Monday, August 14, 2000

Campus buildings holding OSU art

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Ohio State University brims with hidden gems that aren't hanging on museum walls.

        The College of Optometry in Fry Hall, for example, houses a collection of eyeglasses that includes pairs belonging to former President Bush, singer Jimmy Buffett and Muppets star Miss Piggy.

        Six Heisman Trophies are showcased at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

        In Wooster, OSU's Agricultural Technical Institute has a vintage Tandy TRS-80 computer, an antique German beehive and other relics.

        About five years ago, OSU security officials enlisted the help of university deans and began compiling a computerized inventory of artworks and collectibles. The database contains several hundred items but remains a work in progress.

        “The more we got into it, the more we realized that the items entrusted in the university's care for the public to enjoy needed to be protected,” Patrick Maughan, director of University Security Services, told The Columbus Dispatch.

        Orton Hall is another place where visitors would unsuspectingly encounter art.

        “Hardly anyone knows there's art in Orton Hall,” Malcolm Baroway, a veteran member of the communications staff, told the Dispatch. “And it's not in the (geology) museum part, either; it's in the library.”

        Scenes of the American West by Thomas Moran, landscapes by Albert Bierstadt and views of New England by Alexander Bower can be found in Orton.

        The value of one treasure hit home not long ago when OSU officials discovered that an Alice Schille painting had been sold by the university to a collector for $50,000. The collector eventually sold it for $115,000 to a buyer who returned it to the university.


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