Feb. 26, 2002 – Anyone who has leafed through the book "The 3 Quarters of the Town of Charlotte Amalie" has seen dozens of pen-and-ink renderings by Edith deJongh Woods of the town's architectural treasures. In March, the public will have an opportunity to see some of the original drawings.
The V.I. Cultural Heritage Institute is mounting "A Retrospective of Drawings and Paintings, 1960-1990, by Edith deJongh Woods." The exhibition will include several of the drawings the created for the book, as well as paintings from private collections. It will open with a reception beginning at 6 p.m. on March 7.
Woods provided the narrative as well as the illustrations for the table-top book first published by MAPes MONDe in 1989 and later reprinted with the word "Royal" added before the "3" in its title. The tome has as its subtitle "A study of architectural details and forms that have endured from 1837."
Woods put four years of work into researching the structures, taking photographs and notes at the actual sites. In some cases, a release from the Cultural Heritage Institute notes, her drawings are all that remain of structures that have been razed since she captured them on paper.
The book's title refers to the Kongens, Dronningens and Kronprindsens Kvarters of Charlotte Amalie — which translate into King's, Queen's and Crown Prince's Quarters.
Woods "is a well-known artist, essayist, orchid enthusiast and ardent historic preservationist in our community," the release states. Her drawings serve as "a reminder of how beautiful our historic architecture is and how easy it is to lose that beauty if we are not vigilant to protect the architectural heritage of our towns."
A native St. Thomian and a graduate of Boston University's School of Visual Arts, Woods taught art for three decades at Charlotte Amalie High School and for many years chaired its Art Department. She served on the Historic Preservation Commission for seven years and was its chair from 1996 to 1999.
The community is invited to the reception on March 7. The retrospective exhibition will hang through April 5. The institute is located at 5-6 Kongens Gade, at the foot of Government Hill on what is commonly known as Education Street. For further information, call 774-9537.


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