The Catholic University of America

Sept. 14, 2011

A Gift of Art Now on Display in Mullen Library

  Strishock art exhibit
  President John Garvey, Daniel Strishock, and Nora Heimann, chair of the art department, view the exhibit in the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library.

The Catholic University of America celebrated a couple's gift of more than 200 original engravings — lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, and mezzotints by more than 50 artists — at a luncheon this week at the John K. Mullen of Denver Memorial Library.

Donated to Catholic University by CUA alumna Joan Strishock, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 1952, and her husband Daniel, 10 of the engravings are installed at the library as a new exhibition titled “Earth, Air, Fire, and Water: Elements of Design.” The entire collection is available in an online exhibit.

At the Sept. 12 lunch, President John Garvey thanked the Strishocks and described the collection as “a wonderful gift to the University.” Other words that came up often at the lunch, hosted by Garvey and his wife Jeanne, were generosity and friendship.

The couple donated the extensive collection to the American Catholic History Research Center and University Archives in late 1968 to help the University re-establish the Department of Art following a fire in part of the art building.

When Garvey learned of this story last fall, he asked the University Archives to put together a formal exhibit featuring the pieces from the collection donated by the Strishocks.

Also speaking at the luncheon was Nora Heimann, associate professor and chair of the University’s Department of Art. “We are the lucky recipient of your generosity,” she said to the Strishocks. “You were a friend to the University in a time of need.”

Heimann also commended the Archives team headed by Leslie Knoblauch, records management archivist, and Jane Stoeffler, administrative assistant, for “taking such an eclectic collection and turning it into such a beautiful show with such a smart theme.”

“It is a wonderful opportunity for our art students to have a first-hand exposure to art collections right in their own backyard,” said Heimann.

Strishock art exhibit  
Garvey and his wife Jeanne (center) greet Joan and Daniel Strishock at the library.  

The Strishocks said their hobby of collecting comes from a “life-long love for fine art, antiques, and architecture with a fascination that borders on things from the past.”

The couple lives in Potomac, Md., in a home styled after the Rodin Museum in Paris, where they raised their six children. Mr. Strishock is a retired investment adviser from UBS Financial Services. He mentioned that the couple’s desire to give and share stems from his wife’s philosophy that “If you give and it doesn’t hurt, you haven’t given enough.”

Mrs. Strishock noted how pleased she was to be back on campus. “I’m proud to see the art on display in the library and so thrilled that this young generation of students will be able to enjoy it.”

“Earth, Air, Fire, and Water” will be on display in the lobby of the Mullen Library through Dec. 2. It features the work of Hannes Bok (1914 – 1964), an American artist and illustrator; John Buckland-Wright (1897 – 1954), a prolific engraver, illustrator, and etcher; Frances Marian Hebert (1899 – 1960), a painter, etcher, and block printer; William Evan Charles Morgan (1903 – ca. 1970), an engraver, etcher, and woodcutter; and Reynold Henry Weidenaar (1915 – 1985), an American painter, etcher, and illustrator.

The online exhibit, The Joy of Collecting: The Strishock Print Collection is available at http://cuexhibits.wrlc.org/.

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