Hobart and William Smith Colleges
The Davis Gallery at Houghton House

Clarence "Dave" Davis Jr. '48

The gifts Clarence "Dave" Davis Jr. '48 has given to the Colleges have been among the most instrumental in enhancing the visual arts on campus. His funding of a significant renovation to the Colleges' gallery space in Houghton House in 2009 led to the dedication of the space as the Clarence "Dave" Davis Jr. '48 Gallery at Houghton House. In addition to providing for the physical renovation of the space, Davis established The Davis Endowment for Support of the Visual Arts that enables HWS to host important exhibitions on campus and provide necessary funding to develop resources that complement the exhibitions and enhance their educational value.

Though he never studied art in its classrooms or viewed paintings on its walls, Davis remembers attending co-ed dances in Houghton House, which was then a residence for William Smith women. He came to Hobart College as part of the V-12 program after spending time abroad with the U.S. Navy.

At Hobart, Davis earned a B.S. in chemistry and economics from Hobart College before going on to receive an advanced degree in plant diseases from Cornell University in 1950. Davis eventually opened his own successful nursery and garden center, Queen City Garden Town Nursery, in his home town of Buffalo, N.Y., where he also supports several art galleries.

Davis is president and chief executive officer of Queen City Florist and Greenhouse/Davis Garden Town Inc., which he began in 1954 in Amherst, N.Y. A proponent and sponsor of youth athletics, particularly track and field and bodybuilding, he has served as the Niagara Association Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) president and delegate to its annual convention every year since 1956, and was inducted into the AAU's Hall of Fame in 1995, as well as the National Amateur Bodybuilders Association USA.

A Buffalo native, Davis majored in chemistry and was a member of Sigma Chi and the Herald. After graduating from Hobart, he served in the U.S. Navy and then earned a master's in plant pathology from Cornell University.

George Abraham '59

George Abraham '59 has kindly contributed to the restoration and reframing of art works from the Collections over the years. He generously donated four of the "Stations of the Cross" created by artist Frances A. Hart to the Colleges, which comprise several important artworks including: James Rosenquist's "Sailor-Speed of Light;" Jasper Johns' "After Holbein;" Robert Rauschenberg's "People Have Enough Trouble without Being intimidated by an Artichoke;" Kathe Kollwitz's "Death, Woman and Child;" and Julian Lethbridge's "Chapel."

Abraham has held several leadership positions at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, including the Associate Dean for Research and the directorships of the Center on Aging, the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and the medical scientist training program. During this time he also was a member of the Director's Advisory Committee of the National Institutes of Health, and chaired the Board of Scientific Counselors and the steering committee for the Council of the National Institute on Aging. He is currently a Professor Emeritus of Medicine, and Microbiology and Immunology.

The author of more than 100 scientific articles, contributor to three books, and holder of three patents, Abraham's research is credited with the discovery of an early gene mutation that initiates the transformation of benign human lymphocytes into malignant lymphoid tumors. His laboratory also discovered a cell receptor that is found on all white blood cells and now serves to target therapy in treatment of some cancers.

Abraham graduated from Hobart with a bachelor of science in math and chemistry and was involved with the Herald, Little Theatre, Schola Cantorum and Canterbury Club. After graduation, Abraham went on to earn master of science and medical degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His medical career has taken him to California, New York and Washington, D.C. where he worked on a variety of national initiatives surrounding the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of cancers of the blood cells.

A dedicated philanthropist, Abraham has served on the board of the Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, and currently serves on the board of the Eastman School of Music and on the photo acquisitions committee of the George Eastman House.

He is the recipient of an Allergic Diseases Academic Award and a MERIT award from the National Institutes of Health. In 2005, President Mark D. Gearan awarded him with the President's Medal in honor of his commitment to Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and his service to his community, country and profession.

Edward T. Pollack '55

For Edward T. Pollack '55, a colleague's dinner party in New York City during the 1960s was the budding moment for a lifelong passion of collecting fine art. Intrigued by the works that decorated the home, Pollack found himself immersed in a subject he knew little of at the time. By the end of the evening, Pollack owned his very first piece.

Because of his enduring affinity for fine art and longtime support of the Colleges, Pollack made the generous donation of five sketches as an emblematic gesture toward a legacy gift to HWS, in which he intends to donate other pieces from his collection.

The donated pieces include: "Young People Outdoors," 1972, an etching with aquatint by Isabel Bishop (1902-1988); "La Folle de L'Armistice," 1918-'19, an etching by Henri Farge (1884-1970); "Man and Beast," 1946, a lithograph by Joseph Hirsch (1920-1997); "The Little Family," 1920-'29, an etching by Jerome Myers (1867-1940); and "Young Girl," 1961, a lithograph by Raphael Soyer (1899-1987).

Pollack, who majored in philosophy and was a Beta Sigma Tau brother while attending Hobart, attributes his gift to the fact that the Colleges have been a special place for him over the years and his liberal arts education made a great impact on his life.

Owner of A Fine Thing: Edward T. Pollack Fine Arts in Portland, Maine, Pollack has an extensive collection that includes etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, drawings, and photographs and other print media. He also has a collection of rare books and antiques, and is a member of the International Fine Print Dealers Association of America (IFPDA), the Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America (ABAA) and the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB). Pollack says although he has a passion for collecting, he also likes seeing pieces move on to new places for the enjoyment of others.

Richard Scudamore '55

Richard A. Scudamore has made several outstanding donations to the art Collections of Hobart and William Smith. With the majority of his donated works having ties to the local community, the Hobart graduate from the Class of 1955 has given two oil paintings and one pencil drawing by Dewitt Parshall (Hobart 1885); one painting by Parshall's son, Douglass (1899-1990); and two Hudson River School oil paintings, one titled "Auburn, N.Y," by George L. Clough (1824-1901); and another titled "Ramapo Valley" by Jasper Cropsey (1823-1900).

Scudamore's interest in art came to fruition in the late 1980s when he became attracted to the emerging popularity of California plein air artists from the early 20th century. As his passion grew, Scudamore began studying and gradually acquiring this style of art. He soon discovered that Santa Barbara artist Dewitt Parshall (1864-1956) had attended Hobart. This finding led him to purchase his first piece of Parshall artwork, which he donated to the Colleges.

Scudamore grew up in Cortland, N.Y., and was a premed student at Hobart. Upon graduating, he completed a three-year ROTC commitment before moving to California to go into real estate. He currently resides in Newport Beach, California.

The HWS Department of Art and Architecture extends its gratitude to Richard A. Scudamore '55 for his extraordinary generosity.

Collectors' Corner

Selected patrons of the gallery and the collections


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