Schenider Museum exhibits 'Ashland In Love'

In conjunction with the 75th anniversary of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Schneider Museum of Art has prepared an exhibit dedicated to the festival's founder, Angus L. Bowmer, as well as to the bard himself.

"Ashland in Love: 75 Years of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival," an exhibition of photographs, set designs, props, prints and costumes, opens Monday, July 12, and runs through Sept. 3. An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. Monday at the museum, located on the Southern Oregon University campus, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd.

"I hope that it stimulates interest in Shakespeare and OSF and the festival here and what it means to Ashland," says Michael Crane, director of the Schneider.

The show will feature displays about Bowmer, set and costume design drawings, as well as period artwork in the Schneider's four gallery spaces

Bowmer, an English teacher at Southern Oregon Normal School (now SOU), founded OSF in 1935.

"It (OSF) was a grass-roots story that took hold," says Crane.

From 1935 to 1966, Bowmer performed 32 Shakespearean roles. However, his signature role was always that of Shylock in the Merchant of Venice. A scrapbook of Bowmer's life in photographs from the 1930s through his death in 1979 will be displayed in two of the Schneider's galleries, along with some of his original costumes.

The museum's main gallery will feature several set designs, drawings and models by Richard Hay, OSF's scenic designer, as well as one very prominent piece by designer Christopher Acebo — a 15-foot tree used in OSF's 2009 production of "All's Well that Ends Well."

Intending to set the mood of Shakespeare's era, Crane says museum staff arranged period artwork including 16th- and 17th-century reproductions, rubbings and prints, including prints of the Bayeux Tapestry, inside the entry gallery. Several prints addressing the development of the theater in Europe between the 1600s and 1800s also are in the entry gallery.

"We're using art materials to purvey theater content, but we're also using so many themes of theater — romance, tragedy and comedy,' says Crane.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated. For more information, visit or call 541-552-6245.

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