Exclusive Exhibition of Zelda Fitzgerald’s Art Opens at Penn College

Published 11.06.2013

The Gallery at Penn College

Artwork of an icon will be shown in an exclusive exhibit at The Gallery at Penn College.

“The Art and Illustrations of Zelda Fitzgerald” runs Nov. 14 through Dec. 15 at the gallery located on the third floor of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Madigan Library. The works are on loan from Fitzgerald’s granddaughter, Cecilia Ross, of Kennett Square, who will attend the opening reception, Thursday, Nov. 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The collection is not a touring exhibition, but on loan exclusively to The Gallery at Penn College. Receipt of the private Fitzgerald collection was achieved through collaboration with the James V. Brown Library, of Williamsport, and its communitywide “JVBL Reads” initiative.

A 1925 photograph shows Zelda Fitzgerald with one of her paintings.“The Gallery is really fortunate to have the opportunity to display these priceless pieces,” said Penny G. Lutz, manager of the gallery. “We anticipate Fitzgerald fans will appreciate the art as well as lovers of literature and history. It’s an extremely unique exhibition.”

The exhibition celebrates Fitzgerald’s creative life and features cityscapes, fairy tales and biblical images, all gouache on paper.

Widely recognized as an icon of the Jazz Age, Fitzgerald was an artist, writer and dancer in addition to being the wife of literary giant F. Scott Fitzgerald and a mother to their daughter, Scottie. Though she had the freedom to explore her own aspirations, Zelda Fitzgerald’s pursuits were often overlooked or discounted due to her husband’s achievements and her struggle with mental health.

Numerous art critics, though, contend Zelda Fitzgerald was a visionary artist exploring contemporary trends in art and design.

Art critic Mary Bentz Gilkerson stated, “Some have categorized Zelda’s work as outsider art simply because the artist was mentally ill. This is simplistic and probably has more to do with her gender than her illness. Nor are her paintings the dabs and doodles of a dilettante. Zelda had studied art and been part of the circle of modernist intellectuals in Paris.”

While “The Art and Illustrations of Zelda Fitzgerald” is on display at The Gallery at Penn College, numerous other Fitzgerald-related educational activities are taking place in the Williamsport community.

At the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., the 2013 film “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, will be shown on Friday, Nov. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Thursday, Nov. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m., in the Lowry Theater, on the third floor of the new library wing.

On Thursday, Dec. 5, at 6 p.m., in the Lowry Room, John W. Poritsky, assistant professor of English-composition at Penn College, will give a presentation on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s background and literary legacy. Registration is required and more information is available at the library.

Fitzgerald's "Fifth Avenue,"  gouache on paper, 14" x 17.5" As part of its JVBL Reads initiative, the library has 250 copies of “The Great Gatsby” available for checkout through January.

Debra S. Morris, assistant professor of English-technical communication at Penn College, explored the topic, “The Women in 'The Great Gatsby,'” at a James V. Brown Library book review luncheon held Nov. 1.

Also in conjunction with the activities, the Community Theatre League is set to perform “The Great Gatsby,” Jan. 9-11, at its theater at 100 W. Third St., Williamsport.

The Gallery at Penn College is open Sundays, 1 to 4 p.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 7 p.m.; and Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Saturdays and Mondays). The Gallery will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 27 through Dec. 1.

Admission to The Gallery is free and open to the public. In addition to serving as an instructional resource for Penn College students and a cultural asset to the college and community, The Gallery is dedicated to promoting art appreciation and understanding through its exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art in a variety of media.

For more about the “The Art and Illustrations of Zelda Fitzgerald” and The Gallery at Penn College, email or call 570-320-2445.

For general information about the college, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.