Homeless Youth Awareness

graphic of sad person sitting on the streetThe weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter and many of us relish the opportunity to stay inside with a good book and a hot beverage of our choice.  This time of year, we look forward to Fall break, a few days off, good food, and some time with family and friends.  But the unhoused or homeless experience is very different as they struggle to stay warm, dry, fed, and hopeful.  Did you know 5 percent of homeless people in the United States are unaccompanied youth under 25? And Oregon has one of the highest rates of homelessness in the country.  November is National Youth Homelessness Awareness Month so take some time to learn more by taking a look at some of these books from the library’s collection featured on the WU Reads Reading Guide.

For more information, see:

National Alliance to End Homelessness


The 2022 Annual Homelessness Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress


Salem HOME Youth Services

HOME Youth Services

Checkout the Hatfield Library’s “Library of Things”

At this point in the semester, many students are trying to figure out how to complete all their coursework that is due before the Fall/Thanksgiving break, and then survive the sprint into finals. This often requires long hours of study or other academic work, and can engender quite a bit of stress. We all relieve stress in our own ways, but one great way is to indulge in a hobby or other activity that relaxes us. The Hatfield Library hopes to contribute to stress reduction and relaxation through the magic of our new “Library of Things.”

Partially funded with a University CAFES grant, the Library of Things (LOT) has items to lend that are targeted toward hobbies, crafts, home improvement, outdoor recreation, etc.  Examples of items in the LOT include; a sewing machine, coloring supplies, a digital video projector, a Circuit Air Explore 2, a tent, a hammock, a massage gun, and a Nintendo Switch. To find out about additional items in the LOT as well as the borrowing rules, please check out our Library of Things online guide. If something interests you, stop by and borrow it. And you never know–the items in our LOT collection might just help you relax or discover a brand, new hobby!

While we’re on the topic of stress reduction and relaxation, don’t forget our collection of puzzles and games.  And of course, our Popular Reading collection is full of recent genre fiction such as mystery/crime, science fiction, thriller/suspense, historical, young adult, fantasy, as well as biographies, self-help, and a whole lot more. 

If you’re feeling stressed out or just need a break from studying, come visit the library and explore our new Library of Things.  And best wishes for a successful conclusion of the semester from the staff of the Hatfield Library.

Charles Heaney & the WPA: A Memory of Mountains

by Jess Kimmel ’25

          One of the many programs created by Franklin D. Roosevelt as a part of the New Deal was the Works Progress Administration, or the WPA. First launched in 1935, the WPA was instrumental in providing jobs for the millions of Americans who were left unemployed as a result of the Great Depression. Like other New Deal initiatives, this program largely revolved around the creation and renovation of roads, public buildings, and other infrastructure. According to sociologist Robert D. Leighninger, these programs “had an enormous and largely unrecognized role in defining the public space we now use.”
          While thinking about the WPA often evokes images of manual labor, many of its projects also provided opportunities for actors, musicians, writers, and artists. From the sculptures and murals commissioned to publicize and promote the collectivist values of the Roosevelt administration, to the ethnomusicology research conducted by the Federal Music Project, creatives in the New Deal era found themselves valued and sought out to a level that had seldom been reached before in American history. One such creative was Portland painter Charles Heaney, a man known for defying and redefining artistic tradition.
          Born to a working-class family in Oconto Falls, Wisconsin in 1897, Charles Heaney went through nearly sixteen years of life without seeing a mountain. Not unusual, perhaps, for a Midwesterner, though certainly notable in hindsight for an artist whose greatest works would include no small number of paintings depicting Northwestern mountain peaks. While traveling by train with his mother and sisters to their new home in Portland, Heaney would get his first glimpse of the Rocky Mountains, even the foothills of which overwhelmed him with their majestic beauty. He didn’t yet consider himself an artist, but that memory of mountains would serve as a font of inspiration for him years later.
          As a young man in Portland, Charles Heaney worked briefly as a laborer, before soon realizing that such a career would be unsustainable for him. He found his first artistic calling as an engraver in 1916,

Undated self-portrait of Charles Heaney, oil on canvas.

before going on to study painting and printmaking at the Portland Museum Art School. His art career reached its heights in the 1930s, which saw his work evolve from simple pastoral prints to more emotionally complex paintings during his partnership with expressionist painter C.S. Price. The New Deal was in full swing at that time; while the heart of the Depression initially found him digging sewers for the Civil Works Administration, Heaney was able to find federal employment as an artist in 1934 with the Public Works of Art program, and later with the WPA in 1937.
         Charles Heaney was commissioned by the WPA to create prints and paintings to furnish the program’s many public buildings. This provided him with full-time work as well as an opportunity to further gain renown as an artist. Somewhat ironically, Heaney described the Depression as a Renaissance of American art due to the unprecedented level of government interest and support, and there were few projects that more clearly demonstrate this demand for art than Timberline Lodge.
Built right on the slope of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge is a historic inn and ski resort that is easily one of the crowning achievements of the Works Progress Administration. It is in fact “the only twentieth century building of its size constructed and furnished entirely by hand with original craft work,” writes Rachael Griffin,

Timberline Lodge, as stylized on the cover of The Builders of Timberline Lodge, an informational booklet published by the WPA in 1937.

longtime curator of the Portland Art Museum and founding member of the Friends of Timberline, in a 1979 guide to the lodge. Construction on Timberline began in the summer of 1936 and was completed in just over a year, a timeframe that would still be considered impressive today. Yet, what makes Timberline so significant to American art is the careful and intentional way that it was furnished with original art: sculptures, carvings, mosaics, textiles, and paintings.
          It is here, in the lodge’s mezzanine gallery, that one of Charles Heaney’s most powerful works, The Mountain, hangs, in the company of other great Cascadian artists. An oil painting on canvas, it is barely able to contain the imposing figure of Mt. Hood itself. This painting was completed in September of 1937, just in time for Timberline’s dedication. It would not be Heaney’s last work depicting mountains, which became an emergent theme throughout much of his later work. As a Regionalist and Romantic artist, they were something of a stylistic cliche for him. But beyond that, it stands to reason that the draw he felt towards the peaks of Oregon was steeped in the memory of mountains that had long ago welcomed him to the West.

The Mountain, oil on canvas, 1937.

           Traces of the WPA and its sister programs remain scattered throughout Oregon, serving as a stalwart reminder of the things that a people united can accomplish. In addition to Timberline Lodge, other scenic landmarks such as the McLoughlin Promenade, Silver Falls State Park, and Salem’s own Waterfront park owe their existence to the New Deal public works programs.



Memory, Imagination, and Place, Roger Hull’s
monograph on Charles Heaney, 2005.

More information about Charles Heaney and his association with the WPA can be found in Willamette University’s Pacific Northwest Artists Archive, maintained by the joint collaboration of the university Archives and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Much of the material on Heaney is located in the archived research files of Roger Hull, Professor Emeritus of Art History, who wrote monographs and organized retrospective exhibitions on the subject of Heaney and other Northwest artists.



Charles Heaney, 1902-2006, bulk: 1916-2004, Series III. Roger Hull Research Files on Pacific Northwest Artists, WUA065. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

            Biographical Statements, Resumes, & Chronologies, Box: 3, Folder: 39

Completed Monograph, 2005, Box: 3, Folder: 20

Timberline Lodge, 1937-2004, Box: 4, Folder: 17

Hale, Jamie. “10 Oregon landmarks built by workers during the Great Depression.” The Oregonian, https://www.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/12/4b496903728641/10-oregon-landmarks-built-by-workers-during-the-great-depression.html

Leighninger, Robert D. (May 1996). “Cultural Infrastructure: The Legacy of New Deal Public Space”. Journal of Architectural Education. 49 (4): 226–236

Personal Librarians for CAS First Years and Transfer Students

With the Autumn Equinox behind us, and as the weather turns brisk with some rain, we all start thinking about the seasons ahead. For some it will be pondering Halloween festivities, for others a break and a chance to go home and have some family time, or whatever else brings happiness into our lives. Personal Librarian LogoFor first year and transfer students at Willamette, it also means the initial rounds of tests and papers. If you need help as you prepare for these academic events, there are many places you can turn including the Hatfield Library. Among other programs, the library has a Personal Librarians program.

Personal Librarians are your go-to person in the library. First-year and transfer students of the College of Arts and Sciences are paired up with a librarian so that students have a name, face, and specific individual to help with any questions about the library, research, or collections. Your Personal Librarian will reach out to you a few times a year via email. Please feel free to stop by the library to meet them or any of the librarians and ask for help.

Who knows–in October we might even have a special treat for you!

American Archives Month

old letters, old photosFor many of us, October brings to mind autumn leaves, jack o’ lanterns, pumpkin everything, scary costumes, and cooler weather. But October is also American Archives Month and it is only fitting for us to pay tribute to all the fabulous Archives around the country including our very own University Archives! If you’ve never visited Willamette’s archive, now is the time—with four major collecting areas including University archives and records, political papers, personal collections, and the Pacific Northwest Artist Archive, there is bound to be something of interest to everyone. The archives includes papers, publications, photographs, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and much more.  Our dedicated archives staff (including our great student interns), works diligently every day to organize, describe, preserve, manage, and share our wonderful collections. Archives play a crucial role in preserving history, telling stories, and helping us understand our past and its link to the present. So a big shout out to archivists and archives everywhere. And checkout some of the interesting archives-related books from the library’s collection featured on the WU Reads Reading Guide.

For more information about Willamette’s archive, visit:


Back to School

The beginning of a new academic year is an exhilarating time for students and faculty alike. Whether you’re new or returning, walking onto campus at the beginning of a new school year can inspire a whole lot of different emotions—enthusiasm, excitement, and delight all mix together with a little trepidation, confusion, and worry. This time of year, spirits are high as the entire community anticipates gathering together in a common space for teaching, learning, research, growth, fun, camaraderie, and so much more. Although the start of the new school year can feel chaotic at times, it also offers new beginnings and all sorts of new possibilities. As we head into academic year 2023-24, why not explore the wonderful world of college through fictional accounts such as the ones listed on our WU Reads Reading Guide?

College is the reward for surviving high school.—Judd Aptow

New Library Website

Our University libraries staff has been working diligently over the past five months to bring the Hatfield library website and the PNCA Albert Solheim library website together. The team considered the needs of all communities in order to create something that would increase access, simplify workflows, and allow for greater collaboration between libraries. 

New Hatfield Website

The fruits of that labor has paid off with this sparkling new website. This homepage will be the central hub for patrons’ needs on both campuses. Many thanks to Michael Spalti, Associate University Librarian for Systems, for coordinating this effort and implementing the new site. Also thank you to Shaleigh Westphall, Reference & Instruction Librarian (PNCA), for the design work on the background. We hope you will spend some time getting familiar with the new site and we encourage you to send your feedback on the changes to our email: library@willamette.edu

CARL HALL: Painting the Northwest

by Jess Kimmel

“Works of art are doorways to some unentered room. The artist is constantly knocking, demanding entry.”
~Carl Hall

            Where does an artist’s story begin? Is it when, at the age of seven, they win $5 in their first newspaper art contest? Is it when they get caught sneaking into school after hours to make use of the art classroom? Perhaps when they send home pencil drawings from war, drawings of medical tents and dead soldiers? Any of these could be the defining moment of the first chapter in the life of Carl Hall, one of the most expressive and influential painters of the Pacific Northwest. 
            Yet buried deep in the research files of Roger Hull, who so diligently constructed a catalog of Hall’s life, lie a few unassuming photocopies of letters and statements bound together with a rusty paper clip. Dating from the 1940s, they detail the creation of Hall’s first painting of any note: Interlochen, Michigan. Having been assigned to process the Carl Hall series, these papers were a source of mild dismay to me. I only noticed them towards the end of the arrangement process, and they didn’t seem to fit neatly into the new categories that I had constructed. Perhaps that is why I was drawn to them, and why they are as good a place as any to begin the story of Hall’s career as an artist, which spanned over five decades.
            Though he would eventually call the Willamette Valley his home, Carl Hall was born in 1921 in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Detroit. At sixteen, he received a scholarship to the Meinzinger Art School, where he studied under Carlos Lopez, a Cuban-American painting known for his New Deal murals.

Interlochen, Michigan, as shown in a magazine clipping found in the Carl Hall papers (Box 4, Folder 19)

Interlochen, Michigan was created by an eighteen year-old Hall in the summer of 1940, when he attended the National Music Camp in the painting’s namesake town. As the artist tells it, he was fishing in a stream one day when a log happened to float past him, teeming with a “small world of plant life.” It occurred to him that such a thing would make an interesting subject for a painting. While Interlochen’s Midwestern locale might seem a far cry from the Oregon landscapes that would later take front and center on Hall’s canvas, it bore many of the stylistic hallmarks that would remain with him: vivid dark colors, a visible interplay of wind and weather, and just enough pattern distortion to create an eerily romantic display of magic realism. Interlochen, Michigan, was first consigned to the Detroit Artists’ Market before being sold to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in 1941.
         In 1942, Hall underwent his military training at Camp Adair near Corvallis where he both met his wife Phyllis and fell in love with Oregon’s natural beauty. He described the state as “Eden Again,” and swore that he would settle there permanently if he survived World War II. He spent eighteen months on active duty in the Philippines and Japan before returning. Only a few months later, Carl and Phyllis Hall moved to Salem, where they would spend the rest of their lives. Not long after, Hall accepted a position as a professor of art at Willamette University. John Olbrantz, the first director of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, later said that the history of Willamette’s art department would forever be tied to Hall, who taught here for thirty-eight years and made an impact on the lives of generations of artists.
          Hall garnered national renown over his long career for his haunting and beautifully detailed panoramic views of Oregon’s countryside. Views that Roger Hull describes as “quilts of greens and yellows” and “mist, floating as ribbons in the branches of trees.” Despite this, Hall later began to shift his stylistic focus from realistic to abstract. Like other such abstractionists, he believed that art came closer to capturing the true essence of its subject with simplicity.

Last Shadow (1971), an example of Hall’s abstract work. Photo from the Carl Hall papers (Box 4, Folder 39)

Over time, clearly outlined features would become fleeting forms and patterns that revealed their inner nature, in an almost spiritual progression of imagery. Referring to Hall, gallery director Julie Larson wrote that “one of the hallmarks of a great artist is that their work evolves over time.” Carl Hall is nothing if not evolutionary.
        In the years leading up to and following Hall’s death in 1996, his colleague and longtime friend Roger Hull began conducting research for a monograph and retrospective exhibition on his life, titled Eden Again after Carl’s words for the muse that he found in Oregon. Eden Again was completed in 2001, a fitting tribute to the life of one of the Pacific Northwest’s most important creative figures, whose story began, in some part, with a log floating down a stream in Interlochen, Michigan.



Eden Again: The Art of Carl Hall by Roger Hull. Photo from the Roger Hull research files (Box 2, Folder 32)

Roger Hull’s research files on Carl Hall and other Pacific Northwest artists can now be found in the Willamette University Archives, where they were compiled in 2014. Hall’s series includes biographical information, research notes, reproductions of both his written and painted works, and many other items related to Hall’s life and family dating from 1941-2008. Nearly forty years of correspondence between the Hulls and the Halls is recorded, from the Christmas cards that Carl Hall sent to Roger and Bonnie Hull in the 1970s to letters detailing Willamette University’s continued acquisition of the artist’s inventoried works sold and donated by Phyllis Hall well into the 2000s. 




Carl Hall, 1941-2008, Series II. Roger Hull Research Files on Pacific Northwest Artists, WUA065. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.
        Biographies and Resumes, Box: 2, Folder: 1. 

        Completed Monograph, 2000, Box: 2, Folder: 32.

        General Correspondence, 1941-2007, Box: 2, Folder: 5.

Carl Hall papers, WUA124. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

         “Interlochen”, 1940-1980, Subseries C, Box: 4, Folder: 19. 

         “Last Shadow”, 1971, Subseries C, Box: 4, Folder: 39. 

Ruth Dennis Grover: Encaustic Paintings

By Jess Kimmel ’25

Ruth Dennis Grover on a beach in Road’s End, Oregon, from Notable Women of
Portland, by Tracy Prince and Zadie Schaffer. Photographer unknown.

In the 1st Century BCE, Julius Caesar purchased a pair of encaustic paintings from a Greek artist for the extraordinary sum of 80 talents apiece (over $4 million in today’s money!)1. These early paintings, originating in Egypt prior to the 5th Century BCE, were highly valued in Greek and Roman civilization, and are believed to be one of the earliest painting techniques in recorded history. Due to the extreme difficulty of producing encaustics, the form had fallen out of style by the Renaissance with the advent of oil painting, and only a select few artists continued to work with it. Many centuries later, an Oregonian painter named Ruth Dennis Grover would be influential in introducing the encaustic style to the Pacific Northwest.

Ruth Dennis Grover was born in Portland in 1912 and raised in Detroit. After graduating with honors from the University of Michigan, she returned to Oregon, where she spent the rest of her life living in what is now Lincoln City. She had a lifelong interest in rocks and minerals, particularly agates, and was a self-proclaimed “rockhound” (rock collector). In 1952, she founded Cascade Artists, a small society of Oregon watercolor artists that held many exhibitions throughout the state. Grover herself was also a part of the Oregon Society of Artists. Though initially known for her work with watercolor, she discovered encaustics in 1956 and began to research and experiment with the technique. According to Grover, encaustics became a “consuming interest”, as well as a “technical [and] artistic challenge”.

The Fayyum mummy portraits, some of the earliest and most well-known examples of encaustics. Photos taken by Ruth Maude at the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York.

As for the form itself, encaustic paintings are made by combining paint pigment with refined beeswax and resin, and using heat (at highly precise temperatures) to seal the paint in layers, resulting in “exceptional luminosity” and a permanency unmatched by any other style of painting. “It is impervious to the chemical changes that cause other media to yellow, crack, or fade with time,” Grover writes in an introductory paper on encaustics. Even sunlight does not have the same fading effect on encaustics that it does with many other mediums. The Fayyum portraits, which are among the most famous surviving examples of the encaustic medium, were painted around two thousand years, yet their colors are still just as vibrant now as at the time of their creation. The name is derived from the Greek word “enkaustos”, which means “burnt in”. Modern technology makes this form much more accessible and feasible to create, though it is still dangerous and requires painstaking precision.

The cover of the Joseph Torch pamphlet, found in Box 3, Folder 7, of the Ruth Dennis Grover papers in the Willamette University Archives.

According to a pamphlet published by Joseph Torch, an art materials store in New York, encaustic painting was nearly unheard of in the Americas before the 1950s, and it was only at the urging of a European painter that Joseph Torch began to do research into the medium and stock materials for encaustics. It was here that Ruth Dennis Grover first purchased the materials for her early encaustic paintings.

Grover’s work is described as “semi-abstract”, with a focus on naturally occurring patterns and the exploration of “spatial, textural, and color relationships”. Much of her inspiration was drawn from the Oregon Coast, and a significant amount of her work consists of seascapes, lighthouses, and shipwrecks. Grover believed that encaustics were well-suited for marine paintings, due to their flexibility and diverse expressibility. “Natural forces,” she notes, “express their existence not in themselves, but in the things they move and shape.

“The Second Sea”, one of Grover’s encaustic marine paintings, held in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Dated 1967.

“Tooth of Time and Razure of Oblivion”, another encaustic painting by Grover, depicting a piece of a shipwreck. Held in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Dated 1968.












Though Ruth Dennis Grover passed away in 2003, her legacy lives on in the communities of PNW artists that she had a hand in creating, as well as the paintings she forged with fire; paintings that will never fade, forever serving as a memory of the artist, and the ancient medium that she mastered. Many of her works are held by the Oregon Historical Society, the Coos Art Museum, and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Furthermore, the Willamette University Archives contain a vast collection of records from her life and work, including photographs, correspondence, exhibitions, and artistic journals, as a part of the Pacific Northwest Artist’s Archive.


1. Adjusted for inflation: Grover’s notes from the 1950s mention a figure of $350,000


Interviews, notes, 1931-1966, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 2. Ruth Dennis Grover papers,
WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Paint supplies, ordering notes and receipts, 1958-1996, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 7. Ruth
Dennis Grover papers, WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special

Maude, Ruth. “The History of Encaustic Painting from Fayum Funeral Portraits to
Today.” All Things Encaustic, https://allthingsencaustic.com/introduction-encaustic/.
Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.

Online Collections | Hallie Ford Museum of Art – Willamette University.
willametteart.pastperfectonline.com. Accessed 24 Oct. 2022.

Vitae Statements, Introductions, undated, Series II, Box: 3, Folder: 3. Ruth Dennis
Grover papers, WUA052. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Say It Loud, Say It Proud

gay pride paradePride Month is celebrated each year in June to honor the Stonewall Riots or Uprising that took place in 1969 in New York City to protest the police raid of a gay club called the Stonewall Inn. This spontaneous protest is acknowledged by many as the catalyst for the gay rights movement.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Gay Pride or LGBTQ+ Pride Month “commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, as well as the accomplishments of LGBTQ individuals.”  All across the nation and the world, celebrations take place to honor the fight for equal rights and the many contributions of the LGBTQ+ community; events include pride parades, picnics, parties, concerts, workshops, and more. During this month, memorials are also held in remembrance of those who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS.  Given the current political and societal battles over a variety of LGBTQ+ issues and rights, it seems that it is more important than ever to recognize Pride Month.  So join us in celebration and check out recent LGBTQ+ sources from our collection on our WU Reads Reading Guide.


Wallenfeldt, Jeff. “Why Is Pride Month Celebrated in June?”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 27 May. 2022, https://www.britannica.com/story/why-is-pride-month-celebrated-in-june. Accessed 26 May 2023.

For more information, see:

Human Rights Campaign–Celebrate Pride with Us


Library of Congress–LGBTQ Pride Month


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