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Oct. 6, 2004

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host an auction of paintings by Blanchard Gummo, a 1925 Bucknell graduate and member of Bucknell's art department from 1931 to 1974.

Paintings to be auctioned may be viewed in the Center Room of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell Nov. 3 and 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. and Nov. 5 from 1 to 9 p.m.

More than 300 paintings, watercolors and sketches were bequeathed to Bucknell in January 2003 following the death of Gummo's sister Vivian, a 1927 Bucknell graduate and professor of mathematics at Bucknell. A portion of these artworks will be made available to the public.

"Blanchard Gummo had a considerable impact on several generations of Bucknellians and many residents in the region," said Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell.

"This silent auction will make it possible for them, and for area art-lovers, to acquire a Blanchard Gummo original for themselves."

A realist-style artist, Gummo most often painted landscapes, portraits, and still-lifes, usually with oils. Much of his imagery was inspired by the north-central Pennsylvania countryside and the Susquehanna River. His arrival as a faculty member made it possible for Bucknell to offer art as a major for the first time.

Gummo, who died in 1986, was posthumously presented the Academy of Artistic Achievement Award for his lifetime contributions to the arts in March 2002.

A number of artworks from the bequest have been added to the Samek Art Gallery collection. These include landscapes, still-lifes, watercolors and costume designs.

"We are delighted Blanchard Gummo is well represented in the collection. Of particular interest are fine watercolor portraits, often of members of the Bucknell community, and a collection of detailed costume designs created for Bucknell theatre and dance productions that even include the names of student actors and actresses," said Mills.

In addition to making Gummo's work available in the permanent collection to visitors to Bucknell, the university has offered select works to a number of regional institutions.

"Bucknell feels strongly that sharing his work among regional institutions is an appropriate way to increase access to his work and continue his legacy as an artist, and honors Miss Gummo's interest that his works be made available as widely as possible," said Mark Elliott, senior adviser for gift planning at Bucknell.

All proceeds from the auction will be used for art collection acquisitions or conservation.


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