Arts & Events

Abby Hill’s stunning landscapes occupy Kittredge

Chances are most of you have seen some of the beautiful still lifes and landscapes by artist Abby Williams Hill that grace the walls of Jones Hall, but now you can also view some of Hill’s drawings on exhibit in Kittredge Gallery. Abby Williams Hill: Wanderlust, Works on Paper, 1895-1927 will be showing now until April 9.

“I thought it would be nice to show a different aspect of her work. The subject for most of her paintings tends to be landscapes. But many of these drawings [in Kittredge] also include buildings or structures,” Andrea Moody, Consulting Curator of the Abby Williams Hill Collection, said. According to Moody, although many of Hill’s paintings have been exhibited, a lot of her drawings haven’t.

When you enter the exhibit and start on the left, you will see drawings of Vashon Island. As you progress around the room (clockwise), drawings of the Midwest, Germany, the Northwest, Europe and finally the West Coast (places like Laguna Beach) hang from the white walls in clean, black frames. The drawings are organized chronologically as they wrap around the room.

Hill’s beautiful pen-and-ink drawings are mesmerizing in their simplicity. The delicate lines depict images of trees, lakes and log cabins of the Northwest as well as stone cathedrals of Europe.

“The show is not only about her drawings. The other part of the show is about her love of travel and desire to always be on the road, whether it was traveling by train or by boat and later by car,” Moody said. “I think it’s important for people to come see the show because there’s such a rich amount of resources in the archives, so people that might not be captivated by the artwork might be by some of the history. We have boxes and boxes of her letters and diaries and journals and they’re absolutely fascinating. And they’re open to students who want to come in and research her.” These documents are located in the archives in Collins Memorial Library.

The drawings currently on display in Kittredge Gallery come straight from Hill’s notebooks and are dated within the same range as the paintings in Jones.

Moody informed me that the University owns almost all of Hill’s known work, which was donated in several stages by Hill’s children. According to an article in the most recent edition of Arches, Hill never sold her work, so almost all of her canvases and drawings remained in her possession.

Hill’s work has been shown in over 30 exhibits and is also the inspiration for an installation currently showing at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Glimmering Gone features glass work done by glass artists Ingalena Klenell and Beth Lipman and will be on display from now until March 2012.