Clipped From The News
on REMEMBERING THE CO CANAL THE WASHINGTON COUNTY OF FINE ARTS LAUNCHES THE YEAR WITH A SPECIAL EXHIBITION designed to attract area historians and conservationists, as well as an appreciative, art loving public. John Louis Wellington, 1878-1965, was foremost a Cumberland, Maryland whose hobby and greatest joy was in painting. In later years this early became his all-consuming interest. Denied the formal training he wished, and largely self-taught, he spent his vacations taking instruction in various phases of art. He enjoyed working other artists in such summer colonies as Cape Cod, Provincetown and the Berkshires, and the winter one at Sarasota. He was truly a native artist, capturing the architecture, country side, life of the people of his period and area in hundreds of sketches and paintings. His aim was excellence; he would make numerous studies of the same subject, searching always to interpret faithfully what he felt and saw to the best of his ability. Wellington was forced to retire from business by a severe stroke in 1939 which left his right side paralyzed and speaking almost impossible. Despite this tragic handicap, which would have ended the career of a lesser man, he felt compelled to continue with his art, however, training his left hand to replace skill of his right. During this period he mastered the difficult medium of water colors. - The present exhibition is a specially selected group of paintings which graphically traces the rise and decline of the CO Canal from Cumberland, Maryland, 184 miles east along the Potomac River to Georgetown. It is particularly noteworthy that the Canal itself, though no longer a mainstream of interstate commerce, is still very much alive today. Its future is of great concern to many private citizens, historically oriented people, conservationists, and the National Park Service, a branch of the U. S. Government Department of Interior. The latter, through the Antietam CO Canal group is developing elaborate long-range plans for the future enjoyment of the Canal by visitors of generations yet uncounted. A portion of the exhibition has been installed on the mezzanine of the Washington County Free Library. Consisting of forty photographs, this portion of the Wellington exhibition traces his excursion down the Canal in 1912 by motor launch and documents important sights along way. Additional Canal artifacts are arranged through the courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society. The exhibition opened with a Members' Preview and Reception, Wednesday evening, January 5, from 8-10 p.m. special programs planned during the exhibition include: January 16: Films: The CO Canal THE MAGNIFICENT DITCH, TOWPATHS WEST, 2 p.m. January 23: THE CO CANAL REMEMBERED - Slide presentation by George Hooper Wolfe -- author, historian and lecturer on Canal history. Followed by a discussion of John Wellington and the Canal by a panel of guests including Mr. Wolfe; Gordon G. Swan, grandson of the artist; C. William Gilchrist, Cumberland attorney and longtime friend of the artist; and W. Dean McClanahan, Superintendent, Antietam- CO Canal Group, National Park Service, Dept. of Interior, 3p.m. January 30: Gallery Talk: MAN AND HIS ENVIRONMENT: IN CONFLICT, 2p.m. All Museum activities are offered free of charge and the public is invited to participate. The exhibition will be on view thru Jan. 30.