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Brockport’s century-old art treasure explored
On Friday, April 28, at the College at Brockport, artist Sarah Hart will unveil Helen Hastings’ art collection which had been hidden in an attic trunk for over a century. She will explain the significant impact it could have on the art world. The presentation will take place in the New York Room of the Cooper Building, 350 New Campus Drive, from 7 to 9 p.m. Admission is free and refreshments will be served.
Helen Hastings was a member of the prominent Seymour family in Brockport. She studied the “Sight-Size” painting method at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia from 1899 to 1903. Returning to the family home, she packed all her artwork, including 109 oil paintings, sketchbooks and personal information, in a trunk in the attic. The attic is now part of the Emily L. Knapp Museum on State Street.
Sarah Hart was trained in Europe and America in the classical methods of figure, portrait, and landscape painting. She teaches in her studio in Brockport and at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester. Hart studied the same Sight-Size painting method for four years of post-graduate studies at the Charles Cecil Studios in Florence, Italy, in the early 1990’s. Valuing the Sight-Size method, she saw the method falling out of favor in the art world at the time.
Hart’s presentation will include a slide show, art demonstrations, and an historical perspective on “Sight-Size” teaching methods, revealing why the discovery is unique and important. Questions and discussion will follow.
Four of Hastings’ original pieces will be displayed, along with prints of other originals and her notebooks. Her note cards will be on display and for sale.