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North Carolina Landmarks Star in Etchings Exhibit through Oct. 10


North Carolina State House, by Louis Orr.

Louis Orr’s North Carolina Etchings, 1939-1951
June 17 – October 10, 2011
Wilson Special Collections Library, North Carolina Collection Gallery
Free and open to the public
Information: (919) 962-3765 or

Thirty-two etchings of North Carolina’s most famous buildings and sites will be on view through Oct. 10 in the North Carolina Collection Gallery of the Wilson Special Collections Library.

The etchings are the work of artist Louis Orr, who created 51 images of important Tar Heel State sites between 1939 and 1951.

Among the items on view will be renderings of the North Carolina State Capitol in Raleigh; the Wright Brothers Memorial at Kitty Hawk; Grandfather Mountain near Linville; and Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh. The UNC campus will be represented with an etching of Playmakers Theater and another showing Old East with the Old Well.

Picturing the Old North State: Visual Documentation of North Carolina’s Architectural Heritage

Lecture in conjunction with the exhibit
By Catherine Bishir, Curator of Architecture Special Collections, North Carolina State University
Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011
Wilson Special Collections Library
5 p.m. Reception and exhibit viewing (North Carolina Collection Gallery)
5:30 p.m. Program (Pleasants Family Assembly Room)
Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

The complete set of etchings will be viewable via a multimedia kiosk in the Gallery.

The Connecticut-born Orr (1879-1966) was living in Paris when he met attorney Robert Lee Humber, of Greenville, N.C., during the period between the World Wars. Orr had established a reputation for his etchings of Parisian architecture and Humber encouraged him to create a series of illustrations to inspire North Carolinians and help them to appreciate the state’s history and architecture.

The project eventually resulted in ten portfolios of five prints each, issued annually in editions of 150 to 200 copies. The larger etching of the North Carolina State Capitol building was completed in 1941 and issued separately.

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