Over the past year, Williams College graduate student Rebecca R. (Ruthie) Dibble has conserved a Connecticut tavern sign from the collection of the Connecticut Historical Society. Her Lenett Fellow project culminates with the free lecture “Conserving the Abel Lewis Tavern Sign” on Wednesday, May 6, at 5:30 pm, in Hunter Studio at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
’s Stone Hill Center. Seating is limited.
As the Lenett Fellow for the 2008-09 year, Dibble sought to work with an early American painted object that would allow her to explore American material and visual culture. The Bristol, Connecticut, tin plate tavern sign, about 1800, was acquired by the Connecticut Historical Society in 2006. Both sides of the sign contain the words “A. Lewis Inn,” the name of the tavern owner. One side has the eagle of the United States seal. The other side of the sign contains the Connecticut State seal, a punch bowl, two glasses, and a decanter. Both the painted surface and the metal required conservation, completed by Dibble with the guidance of staff from the Williamstown Art Conservation Center, located in Stone Hill Center at the Clark.
Dibble is the 2009 Lenett Fellow in the Williams Graduate Program in the History of Art. The Judith M. Lenett Memorial Fund was established by the family and friends of the late Ms. Lenett, a candidate for the M.A. degree, class of 1983, to provide lectures and seminars in American art and its conservation. Students with an interest in American art and art conservation enrolled in the graduate program may apply for the fellowship at the end of their first year. The student selected as the Lenett Fellow works with the staff of WACC during his/her second year in the program, culminating in a public lecture in the spring. The Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, the Clark, and WACC jointly administer the Lenett Fellowship.