Award winning historian, educator, and living history performer Karen Haas will return to campus to perform her one-woman show No Woman Has Ventured As Far: The Art and Adventures of Abby Williams Hill. Abby Williams Hill (1861-1943) was a painter and activist with an insatiable love of travel and learning. She moved to Tacoma with her husband in 1889 and began painting the beautiful landscapes that surround our area. Between 1903 and 1906, Hill accepted four commissions from the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads which allowed for extended stays in the North Cascades and at Yellowstone National Park. These commissions resulted in dozens of paintings, many of which are on display in Jones Hall, Collins Memorial Library, and Thompson Hall. Hill was also the founding president of the Washington State Chapter of the Congress of Mothers (today’s Parent Teacher Association) and advocated on behalf of disadvantaged children, African Americans, Native Americans, and other marginalized groups. Karen Haas will assume the identity of Abby Williams Hill and discuss the painter’s life in Tacoma, her adventures in the Pacific Northwest, and the significant contributions that she made to our community. The free performance will take place in Trimble Forum on Monday, January 28 at 4:00 PM. This event is part of the Collins Memorial Library’s 125 Years in the Stacks Lecture Series. Refreshments will be served.
A small exhibit on Abby Williams Hill’s life titled Abby Williams Hill: Artist and Advocate is on display in the Jones Hall Mini Galleries (basement of Jones Hall) from January 22 through March 1. The exhibit focuses primarily on Hill’s artwork and the commissions that she received from the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads to paint Northwest scenery along their rail lines. These paintings were used in railroad advertisements to entice families from the East Coast to travel to the Pacific Northwest. A self-guided walking tour of the Hill paintings displayed on campus is available at the exhibit. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For additional information please contact Laura Edgar, Curator for the Abby Williams Hill Collection at firstname.lastname@example.org or 253-879-2806.