard, Eudora Welty, and others.

When placed together, these works form an image of the Eleanor D. Wilson collection as a small but artistically and historically rich collection – especially when seen through the eyes of Hollins student curators Madelyn Farrow, Faith Herrington, Sylvia Lane, Mairwen Minson, Kaiya Ortiz, Valerie Sargeant, and Maddie Zanie.


Henry Varnum Poor, Anne, c. 1940s. Oil on panel, 8.5 x 7” (framed). Art department acquisition, 1946. Courtesy of the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University, 2005.283.


Hollins University
Eleanor D. Wilson Museum at Hollins University
Box 9679 : 8009 Fishburn Drive : Roanoke, VA 24020
(540) 362-6532 •
Tues-Sun: 12-5 pm
Thurs: 12-8 pm
twitter facebook