Barton’s Artist-in-Residence J. Chris Wilson to present “Jan van Eyck: Decoding an Enigma” on March 19

Make Reservations In Advance.

WILSON, N.C. — Barton College’s professor emeritus and artist-in-residence North Carolina landscape artist J. Chris Wilson will present an illustrated lecture on celebrated Northern Renaissance artist Jan van Eyck. The “lunch and lecture series” presentation, sponsored by the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts and the Barton Art Galleries, will be held in the Barton Art Galleries in Case Art Building on the Barton campus from Noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 19. This event, originally scheduled in February, was postponed until March because of inclement weather.

The cost of the lunch is $10 for the Barton College Friends of Visual Arts and $20.00 for non-members. For additional information or to make reservations for the lunch and lecture event, please contact Bonnie LoSchiavo at the Barton Art Galleries at 252-399-6477 or email:

“Jan van Eyck is the most important artist whose work is not generally known and is often misunderstood,” explains Wilson. “He is credited with elevating the then rather new technique of oil painting to its highest level of achievement. Van Eyck’s personal history confounds many art historians, and there is ongoing debate about van Eyck’s use of lens projection and tracings to achieve his extreme naturalism.”

Van Eyck’s famed and coveted Ghent Altarpiece is “the most stolen artwork of all time. Napoleon robbed it, Calvinists nearly burned it, the Nazis were desperate to own it, and part of it has been missing for 80 years,” says Noah Charney in “” on the world’s most tangled art heist. The just released movie “The Monuments Men” depicts the recapturing of the Ghent Altarpiece in 1945 near the end of World War II. “The altarpiece like many of van Eyck’s works are replete with disguised symbols and complex iconography that contemporary eyes and sensibilities need a guide to decode,” Wilson adds, which will be the focus of the presentation.

Thirty of Wilson’s paintings from his “Murphy to Manteo” series are currently exhibited in the House Chamber of the North Carolina Legislative Building, The North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh, The State Library of North Carolina, and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Raleigh.

Wilson’s work was the subject of a feature article in the March 2013 issue of “Our State” magazine and on the University of North Carolina Television Our State on January 2, earlier this year. Wilson’s historic home and art was featured in the August issue of “Salt Magazine,” and one work appeared in the October 2013 issue of “Traditional Home” magazine. Wilson will be featured in a documentary focusing on the East Coast of the United States produced for German and French television this season.

In the recent past, Wilson was featured on WRAL’s “Tarheel Traveler,” and “WTVD’s Heart of Carolina Perspectives.” His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout the Southeast, and his art is also represented in numerous public and private collections in the United States, especially in the Southeast, and in England, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.

Wilson has been involved in symposia, community presentations, and publications on art, decorative arts, and historic preservation, and he has engaged in extensive community service throughout his professional career, currently serving on the boards of Preservation North Carolina and the Blount Bridgers House/Hobson Pittman Memorial Foundation.

Originally from Waycross and St. Simons Island, Ga., Wilson earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, where he also completed post-graduate work, with Lamar Dodd as his major professor. Wilson served on the faculty of Barton College from 1974-2012, earning professor emeritus recognition following retirement. Now, he continues at Barton as the College’s first artist-in-residence.

Wilson makes his home in Wilmington with his wife, Kathleen, and has two adult children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Singleton.

For additional information or to view Wilson’s work, please visit