News and Events
“The Sound of Space” explores architectural and acoustic elements of different Vassar campus venues in ambulatory concert, May 5, 2016
Audience members will journey across campus as the Vassar College Choir performs in seven locations to explore and celebrate each space’s architectural and acoustical elements.
Hudson Valley photographer Franc Palaia to exhibit “A Photographic Diary of Joseph Bertolozzi's Tower Music/Musique de la Tour", June 14-July 28, 2016
Palaia documented Bertolozzi’s ambitious project to create music from sounds collected while working and recording at the Eiffel Tower in Paris in 2013.
Vassar and New York Stage and Film Announce a Selection of Offerings from the Upcoming 2016 Powerhouse Season, Featuring Taylor Mac, Lucy Thurber, Josh Radnor, John Slattery and many more
The 2016 season will include two fully-produced mainstage plays written and directed by women, as well as the first-ever 12-hour marathon performance of material from Taylor Mac's A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.
Three art-related preschool storytimes to be held at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, beginning April 1, 2016
Each session will include stories, poems, and a simple hands-on activity related to the art on view in the galleries.
Touch the Sky exhibition at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center celebrates astronomy as seen through the eyes of 18 artists, April 29-August 21, 2016
With a focus on contemporary art that gravitates towards the conceptual, the exhibition features astronomical observations, interpretations, and reimaginings.
New library exhibition celebrates the achievements of astronomer Maria Mitchell, through June 12, 2016
Seeing the Sun features 19 never-before-seen prints made from glass photographic plates re-discovered at the college’s Observatory in 1997. The exhibition also includes other photographs, historical documents, artifacts, and samples of Mitchell’s writings.
Exhibition of Hispanic Caribbean art now on view at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, through May 8, 2016
Artists represented include Wifredo Lam, Marisol, Rafael Ferrer, Tomás Sánchez, Luis Fernando Roldán, José Bedia, and Enoc Perez.
Every summer, director Ianthe Demos ’00 takes a troupe of actors and apprentices to a remote village in her native Greece for a month of inspirational and challenging theatrical collaboration.
Vassar Music Department concert series offers faculty, visiting artist, and student recital and ensemble performances, January 29-May 28, 2016
The Vassar Music Department offers a series of free concerts and performances throughout the spring semester.
Andrew Ashton has been named the new Director of the Libraries to provide leadership to a central partner in the academic enterprise. He will oversee all library operations including approximately 40 staff members and over 150,000 square feet of space.
- An evening of fiction and nonfiction with authors David Means and Lucas Mann (4/18) (Posted 4/1/2016)
- Poet Claudia Rankine to deliver the Elizabeth Bishop reading (4/26) (Posted 3/30/2016)
- Social Justice Hip-Hop Theater Company Comes to the Hudson Valley (4/1, 4/2) (Posted 3/18/2016)
- Cyborg artists to give lectures and perform as part of “Sonic Cyborgs” series (4/11-4/14) (Posted 3/18/2016)
- Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center acquires work by acclaimed French symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (Posted 3/15/2016)
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.