On the Terrace by Thomas and George Woodall


Text by Taylor Wilson, Gallery Attendant at the Forsyth Galleries

When someone mentions cameo, the first thing that comes to mind for most is the brooch.  However, cameo actually refers to a technique of engraving.  Usually, the engraving is done on gemstone so that the outer figure is of one color and the background is of another; however, this process is not limited to two layers.  Often times, cameo glass is very colorful.

The creation of cameo glass is just as much an art as the finished product.  A blank is first created through a delicate process and then given to a designer.  The designer will then draw on the blank with acid resistant material, covering the area that is to remain white.  The blank is dipped in hydrofluoric acid which removes the area that was not covered by the designer.  Finally, a carver will complete it by refining the design through the use of engraving wheels, acids, and small steel chisels.  The refining portion of the process is where true talent becomes visible.  Before refining, there is only a rough idea of the intended result.  The artist must turn a caterpillar into a butterfly by taking the draft done by acid and use their tools to add the detail.

On the Terrace is a cameo plate done by Thomas and George Woodall in 1895.  It is opaque white on a flashed blue layer on plum glass.  It is a stunning piece, but the amazing part is the amount of detail that was managed on such a small scale.  The piece itself is not very large, measuring only about a foot tall and six inches wide.  Yet in that small space, an entire scene was crafted.  A woman sits alone painting in what appears to be Greece.  Upon first glance, that is all a viewer might notice.  However, with a more careful inspection, you begin to see that the background behind the woman is immaculately detailed.  The tiniest of buildings are easily recognizable.

Perhaps the most impressive part of the detail is the canvas on which the woman is painting.  The engraver managed to create an entire painting on the tiny canvas that isn’t visible at first, or even second, glance.  You may even have to adjust your positioning, but when the light hits it just right, the canvas comes to life.

If you would like more information on the process of making cameo glass, you can watch this video from the Corning Museum of Glass: www.cmog.org/video/cameo-glass



12 Days Countdown–12/5/2012.

Text by Lynn McDaniel

Texas A&M sports fans don’t need a lot of prodding when it comes to cheering for their teams, however, five Yell Leaders do a superb job of heightening the Aggie Spirit during games and special events. Each year, the student body elects five students (three seniors and two juniors) to represent the official spirit organization. Females can run for the Yell Leader positions, but traditionally the student body has elected males. These five Yell Leaders do not do cheerleader-type gymnastics or cheers; instead, they use hand signals, called “pass backs,” to get fans excited and direct the yells of the crowd.

First Yell, which occurs on the weekend of the first home football game, started in 1999 as a way of welcoming all Aggies back to campus. Midnight Yell began in 1931, when freshmen corps cadets were ordered by senior Yell Leaders Horsefly Berryhill and Two Gun Herman from Sherman to be at the YMCA building at midnight. Today, Midnight Yell is held the night before a home game in Kyle Field and also in a designated site in the opponent’s city for away-games.

Farmers Fight
[Pass Back: Closed fists rotating around each other in alternating directions]
Farmers fight!
Farmers fight!
Fight! Fight!
Farmers, farmers fight!

The Forsyth, located just across the street from Kyle Field, provides a cool (or warm) respite for Aggie sports fans who want to get out of the heat or cold just before or just after a game. We’re open Tuesday – Friday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm and Saturday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm (not during Midnight Yell!) Come by and see us…we’re sure you’ll enjoy fine art exhibitions from the Runyon collection–well, maybe not enough to yell about, but we do encourage you to give a shout-out to your friends and tell them about our galleries!

12 Days Countdown–12/4/2012.

Text by Lynn McDaniel.

Texas A&M University is proud of its Texas heritage, but it’s so much more than just a Lone Star University. Texas A&M University at Qatar has an enrollment of more than 350 engineering students from more than 20 countries. A&M also provides educational opportunities at the Texas A&M Facility in Mexico City, Mexico, at the Soltis Center for Research and Education in San Isidro, Costa Rica and at the Santa Chiara Study Center in Santa Chiara, Italy! Courses vary at each of the four A&M study centers, but they provide students the opportunity to learn about different cultures, different languages, and different world perspectives.

“It’s one body. We’re all students, faculty and staff; we all care about each other. The success of this place is the success of ourselves.”

Qatar Student

Texas A&M is proud to embrace diversity and to recognize the rights of every individual. It is only after we get to know and understand each other’s differences that we discover deep down, we’re all the same.cameo

In keeping with Texas A&M’s leadership in forging a global vision, the Forsyth Galleries is constantly seeking ways to make our guests from all countries feel welcome in our galleries.  Although the Forsyth Galleries’ core collection is primarily comprised of English Cameo Glass and American paintings, cameo glass actually has a rich cultural heritage. One of the Forsyth’s goals for the upcoming year is to explore the history and influence Asia, India and other countries had on the development of cameo glass, as well as on other types of pieces in our collection. We will be inviting guest speakers and developing programming to bring a variety of cultures into the galleries, using art as the universal language.

We invite you to join us!

Works Cited

Texas A&M University. Website: http://www.tamu.edu/about/facts/branchCampuses.html. Date accessed 12/4/12.

12 Days Countdown–12/1/2012.

Text by Lynn McDaniel

Did you know Texas A&M University, (originally named the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas), is Texas’ first public institution of higher education?

The Agricultural and Mechanical College was founded on April 17, 1871, five years after the Eleventh Texas Legislature approved a joint resolution on November 1, 1866, which ratified the Federal Morrill Land-Grant College Act of July 2, 1862. The terms of the Morrill Land-Grant Act provided lands “in equal quantity to 30,000 acres” for each senator and representative in Congress for the establishment of at least one college, “where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts.” Texas A&M is one of the few universities in the nation to hold triple federal designations as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant university.

From that humble beginning in 1871, Texas A&M University has grown into one of the nation’s premier research universities, providing students the opportunity to excel in studies of agriculture/life sciences, architecture, education, geosciences, liberal arts, science, veterinary medicine, engineering, government/public service, and business.

In order to provide Texas A&M students the opportunity to see and experience fine arts, the Forsyth Galleries were established in 1989 as a museum to house the Bill (TAMU class of 1935) and Irma Runyon Art Collection. The Runyon Collection contains one of the world’s leading collections of English Cameo Glass, Tiffany and Steuben glass and other 19th and early 20th century art glass, as well as an important collection of American paintings.

The Forsyth Galleries, along with the Stark Galleries, the University Art Department, and the student-run Visual Arts Committee, provide world-class works of art in a wide variety of styles and mediums to stimulate and educate the students at Texas A&M University. All exhibitions are free of charge, allowing students (faculty and staff) to pursue their creativity and explore the world of art at will, supporting the mission of Texas A&M.

Works Cited

Dethloff , Henry C. “TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY,” Handbook of Texas Online. (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/kct08). Published by the Texas State Historical Association. Date accessed: 12/3/12.

Division of Marketing and Communications. Website: http://marcomm.tamu.edu/documents/tamuFacts.pdf. Date accessed: 12/3/12.
Texas A&M University. Website: http://www.tamu.edu/about/facts/history.html. Date accessed: 12/3/12.

Forsyth Galleries. Website: http://forsyth.tamu.edu/history.html. Date accessed: 12/3/12.

Highlights from the Runyon and Byrd Majolica Collections

The new exhibition is finally open!  In the large gallery we have highlights from the Runyon Collection, which includes Steuben, Tiffany, and cameo glass as well as paintings by American Impressionist and Western artists.  The small gallery is housing pieces from the Marion Byrd Majolica Collection, specifically from the English Victorian era.  The VAC Gallery is currently featuring works by George Rodrigue, famous for his Blue Dog paintings and prints.  Highlights from the Runyon Collection runs until December 7th, the Majolica Collection is on display until November.  Come and see us soon!

English cameo glass vase, attributed to George Woodall
Mother in a Large Hat Holding her Nude Baby, Seen in the Back View by Mary Cassatt, circa 1909, oil on canvas
Taos Business District by Oscar Edmund Berninghaus, 1920, oil on board
English cameo glass perfume bottles
Manuelita by Nicolai Fechin, 1937, oil on canvas
Assorted Tiffany and Steuben Glass
English Victorian Majolica, before the cases are put back together
English cameo glass vase, George Woodall
Modern Comanche by Frederic Remington, 1890, oil on canvas