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Ross Art Museum Presents Namesake Photography Exhibit for Dedication

September 23, 2003

[ Richard Ross Gelatin Print Photo ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Not quite a year ago, the Ohio Wesleyan campus and surrounding community got their first glimpse of OWU's newly renovated Richard M. Ross Art Museum, which showcased an impressive exhibition in partnership with the Columbus Art Museum in October: A Thousand Hounds: A Walk with the Dogs Through the History of Photography. The museum's gleaming wooden floors and meticulous white walls make it hard to imagine that this building once was Delaware's Post Office.

"In less than a year's time, the Ross Art Museum has become a gathering place for many members of the academic, Delaware and greater Columbus communities," says OWU fine arts professor and director of the museum, Justin Kronewetter, who now is preparing for the formal dedication of the Ross Art Museum, and a very special celebratory exhibition.

The opening of that exhibition, titled, Richard M. Ross: Photographer and Craftsman, and the formal dedication of the Richard M. Ross Art Museum are slated for Oct. 3, with the dedication ceremony beginning at 5 p.m. on the steps of the museum, followed by a public reception that lasts until 7 p.m. The exhibition runs from that date to Nov. 9.

"The Ross Art Museum not only brings a significant new educational resource to our campus and community, but it also enables a wonderful new friendship for Ohio Wesleyan with the Ross family," says OWU President Tom Courtice. "Our mutual expectation is that this new museum will become an incredibly distinctive asset to all of Ohio and the Midwest."

Kronewetter explained the exhibition is comprised of 71 of Ross' silver and non-silver prints, spanning the years 1954 - 1987.

"Six of the images are owned by Ohio Wesleyan University and the rest of the photographs are being loaned to us by the Ross family of Vero Beach, Florida," says Kronewetter. Elizabeth Ross, wife of the late Richard Ross, donated the funds which enabled the renovation of the building named for her husband. As Kronewetter explained, those renovations have resulted in a first-rate exhibition facility which features professional quality lighting, security, temperature/humidity control systems and space for the appropriate storage of the Permanent Teaching Collection of the Fine Arts Department.

Since the Walk with the Hounds exhibit last year, the Ross Art Museum has presented six exhibitions, each reflecting well on the museum's intention to provide the primary showcase for artwork that complements OWU's fine arts program.

"Of equal importance is our intent to reach out to other constituencies within the campus community and provide an opportunity for artwork to be exhibited that has a direct tie in to other campus programs such as the Sagan National Colloquium," says Kronewetter. "We want the museum to be part of the fabric of the entire campus community."

Also important, he noted, is the attention the Ross Art Museum is attracting from donors wanting to loan or donate art to OWU, such as Raymond W. Merritt, supporter and patron of the Ross Art Museum. Merritt recently donated a portfolio of Ralph Gibson photographs entitled Seen While Dining, which complements this year's Sagan National Colloquium focus on food and its global significance. Due to the subject matter of Gibson's photographs and their timely arrival on campus, six of the newly acquired images have been included in the Consuming Passion: Edible by Design exhibition, which was on display until Sept. 26.

Also featured in other galleries of the Ross Art Museum with the Ross photographs is artwork from Ohio Wesleyan's Permanent Teaching Collection and several watercolor paintings by local artist Sally Humphreys.

Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. The museum is closed on Saturdays and Mondays. Admission is free. For more information, call 740-368-3600.