Measure Me by My Dreams

Image of The College of the Hills, Herod, Illinois, watercolor painting by Penrod Centurion, 1935.
by Penrod Centurion, watercolor painting, 1935
Inscription by artist: 
“The College in the Hills, Herod, Illinois (Hardin County)  Painted late in the whimsical and heroical summer of 1935  Built 1934-36; Burned Wed., Feb 23, 1938.  Looking from the old Karbers Ridge Road, downhill & southward” 

Young college graduates, largely from Northwestern University in Evanston, came to southernmost Illinois in 1933 and established a college just outside of Harrisburg. The College in the Hills was an experimental liberal arts college offering courses in history, economics, sociology, psychology, and art for the surrounding communities. Its mission, as stated in a newspaper announcement, was "to develop students capable of living in a modern world of new social and economic values.” The college's art instructor, Penrod Centurion (known as Penny Cent) gifted his painting of the college to his fellow instructor, Tom Garrison, in 1938, the handwritten dedication to Tom reading, “the kind and bitter cynic, the sincere & utterly human & honest one. For having met and known. Humbly, Penny Cent.” The college had failed by 1937, burned down in 1938, and Penny Cent moved to Harrisburg where he would live until the summer of 1940. 

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