This is Vassar: The newsletter for Vassar College Alumnae/i and Families

The newly refurbished Art Library

The Van Ingen Art Library: A Restoration Revisits Technology

The beginning of the fall semester marked the reopening of the newly renovated Van Ingen Art Library, which had been closed for the duration of the last academic year. The library was built in 1937 and designed by John McAndrew, who taught architectural history and drafting at Vassar from 1931 to 1937. Many art historians consider the library a rare example of a complete early modernist American interior from the pre-World War II period. The building’s remarkable architectural elements were respected during its overhaul—there has been a complete restoration of the original interior as detailed in the plans from the 1930s, for example—but new art visualization technologies have been introduced to make the library more modern and efficient.

To commemorate the reopening of the Art Library, Vassar held lectures, tours, and a panel featuring architectural historian Mardges Bacon; Christopher Wilk ’76 of the Furniture, Textiles, and Fashion Department at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum; and New York City-based architect Charles Platt. An exhibit examining the life and work of the original architect, entitled John McAndrew: Architect, Educator, and Preservationist, will be on display through November 1.

October 2009

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