Robert Solotaire, “West Harpswell Baptist Church,” oil on paper. Contributed photo

LEWISTON — The “Carl Benton Straub: His Enduring Legacy” exhibit is to be on display Friday, June 11, through Oct. 16 at the Bates College Museum of Art, Olin Arts Center, 75 Russell St.

Straub (1936-2019) was a revered and influential Bates scholar, teacher, and academic leader whose ideas, vision, and love for the college influenced generations of faculty and students.

Straub joined the Bates faculty in 1965 and retired in 2005, a 40-year span that included 17 as dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. He retired as dean emeritus of the faculty, professor emeritus of religion, and Clark A. Griffith Professor Emeritus of Environmental Studies. In his years as dean of the faculty, Straub had a profound effect on the college’s academic character, appointing a generation of scholars to the faculty and helping to expand the breadth, depth, and excellence of the Bates academic program, according to a news release.

Straub earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Colgate University and a bachelor of sacred theology degree from Harvard Divinity School. He received a doctorate from Harvard University in 1971. As a scholar, Straub focused on religious interpretations of the American landscape and on environmental ethics, as well as on the relationship between religion and other cultural expressions, such as art and political mythologies.

He believed strongly in the arts’ ability to enable understanding of one’s place in the world. In 1991, he established the Olivia and Ellwood Straub Endowment at Bates, which supports the Bates College Museum of Art’s acquisition of works of art that challenge viewers to look critically at their environment and landscape. This exhibition combines works from Carl Straub’s personal collection with others, such as art by Robert Solotaire and Joel Babb, that have been acquired over the years with funds from the endowment.

The museum is open with free admission year-round, closing periodically to change exhibitions; check the museum’s exhibitions page when planning a visit. The museum is also closed Sundays, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and the college’s winter holiday recess which, though specific dates change each year, spans at minimum Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day; check the museum’s homepage for holiday closing updates.

June through August the museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. September through May it is open from noon to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Saturday. The museum is also open special hours, and by appointment. To request a tour for a school of community group, contact the museum at 207-786-6158 or [email protected].

Joel Babb, “Carl’s Path,” 2009, oil on canvas. Contributed photo