Anderson University Hosts Exhibition to Honor Composer/Artist
Anderson University is hosting an exhibit in honor of the 50th anniversary of the death of Anderson native Lily Strickland, popular composer, writer, and artist of the 1930s. The exhibit will be held in the Vandiver Gallery of the Thrift Library June 8–29. The 3-week display will follow a reception hosted by the Anderson County Museum on June 6.
Anderson University has the largest collection of Strickland’s paintings and compositions in the world, including a large collection of original framed watercolors, sheet music, recordings of her works, sketch books, and original manuscripts, as well as other personal memorabilia. Some of the items were donated by the "Lily Strickland Music Club" in Lancaster, S.C., which were presented by Jill Marshall. AU professors James Clark (piano) and Deedy Francis (voice), have recorded some of Strickland’s compositions, which will be playing during the exhibit. CDs will be on sale for $5.00, with proceeds going to the Thrift Library.
Strickland was born in 1884 in Anderson to Charlton Hines Strickland, an insurance salesman, and Teresa Hammond Reed. Following the death of Stickland’s father, she and her brothers grew up in the home of their grandparents, Judge and Mrs. J. Pinckney Reed. Strickland attended Anderson schools and began studying piano at the age of six. She published her first composition in her teens and studied piano and composition at Converse College. In 1905, she studied at the Institute of Musical Arts in New York, the forerunner to Julliard.
In New York, she met and married Joseph Courtenay Anderson, a fellow South Carolinian and Wofford graduate. Strickland spent much of her life composing, painting, and writing in India, Africa, and Asia, as she followed her husband to various jobs. After returning to the United States, she and her husband lived in New York until 1948, and then retired to Hendersonville, N.C., where she continued her work until her death in 1958.
The exhibit will be open to the public Monday and Thursday - 9:00 am – 8:00 pm; Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday - 9:00 am–4:00 pm; Sunday 1:30 pm–5:30 pm; closed Saturday. The event is free of charge.