11/13/12 The Herbert F. Tyler Bequest – the most generous gift of visual art in the history of Culver Academies – is now on exhibit in the Crisp Visual Art Center on the campus of Culver Academies and will remain through March 2013.
The collection is composed of more than 190 pieces of artwork in 10 media disciplines, several of which were not previously represented by the Academies’ collection, said gallery coordinator Robert Nowalk. The gift was made by LeClaire, Iowa, resident L. Herbert Tyler, a 1948 graduate of Culver Military Academy, in memory of his father, Herbert F. Tyler.
The galleries are open to the public each Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the school year and on the second Sunday of each month from 1 to 4 p.m. Groups desiring a tour should contact Nowalk at (574) 842-8278. The Crisp Visual Arts Center is located on the south side of Academy Road between Logansport Gate and Eppley Auditorium.
Tyler’s collection was amassed during 60 years of collecting, beginning after college and a stint in the service. Much of his collection came from his exposure to and personal relationships with artists in and around Decorah in northeast Iowa, the University of Iowa, as well as nationally known potters Otto and Gertrude Natzler. Tyler worked as a designer with an architectural firm and as a landscape designer, but is now living out a terminal illness.
He chose to gift much of his collection to Culver because he was impressed with the Crisp building and the fact “that much of what I had (in the collection) would be used to teach students. This meant to me that, in the future, thousands would be influenced by the collection.”
It is Tyler’s hope that students realize “the breadth of the art world and the complexity therein.”
The bequest “strengthens Culver’s teaching in all areas of the Visual Arts with particular emphasis on the ceramic arts through examples of Chinese, Native American, and regional American functional and purely aesthetic forms,” Nowalk said.
In particular, the Tyler Bequest features Culver’s first examples of calligraphy as an art form through the work of Father Edward Catich and Marilyn Wittmer-Etchison and examples of fiber arts as a sculptural medium as seen in four works by Mary Merkel Hess.
Additionally, Nowalk said the bequest provides students with the ability to examine the development of several artists in depth, specifically:
• Seven paintings from various periods in the life of the late figurative painter Byron Burford;
• 26 ceramic works by the late master potter Timothy Langholz, and;
• 27 etchings, including the 21-plate series “A Time of Malfeasance” by master printmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Virginia Myers, which was inspired by the Nixon era.