News and Events
How have African Americans been portrayed on the screen over the last 100 years, and how do those portrayals mirror our cultural attitudes towards minorities? Those are the questions students are asked to consider in this course on African American cinema.
"The History of Rock," a course taught by Justin Patch, adjunct assistant professor of music, aims to change the way his students think about music, exploring why they choose the music they do and how it affects them.
In “The Art of Acting: Comedy,” associate professor of drama Shona Tucker uses the works of Moliere, Shakespeare, and Ionesco, among others, and teaches her students the ancient art of mime and other physical comedy to preach the importance of being “stoopid.”
Vassar College Archives and Special Collections Library exhibition celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland, February 12, 2015
A rabbit hole. Bizarre physical transformations. Riddles. These are some of the elements of fantasy that define Lewis Carroll’s classic story, which is the focus of a new exhibition, The Age of Alice: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, and Nonsense in Victorian England.
From January 28 through May 30, the department will present a varied series of free public concerts on campus.
- A new installation, Anatomy, is now on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (3/10-5/3) (Posted 3/17/2015)
- Author George Saunders, known for his dark humor, to give the annual Krieger Lecture (4/14) (Posted 3/17/2015)
- Concert featuring Blanca Uribe and Richard Wilson, scheduled for March 12,2015, has been postponed (Posted 3/11/2015)
- Multidisciplinary artist María Magdalena Campos Pons will discuss her work in a presentation (2/26) (Posted 1/23/2015)
- Two new installations provide more reasons to visit the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (Posted 1/23/2015)
About the Arts
The Powerhouse Theater is a collaboration between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College. It is dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development and production of new works for theater and film. During an intense eight-week summer residency on the Vassar campus, up to twenty different projects are publicly presented, typically engaging more than 200 professional artists and theater students. Plays, musicals, and screenplays are presented in a variety of forms: readings, workshops, and fully staged productions. Since the first Powerhouse Theater season in 1985, New York Stage and Film and Vassar have served more than 2,000 artists and over 175,000 audience members through the development and production of artistically exceptional and affordably priced performances.
Located just inside Vassar's Main Gate, the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center houses the college's permanent collection, over 18,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, and glass and ceramic wares, charting the history of art from antiquity to the present. The Permanent Collection Galleries feature 350 works, ranging from the sculpted Head of Viceroy Merymose from His Outer Sarcophagus (Egyptian, c 1375 BCE) in the Antiquities Gallery to Marsden Hartley's oil on canvas Indian Composition (1914-15) in the Twentieth Century Gallery. For information on current and upcoming special exhibitions, self-guided and curriculum-based tours, and group visits, please visit the website. The art center is open to the public, and admission is free.
Located in the College Center in Main Building, the James W. Palmer III '90 Gallery presents eight shows annually, including exhibitions by renowned artists and photographers, studio art faculty and students, and local arts organizations. Recent highlights included Andrea Baldeck’s black-and-white photo exhibit, Touching the Mekong: A Southeast Asian Sojourn, organized by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology; the Vassar Haiti Project’s annual exhibition and auction of imported arts and handcrafts; and Design Inside, showcasing the work of Vassar’s College Relations design team. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. For information on upcoming exhibitions, visit the website or call (845) 437-5370.
Located in the Belle Skinner Hall of Music, the Martel Recital Hall is wonderfully suited, both acoustically and aesthetically, to music performance. With seating for 500, the Martel is home to the Vassar College Orchestra, Choir, Women's Chorus, Madrigal Singers, and numerous chamber groups and ensembles. The Martel concert schedule routinely includes distinguished guest artists, faculty recitals, senior recitals, and special musical events, such as last year's series of organ recitals celebrating the installation and dedication of the college's superb pipe organ, designed by masterbuilder Paul Fritts. For information on upcoming concerts and events (which are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted), please visit the website.
The Department of Dance sponsors several public performances each year. Among those, the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre (VRDT) has a series of Works in Progress showings in the fall, a winter Modfest performance in conjunction with the The Department of Music, winter galas at the 1869 Bardavon Opera House, and two All Parents Weekend performances in the spring. The department's Master Class program annually invites at least one ballet and one modern expert to campus in addition to two people in other areas of dance. Public performances and lectures are often associated with these renowned visitors. Guest artists in the past have included: Irina Kolpokova, Arthur Mitchell, Helene Alexopoulos, Gregory Hines, Anna Kisselgoff, Donald Byrd, Edward Villella, Ronald K. Brown, Irene Dowd, Allegra Kent, Gelsey Kirkland, Pilobolus w/Adam Battlestein, Suzanne Farrell, Mummenschantz, Eldar Aliev, Deborah Jowitt, Bill T. Jones, Pascal Rioult, Clinton Luckett of ABT, Bill Irwin, and Donald McKayle. Many of the department's dance performances are in the Frances Daly Fergusson Dance Theater, located in Kenyon Hall.
Presenting several public performances each semester in the Martel Theater of the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film and the Hallie Flanagan Davis Powerhouse Theater, the Experimental Theater is a place to explore theories learned in the classroom and to experiment with theatrical forms. In the tradition of pioneering stage director Hallie Flanagan, students are encouraged to experience and experiment with all aspects of the theater. Flanagan, who accepted a position to teach drama at Vassar in 1925, founded the Experimental Theater following her visit to the theaters of Europe in 1926 on a Guggenheim Fellowship. (http://drama.vassar.edu).
The Film Department at Vassar College hosts a steady stream of guest artists and lecturers and is located in the state-of-the-art Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film. The film program encompasses major aspects of the discipline: the history and theory of cinema, dramatic writing, and film/video/digital production, within the framework of a liberal arts education.
A rotating series of exhibitions is offered each year by the Catherine Pelton Durrell '25 Archives and Special Collections Library, which is the principal repository of the College's noteworthy collections of rare books, manuscripts, archival records of Vassar College, and other special materials. The library's collections date from the 15th century (the age of incunabula) to the present. Notable examples include books important in women's history, first editions of English and American literary and historical works, examples of fine printing, collections of courtesy and cookbooks, children's books, and rare maps and atlases. The Virginia B. Smith Manuscript Collection includes manuscripts by and about women which were gathered during President Smith’s tenure, such as the papers of Mary McCarthy and Elizabeth Bishop. Also of note are papers of writers Samuel L. Clemens and Edna St. Vincent Millay; early naturalist John Burroughs, historian Lucy Maynard Salmon, feminist and historian Alma Lutz, astronomer Maria Mitchell, anthropologist Ruth Benedict, and physicist Albert Einstein. Archives and Special Collections is located in the Frederick Ferris Thompson Memorial Library.