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Peter Wexler, renowned New York theater designer, producer, painter, sculptor and photographer was honored at Furman University’s Convocation today with an honorary doctorate degree in the Humanities. In his convocation address before Furman trustees, faculty, students, staff, and their guests, Wexler described the power and impact of art. He also discussed his work with Furman University’s Digital Collections Center in the creation of the Peter Wexler Digital Museum at Furman University, an ambitious and cutting-edge project which is being funded by a generous donation from Furman University trustee Todd Ruppert and his wife, Karen.

Since September of 2012, Rick Jones, Manager of the Library’s Digital Collections Center, has been leading the effort to digitize over 6,000 pieces of Peter’s art including three-dimensional set models, stage designs, sculpture, costume sketches, and much more. When the project is complete, the digitized items will be paired with rich descriptions and made accessible in a truly unique and interactive website. The Digital Museum is expected to be launched in September 2014 and will be the first known digital collection of its kind, serving as a model for other institutions seeking to digitize similar materials.

Select pieces from Peter Wexler’s extensive theater and art collection are currently on display at Furman as an exhibit titled Creating a Digital Museum: The Art and Theatre Work of Peter Wexler. Partly funded by the Duke Endowment, the exhibit focuses on the Metropolitan Opera’s 1973 production of Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz. Wexler was responsible for set design, costume design, special effects, and film direction for the opera. Materials in the exhibit include his costume design sketches, set designs, three-dimensional scale models, and an impressive digital display showcasing the digital photography and scanning work of the Digital Collections Center.

The exhibit is in the Thompson Gallery in the Roe Art Building and is open to the public on weekdays from 9am – 5pm until October 5th.