History of the Painting

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In Leverett dining hall, the painting, “John W. Weeks Bridge in July,” hangs above the majestic fireplace. It is a beautiful acrylic of the Charles River and Weeks Bridge that was painted by Julia Rozier (Leverett '08). Rozier created the painting from a photograph that she took of the Charles, exactly from the angle that Leverett looks onto the river. This picture was the last one that she managed to snap before her camera memory ran out. The lucky image will open up the room to the outside world, especially during the chilly winter months, said Rozier, “It brings a big splash of summer sunshine into the dining hall—what better to remind you of things to come?”

The painting should be interpreted however the viewer sees fit, and enjoyed simply for its own sake, but for those who are curious - these are the meanings that the artist, Julia Rozier, originally intended for various elements displayed or hidden in the composition. See if you can find all of them!

The Rabbit – Rising rabbit, “mighty” symbol of Leverett house. Photograph credit for the model bunny goes to Steven Pinker.

The Rower’s T-shirt – Homage to “Coletrane,” by John Webster. “Coletrane” graced the walls of this dining hall for years, inspiring strong reactions in many generations of Leverites.

Canada Geese – Symbol of companionship and New England.

Alice – Beloved pet dog of legendary superintendent Paul Hegarty; her name means “noble spirit.”

The Woman on the Bridge – Symbol of the future.

The Rower – Symbol of the past.

Boston Skyline Visible under the Bridge - The viewer stands on the Harvard campus, but faces out, so that he or she might think of ways to apply his or her education beyond the school walls.

The Bridge Itself – Common metaphor, of course, for forging paths to new frontiers and the meeting of opposite sides, like the meeting of minds. Also, tribute to Leverett, since the viewer of the bridge from this angle would stand directly between the bridge and McKinlock courtyard.

Cardinal – Token of love for the artist’s father, who requested it be placed in the tree.

The Reflections – As there is no real focal point to this painting, perhaps the reflections themselves are the focal point. May the students be able to reflect upon their work, thoughts, and life as they are eating!

The Summer Season – May students remember the promise of warmer days, even when in the cold grip of winter.

For more information, check out the Crimson story on Leverett's new dining hall painting at the following link: http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2009/9/23/a-dining-room-with-a-new/