The Awakening
FES Title:
[pages missing from day books – assigned number] Allegorical painting for Charles M.A. Stine
Alternate Titles:
Date: 10/1935
Size: 32″H x 67.75″W
Medium: oil-on-canvas
Type: subject painting
Published: Schoonover, Frank E. “The Awakening” The Gettysburg College Bulletin. nd.: np [not pictured].
no caption
Inscription: lr: Frank E. Schoonover / 1935
Annotations: en verso on label from college: Symbolic Oil of Liberal Arts Education / Commissioned by Charles M.A. Stine / Trustee / Commissioned by / Dr. H.W.H. Hanson. gift of / Mr. Charles M. A. Stine / 69 1/2 x 34 1/4
Comments: digital 1-25-07; index; edit
Additional explanation: “A chemist and his apprentice are busied about a smoking bit of apparatus near the foot of an ancient oak. A peacock, vain, unmindful of the flight or time and the limited span of human life, stands disdainfully upon a sun dial.
“In the central foreground the fine arts are represented by music, architectural design and painting. The artist has upon his easel a painting of the guiding Christmas star and the glorious message of heaven’s heralds.
“Agriculture, commerce, waterpower harnessed by a mill wheel are in the mid – or central background.
“In the left background, idealism and high endeavor are represented by the armed riders, with wet gleaming armor, hurrying out of the storm, across the bridge of their hopes into the towering, golden city of their dreams. The rainbow of God’s promise flashes above the riders; a small reflected bow appears in the spray of the water fall.
The artist’s sketch for this work is #2073s. See #2372 for what may have been an early idea for this mural.
Commentary: In an article entitled ‘The Awakening’, Schoonover explained this painting:
“A youth, who has been asleep to the world of opportunity about him, is touched by the awakening magic wand of the Spirit of Wisdom. To his awakened soul there comes the vision and understanding of the varied fields of the world around him. His gaze is directed down the unworn steps before him. In the right foreground the old philosopher, standing at the top of the deeply worn stone steps over which men have climbed for generations, muses upon the natural forces and their application to the service of mankind.
“Carved upon the end of the stone bench, at the young man’s elbow, in Greek characters, is a quotation from Saint Paul’s sublime letter about faith…’Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…So that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.’ (Hebrews 11:3)
“Idealism, fine allegory and masterful handling of color and perspective have combined to produce a work of rare beauty.” (The Gettysburg College Bulletin, October 1942)
Provenance: Commissioned by Charles M. A. Stine [1935]; Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Gift of Charles M. A. Stine [1942]