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November 22, 1981

In the student seminar exhibition, Problem Pictures from the Vassar Collection, at the Vassar College Art Gallery, 12 students, working under the guidance of gallery director William Hennessey, presented their solutions to curatorial “problems” with 30 of the gallery’s paintings, ranging from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Each of the paintings, wrote Lori Mason ’85 in The Miscellany News, “holds a specific problem such as a question of attribution, subject matter or date. Within the 30 paintings on display, a wide range of uncertainties prevails…. According to Hennessey, this component of the seminar offers a unique experience to students.” Among the problems solved was the determination by Eric Werblow ’83 that a painting thought by its donor to have been the work of J. M. W. Turner was a copy and the identification by Elizabeth Ann Jackson ’82 of all the individual items in a 1725 painting, “Trompe L’Oeil—Still Life,” along with the significance of many.

The Years