Each year, Lycoming
students, faculty and staff
are regularly engaged in Big
Brothers Big Sisters, Circle
K, Habitat for Humanity, and
various tutoring and mentoring
programs with students in local
elementary and high schools.
A Roesen for Lycoming College
By Dr. Amy Golahny
Through the generous gift of Rosanna
H. Lowry Landin ’72, a wonderful
painting by Severin Roesen (1815-ca.
1872) now belongs to Lycoming College.
Still Life of Fruit
is an oval painting,
about 24 by 20 inches, on canvas. It
hangs in the president’s office in Long
Hall. A tendril, extending from the
large grape leaf beneath the
spilled strawberries, spells
his name in wiggly letters.
In the painting, the
fruit is arranged on a
table with a soft tonal
landscape background
of trees and tall grasses.
At the center are
strawberries spilling
from an overturned basket
and a large bunch of green
grapes. The grapes, hanging
over the rim of a stemmed compote
dish, are surrounded on the dish by
smaller bunches of red and blue grapes,
peaches and a plum; on the table are
plums, half-lemon, apple, strawberries
and peaches. As typical for Roesen
paintings, the viewer can “read” the
work from front to back, side to side, as
a pattern of the variety of shapes, colors
and textures. The half lemon, for
example, echoes the round
basket; the blackberries
contrast with the
strawberries, and the
yellow-red peaches
and blue plums create
a series of round
shapes unified by their
similar colors.
Roesen lived in
Williamsport from
about 1860-71, where,
presumably, he died around
1872. He was born in Germany around
Lycoming wins public
relations awards
Lycoming’s Office of College
Relations earned two awards during the
28th annual Educational Advertising
Awards, sponsored by the
Education Marketing Report
. This year,
the total public relations campaign for the
College was honored with a gold award
and the annual
President’s Report
a merit award.
The pieces were designed by Murray
Hanford, publications manager. He has
worked at the College since 1991 and
has earned more than 60 awards for
excellence in publications and new media
Awards were given to those entrants
whose programs and materials display
exceptional quality, creativity and
message effectiveness.
National recognition for
community service
Lycoming College has been named to
the 2013 President’s Higher Education
Community Service Honor Roll. To be
admitted, a school must demonstrate that
its students, faculty and staff are engaged
in meaningful service in the community.
Lycoming was one of 690 colleges
and universities in the U.S. recognized
by the Corporation for National and
Community Service.
During the 2011-12
school year, more than
400 Lycoming students
were involved in direct
service and completed
in excess of 20,000
hours of volunteer
work. In addition, 136
students took part in
service learning activities
that were integrated into
course content, according to
Jeffrey LeCrone, director of the
Community Service Center.
1815, and lived in New York City from
1848-57, where he had a wife and three
children. He may have moved west to
Pennsylvania to seek a better market
for his paintings; he spent about two
years in Huntingdon before settling in
Williamsport. He lived in rented rooms at
several locations on West Third and West
Fourth streets in the center of the city.
During his years in Williamsport, Roesen
produced more than 200 paintings.
According to one account, Roesen was
accustomed “to walk about the city streets
and country lanes, gazing at gardens of
flowers of every description, and on his
return he would quickly transfer them
to canvas, not even making a sketch of
them” (
The Williamsport Sun and Banner
1895). Perhaps indeed, he did admire the
gardens of Williamsport. But we have no
evidence that Roesen portrayed the
flowers that he actually studied
in these gardens; he painted
fritillary and other exotic
bulbs that, so far as we
know, were not cultivated
in the city. It seems that
Roesen painted largely
from his memory, directly
upon canvas and without
preliminary drawings. His
flawless peaches, strawberries
and other fruit indicate that,
as with the flowers, he was not
recording nature as it is observed, but as it
is imagined.
During Roesen’s years in Williamsport,
the city was thriving in the business of
lumber. Unfortunately, Roesen did not
live to take advantage of that prosperity,
but used his paintings as barter for
room and board in the local hotels and
rooming houses. There, they decorated
the walls of taverns and restaurants, the
bustling establishments of Williamsport’s
commercial downtown.
Still Life of Fruit
has an
understated elegance that would have been
quite far from Roesen’s own surroundings.
The painting’s serene and abundant fruit
provides a feast for the eyes. Painted in
Williamsport, the work has been given to
the College with the condition that it never
leaves the city; it is here to stay.
Note: Golahny is the Richmond Professor of
Art History at Lycoming.
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