Show to honor former teacher


By Jordan Freisleben

Former Visual Arts teacher Carl Wilson will be honored posthumously in February in an exhibition in Feldman-Horn gallery featuring his work. Wilson, who founded the art department at Harvard School, taught at the two schools for 36 years before retiring in June 2006. He died in January 2008.

“He used to teach everything,” said Head of the Visual Arts department Cheri Gaulke. “Before he retired, he was teaching Art History, Drawing and Painting, Architecture, and he also used to teach a design course. He was really a delightful character.”

The dates of exhibition are Feb. 1 to Feb. 26 with the opening reception on Sunday Feb. 7.

In addition to the exhibit, the school is producing a 20-page hardbound catalogue featuring Wilson’s work. The catalogue will feature essays by President Thomas C. Hudnut as well as one by art historian Dr. Betty Ann Brown. Gaulke will also write the catalogue’s introduction.

The volume of Wilson’s work was unknown to his colleagues until discovered by his partner, Dan Gumbleton, after his death.

“One of the things that we discovered after Carl died was that he was drawing all the time,” Gaulke said. “We had no idea.”

Hundreds of his works were found within the past year.

“He would go through phases of being interested in shapes. It was pretty much all abstract, I’d say he was probably inspired by Kandinsky and he would like spend a year doing variations on a circle or variations of straight lines that are perpendicular to each other.”

The working title for the show is called “Menifee’s Mark.” Menifee, a family name which was Wilson’s middle name, has significance in his work.

“When he signed his work, he always signed it ‘Menifee’—that was sort of his art name,” Gaulke said.  “I thought that would be a good title—it’s a play on words. He’s making marks on a page but it’s always what kind of mark does a teacher have on their students—we always hope that we have a mark on our students.”