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Annual Ames Student-Award Program Celebrates Fiftieth Anniversary

Hood Quarterly, summer 2012

A donor established an endowment at Dartmouth College in May 1962 for the purchase of original works to be awarded to a few exceptional students “to encourage art collecting.” The award was named in honor of Adelbert Ames (1880–1955), a renowned visual physiologist who studied optics and perception and directed the Dartmouth Eye Institute from 1930 to 1947.The initial recipients were three graduates from the Class of 1963, who were each allowed to select a print from a specially designated collection. Since that time, nearly three hundred students majoring in art history and studio art have chosen a variety of woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs produced in America and Europe from the Renaissance through the late twentieth century. Often these awards were the first objects acquired by these young collectors, many of whom went on to obtain other examples, learn more about art in general, and expand their understanding and appreciation of original works.

Corinna Knight, Class of 1993, chose a print by the African American painter and printmaker William T. Williams. She recently recalled:“It was a surprise, delight, and honor to receive the award, [which] continues to bring me great joy and a sense of connection to Dartmouth and the Hood Museum of Art.” As cochair of Dartmouth Alumni in Design and Architecture and past president of the Dartmouth club of Los Angeles, Corinna set up a fund for the museum to purchase art by California-based artists.The fund recently enabled the museum to purchase a remarkable etching by the contemporary California artist Wayne Thiebauld. The legacy established by a donor fifty years ago thus continues to bear fruit for both students of Dartmouth College and visitors to the Hood Museum of Art.

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