I recently curated an exhibit using materials from the Special Collections and Art, Architecture, and Engineering Library at The University of Michigan. It focused on the intersection between Third Wave feminism and zines. I put up a physical exhibit in the The University of Michigan’s graduate library and also created a digital exhibit using Omeka.
Omeka is a content management site for organizing digital collections and is a great way to create and publish exhibits. The UM Library has an organizational account for the creation of multiple exhibits, but anyone can sign up directly through Omeka and create an exhibit of their own with a personal account. You could even make an digital collection of some of your own personal items just for fun! I found it really enjoyable and a good way to get hands on work with digital collections and metadata.
I work at The University of Michigan Library and am a student in Wayne State University’s School of Information. I wanted to share some of my favorite places and public art pieces on each of these campuses.
Maya Lin’s Wave Field is located on The University of Michigan’s North Campus, tucked between some Engineering School buildings.
Lin was commissioned to create the work in 1995 and describes it as, “pure poetry. It is a very gentle space that exists on a very human scale. It is a sanctuary, yet it’s playful, and with the changing shadows of the sun, it is completely transformed throughout the day. ‘The Wave Field’ expresses my desire to completely integrate a work with its site, revealing the connectedness of art to landscape, or landscape as art.” I love Wave Field and am always taking friends there who have never seen it before. It feels a bit magical, like a secret. If you didn’t know it was there, it would be hard to stumble upon.
Minoru Yamasaki designed several buildings on Wayne State University and in the Metro Detroit area. In 1958, the Yamasaki designed McGregor Conference Center was built, which included a beautiful and serene reflecting pool area. The pool lay empty and neglected from the late 90s until more recently, when they were reopened in 2013. The McGregor reflecting pools are truly a gem of the campus and the city of Detroit.
I think it’s safe to say that here at ArLiSNAP, we all love art and we all love books. This month I ran into a couple of art/book intersections I found really fascinating. The first is a great post by Scott Indrisek on artsy where 18 artists share books that have inspired them.
This is a fun, kind of back-door way to find artists you might connect with. I found myself clicking through to see the work of artists who like the same books as me. Artist Shara Hughes shares my love for Eckhart Tolle’s mind-bending spiritual book A New Earth, and her collage-like, colorful paintings really appeal to me.
Kevin Wilson’s novel The Family Fang is a book I often put on my staff picks shelf when I worked at a public library. It chronicles the misadventures of a dysfunctional family in which the parents use their children as props in public art performances. Turns out this is one of provocative painter Betty Tompkin’s “favorite novels about art.”
Check out the list: do you see any of your own favorite titles mentioned here?
The second art/book intersection I noticed this month is Sara Baume’s novel A Line Made by Walking. Baume takes the title from Richard Long’s 1967 photograph of the same name, showing, as you might expect, a line he made by walking:
But Baume’s use of specific art works is hardly limited to the novel’s title. The book centers on Frankie, a young artist floundering in a disorienting depression. Almost as if she’s planting markers in the ground, Frankie periodically “tests herself”, describing art works related to a particular subject. As she pulls her beloved, late grandmother’s bicycle out of a shed:
Works about Sheds, I test myself: Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View. In 1991 the Banbury Army School of Ammunition agreed to blow up a perfectly ordinary garden shed at the artist’s request…
These are real works of art with real historical context, that somehow Baume deftly fits into the life and thoughts of her fictional character. I didn’t immediately recognize the artist Cornelia Parker by name, but the description of Cold Dark Matter reminded me of a work I’d seen at the ICA Boston. A quick Google search surfaced the piece: Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson), which I then read about at length.
Baume includes an index of artworks, listed by chapter, at the end of the novel. Many I’ve studied (Vito Acconci’s Following Piece, Tracy Emin’s My Bed), some I’ve seen (Christian Marclay’s The Clock), but most were new to me. This was such a unique way to encounter art; because I was deeply involved with the character and her struggles, I cared about the specific works of art that had affected her and were now helping her find her way. I often stopped to look things up, such as Wolfgang Laib’s Milkstones, which I find indescribably moving. These sculptures many have left me cold, had I discovered them without Baume leading me there.
I leave you with this short video showing Laib’s meditative creative process, and a very strong recommendation to read A Line Made by Walking this summer!
At the Boston Public Library, we’re undertaking an item-level inventory of over 320,000 original art works. That’s a lot of art:
Item by item, we are developing descriptive metadata for each object in the Print Collection using content and vocabulary standards defined by the project. One of the ways we help to preserve the materials is to (carefully!) remove prints from old mats. Here’s a quick look at how we un-mat:
1. Observe the print trapped in its sad old mat.
2. Open the window mat and tell the print that you love it and it’s going to be okay.
3. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut along the adhesive hinges.
4. Set the print free! Well, actually, put it in an acid-free folder and label it. Include any ephemera that may have been lurking beneath.
If you’re like me, you’re working over the holidays. Beyond my few in-office days this week, I’ve got a handful of volunteer projects to complete or plan before the new year, some conference presentations to start on (hello pie charts!), and multiple folders of PDFs to read on my desktop. I might even spend a few hours tweaking the ArLiSNAP redesign! (More about this later.)
If you’re not like me, you’re probably visiting with family and friends, flipping the channels on the TV, sleeping in, and otherwise loafing. Lucky you. But you might still want to catch up on your reading, do something professional-development-related, or polish off a personal project. With most regularly-publishing websites on a hiatus until the end of the year, allow me to recommend some media archives to check out if you want to keep your head in librarian-land:
The Digitization Age: Mass Culture is Quality Culture. An overview of EU digitization initiatives and their impact on cultural access. (PDF)
A Season of Life in the LAC. A speech by the relatively new head of cultural heritage in Canada, Guy Berthiaume, discussing the pitiful state of our priorities challenges and opportunities we face.
An interview with Sarah Thornton, author of a new book of collected interviews with artists. Full disclosure: I got both of her books from the library and couldn’t get into either of them. But you might succeed where I have failed!
I’ve only recently become a convert to Twitter, and have found it surprisingly great for networking. I didn’t take my LIS in Toronto, although I work here now, so it’s been pretty good for meeting colleagues and filling the support gap where my classmates might’ve been. I’ve been following public chats like #critlib, #SLAtalk, and #snapRT, and looking for good art-related conversations as well. (Feel free to suggest some if you know of any.) Most of these chats will be suspended over the holidays, but it’s a good time to go back and read older discussions on topics of interest (especially if someone was nice enough to storify them!).
Pictured above are the current contents of the Crouch Fine Arts Library’s display at Baylor University Library in Waco, Texas. For the month of February 2014, a small but eclectic group of selections from the Baylor Artist Book Collection pertaining to *LOVE* in its varied manifestations engages viewers with themes as diverse as the playful revision of Shakespearian dialogue in r&j: the txt message edition to more jaded reflections in Heart Assortment: A Bittersweet Sampler.
Many academic libraries have artist book collections of various sizes and scopes. Some institutions collect regionally, thematically, or structurally, while others prefer a mix of all types and kinds. Collection scale, of course, depends heavily on the acquisitions budget. Art librarians have found artist books to be interesting objects for display within their libraries and useful tools for developing interdisciplinary relationships with faculty and students. The Baylor Artist Book Collection is often requested for art department classes, but is also requested by professors from other departments. An emerging trend at Baylor is engagement by students in the Medical Humanities program.
For more information on the collection see http://www.researchguides.baylor.edu/heartbooks.
What other ways are artist book collections used in libraries? Do you or would you collect artist books in your role as an art librarian? Why do you think these types of collections are popular in an increasingly digital age?
Are you a fashion blogger or photographer, or have always wanted to give it a try? Do you have an appreciation for librarian style in particular? Will you be at the 2013 ARLIS/NA conference in Pasadena?
If you answered “yes” to these, consider volunteering as an ARLIS correspondent to Librarian Wardrobe!
Our own Heather Koopmans has discussed the idea with the contributors at LW, and would like to find 1-2 individuals who are willing to help spread the word of ARLISian style. You must be:
planning to attend the ARLIS/NA conference in Pasadena
willing to share a photo and short bio of yourself on LW
comfortable with approaching ARLIS attendees to obtain their photo and a few other necessary details (no candid pics)
able to collect at least five photos at the conference
If you’re interested, please contact Heather at hkoopman (at) scad (dot) edu, and she’ll put you in touch with Librarian Wardrobe.
Many thanks to all of our contributors and job-hunting aficionados. I hope you new or soon-to-be graduates are taking heart from the steady flow of the amazing career opportunities that flow through here.
Now, let’s get a discussion going on this blog. We’ll start with something simple.
What are you reading?
Have you read something recently that’s influenced your work or study interests? What’s your bookshelf look like? Come across any great new articles?
Let us know! Comment here, post an instagram photo of your growing “to read” list, or just tweet us @arlisnap.
A cool exhibition at the Dodd Research Center highlights works created by students in a first year studio foundation art class. Here’s the word from the Dodd’s blog:
Given as an assignment to a first year studio foundation art class, students were challenged to consider the function of the book and encouraged to rethink its form as sculptural object. Additionally, the students were inspired by viewing some of the diverse forms of one-of-a- kind and limited edition artists’ books housed at the Dodd Research Center…
Through a series of transformative gestures and repetitive actions such as folding, cutting, scoring, curling, punching, incising and shredding, the function of book as object of information is transformed into structure, sculpture. These repetitive acts, to the point of exaggeration, have created new and startling physical shapes that we take notice of first. For some of the creators, the book’s title helped prompt an action informing us of the book’s potential content. For others, a singular process took shape without considering the book’s original intention. Irony, wit, poetic reference, and obsessive gesture push the book’s singular recognizable form into a new physical shape. Some of the pages turn, but the text is not the text of legibility. Others offer the viewer a window into the process of alteration.
Book As Sculpture Exhibition Through April 30, 2011,
Monday-Friday 10-4 Dodd Research Center John P. McDonald Reading Room University of Connecticut 405 Babbidge Road, Unit 1205 Storrs, CT 06269-1205
Attention archivists, students, and repositories in the New England area:
The NEA newsletter is currently seeking articles about your activities and accomplishments for the July 2011 issue of the NEA newsletter. The newsletter relies entirely on entries from members, so please share your news with the archives community!
Past entries have included announcements about newly processed collections, new acquisitions, renovations and expansions, grants received, project updates, exhibit openings, student activities, photographs from collections, and internship opportunities. However, anything of interest to the archives community is welcome!
You can also add an item to our calendar of upcoming events (events, workshops, meetings, conferences, symposia, etc). Please limit your news item to around 150 words, or your calendar entry to around 25 words, and be sure to include your repository name, location, and a phone number or email address at the end of the piece.
The NEA will appreciate the time and thought you put into your writing!!
Send submissions by 05/16/2011 to:
Michael Dello Iacono
Moakley Archive and Institute
120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108