Free Exhibit at TNCC Libraries Explores Early Jamestown Settlement

Published: October 22, 2012

“Jamestown and Beyond: The World of 1607,” an exhibition on display at libraries on Thomas Nelson Community College’s (TNCC) Hampton and Historic Triangle campuses, examines how the new colony in Virginia fit into the cultural, historical, and geographical context of the day — and how the story of Jamestown continues to inspire American artists.

On display through Tuesday, November 27, the free exhibit is open to the public and features 12 reproductions of images from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ (VMFA) collection.

Isidoro Kessel, a TNCC Associate Professor and Foreign Language Department Head, arranged the exhibit borrowed from VMFA while coordinating the Foreign Language Association of Virginia and Virginia’s Community Colleges Foreign Language Peer Group conference recently held in Williamsburg.

Bringing the exhibit to TNCC was a logical choice after it garnered positive responses from foreign language educators across the Commonwealth who attended the conference. “I wanted our community to have the opportunity to see these treasures that enrich our knowledge of our own history. I feel that everyone benefits. Our students, our faculty, [and] the community at large benefit from seeing beautiful art and learning about our community,” said Kessel.

He said the Virginia Standards of Learning-related exhibition also reveals how the legacy of Jamestown continued to affect art and culture in the last 400 years through paintings by John Gadsby Chapman, Richard Norris Brooke, Thomas Hart Benton and a sculpture by Augustus Saint-Gaudens. An array of critical developments that occurred at the dawn of the 17th century are accentuated in the exhibit through images as diverse as a glittering Spanish ewer and basin, portraits of Sir Thomas Dale and Queen Anne of Denmark, and the haunting image of Mount Fuji rising above the Musashino plain.

A TNCC faculty member since 2010, Kessel has incorporated lessons from the exhibit in his classes including art, colonial history, and literature and he aspires to bring other exhibits to the College. “There are 50 exhibits that can be borrowed from the VMFA. I hope to bring them all to TNCC. I feel very strongly that students and the public need to understand that human knowledge is not compartmentalized, that the various subject areas are interrelated and fit into each other, thus, creating a whole. Well-educated people appreciate and recognize the connection between all subject areas,” he said.

TNCC’s Hampton campus library is open 7:45 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Hours of operation at the Historic Triangle campus library are 7:45 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Both libraries are open 7:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday.

For more information about the “Jamestown and Beyond: The World of 1607” exhibit, contact Professor Kessel


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