During the Chatham Hall Board of Trustees’ fall meeting, both the Carter Gate and the Stuart Collection were officially celebrated.
Located on Rt. 57, the Carter Gate was a gift to the School by Trustee Judy Carter ‘63. Her generous gift replaced the wire fencing along the dairy pasture and hunter trail fields, added signature brick columns to the back entrance, a new powered gate, and a row of trees to complete the alley approach to the athletic fields and main campus. Also marking this secondary entrance is the old Chatham Hall brick sign, sponsored by the Classes of 2002 and 2004, which was relocated a few years ago.
“This is a celebration of generosity and partnership,” noted Rector Rachel Connell. “This gateway is a visual representation of the value of this institution, the value of the education that takes place here each and every day, as it reminds us that Chatham Hall is worthy of it all. When students, faculty, and guests come up the back drive, they will receive a warm welcome, feel a sense of security, and a renewed focus on the journey ahead.”
The Stuart Collection, an art collection mainly located in the recently renovated Large Drawing Room in Pruden though extending to the Rectory and other campus locations, was a gift of Trustee Robin Peake Stuart ’69. It includes photography, drawings, paintings, and multimedia works of more than two dozen artists from around the world. The works were acquired and curated through Kate Bellin Contemporary, New York. With an eye towards subjects that would resonate especially with the Chatham Hall community, Stuart and Bellin selected works ranging from the pure abstract, to portraits of women and girls, a pin oak and summer reading, horses and dogs, swimmers, potters and dancers, and current events. For example, a purple and gold beaded collar worn by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg during oral arguments before the pandemic, a portrait of Greta Thurnberg, and Friends, a charming William Wegman photo of two Weimaraners, are among the pieces on display in the Large Drawing Room. The Sunflowers Quilting Bee at Arles by Faith Ringgold depicting significant women in African American history is displayed in the hallway of Pruden. More works from the collection can be found in the Rectory.
“It is no secret that the Large Drawing Room has become one of my favorite spaces on campus,” noted Connell. “When I am in this room, I step into my power. The imagery evokes a sense of empowerment. And I am not the only one to feel that way, I assure you. This space is unique and feels like home to students, faculty, and staff alike. That’s so important. Our students see themselves here.”