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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Author Pamela Simpson dies at 65

Pamela Hemenway Simpson, an art historian who was one of the most influential figures of the last four decades at Washington and Lee University, died at her home in Lexington, Va., on Oct. 4th, 2011. She was 65.

Oct 04, 2011

Pamela Hemenway Simpson, an art historian who was one of the most influential figures of the last four decades at Washington and Lee University, died at her home in Lexington, Va., on Oct. 4. She was 65.

"She was a dear friend and colleague," said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio. "Washington and Lee is a different place and a much better place because of her. And Lexington and Rockbridge County are better places, too.”

During her 38 years on the faculty at W&L, Simpson made myriad contributions, both in the classroom, where she was "the embodiment of W&L's teacher-scholar" model, as Ruscio described her, and in countless other formal and informal positions. ...

Simpson wrote three books. Cheap, Quick and Easy: Imitative Architectural Materials, 1870­-1930 was published in 1999 and won several awards, and The Architecture of Historic Lexington, co-authored with the late Royster Lyle Jr., came out in 1979. Her most recent book, Icons of Abundance: The History of Corn Palaces and Butter Sculpture, will be published by the University of Minnesota Press.

She also co-edited (with Cindy Mills) the book Monuments to the Lost Cause: Women, Art and the Landscapes of Southern Memory (2004). In addition, she authored numerous exhibition catalogues, articles in both the academic and popular press, and book reviews. ...

Simpson is survived by her husband, Henry H. Simpson; her son, Peter Simpson, and his wife, Laura; her grandson, Henry Simpson, 6, and granddaughter, Helen Simpson, 4, all of Lexington; her brother, Robert Hemenway, of Lawrence, Kan.; and her father, Dr. Myrle E. Hemenway, also of Lawrence, Kan.

Simpson’s memorial service will be on Monday, Oct. 10, at 4 p.m. at the R.E. Lee Memorial Episcopal Church, followed by a reception at W&L’s Evans Hall.

The family has requested that those wishing to make memorial donations direct them to the Rockbridge Valley Chapter of the National Organization for Women (P.O. Box 1848, Merrifield, VA 22116-1848); Project Horizon (120 Varner Lane, Lexington, VA 24450); the Historic Lexington Foundation (22 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA 24450); the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic (25 Northridge Lane, Suite 3, Lexington, VA 24450); and the Rockbridge Historical Society (101 W. Washington St., Lexington, VA 24450).

 

Read the full article in Rockbridge Weekly.