The historic Valparaiso University Student Bridge, a landmark for generations of students who christened it the “kissing bridge,” will be remembered in an exhibition opening Dec.13 at Brauer Museum of Art (valpo.edu/artmuseum).
“Recollections of Valparaiso’s Kissing Bridge” will be presented this winter in conjunction with an extensive exhibition of dining car china from the golden age of America’s railroads. An opening reception for both exhibitions will take place at 2 p.m. Dec. 13 and is free and open to the public. “Recollections of Valparaiso’s Kissing Bridge” will include several vintage postcards featuring the bridge that date back to the early 20th century, a number of black and white and color photographs of the bridge, and three paintings of the bridge. The exhibit will be on display through March 22.
The bridge was constructed in the late 1800s to provide a way for students and faculty to cross over the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks on Valparaiso’s original campus on their way to Sagers Lake. After the original bridge fell into disrepair, the Student Bridge was restored by VU’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 2005 and relocated south of the Christopher Center for Library and Information Resources near U.S. 30.
Among the paintings of the Student Bridge is one by noted Midwestern artist and Valparaiso alumnus Reinhold Marxhausen, a professor emeritus of art at Concordia University Nebraska.
Accompanying the artwork will be six stories featuring alumni recollections of the Student Bridge. Gregg Hertzlieb, director of Brauer Museum and curator of the exhibit, said it was designed to complement “The Christopher Railroad China Collection: The Art of Dining on Rails,” which showcases approximately 600 pieces of fine china created for use in railroad dining cars from the late 19th century through the middle of the 20th century. The dining car china comes from the collection of Jay Christopher of Hinsdale, Ill., a Valparaiso alumnus and member of the Board of Directors who owns one of the world's most extensive collections of dining car china.
More information about Brauer Museum’s current season, including a complete list of exhibition-related events, is available online at valpo.edu/artmuseum. Brauer Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday during the academic year. Admission to the museum and all events is free. Group tours may be arranged by calling (219) 465-7926.