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Representing West Virginia: Paintings of Helen Holt by Advanced Painting Students

Students in College of Creative Arts Painting Professor Naijun Zhang's Advanced Painting class created works inspired by photographs from the West Virginia and Regional History Center's On View online photographs collection, of Helen Holt (1913-2015), the first woman to hold statewide elected office in West Virginia.

The exhibit of fourteen paintings is on view on the fourth floor of the Downtown Campus Library in conjunction with The People's Branch: Exploring the U.S. Congress with Archives, an exhibit on view in the Downtown Campus Library Rockefeller Gallery exploring the basic functions of Congress through West Virginia and Regional History Center archival materials.

Helen Louise Froelich Holt (August 16, 1913 - July 12, 2015) was an American politician from the state of West Virginia. She served as the Secretary of State of West Virginia from 1957 to 1959 and also served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1955 to 1957. Holt was married to Senator Rush D. Holt, Sr. from 1941 until his death in 1955 and was the mother of New Jersey U.S. Representative Rush D. Holt, Jr.

Photographs used by the students range from Holt's 1941 engagement photo; Holt swearing into Secretary of State in 1957; Holt hosting a Vienna Lincoln Day Dinner in 1958; to Holt standing in front of the WV capitol in the late 1960s. Paintings will be on view through August 2018.