Appalachian exhibit set for Glenville State College Homecoming

Photo Provided One of the photos included in the Early Appalachian Photography Exhibit reproduced from a glass negative from the Gainer family collection.

GLENVILLE — Selections from the Glenville State College Archive will be on display for a gallery exhibit during Homecoming week.

The theme of the exhibit will focus on early Appalachian photography and will include several prints from glass negatives, equipment used during the process, and some of the original glass negatives themselves.

The show will feature four collections: the Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection, the Early Gilmer County Collection, the Gainer Family Glass Negative Collection, and the Pickle Street Glass Negative Collection.

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 17 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. in the GSC Fine Arts Center Gallery. The show will be open the remainder of Homecoming Week from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily and prior to the Bluegrass concert on Saturday, Oct. 21 between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Beyond Homecoming Week, the gallery is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The gallery is also open one hour prior to most musical performances in the Fine Arts Center.

The Byron Turner Glass Negative Collection was preserved by Glenville State College’s former chemistry instructor, Byron Turner. Turner used the glass negatives as a project in his classes to demonstrate what chemicals were used to make the glass negatives and preserve the picture. The Early Gilmer County Collection was found in the Archives of Glenville State College. It dates back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Gainer family collection contains donated prints from glass negatives provided by the Gainer family. The pictures were taken by Lloyd Gainer and are from around 1902. The pictures were preserved by West Virginia State Folk Festival founder and 1924 Glenville Normal School graduate Patrick Gainer.

The Pickle Street glass negative collection was brought in from the auction house on Pickle Street in Lewis County, West Virginia. The negatives were found in an old barn and later donated to GSC.

“This gallery exhibit will show you what was important to past generations in Appalachia through photography. I hope that the cultural perspective provided gives attendees a better understanding of central West Virginia. It also provides you with more of an appreciation as to what people had to go through and how challenging it was just to take a picture,” said GSC librarian and archivist Jason Gum.

During the opening reception, there will be a book signing for GSC’s recent history book, “Preserving and Responding.” Gum and the college’s public relations specialist Dustin Crutchfield authored this work.

The exhibit will be on display in the Fine Arts Center Gallery through Friday, Nov. 3.

For more information about the gallery exhibit or the book signing, call (304) 462-6163.