Woven deeply into the history and culture of Hamilton College, the legacy of the Root family is illuminated from a new perspective in an ongoing exhibition at the Emerson Gallery, "The Best Kind of Life: Edward W. Root as Teacher, Collector and Naturalist."
Edward Root (1884-1956) is best remembered today as an art collector who introduced contemporary American art to Upstate viewers beginning in the 1920s; his friendships with such artists as Edward Hopper, George Luks, Charles Burchfield and Charles Demuth are reflected in his own collection and correspondence, highlighted here. But Root's activities as a naturalist and innovator in art education — which he taught on the Hill from 1920 to 1940 — are often overlooked. "The Best Kind of Life" presents a broader view of his life's work in the context of his time and the Root family saga.The exhibition is organized concurrently with the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute's exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Edward W. Root bequest, "Auspicious Vision: Edward Wales Root and American Modernism." The Emerson exhibition runs through Jan. 6, the MWPAI exhibition through Jan. 27.