An exhibition of works by Thomas Cornell, Bowdoin’s Richard E. Steele Artist-in-Residence, who worked for 50 years at the College before his death in December 2012, is currently being shown at the June Fitzpatrick Gallery in Portland. The Priority of Nature, a collection of prints, will be on display through September 27, 2013. Author and art critic Martica Sawin pays tribute to Cornell in an essay she composed in conjunction with the show.
Before his death last December, Thomas Cornell had completed 50 years as a faculty member in the Bowdoin College Art Department. He arrived at Bowdoin in 1962 with a reputation based on his prodigious skill as a printmaker. His earliest series of etchings of monkeys, executed for a book of selections from Thomas Huxley’s History of the Manlike Apes, had already been singled out for purchase by William Lieberman, then curator of prints and drawings at the Museum of Modern Art.