Exhibitions and Events

SC&A hosts a variety of exhibitions, events, and open houses open to the public. Email sca@wesleyan.edu for further information. Exhibitions are viewable during Olin Library hours.



Current Exhibitions

Previous Exhibitions

  • Henry Bacon at Wesleyan

    Architect Henry Bacon (1866-1924) is best remembered for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  However, Bacon also shaped the Wesleyan campus. His first building, Eclectic, was completed in 1907. He served as de facto campus architect from 1913 until his death in 1924. Bacon's papers in Special Collections & Archives are a rich resource for the study of the methods and influences of a successful working architect of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and also offer insights into Wesleyan's history.

    More about the Henry Bacon Exhibit
    Curated by Maggie Long, Special Collections Cataloging Librarian, and Suzy Taraba Director of Special Collections & Archives.
  • Homage to Samuel Beckett

    It began with a paper written for a Wesleyan French class in 1960 and culminated in a nearly thirty-year friendship between Dr. Jay Levy and Irish/French playwright Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize for Literature. This exhibition commemorates the recent gift of Beckett correspondence, books, photographs, and other materials, to Wesleyan’s Special Collections & Archives from Dr. Jay ’60 HON ’96 and Sharon Levy.

    More about the Samuel Beckett Exhibit

    Jay Levy’s illustrious career as a prominent AIDS researcher central to the discovery of HIV is well known at Wesleyan and elsewhere. His lifelong passion for the Theatre of the Absurd, especially the work of Samuel Beckett, reveals another dimension of the man and serves as an inspiration to all who believe in the power of a liberal arts education.

    Curated by Suzy Taraba, Director, Special Collections & Archives.

  • Highlights of Wesleyan Football History,1881-today

    Did you know that Andrus field at Wesleyan is the longest continuously used football field in American college football? Come see some artifacts and material from the 138 year football history at Wesleyan University.

    More about the Wesleyan Football Exhibit
    Curated by Amanda Nelson, University Archivist.
  • Through the Lens of History: The Wesleyan African American Experience

    May-October, 2019

    Black student life at Wesleyan was showcased in multiple exhibits on campus during a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the African American Studies Department.

    View Wesleyan Connection photos

  • Academics, Dedication, Performances: Alpha Delta Phi and Wesleyan

    April-December, 2017

    This exhibit highlighted items that represent Alpha Delta Phi’s commitment to academic excellence, dedication to fraternity and society, and continued support of and contributions to the performing arts. From the Adelphic Educational Fund for supporting student intellectual growth, the Chapter House which hosts various literary and educational events for Wesleyan students, the Star & Crescent Eating Club, and musical inspiration, ΑΔΦ has positively contributed to Wesleyan University and the larger society in numerous ways throughout its 161 year history.

    More about the Alpha Delta Phi and Wesleyan Exhibit

    The materials found in the exhibition were from the Alpha Delta Phi Records and other collections held by Special Collections & Archives. The exhibition was curated by Stephanie T. Gold, Alpha Delta Phi Processing Archivist.

  • Documents in Black and White: Photographs by Nancy Ottmann Albert

    October-December, 2016

    The exhibition “Documents in Black and White” consisted of photographs from the Nancy Ottmann Albert Collection. Selected by the artist, the works spanned the thirty years she spent documenting New England’s built environment. Inspired by Walker Evans and the FSA photographers, Albert (MALS ’94) began to photograph textile mills and industrial sites throughout New England in 1981. Shooting black and white film in a medium format camera, she returned over the years to record their decline and disappearance.

    More about the Photographs by Nancy Ottmann Albert Exhibit
    Further exploration led her to seek out other endangered structures and landscapes. These included mental institutions emptied by changing philosophies of treatment and a commissioned study of Long River Village, Middletown’s oldest housing project, prior to its demolition. The exhibition also contained images of roadside and urban vernacular architecture, barns and abandoned homesteads, filling stations, and drive-in theaters. All of the work, which included gelatin silver photographs, was printed by the artist.
  • A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916

    March-September, 2016

    The SC&A exhibition, “A Stellar Education: Astronomy at Wesleyan, 1831-1916,” explored the study of astronomy at Wesleyan from the University’s founding in 1831 through the construction of Van Vleck Observatory in 1916, which celebrated its centennial in 2016. Items on display included atlases, textbooks, photographs, an original Henry Bacon Van Vleck Observatory architectural drawing, and more. The exhibition was held in conjunction with a number of other Van Vleck Observatory celebratory events sponsored by the Department of Astronomy.

    More details about the events can be found here.