Mason Art: Fairfax Campus Exhibits Unique Pieces

Posted: September 6, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Mason’s Fairfax Campus is home to sculpture, paintings and artifacts — some on permanent display, some on loan — that speak to the diversity of the university’s collection.

“Untitled” overlooks Mason Pond
Photo by Ryann Doyle

One of the eye-catching pieces is an abstract metal sculpture overlooking Mason Pond. The artwork, “Untitled,” was created by Lila Katzen in 1974.

Katzen, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., began to work with stainless steel, aluminum and bronze in 1969, producing monumental metal sculptures. “Untitled” was originally displayed near Fenwick Library, but was moved to the Mason Pond in 2001. The sculpture is on extended loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

arch sculpture
“Arch III and Landmark” was commissioned for the Fairfax Campus.
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Another striking sculpture standing in the center of the campus between Mason Hall and the Center for the Arts is the “Arch III and Landmark.” It was created out of Portuguese marble by the noted Portuguese sculptor, Charters de Almeida, in 1991. “Arch III and Landmark” was a site-specific work commissioned by Alain Demoustier and Alfred T. Morris Jr., with additional support from Mason’s Fund for the Arts and the Garden Club of Fairfax.

Hanging in a display case on the wall of the Concert Hall is the “Heritage Quilt.” Measuring 10 feet by 12 feet, the quilt contains 35, 15-inch squares, each crafted with 36 quilting stitches per square inch. The quilt is lined with a 15-inch tassel and swag border. The appliquéd central field features local historical landmarks along with colonial motifs.

More than 30 Northern Virginia women took part in helping to create the quilt between February and November of 1984 for auction at the Fourth Annual Arts Gala. Each gala quilter signed her own work. It was purchased for $31,000 by Mason supporters for donation to Mason’s art collection on Nov. 17, 1984.

Read about Mason’s 19th-century Italian gouache paintings, the George Mason statue, and the art of Azriel and Irene Awret in previous Gazette articles.

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