Hackney Library is honored to receive the recent gift of a painting by the late Wilson native and Barton College alumnus William E. “Bill” Minschew. Entitled Tuscany, the oil-on-canvas work was painted while Minschew was enrolled at Barton College (then Atlantic Christian College) in the late 1950s, according to art professor Susan Fecho, Barton’s Department of Art and Design chair. It was donated to Barton College in the fall of 2012 by Bhupendra and Promila Sen, with the intention that it would be displayed in Hackney Library to accompany another painting by Minschew, Man Waits in Cave (1961). The latter was donated to the College in 1997 by the late Ed Brown, former Barton art professor, and was installed in Hackney Library shortly after its acquisition.
Barton associate professor of art Ben Bridgers constructed matching wood frames for both Minschew works. Man Waits in Cave, which was previously mounted in a white frame in a different location in the library, was temporarily removed while the new matching frames were under construction. Both paintings are now exhibited in close proximity along the back wall of the library near the Office of Student Success, replacing the temporary exhibition of Barton artist-in-residence J. Chris Wilson’s two paintings in his “From Murphy to Manteo—An Artist’s Scenic Journey” series.
In addition to his study at Atlantic Christian College, Minschew received both B.S. and M.F.A. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served as professor of art at California State University, Fresno for many years and later achieved professor emeritus status there. He accumulated various accolades and honors throughout his career, including a Fulbright Scholarship for post-graduate study of seventeenth-century sculpture and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome following the completion of his M.F.A. in 1961, grants and commissions from the National Endowment for the Arts, and public and private commissions. Minschew’s work has been exhibited in many one-man exhibitions (including in the Barton Art Galleries in 2005) and group exhibitions, as well as in more than one hundred private collections. According to a memorial posted after his death in 2008, his “art was a synthesis of sculpture, painting, and architecture, culminating the last few years of his life in his love of computer art.”
Please come by when you have a chance to admire these newly-installed paintings that, thanks to generous donors, now permanently grace Hackney Library’s walls!