The Rensselaer County Historical Society (RCHS) will debut a new, rotating exhibit, Prospect of America: Selections from the Edgar Holloway Art Collection, on Monday, September 8th at 7pm at the 87th Annual Meeting. The exhibit series runs through December 20, 2014. The exhibit is sponsored in part by the McCarthy Charities.
In the early 1970s, Rev. Thomas Phelan was inspired to raise awareness of Troy and the surrounding area’s amazing architectural and industrial heritage. Valuing the power art has to move people to action, Rev. Phelan commissioned English artist Edgar Holloway to spend three summers, from 1973 to 1975, in Troy to document the historic buildings and street scenes. His three years in New York resulted in over 80 watercolors and 15 etchings that have become a historical record themselves of the way Troy, Cohoes, and other outlying areas looked in the mid-1970s. Through Holloway’s art, people began to see the inherent beauty in these often neglected buildings. Advocacy groups formed and several buildings were preserved through the actions of individuals inspired by art.
Other buildings have been lost to us, but the images Holloway created at least provide us with a reminder of the importance industry played in the making of the Collar City and surrounding communities.
Thanks to a generous donor, the Rensselaer County Historical Society became the repository of all these works in the mid-2000s. Beginning in September 2014, RCHS will curate a series of rotating exhibits highlighting selections from the entire collection. The first exhibit will complement the main gallery exhibit, At the Corner of Second and State, and feature buildings that are near this major intersection in Troy. The exhibit will be on view on the 2nd floor until December 20, 2014.
RCHS is open Thursdays – Saturdays, Noon to 5pm. There is no fee to view the exhibit, although donations are encouraged. Guided tours of the exhibit will be available for groups. For more information, call 518-272-7232 or visit www.rchsonline.org
RCHS is located at 57 Second Street, Troy NY 12180.
Illustration: Edgar Holloway’s Narrowest House (provided).