The Medium is the newsletter of ARLIS/Texas-Mexico and is currently published exclusively on the chapter's website. Each issue includes information about chapter activities, news from members, and special reports. The issue following the chapter's annual meeting, held in the fall of each year, contains reports from the meeting, including the business meeting minutes and reports covering any special programs or tours.
During the fall/winter of 2011 and spring of 2012, the chapter migrated its entire archive of paper and digital issues to its website. Our digital archive presently holds 105 issues from v. 1, no. 1 (January 1974) through the latest. The chapter produced both paper and digital issues from v. 24, no. 3/4 (fall/winter 1998)-v. 25, no. 3/4 (fall/winter 1999). Both of these editions are made available here because the paper issues include Phil Heagy’s exhibitions listings. The chapter published its first exclusively digital edition with v. 26, no. 1 (summer 2000). Legacy HTML issues were converted to PDF documents for convenience at the expense of broken hyperlinks, though they are still available in the original documents.
Welcome to The Medium, the newsletter of the Texas-Mexico Chapter of ARLIS/NA. The Spring 2013 issue (v. 39, no.1) contains session reports from the recent annual conference in Pasadena, California, collection profiles, and news about events and members of our regional chapter.
I have been a member of the Texas-Mexico Chapter for almost ten years now and am honored to be our chapter’s President for this year. Before I was a member, I had an unshaped idea of how I wanted to proceed with my career. Networking with chapter members, ARLIS/NA, and several extremely supportive mentoring colleagues has exposed me to so many wonderful opportunities and inspired me to take the path of art librarianship. At both our annual chapter meeting and the ARLIS/NA conferences I have been fortunate enough to attend, I always learn so much and remember why I love being an art librarian.
At the recent ARLIS/NA Conference in Pasadena, California, I met many colleagues from several different areas of the art world and art information professions; we exchanged valuable knowledge, and I was able to gather new and useful ideas from them. ARLIS/NA is a wonderful way to connect with and discover the many branches of art information professions. We welcome and encourage not only art librarians to join and contribute to the vast pool of professional information and networking opportunities our organizations create, but also curators, archivists, and artists!
Another exciting piece of news that was announced at the ARLIS/NA Conference in Pasadena is that the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter’s invitation to host the 43rd Annual ARLIS/NA Conference in Ft. Worth in 2015 was officially accepted by the ARLIS/NA Executive Board! I will soon share more information about our co-chair volunteers and conference planning details on our chapter listserv.
I invite you all to attend our annual fall ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter meeting in San Antonio this November 1st through 3rd. With the generous assistance of many new and existing chapter members and in scouting the culturally rich city of San Antonio, I have discovered many wonderful surprises. I am piecing together what I hope is an inspiring meeting and agenda of events. I will send more information in the next couple of months about our annual fall meeting. Please contact me if you have any questions about ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter membership, joining our listserv, or our fall meeting in San Antonio.
Tara Spies Smith
2013 President, Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter
At the 41st Annual ARLIS/NA Conference this year in Pasadena, California, I coordinated the first Graphic Novels Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting. There were twelve meeting attendees total. Attendee names will be listed in the meeting minutes available with the ARLIS/NA 2013 conference proceedings. This article is an explanation of why I wanted to start the Graphic Novels SIG.
In February of 2012 I curated a graphic novel exhibit with relevant graphic novels, comics, books about graphic novels, and DVDs. The exhibit also featured signs with information about important graphic novels, novelists, and artists. The popularity of the exhibit inspired me to create a separate collection and area for this genre which lends itself to promotion and leisure reading in a comfortable space. A very efficient working group of other librarians and library staff helped me to arrange the graphic novel collection and get it ready for circulation by September of 2012 in Alkek Library at Texas State University. The circulation of the existing and added titles has tripled since we created the collection.
The Graphic Novels SIG evolved from my desire to talk to others who have or want graphic novel collections at their institutions or who are just interested in the genre. In the request to form the SIG we stated, “Because graphic novels are becoming a more prevalent topic of study in art and design schools, graphic novel collections are starting to be more common in academic libraries. This creates a need for discussion and sharing of ideas related to graphic novels and graphic novel collections.”
The attendees and new members of the Graphic Novels SIG agreed on our statement of purpose to read as follows: “The purpose of the Graphic Novels SIG is to discuss, share and/or present topics including collection development issues, circulation, processing and display of graphic novels, statistics for support of the collection, preservation, conservation, library related instruction and any other issues that come up with this type of collection or other similar collections. Examples of other collections include comics or other types of sequential art and zines.”
The Graphic Novels SIG decided to start a listserv as well as the ARLIS/NA Graphic Novels SIG blog to share ideas and information with each other and the public about the genre in and outside of libraries. Both are active so please contact me if you are interested in being a member or want more information. We are still evolving!
By Tara Spies Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA), graciously opened their doors after hours on Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 6 – 9 p.m. exclusively for ARLIS members. It was quite an enjoyable experience to see so many fellow ARLIS colleagues in the museum at one time. I was also very excited to learn that the museum was currently showing the exhibit California Scene Paintings from 1930 – 1960, because I have an interest and degree in watercolor painting. This was my chance to see so many of the paintings that my major professor had referred to as “The California School” over the years and shared many times with the class in slide shows and in books. Now I could see many of the paintings in person!
As I viewed the paintings, the first impressions I received involved the vibrancy, lively brushwork and the artists’ abilities to capture the pulse of the land. There was a dynamic inner life in most of the paintings and a sense of bold color and delicate inner light. A few minutes later, I had the realization that our watercolor painting class had only examined the paintings formally. The exhibit evoked a question about the movement. The specific question that arose was why did so many California artists at this time choose to use watercolor as a medium for their paintings when earlier in time it had been used primarily for preliminary studies that informed the final paintings done in other mediums?
To answer this question, I turned to the book American Scene Painting: California, 1930’s and 1940’s, and the Final Report on the WPA Program: 1935-1943. The book contributes some of the influence of the growth of interest in watercolor painting to the influential Chouinard SchooI and the California Watercolor Society, both of which were founded in Los Angeles in 1921 (Anderson 1991, 18-21).
The book and the WPA Program Report also both credit the Works Progress Administration for the growth of art production as it was responsible for funding many artists to create artworks from 1935 – 1943. The report stated that “108,000 easel works” of oil and watercolor were produced under the WPA Program overall (Report on the WPA Program 1946, 65). The only stipulation the WPA made concerning the subject matter of the art produced was that “it must be American” (64). So it sounds as if the WPA Program was pretty democratic in its funding activities of artists and art in different mediums and a broad range of subject matter. In addition to the WPA funding, other aspects about watercolor may have influenced the artists’ choice to use them, including the fact that the paint is more affordable, faster drying and a more portable medium compared to oil paint.
All of the reasons mentioned above appear to be contributing factors to why watercolor became a popular medium in California at this time, but I would like to suggest that there are additional reasons. There seems to have been a developing love for working with the medium of watercolor itself in California over time. I found it interesting that most of the original founding members of the California Watercolor Society were oil painters (Hoopes 1991, 44). The love of the medium would seem inextricably linked to how the paint performed for the artists and enabled them to create what they desired. So, I think the answer to “why watercolor?” can best be answered by approaching the paintings as we did in class all those years ago, that is by reviewing some of the more formal aspects of the paintings.
While a surface glance of many of the paintings include depictions mostly of the land and the people inhabiting it; a closer examination reveals that the people are usually depicted as types and there are not many individually identifiable people or portraits. The people in my mind are not as important as the nature of the land. There are many identifiable places depicted in the paintings, but they are not painted in an overtly historical, meticulous, idyllic or photographic manner. The nature and power of the land seem to be the more dominate themes. These themes in the paintings are rendered by a knowledgeable use of the inherent qualities of watercolor paint and water to depict the raw essence of the nature of the land. For example the nature of how a heavy application of watercolor paint spreads and trails on very wet paper is utilized in Phil Dike’s Then it Rained, 1939, to create the perfect aesthetic and sensory effect. In other paintings, storms and billowing clouds of smoke from trains are rendered in watercolor paint in a manner that seems to capture the very nature of the phenomena themselves. Most of these paintings were also created using a very direct painting style with little or no underlying drawing. In fact, many of the paintings appear to be drawn with the paint brush, so that drawing and painting are accomplished in one action.
The inherent qualities of watercolor paint seemed to be a perfect medium to depict the raw beauty and nature of the land of California. This was a very special moment of time in California when watercolor was taken to new heights by artists who became very adept in the medium and created a new and unique California painting style whose paintings themselves elucidate the answer to the question “why watercolor?”
Anderson, Susan M. 1991. Dream and Perspective: American Scene Painting in Southern California. In American Scene Painting: California, 1930’s and 1940’s, ed. Ruth Lilly Westphal and Janet Blake Dominik, 17-35. Newport Beach, CA.: Westphal Publishing.
Final Report on The WPA Program 1935-43. 1946, By Philip B. Fleming, Major General. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
Hoopes, Donelson. 1991. California Watercolor Painters in Context. In American Scene Painting: California, 1930’s and 1940’s, ed. Ruth Lilly Westphal and Janet Blake Dominik, 37-53. Newport Beach, CA.: Westphal Publishing.
University of North Texas
This year in Pasadena, Deborah Evans-Cantrell and I had the chance to co-chair a SIG session entitled Queering our Collections: Three Important LGBT Archives. Representatives from three major collections discussed the unique issues and challenges surrounding their particular collections as well as how they see their work being affected by technological change as they move into the future.
Curator David Frantz explained in his presentation Cruising the Archive at that the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives is the oldest active Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning (LGBTQ) organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBTQ materials in the world. Founded in 1952, ONE Archives currently houses over two million archival items including periodicals, books, film, video and audio recordings, photographs, artworks, organizational records and personal papers. The collections at ONE Archives are a part of and supported by the University of Southern California Libraries.
According to Director of Communications Angela Briskele, in her talk entitled Collecting Anything a Lesbian ever Touched: A Grass Roots Archive, the June Mazer Lesbian Archives is located within the UCLA Library and is the largest major archive on the West Coast dedicated to preserving and promoting lesbian and feminist history and culture. The collections expand the pool of primary source materials available to researchers and to the community at large. The project was initiated by the Center for the Study of Women to inventory, organize, preserve, and digitize several of Mazer’s key Los Angeles-themed collections.
The third presentation was extremely interesting since the collection exists outside of an academic institution and for the content of the material archived in a private home turned museum. Volunteers Marti Pike and Toni Rodriquez explained that in 1984 the non-profit Tom of Finland Foundation was established by Durk Dehner and his friend Touko Laaksonen – a.k.a. Tom of Finland. As Tom had established worldwide recognition as the master of homo-erotic art, the Foundation's original purpose was to preserve his vast catalog of work. Several years later the scope was widened to offer a safe haven for all erotic art in response to rampant discrimination against art that portrayed sexual behavior or generated a sexual response. Today the Foundation continues in its efforts of educating the public as to the cultural merits of erotic art and in promoting healthier, more tolerant attitudes about sexuality. The processing of archives and books are done strictly by volunteers and efforts are moving forward to bring the library catalog online soon using the Koha automated system.
I was able to thank some of you in person in Pasadena, but I would like to extend my thanks to the Texas-Mexico chapter for the opportunity to attend the ARLIS conference in Pasadena.
Two days after I received the fabulous news that I was the lucky recipient of the Lois Swan Jones award, I was offered a job at Boston College. Planning a cross-country move put a bit of a crunch on my conference plans, not to mention the project I was working on for Laura Schwartz at UT. I arranged to start work two days after the end of the conference.
I missed out on securing a mentor this time around, but I was fortunate that former award winner Mary Wegmann attended the conference as well. Appropriately, one of my first meetings was the ARLISnap SIG, which gave me the chance to meet fellow emerging professionals and talk about getting ARLIS into library schools. ARTex, the art and architecture interest group at UT Austin’s iSchool, has had low interest; other students reported similarly. I am still hoping to reach out and get more UT students interested in the local chapter!
As a big fan of Los Angeles art and architecture, I really enjoyed the opening plenary on Pacific Standard Time projects. I just wish everyone had more time to speak! Afterwards I attended the New Voices in the Profession session, which was very encouraging to me as a new professional by highlighting some great projects. I loved hearing about addressing privacy concerns while assisting researchers in an East L.A. Graffiti archive. Next I went to the Book Arts SIG, which was fairly well attended by a diverse audience. Mary and I wondered exactly what a Special Interest Group actually does, and the interactions we witnessed helped clarify that for us. We stopped by the First Time Attendees welcome and caught up with fellow iSchooler Jarred Wilson before rushing off to the Autry for the welcome party. The atmosphere was perfect for rubbing elbows (but we all wished for more snacks).
Saturday was a full day, starting with the New England chapter meeting. While I’m grateful to Texas for the support, I am glad to have met so many of my new colleagues. The “Artists’ Books: Turning the Page to the Future” session that I had been looking forward to did not disappoint with a great variety of endeavors discussed. After a great lunch courtesy of ARTStor, I skipped between “Forward Into the Past” and the Alt-ARLIS panel. After the fantastic plenary by Chon Noriega, I checked out the posters, taking particular interest in the local zine efforts, which I know interests many in the MX-TX chapter. At the Visual Resources division, I found myself agreeing to be a moderator; more importantly, I got to meet fellow ex-Texan MarK Pompelia. Next, Mary and I went to the Pasadena Museum of California Art before catching dinner downtown with some fellow vegetarians.
Having been unsuccessfully waitlisted for the California Modern house tour, I was hoping to register for the printing workshop on Monday through the hospitality desk. That didn’t work out either, but I did volunteer for a couple of hours at the desk, checking in a few late arrivals. I realized how much work goes into orchestrating these conferences! I was thrilled to see Maureen Whalen, Associate General Counsel for the J. Paul Getty Trust, speak on intellectual property in the session “Copyright and Images: An Evolving Landscape and New Opportunities.” Perhaps inspired by her, as well as by general conference fatigue, I left Pasadena for the hills to enjoy the Getty Center on my own. While I’ve been there before, I saw the place with fresh eyes, invigorated by all the fantastic conversations I’d had through the weekend.
University of Texas at Austin
The Jerry Bywaters Special Collections on the second floor of the Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University houses several collections on the visual and the performing arts. The collections center on the twentieth-century history of the arts in Dallas and the Texas region. In addition to a substantial collection of works of art and other documents of Jerry Bywaters, former Director of the Dallas Museum of Art (1943 – 1964) and long-time SMU art faculty, the BSC holds the archives of several Texas artists, including Charles Bowling, Mary Doyle, Otis and Velma Davis Dozier, E. G. Eisenlohr, DeForrest Judd, William Lester, Evaline Sellors, Olin Travis, Octavio Medellin, Janet Turner, and Henry Potter. Other collections include the correspondence of nineteenth-century French painter, Rosa Bonheur, the Greer Garson Collection, McCord/Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts, and music collections. The staff includes two curators and an archivist. For more information about Jerry Bywaters and the artist’s work, see these publications by BSC staff. For more information on these collections, see the following descriptions about the visual arts and the performing arts.
The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library is part of the University of Houston’s branch library system. Housed in the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture on the central campus, it supports the curricula of the College of Architecture, as well as the School of Art next door. The library was established in 1985, when Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s new Architecture building was completed. It features abundant study space, a rare books room and large and diverse collection of monographs, serials, media and ephemera.
The collection features over 100,000 monographs and nearly 200 current journals, which support architecture, art history, painting and sculpture programs, as well as some unusual programs. The College of Architecture offers degrees in industrial design and space architecture. The School of Art offers undergraduate and advanced degrees in graphic communications and students majoring in art history or studio art can elect to specialize in photography/digital media, critical studies, or interdisciplinary practice and emerging forms. Electives in printmaking and book arts are also supported. The library collection is, therefore, a variegated one that encompasses all of these fields.
In addition to traditional materials, the broad collection development policy allows the collection of unusual items. Highlights include:
Rare books are housed in the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room, a focal point of the facility. The Franzheim collection consists of approximately 10,000 books from the mid-1500’s to the 21st century. The collection includes a number of large portfolios on different building types and regional architecture, notable first editions by masters like Mendelsohn, Wright, and le Corbusier, catalogs of early industrial design and products for the home and exceptional art books. Works on local art and architecture are also collected.
The library also provides access to specialized online resources: Avery Index, Art Full Text and Art Index Retrospective, JSTOR, ARTstor, Art Museum Image Gallery, Bridgeman and others. The staff is in the process of revamping its online presence by creating new online guides and video tutorials to provide virtual reference assistance. Chat and an Ask the Librarian service are also available. Reference services are very well used at the Jenkins Library. Some years, the number of complex reference transactions rival that of the central library.
The Jenkins Library offers a number of technology services. Both color and black/white printing and copying is available, as are scanners. Customers may email documents or save them on flash drives. Students may use one of the library’s computer workstations or borrow a Netbook.
A private room which features private study carrels is reserved for students pursuing an MA of Art History. The library also features large study tables and open carrels.
The library is staffed by one librarian and a support staff of 2.5, all of whom have extensive library experience in fine arts research. The staff organizes small rotating exhibits in the library’s display space.
Freedom of illusions (Illusions of freedom) Acrylic by Chad Maydwell, 2012 UH Libraries Student Art Exhibit
It also organizes an impressive annual student art exhibit every spring, which is open to students of all classifications and majors. The exhibit is juried by curators from Houston’s museums, artspace directors and other arts professions. Only one of every four submissions is accepted every year.
The staff is currently in the process of planning an extensive reorganization of the facility to response to customer feedback. An increase in silent study space, consolidation of technology resources and the creation of a small gallery for student artwork are all being planned. The Jenkins Library is a center for community, quiet reflection and academic development for the visual arts faculty and students, and the proposed changes are intended to support those functions. The goal is to be their living room on campus.
University of Houston
Tara Spies Smith, current ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter President recently received the Texas State University Alkek Library’s Employee Excellence Award for 2012 for providing the highest quality library service as a Reference Instruction Librarian in the Research and Learning Services Department. The award was also given for her initiatives and creative work with the Library Web Team, Promotions Team, and development of the Graphic Novel Collection.
There is still time to view two inspiring exhibitions by Australian native Kate Breakey at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos. The Las Sombras/The Shadows and Creatures of Light and Darkness exhibitions are closing on July 7, 2013.
Las Sombras/The Shadows features work that Breakey created after moving to Arizona in 1999. Making pictures without a camera like William Henry Fox Talbot and Anna Atkins in the nineteenth century, Breakey also shares their affinity for recording the natural world in scientific detail as well as with artistic beauty. Her contact prints—known as photograms—have the sepia-toned look of Victorian images, yet their sensibility is distinctly modern. Luminous coyotes and whipsnakes, mice, rabbits, quail, cactus, moths and scorpions are imbued with her affection for the flora and fauna that inhabit the American Southwest, which is now her home. As she says, “The natural world is full of wondrous things to look at and to chronicle and catalogue. In my own way, I have devoted myself to that end.” Over 200 photograms, which Breakey donated to the Wittliff Collections are arranged salon style for the show.
Images from her newest series, Creatures of Light and Darkness were taken with a motion sensor infrared-camera. Breakey captured wildlife —such as coyotes, javelinas, and screech owl’s — in their natural habitat. She enhanced the animals in their landscapes by coloring the large, archival pigmented-ink photographs with oil and pencil.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO of the Las Sombras exhibition talk at the Wittliff on November 10, 2012.
For more information about directions and hours, please visit http://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu/
— Submitted by Carla Ellard, Curator, Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection at the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University-San Marcos
The University of Texas at Austin Alexander Architectural Archive has loaned four drawings and a brochure from the Harwell Hamilton Harris collection to the The J. Paul Getty Museum for their exhibition Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940 – 1990 on display April 9–July 21, 2013.
The drawings and brochure document an innovative design for post war housing called "The Segmental House." According to Harris "the segmental house provides a means by which the young husband and wife, starting life together, may plan a house for their ultimate needs and achieve it gradually as their requirements and income increase."
This is the first major exhibition to survey Los Angeles's complex urban landscape and diverse architectural innovations.
Co-organized by the Getty Research Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum, Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940–1990 is part of the initiative Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., which celebrates Southern California's lasting impact on modern architecture through exhibitions and programs organized by seventeen area cultural institutions from April through July 2013.
Next fall, Overdrive will be travelling to the National Building Museum in Washington, DC where it will be on display from October 13, 2013 through March 2, 2014.
Harwell Hamilton Harris collection finding aid:
Getty exhibition website:
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Welcome to the inaugural issue of The Medium published with the chapter's new content management system. This issue introduces a new collection profiles series, and we begin with a look at the Rice Visual Resources Center. To augment the series' usefulness, this and future collection profiles will be easily accessible via the main menu. Other issue highlights include Elizabeth Schaub's insightful president's column, Laura Schwartz's story about promoting the UT Fine Arts Library (and the importance of library promotion in general), the scoop about the new Dallas Art Libraries Consortium, a revisiting of the contents of the first issue of The Medium, along with an interesting roundup of member news.
The first chapter meeting that I attended was in Lubbock, Texas in 1998. My colleague, and friend, Beth Dodd, whom I had met while we were both employed at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University, encouraged me to participate since I had just completed my MLIS degree and was newly hired as the co-director of the School of Architecture’s Audio Visual Resources Collection at The University of Texas at Austin. Soon I was introduced to Laura Schwartz and the three of us piled into Laura’s car and headed west. At that time, I could not have predicted how the journey to Lubbock would influence my professional development or how the chapter would evolve over the ensuing years.
When my term as president began this January, I decided to assess, in broad terms, where the chapter had been, where it is currently, and how it might evolve. Using this approach, vice president/president elect Sam Duncan and I developed a platform that will help guide my term as president and ensure continuity so that when Sam begins his term in 2007, he can carry the plan forward.
While assessing the chapter’s history, I turned to The Medium that was published following the 1998 meeting in Lubbock (v. 24, no. 3/4 [fall/winter 1998]). I found evidence of how the chapter was reinventing itself, how it was shaping the image it was presenting to the world via the Web, and how this trajectory would influence activities in the coming years.
The chapter was undergoing its name change, shepherded by Janine Henri, from ARLIS/Texas to ARLIS/Texas-Mexico. The name change became official in 1999 and recruitment activities followed, resulting in the formation of the Mexican Librarian Recruitment Committee, chaired by Jacqui Allen. The committee successfully applied for ARLIS/NA grant funding to bring two Mexican librarians to the chapter’s 2001 annual meeting in Albuquerque. However, beginning in 2002, recruitment efforts to attract additional Mexican members were not fruitful. Still, the chapter stayed committed to its goal, and by 2005, chapter members Charles Burchard and Selene Hinojosa had translated the membership form and the president’s message on the Web site into Spanish.
Sam Duncan’s redesign of the chapter’s Web site debuted at the Lubbock meeting in 1999, and Sam proposed that The Medium be marked up using HTML in order to make it available online. Sam also identified the need for the chapter to pursue an independent Internet Service Provider to host the chapter’s site. Sam’s redesigned chapter Web site received numerous accolades from both inside and outside the chapter; by 2000, new issues of The Medium were posted electronically and mailing ceased. Our chapter’s new site also helped encourage thinking at the Society level about the image ARLIS/NA wanted to present to the world via the Web. Sam’s continued involvement in the chapter’s Web-related activities resulted in his development of the Society’s site for the annual conference in Houston in 2005. Sam introduced a content management system that allowed for dynamic site updates and the capability for users to search the program by keyword and create customized conference schedules. This revolutionary approach to managing annual conference information via the Web harkened a paradigm shift that has influenced the way the Society’s Web site for this year’s conference in Banff has developed.
“Plus ca change, plus c’est la même chose.” Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a French critic, teacher, philosopher and novelist of the 19th century gave us the oft-used and well recognized adage: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The issues that I wish to address during my term as president have to do with recruitment and the chapter’s Web presence and how it relates to broader issues that the Society should address. These are not new issues. However, as technology evolves, we have the ability to harness it to cultivate new and exciting ways to recruit members and to create a Web presence that better meets our members’ needs.
Part of my historical assessment of the chapter included a conversation with Janine Henri about the impetus to change the chapter’s name. What Janine told me was very illuminating. Up until 1999 when the name of the chapter was changed to include Mexico, there was no administrative structure in place to accommodate Mexican members of ARLIS/NA who might want to participate in the society at the regional level. According to Janine, the name change did not obligate the chapter to add Mexican members to its ranks. Instead the change simply provided a means for Mexican members to have a voice regionally. Even so, chapter members devoted a great deal of time and energy to recruit Mexican members and the chapter has continued to shore up the bridge between Texas and Mexico by providing translated portions of the chapter’s Web site. The door to membership in the chapter was opened in 1999, and it remains open in 2006.
In order to more effectively recruit chapter members who are current or new members of the Society, I have asked that the mechanism in place at the Society level to channel information about potential members be examined since we have not received such information on an ongoing basis. As a result of my request, this is being addressed and all the Society’s chapters should be receiving reports on a monthly basis that will help facilitate recruiting efforts. In concert with this change, I plan to pursue the creation of an informational packet that the chapter could distribute to potential members as a recruitment tool. Finally, I would like to reach out to former members and encourage them to rejoin the chapter.
Sam mentioned at the meeting in Marfa last year that he was interested in refreshing the chapter’s Web site aesthetically as well as from a functional perspective. During the first part of this year, due to Sam’s efforts, our Web site’s appearance has changed to include a new logo and also takes advantage of technological innovations to help us more effectively manage our content. In particular, Sam has employed a more efficient means of producing and organizing The Medium and also a better system of managing member profiles. Thanks go to Sam for devoting the time and energy to research the best approach for the chapter’s site and for lending his design skills to transform the chapter’s online image. Sam will more fully report on his efforts elsewhere in this issue of The Medium.
Another issue that was identified in Marfa and will be pursued during the coming year relates to how chapters’ Web sites relate to the Society and to what degree the Society should centralize the technical infrastructure that supports chapters’ sites. Our chapter’s site is hosted by an independent Internet Service Provider (ISP) so the existence of the site is not contingent upon the ability of the individual who is serving as the chapter’s Web master to convince his or her institution to host the site. Having the site hosted by an ISP provides continuity from one Web master to the next. However, this is not the model followed by all the Society’s chapters. A centralized model would provide stability and continuity for chapter sites even when regional Web masters change. This is a position that the chapter has advocated and I am pursuing this issue through the appropriate channels to reach the Board with our concerns.
In addition, because our chapter hosted the Society’s annual conference in 2005 and we were responsible for the Web site, it is now incumbent on our chapter to maintain the site in perpetuity. Again, it makes sense from an administrative perspective to have a centralized means to address issues of continuity and perpetuity for annual conference sites. This too is an issue that I have called to the Board’s attention on the chapter’s behalf and I will keep you apprised about how this issue is addressed by the Board.
Preparations for the annual meeting have already begun; details will be forthcoming. The dates are October 20-October 22, 2006. Currently the proposed itinerary has attendees arriving in Austin on Thursday, 10/19, meeting in Austin on 10/20, departing Austin on 10/21 and traveling to San Marcos and then onto San Antonio. Attendees will depart from San Antonio on Sunday, 10/22.
Thanks to those of you who have volunteered to assist with local arrangements in each of the three cities that we will visit.
Finally, I want to thank you, my colleagues, who have helped me to develop professionally and who have given me the opportunity to serve first as the chapter’s secretary, then as vice-president/president elect, and now as president. My hope is that you will find the upcoming meeting in Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio inspirational and that it will help guide you on your professional path in the same way the meeting in Lubbock did for me.
I look forward to serving you in my current role helping to guide the chapter as it continues its evolution.Elizabeth Schaub
Elizabeth Schaub wrote in her president's column that the chapter's first Web site launched in 1999, and I remember all the fretting and obsessing leading up to its release. It's 2006, and I'm experiencing a weird sense of déjà vue. The learning curve was steep, but the rewards are many. We now have a Web publishing platform that I'm hopeful will serve the chapter well into the future. The site is powered by the Drupal content management system, which allows an unprecedented level of control over the site's content. With Drupal's impressive list of add-on modules, I would be hard pressed to imagine functionality needed by the chapter that the system couldn't accommodate. Above and beyond, the chapter community is the force that brings the site alive and keeps it a dynamic and vital tool, which is in keeping with the underpinning philosophy of community that drives Drupal development: after all, Drupal's tagline is "community plumbing." And guess what? The software is also free.
I especially want to highlight the dramatic shift in how we produce and display The Medium. No longer does The Medium appear as a huge chunk of text to wade through. Now each issue is presented with a table of contents, which allows you to easily pick and choose articles. Once you've accessed an article, you can quickly return to the issue's table of contents by following the breadcrumbs at the top of the content area. Printer-friendly links are provided at the bottom of each issue's table of contents and also at the bottom of each article.
In terms of the way we produce and edit each issue, chapter members who are contributing content will have special privileges that will allow them to post their work directly via the Web site and tag that content for later editorial review and publishing.
Finally, because of Drupal's modularity, each article can be repurposed and presented in other areas of the site. An example is the collection profiles, which appears on the main menu. These articles are brought together automatically via tagging from various issues of The Medium. Still another example is content that is highlighted in the "recent articles" section appearing in the righthand column on each page of the site.
The chapter also has a new Web host for our site, AN HOSTING, which represents a signficant savings and increase in features over our old host. We now pay $95.40 per year instead of $167.40. Our domain name was activated on the new host on May 5, 2006.
Thanks to Elizabeth Schaub for all the handholding, encouragement, and patience. I also owe a debt to John Robinson, Webmaster at the Amon Carter Museum, and Timothy Gambell, Graphic Designer and Production Manager at the Amon Carter Museum, for their good humor in answering my many calls for advice and help.
Mark Pompelia, Past President of ARLIS/TXMX, authored the chapter's annual report for 2005. The report may be downloaded below.
The year was 1974, and The Medium's tagline was "an agent through which action takes place." As we witness a sea change in the way the chapter publishes The Medium, what better time to visit the first issue of The Medium? The opening paragraph indicates that the publication was to be largely shaped by chapter members' contributions, and that approach is even more apt in our new publication environment, which offers an unprecedented level of user input and control.
The opening paragraph from the first issue:
This is the first newsletter of the Art Library Society/North America -- Texas Chapter. As a new publication its form will follow the material we have to print. Future issues will reflect the form and content ARLIS/Texas members give to it. We begin with humility and we strive for significance -- your opinions and ideas are always considered.
Volume 1, number 1 recorded activities at the first organizational meeting of the Texas chapter held at the Kimbell Art Museum and Amon Carter Museum. Ilse Rothrock, librarian at the Kimbell Art Museum, introduced guest speaker Judith Hoffberg, founder of ARLIS/NA and librarian at the Brand Library in Glendale, California, who spoke to the group about the history of ARLIS/NA and other particulars. After a lunch break, Shelby Miller, president of the chapter, continued the meeting by discussing the steps required to become an official chapter of ARLIS/NA. The question of the frequency of chapter meetings took center stage, with Judith Hoffberg urging the group to meet more than once a year. In the end, the group agreed on a compromise provision in the chapter's constitution reading, "a meeting shall be held at least once a year." James Galloway, vice-president, would be responsible for sending out the newsletter, and the cost would be supported by donations--at the time, the kitty amounted to $19. The meeting then turned to discussion of various chapter projects and concerns, including how to handle duplicate periodicals, the challenge of indexing exhibition catalogs, and how to handle an ongoing chapter initiative, the compilation of the Union List of Art Periodicals in Texas. Members agreed that a state-wide listing would not be feasible and that it made more sense to start with smaller areas and piece those into a larger list later. Another project on the docket was a way to handle non-book materials, such as exhibition announcements. These materials were seen as important since they often provided information not published elsewhere. In another initiative, Mrs. Rothrock sought to leverage the collective knowledge offered by the chapter by publishing a form that members could use to submit reference questions among themselves. The first form appears alongside the article. The issue closes with a call for members to re-evaluate the curriculum offered by area library schools vis-a-vis preparation of future art librarians and to express their concerns via a form to be filled out and mailed to Dean Dewey Carroll at the North Texas State University School of Library and Information Science.
The inaugural issue of The Medium reveals a nascent chapter brimming with projects and concerns. Thirty-two years later, the chapter remains a vital network of professionals addressing a long list of art library and visual resources problems and challenges. In fact, some of the concerns brought out at our first meeting are still with us today: witness Jon Evans' work with non-book materials via the ARLIS/NA Artist Files Working Group. It's clear that the connections that the chapter facilitates between members still stands as its raison d'être, and as we launch the new Web site, opportunity abounds for building and mining those connections.
The Visual Resources Center (VRC) is the image collection for art historical instruction and research at Rice University. Containing approximately 325,000 35mm film slides and 10,000 high-resolution digital images, the collection represents visual culture from prehistoric to contemporary times and reflects the many areas of faculty interest and curatorial development since its inception in the early 1970s.
The VRC has three FTE staff (a director and associate and assistant curators—the first two being professional, exempt positions). In addition, a student assistant contributes 10-15 hours per week.
The VRC currently has an annual acquisitions rate of 4,000 35mm slides and 12,000 digital images through in-house copystand photography and flatbed and slide scanning, which signals a recent and dramatic reversal of the ratio of analog to digital items added to the collection. This change reflects the developing interest of the art history faculty toward electronic access and presentation and VRC efforts to build a significant and meaningful body of digital images to make that format attractive to the faculty. The university is currently in the process of negotiating a license for ARTstor, which will greatly impact digital image access and possibly affect VRC internal collection development practices.
In 2003, the VRC implemented the Image Resource Information System (IRIS), a highly complex relational database developed by a consortium of colleges and universities that adheres to the latest developments in visual resources data standards (key among them is the work/image relationship, where multiple image records refer to one work record). IRIS also encourages the construction of and strict adherence to a wide variety of built-in authority files. Before IRIS, the VRC had been using a fairly adequate flat-file to produce slide labels for 75,000 slides; this file is searchable through IRIS. The VRC is looking to modify IRIS to add thumbnails to image records and to create an OPAC (online catalog) for patron searching of IRIS.
Since 2000, the VRC has supported course-based Web sites for student review of images. These sites are generated through third-party software such as Extensis Portfolio and Microsoft Powerpoint (the former offers a data-rich image gallery, whereas as the latter allows a seamless review of the actual lecture presented in class). In summer 2005, the university reviewed several digital image management systems and decided upon the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID), an intuitive teaching tool that allows faculty to search the VRC digital collection and build lectures to be presented in class and saved for student review online. The VRC spent the autumn building a metadata model and selecting the corresponding data fields within IRIS (exported data is then modified slightly before being imported to MDID). The VRC envisions a further streamlined digital workflow between these two systems, IRIS and MDID, to allow for near real-time access to digital images.
During the week of March 6, the University of Texas Fine Arts Library was emblazoned on the main page of the UT website as a feature story. The story received approximately 11,000 hits and provided an incredible means for publicizing the library.
As so many of us know, marketing and publicizing our services and collections helps increase usage and encourages both moral and financial support. Since I began in the role of Head Librarian, my goal has been to take advantage of as many marketing opportunities as possible. Twice a year the staff of the Fine Arts Library volunteer at the pledge drives of the local National Public Radio affiliate KUT and the local Public Broadcasting Station KLRU. Over the last year, the Fine Arts Library has been featured on KUT's ArtsEcletic and now the UT Spotlight. I am still eager to have features written about us in the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman's XLent.
Unfortunately, getting this kind of publicity is not as easy as calling up the radio station or UT's Office of Public Affairs and simply asking for it. I have really had to sell the concept and make it sound exciting. That is what is so terrific about the feature story on the UT website--it made the library sound like a great place. I had so many patrons tell me that the story inspired them to come into the library more often and take advantages of our entire suite of services.
The bottom line is that if my library is going to make a difference in our local community and our global community, I need to let as many people know about it as possible. Our goal is to promote education, literacy, and creativity. My job is to make sure that the Fine Arts Library is inspiring as many citizens as possible. That is what it is all about, isn't it?
The Dallas Art Libraries Consortium, officially organized in 2005, was set up to facilitate the research needs of local art researchers. At this time, there are four members: Hamon Fine Arts Library at Southern Methodist University, Mildred M. Kelly Library of the Art Institute of Dallas, Fine Arts Division of the Dallas Public Library and the Mayer Library of the Dallas Museum of Art. The Consortium's Web site describes each member's collection and what patrons it serves and how. There are no elected officers, no dues and no set meeting times.
The idea for Dallas Art Libraries Consortium originated with Tinsley Silcox, Director of the Hamon Fine Arts Library at SMU. Tin, (as everyone calls him), felt a need for an informal local group of art librarians to provide researchers and other librarians knowledge of local collections and resources. It was also considered useful for each librarian to meet and know other librarians in the field. Each librarian was asked to provide a description of each collection for the Web site, including strengths, who to contact, hours and location, and rules for usage. The Web site is managed by Chris Edwards, administrative assistant at SMU's Hamon Arts Library.
The first and organizational meeting was at the Art Institute of Dallas where we toured the library then had lunch at the Culinary Institute, a part of the school. The second meeting was at the SMU Hamon Library where the librarian, Beverly Gibbons, demonstrated ArtStor. In keeping with the getting-to-know-each-other approach, we had lunch afterwards at a local restaurant. At this time there are no other meetings scheduled.
The Artist Files Working Group has actively been working over the past year to put together a site that will provide a centralized resource for locating institutions with artist files. As part of this endeavor, we intend to create a directory that provides summary statements of institutional holdings from across North America. This directory will go live in the fall of 2006 and will allow the institutions to supply relevant documentation about their holdings of artist files. Further, we intend to provide documentation for loading minimal level cataloging records into the major union catalogs to enhance access to individual records.
Edward Lukasek joined the Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, on February 20 as Catalog Librarian. Edward previously worked in the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Department, and he also worked as a consultant who assisted in setting up a library for the Culinary Institute Alain & Marie LeNotre. He was eagerly welcomed by all the Hirsch Library staff, including his supervisor Margaret Ford, who will be sharing her expertise in the intricacies of museum library cataloging. Edward earned his Master of Library Science degree from the University of North Texas in December 2004.
Edward's varied experience will undoubtedly be an asset at our chapter meetings: rare books, special collections, plus several years as a professional wine buyer in San Francisco. (I expect the quality of our wine and cheese receptions to improve considerably!)
Janine Henri recently co-authored the following article: "Revising NAAB Condition 8: Information Resources" by Kathryn Brackney and Janine Henri, ACSANews, Vol. 35:3, November 2005, p.25.
Several current and former members of the Texas-Mexico Chapter presented papers at a joint Association of Architecture School Librarians/Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture conference session in Salt Lake City on March 31, 2006.
The panel session, Architecture Libraries and Schools of Architecture: Real Collaboration for Student Success will include the following presentations: Prof. Ben Jacks (Miami University) and Shannon Van Kirk (formerly Miami University, now California Polytechnic State University) will discuss their collaborative information literacy projects. Tara Carlisle and Janine Henri (University of Texas) will present "Making the Tangible Connection: Materials Libraries Supporting Faculty and Student Research." Heather Ball (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) will present on library support for off-campus architecture programs.
Since 1979 the Fine Arts Library has served as an important source for information on music, the visual arts, theatre and dance for the University of Texas and local communities. It now has a new look and is providing new services thanks to a collaborative initiative between the University of Texas Libraries and the College of Fine Arts.
Located in the Doty Fine Arts Building across 23rd Street from the D.K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the renovated Fine Arts Library's main level is conceived as a collaborative learning and creative environment with moveable furniture, chairs with tablet arms for laptops, and an additional group study room. Elegant metro shades now filter the sun. The inspirational views of surrounding live oaks, Memorial Stadium and the Tower remain.
The new hardware and software for learning and creating include:
The University of Texas Libraries has received the largest single gift in its history, a $1 million grant from University of Texas at Austin alumnus Jan J. Roberts, who has established an endowment in honor of her late husband, Richard T. "Dick" Roberts. The endowment will upgrade and maintain the Fine Arts Library facility, acquire new library materials and support readings or lectures by renowned playwrights, poets, composers and authors.
The reading room at the Fine Arts Library will be named The Richard T. and Jan J. Roberts Reading Room.
Amon Carter Museum
Deadline for Summer 2006 Issue (v. 32, no. 2): August 5, 2006
Take a break from the dog days of summer with this stimulating issue of The Medium. We start our issue off with Elizabeth Schaub's deft presidential report in which she clearly outlines the recent issues of chapter affiliation, liability, and membership requirements as they apply to the relationship of the chapter to the society. Next, Janine Henri reports on her experience at the 2006 ARLIS/NA conference in Banff as recipient of this year's Lois Swan Jones Travel Award. In light of the recent sad news of Jones' passing, this issue offers a remembrance of her many contributions and invites anyone to contribute memories to the related blog. We also continue our series of collection profiles with an overview of the Green Art Research Library at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas, provided by its librarian/archivist, Daniel Alonzo. This issue closes with a wide spectrum of member news ranging from the acquisition of the King of the Hill papers by the Southwest Writers Collection, Texas State University, to project and personnel updates from the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
I hope that the summer has treated you well and that you are looking forward to a rewarding fall season.
Contributing to the slate of fall activities is the chapter’s annual meeting, October 20-22, 2006, in Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio. This progressive meeting will allow participants the opportunity to experience a wide range of collections and their unique material, time to network and socialize with colleagues, as well as a forum to address important issues facing the chapter during the annual business meeting. Registration is due to chapter treasurer Craig Bunch by October 7. Please visit the annual meeting page for further details including information about accommodations. I look forward to seeing all of you in October.
Since the ARLIS/NA annual conference in Banff (May 5-9, 2006) there has been much discussion about chapter affiliation. Following the conference Elizabeth Clarke, ARLIS/NA Executive Director, sent chapter officers a memo dated June 21, 2006 outlining key points related to this issue. As I summarized in an e-mail message sent to the chapter listserv on August 3, Ms. Clarke states:
The Chapter Affiliation Agreement codifies in the form of an official legal document relationships and expectations between ARLIS/NA and its chapters that for the most part already exist. These are recorded and described in various official documents including the ARLIS/NA Bylaws, the Chapter Success Book, and the Policy Manual. This agreement was drafted by the Executive Board, [and] reviewed by a knowledgeable lawyer…It is imperative that this agreement be mutually agreed upon in order to ensure that ARLIS/NA is operating in a fiscally responsible manner.
Recent discussion on the chapter officer/ARLIS/NA Board listserv has called into question whether chapter representatives can sign the agreement because of the assumption the agreement makes about a given chapter’s legal status. A chapter officer representing an unincorporated chapter is not in a position to sign a document stating he or she "…warrants that it [the chapter] is a legal entity…" (Section III.A).
In order to address the concerns that have been raised, Ann Whiteside, ARLIS/NA President, has arranged a conference call on August 22 with Michael Deese, the attorney who wrote the agreement, Trish Rose (Chair, ARLIS/Southern California), Barbara Rominski (Chair, ARLIS/Northern California) and me to seek clarity about what is being asked and whether chapters are in a position to comply.
I will update the chapter regarding this matter once our conversation takes place. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me personally or via the listserv with questions or concerns.
I have verified with the Office of the Texas Secretary of State that the Texas-Mexico chapter is unincorporated. The chapter should take steps to incorporate not only because the affiliation agreement requires it but also because we want to protect members of our chapter from personal liability.
The following information posted on the American Bar Association’s Web site supports this position:
This [incorporation] is a vital step. Only a few states have statutes that protect members of unincorporated associations from liability. If an unincorporated nonprofit organization operates in a state that has no statutory protection for members, the members could be personally liable for the debts or other obligations of that association.
This issue is particularly problematic for small chapters of national organizations. National organizations sometimes are reluctant to include a chapter and its activities within the national corporate umbrella because it doesn’t want to be liable for the chapter’s debts and obligations. Remaining unincorporated, however, puts the chapter’s members at risk for personal liability.1
Further, we want to make sure that the chapter calculates its risk appropriately and weighs that risk against a need for insurance coverage. This issue has also been discussed on the chapter officer/ARLIS/NA Board listserv and it will be addressed during our chapter’s business meeting in October.
As part of the process of coming to a consensus about the affiliation agreement, the section of the agreement related to centralized collection of chapter dues by headquarters was removed. Chapters will continue to be responsible for setting and collecting members’ dues at the local level.
In addition, chapters are expected to bring their bylaws into compliance with ARLIS/NA bylaws vis-à-vis membership requirements. In Elizabeth Clarke's memo referenced above she states: "The ARLIS/NA bylaws stipulate in Article XIII, Section 5 that 'membership in a chapter is conditional upon membership in the Society.' The ARLIS/NA Executive Board has determined this clause must be observed by each chapter." The membership section of the Texas-Mexico chapter’s bylaws (Article III) states that "Membership is open to all members of ARLIS/NA."
Historically the aforementioned section of the NA bylaws has not been strictly enforced and there are many chapters who feel that their regional membership will erode if membership is contingent upon concurrent membership in NA. Discussion on the chapter officer/ARLIS/NA Board listserv has been focused on how chapters can develop a tiered membership structure that may allow someone access to a regional chapter but exempt them from the membership requirement stipulated by NA’s bylaws. Our chapter already offers a non-voting "subscriber" membership category for non-ARLIS/NA members that accommodates someone who chooses not to become a member of NA.
I am still unsure how this issue will be resolved. The board has indicated that they support local chapters in their effort to offer a selection of membership options including one that would excuse chapter members from becoming NA members. At the same time, the Board is encouraging chapters to emphasize how important it is for regional members to participate as members of NA in order to ensure a robust parent organization.
As you can see, the ARLIS/NA Board, headquarters, and regional chapter officers are very engaged in addressing issues that have been raised by the affiliation agreement. This engagement will continue until which time all the issues surrounding the agreement have been addressed to the satisfaction of the parties involved. As a result of these discussions, it has been important to recognize that our chapter is unincorporated and consequently to become aware of the legal ramifications associated with that status. We now have the opportunity to identify what should be done in order to make sure our chapter stands on firm legal ground vis-à-vis liability, define our relationship to our parent organization so that it can protect itself appropriately against liability, and support membership parameters for our chapter that fit within ARLIS/NA bylaws.
I look forward to hearing from you regarding your thoughts on the current matters facing us and our fellow colleagues in regional NA chapters.Elizabeth Schaub
1 Paula Cozzi Goedert, "Nearly Everything You Want to Know about Nonprofits," GPSolo Magazine, April/May 2004 (accessed August 16, 2006).
On August 7, 2006, our profession lost Lois Swan Jones, a leading light in the world of art information. She was widely known for her work in art research methodology, having authored many essential works in that area, including three editions of Art Information: Research Methods and Resources (Kendall/Hunt, 1978, 1984, 1990). Her last book, Art Information and the Internet: How to Find It, How to Use It (Oryx Press, 1999), was a maverick work providing a road map to assist researchers navigating the morass of art information published on the Internet. In addition, she created an encyclopedic visual resource library made up of photographs that she and her family took around the world. This library of images supported her teaching efforts at the University of North Texas for some twenty years. It also helped illustrate the video series, Development of Christian Symbolism, that she produced with her son, Preston.
Jones received many accolades over the years, including the honor of being listed in Who's Who in American Art since 1978. In 1997, the Society recognized her with its Distinguished Service Award. And in recognition of her many contributions, the Chapter established the Lois Swan Jones Travel Award in 1993 to help defray Chapter members' expenses related to attending the ARLIS/NA annual conference. To date, the member-sustained fund has assisted seventeen Chapter members.
Lois touched so many in the Chapter and Society: always inspirational, positive, and enthusiastic. She was a mentor and friend to many. We fondly remember her stalwart presence in both our professional and personal lives.
Lois Swan Jones' family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Art Libraries Society/North America (ARLIS/NA), the Art Libraries Society/Texas-Mexico (ARLIS/TXMX), or a library of your choice.
The UNT Libraries will be collecting funds to purchase a fitting item to be housed in the Rare Book & Texana Collections in the memory of an important and respected member of the UNT and Libraries' community. It has been suggested that, considering her love of medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, a specimen or two of original medieval manuscript leaves would be an appropriate purchase.
A life-long supporter of education, libraries, and research, Dr. Jones taught at UNT for over 20 years.
Dr. Jones was always a supporter of the UNT Libraries. She helped to develop the collections in the areas of Art and Art History, served on many committees, and most recently, helped the University Archives become the repository for the papers of Judge Sarah T. Hughes, her longtime friend.
Donations in memory of Dr. Jones can be sent to:Edward Hoyenski
The chapter's Lois Swan Jones Award is made possible through monetary contributions from chapter members and other supporters. Contributions in the form of checks made payable to the "ARLIS/TXMX LSJ Award" may be sent to the current treasurer listed on the officers page.
Please share your memories of Lois using the comment form located at the bottom of the page. Be sure to identify yourself.
First, let me thank the Lois Swan Jones Committee for granting me the 2006 award. Thanks to the generosity of the membership, I was able to take full advantage of the Banff conference's professional development opportunities, including workshops and tours. Here is a summary of my conference experience.
I attended the workshop on Digitization Strategies for Preservation and Access led by Howard Brainen, Digital Imaging Consultant and founder of Two Cat Digital. Two Cat Digital's clients include many ARLIS/NA, VRA, SAA, and MCN member institutions. After reviewing definitions, we discussed best practices for digitization projects and the components of such projects. Next we reviewed ideal vs. real world digitization strategies and whether the methods we use for small projects are scalable for larger collections. We reviewed the scanning systems currently available for books, prints, and film, and Howard Brainen generously shared the results of his tests on a variety of book scanners, including robotic books scanners, book scanners on a sliding table, DigiBook overhead scanners, flatbed scanners, and direct digital copy. He evaluated quality, productivity, cost, and special features, and concluded that the real difference between the least expensive systems ($4,000; flatbed and direct digital copy) and the most expensive systems ($250,000; robotic scanners) is in productivity. Scans from either system can "look as good" but robotic scanners never get tired and can scan from 1,200 to 3,000 pages each hour. Scanning operators can achieve 120 pages per hour on a flatbed or up to 600 pages on an overhead system, but they cannot work for more than a few hours at these rates. We ended the workshop by discussing examples of commercial and non-commercial projects and discussing how these projects impact future funding for digitization in libraries. There was also ample time for questions and for sharing of project management strategies among workshop attendees. Two Cat Digital's web page includes useful documents, including: a decision tree, information on color management, tips on hiring a photo shop tech, and more. My goal to have a better understanding of digital project management prior to seeking project funding was more than realized.
After the workshop, I headed for the Exhibit Hall, where the Silent Auction was also held (the Texas-Mexico Chapter contributed a basket to this fundraiser). I had volunteered to participate in the Conference Mentoring program and I met my mentee, a student at Indiana University, at the Welcome Party/Exhibits Hall Opening Reception. This event was a great opportunity to meet colleagues, friends, and vendors, to introduce my mentee to ARLIS/NA members, and to preview items on exhibit.
The next day I attended the session, Planning for Posterity: the Preservation of Art and Architecture Materials. Conservators and librarians shared their expertise and strategies for preserving and assessing collections, and for working with architects to design appropriate storage environments. Of particular interest are some of Harvard College Library's guidelines, and some of the resources available from the Canadian Conservation Institute's web page. I also attended the session on Improving Access to Images and Metadata. This was one of several sessions at the conference that dealt with issues related to image access and description. Ways to share files (peer-to-peer) in order to create or populate metadata fields were discussed, as were trends toward more open content and interoperability among licensed databases, the advent of social indexing and the potential demise of the taxonomic approach (no more pre-coordinated strings, no authoritative lists, no unnatural language?), and changing approaches to cataloging in response to new users. Related issues were also brought up in the session Aggregated Image Collections: Enriching and Aggravating?. One of the trends was dubbed the 'ARTstor factor': new collaborations between librarians and visual resources curators is evidenced now that libraries are licensing image databases. But licensed databases still fall short, as they lack adequate content for advanced courses. Visual resource curators no longer necessarily have a 'primary user' base now that users from all across the campus access their collections. Campus-wide image access results in more complex user education needs due to the size and diversity of the user population.
Of course due to the announcement just prior to the conference of the possible merger between RLG & OCLC, the RLG Round Table was well attended. After a brief presentation by Günter Waibel, the floor was open for discussion. Attendees were keen to know that RLG programs will continue after the merger and contributors to RLIN wanted to make sure that copy specific information would continue to be viewable and indexed.
I attended the Architecture Section Meeting where it was announced that ARLIS/NA is now affiliated with the Society of Architectural Historians (SAH). Members of the section are working on information competencies and volunteers were sought to discuss these competencies with faculty members and test them out with assignments. Max Marmor reported on ARTstor plans with regards to architecture collections, notably the archives of Ezra Stoller (ESTO) and Wayne Andrews. Assistance with prioritizing the material to be digitized was sought from section members. ARTstor is in discussion with SAH to establish best practices for QTVR documents, so that we can get beyond still images to document architecture. I chaired the Membership Committee meeting (see minutes) then joined Texas-Mexico chapter members for an informal get-together (another networking opportunity).
One unexpected highlight of the conference was the NFB Film Night. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a federal cultural agency within the Canadian Heritage Department. Created by an act of Parliament in 1939, its mandate is "to produce and distribute and to promote the production and distribution of films designed to interpret Canada to Canadians and to other nations." The films selected by the organizers were all somehow related to art or artists. Each was unique and though the night was late, I just had to stay for the entire showing. If you missed these films, look for them from your favorite distributor!
Because the University of Texas at Austin recently licensed ARTstor, I attended the ARTstor Users Group Meeting, where new development and future plans were announced and feedback from users was sought. I was a panelist on the Ask ARLIS Session: Reaching Out: Chapter Links to Local Library Schools. Panelists shared ideas for reaching out to library school students and a library school faculty member gave us insights into what the society might do to help educate the next generation of professionals. This was also the day when I volunteered at the Exhibit Hall (the Texas-Mexico basket was highly desirable and the no-so-silent auctioning provided much excitement!).
At the Digital Reconstruction of Illuminated Manuscripts: The Ege Project panelists discussed the history of the Ege manuscripts and their dispersal, as well as ongoing plans to recreate the manuscripts in digital form. A symposium and exhibit on this topic was held at the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. Additional owners of Ege manuscript pages are still being sought. After attending the Academic Division meeting where much of the discussion related to information literacy and to 2007 conference session ideas, I took part in a tour of the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Not only is this hotel quite charming, but its history is also fascinating, our guide was entertaining, and the views are breathtaking! Well worth the visit.
The Convocation ceremony began with a theater company interpreting several humorous excerpts from Shakespeare, some with a local twist. Award winners were recognized, with Sherman Clarke receiving the Distinguished Service Award. This was followed by a lavish reception in the hotel (yet another networking opportunity where I again met with my mentee).
The second workshop that I took part in was Art in Books: How to Identify Original Works on Paper. This was a hands-on session, our leader having brought numerous examples for us to view (and magnifying lenses). Because I manage a growing special collection, this training will be immediately useful to me. I attended the Hot Topics: Going Green session, where several architects discussed their sustainable design projects and Sue Koskinen reviewed web-based sources for green design information (and she proclaimed that 'green is the new black'). At the membership meeting it was announced that almost 450 members were in attendance. After the membership meeting I finally ventured outside the hotel to explore the park. A short gondola ride brought me to the summit where a 360-degree view awaits. I hiked over to the next peak and saw three mountain goats on my way back! After the hike, it was time to hit the historic hot springs and relax. Refreshed, I ventured out for another hike along the river into Banff for dinner.
Last, but not least, another highlight of the conference for me was the all-day University of Calgary Information Resources Tour. The Information Resources department was formed seven years ago by bringing the libraries, university press, image center, archives, special collections, and Nickle Arts Museum under one director. We visited their Information Commons, their Image Centre (which consists of a Photo-imaging unit, a Film Library, a Copyright Clearance Center, the University of Calgary Press, a Digitization Unit, and a Slide Library), the Archives & Special Collections and its Canadian Architectural Archives, the Fine Arts Library, and the Nickle Arts Museum. Our hosts were extremely generous and we were all impressed with what our Canadian colleagues are up to.
Let me end this report by encouraging new members and conference participants to apply for this award in the future. There just is no substitute for face-to-face interaction with colleagues and visits to other libraries. Thanks again to all the members who make this award possible.Janine J. Henri
Green Art Research Library
The Old Jail Art Center
201 S. 2nd St.
Albany, TX 76430
Web site (library): http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/libarch/library.htm
Web site (museum): http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org
Established in 1984 as part of The Old Jail Center's expansion project, the library exists to provide reference information in support of the center's permanent collection and to provide general art education material to the Shackelford County community. The library’s non-circulating collection now stands at over 2,500 volumes on the general history of cultures represented in the permanent collection, anthropology, art instruction, art education, sculpture, painting, drawing, photography, decorative arts, theatre design, and architecture.
The library space is also used as a meeting room for museum staff, board of trustees, and various community organizations. The furnishings are antiques, most of which came from the Cook Memorial Hospital (now the Cook Children’s Medical Center) when it was renovated in the early 1980s.
The library also features a handful of oversized rare art books including Illustrations of the Book of Job by William Blake (1935 edition), and the New Gallery of British art; containing one hundred and twenty-one engravings on steel from the works of distinguished British painters, 1854.
In addition to its library collection, the Robert E. Nail, Jr. Archives includes archival material documenting the lives of persons, and events occurring in the Shackelford County area; personal and/or professional papers of artists whose work is in the permanent collection; and archival records of the Old Jail Art Center.
The library has one FTE who splits time between the Library and the Archives.
The bulk of our collection comes from donations from the general public and from the absorption of private libraries acquired as part of archival collections. We also receive exhibition catalogs, gallery guides, and museum publication from various library exchange programs.
Though the library was created in 1984, the library is only now offering researchers the opportunity to search its collections via the Web. In June 2006, the library made the long overdue move from card catalog to OPAC. The transition took six months of in-house retrospective conversion to MARC followed by another six months spent finding an institution to host our catalog. We joined the Abilene Library Consortium, a network of libraries in the Abilene area, which supports the library's new OPAC. We currently use cataloging services offered by Marcive in San Antonio whereby items are cataloged through Marcive's Web-based system and then emailed to the ALC system administrator.Daniel Alonzo
Established as the research arm of the Department of Latin American Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA) is currently in the midst of the multi-year Documents of 20th-century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project, which seeks to consolidate Latin American and Latino art as a field of study and to place it on equal footing with other established aesthetic traditions. This monumental program encompasses the recovery, translation into English, and publication of primary texts by Latin American and Latino artists, critics, and curators who have played a fundamental role in the development of modern and contemporary art in their countries or communities. A three-year recovery stage is well underway with ten professional research teams actively surveying locations throughout the United States and Latin America for relevant primary source documentation. These critical documents are currently being cataloged and digitized into a Web-based virtual archive at a rate of approximately 1,500 documents per year. Upon completion of the project’s recovery phase, all full-text documents and their corresponding cataloguing records will be made available free of charge to researchers and students through the World Wide Web.
In addition to creating a digital archive of artists’ writings and other critical texts, the end product of the Documents project will be a series of fully annotated book anthologies published in English. By focusing on thematic rather than chronological compilations, researchers will be able to compare and contrast how artists from different countries and communities approach aesthetics, social issues, and cultural tendencies. This open-ended framework will serve the teaching and research needs of both academic and professional communities in the United States, Europe, and Latin America and will lead to a redefinition of the current map of Latin American and Latino Art.
The project's administrative team is based at the MFAH. Working under the auspices of the museum, the ICAA employs six full-time staff members including Dr. Mari Carmen Ramírez, ICAA Director, Helvetia Martell, Project Director and Chief Bibliographer, and Mar´i;a C. Gaztambide, ICAA Research Coordinator. The ICAA’s efforts are supported by a broader team of museum personnel, who are equally invested in the center and the project's success.
The Department of Image Collections at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) has just completed a major photographic documentation project that has been twenty-five years in the making and involved the printing of thousands of negatives of works of art confiscated by the Nazis and other objects processed through the Munich Central Collecting Point (MCCP) after the Second World War.
In 1981, the Gallery’s then Deputy Director Charles Parkhurst, arranged for the MCCP negatives to be borrowed by the NGA from the National Archives (NARA). Parkhurst served in WWII as one of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives officers charged with preserving and protecting artworks and architecture in danger during the war. Adolf Hitler had planned a grand museum with works of art taken from public and private collections in lands the Nazis occupied. Many senior officials from the Third Reich had also assembled collections of confiscated art and antiques. Additionally, many museums and individuals sent their art collections and libraries into the countryside for safe keeping during the war. Hundreds of thousands of objects were displaced. After the war more than 1,500 repositories were discovered and to handle the extraordinary number of important and valuable objects, the Allies created four central collecting points to repatriate the art work.
The Munich Central Collecting Point was the largest of the four collecting points and many of the great private collections, like the Rothschild collection, were sent there. The Army carefully documented the hundreds of thousands of objects that passed through the portals of the MCCP, sometimes utilizing lists created by the Nazis of the looted art. Before the objects were repatriated to their countries of origin, Army specialists photographed the paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. This material, the negatives mostly unprinted, was transferred to the U.S. Department of State around 1950 where Ms. Ardelia Hall, their Fine Arts Advisor, oversaw the management of the collection and its eventual transfer to the National Archives. The MCCP images remained at the National Archives until it was agreed that the NGA could borrow and then print the negatives, retaining a copy for researchers here. The 40,000 negatives have now all been printed, sorted and, were returned to the National Archives at the end of June. Copies of the prints will be available for researchers at the National Gallery and at the College Park facility of the National Archives. NARA plans to microfilm the photographs. The Department of Image Collections is in the process of creating a database of the fine art images to make the Munich photos more readily accessible.Gregory P. J. Most
Hank, Peggy, and Bobby Hill, along with all of their Arlen, Texas, friends and neighbors have found a permanent home in Alkek Library’s Southwestern Writers Collection (SWWC). In 1999, Jim Dauterive, a Dallas native and staff writer for the Mike Judge & Greg Daniels King of the Hill television series, began donating his personal papers to the collection, the bulk of which consisted of scripts, research materials, memos, promotional items, and other production records documenting the popular animated series. In 2005, as the show prepared to wrap up its final seasons, Mr. Dauterive contacted SWWC Curator Connie Todd to inquire whether the SWWC would be interested in the comprehensive archives of the series. Since one of the driving missions of the Southwestern Writers Collection is to collect and preserve papers and manuscripts documenting southwestern culture and literature, Ms. Todd was quick to accept, and over 75 boxes of scripts, artifacts, and production records arrived on campus during the spring of 2006.
Along with all of the scripts and production records documenting the show, there were a few other items Jim Dauterive thought we’d be interested in: a number of four-foot by six-foot whiteboards that had hung in the writer’s room of the suite and contained text and sketches documenting the show’s production history. The way that the writers of King of the Hill used these boards was unique, and the text and images on the boards tell as much about their creative process as they do the production of the show. We immediately agreed with Jim that they were worth holding on to. It was just a matter of figuring out how to get them from Los Angeles to San Marcos without erasing them!
Queries to other archives professionals, discussions with conservators, and even a phone call to a company that makes whiteboards, yielded little advice about how to preserve the boards. "You want to keep the ink on the board permanently?" the whiteboard company rep asked incredulously, clearly at a loss.
Finally, a conservator we’d been referred to suggested using a fine-art shipper to build crates for the boards and pack them in the same way one might a fragile charcoal drawing. We settled on that approach, deciding we could use the crates for the whiteboards’ permanent storage. So, within weeks, the whiteboards arrived via eighteen-wheeler at the loading dock of our archives—safe and sound. As an added preservation caution, we immediately photographed the boards to record their informational content.
The King of the Hill papers are currently being processed and will be available for research in fall 2006. For access, please contact archivist Katie Salzmann email@example.com or 512-245-3861.Carla Ellard
The Amon Carter Museum is pleased to welcome back Dr. Ron Tyler, former Curator of History, as the ACM's new Director. Ron spent the intervening 20 years in Austin on the history faculty of UT, and serving as the Director of the Texas State Historical Association. It’s great to have such a distinguished scholar back in the fold!
The library and archives also has new appointments to announce:
Sam Duncan has been promoted to the position of Technical Services Librarian. Congratulations Sam!
Jonathan Frembling, former Archives intern, has been appointed to the position of Library and Archives Reference Coordinator. Jon is a recent graduate of the UTA archives concentration MA in history program, and is the department's new "public face," covering the library's weekly public hours.
Mary Jane Harbison, Library Technician, is also a new addition, and works with Sam in tech services. Mary Jane oversees interlibrary loan and provides cataloging support. She is also performing a collections inventory in the coming year.
As in the past, the library and archives special collections continue to be integral to the exhibitions programs of the Carter. This fall, Allen Townsend will curate an Audubon installation, featuring the museum's collection of the earliest issue (1827-28) double-elephant folio prints from the Birds of America, as well as selections from the library's bound octavo edition (1840-44). Other versions of Birds have been borrowed from the Stark Museum (Orange, TX) and the Philbrook Museum (Tulsa, OK) and will also be on display. If you're in Fort Worth between October 7 and January 7, 2007, check out Audubon’s Passion in the works on paper galleries, and let us know you're coming!Allen K. Townsend
The Visual Resource Collection in the Art & Art History Department has joined the Digital Archive Services (DASE) of the University of Texas at Austin. DASE is a joint effort of Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, and the General Libraries. It consists of a set of applications for the collection, cataloging, and serving of digital media collections from all over the university.
In the future, the DASE Media Browser will give faculty and students the ability to search diverse collections of images, videos, audio files, and other media. Currently ten image collections have been uploaded (approaching 50,000 images). They are accessible and can be used for classroom instruction. Full-search capability is restricted to individuals via electronic identification (UTEID).
By joining DASE, it will possible that the vast image collection of the VRC, foremost a teaching resource for faculty in the department of Art & Art History, can be accessed by all university members.
From June 12-June 16, I attended the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute. TALL stands for Texas Accelerated Library Leaders. This was the 13th year for the Institute. The Institute is sponsored by the Texas Library Association (TLA) and is intended to foster and extend the leadership abilities and interpersonal skills of librarians and library lay persons. The individuals selected are mid-career and are chosen for their leadership potential. The Institute is held annually at Canyon Oaks Ranch near Wimberley, Texas. Selection of the participant group--drawn from libraries across the state of Texas including school, public, academic and special libraries--was highly competitive.
The workshop was facilitated by two Library Leadership gurus, Maureen Sullivan and Jack Siggins. They have been facilitating the Institute for twelve of its thirteen years. Maureen is a Library Leadership consultant and Jack is the University Librarian at George Washington University.
In addition to the attendees, several mentors were also on hand. They were leaders in Texas Libraries including library directors and library and information school professors. Both the TLA President, Jana Knezek, and the TLA President-Elect, Steve Brown, attended the institute. It was a terrific opportunity for me to network with leaders in the field and mid-career librarians across the state. It is simply amazing how much we all have in common.
This five-day workshop was highly productive. It was an opportunity for me to grow professionally and think clearly about my professional advancement as well as the development of the UT Austin, Fine Arts Library. After each day of intense learning, we all had an opportunity to hike, swim or just relax on the porch sipping a glass of wine or bottle of beer at the beautiful Canyon Oaks Ranch.
I know that not many ARLIS/Texas-Mexico members are involved in TLA, but this is an excellent opportunity to become involved. Both our organization and TLA contend with similar issues. For example: Texas-Mexico relations. Because of my attendance at the Leadership Institute, I was asked to become involved and serve on a committee. One of the committees that needed an additional member was the TLA Texas-Mexico Relations Committee. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for me to see first hand the type of work TLA is doing with our neighbors across the border so ARLIS/Texas-Mexico could apply similar strategies. I attended my first meeting in early July at the TLA Annual Assembly. At this meeting we discussed services and programming for immigrant populations and exchance programs with Mexican librarians. I will be sure to update the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico membership as I become more involved with this TLA committee.
I would encourage all ARLIS/Texas-Mexico members who are in new leadership roles or who strive to become leaders to apply for next year’s TALL Texans Leadership Institute. For a five day workshop including room and board, it is extremely affordable.
If you have specific questions about the Institute, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to answer questions about this worthwhile experience.Laura Schwartz
María C. Gaztambide recently joined the International Center for the Arts of the Americas (ICAA), at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, as Research Coordinator. In this newly-created position, she works to establish and implement research priorities and standards for the center’s multi-year projects and publication series. These include the Documents of 20th Century Latin American and Latino Art: A Digital Archive and Publications Project and Hélio Oiticica at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, María previously worked as Visual Resources Curator at Tulane University’s Woldenberg Art Center. There she spearheaded the Center’s efforts to digitize its image-based collections and worked in tandem with other campus-wide digital initiatives. She holds an MA in Arts Administration (University of New Orleans) and an MA in Art History from Tulane, where she is also a candidate for a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies with a concentration in Latin American art.
After receiving her MSIS from the University of Texas at Austin, Katherine O'Dell accepted the position of solo Visual Resources Librarian at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. In a small, liberal arts environment, she provides support for the Art and Art History department within the Sarofim School of Fine Arts.
Former chapter member Polly McCord continues to thrive in Taos (despite a broken foot in March)! She's started a new blog, www.artfultraveler.blogspot.com, where she writes about trips she takes (and can plan for you), events she attends, and places to stay. If you are planning to head to New Mexico this fall, be sure to give Polly a call and say hello.
Amon Carter Museum
Deadline for Fall/Winter 2006 Issue (v. 32, no. 3): November 5, 2006 [Revised to November 10, 2006]
Welcome to the final issue of volume 32 of The Medium. This number features reports from the chapter’s 2006 annual meeting, President Schaub’s farewell report, and another installment in the collection profile series covering the Alexander Architectural Archive at The University of Texas at Austin. The issue closes with a stimulating roundup of member news.
As I sit writing my column for the final issue of this year’s Medium I find it hard to believe that my tenure as president is quickly coming to an end. It has been a pleasure serving the chapter and working with colleagues across Texas, especially Vice President/President Elect Sam Duncan. The chapter will be in good hands under Sam’s guidance in 2007.
Our progressive meeting beginning in Austin, traveling to San Marcos, and then on to San Antonio allowed attendees to explore a wide variety of cultural institutions in three notable Texas cities. As always the meeting provided a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with colleagues.
I would like to acknowledge chapter members Craig Bunch, Beth Dodd, Sam Duncan, Mark Pompelia, and Laura Schwartz for assisting with the planning process and Beth Dodd and husband Greg Smith, Carla Ellard, Selene Hinojosa, and Karen Sigler for generously hosting portions of the weekend’s activities.
You can read summaries of the various activities submitted by chapter members in attendance elsewhere in this issue.
I would like to follow up with you regarding a number of items addressed by the chapter at our most recent meeting.
As most of you are now aware, membership in our chapter is contingent on membership in ARLIS/NA. During the course of this year I have been working closely with South Regional Representative Heather Ball to encourage communication between chapters and ARLIS/NA Headquarters regarding membership issues not only so that chapters can ensure that members are in compliance with their own bylaws—as well as ARLIS/NA’s bylaws—but also so chapters and ARLIS/NA can work in concert to support recruitment efforts. At this time I do not feel that a sufficient solution has been implemented, and I am committed to continuing a dialog with the ARLIS/NA Board and Headquarters to encourage necessary and positive change.
In the meantime, if you have renewed your chapter membership but have not renewed your membership in ARLIS/NA I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. ARLIS/NA’s membership form is available online.
Chapter liability has become a topic of discussion in the wake of the ARLIS/NA Chapter Affiliation Agreement. The agreement codifies in legal terms the relationship between chapters and ARLIS/NA so that ARLIS/NA will not be held liable for an individual chapter’s actions.
Following our chapter meeting, I contacted ARLIS/NA Executive Director Elizabeth Clarke via the chapter officer listserv to find out whether chapter officers might be covered under the ARLIS/NA insurance umbrella.
In Elizabeth Clarke’s response on 10/25/06, she stated that “... it [ARLIS/NA’s insurance policy] doesn't cover chapter officers because they are not part of the Governing body of ARLIS/NA. They are the Governing body of the chapter. So unfortunately, no, Chapter officers are not covered by the ARLIS/NA insurance coverage.”
This fact brings to the fore the potential risk chapter officers face if something were to occur that might prompt legal action against the chapter. I have done some preliminary investigation into non-profit unincorporated entities and their legal status as noted in the President’s Column appearing in v. 32: 2 of The Medium. Since then it has come to my attention that the Texas Library Association offers its members professional liability insurance at a very reasonable rate.
Further investigation into the matter of liability insurance for chapter officers and how best to approach the need once a risk assessment has been completed will continue into 2007.
Serving as an ARLIS/Texas-Mexico chapter officer over the last four years has helped me fine tune my leadership skills and has allowed me to cultivate important relationships with colleagues from a variety of institutions.
Thank you to all the members who put their trust in my abilities and as a result helped me grow professionally. I am indebted to my most immediate predecessors Mark Pompelia, Jon Evans, and Laura Schwartz whose standards for service I aspired to meet while in office.
Thanks to chapter Treasurer Craig Bunch for his unflagging service, congratulations and thanks to incoming Secretary Catherine Essinger for stepping in and taking the annual meeting minutes in San Antonio, and thanks to Sam Duncan for his commitment to the chapter as not only Vice President/President Elect but also as the chapter’s indefatigable Webmaster.
Finally I want to acknowledge South Regional Representative Heather Ball. Heather has been a model regional representative providing a conduit for communication between the chapter, the Board, and Headquarters. I've been able to rely on her for guidance and sage advice throughout the year.
It has been a pleasure serving as the chapter’s president in 2006; I look forward to fulfilling my role as past president in the coming year.Elizabeth Schaub
Dear ARLIS/TX-Mexico Members,
Here in Blacksburg the leaves are turning amazing colors—golden yellows and bright oranges …it’s very pretty, but I still miss Texas! I can’t tell you how much I will miss the chapter meeting this year. I will never forget Marfa and how much fun it was to spend time with you all last year. Have a margarita for me.
Now, down to business. Regarding affiliation: if you have any questions at all, or concerns about this process, please let Elizabeth know. She has been participating in discussions on a chapter leaders listserv and is up to speed on the affiliation process. To date, four chapters have signed affiliation agreements, including one from our very own region: DC-MD-VA, Northern CA, Twin Cities, and Mountain West have all signed their affiliation agreements. We have also heard positive reports coming back from several other chapters who are preparing to sign.
Many chapters are opting to vote on this issue. Voting makes this decision much easier for chapter leaders—I urge you to conduct a vote on the affiliation within your chapter. Additionally, I know that your chapter leaders will be working on bringing the chapter’s bylaws into compliance with ARLIS/NA bylaws. Whatever changes are decided upon, these will need to be submitted to the Board for review in time for us to approve the changes at the pre-conference Board meeting in 2007 (preferably by February 1st so we can send back comments ahead of time, if necessary).
Regarding liability coverage for the chapter. A chapter may decide to go ahead and consult with a lawyer to have a waiver created for a chapter activity – that is at the discretion of the chapter. However, the lawyer that the Board consulted says he does not have much confidence in waivers. Here are some other options that chapters may want to pursue:
Please also remember that the chapter should notify the Board of new chapter leaders by March 1st. This is so we are certain to invite the appropriate individuals to the Leadership Breakfast (aka: pile o’ eggs) next year at the conference in Atlanta.
I hope you have a great chapter meeting! See you in Atlanta!
Alexander Architectural Archive, University of Texas Libraries,
The University of Texas at Austin
PO Box P (BTL200 S5430)
Austin, TX 78713-8916 USA
The Alexander Architectural Archive at the University of Texas at Austin is an architectural research center of national importance. As a unit of the University of Texas Libraries within the Architecture and Planning Library, the Archive supports research and education about the history of the built environment by acquiring and preserving research collections and by making them accessible. The Archive also supports learning opportunities and scholarly activities for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.
The Alexander Architectural Archive is a repository of over 100 collections of material preserved to enrich and serve our architectural heritage. Holdings include documentation involved in the management of a firm, the development of a project design through the finished product, and other activities occurring in the lives of architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, preservationists, historians, educators, and related businesses. These documents may also reflect personal travel, writings, educational activities, professional associations and other related interests.
The Alexander Architectural Archive supports instruction in the School of Architecture through the doctoral level in architectural design, history, preservation and community and regional planning; and the bachelor level in Interior Design. The Archive also supports research in history, art history, American Studies, anthropology, and engineering, as well as that undertaken by design professionals, governmental agencies, and others involved in the preservation and restoration of properties. The Alexander Architectural Archive is available to all serious inquirees for research and scholarship.
Preservation activities and issues are essential to the mission of the Alexander Architectural Archive. The Archive currently oversees and performs archival preservation work with assistance from the Kilgarlin Center for the Preservation of the Cultural Record. Additionally, the Archive offers storage and care guidelines to other institutions, caretakers of architectural records, and the general public. The Archive also supports the preservation of architectural records by sponsoring the Texas Committee for the Preservation of Architectural Records (TxCOPAR), which serves as a cooperative resource for institutions containing architectural, planning, and landscape records in Texas.
Blake Alexander started what has become known as the Alexander Architectural Archive in 1958, after he directed a team of student architects recording historic buildings in Pennsylvania for the Historic American Buildings Survey. Professor Alexander adapted the HABS format to his own course at UT, requiring students in his architectural history class to measure and draw historic Texas buildings as one of their assignments. Known as the Texas Architecture Archive, this rapidly expanding collection soon outgrew his office and was moved into a small storage room, otherwise known as “Alexander's closet. ”
In the mid-1960s, one of Professor Alexander’s students arrived with large paper sacks filled with tattered, water-damaged drawings. As Professor Alexander examined them, it became apparent that they had in fact been through a flood - the great Galveston hurricane of 1900. These drawings, by the well-known Galveston architect Nicholas Clayton, had been given to the student by Clayton's granddaughter and became the first professional records to be deposited in his collection.
The Clayton drawings opened up the prospect of seeking original drawings of other important Texas architects whose records needed to be preserved. In 1979, the General Libraries (now the University of Texas Libraries) became the repository of the records, and it was moved to the Architecture and Planning Library and named “The Architectural Drawings Collection.”
Other collections became available as word spread of this new resource. The family of Robert Ayres generously donated the records of the San Antonio firm of Ayres and Ayres. About the same time, Professor Alexander contacted a descendant of James Riely Gordon, one of the premier designers of Texas courthouses to obtain his vast collection of documents. Professor Alexander also helped secure the acquisition of the original design drawings for The University of Texas campus by Paul Philippe Cret.
Today, the Alexander Architectural Archive is the largest such resource in Texas, containing over a quarter of a million drawings and nearly 2,000 linear feet of papers, photographic material, models and ephemera, representing thousands of projects in Texas as well as New York, Chicago, California, Great Britain, and some Latin American countries. Professor Alexander was a pioneer in recognizing the importance of preserving architectural records. The resources he collected have played an important role in the restoration of many of Texas' most important buildings and continues to be essential for the study of American architectural history.
In 1997, the Texas Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians sponsored a campaign to name this valuable archive after its founder. The University, in support, recognized that without Alexander’s initiative, records of our architectural heritage would have perished from neglect. It is with great appreciation and celebration that the collection he founded is named the Alexander Architectural Archive.
The ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter meeting began Friday, October 20 with a presentation from Thomson-Gale representative LuAnn Harrison, who presented a few of their databases including Eighteenth-century Collections Online, Sabin America, 1500-1926, and Corbis Images for Education. Our chapter was interested in ways that these databases would be beneficial to the patrons we serve.
Sabin Americana, 1500-1926, is based on Joseph Sabin’s Bibliotecha Americana: A Dictionary of Books Relating to America From Its Discovery to the Present Time. The database contains books, pamphlets, and serials from a variety of genres including memoirs, travelogues, and sermons all predominantly in English. Currently a user can search the full-text of 27,459 titles, but this number will keep growing as they add new titles. Based on the ESTC (English Short Title Catalog), Eighteenth-century Collections Online allows full-text searching of over 138,000 titles which cover the American and French revolutions and the industrial revolution. As far as being beneficial to the art community, these databases may contain materials with biographical information on artists or materials that reference works of art in collections or exhibition catalogues, which could prove valuable for provenance research.
The third Thomson-Gale database that our chapter looked at was Corbis Images for Education. The Corbis resource is somewhat similar to ARTstor, an image database with downloadable images and brief information about the image. The major difference is that Corbis does not currently contain nearly as many fine art images as ARTstor. Corbis plans to add more fine art images in the future but for now, with its large collection of predominantly historical photographs, it is more comparable to the database AP Photo Archive.
Meeting held Friday, October 20, 2006. 10-11:30 a.m.
This year’s progressive conference was rich with interesting and informative tours. What better way to warm the trail than with the incredible visual materials found at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The HRC Web site identifies the collections as “one of the world's finest cultural archives ... [which] houses 36 million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, five million photographs, and over 100,000 works of art.”
It was with great pleasure that we were treated by curators’ selections from the Art, Photography and Performing Arts collections.
The Art Collection, introduced by Associate Curator Peter Mears, includes original works of art, prints and artists’ books, as well as associated works such as manuscripts. We were presented with literary portraiture, art by writers, fine press illustrations, and architectural drawings. Larger holdings include those of Max Beerbohm, Eric Gill, Mexican art, twentieth century posters, and the collections of Texas artists Tom Lea, Elisabet Ney and Frank Reaugh.
Linda Briscoe Myers, Assistant Curator for Photography, provided a wonderful selection of prints that led the discussion on the history of collecting photographic material at the HRC. The bulk of the material arrived in 1963 with the purchase of the collection of renowned photo historian, photographer and collector Helmut Gernsheim. Today, over 5 million prints and negatives, a library of over 40,000 volumes, and over 400 pieces of original photographic apparatus now make up the Department of Photography. One of its treasures is the world’s first photograph captured from nature in 1826 involving an exposure of over 8 hours. Collection strengths are nineteenth-century holdings, including British and French. Almost too numerous to mention, our presentation included works by Charles Dodson (Lewis Carol), Julia Margaret Cameron, a Victorian scrapbook album, a Carlton Watkins mammoth plate print, prints by Russell Lee, Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and contemporary photographers Susan Meiselas and Binh Danh. It was as if we were walking into a history of photography textbook.
Our visit was topped off by the selections of Rick Watson, Research Associate for the Performing Arts Collection. This subject-driven research collection is also rich in visual materials, as it overlaps with works on paper, paintings, photographic material, costume and scenic design, models, and topics of circus and magic. Material spanned from Norman Belle Geddes, whose work ranged from experimental theater to streamline industrial design; to a collection of playbills and programs; to a selection from the over 34,000 costume designs of B.J. Simmons & Co.
We thank our hosts for their thoughtful presentations and for choosing a selection that represented only the tip of the iceberg from the HRC holdings. That must have been difficult! For more information, please see the Ransom Center’s Web site.
Tour held Friday, October 20, 2006
Tours de force is perhaps the best way to describe the expert and enthusiastic Blanton Museum of Art tours by Blanton curators Kelly Baum and Jonathan Bober. Kelly focused on the collections of modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, while Jonathan concentrated on the major exhibition of Luca Cambiaso, which he co-curated. The following are among the highlights they provided.
The Blanton Museum of Art opened in 2006 after a quarter-century of planning, designing, and fundraising. Designed by Kallmann McKinnell & Wood Architects to complement existing buildings, the museum houses some 17,000 works of art, with only a fraction on display at any given time. There are four main departments: prints and drawings, European art, twentieth-century Latin American art, and American art. With virtually no acquisitions budget, the Blanton has relied on major donations which include the James and Mari Michener Collection of American Art, the Barbara Duncan Collection of Latin American Art, the C.R. Smith Collection of Western Art, the Suida-Manning Collection of Renaissance and Baroque Art, and the Leo Steinberg Collection of Prints.
The American and Latin American collections have been integrated to show conjunctions and disjunctions. Wall labels show not nationality but a series of geographic locations in which the artist was born, worked, and in some cases died. Among the artists Kelly Baum singled out were Joaquin Torres-Garcia (his School of the South advocated not just making a painting but a template for some future reality), Philip Evergood (Dance Marathon), Alfred Jensen (Mayan Temple, Per II: Palenque), George Sugarman (Two in One (a hand-carved, multicolored wood installation)), Peter Dean (a depiction of the Oswald assassination), Cildo Meireles (How to Build Cathedrals (an installation of 600,000 coins, 800 communion wafers, 200 cattle bones, 80 paving stones, and black cloth)), Gyula Kosice (kinetic sculptures), Richard Tuttle (the minimalist Light Pink Ocatagon), and Christian Silva (Black Sun—Green Flamingo).
Jonathan Bober, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and European Paintings, took us through the Luca Cambiaso exhibit with great knowledge of and enthusiasm for his specialized subject. Cambiaso worked in Genoa and Liguria, “the most insular and isolated of Italian cultural centers.” Cambiaso was “at least as significant a draftsman as a painter.” His nocturnes “anticipated de La Tour and Caravaggio’s by 25 to 45 years.” Many of the paintings and works on paper reside permanently at the Blanton, while far more are on loan from Genoa and elsewhere. Publication of the major catalog was expected very soon.
Other highlights of the Blanton not covered on the tours were the selections of Renaissance and Baroque painting, largely from the Suida-Manning Collection, and prints, largely from the Leo Steinberg Collection, magnificently integrated and displayed in the beautiful new building. A gem-like exhibition of Rembrandt prints from the Blanton rounded out a great visit.
ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico members reconvened on the morning of Saturday, October 21, for breakfast and tours and information sessions about the Southwestern Writers Collection and the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography. These two collections, along with the University Archives, comprise the Special Collections at Texas State University. The Southwestern Writers Collection and Wittliff Gallery are housed on the 7th floor of the Alkek Library.
This year, the Southwestern Writers Collection and Wittliff Gallery are celebrating their 20th and 10th anniversaries respectively. These collections have been housed in the Alkek Library since 1991 when the Library opened. Katie Salzmann, Archivist at the Southwestern Writers Collection, provided an excellent overview and summary of the Writers Collection. She began by showing us a ten minute video introducing the Special Collections at Texas State. In addition, she lead the group on an outstanding behind-the-scenes tour of the facility’s preservation and processing areas.
The Southwestern Writers Collection consists primarily of manuscripts and supporting materials, such as books and journals. All of the writers represented are listed on their Web site. This collection is organized into three groups including
The criteria for acquisition of materials is twofold: first, writers collected must create works that have stood or will stand the test of time; second, these writers must be from the Southwest or write about the Southwest. Additional collections within the Writers Collection include the Texas Monthly archives and bodies of work of individual writers who write for Texas Monthly. Bill Wittliff started the Writers Collection with papers he bought at an estate sale of J. Frank Dobie and Wittliff’s Encino Press publications.
The Special Collection employees ten full-time professionals and two catalogers who report through the technical services unit. One of these employees is a development officer. The collection is funded through foundation support, individual support, and other grants. They also have a graphic designer on staff.
At present, the collection treasures are on exhibition to celebrate the anniversaries of the collections. Some of the materials in the current exhibition include J. Frank Dobie papers, Kathryn Anne Porter materials, song manuscripts of Willie Nelson, John Graves’s paddle that inspired Goodbye to a River, Sam Shepard’s notebooks and drafts of manuscripts, and their most recent acquisition, the King of the Hill archives.
A small reading room that is open to the public is also a component of the Special Collections suite of services. Public service is conducted by appointment and the collection does accept drop-in researchers as well. The reading room is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (on Wednesdays and Thursdays until 7 p.m.). Patrons are encouraged to have a research consultation before beginning their work. Primarily, the Southwestern Writers Collection supports research and teaching at Texas State but they do see a handful of outside researchers every month. A fee is charged for scanning materials for publication, and photocopying is done on behalf of users.
On October 21st, 2006, the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter visited the Special Collections area of the Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos Texas. As you have already read, we visited the entire Special Collections area which includes the Southwest Writer’s Collection, Special Collections Archives, and the Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern and Mexican Photography. Our hostess for this part of the tour was Carla Ellard, Assistant Curator of the photographic and book collection, which all focus on Mexican and Southwestern photography and photographers.
The day we visited, was the day before the Graciela Iturbide exhibition iofficially opened. The exhibition called Ojos Para Volar (Eyes to Fly With) is also published under the English title as a book (UT Press, 2006). The only things missing from the exhibition at the time our group viewed it were some of the quotes that Ms. Iturbide included with many of the photographs. The quotes were based on conversations she had with Fabienne Bardu.
The first quote, on the wall just as you enter the first gallery, was: I dreamed a sentence over and over: “in my country I shall plant birds.” This begins a series of images incorporating birds, some frenzied (Jaipur), some stark and solitary (Peros Perdidos).
The second quote, again to the left, walking into the second room, is “It was as though death was saying to me: you wanted to photograph me, here I am.” This was originally written for the first image to the left, called “La Muerte en el cementerio,” but speaks to the many unflinching images of death that follow.
The third quote, “There are many solitary moments when you are photographing, moments of constant reflection during the journeys,” sums up the exhibition for me. I know I wasn’t seeing everything the photographer saw, or even what she intended me to see, but it was very much worth the effort. The current exhibition is viewable in its entirety on a Web site created Tara Spies, librarian and member of the Alkek Library reference staff.Gloria Selene Hinojosa
On Saturday, October 21 at 4:00 p.m., the group met at the Magic Lantern Castle, where we were greeted by owner/curator Jack Judson. Mr. Judson gave us a chance to walk around and look at his beautifully presented Magic Lantern collection before we were seated. He spoke about the history of his collection. He told us that he'd bought his first lantern slide projector in London in 1986 and the collection has grown to 75,000 items, including 65,000 lantern slides. He opened the Magic Lantern Castle museum in 1992; it is accessible by appointment only for private tours and researchers.
Mr. Judson explained the history and technical evolution of magic lanterns and slides and noted that they have been around since the fifteenth century. In 1641, Athanasius Kircher, a German Jesuit priest wrote The Great Art of Light and Shadow and referred to the “laterna magica” in his book. In the second edition of the publication, printed thirty years later, the book included a drawing of a magic lantern. It wasn’t until the 1700’s that someone decided that they could make money from lantern slides. Traveling itinerant showmen with lantern slides were popular at the time, and there is a complete traveling showman’s trunk in the collection. Mr. Judson described the magic lantern as the father of motion pictures and the grandfather of television.
Mr. Judson pointed out a wall of magic lantern illustrations that were on display. He owns all the originals, which were produced 1700-1900 from around the world. He also pointed out that he also owns Japanese wood block books on rice paper, European illustrations, and a copy of the Kircher book.
There were many purposes for the lantern slide including entertainment, advertising, education and scientific uses. There was an entire wall glass exhibit case devoted to lanterns and slides for scientific and education use. He related how in science and education use, a lecturer would have a lectern (with it’s own lighting to be able to read in a darkened room) facing the audience and used a small bell to indicate to the projectionist in the back, when to change the slide. Mr. Judson’s collection included such a lectern, and was part of his demonstrations. The other topics of slides vary from biblical scenes to animation scenes. Usually the content being projected was aimed toward a popular audience. There was no standardization of the size of slides; some were 3 1/4" square in Britain and the US, and they were 3 1/4" x 4" and a few were even 3 1/2' tall! Many were made in black and white and were hand-painted. Others had decals stuck to the glass. The glass used for slides was thinner than window glass.
Mr. Judson gave a demonstration of the light for lantern slides and explained how the increase in light helped stabilize the image. He started by lighting an oil and wick lantern with a match but later gave a demonstration using an original magic lantern with limelight, when gas burning against a cylinder of lime incandesces oxygen and hydrogen. This produced a brilliant, steady light to display the slides.
Mr. Judson described his exhibition room. There is a wall of the original prints and illustrations mentioned earlier, dating from 1700-1900’s. He pointed out other cases that include lantern slides, an area of children’s slide lanterns and slides, a scientific area, a “secret society” area and many items in between. He explained that secret societies used lantern slides to describe their history. He showed us the one and only 3-D stereo magic lantern in existence. He also pointed out a case that displayed of Joseph Bogue Beals slides who was the pre-eminent American artist from Philadelphia. There was also a silver cup given to the Magic Lantern Society from renowned photographer, Alfred Stieglitz.
Mr. Judson explained that magic lantern slides were no longer produced after 1980, but the Yale art school still uses lantern slides today.
Mr. Judson gave us a tour of his library and mentioned that he wrote a book titled America’s Lantern Enterprise and is working on another. He gets calls daily from universities and museums and is always looking to expand his collection.
The tour ended at 6:00 p.m., and most of the group headed to dinner at Silo’s.
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter Annual Business Meeting 2006 was held at the Emily Morgan Hotel, San Antonio, Texas at 8:30 A.M., October 22, 2006.
The meeting was called to order by President Elizabeth Schaub, who then prompted discussion of the 2005 minutes. Laura Schwartz noted the misspelling of Marianne Stockebrand’s name on page four. After that correction was made, Mark Pompelia moved that the minutes be approved. Gwen Dixie seconded the motion.
The members of the Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter at the meeting introduced themselves. Those present were Craig Bunch (Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD), Margaret Culbertson (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Gwen Dixie (Dallas Public Library), Beth Dodd (University of Texas at Austin), Sam Duncan (University of Texas at Austin), Carla Ellard (Texas State University), Catherine Essinger (University of Houston), Jon Evans (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Selene Hinojosa (Texas State University), Ann Jones (McNay Art Museum), Katherine O’Dell (Southwestern University), Mark Pompelia (Rice University), Elizabeth Schaub (University of Texas at Austin), Laura Schwartz (University of Texas at Austin), Karen Sigler (Texas State University), Tara Spies (Texas State University), and Allen Townsend (Amon Carter Museum).
President Schaub reported that her presidency focused on issues related to the ARLIS/NA Chapter Affiliation Agreement, communication between chapters and headquarters regarding member status, and chapter concerns about the role headquarters plays vis-á-vis chapters’’ Web responsibilities.
President Schaub stated that she discussed the ARLIS/NA Chapter Affiliation Agreement via a chapter officer listserv. She also participated in a conference call relating to the Agreement on August 22, 2006 with attorney Michael Deese, as well as NA colleagues Barbara Rominski and Trish Rose, ARLIS/NA President Ann Whiteside and ARLIS/NA Executive Director Elizabeth Clarke.
The Affiliation Agreement raised issues surrounding chapter versus NA membership. The ARLIS/NA bylaws stipulate that “membership in a chapter is conditional upon membership in the Society.” The ARLIS/NA Executive Board has determined this clause must be observed by each chapter. The Texas-Mexico Chapter’s bylaws state that membership is open to all members of ARLIS/NA and are, therefore, in compliance with NA’s bylaws. President Schaub expressed the need for a better mechanism by which Headquarters and chapters communicate about individuals interested in membership, in order to enhance recruitment activities. She has been working with South Regional Representative Heather Ball to address these concerns with Headquarters.
President Schaub discussed the chapter Web site and noted that ARLIS/NA requires the Texas-Mexico Chapter maintain the 2005 Web site in perpetuity. The ARLIS/NA management recognizes challenges related to this issue. President Schaub and Vice President/President Elect Sam Duncan have been working with ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative Heather Ball to suggest beneficial solutions for review by Headquarters and the NA Board.
President Schaub also reported that she has investigated liability issues related to the relationship of ARLIS/NA and the chapters. A more detailed discussion of these issues followed in New Business.
President Schaub thanked Sam Duncan for redesigning the chapter Web site. She thanked everyone who helped make her presidency a success, particularly her colleagues Beth Dodd and Laura Schwartz. She thanked Beth Dodd and Greg Smith for hosting the chapter dinner on Friday, October 20th, Laura Schwartz for arranging the Blanton Art Gallery tour and providing members with notecards, Mark Pompelia for coordinating the hotel arrangements, Carla Ellard, Selene Hinojosa, Karen Sigler, and Tara Spies for hosting the Texas State University tours, Craig Bunch for being a responsive Treasurer, Catherine Essinger for volunteering to take minutes, Sam Duncan for being a wonderful collaborator, and past presidents Schwartz, Evans, and Pompelia for inspiring leadership in others. She also thanked all those present for attending the annual meeting.
Treasurer Bunch distributed his report of account balances, income, and expenses from January 1-October 18, 2006. He explained that recent changes altered several figures on the report. He will revise and re-submit the report in the coming weeks. The relatively healthy balance now held by the chapter inspired discussion. It was suggested that the chapter may increase the Lois Swan Jones Award in coming years or use the money to provide a new service.
|ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Treasurer’s Report
January 1, 2006—October 23, 2006
|Beginning balance (acc. To Treasurer’s Report)||1,569.51|
|(acc. To Washington Mutual)||1,644.03|
|Membership dues 2005||40.00|
|Membership dues 2006||520.00|
|Lois Swan Jones Travel Award 2006||5.00|
|Lois Swan Jones Travel Award 2007||971.00|
|Sub-total (acc. to Treasurer’s Report)||4897.51|
|(acc. to Washington Mutual)||4972.03|
|Lois Swan Jones Travel Award 2006||750.00|
|ARLIS/NA Welcome Party||200.00|
|AN Hosting, Chicago||95.40|
|Palmers, San Marcos deposit||125.00|
|Ending balance (actual amount in account)||2791.30|
Elizabeth Schaub read a statement of resignation from former chapter Secretary Charles Burchard, dated October 16, 2006.
Editor Sam Duncan announced that two issues had been published since the 2005 annual meeting. He created two new features, “Collection Profile” and “From the Archives.” The last issue also contained tributes to Lois Swan Jones. Contributors can now input content directly. The new content management system creates a more streamlined publication process, as well as a table of contents and printer-friendly links. Editor Duncan has also begun to migrate older issues to the Web site. He has completed migration of all digital issues through Fall 2000.
By changing the Web site’s host in February 2006, the chapter has saved $167 and acquired additional features. The new content management system, Drupal, has several new modules, a member directory, comments capabilities, date-stamping, a solid search engine, and RSS feeds. It also allows users to attach documents, promote content to the front page, and create easy to remember URLs. The style sheet results in better printing. The Google translator is sufficient to address the chapter’s desire to provide content in both English and Spanish. The forum software may also take the place of the Listerv. Sam Duncan agreed to continue to serve as Webmaster during his presidency, unless another member volunteers.
The members discussed the possibility of allowing people to join the chapter with an online payment service. Mark Pompelia noted that such an arrangement must be approved by the ARLIS/NA Membership Services Taskforce. It was noted that Sam Duncan serves on that committee.
Beth Dodd moved that the chapter allow a member directory on the chapter’s public Web site. Jon Evans seconded the motion. Discussion of privacy issues and bylaws compliance followed. No vote was taken. Elizabeth Schaub amended the motion to create a directory of the institutions members represent on the public Web site. Allen Townsend seconded. Gwen Dixie moved that the chapter president further investigate the ramifications of providing a permanent directory of members and/or members’ employers on the public Web site. Beth Dodd seconded the motion. Both motions were unanimously approved.
President Schaub read a message from South Regional Representative Heather Ball, who was unable to attend the meeting. See Heather’s report in this issue.
On behalf of the Nominating Committee, Jon Evans announced that Selene Hinojosa had accepted her nomination as Vice President/President Elect and Catherine Essinger had accepted her nomination as Secretary. There were no other nominations and both candidates were unanimously elected.
Beth Dodd, chair of the Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award Committee, distributed her report to members, as well as Janine Henri’s Recipient Report. The report summarized the year’s activity and provided recommendations for the next committee.
Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award Committee
Report for 2005-2006, Submitted October 22, 2006
At the Fall 2005 chapter meeting in Marfa, the attendees voted to award $750 for travel to the 2006 ARLIS/NA conference to be held in Banff. The consensus was for a single, larger award since travel to Canada would be more expensive. This decision was made in conjunction with the prior year’s smaller award of five hundred dollars for the relatively inexpensive Houston conference.
In keeping with the eligibility criteria of the award, the recipient must be a member in good standing of both ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter, and only receive partial funding support from their institution.
The 2006 award went to Janine Henri, who met the above criteria and was committed to actively participating at the Banff conference. Janine chaired the Membership Committee’s business meeting, as well as served as a panelist in the ASK ARLIS Session Reaching Out: chapter Links to Local Library Schools. Finally, Janine also volunteered her assistance in the Exhibits Hall and participated in the conference’s mentoring program.
As a condition of the award, Janine reported her activities as well as the impact of this award in the summer 2006 issue of The Medium.
Additional activities of this committee included the production of guidelines for administering and serving on the committee, a planning calendar, and a tool to assist in documenting criteria and ranking applicants.
We offer the following considerations for next year:
Beth Dodd has offered to continue serving on this committee if needed, but would be happy to cede to other interested parties. Committee work usually involves posting the award announcement, reviewing submissions in the late fall, participating in some e-mail exchanges, posting the recipient and reporting the committee’s efforts at the next meeting.
Dodd would like to thank her fellow committee members and this year’s impressive applicants.
Mark Pompelia distributed a letter sent to Craig Rember, Judd Foundation Collections Manager, in November 2005 on behalf of the Donald Judd Library Project participants. He reported that the Judd Foundation had not communicated with the project team since that time, but the team still hoped to move forward with the plan to catalog Donald Judd’s library. Laura Schwartz suggested that the team approach the new Foundation Director. Jon Evans also recommended that the team communicate by telephone, as well as in writing. Pompelia agreed to draft a follow-up letter and would forward it to President Schaub, Jon Evans, and Beth Dodd for review before sending to the Judd Foundation Director.
Treasurer Bunch noted that the chapter donated $200 for the 2006 Conference Welcome Party. Jon Evans moved that the chapter donate $300 for the 2007 Welcome Party. Allen Townsend seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
The 2007 chapter meeting will be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. President Elect Duncan has investigated museum exhibits scheduled at that time and also suggested programming at the UNT and TWU campuses. Members also suggested tours of the Nasher Sculpture Center, the photo conservation facility at Amon Carter, and a Gwen Dixie-led tour of the Dallas arts district. Members were very positive about the multi-location format of the 2006 meeting and suggested following the same model in 2007.
President Schaub presented the Agreement, which codifies the legal relationship between ARLIS/NA and its chapters. Three elements of the Agreement inspired discussion. Section II states, “Members of CHAPTER also must be members of ARLIS/NA.” President Schaub observed that some chapters are heavily peopled by members who are not members of ARLIS/NA. Section IIIB, which states that ARLIS/NA must approve changes to chapter bylaws, also generated discussion. Section V states, “Unless expressly agreed to in writing by the parties, neither party is authorized to incur any liability, obligation or expense on behalf of the other …” By signing the Agreement, therefore, the chapter may find it appropriate to conduct a risk assessment and acquire its own insurance. Mark Pompelia moved that the chapter approve the signing of the Agreement. Allen Townsend seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
Craig Bunch and Elizabeth Schaub are working to update information filed with the Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State of Texas, related to the chapter’s name change from ARLIS/Texas to ARLIS/Texas-Mexico. Members discussed the history of the chapter’s name change. It was suggested that it might be appropriate for the ARLIS/NA Membership and International Relations Committee to become more involved in recruiting members from Mexico.
President Schaub updated those present conference call related to chapter liability with consulting attorney Michael Deese (referenced in her President’s report). She defined general and officers’ liability and stated that officers might be considered volunteers under the ARLIS/NA umbrella. She also stated that ARLIS/NA Executive Director Elizabeth Clarke is investigating the issue on behalf of the chapters. President Schaub asked those present whether they supported the leadership continuing their investigation. Members approved the effort without a vote.
The current membership categories are Member and Subscriber. The latter cannot vote or hold an office, but may receive the newsletter and attend meetings. Allen Townsend moved that the chapter eliminate the subscriber category. Jon Evans seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. Mark Pompelia moved that the next meeting planners create a category for non-members who wish to attend the meeting, but are not guests of chapter members. Katherine O’Dell seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Mark Pompelia noted that the local chapter of the Visual Resources Association may soon dissolve. There was general agreement that ARLIS/Texas-Mexico should reach out to VRA Texas members interested in joining another professional arts organization. An ad hoc committee was formed to address the issue. The committee members, Katherine O’Dell, Mark Pompelia, and Elizabeth Schaub, are all members of both chapters.
President Schaub asked that members observe a moment of silence to remember Lois Swan Jones.
Mark Pompelia moved that the LSJ Award Committee offer two awards of $500 each in 2007. Tara Spies seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
After discussion, it was agreed that previous LSJ Award winners were desirable as Committee Chairs, but that a previous win not be required to serve as Chair. Members agreed to offer leadership to Janine Henri, the most recent winner. Beth Dodd agreed to continue to serve as Chair, if Janine Henri is unable to serve.
Beth Dodd, Katherine O’Dell and Allen Townsend volunteered to serve on the Committee.
Laura Schwartz volunteered her staff to assist with the migration project. Tara Spies agreed to continue to assemble the Exhibits features.
Sam Duncan thanked Elizabeth Schaub for her year of excellent service and led the members in a round of applause.
President Schaub adjourned the meeting at 11:30 am.
Laura Schwartz, Chair of the ARLIS/NA Nominating Committee, announced to the Society in November that Elizabeth Schaub will be serving as ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative, following in the footsteps of Heather Ball. Schaub's tenure on the Executive Board will begin in April 2007 at ARLIS/NA's annual conference in Atlanta; she will hold the position for two years. As South Regional Representative, Schaub will represent the following chapters: ARLIS/NA DC/Maryland/Virginia, ARLIS/NA Southeast, and ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico. Her primary duties are to act as liaison between the chapters and the ARLIS/NA Executive Board, address the needs of individual chapters, and serve as an ex-officio member of all chapters in the region.
The heirs of Houston architect Karl Fred Kamrath (1911-1988) donated manuscript materials and other documents pertaining to Kamrath's professional career to the University of Texas at Austin Libraries. These materials, produced in the Houston offices of MacKie and Kamrath include sketchbooks, photographic prints, negatives, slides, drawings, papers, and books. Of particular interest is the MacKie and Kamrath job list that documents 1,000 projects between 1938-1983. This collection joins the Karl Kamrath Library of books, magazines, and ephemera relating to architect Frank Lloyd Wright that was donated to the Libraries in 1987.
MacKie and Kamrath were among the first Houston architects to design modernist buildings. After Kamrath met architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1946, he devoted himself to Wright’s Usonian architecture. Many of MacKie and Kamrath's projects received national recognition and their buildings are consistently Wrightian in character. The Kamrath Collection joins nearly one hundred other archival collections consisting of more than a quarter of a million drawings and thousands of photographs and related materials in the Alexander Architectural Archive and more than 88,000 volumes in the Architecture and Planning Library.
“The Kamrath Collection enhances our holdings relating to organic architecture,” states Architecture and Planning Librarian Janine Henri. “The University of Texas at Austin is already a primary location for research on Wrightian architecture, with a combination of scholarly expertise on the faculty and a concentration of rare books and archival materials found at no other institution of higher education. Generations of scholars will now have an incomparable foundation upon which to base future research and study on America's best known architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Karl Kamrath, his most prominent advocate in Texas.”
Once processed and cataloged, the Kamrath collection will be available by appointment within the Alexander Architectural Archive.Submitted by Janine Henri
In the October 12 issue of Rice News: The Faculty & Staff Newspaper of Rice University, the University’s Visual Resources Center, directed by member Mark Pompelia, was featured in the article “Art History’s Visual Resources Center Offers Bounty of Images.” Quoting from the article:
Mark Pompelia, director of the Visual Resources Center, said that even though the collection was born from the needs of art history professors, it is an encompassing anthology of images that is open to Rice faculty and students for use in courses and projects.
“We like to say that we are a local department resource with university-wide ambitions,” Pompelia said.
That may be an understatement.
With the help of Kelley Vernon, associate curator, and Kathleen Hamilton, assistant curator, the three-person team is adding about 1,000 digital images each month to the approximately 350,000 slides and 15,000 digital images the center has amassed since the department and collection were founded 30 years ago.
Each image is accompanied by a full catalog record that adheres to the latest data standards in the profession.
In recent years the acquisition rates between slides and digital have reversed. Nearly all images added now are scans from slides or books or high-resolution images from a digital camera. Slide acquisitions have decreased to a trickle.
“We are really seeing a change in the number of professors who want to use digital images instead of slides,” Pompelia said. “However, the challenge is to build a critical mass of images that is meaningful to each professor in order for digital to be a viable teaching option. The fact that our digital collection is fully cataloged and searchable increases its attraction.”
Check out the full article.
ARTstor and the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin are pleased to announce that they will collaborate to digitize and distribute approximately 9,000 images from the Hal Box and Logan Wagner Collection of Mexican Architecture and Urban Design Images. These images richly document outdoor communal spaces in Mexico, focusing on both Pre-Columbian sites and 16th-17th century Colonial sites.
Hal Box, a practicing architect, was Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin from 1976 to 1992. In 1988, Box began to study and document the 16th-17th century open air churches of Mexico under the auspices of Earthwatch with additional funding from the Graham Foundation, the University Research Institute and the University of Texas Institute for Latin American Studies. Logan Wagner, a native of Mexico and an architect-builder with degrees in anthropology, architecture, and a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies, led the field work for the next twelve summers. Box, Wagner, and volunteer groups carried out photographic documentation, and preparation of measured drawings of open air churches and other civic spaces in the states of Morelos, Mexico, Michoacán, Yucatan, Quinatna Roo, and Hidalgo. Wagner extended the study with archival research.
In reaching this agreement, Elizabeth Schaub, Director of the Visual Resources Collection at the School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin, and Max Marmor, ARTstor’s Director of Collection Development, expressed their enthusiasm in collaborating to preserve this unique archive and to make its contents available for educational and scholarly use through ARTstor. “I’m very excited that the School of Architecture has an opportunity to collaborate with ARTstor. Our joint venture will result in a broader audience gaining access to unique content that finds a new life in digital form,” comments Elizabeth Schaub. “Our partnership with the School of Architecture at UT Austin will significantly advance ARTstor’s effort to provide a rich body of images of Latin American architecture and art, from Pre-Columbian to contemporary, for use by teachers, students and scholars,” affirms Marmor. “We hope this will be the first of several important ARTstor projects involving the rich collections of the University of Texas at Austin.”
The Visual Resources Collection of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin is comprised of more than 235,000 slides and approximately 50,000 digital images. The main purpose of the collection is to support the teaching needs of the School of Architecture's faculty members and students
As I close out my year as editor for volume 32 of The Medium, I want to offer my deepest gratitude to all the members of the chapter who dutifully contributed writing to each issue. It was a honor to work with each and every one of you. I think we managed to consistently produce a quality publication. A round of thanks also for being patient as we worked out the kinks in our new Web publication system.
The University of Texas at Austin
Welcome to the first issue of volume 33 of The Medium, the first from term-appointed Vice President and Web site administrator Mark Pompelia. This issue features the first column from your new, two-year President, Selene Hinojosa. Be sure to read the annual report submitted to the executive board of ARLIS/NA from Past President Elizabeth Schaub. And lastly you'll want to keep current with chapter member news by reviewing the various entries assembled by our column editors.
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Little did I suspect last October in San Antonio, that I would be the one writing you by the following spring. I had hope there would be time to figure out what was expected of me as a VP, President Elect. I’m not complaining. But I am sorry that I missed the opportunity to work with Sam Duncan on behalf of ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter. Sam is still with us, in spirit for certain, and just minutes away from me in Austin. However, due to the demands of his new position, he had to resign as our incoming President. As webmaster, he gave our newsletter a stylish new look, and for this too, he will be esteemed and missed.
Oh well, on to the good news.
Our elected executive committee is now comprised of me (your new President), and thankfully, Catherine Essinger remains Chapter Secretary, and Craig Bunch remains our Chapter Treasurer. I was faced with two choices, either send out a call to you all, asking for volunteers to run in an election to fill the President position, or take it on early (and for two years) and appoint a single term VP. I hope I made the choice all of you would have preferred, and asked Mark Pompelia, our former President (2004-2005) and bearer of the bad news about Sam, to serve as our VP, just for the year (and to help me out). To continue taking the bad news about Sam out on him, I accepted Mark’s offer to serve as our Web master. Elizabeth Schaub, last year’s President (2006), and this year’s incoming ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative, graciously offered to help with advice and guidance for however long we need her. I am incredibly grateful to them all, and to all of you for the help and support offered thus far, and which I am confident will be offered in the future.
We will continue to plan for this year’s chapter meeting in Dallas/Ft. Worth, and to try and make it all you hoped it would be.
I hope all of you are out there cheering, or at least grateful it doesn’t have to be you this time. I understand. Please do not hesitate to contact me to let me know what you think, what you want, and what you believe will best serve the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter in the next two years.
Gloria Selene Hinojosa
President, Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter
Elizabeth Schaub, Past President of ARLIS/TXMX, authored the chapter's annual report for 2006. The report may be downloaded below.
The UT Fine Arts Library has been selected as the winner in two categories of Texas Library Association's first ever Texas Libraries Public Relations Branding Iron Awards. The Fine Arts Library won in the non-traditional media category and in the marketing plan category. The winners in the individual categories were published in the Saturday issue of the TLA conference onsite newsletter and all the winning entries will be showcased in the summer issue of the Texas Library Journal.
Laura Schwartz, Head Librarian, Fine Arts Library, UT Austin is the recepient of the 2007 ARLIS/NA Conference Attendance Award which is a cash award of $750.
During the last several years, Rice University's Fondren Library underwent significant changes. Plans to demolish the existing building and build a new library with two floors below grade were abandoned after extensive flooding in Houston during June 2001. To address critical space shortages, the University Librarian and planners embarked on two major solutions: a new storage facility and a library renovation.
The university decided to build a library storage facility about 5 miles from campus, on land that had been donated by Raymond Brochstein. Carlos Jimenez Studios designed a high-density storage facility that recently received a 2007 Honor Award from the Houston Chapter of the AIA. Construction began in February 2003 and the facility was completed by March 2004. The transfer of books, serials, LPs, and archival materials began in January 2004 and as of January 2007, over 600,000 items have been processed and stored in the Library Service Center.
Major renovation to the interior of Fondren Library began in May 2005. The project's architects were Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, Ray Bailey Architects, and Linbeck Construction. All departments were relocated at various stages of the demolition and renovation process and Collection Development librarians worked to transfer materials from stack areas to be renovated. Most of the renovation was completed by December 2006. The Government Publications and Microforms Department is now located in greatly expanded and improved public and office spaces, and the Technical Services Department and Reference/Collection Development librarians moved into renovated areas. Work is almost complete on the last phase, which involves facilities for the library's computer and IT staff.
The most dramatic changes are on the first, second, and sixth floors. A new west entrance directly opposite the original east entrance of the building is linked by a lighted walkway that bisects the first floor. From this central east-west axis, there is access to an elevator and restrooms. The Circulation & Reserve Desk, staff space, and the "scatter room" now have spacious quarters adjacent to the west entrance. The Reference Desk is placed at the edge of an array of study cubicles with public access Macintosh workstations, and is also adjacent to a large section of study cubicles with Macs reserved for Rice student use only. Throughout the first floor there are 62 carrels for individual study. The second floor features the most dramatic physical changes with six new group study rooms and 18 individual study carrels. The largest group study room is furnished with projection and display equipment. The small sixth floor has been converted into a comfortable study area with ample lounge furniture. There are also two rooms, with one reserved for group study that is equipped with ports and display screens. Access to this floor is restricted to Rice students and faculty.
The Circulation/Reserve Desk of the Brown Fine Arts Library was closed on August 1, 2006. The Circulation Supervisor and the weekend supervisor transferred their responsibilities to
Fondren's Circulation Department. During the spring of 2006, Mary Du Mont, Music Librarian, and Jet Prendeville, Art/Architecture Librarian, worked on challenges related to the transition and transfer of materials. All Fine Arts and music CDs, videos, and DVDs were transferred to Fondren Circulation. Over 6,000 art and architecture oversize volumes, folios, and rare books were sent to the Library Service Center. All circulation and reserve functions are now handled by the Fondren Circulation Department. The remainder of the Fine Arts collection remains within the confines of the Brown Fine Arts Library. Eventually the doors along the perimeter of the Fine Arts Library will be removed to allow easier access to the rest of the third floor collection. These doors are currently unlocked. Only the main entry doors will remain, so they can be closed to block noise from receptions that are frequently held in an adjacent public area.
Since Fall 2004, Jet Prendeville has been working closely with the Visual Arts faculty to develop a small collection of livres d'artistes by post World War II American artists. Two of the most significant and beautiful books acquired are Jim Dine's Temple of Flora and Robert Motherwell's El Negro. Plans are underway for the Visual Arts Department and Fondren Library to host an exhibition of the livres d'artistes sometime in September 2007. A reception and a program of invited speakers are also being planned.
Submitted by Jet Prendeville
Jessica Lu has received a Helen Jones Foundation grant of $35,000. The grant was awarded to the Texas Tech University Libraries for the purpose of obtaining an architecture digital image collection and to license the Archivision Digital Archive. Ms. Lu is the Architecture Image Librarian for the Architecture Library's Visual Resources Collection.
Submitted by Bonnie Reed
Sam Duncan joined the University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture in November 2006 as the new Director of the Materials Lab. Former Director Tara Carlisle left the university in August. Most of you will know that Sam comes to U.T. from Fort Worth, where he worked at the Amon Carter Museum as the technical services librarian. As a result of Sam's job change he regrettably announced his resignation from the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Presidency.
Sanctioning Modernism, an exhibition of materials drawn from the Alexander Architectural Archive and the Architecture and Planning Library's Special Collection, held in conjunction with a symposium on post-World War II architecture is on view in the Reading Room of the Architecture and Planning Library at the University of Texas at Austin through May 2007.
Janine Henri and Beth Dodd presented on Architectural Archives and Special Collections: Best Practices for Libraries Supporting Schools of Architecture at this year's meeting of the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL) in Philadelphia (see the AASL conference website for more information). This meeting is held in conjunction with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). Beth Dodd was the recipient of the first travel award offered by the AASL. Janine Henri was elected Vice-President/President-Elect of AASL and will be planning the next AASL conference, scheduled for March 27-30, 2008, in Houston.
Kathryn Pierce, Alexander Architectural Archive Processor (Graduate Research Assistant), is the recipient of ARLIS/Texas-Mexico's Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award. Katie is currently a student in the School of Information at the University of Texas at Austin, and she will begin graduate study in architecture history at U.T. Austin this fall.
Janine Henri and Heather Ball co-authored "Library Support for Study Abroad and Distance Education Programs," published in the January ACSANews (vol.36, no.5, p.44).
In February 2007, the American Institute of Architects announced that Battle Hall (home of the Architecture and Planning Library) was included on its list of America's Favorite Architecture. KXAN (Television Channel 36) featured Battle Hall on the 6 o'clock news on Friday Feb. 9, 2007 (Janine Henri was interviewed briefly for that program).
Submitted by Janine Henri
The Hirsch Library’s seventh Highlights of the Hirsch Library exhibition opened on April 17. Installed in a small gallery near the library in the Caroline Wiess Law Building of the MFAH, the exhibition, Building Foundations: Ima Hogg and Bayou Bend in the 1920s, offers a glimpse of the key role Miss Hogg played in Bayou Bend’s original design and construction. Items on display from the MFAH Archives and the Hirsch Library include auction catalogs that Miss Hogg used in acquiring items for her collection and letters from the decorative artist William Mackay regarding designs for the dining room wall covering. Mackay’s original watercolor and gouache schemes are also on display along with a fragment of the final painted canvas. A 1920’s portrait of Miss Hogg by Wayman Adams is also included, as well as the New England colonial chair that Miss Hogg saw in Mr. Adams’s studio and credited with inspiring her interest in American decorative arts.
Kerri Menchaca, who has been a part-time Reference Assistant in the library for over a year, moved into the full-time Acquisitions Assistant position on February 21, replacing Amy Sullivan, who is now at the Menil Museum. We are happy to have Kerri with us on a full-time basis as she deals with the book orders and budget during the busy last months of the fiscal year.
Submitted by Margaret Culbertson
Mark Pompelia has volunteered to be part of a steering committee to revive the dormant Texas chapter of the Visual Resources Association. This will involve reviewing the chapter bylaws, officer recruitment for fall elections, and exploring a joint meeting with ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico this coming fall.
Elizabeth Schaub participated in the seminar titled Are We Speaking the Same Language? Communication Strategies for the Visual Resources Professional at the Visual Resources Association’s annual conference in Kansas City, Missouri (March 27-31, 2007). Elizabeth’s presentation focused on strategies for effective communication with student employees.
Mark Pompelia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Laura Schwartz (email@example.com)
Janine Henri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jon Evans (email@example.com)
Gwen Dixie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark Pompelia (email@example.com)
Deadline for Summer 2007 Issue (v. 33, no. 2): August 5, 2007
Welcome to the second issue of volume 33 of The Medium. This issue is overflowing with news from chapter members and their institutions, some of it bittersweet as we note the departure of two respected colleagues (though you will also notice in this issue a news item from a former Texas-based member now outside our geographic fold). Be sure to read the report from ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative Elizabeth Schaub, as well as the reports from the two recipients of the 2007 Lois Swan Jones Award. But first, let us commence with "The Scream"...
Laura Schwartz, head librarian of the Fine Arts Library, leads the College of Fine Arts freshmen in a cheer for Gone to Texas orientation.
According to American Libraries Direct, "Not only were the students provided with an introduction to key administrators, but they were also able to eat pizza, sing karaoke, and scream in the library as orchestrated by Fine Arts Librarian Laura Schwartz, who recorded the event for posterity in this YouTube video."
International library leaders gathered and focused on leadership at academic institutions.
The two discussion themes of the week were 1. How well-positioned is my organization to meet current and future challenges?, and 2. How effective is my own leadership?
This was an amazing opportunity to learn about higher education from Harvard faculty. It was also a terrific networking opportunity. If you have questions about the program, please get in touch with Laura.
The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library welcomed a new full-time employee this summer. Jackie Rocha now serves as the Evening Supervisor and Reserves Manager. Ms. Rocha is a former UH employee who recently received a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Texas State University.
The other full-time staff members both received campus service awards at the end of the Spring semester. Yolanda Rodriguez was named Employee of the Year for the entire UH Libraries system. Catherine Essinger received the Staff Service Award for the College of Architecture. Catherine Essinger also attended the Texas Library Association’s TALL Texans Leadership Institute last May and was recently appointed to TLA’s Leadership Development Committee.
The Jenkins Library’s Web site, catalog, and printing system were redesigned in August. The library system has installed print management software to help alleviate excessive paper waste. Printing will no longer be free to all library users. Patrons not affiliated with UH will now pay eleven cents per printed page. The website and catalog may undergo slight revision based on user feedback. To view their current incarnations, visit http://info.lib.uh.edu/aa/index.html and http://library.uh.edu.
Former ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter Member and Officer Polly McCord announces that she recently accepted a position as a Librarian at the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer. She submitted the following library profile:
The OSE Library collects materials related to the history, science, law, use and management of water resources in New Mexico and the surrounding region. For the architecture librarians, we are in the basement of the Bataan Memorial Building, which was the State Capitol from 1900-1966. Look at http://www.generalservices.state.nm.us/bsd/buildings/bataan.html. The building is in downtown Santa Fe across the street from the Roundhouse (the current capitol) and about 4 blocks south of the Plaza. Because it was the State Capitol, the basement has a number of vaults where Finance used to keep the money, so I have a real turn-of-the-last-century bank vault for my archives.
The collection includes a variety of maps, USGS and other Federal publications, reports and other documents issued by the New Mexico State Engineer going back to Territorial times, consultant reports, hydrographic surveys, technical reports and master's theses from New Mexico Tech, University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University students, landmark legal opinions and some related materials, and, I'm sure, lots I've yet to uncover. I'm the first professional librarian they've ever had and they hadn't had anyone in the library on a full-time basis in over a year before a started. I estimate that about 40% of the collection is cataloged in some way: some LC, some Dewey, some SUDOC, and some in that arcane static system I'd only heard about before where a title is assigned a specific location on a shelf. The rest? No cataloging whatsoever. My predecessor had contract catalogers coming in but for some reason he didn't want them to actually label the items so even if it was cataloged, the item isn't connected to the number. We are part of a State agency consortium called SALSA and the items that have been cataloged in Dewey are available through an online catalog at http://salsa.stlib.state.nm.us/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=ose&menu=search#focus.
Whenever my old ARLIS/NA friends are in Santa Fe, I encourage you to stop by to say hello!
Polly McCord, MLS
New Mexico Office of the State Engineer
407 Galisteo Street
Bataan Memorial Building, Room BE02
PO Box 25102
Santa Fe, NM 87504
News from AASL
ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter members Margaret Culbertson, Catherine Essinger, Janine Henri, Mark Pompelia, and Jet Prendeville are serving on the AASL Conference Planning Committee. They are planning the annual conference of the Association of Architecture School Librarians, scheduled for March 27-30, 2008, in Houston, in conjunction with the 96th annual meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. The conference theme is "Seeking the City."
After sixteen years of service, Janine Henri is leaving her position as Head Librarian of the Architecture & Planning Library at the University of Texas at Austin after August 31, 2007. She has accepted a position as Architecture, Design, and Digital Services Librarian in the Arts Library at UCLA, where she will begin employment on September. 17, 2007. Beth Dodd will be the Interim Head of the Architecture & Planning Library, effective September 1, 2007. To assist in the interim, Library Assistant Donna Coates' appointment has been increased from half-time to full-time. ARLIS/Texas-Mexico and her colleagues at UT Austin wish her well and success in her new position.
As a result of this move, this is Janine's last submission as Architecture Libraries News Column Editor. Catherine Essinger, University of Houston, will be taking over this responsibility as of the fall 2007 issue.
After four years of service as the Director of the Amon Carter Musem's Library and Archives, Allen Townsend has left to take a position at Yale University.
Allen began his new job as Director of the Yale University Arts Library on July 16th, 2007.
We wish Allen all the best in his new endeavor!
Reference Librarian, Hirsch Library
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
This Hirsch Library is currently featuring the books and photographs of Lee Friedlander, who has long been recognized as one of the most talented, prolific and influential photographers of the 20th and 21st centuries. The exhibition will be on view from August 21, 2007 – January 13, 2008.
Friedlander’s exploration of genres ranging from portraiture and documentary to landscape and still life show his abiding interest in capturing the world around us in its many guises, often with great candor and humor. His vision bears witness to every day life in such a way that the ordinary becomes extraordinary. Included are nine books, seven photographs and one print ranging from the beginning of his career to his latest endeavors, emphasizing the continuity as well as the breadth of his oeuvre. For more information, please see: http://www.mfah.org/main.asp?target=exhibition&par1=1&par2=1&par3=512.
Reference Librarian, Hirsch Library
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Along with several other Texas RLG libraries, the Hirsch Library converted cataloging and interlibrary loan systems from RLIN to OCLC this summer. Training and revising procedures was time-consuming, but should lead to good results. For those members already using OCLC, if you notice the distinctive holdings symbol “FNE,” that is the Hirsch’s new symbol.
Two significant memorial gifts enabled the Hirsch Library to strengthen its collection over the past few months. The family and friends of Joyce Rader donated funds in her memory for the purchase of two substantial works: Buddhist Sculptures in Tibet (2 volumes, Zurich, 2001) and Les Miniatures du XVIIIe Siécle: Portraits de Femmes, (Paris, 1913). Fellow MFAH Guild members and friends of Anne Koehler contributed funds to purchase 22 books in her memory on the art of Pompeii and Roman art and culture to assist docents in preparing for the Pompeii exhibition opening in March of 2008.
The Hirsch Library also has received a number of large book collections as gifts over the past few years, and a new full-time Cataloging Assistant position was recently added to help catalog them. We are happy to report that Lynn Wexler accepted the position, beginning officially on September 1. ARLIS/Texas-Mexico members may already have met or worked with Lynn, for she has been a part-time reference desk assistant at the Hirsch for over two years and also is a student in the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences. It is great to have Lynn with the Hirsch on a full-time basis and to get more of the gift collections cataloged and accessible to library users.
Director, Hirsch Library
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
The Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth will be featured with articles by the director and curators in the October 2007 issue of Apollo magazine (http://www.apollo-magazine.com/). Other recent issues have featured the collections of The Yale Center for British Art (April 2007), as well as the J. Paul Getty Museum (February 2006).
Patricia Cummings Loud
Curator of Architecture/Archivist
Kimbell Art Museum
The Wittliff Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography at Texas State University-San Marcos presents the 10th publication in its series, A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove by Bill Wittliff, bringing the sweeping visual imagery of the CBS miniseries to the printed page at last.
The major archive of these photographs (a total of 215), gifted by Wittliff and his wife Sally, resides in the Gallery’s permanent collection at Texas State’s Alkek Library; 60 of the images will be on view from August 23, 2007 -March 30, 2008. An exhibit reception/book launch is scheduled for October 13.
Published by the University of Texas Press, the large-format, 188-page book features over 100 of the toned black-and-white photographs created by Bill Wittliff—the award-winning screenwriter and co-executive producer of Lonesome Dove—which he selected from his archive of over 5,000 negatives shot on set.
Michele M. Miller
Media Relations & Promotions, Alkek Library Special Collections
Texas State University – San Marcos
This special exhibition entitled, The Making of King of the Hill, comes from the King of the Hill Archives at the Southwestern Writers Collection and is on view from September 1 – December 14, 2007. It features episode drafts, whiteboards, a bird’s-eye illustration of Hank’s neighborhood, “interviews” with the characters, results from the writers’ research trips, and music from and inspired by the show. The materials and memorabilia reveal the creative team at work and round out the back story of the Hill family’s life and times.
A public exhibit reception and program will be held the evening of Saturday, November 10, with special guest Jim Dauterive, founding writer and current executive producer of the show.For additional collection details, visit The Southwestern Writers Collection Web site: http://www.swwc.txstate.edu.
Michele M. Miller
Media Relations & Promotions, Alkek Library Special Collections
Texas State University – San Marcos
Efforts to negotiate Texas purchasing consortiums with digital image vendors have been ongoing over the past few months. With the blessings of 17 visual resources curators in the state, I made contact with the vendors on our behalf. Negotiations with Scholars Resource is ongoing, but I am pleased to report that a discount group has been formed with Archivision, Inc., a major vendor of architectural digital images. This agreement allows all Texas universities, colleges, community colleges, museums, and secondary schools to license the Archivision Digital Photo Research Library (currently over 29,000 images) at a huge discount over individual purchases through Scholars Resource. Schools will automatically receive the discount when ordering the entire archive from Archivision. The Texas Discount Buying Group is the first state discount group for Archivision and will become their model for other states and provinces.
The group discount allows all Texas institutions to pay the same low, per student fee for the images in the base collection of 16,000 images with even greater discounts for additional modules offered by Archivision. Images come in JPEG format, with TIFF images available at an additional charge. Institutions can specific the format for the data they receive. Total cost for the archive depends upon the number of students enrolled at the institution. Southern Methodist University and Rice University have already licensed the archive using the discount group pricing, saving thousands of dollars for both institutions. Schools interested in more details should contact Susan Jane Williams at Archivision, 866-712-4627 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eileen W. Coffman, Director
Lady Tennyson d'Eyncourt Visual Resources Library
Southern Methodist University
The Visual Resource Collection is located within the Technical Reference Center, the architectural reference library supported by the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University. The collection functions principally as a teaching resource for faculty within the college, but also serves faculty outside of the college and grants limited access to students. The collection consists of almost 152,000 35 mm slides and over 36,000 digital images of primarily art and architecture.
The Visual Resource Collection houses several special collections including the Gunn Collection. Ralph Ellis Gunn was a prominent landscape architect who designed extensively in the River Oaks area of Houston in the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s. The Gunn Collection includes sets of landscaping plans for residences in Houston, other areas of Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, Florida, and Mississippi. The collection consists of several books, sets of plans, and almost 900 slides, all digitally imaged, donated in the late 1970’s and is available for viewing within the library.
In 2000, the College of Architecture purchased the formerly commercial slide collection Architectural Color Slides, founded in 1947 by Franziska Porges Hosken. The Franziska Porges Hosken Architecture/Urban Development Collection of approximately 52,200 slides 35 mm slides and 14,600 photographs was at one time one of the largest collections of worldwide images photographed and documented by a single individual. Franziska Porges Hosken was an architect and urban planner, journalist, and photographer. She was the first woman to earn a master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She opened a furniture design studio with her husband and later became a consultant, organizer and author. She was the Founder of Women’s International Network (WIN) and helped organize the Human Rights Health Action Network. The collection consists primarily of architectural and planning images, including views of prominent buildings, sites and regions across the globe. Worldwide historic architecture and significant contemporary architecture are well represented, as are architectural styles and urban development.
The Collection staff consists of a curator, an assistant curator, and graduate assistants, whom facilitate its growth and maintenance.
In 1992, a database was developed to produce slide labels and catalog cards using Double Helix, a relational database software package developed by Macintosh. It was migrated into a customized Filemaker Pro database in 1992. With the transition from slides to digital images, MDID was implemented in 2003 as the digital image management system. The main library has acquired ARTstor, so the faculty has access on campus. There was a marked decrease in slide use in the 2006-2007, and in 2007-2008, slide use had all but ceased. This prompted the recent purchase of a new computer with flat screen and new digital camera for copystand use.
It is with great pleasure that I am able to begin my tenure as your South Regional Representative during a pivotal point in the Society’s evolution. I realize that I am filling a pair of very large shoes left by my predecessor, Heather Ball. In taking on this position, I am inspired to live up to the high expectations she set. As an ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter officer I had the good fortune to collaborate with Heather on many occasions, and, just as she was, I will be accessible and responsive to any need that the chapter may have during my tenure. I encourage you to e-mail me directly
You may wonder what led me to agree to serve on the ARLIS/NA Board as the South Regional Representative. First, I was very inspired by Heather Ball’s effectiveness and I felt that I too could provide an effective conduit for communication between my colleagues in chapters and the ARLIS/NA Board. I have gained invaluable experience serving as the chapter’s Secretary, Vice-President/President-Elect, President, and currently as the Past President. I believe that an organization is only as strong as the people who make up its membership and with this in mind, I have pursued opportunities to serve in the professional associations that have given me so much throughout my career. It is in this spirit that I take on this important role and look forward to collaborating with you not only in my role as South Regional Representative but also an active member in the chapter during the Society’s year of transition to a new administrative structure.
The Executive Board, in response to the Assessment Task Force Recommendations and the feedback that the recommendations engendered from the membership, has implemented a hybrid Board structure during the coming year. What this means for regional representatives is that we will not only continue to serve the chapters in the way that we have traditionally but also we will take on the functional officer roles outlined in the recommendations. ARLIS/NA President Deborah K. Utlan Boudewyns set out a road map for this transition in her message to the membership posted on ARLIS-L, June 12, 2007. As your South Regional Representative I am committed to representing your interests to the Board as well as serving as the Education Coordinator, one of the five new functional officer positions. As Educational Coordinator I will continue as the Professional Development Committee liaison, co-chair the newly formed Mentor sub-committee under the Professional Development Committee umbrella, act as co-liaison of the Education Task Force with the President, and act as co-liaison of the SEI Implementation Committee with the Vice-President.
During this transitional year the Board continues to welcome your feedback. Again, please do not hesitate to contact me as we begin to reshape the Society’s administrative structure.
ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative
ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter Past President
The ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual whose exemplary service in art librarianship, visual resources curatorship, or a related field, has made an outstanding national or international contribution to art information. The ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award Committee reminds you to review the award guidelines at http://www.arlisna.org/about/awards/dsa/dsa_guidelines.html and to consider submitting a nomination by Wednesday, January 9, 2008.
Submitted by Janine Henri on behalf of the ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award Committee
TX/MX Chapter Report
Thank you to chapter members of ARLIS Texas-Mexico for the Lois Swan Jones travel grant award. The opportunity to attend the conference was a rewarding professional experience. Over the course of the two and a half days I attended the ARLIS/NA conference in Atlanta, I went to several sessions and meetings. As a whole, I found it very helpful simply to go to these scheduled events to learn about their purpose and function, and the First-time Attendees Orientation session on Thursday evening helped to orient me and make me feel welcome at the conference. On Sunday, before my departure back to Texas, I attended the Wittenborn committee meeting chaired by the outgoing chair Terrie Wilson. I am looking forward to working with this committee this year, and I feel it an honor to be asked to contribute. In addition, it was my pleasure to meet members of both ARLIS/NA and the TX/MX chapter. Below are the sessions and meetings that I attended.
FRIDAY, APRIL 27TH
• Session 2: Communication and Collaboration: Working with Faculty for Information Fluency – As a reference librarian one of my duties is teaching art and art history students how to find scholarly information or images of art for their research. I was particularly interested in this session, and the presenters gave me some good ideas for possibly making my classes more effective and targeted toward teaching students to look up materials in the library or outside of it. Jennifer Parker’s presentation on creating one-hour credit instruction courses in art was very concrete in her discussion. I am not at the point of developing a credited instruction program, but it gave me the idea of creating tests or pop quizzes to assess student learning. That being said, a credited instruction program is a plan that we want to consider at the Hamon Arts Library. Jennifer also gave us the address for the course outline on her website, which I recommend for anyone who teaches how to search art and art history resources: http://ucblibraries.colorado.edu/art/ARTS1010.htm . I anticipate that the feedback from these tests will be immensely helpful. Lucie Stylianopoulos, who was actually a pleasure just to meet and chat with, gave a presentation that encouraged me to make better use of some of my architecture resources in my teaching. Claudia Covert outlined several core competencies to serve as a guide through the teaching process. She also emphasized pre- and post-testing for instruction sessions.
• Session 4: Art Libraries: New and Improved – My interest in this session was space planning issues. Linda R. McKee, Head Librarian at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art Library, and Artis Wick, the Assistant Librarian discussed and showed their new library and its facilities. They discussed planning for space ahead of time and the importance of insisting on what needs and future needs your library has for space and use. They also discussed their very helpful system of counting and marking off linear feet for the move. Laura Schwartz showed images of the UT Austin’s Fine Arts Library renovation, which included getting more space for materials and improved facilities for students. To discover their needs, they collected extensive observational and use data. Among one of several impressive changes was how, by removing high partitions, they created a feeling of open and more expansive space in the library. Carol Terry, Director of Library Services, RISD, gave a wonderful presentation of RISD’s unique opportunity to house the Fleet Library collection in a 1917 bank building across the river from the school. The new space not only provide much needed room for the collection and expanded study areas, but it also gave staff the ability to create a new community environment extending beyond the students’ needs to the community of Providence, Rhode Island. The Fleet Library website provides a nicely detailed pdf on their new building, and it is worth reading for any new and creative ideas on library space planning: http://www.risd.edu/pdf/fleetlibraryrisd.pdf .
• Reference and Information Services Section Meeting – this section was the most relevant to my position, and it is definitely a section that I would like to keep up with on their activities.
• Volunteered at the services desk – I enjoyed this activity. It helped me with a few questions of my own, and it gave me the chance to meet other librarians. Natalia Lonchyna, who helped manage the volunteers, was gracious and quite helpful.
SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH
• ARTstor Users Group meeting – I found this Users Group very worthwhile. I regularly teach students and faculty how to search and use the tools in ARTstor. There were a few announcements that I had not read or heard about. I’m glad to know that ARTstor is migrating to a new platform, Ajax, and that images for scholarly publication from a limited number of collections will be available to users. Max Marmor, who has been so instrumental in developing the image collections in ARTstor, will now serve as the President of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.
• Session 8: Going Outside, Coming in from the Cold: Outsourcing, Moonlighting, and Consulting – What I found most useful from this session was Carol K. Rusk’s talk, “Liberating the Library: Creative Solutions to Shrinking Budgets and Human Resources.” Grant writing for large library or archival projects and managing volunteers or part-time staff are central concerns for all libraries managing their resources with a limited budget.
• Took advantage of visiting the High Museum. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to the see The Gates of Paradise exhibition and become more familiar with the Museum’s collection.
• Academic Division Meeting – Since this is a new division, there was a lot of discussion about its purpose and what direction it should or might take over the next year. I learned that there is the desire for academic art librarians to have a presence in ARLIS as a division distinct from museum librarians. On the part of some attendees, there seemed to be the need for programs that address the services unique to those provided by academic art librarians. Attendees were encouraged to come up with topics relevant to this division for next year’s conference. I am currently enrolled in this list-serv, and the topics suggested for next year’s conference are interesting and quite worthwhile.
I want to begin by expressing my thanks to the Lois Swan Jones Award Committee and to all who made this award possible. This award provided me the opportunity to attend my first ARLIS/NA conference. As a student, attending this conference has strengthened my interest in pursuing a career in the field. This experience opened up my understanding of the real issues at work in art and architecture information positions.
On my first day at the conference in Atlanta, I participated in The Art and Architecture of Death Tour through Oakland Cemetery. The tour, conducted at twilight was a great way to learn about the history of Atlanta, the people, and the built works in the cemetery. It was also an informal way to interact with other conference attendees.
I started off several mornings with a yoga session that prepared me mentally and physically for the conference sessions to come. The first session I attended was Backpack to Briefcase, where professionals in the field shared their experiences and advice with students and recent graduates. As a student, this was particularly helpful in answering the many questions that arise as we transition into a professional role. Topics discussed were how to plan for your career, the importance of theory as well as practice in research, places to look non-traditional job opportunities, taking advantage of professional development opportunities, and navigating the tenure track.
Next, I attended the Architecture Section Meeting. The primary topic of discussion centered around the transitional period in ARLIS and potential dissolution of roundtables and sections in favor of a more fluid structure. While this could increase interchange and decrease the bureaucratic structure, there is concern that without a dedicated section, architecture would lose its presence within the organization. The idea of special interest groups was considered, wherein each group could determine its own structure, purpose, and requirements. The section determined there is sufficient interest and commitment to maintaining a group in some form. There was a call for thoughtfully considering the purpose of the group as this will contribute to the future organization.
The session Architecture of the Old South was appealing, as I am primarily interested in architecture resources and architectural history. Robert Leath of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA) discussed the resources held at his institution and the questions that arise when attempting to present historically accurate recreations of architectural settings. Liz Gushy of the University of Virginia Fine Arts Library reported on a digital initiative of Frances Benjamin Johnston's work. Johnston was a photographer committed to documenting the vernacular architecture of Virginia as well as other southern locations. Louis P. Nelson of the University of Virginia's School of Architecture introduced his research on the relationship between the 18th century Anglican Church and social order, where architecture can be used as a lens through which to view social experience.
On Saturday, I started out with the Ten Years After: A Decade of Copyright Developments session, where legal experts discussed legislative initiatives, implications for digital copies, impact of recent lawsuits on visual images, and concerns regarding new works based on older works. Both lawyers presented Kelly v. Arriba Soft Corporation as a case where determinations were made regarding image size (thumbnail), commercial intent, and transformative use. The argument is that courts are looking at transformative nature as the primary issue.
Power to the People: Social Tagging and Controlled Vocabularies introduced the possibilities that others are exploring through new technologies. Speakers addressed their projects and how to allow for metadata contributions while maintaining authority. It was proposed that the value of social tagging is in representing the relationships that exist between things, as opposed to the terms applied.
My Sunday began with The Evolving Data Standards Landscape: Leading the Way to Integrated Access allowed speakers to discuss the various data content and data format standards in use in libraries, archives, and museums, namely RDA, CCO, DACS, MARC, VRA Core 4 and CDWA Lite XML. Speakers focused on where materials types intersect. According to Matthew Beacon, as many repositories begin digitizing materials, the physical distinctions between repositories are blurred so intellectual descriptions should allow for shared ideas. The primary lessons or objectives formulated are the importance of applying standards, sharing terminologies, and establishing shareable core metadata.
Atlanta and the Architecture of Twentieth-Century Georgia focused on the spread of modern architecture and the reactions to new styles in Georgia. Benjamin Flowers, from the Georgia Institute of Technology, discussed the spread of European modernism to the United States, especially through the work of Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. Elizabeth Dowling of the Georgia Institute of Technology spoke about the work of Philip Schutze, a classical Georgia architect who worked during the time of modernism and rejected the functionalism of modern architecture. Robert Craig of Georgia Tech presented the work of several architects, namely Tucker and Howell and Alfred Willis.
To contribute at the conference, I volunteered at the registration desk on Saturday afternoon. This provided an opportunity to interact with other ARLIS members and learn more about the organization, the conference, and Atlanta. On my last night, I attended the Convocation Ceremony and Reception and experienced camaraderie and support within the organization. The reception was an excellent opportunity to meet more members, share conference experiences, and enjoy a lovely evening of music by the Dwight Andrews Jazz Band with Atlanta's High Museum of Art serving as the backdrop.
This award encouraged me to attend the conference. I truly appreciate the financial assistance, which always makes attending a conference easier, especially for a student. I am honored to have been selected as a recipient. The support of the Texas-Mexico chapter provided me with a chance to experience the conference and strengthen my membership in ARLIS/NA.
School of Information
University of Texas at Austin
Mark Pompelia (email@example.com)
Laura Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Janine Henri (email@example.com)
Jon Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Gwen Dixie (email@example.com)
Mark Pompelia (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Deadline for Fall 2007 Issue (v. 33, no. 3): November 15, 2007
Welcome to the third issue of volume 33 of The Medium. This issue is packed with summaries of tours from our annual chapter meeting in Dallas--who knew that such familiar territory could take on a new visage with all the varied venues and events to which we were treated? Our collective gratitude again goes to Gwen Dixie, who arranged every aspect with such effortless command (and even hosted us for dinner at her house!). We also have an excellent summary of our Dallas panel session, Collecting Early Texas Art, from our chapter president. In addition to items related to our annual meeting, this issue also features some announcements and summaries of events throughout the state, such as the Texas Digital Library meeting in Austin and the upcoming AASL conference in Houston. You'll also find a collection profile (thanks Elizabeth!) and a report from our ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative (thanks again, Elizabeth!). I also want to call attention and appreciation to Catherine Essinger, who has agreed to take over the Architecture Libraries News column from Janine Henri, who has left us for dreary Los Angeles (we miss you already, Janine). Catherine's contact information is on the Colophon page of this issue. Enjoy!
The 2007 ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter Annual Meeting in Dallas got off to a great start with a leisurely ramble through the Raymond Nasher Sculpture Center. The “Nasher,” designed by architect Renzo Piano and landscape architect Peter Walker opened in 2003. The museum and garden consists entirely of modern and contemporary sculpture. Of particular note is the building’s roof, an engineering marvel designed by the London-based architectural consulting firm Arup. Their engineers plotted the sun's yearly path across the Dallas sky and then created a protective ‘sunscreen’ consisting of over a half-million aluminum ‘shells’ that deflect the sun’s damaging rays while flooding the galleries with natural sunlight.
Following dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Café Nasher, the inimitable Gwen Dixie led us on a walking tour of the surrounding Arts District. We gathered to observe firsthand what is now called “the largest urban cultural district in the nation” consisting of Dallas’ best multi-cultural art, music, and dance venues situated on nearly 69 acres in the northeast section of downtown. According to Gwen, the Dallas Arts District was conceived and developed from 1977 to 1984 through a cooperative effort by the City of Dallas and private art foundations. The Dallas Museum of Art, the Dallas Theater Center, and the Trammell Crow Center all opened in 1984, forming the nucleus of an area already graced by historic structures such as the Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe, St. Paul United Methodist Church, and the Belo Mansion.
The tour began in front of the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, which unfortunately we were not able to enter. Gwen stated that the treasures on display in the building are from the personal collection of Dallas real estate czar Trammel Crow and his wife Margaret. The art objects were acquired from Japan, China, India, and Southeast Asia dating from 3500 B.C. to the early 20th century.
Around the corner in the next block appeared the beautiful Neo-Gothic Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe designed over 100 years ago by the legendary Texas architect Nicolas Clayton. The recent exterior renovation was based on drawings discovered in Galveston's Rosenberg Library. Two steeples have been added to complete Clayton’s original vision.
Just across the street from the Cathedral is the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center designed by I.M. Pei who worked with the famed acoustical engineer Russell Johnson. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Turtle Creek Chorale, the Dallas Wind Symphony and the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra all perform in this magnificent hall. Next to the Meyerson is the Annette Strauss Artist Square named after the former Dallas mayor who was a stalwart supporter of the arts. It serves as an outdoor venue for music, dance, theatre, festivals, and almost every other imaginable outdoor gathering.
In the middle of a giant fenced-off construction area Gwen pointed out a most interesting structure designed by Foster & Partners called the Winspear Opera House. This latest addition to the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is scheduled for completion in 2009. The design is a horseshoe configuration like many of the old acoustically superior opera houses in Europe.
Looking behind us we could barely make out the sprawling campus of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing Arts. The school has the nickname “Grammy High” because of the number of graduates who have won Grammy Awards. We could only think of two—Norah Jones and Erykah Badu—among the many. Founded in 1892 in a different location, it was known as the “Dallas Colored High School” because it was the only high school in the city that allowed African American students. It has now become one of the preeminent schools in the country for the study of the performing arts.
And so to Gwen Dixie, a proud member of the Dallas Arts District Alliance, many thanks from the ARLIS strollers for your informative glimpse of what can be truly called an urban cultural miracle!
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
The ARLIS Texas-Mexico group met at the lobby of the Warwick Melrose Hotel and headed to the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) for a self-guided tour. On Thursdays, the DMA is open late and has live music. While live jazz was playing in the dining area, a group of us walked up to tour the Mildred R. and Frederick M. Mayer Library.
Librarians Mary Leonard and Jacqueline Allen gave us a brief tour and answered our questions. The library has over 55,000 titles and is still growing. They serve the public and the curatorial staff at the DMA. They have two reference areas and their collection is mainly focused on art reference materials, periodicals and serials. They also have artist files. The current library was built in 1991 with the renovation of the DMA. After the tour, we were on our own to explore the DMA galleries, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. We met for dinner at the Nasher Sculpture Center and went on a wonderful tour of the downtown arts district with Gwen Dixie.
Texas State University
What a treat! Brad Hamilton was the most amazing tour guide. His passion for the Texas State Fair and Fair Park was obvious. Fair Park was the site of the first World’s Fair in the Southwest, which took place in 1936. Fair Park has marvelous art deco structures, murals, and sculptures. Bob Thorton and George Dahl lobbied to get the World’s Fair in Dallas in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. Each building has a rich history. For example the first public radio station in Texas was in the annex building on the Fair Park grounds. Brad told us so many interesting tidbits.
Margaret Culbertson led members on a tour of Waxahachie’s downtown square and a historic residential district. Ms. Culbertson, a former resident of Waxahachie, is currently the Director of the Hirsch Library at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The tour began at the Rogers Hotel, a Prairie Style hotel of reinforced concrete. It was designed by architect C.D. Hill in 1912. After two hotels on the site burned down, the Rogers was designed to be as fire-resistant as possible.
The hotel anchors one corner of the courthouse square. The Ellis County Courthouse stands at the center of that square. It was designed by James Riely Gordon, though his association is somewhat accidental. The contractor, Otto Kroeger was hired to construct the courthouse and sold Ellis County the plans of his business associate, Gordon. It is unlikely that Gordon visited Waxahachie during the design process or building construction. He had earlier devised five courthouse plans that could be customized by government contractors. Construction progress was reported daily in the local newspaper. The carved stonework on the Richardsonian Romanesque courthouse is a highlight of the building. Carving was supervised by Harry Herley, a German craftsman who emigrated to Texas in 1890. A local legend that the carved faces chronicle Herley’s unrequited love affair persists. The uglification of the faces supposedly mirrors Herley’s increasing dissatisfaction with a local girl which did not return his affection. The accuracy of this legend cannot be confirmed, however.
In addition to the Rogers Hotel and the Ellis County Courthouse, the square is home to the Citizen’s National Bank, built in 1894, and Oddfellows’ Hall, built in 1895, and the Webb Gallery (see Craig Bunch’s review of the Webb Gallery below).
The tour continued along W. Main St. to a residential neighborhood which largely developed after Trinity University moved to Waxahachie in 1902, diversifying the local economy. Ms. Culbertson noted a number of houses that exemplify the local style. L-plan and T-plan houses were typical, as was gingerbread carpentry. Notable houses included the Rogers bungalow, built in 1915, the Chostka House, built in 1904, a house on 711 with decorative relief in terracotta, and Prairie Style houses at 700 and 705. The Anderson house and servants’ quarters, built for $32,000 in 1924, was profiled in the Dallas Morning News. The Harrison House at 717 was built out of red birch for an English bride. Mr. Harrison visited daily to see construction of “the most solidly built house in Waxahachie.”
The tour continued down W. Jefferson, where the group saw a perfect example of an American foursquare, two-story bungalow. On W. Jefferson, the tour passed the back of the Sims Library, the front of which was seen on W. Main. The Library was built in 1905 on land donated by the publisher of the local newspaper. A theater was tucked into the curved rear wall.
Two of the buildings on the tour once sheltered famous American characters. Ty Cobb stayed at the Rogers Hotel, as did many baseball players during spring training in the teens and twenties. Mary Spaulding, who served as the model for the protagonist in Robert Benton’s Places in the Heart, ran a two-story boarding house in the neighborhood.
Ms. Culbertson also suggested that visitors see the Waxahachie City Cemetary and the octagonal Chatauqua Auditorium, built in 1902, while in town.
The tour culminated with a visit to the Webb Gallery.
University of Houston
Webb Art Gallery, the 1987 love child of Bruce and Julie Webb, bursts at the seams with self-taught painting and sculpture, tramp art, fraternal lodge items, sideshow banners (“Two Noses” anyone?), and general strangeness. I loved it, and bought a trio of collages by an as-yet-unidentified architect. There were reports of other purchases and near-purchases. For those who could not attend, the Webb Art Gallery is a kind of cross between Austin’s Yard Dog Folk Art and the incomparable Uncommon Objects. Among the artists represented are Chelo Gonzalez Amezcua, Ike Morgan, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Reverend Johnny Swearingen, and Dan Phillips. It is well worth a return trip.
Cold Spring Independent
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter’s Annual Business Meeting 2007 was held at the Warwick Melrose Hotel, San Antonio, Texas at 8:30 A.M., October 28, 2007. The meeting was called to order by President Selene Hinojosa.
President Hinojosa called for approval of the 2006 minutes. Jon Evans asked that the minutes specify that the Website referred to in Section Three is the 2005 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference website. Laura Schwartz moved to that the minutes be approved with that addition. Mark Pompelia seconded. The minutes were then unanimously approved.
At President Hinojosa’s request, those present introduced themselves. Craig Bunch (Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD), Kate Clark, Gwen Dixie (Dallas Public Library), Carla Ellard (Texas State University), Catherine Essinger (University of Houston), Jon Evans (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Selene Hinojosa (Texas State University), Karen Holt (University of Texas at Austin), Edward Lukasek (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Katie Pierce (University of Texas at Austin), Mark Pompelia (Rice University), Elizabeth Schaub (University of Texas at Austin), Laura Schwartz (University of Texas at Austin), Chia-Chun Shih (Kimbell Art Museum), and Karen Sigler (Texas State University) were in attendance.
President Hinojosa thanked the chapter officers for their support, as well as Gwen Dixie and Margaret Culbertson for arranging activities in Dallas and Waxahachie. She asked Vice President Pompelia to summarize details the chapter gathering at the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Atlanta. He reported that attendees elected to keep the Annual Chapter Meeting in Dallas, but not arrange activities in Fort Worth, as originally planned.
President Hinojosa reported that she applied to the Society for special project funding to aid chapter members’ anticipated travel to the Guadalajara Book Fair in 2008. The funding was not awarded, as these grants cannot fund travel expenses. She asked members to consider what projects might be funded by Society grants in the coming year and contact her with possible endeavors.
She also reported that she updated the Chapter’s mission statement and asked for discussion later in the meeting. She asked that any feedback regarding the mission statement be directed to her or Secretary Essinger.
She concluded that the 2007 Chapter Meeting had been a great success and she enjoyed the activities arranged by Margaret Culbertson and Gwen Dixie.
Secretary Essinger thanked members for the approval of the 2006 minutes. She reported that Treasurer Bunch was updating the membership role following the meeting, which she would maintain and submit to the chapter.
Treasurer Bunch reported that the Chapter’s current financial balance was in flux, as meeting expenses were still being paid. The bank balance was $1843.46, as the meeting commenced. Members discussed appropriate funding for the Lois Swan Jones Award. Laura Schwartz moved that one $500 award be given during the fiscal year. Treasurer Bunch seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
Vice President Pompelia, who also serves as the Webmaster and Medium editor, reported that he will post instructions on updating one’s directory information to the chapter listserv. Members also discussed formatting problems related to the website’s cascading style sheets. Although there appeared to be no simple solution, it was suggested that members try a variety of browser clients to alleviate the problem until it can be solved.
Vice President Pompelia thanked the previous year’s content editors. He announced that Secretary Essinger will take over the Architecture Column, as the previous editor has left the chapter.
He led a discussion concerning the online packaging of content, which he feels could be more dynamic. He suggested employing RSS feeds and the creation of dynamic sections.
Laura Schwartz updated members on the migration of data to the new Medium. She suggested that the Chapter not focus on migrating existing electronic issues to a new content management system, but concentrate on moving older, paper issues online. Vice President Pompelia proposed the creation of a subcommittee to examine these issues. Laura Schwartz seconded. Members resolved the creation of a Web Issues Subcommittee. Vice President Pompelia and Laura Schwartz volunteered to serve.
Representative Schaub reported on several changes to the Society governance. At mid-year, the Society approved a proposal that Round Tables be abandoned in favor of a more flexible system of internal governance. Regional representation will not be based on geography, but on functional needs. Representative Schaub will continue to act as a liaison to chapters, but is now also assigned to a group focused on education. Cate Cooney will serve as the chapter coordinator. These changes will affect Society bylaws, which will require chapter votes for approval.
She also reported that Society dues shall be raised for the first time in ten years and a taskforce to revise the nomination process has been appointed.
Vice President Pompelia reported on behalf of Chair Beth Dodd, who was unable to attend the meeting. A $500 award was given to Beverly Mitchell, Fine Arts Librarian, Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University, as well as Kathryn Pierce, Graduate Student, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin. Both recipients reported on their conference activities in the Summer 2007 issue of The Medium. Committee members offered the following recommendations:
• Add links to the membership pages for both ARLIS/NA and the Texas-Mexico Chapter in the Eligibility section on the Lois Swan Jones Website. This will both clarify requirements and enable membership in both groups.
• Solicit awardees to volunteer for service on the Lois Swan Jones Award Committee if they continue membership with the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter.
• Add the guidelines, planning calendar, and ranking tool to the Web administrative page.
Kathryn Pierce volunteered to serve on the 2007-2008 committee, after President Hinojosa issued a call. Vice President Pompelia moved that the Committee Chair issue a public call for volunteers over the website. Secretary Essinger seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
After President Hinojosa explained the terms of appointment, Past President and South Regional Representative Schaub nominated Carla Ellard, Wittliff Gallery, Texas State University to serve as the Vice President/President-Elect in 2008. After a call yielded no additional nominations, Representative Schaub moved that Carla Ellard be elected. President Hinojosa called for a vote and Ms. Ellard was unanimously elected.
Vice President Pompelia explained that the chapter used an independent third party broker, Helms Briscoe, to make hotel arrangements. As attendance was low in 2007, the chapter now owes Helms Briscoe for lost revenue. Vice President Pompelia was able to arrange a compromise with the broker and the hotel. The hotel will forgive the lost revenue for fifteen rooms at the Chapter meeting, but will recoup its losses in Spring 2008 when those rooms are booked by members attending the College Art Association meeting. In the event that members do not book all fifteen rooms, any rooms taken will reduce the penalty owed. The Chapter will pay the difference. Members debated the wisdom of using a third party broker for future meetings and agreed they are unlikely to do so in the near future.
Treasurer Bunch reported that the Chapter possesses sufficient funds to donate $300 to the 2008 Welcome Party. Jon Evans explained the importance of providing this funding. Laura Schwartz moved that the Chapter donate $300. Gwen Dixie seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
President Hinojosa recommended that the 2008 Chapter Meeting be held in conjunction with the Guadalajara International Book Fair. The international travel costs may be mitigated by American Library Association grants to ALA members who may purchase library materials. President Hinojosa proposed that she begin the planning process in November 2007, when she attends the 2007 International Book Fair. Members discussed logistics and outreach opportunities with librarians in Mexico.
Secretary Essinger motioned that the 2008 ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter Meeting be held in Guadalajara during the International Book Fair. Jon Evans seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
President Hinojosa presented an updated mission statement. Changes were made to align the mission with that of strategic plan of ARLIS/NA. She asked members to consider the updated statement and provide her with feedback after the meeting. See Appendix A for the proposed mission statement.
Vice President Pompelia reported that the VRA Chapter meeting, held on October 27, 2007, was productive. Approximately fifteen members attended.
Representative Schaub reported that a recent risk assessment implemented by the Society headquarters deemed the Texas-Mexico Chapter to be of low risk. Cate Cooney, the Chapter Coordinator, is creating an FAQ regarding chapter insurance, which is forthcoming.
Representative Schaub reported on interactions with the Comptroller of Public Accounts. She reported that she and Treasurer Bunch had worked to resolve confusion over the Chapter’s name change and tax-exempt status. She recommended that the Chapter Treasurer submit address information to the State of Texas as it changes.
Vice President Pompelia reported that the Judd Project had not progressed since the 2006 meeting. He, Beth Dodd, Jon Evans, and Representative Schaub will craft a final letter to the new director. If there is no response, the project will cease.
Representative Schaub asked that members interested in serving on a Technology Taskforce contact her.
Jon Evans suggested that Chapter members sponsor an event during the College Art Association. Gwen Dixie volunteered to organize an arts-related event for the Chapter. Chia-Chun Shih agreed to organize a field trip to the Kimbell Museum, as well.
Vice President Pompelia and Representative Schaub announced they will begin the nomination process early this year.
With no further business, President Hinojosa moved that the meeting be adjourned. Carla Ellard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Proposed Mission Statement and Strategic Plan
To advance the cause of art librarianship.
We will promote the development, good management, and enlightened use of all art libraries and visual resources collections throughout the world, and in particular, Texas and Mexico.
Goal I: To increase the effectiveness and support the professional development and expertise of art librarians and visual resources professionals
Objective A. Assist in the continuing professional education of our members and the general knowledge of the public by sponsoring conferences, seminars, lectures, workshops, and other exchanges of information and materials concerning all aspects of art librarianship and visual resources curatorship.
Objective B. Endeavor to stimulate greater use of art libraries and visual resources collections by sponsoring, supporting or publishing resources directories, bibliographies, inventories, periodicals, occasional papers, reports and related materials concerning the organization and retrieval of art information.
Objective C. Foster excellence in art librarianship and the visual arts by establishing standards for art libraries and visual resources collections.
Objective D. Promote improvements in the academic education of art librarians and visual resources curators by sponsoring awards for outstanding achievement.
Goal II: To foster cooperation and share professional development information with librarians internationally, specifically with art librarians in Mexico.
Objective A. Assist in the continuing professional education of our members by participating in, or sponsoring conferences, seminars, lectures, workshops, and other exchanges of information and materials concerning all aspects of art librarianship and visual resources curatorship, with art librarians and visual resources curators in Mexico.
Objective B. Coordinate with American Library Association (ALA) and the Feria Internacional de Libros (FIL) to have the 2008 ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico chapter annual conference in conjunction with Guadalajara Mexico.
Objective C. Disseminate as much information as possible to all ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico chapter members to encourage them to start planning for Guadalajara in 2008, including participating on their own (as ALA members) in the 2007 Gualalajara Book Fair.
Note: The existing mission statement is on the Chapter Website.
This year, thanks to the efforts of Gwen Dixie, the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter hosted a panel discussion titled Collecting Early Texas Art. Gwen managed to get four of the most preeminent names in early Texas art collecting to talk to us about their areas of interest and expertise. Personally I do not know anyone who could refuse Gwen (myself included), but I also suspect that each of the panelists were there because they know her and love and respect her as much as we do.
Before the panel discussion, Michael Duty showed us between twenty and thirty small, exquisite Texas landscapes by Frank Reaugh, which the Dallas Historical Society owns but have never been exhibited. I believe he said they were in the process of compiling a book about them.
The discussion was presented at the Hall of State Fair Park auditorium by Michael Duty, Director of Dallas Historical Society and former Director of Wichita Falls Museum David Dike of David Dike Fine Art gallery owner/dealer of Texas Art, George Palmer, an originator of TACO, the Texas Art Collectors Organization (allied with CASETA, the Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, which is on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos; TACO now has groups in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and El Paso), and Kevin Vogel, son of well known Texas painter Donald Stanley Vogel, and director of Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden. The panelists and other art historians define early Texas art as on a moving scale, starting from the time of “colonization” (1820) to forty years prior to the present year.
As a point of interest to us librarians, Laura Schwartz (who reviewed early Texas art resources for ARLIS/NA’s Art Documentation in 2004) asked the panelists if there were any other publications to updated or expanded information about early Texas art and artists. They mentioned Fisk's History of Texas Artists and Sculptors (Abilene, Texas: The Author, 1928) and Art and Artists of Texas by Esse Forrester-O'Brien (Dallas, Texas: Tardy, 1935). They agreed that the more recent Grauer’s Dictionary of Texas Artists, 1800-1940 (College Station: A&M University Press, 1998) and Powers’ book, Texas Painters,Sculptors and Graphic Artists: A Biographical Dictionary of Artists in Texas before 1942 (Austin,Texas: Woodmont Books, 2000) was basically all there was of that genre (biographical dictionaries), and agreed that there was a need to expand and update the resources currently available.
During the panel discussion, someone asked where the best collections of Texas (not necessarily early) art were located. They mentioned the Witte Art Museum in San Antonio, the Barrett Collection in Dallas (DMA) SMUs Meadows Museum, and even the “Wittliff Collection” at Texas State University.
The Texas State contingent (there were four of us) were present, and let the panelists know we were representing TX State that day. As it happened, as appreciation and on behalf of the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter, each panelist was presented with signed, first edition copies of Bill Wittliff’s A Book of Photographs from Lonesome Dove (Austin, Texas: UT Press, 2007). We had planned to present them all along, and not just because they mentioned the collection!
Texas State University-San Marcos
Members of the ARLIS TX/MX chapter attended a tour of the Hamon Arts Library at Southern Methodist University given by Beverly Mitchell, the library’s Fine Arts and Dance Librarian. The tour began with an introduction to Hamon’s Special Collections where Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, Head of Special Collections, displayed some examples of the artwork and documents for the then upcoming Meadows Museum exhibition, Jerry Bywaters: Interpreter of the Southwest & Lone Star Printmaker,. Bywaters was a professor of art at SMU and director of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, now the Dallas Museum of Art. Several of his works and archives, which Bywaters bequeathed to Hamon, comprise the nucleus of this exhibition. This exhibition runs from November 30th, 2007-March 2nd, 2008. Dr. Ratcliffe also took chapter members into the vault where he showed and discussed other special holdings of the library, including model drawings by Bywaters for post office murals in west Texas and the archives of Greer Garson.
Beverly Mitchell then took members through the library to show its services and circulating collection, which supports the curriculum of the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. Subject areas in the collection are art, art and architectural history, music, film, theatre, dance, arts administration, and communications. The print holdings for Hamon are approximately 152,000 volumes. Print holdings for art are approximately 58,000 and current art and architecture journals are at 94. The building has four floors, the basement of which is dedicated to audio/visual services and computers. In this area, students and faculty may check out CDs, DVDs, and iPods with class playlists, or they may compose music, edit digital video, or use other software for their coursework. The upper three floors house periodicals, reference materials, and the stacks.
At the end of the tour, members had the opportunity to view an exhibition, Printing in Color, in the library’s Mildred Hawn Exhibition Gallery. This exhibition was curated by Dr. Lisa Pon, Assistant Professor of Art History, with the assistance of Dr. Sam Ratcliffe and Ellen Buie-Niewyk, Curator of the Bywaters Collection. The prints for this exhibition were selected in conjunction with assignments for a Meadows art history class, History and Theory of Prints.
Southern Methodist University
Pamela Nelson, local artist and teacher graciously allowed us to tour her downtown loft home and studio on Saturday morning. Pam (as the whole world calls her) is also a member of the U. S. Commission of Fine Arts, and began the very successful homeless art classes in a downtown church. Since many of us were late, she and member Beverly Mitchell, were standing outside to usher us into an old office building near the central Dallas Public Library that she has turned into three large condominiums. Two are for rent and she and her husband use the top floor for themselves.
Pam Nelson is first of all an artist and her loft is also her studio. She discussed her varied career and influences extending back to childhood. Raised in Midland, she spent summers in Bay City, Texas, where her grandmother ran a thrift shop and often made crafty items from materials that came through her shop. She often gave these items as gifts to the needy. Pam credits her grandmother for being the inspiration of her life and art. She has often incorporated her grandmother’s collections and handwork into her paintings and sculptures. Her artworks might make use of buttons from her grandmother’s collections, or hand-wrought tin roses made by her grandmother fifty years ago from can tops. Some of her designs are reminiscent of quilt patterns.
In a long career Pam Nelson has worked in many media. She designed three of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit stations. Recently she designed a new terminal at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport in colored terrazzo made to look like a large Parcheesi game. In 2004 she designed and worked new stained glass windows for a Dallas church. She has done murals for many walls including ones for the Dallas Humane Society and the Children’s Collection of the downtown Dallas Public Library. She has sculpted in wood. She has even designed an extra large crown with excessively big reflector lights as jewels and cotton boles decorating the crenulations to represent Mississippi County, home of the national cotton-picking contest, in the Arkansas sesquicentennial parade.
A lifelong collector of kitsch-type objects, Pam has incorporated them into her art and her home. She has had collections of everything from artificial food, old jewelry, marbles, trophies, and game pieces to Pope memorabilia. She once used a lot of these items to install her “La Pausita” in a Dallas gallery. Locals recognized it as a takeoff on the Dallas Museum of Art’s “La Casa Pausa” wing (Q.V.). La Casa Pausa was a villa in the south of France built for Coco Chanel and later owned by born-in-Texas, Wendy Reves (Q.V.), and her husband Emery (Q.V.). Wendy Reves gave the museum a large bequest of Impressionist paintings, rare artifacts and furniture to recreate six rooms exactly as they were at La Casa Pausa. Stipulations in the bequest say that nothing may be moved or changed, which could make for staleness. But Pam’s La Pausita could be sat upon and circled around.
Pam worked for a crayola company for several years and said she learned “so much” about color. She and Robert Wilson (husband of photographer, Laura, and father of actors, Owen and Luke) wrote a small and easily understandable book on color. Pam was giving away free copies the day we visited. I could just imagine anyone from child to unsophisticated adult learning a lot from this simple book.
As a church member Pam visited Honduras and helped in setting up a woman’s co-op for local embroiderers. She designed, very loosely, decorative pillow covers that local Honduran women embroider and are free to redesign with needle and thread as they work. On the day of our visit the pillow covers had not yet been offered for sale and were all at her home. Several in the group bought them. Though each cover was different, the designs were unmistakably influenced by Pamela Nelson. The circles and wide paths full of linear embroidery are very reminiscent of her paintings. She said the pillowcases were how the Honduran rivers looked from above in the airplane.
Of course, it is as an artist that Pam is most known. Her work is represented by Gerald Peters Gallery of Dallas and New York. She has had exhibited in all large Texas cities and at several museums. Her paintings are often acrylics with appliqués and may contain buttons, tiny mirrors, metal eye hooks, or sewing thread done to decorate and hold pieces of canvas together. The designs seem feminine with flowers, running lines and patterns sometimes like quilts. And she is a master of color.
Pamela Nelson began art classes for the homeless of downtown Dallas when she moved into her loft fifteen years ago. She had formerly taught at the Dallas Museum of Art. She said that she didn’t want to live in a neighborhood and not know the neighbors. So the First Presbyterian Church across the street which provides many services to the homeless furnished the room and the materials to begin an art class. The Wednesday, and now added Friday classes, are one of the most innovative and successful programs in the city for the homeless population. Anyone may attend as long as conduct standards are maintained. As well as the healing power of creating art, the class participants receive a much-needed shot of self-esteem. At least two of its students have begun to support themselves with art. Dallas Public Library has given the class exhibit every December for twelve years. Called “Food for the Soul” this eagerly awaited show is visited by collectors, church members, and most particularly the proud students. Though Pam still teaches when in Dallas, the program has become self-sustaining enough to be handed off to others.
Pam Nelson also serves as one of seven members on the United States Commission of Fine Arts. Until recently, she was its only member west of the Mississippi, and is still the only practicing artist, and the only one with any experience such as teaching art to a homeless population. Most members are heads of major museums, architects, etc. Appointed by the President, this commission advises on art matters of the government and the District of Columbia. She spoke briefly about her service and what problems the Commission might encounter. The commission has recently considered such matters as the redesign of a United States coin and the advisability of adding an underground museum to the Vietnam Memorial.
The loft itself was an interesting dwelling containing an artist’s studio and all its projects. It was a pleasure to see Pam’s works as well as pieces by artist friends. The home had interesting but well used furnishings and collections, and an outstanding view of the large white Corinthian columns of the First Presbyterian Church across the street. Pam Nelson is a first rate artist, but also a citizen of the world. Her down-to-earth personality put all at ease and ARLIS members were grateful for her graciousness in opening her home and studio for this tour.
Dallas Public Library
The Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL) will meet in Houston, March 27-29, 2008. The annual conference will be held in conjunction with that of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, which is sponsored by the University of Houston. The AASL conference will include walking tours of downtown Houston and the Menil Collection facilities, as well as visits to the collections and facilities at the University of Houston, Rice University, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. An information literacy workshop will be offered, as well as presentations on Houston architecture, instructional technology, and scholarly communication. There will also be opportunities to network with publishers and other architecture librarians. Attendees will see both world class and vernacular architecture during conference activities.
University of Houston
The Visual Resources Association's Texas Chapter met on October 29, 2007 in Dallas, at the Hamon Arts Library, Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University.
Although held at the same time as the Annual Meeting of the 2007 ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter, it was not possible to schedule a joint meeting. However, since the most important purpose of the VRA Texas meeting was to decide whether or not the chapter would continue as a formal entity, it was decided just to focus on a business meeting this time and plan for future joint educational programs with the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter.
The meeting was hosted by Eileen Coffman, Director of the Visual Resources Library, Southern Methodist University, who did a wonderful job making everyone welcome. During the morning hours we met in her facility. She gave a demonstration of Embark Cataloger and Web Kiosk software with Archivision images installed. We had a chance to talk to each other and swap questions (and complaints) about equipment and other concerns. After a relaxing, communal lunch we reconvened for our business meeting. We addressed the requirements the board of the VRA had stipulated for our regional chapter in order to avoid dissolution.
New chapter bylaws, revised by Mark Pompelia, and two new officers were approved. Mark Pompelia, Rice University, will serve as the chapter’s Chair for 2008. Ray Sikes from UT Tyler is the Incoming Chair for 2009. Katherine Hooker, Southwestern University agreed to serve as secretary/treasurer for two years (2008-2009), under the mentorship of Elizabeth Schaub, University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture. We came to an agreement on annual membership dues and how to collect them. Since there is high concentration of VR professionals in the Dallas area, it was also decided to meet again (a 2nd meeting of the chapter is mandatory) in February in Dallas, at the time of the CAA meeting, when a CCO training workshop will be offered.
Everybody who attended the VRA Texas chapter meeting was glad that we had met and that actions had been taken to continue to work together as an official local chapter.
University of Texas at Austin
Visual Resources Collection
School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, B7500
Austin TX, 78712-0222
Sutton Hall, Room 3.128
The Visual Resources Collection (VRC) is a unit within the School of Architecture (SOA). The VRC’s primary function is to provide a sustainable and searchable collection of visual images to support current classroom teaching with an emphasis on the SOA’s curriculum as well as reflecting the specializations of the VRC’s patrons. The image collection is comprised of over 240,000 35mm slides, a burgeoning collection of digital images currently numbering over 60,000, video tapes, CDROMs and DVDs. In addition to visual material, the VRC maintains and circulates 35mm slide projectors and slide carousels.
The VRC administers the SOA’s Photo Union in order to encourage documentation of student work and investigation into the photographic medium as it relates to the SOA curriculum. The Photo Union is a student organization; membership is open to any currently enrolled SOA student. Members have access to a fully equipped black and white darkroom and may borrow Photo Union 35mm camera equipment from the VRC.
The VRC curates two exhibits a year, one highlighting recent image acquisitions and the other focusing on student photographic work produced by Photo Union members. The exhibits may be viewed during the VRC’s normal business hours. Past exhibits are archived and may be viewed on the VRC’s Web site.
The VRC began as a special Resources Center for the SOA faculty and students with a small collection of slides taken care of by graduate assistants. In the mid-1960s a core group of architectural historians, including Professor Emeritus D. Blake Alexander, met with Molly Chesney, curator of the Architectural Drawings Collection—now the Alexander Architectural Archive—beginning in 1998. They decided that 7,000 glass lantern slides housed in the archive would be made available to the SOA faculty as a teaching collection. The Slide Collection grew to include 35mm slides through faculty donations and in-house copy work.
In 1973, a full time Slide Librarian position was established, held by Susan Hoover from 1973-1980, to maintain and promote the collection of 20,000 slides. By 1977, the Slide Collection had grown to include 60,000 slides and other collections of reference and technical materials were acquired. At this point, the Slide Librarian position was changed to a Social Science/Humanities Research Associate III. From 1977-1984, the resources and activities of the Center increased dramatically. The Slide Collection grew to 100,000 slides, all audio-visual equipment for the SOA was acquired and circulated through the Resources Center, staff was added to handle additional services and special projects were assigned to the Resources Center (such as responsibility for exhibitions and special research) all while the number of users increased. In addition, photographic services were planned, scheduled, executed and supervised through the Center.
The Resources Center eventually came to be known as the Audio Visual Resources Collection and was managed by Pamela Leighton-Burwell from 1980-1994 and by James O’Donnell from 1994-1998. Elizabeth Schaub was hired in 1997 and currently directs the facility’s activities; the position was reclassified to a Professional Librarian position in 2000. In fall 2004, the facility was renamed the Visual Resources Collection (VRC). The name change reflects a shift in focus emphasizing the image collection since most of the equipment inventory formally maintained and circulated by the VRC was transferred to the SOA’s Computer Lab.
The VRC has one FTE professional librarian (director) with plans to hire another FTE staff member who will be the metadata librarian. Both undergraduate and graduate employees comprise an additional 2.9 FTE positions.
The VRC has recently adopted VireoCat as its local cataloging utility enabling VRA Core 4.0 compliant XML file import into the campus’s Digital Archive Services, also known as DASe. DASe, developed by the Liberal Arts ITS, enables the entire campus community to browse across contributed collections. VRC legacy hybrid records, that are an aggregate of work and image metadata, will reside in DASe as flat records. New records created in VireoCat will be flattened for display in DASe but the associated XML file created in VireoCat will allow for the expression of hierarchical relationships between and among data via a DASe module.
The collection grows through donations from faculty and students, copy work, and licensing images from vendors.
The campus licenses ARTstor.
Elizabeth Schaub, Director
Visual Resources Collection
It was wonderful to see everyone at the recent chapter meeting in Dallas, October 25-28, 2007. Thanks to the organizational efforts of Gwen Dixie and Mark Pompelia, the meeting was a great mix of educational and culturally stimulating activities. We were also afforded time to address chapter business and reconnect with colleagues from around the state. I personally found the exhaustive tour of Fair Park exhilarating and look forward to visiting again during the State Fair of Texas in 2008 with a much deeper understanding of the history and evolution of the fairgrounds and the buildings comprising the complex. The Greek dinner hosted by Gwen was another highlight for me. Gwen’s hospitality, along with her colorful home, created the perfect environment to enjoy each other’s company. President Selene Hinojosa and Secretary Catherine Essinger ran the chapter’s business meeting with great efficiency and aplomb. Congratulations go to Vice President/President Elect Carla Ellard and a warm thanks to Craig Bunch who will be continuing as the chapter’s treasurer in 2008.
At the chapter’s meeting in Dallas, I mentioned several issues that will be up for a membership vote. They include Bylaws changes to reflect 1) the Society’s administrative restructuring, specifically the dissolution of Round Tables and the creation of Special Interest Groups, and the change from Regional Representatives to Functional Laisions, 2) a revised nominations process, 3) the addition of an introductory membership category, and 4) acceptance of votes cast electronically. The ballot is due to be mailed to the membership no later than mid-January 2008.
In the wake of chapters signing the ARLIS/NA Affiliation Agreement in 2006, chapter liability insurance is a topic of ongoing interest that was touched on during our most recent meeting in Dallas. Cate Cooney, who is the ARLIS/NA Northeast Regional Representative and also taking on the functional role of Chapters Coordinator during ARLIS/NA’s administrative ‘year-of-transition,’ has surveyed chapters about their respective approaches towards liability insurance. Cate sent a message to the chapter leaders in mid-November summarizing the results of her informal survey. Of the eleven chapters that responded, seven have decided not to get Director & Officer insurance for chapter heads. All seven of these chapters cited the high cost as the deciding factor. The other four chapters have not made a decision. Two chapters mentioned that they are investigating the issue.
As has been stated before, ARLIS/NA Headquarters investigated an umbrella insurance policy that chapters could benefit from. However, this type of insurance would run between $2500-$3000 per chapter, per year which is prohibitive and therefore will not be an option through ARLIS/NA. Each chapter, on a continuing basis, should focus on risk assessment weighing the pros and cons of pursuing insurance. ARLIS/NA Executive Director Elizabeth Clarke has stated that she will be available to field questions from chapters related to this topic.
MemberClicks implementation is still very much on the minds of the Executive Board. In making headway towards devising a solution to address this issue, a revised timeline projects a site launch in January 2008.
I look forward to seeing you at the Society’s annual conference in Denver, Colorado, May 1-5, 2008. Please take a moment to peruse the conference Web site
Respectfully submitted by:
ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative and Education Liaison
The Texas Conference on Digital Libraries was held on The University of Texas at Austin campus, May 30-31, 2007. This conference, hosted by the Texas Digital Library (TDL), provided a forum for a broad cross section of administrators, curators, developers, librarians, and other interested parties to hear about the digital revolution in general terms, how TDL is developing solutions to digital content creation, delivery, preservation, and storage, and how others throughout the state are addressing local needs to package, promote, and deliver digital content. Presentations from the conference can be accessed from the TDL Web site.
TDL will host the 2nd Annual Texas Conference on Digital Libraries June 4-6, 2008, on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Those interested in attending should check the TDL Web site for information as the date of the conference nears.
Mark Pompelia (email@example.com)
Laura Schwartz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cathering Essinger (Catherine.Essinger@mail.uh.edu)
Jon Evans (email@example.com)
Gwen Dixie (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mark Pompelia (email@example.com)
Deadline for Spring 2008 Issue (v. 34, no. 1): April 25, 2007
Welcome to the first issue of Volume 34 of The Medium. This issue features a session report on the Denver ARLIS/NA conference and a collection profile on the Visual Resources Center at Texas State University-San Marcos. There is also an update on news from the Dallas Arts district, the Dallas Public Library, the Menil Collection, the name change at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University-San Marcos and the reorganization at the Architecture and Planning Library at UT-Austin. Elizabeth Schaub submitted the ARLIS/NA South Regional report. The annual report submitted by current president Selene Hinojosa is also in this issue. There are reports on other meetings including the VRA conference and the Association of Architecture School Librarians conference.
A Trip Through Denver Parks and Neighborhoods
Friday, May 2, 2008
Guide Carolyn Etter, a former co-manager of the Denver Parks and Recreation Department, was an expert guide for this trip.
Let me first explain “co-manager.” Mrs. Etter had experience in non-profit and charitable managing. Her husband, Don Etter, had just retired from law practice. While reading the Denver Post once morning she said to her husband, “Wouldn’t it be fun for us to co-manager the Parks and Recreation Department?” A few phone calls later the newly elected Mayor Frederico Pena, later head of the Department of Transportation in the Clinton administration, made a dual appointment of this couple to head the department. They were among the highest executives in the country to have this arrangement.
What could have been an administrative nightmare turned out to be an executive success. Mrs. Etter says their parenting skills came into play. If mama has said no, don’t come to daddy for a different answer. Those asking questions soon learned.
The tour began at City Park with its view west over downtown Denver to the Rocky Mountains. We could see all the way to Wyoming, the sky being clear that day. From this park, which had a small lake, we could see surrounding low-story apartment houses as well as one high-rise which interfered with the view. Mrs. Etter said that when the building permit was given it was ambiguous and allowed this high-rise to be built. When citizens and dwellers around the lake realized what had happened they became very vigilant and had stopped other projects. For the first of several times she commented that it take constant vigilance to keep unwanted commercial interests from taking advantage of public places built and maintained by taxpayers. Mrs. Etter said that keeping commercial interests out of parks was one of the most recurring problems that she and her husband had while being commissioners. Only a citizenry on alert can watch for the sometime small, yet inappropriate encroachments. Commercial interests are always ready to profit from being in or around a public place.
Another problem was balancing park usage among groups. A manager must deny special treatment to organized groups at the expense of disorganized groups. You might not notice that soccer, rugby and Little League are by their very nature organized, demanding fields, lights, bleachers and denying use to others during their game times; while joggers, baby strollers, picnickers and Sunday park-goers are unorganized but deserve the park usage just as much. Each type has to be considered when managing a park.
The tour saw the twenty-three acre Denver Botanic Garden arranged into “rooms” with appropriate art and plants in each.
The tour group got out at Cheesman Park bordering the Capital Hill neighborhood. This park and its nearby wide boulevard streets was mandated by a former Denver mayor (our guide compared him to Robert Moses) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in the Beautiful City era. This movement was characterized by designs featuring broad, tree-lined boulevards, carefully chosen plantings, entry gates into designated areas, and large, urban parks often with lakes, in the middle of the neighborhood. Denver has had the advantage of having several eminent city planners who have laid out such neighborhoods and parks.
Many older neighborhoods in Denver have been at least partially preserved, making for an interesting city. These older neighborhoods range from very expensive to lower middle class. Denver seemed to have a lot of older, but very well-preserved housing stock. To a viewer accustomed to Houston or Dallas, where whole neighborhoods seem to disappear in just a few years, Denver seemed to have a lot of older housing. But Mrs. Etter said many of them had lost 50% of their older housing stock in the last ten years. She said the newly chosen style seems to be the “Tuscan village.” That is very reminisant of Dallas’ northern suburbs, or the close-in and expensive Park cities in Dallas where zero lot building is common. I was reminded of a visiting friend, an architect, who was sunning in her mother’s backyard in University Park and looked up to see her neighbor waving from his Tuscan tower twenty feet up and away.
Several times Mrs. Etter said that the overriding issue in the United States today is land use: Who owns what. What can be done with the land you own. Does anyone but the owner have rights concerning the land you own. Who has any rights on public land? And only an alert citizenry can assure that the common good is maintained.
We drove through the Highlands neighborhood north of downtown. It was less affluent than the others, but still very interesting. Mrs. Etter pointed out how, on the major street we were traveling, a wide boulevard had once swept, been torn down for increased traffic flow, then partially rebuilt for beauty’s sake, but was still not wide enough to be graceful and lovely---a perfect example of competing uses and how changing the original plan seldom works better.
Our last stop in Highlands neighborhood was Lookout Point, a high, small piece of public land that was chosen by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr., riding horseback, to be left as a vista for all time. The park at the Point was not landscaped, but left with native plants, rocks and bare spots like the nearby Rockies. At its end we could see for miles around. Olmstead had even designated certain areas below the park, inaccessible by car, to be as they were always so no building or development could interfere with this magnificent view.
Denver compares very favorably with most cities in beauty and livability. Instead of just growing randomly, or letting developers make all the location and design decisions, in leaving a lot of land for public use, its early citizens showed great foresight. With all of this coming at a time when the land seemed endless, her park planners seem especially prescient.
As many of you know, the ARLIS/NA year-of-transition began at the end of last year’s annual conference in Atlanta and came to a close at this year’s conference in Denver. Now, at the dawn of a new era in the Society’s history, the Regional Representatives have been replaced by functional liaisons who will be providing a conduit for communication between the Board and the groups who are carrying out the important work of the Society.
The new Board liaisons are as follows:
Canadian Member at Large: Liv Valmestad (term ends post conference 2010)
Chapter Liaison: Cate Cooney (term ends post conference 2009)
Communications and Publications: Barbara Romaniski (term ends post conference 2010)
Development and Membership Liaison: Amy Trendler (term ends post conference 2009)
Education Liaison: Elizabeth Schaub (term ends post-conference 2009)
As the Education Liaison, I will be working with the Professional Development Committee, chaired by Tom Caswell, that includes the newly formed Education Subcommittee, chaired by Heather Gendron, and Mentoring Subcommittee, chaired by V. Heidi Hass. In addition, I will be liaising with the Summer Educational Institute Implementation Team, co-chaired by Amy Lucker, Alex Reiskind and Visual Resources Association representative Jeanne Keefe, and the newly formed Summer Educational Institute Advisory Group, chaired by Sherman Clarke.
For additional information about these groups and the SEI program you can visit their respective sites:
Professional Development Committee: http://www.arlisna.org/organization/com/profdev/index.htm
Summer Educational Institute Advisory Group: Summer Educational Institute: http://www.vraweb.org/seiweb/introduction.html The new Chapter Coordinator, Cate Cooney, will be paving a two way street for communication between the Board and the chapters. Cate can be reached via e-mail at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Board recognizes how important face-to-face communication is and will be working to ensure at least one member of the Board is present at regional chapter meetings. And finally, there still is an interest in having diverse geographical representation on the Board and this will be something that the Nominations Committee will take into account when recruiting new officers. This past year it has been a pleasure serving the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter as the South Regional Representative. I look forward to my new role as Education Liaison and my continued participation in the chapter’s activities as a member. See you all in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico this November! Respectfully submitted by:
ARLIS/NA Education Liaison
Summer Educational Institute: http://www.vraweb.org/seiweb/introduction.html The new Chapter Coordinator, Cate Cooney, will be paving a two way street for communication between the Board and the chapters. Cate can be reached via e-mail at the following address: email@example.com. In addition, the Board recognizes how important face-to-face communication is and will be working to ensure at least one member of the Board is present at regional chapter meetings. And finally, there still is an interest in having diverse geographical representation on the Board and this will be something that the Nominations Committee will take into account when recruiting new officers. This past year it has been a pleasure serving the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter as the South Regional Representative. I look forward to my new role as Education Liaison and my continued participation in the chapter’s activities as a member. See you all in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico this November! Respectfully submitted by:
The new Chapter Coordinator, Cate Cooney, will be paving a two way street for communication between the Board and the chapters. Cate can be reached via e-mail at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, the Board recognizes how important face-to-face communication is and will be working to ensure at least one member of the Board is present at regional chapter meetings. And finally, there still is an interest in having diverse geographical representation on the Board and this will be something that the Nominations Committee will take into account when recruiting new officers.
This past year it has been a pleasure serving the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter as the South Regional Representative. I look forward to my new role as Education Liaison and my continued participation in the chapter’s activities as a member.
See you all in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico this November!
Respectfully submitted by:
ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico Chapter
March 5, 2008
Submitted by Gloria Selene Hinojosa, Chapter President
Tel. (512) 245-1843
Fax (512) 245-3002
ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico Chapter met for our annual conference in Dallas, Texas, October 25th (Thursday) through October 28th (Sunday), 2007. We had a full itinerary that included visiting several fine art museums, the state fair grounds, SMU and the studio of Pam Nelson, working artist and member of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. On Sunday October 28th we had our chapter business meeting.
Carla Ellard, Curator and Librarian for The Wittliff Collection for Southwest and Mexican Photography Gallery at Texas State University- San Marcos was elected Vice-President, President-Elect, of ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico chapter. Next year’s chapter meeting venue was discussed, and it was voted unanimously to let President Hinojosa explore the possibility of holding the 2008 chapter meeting in conjunction with the Feria Internacional de Libros in Guadalajara, Mexico.
We discussed the strategic plan for the local chapter, to be in line with that of ARLIS/NA. It has been written by the chapter President, who sent it out to the executive. President Hinojosa had confirmed that the first part of the strategic plan she had written was very much in coordination and agreement of the chapter’s previous mission statement and goals. The second part was specifically to work towards building relationships with art libraries in Mexico. It was decided that the plan, as written for the chapter would be sent out to all the ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico chapter constituents via our online newsletter for them to review and vote on.
President Hinojosa discussed the concept of executive insurance, since ARLIS/NA decided not to provide it. President Hinojosa suggested that others on the ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico executive might want to consider what she had done, which was to join the Texas Faculty Association (TFA). TFA is the higher education branch of the TSTA (Texas State Teachers Association), which is the regional chapter of the NEA (National Education Association). Membership in that organization offered, free of charge, initiation, protection, mediation or advice regarding legal matters that might be brought against a member, in performance of their duties and responsibilities, to any member engaged in higher education. President Hinojosa, a member of that regional groups executive board, had verified and confirmed that responsibilities related to professional development and service duties, as allowed or required by ones employing organization (this includes for most of us, membership in organizations like ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico), are covered by TFA protection. There is, of course, an annual membership fee, but as President Hinojosa explained, it can be paid on a monthly basis and is tiered according to salary and membership category. President Hinojosa has been a member of TFA for over 15 years. This was not an endorsement of TFA, but a suggestion on how to deal with this issue of insurance, until and unless the chapter could afford it on their own or the international group could offer it to its chapters.
Treasurer Bunch reported that the Chapter possesses sufficient funds to donate $300 to the 2008 Welcome Party. Jon Evans explained the importance of providing this funding. Laura Schwartz moved that the Chapter donate $300. Gwen Dixie seconded. The motion passed unanimously.
The meeting was adjourned and the chapter went outside to have the traditional chapter group photo.
Remember Dr. Michael Duty the soft-voiced and scholarly head of the Dallas Historical Society? He invited us into a back office and graciously showed us a collection of small Frank Reaugh paintings owned by the Hall of State in Fair Park. Soon after he spoke to our regional Arlis meeting as a panelist on collecting Texas art, he took a new job as the Texas art expert for Heritage Galleries in Dallas. In February he spoke at a well-attended lecture on his subject in Heritage Galleries’ new and supplemental space on Slocum Street. Even after power point failure he went on without illustrations.
In the last few years the Heritage Galleries have changed from a small, rare coin sales house to a powerful auction house handling art, particularly Texas art, sports memorabilia, fine antiques and collectibles. They print beautiful color catalogs picturing each item they offer along with well-researched information and provenance about the artists, coins, silver, and antiques they offer.
Each gallery section has its own expert. As well as Dr. Duty, another familiar name at Heritage is Dr. Edmund Pillsbury, former head of the Kimball Museum and later partner in the Pillsbury Peters Gallery. (After Dr. Pillsbury left to become head of Fine and Decorative Arts at Heritage Galleries, the name reverted to Gerald Peters Gallery.)
The Dallas Historical Society made headlines last fall in Dallas when several irreplaceable items from its collection came up missing after being on display at an awards ceremony at the Hilton Anatole. Artifacts not making it back to the Hall of State were Santa Anna’s dress spurs, a Bible from an early Dallas family, a Mexican medal of honor from 1836, the five-star collar insignia worn by Texan, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, at the Japanese surrender ceremony of World War II, along with seventeen other items.
As director of the Society, Michael Duty went on television to ask that the items be returned. He pointed out that their sale was almost impossible and a new owner could never put them on public display. Perhaps someone from the Fox television show, Prison Break, then being filmed in the Hall of State might have picked them up accidentally.
It was assumed that the items had made it back to the Hall of State in the box employees packed after the hotel event. Actually the box had been left on the hotel parking lot and put in the hotel lost- and-found by hotel employees. Three weeks later an employee found them in the lost-and-found.
While the Dallas Historical Society rejoiced, Fox Television demanded an apology for being implicated in a theft. The Dallas policeman in charge of the case said Fox needed to “get a life.” But Michael Duty did issue an apology, saying “We deeply regret any implication that the missing items were the result of actions of the film crew.”
An historical note: The only theft suffered by the Dallas Historical Society happened when a shirt belonging to Elvis Presley was taken from a display case during the 2005 State Fair of Texas. The thief, suffering from a stricken conscience, returned it the next day.
The Little Heroes online exhibit
The list of all the Mitchell A. Wilder awards can be found on the TAM website .
WHEN THE SOUTHWESTERN Writers Collection was
founded at the University Library in 1986, its collecting
activities focused on the literature, film, and music of the
region. Several years later Bill Wittliff and Connie Todd
began to collect photographs, and in 1996 the Wittliff
Gallery of Southwestern & Mexican Photography was formally
christened at the Alkek Library.
Although sharing facilities and operating as one
organization within the university, each collection continued
to function separately for the most part in terms of
archival activities, exhibitions, and public programming.
But it became increasingly complicated to explain how
each repository was separate, but not separate in terms of
Southwest focus, administration, and origin.
To convey the composite nature of the collections,
unite them under a common name, and acknowledge the
great and generous contributions of the founding
donors—Bill and his wife Sally—the two counterparts
will now be known as THE WITTLIFF COLLECTIONS.
Where necessary, the names “Southwestern Writers
Collection” and “Southwestern & Mexican Photography
Collection” will be used to refer to the two components of
The Wittliff Collections. We are in the process of changing
all pertinent materials and documents. The former
term “Special Collections” is no longer being used to refer
to The Wittliff Collections, although for now all location
codes in the library catalog will remain the same. Bookmark
our new web address and watch for updates on all our
On May 29, the Dallas Public Library will begin using its new Polaris ILS. Library staff and patrons alike are pleased at the prospect of moving to a new system that offers so much flexibility and control. This system is used in, among others, Plano, Texas, and Maricopa County, California, but Dallas Public Library is its biggest client so far. Dallas Public Library and Polaris were mentioned in an ARLIS session, What’s New in Technology---because Polaris provides graphics.
Those not mastering Polaris will not be provided with a password. This has given your non-technie, Luddite correspondent a powerful incentive to learn the new system. So far, it has seemed simple to use, and that has frightened me.
I tend not to pay much attention to the latest technical news and didn’t really know what was meant by Polaris. About six months ago a former employee, who once worked in technical support at this institution, and who is a prolific writer of science fiction, and abstract painter of science fiction subjects sent me a new web page of his latest work and commented “I hear Dallas is going to Polaris,” I thought it was the name of one of his paintings.
The Architecture and Planning Library at the University of Texas at Austin has elected to reorganize its library staffing. Beth Dodd now serves as Head Librarian, charged with the unit's administrative duties. She also continues to serve as the Curator of the Alexander Architectural Archive. The other librarian position, now vacant, has been re-shaped into a subject specialist role, with additional emphasis on shepherding digital projects and resources. The subject specialist's more traditional roles will emphasize a strong liaison with faculty. This is expected to focus more attention on reference, instruction and collection development.
Last March the AASL met in conjunction with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture in Houston. Janine Henri, formerly of the University of Texas at Austin, served as vice president and planned the conference. Her planning committee consisted of ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter members Margaret Culbertson, Catherine Essinger, Mark Pompelia, and Jet Prendeville. After the business meeting, Janine Henri moved into the role of president.
While in Houston, members attended workshops on information literacy and online tutorial creation. A panel discussion on scholarly communication was also held. Hilary Ballon of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Chuck Henry of Rice University Press, and Ann Whiteside of MIT's Rotch Architecture and Planning Library and SAH's Architecture Visual Resources Network served as panelists.
AASL members also toured historic downtown Houston, the University of Houston campus, the Rice University campus and its Library Storage Center, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Live Oak Friends Meeting House, and the Menil Collection.
AASL will next meet in Portland, Oregon in Spring 2009.
The Texas chapter of the Visual Resources Association met February 21-22, 2008 to coincide with the annual meeting of the College Art Association in Dallas.
Thursday's activities took place on the campus of Southern Methodist University and included a presentation on XML, an Ask-the-Export roundtable, and business meeting. Friday's agenda featured a CCO metadata workshop, hosted at the Dallas Museum of Art. The CCO workshop was generously co-sponsored by the Visual Resources Association, the Texas-Mexico chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America, and Archivision, Inc.
The chapter's next meeting will take place place during the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries in early June 2008.
For more details regarding this meeting and VRA Texas chapter activities in general, please consult its Web site.
Visual Resources Center
Department of Art & Design
601 University Drive
Texas State University
San Marcos, Texas
Julia Z. Deal, M.A.
VRC Web site:
VRC slide show:
The Visual Resources Center (VRC) in the Department of Art & Design at Texas State University in San Marcos consists of both visual materials collections and the Student-Learning Lab. Both are intended for use in teaching and learning by department faculty and students. The collections were initially established for undergraduate instruction in art history using 35mm slides. Presently, the VRC houses a small donated book collection, film and audio-CD collection, 35mm slides, a digital image archive, and several pieces of loanable projection equipment.
Collection content almost exclusively reflects fine art, cinema, or contemporary commercial art. Emphasis upon particular art styles, art periods, art media, or individual creators reflects the teaching interests of department faculty.
VRC staffing was increased to one-full time equivalent (FTE) beginning in January 2007. This position is responsible for all duties pertaining to collections development, storage, cataloguing, materials purchase requests, and daily operations of the VRC. In addition, this staff person serves as point contact to campus-wide Instructional Technology Services (ITS), regarding operation of equipment in art history “smart" classrooms, and is responsible for supporting department faculty in the preparation of university-wide Alkek Library development request forms. Since the licensing of ARTstor by the Alkek Library during the summer of 2006, this position also serves to assist with training for use of ARTstor or Offline Image Viewer (OIV) by department faculty and students.
Part-time undergraduate student workers contribute 70-80 hours per week during the long semesters, and 20-40 hours/ week during the summer terms. The reception area and the computer/learning lab activities are overseen by student workers during operating hours.
The content and rate of VRC acquisitions vary annually, in response to faculty needs and voluntary donations. During 2006-2007, most of the collections development occurred in visual and sound recordings (DVD, VHS, and audio CD), particularly recordings that support teaching of the “History of Cinema” and the “Visual Music” courses. The departmental digital image archive, begun in 2002, has been catalogued in Filemaker Pro 5.5 using VRA Core 2, at a rate of approximately 1,600 images per year. In summer 2008, we will convert to Filemaker Pro 9 and the Vireocat collection management system, which employs VRA Core 4. This catalog will later upload to MDID2 for Web access via university email ID & password; MDID2 software will be hosted on a central Instructional Technology Services (ITS) server. Visual Resources Center collection development is funded by the Art History Area, using student fees.
Art History Area Coordinator Dr. James Housefield requested that development of the slide collection be terminated in 2003; however, a few Studio Art faculty still request slide production for their classroom presentations. When needed, slide labels are produced using a 4-D database file.
The VRC copystand was converted to digital photography in 2007. To supplement digital image purchases, digital images are either photographed or scanned with either the Epson Expression 1640 XL (flatbed) or the Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 (slide) scanners. Images are manipulated in Adobe Photoshop. Digital images are stored as tiff files on gold CDs inside a fire-safe media cabinet, presently with a backup on a LaCie external drive. ITS has offered to house the departmental tiff collection on their server in the future, providing needed off-site storage. All digital image work is done within the Macintosh platform, and the Learning Lab includes only Macintosh equipment, consistent with departmental technologies.
Many classrooms within the Art & Design Department are equipped with digital teaching equipment. Both Art History classrooms are “smart” classrooms, equipped and maintained by ITS. At present, only two faculty members, both art historians, are using ARTstor and OIV for instruction. One faculty member is teaching with iView Media Pro, and all others are presenting images via digital projection use Microsoft PowerPoint. Only one adjunct art historian is teaching with 35mm slides.
The Menil Collection Library Gifts
The Menil Collection Library is pleased to announce the recent arrivals of three gifts of artbook collections from the following gracious donors:
1. The late David Whitney, life partner of the late Philip Johnson, independent curator, and a Menil Foundation trustee: his second marvelous gift (35 boxes) of books (first was in 1998) concentrating on United States artists of the post-World War II period. Many of the books are inscribed by the artists, to whom David was a fervent supporter—it includes my favorite “find” so far while pawing through the boxes: an Andy Warhol monograph inscribed on one page “To David with love” and on the following page “To David with hate”. Classic Warholian scampishness!
2. The late Walter Hopps, Founding Curator of The Menil Collection, legendary exhibition designer, buddy of Dennis Hopper and the Menil’s one true celebrity (remember his ad for GAP?): again, a superb collection of books on post-war American Abstract-Expressionists etc., with weird digressions like Louisiana swamp painters and (not-weird) concentrations on women Surrealists. Thanks must also go to his widow Caroline Huber for tirelessly helping me sort through his office bookshelves. Hoppalong, Walter, we miss you so much.
3. A wildly-diverse selection (my doing, naturally) from the artbook collection of the James A. Elkins, Jr. Estate. The late Mr. Elkins (it’s difficult addressing this kind spirit as anything besides “Jim”) was a long-time Menil Foundation trustee whose generosity and personality are missed in equal parts at The Menil Collection. My selections from the Estate ranged from an elephant folio of ancient Buddhist paintings from Japan; a lovely and strange Kiki Smith MoMA catalogue; to a 1964 edition of Art Treasures of the United Nations, (another signed-by-the-author item: Jacob Baal-Teshuva in this instance).
So how am I approaching the accessioning of all these lovely books? Easy decision: the first David Whitney gift (mentioned above) used up most of our existing available shelving space for post-war U.S. artists (oh, those N6537’s will be the death of me yet). So the first two present collections above go immediately to cataloging backlog (sorry to say). We’ve still got space to accommodate the ancient Japanese Buddhist paintings item, believe it or not. Anyway, I can return to the Whitney and Hopps gifts when (if) I get my requested compact/mobile bookshelves project approved, or if we do a major physical reconfiguration/shift of the entire book collection utilizing our existing shelves (volunteers, anyone?)
The Menil Collection
Welcome to the second issue of volume 34 of The Medium! We have a note from President Selene Hinojosa about our fall meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico. There is a new collection profile on the Kimbell Art Museum library. Librarian updates & news from the Amon Carter Museum Library, the McNay Art Museum Library, the UT-Austin School of Architecture Visual Resources Collection and the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos are included in this issue. Enjoy!
With a few weeks still to go before construction begins on the new exhibition galleries, the Wittliff Collections present one more show on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos. 45 Photographs from the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection will be on view August 15 through September 28, 2008.
The images in this 45-day exhibit are representative of the range of the permanent collection as it crosses the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and include one of the Wittliff’s oldest photographs, François Aubert’s albumen print Corpse of Emperor Maximilian, made in 1867.
Some of the more famous pictures include the 1945 Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima by Joe Rosenthal, Raúl Ortega’s 1995 signature image of famous revolutionary Subcomandante Marcos taken in the jungle of Chiapas, the 1956 Portrait of Georgia O’Keefe by Yousuf Karsh, and a vintage 1941 silver gelatin print of Ansel Adams’s Moonrise Over Hernandez.
On display for the first time at the Wittliff is the collection’s print of Jack Ruby Shooting Lee Harvey Oswald, captured on film in 1963 by Bob Jackson.
Also on the show’s long list of celebrated artists—more than 40 in all—are Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Kate Breakey, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Curtis, Héctor García, Laura Gilpin, Graciela Iturbide, Danny Lyon, Lee Marmon, Richard Misrach, Garry Winogrand, and Joel-Peter Witkin.
The Wittliff Collections will be undergoing construction this fall to expand their public and exhibition spaces. For updates, and more about the Wittliff’s literary archives, photographs, exhibits, and events, call (512) 245-2313, or visit the Wittliff Collections
Tara Spies, Reference/Instruction Librarian at Texas State University, is now also the Art & Design Subject Librarian. Tara will assist with ordering books, periodicals, a/v materials for the Art & Design department.
Carla Ellard, Assistant Curator of the Wittliff's Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection, is now the bibliographer for MFA in Communication Design. The MFA in Communication Design is a relatively new program on campus with courses in typography, corporate marketing and identity systems, experimental book and web design.
Jonathan Frembling was promoted to Archivist and Reference Services
Manager at the Amon Carter Museum Library.
Nancy Palm, Davidson Family Fellow, presented a roundtable discussion in the library reading room in early July: "Thomas Cole's National Landscapes and the Context of Indian Identity Construction in Nineteenth-Century America: Preliminary Findings at the Amon Carter Museum."
The library introduced museum-wide access to JSTOR in spring of this year. Public Wi-Fi is now available in the reading room.
Currently on view in the library reading room is Ephemeral Moments, 2006 by David H. Gibson (b. 1939). The handmade artist's book consists of three accordion-fold volumes and clamshell box, with twenty-seven archival pigment prints.
Crane, Hart, 1899-1932.
The bridge / a poem by Hart Crane ; with three photographs by Walker Evans. Paris : Black Sun Press, 1930.
Two of the new buildings in the Dallas Arts District, the Winspear Opera House and the Wyly Theater, are nearing completion and due to open within the next two years. As a season ticket holder of the Dallas Opera and the Dallas Theater Center (this puts me in a class of about 19,999 other season ticket holders), I was invited to preview, at different times, each of these venues, on the mezzanine of the Trammel Crow Center where their architectural models are kept. Administrators of the opera and the theater group were there each time to answer questions and give information about the future of their performing arts organization.
At the Dallas Opera’s preview the patrons could also make their ticket requests. Compliance with patron requests is based on several factors such as how long has the patron been a season subscriber (I’m good here; I’ve subscribed for the twenty-two years I’ve lived in Dallas. They wouldn’t let me count the years I subscribed to the Houston Grand Opera though.) Another consideration was how much you contributed financially to the opera. (I usually contribute $100 each year which is not very much in the great scheme of opera contributions. I might add that it will decrease next year since the price of tickets has gone up by 40%. Oh, well, I’ll be able to hear it no matter where I sit.) On a serious note though, the building designed by Norman Foster Associates of London looks wonderful. If you did the Arts District tour last October at the regional ARLIS meeting here you saw the building being built. It was behind the cyclone fence next to the Meyerson Symphony Hall. It will be covered in red tiles which were partly visible at that time. The organization has already received complaints about the color red. But at least it will be easily identifiable. Will it receive the nickname, “New Red”, as opposed to “Old Red,” the name of Dallas County’s first courthouse? Only time will tell what commonplace parlance will do. But all opera lovers who suffered through the bad acoustics and the too-big-for-opera size of the Music Hall in Fair Park for the fifty years it has been located there will be grateful for a new building that takes opera’s special needs into account.
The Wyly Theater, designed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaus, looked beautiful too. If you are wondering where this one is, the ARLIS attendees did not go far enough up in the District to see this site last year; there was a fence in the street before we got to it. It is designed to be a theater on the second floor with entry underneath on the ground floor. According to theater administration there won’t be a bad seat in the house. And it will be small enough for this to be true.
Ever the devil’s advocate, I had to ask what would happen to the Kalita Humphries Theater on Turtle Creek, currently the home of the Dallas Theater Center. This is the only theater Frank Lloyd Wright ever designed and joins two personal homes as his only work in Dallas. I was assured that it will still be used by other theatrical groups, but no one knows which ones at this time. I also asked about parking and was told that there was an underground garage leading directly into the Wyly Theater. Parking in the Arts District will be problematical if every theater is having an event at the same time. There are plans for a Dallas Area Rapid Transit station in the area in the future.
Also, both of these venues will be used by other performing arts groups as well as the ones for it is ostensibly built. The Dallas Ft.Worth Ballet and the Dallas Black Dance Theater, as well as a touring musical company will use the Winspear Opera House, and other local theatrical groups will use the Wyly. There are also plans for another theater to be built in the District for the theaters and performances which draw a very small audience.
Elizabeth Schaub, University of Texas at Austin, attended the tenth annual ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians held in Cambridge, Massachusetts, August 3-8, 2008. The week-long program focused on assessment of one’s own leadership abilities and an analysis of how well positioned one’s organization is to meet current and future challenges. Using the case study method, faculty from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, along with guest faculty from other institutions, facilitated discussion among the almost one hundred librarians attending the institute. The week long program allowed time for reflection and networking with fellow professionals from around the world.
Information about the ACRL/Harvard Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians can be found here http://www.gse.harvard.edu/ppe/highered/programs/acrl.html.
The Kimbell Art Museum Library opened in 1967. Its collection consists of 42,000 books; 4,800 bound periodicals with subscriptions to 155 current periodicals; 17,000 auction catalogues, plus microfiche collections, including the Witt Library Collection and Deloynes Collection; microfilms; and online-research databases.
The Library’s strongest area of collecting, corresponding to the Museum’s acquisitions, is European painting and sculpture from the Renaissance to the mid-twentieth century. This is followed by Asian art from antiquity to the nineteenth century. The Library also acquires materials on Mediterranean antiquities, Western medieval art, Precolumbian art, and African art. Reflecting its emphasis on European and Asian art, the Library includes hard-to-find sets of artist monographs, exhibition catalogues, encyclopedias, dictionaries, conservation materials, and auction catalogues.
The Library is located within the Kimbell Art Museum. It serves primarily Museum staff but is also open to art historians, especially faculty and graduate students from surrounding universities. Access is by appointment only.
The Kimbell Art Museum Library is a member of OCLC Online Computer Library Center and the Cultural District Library Consortium.
Submitted by Chia-Chun Shih, Librarian
Robert Beebe has joined the staff of the McNay Art Museum Library as Associate Librarian (part-time). He will assist with reference, acquisitions and collection development.
Greetings ARLIS/NA, Texas-Mexico chapter members. As you all know, this year we are holding our annual chapter meeting in conjunction with the Guadalajara International Book Fair. I hope to see as many of you there. I know that you will find the fair and the city enlightening and exciting. If you don’t know Guadalajara or the book fair, let me tell you one of my unique stories. Once there, I know you will come away with your own special memories and favorites.
The venue is LARGE, and you will see books and meet book vendors from all over the world. Take the time to visit the Latin America and Caribbean vendor aisles. Last year, Cuba had several booths, and you will have the opportunity to purchase library material, as well as unique gifts you will never see in the States. Last year I bought a T-shirt with the Andy Warhol /Che Guevara prints screen printed on it. Because the photographer (Alberto Korda), who took that famous picture of Che, lived and died in Cuba, never receiving remuneration (not even from Andy), for what became an incredibly lucrative (to others) popular culture, iconic image… buying it from the Cubans just made perfect sense. It was a unique opportunity.
Each year, a country is honored at the book fair. This year, Italy is the country to be highlighted. I can only imagine the fabulous art books that the Italian vendors will showcase. It seems like a perfect venue for art librarians. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Welcome to the third and final issue of the Medium for 2008. This issue features tour reports from our recent meeting and trip to Guadalajara, Mexico. President Hinojosa has submitted her report from our recent business meeting and the 2008 business meeting minutes are posted. The Lois Swan Jones Award Recipient report and our first Lois Swan Jones Award ad is also in this issue. We also have an update from the University of Houston's Architecture and Art Library on the damage from Hurricane Ike and news from the Architecture and Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin. We have a message from our ARLIS/NA Chapters Coordinator, Cate Cooney and an article on our newest chapter member, Martha Gonzalez Palacios. The Collection profile features The Wittliff Collections. Enjoy!
At the FIL book fair on Wednesday, December 3rd, some of the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico chapter members met Clemente Orozco and his business partners/friends at his small press booth, Taller Ditoria. After looking at the different handmade books they were exhibiting, Clemente introduced us to his friend, Nicola Lorusso, an Italian-born commercial photographer. Lurosso now lives and works in Mexico. He showed us a CD collection of his photographs which included an interesting series of road photographs. He also has a collection of photographs published in the book Historia de la Construcción del Palacio de Bellas Artes (INBA, 2004) featuring his view of the Palacio de Bellas Artes in contemporary times. He told me that he uses a Mamiya 7, medium format film camera for his photography, rather than digital format. It was a pleasure to meet Lurosso and have the chance to look at his portfolio.
~Submitted by Tara Spies
On Monday afternoon December 1st meeting attendees piled into cabs and headed to Tlaquepaque, a charming town south of Guadalajara’s city center. Moments after our arrival, members of our group were approached by a man who was carrying a large iguana who, in the spirit of the season, was sporting a tiny red and white Santa’s cap. Carpe Diem! In no time, chapter Webmaster Sam Duncan was modeling a fashion accessory beyond compare. The iguana perched himself atop Sam’s outstretched arm just long enough to provide for a spectacular photo opportunity—any longer would have spelled disaster for Sam’s left sleeve.
Tlaquepaque’s central square, also known as El Jardin or “The Garden,” was full of sights and sounds. The foliage was beautiful and the omnipresent ficus were pruned into block-like volumes as if Donald Judd had wielded the gardening sheers. Both churches adjacent El Jardin, El Santuario de Nuestra Señora de la Soledad and San Pedro, were closed; however, one was still able to keep time by the bell towers’ chimes as the afternoon lazily ticked away.
One of the main shopping streets, lined with stores and restaurants in converted homes, provided a quiet path for a relaxing stroll. In a number of cases, a store full of pottery, glasswork, antiques and leather goods merged seamlessly with a restaurant, often located in the building’s central courtyard. Adobe Fonda was one such store-cum-restaurant where chapter members convened for an early dinner. The long table where we were seated was surrounded by illuminated mirrors around the perimeter and lit from above by an amalgamation of chandeliers and lanterns that bathed us in a warm orange light.
Following our very satisfying meal the group departed from the restaurant amid well wishes from the staff. As we emerged onto the street and headed towards the taxi stand we were treated to a celestial rarity. In the night sky a crescent moon hung above two planets, Venus and Jupiter, in what is known as a planetary conjunction. It was a fitting way to mark the end of our day in Tlaquepaque.
Submitted by Elizabeth Schaub
I had originally intended to interview Clemente Orozco, grandson of the muralist José Clemente Orozco but the opportunity never worked out so here is what I found out while we were in Guadalajara.
José Clemente Gae Orozco Farias, the grandson of the Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, was born in Mexico City and lived there until he graduated high school. While he never had a chance to meet his grandfather, Clemente was awarded a scholarship and received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth as a result of his grandfather’s history with the school as a teacher and artist on campus. While in college, he had the opportunity to study art in Italy for several years during the early 1980s. Afterwards, he attended Rhode Island School of Design. When Clemente came back to Mexico, he was asked to teach at the University of Guadalajara and gave lessons in graphic design and printmaking classes, which he still does on occasion.
Fifteen years ago, he and his friend Roberto Rebora started their own fine-art printing press called Tallerdittoria. They publish a handful of books a year, designing each one to complement the artist/writer and subject. They also have set up a subscription service and will print subscribers names at the end of each book published in that particular year. José Clemente Gae Orozco Farias currently lives and works in both Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico.
particular year. He currently lives and works in both Guadalajara and Mexico City, Mexico.
Submitted by Carla Ellard
With José Clemente Orozco, the grandson of the Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco, as a tour guide, the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico chapter members went to see the murals at the museum called the Instituto Cultural Cabañas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico on Tuesday December 2nd. The museum was once the Hospicio Cabañas, a shelter for widows, the elderly and orphans. Orozco painted his murals, including his masterpiece “Man of Fire”, from 1938-1939 when the building was still being used as a shelter.
As a museum, the different rooms in the building are used as galleries for current exhibitions. The exhibit that was on display was the Los tres grandes grandes son dos: Orozco, paintings in homage of Orozco. Orozco's grandson, Clemente Orozco had contributed a dyptich made of oil on board titled Anamorfosis that was featured in the exhibit.
After a group photo outside of the main chapel, Clemente took us to visit his grandfather’s studio, which was recently opened to the public, earlier in November. Clemente told us that we could take the subway to the studio, which none of us knew about. That was the beginning of a spontaneous adventure through the city! We walked up and down stairways and around the colorful bustling Mercado Libertad to get to the subway station and then rode the crowded subway for two stops and finally hopped into four separate taxis and were dropped off at the Monumento Los Arcos, the neoclassical triumphal arches that were erected from 1939 – 1941. Luckily for us, Clemente informed each taxi driver where we needed to go since most of us were clueless as to where it was located.
After a short walk across a busy street, we found that his grandfather’s studio was closed. Luckily, after Clemente talked with the guard, we were allowed in to see the space and the paintings and drawings in the main area on the first floor. After we left the studio we saw a statue of Orozco and another funny sculpture of a VW van with a brick wall sliced lengthwise into it.
Clemente then took us to a magical nineteenth-century mansion, now a coffee house, called Palacio de las Vacas. It's currently owned by an American, whom we had the pleasure to meet. We enjoyed the friendly service and tasty beverages and food and were awed at the furnishings, frescoes and decorations inside the mansion and the courtyards. Our group then said our goodbyes to Clemente, our endearing tour guide, and headed back to our hotel.
Art Libraries Society of North America
Annual Meeting 2008
I. Call to order (President Hinojosa)
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter’s Annual Business Meeting 2008 was held at the Victoria Express Hotel, Guadalajara, Mexico on December 3, 2008. The meeting was called to order by President Selene Hinojosa.
II. Introductions and President’s Report (President Hinojosa)
President Hinojosa asked those present to introduce themselves. In attendance were Craig Bunch (Houston Independent School District), Gwen Dixie (Dallas Public Library), Sam Duncan (Amon Carter Museum), Carla Ellard (Texas State University), Catherine Essinger (University of Houston), Jon Evans (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Martha González Palacios (University of Texas at Austin), Selene Hinojosa (Texas State University), Edward Lukasek (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Mark Pompelia (Rice University), Elizabeth Schaub (University of Texas at Austin), Karen Sigler (Texas State University), and Tara Spies (Texas State University).
President Hinojosa welcomed the assembled and thanked the chapter officers and her colleagues at Texas State University for assisting her during her final year as chapter president. She particularly thanked Vice President Ellard for planning events in conjunction with the annual meeting. She also summarized events and programs from the Art Libraries Society of North America Annual Conference in Denver.
President Hinojosa noted that Hurricane Ike had severely damaged a number of libraries in Texas earlier in the season. She noted that print-intensive art collections were particularly vulnerable in disasters and recommended that the chapter collect more documentation on disaster preparation and recovery. She suggested the chapter might use members’ experience to assemble a planning document for ARLIS/NA.
III. Secretary’s Report and Approval of 2007 Business Meeting Minutes (Secretary Essinger)
Secretary Essinger noted she had changed documentation procedures during the year by asking chapter officers to submit corrections to the business meeting minutes in the previous year before they were posted to the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter website in 2007. She also now submits minutes to the entire chapter prior to the annual meeting in order to expedite approval.
Secretary Essinger then asked that the 2007 Business Meeting Minutes be approved with edits suggested by members. President Hinojosa moved to the minutes be approved. Tara Spies seconded.
IV. Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer Bunch)
Treasurer Bunch presented his report which showed the year’s gains and expenses. He noted, however, that only 16 members had renewed their membership and he anticipated a higher balance as members continued to renew. The Lois Swan Jones Award would also be impacted by incoming renewals.
V. Medium Editor’s Report (Vice President Ellard)
Vice President Ellard noted that the Medium had been published twice in 2008. The Winter issue would be completed in mid-December. She thanked Mark Pompelia and Sam Duncan for her training. She also thanked column editors Gwen Dixie, Catherine Essinger, Jon Evans, and Mark Pompelia, as well as all members who contributed articles. She noted that it was an ongoing challenge to acquire articles and requested members consider submitting articles or photographs on the Guadalajara International Book Fair and annual meeting.
VI. Webmaster’s Report (Sam Duncan)
Sam Duncan reported a need to upgrade the chapter website from Drupal 4.6.6 to 6.6, which is a significant change. He reported that the overdue upgrade had resulted in earlier problems involving member logins.
He reported on his efforts to create a webpage that lists all previous business meeting minutes and links to them within Medium issues.
Style sheet formatting continues to be a problem on the chapter website, but Mr. Duncan hopes the Drupal upgrade will correct this. Jon Evans praised Sam Duncan for selecting Drupal during his previous tenure as Webmaster and noted that the website was an early adopter of Drupal.
Mr. Duncan asked members to add comments to the website and hopes to create a more dynamic online environment. He asked members to recommend website enhancements. Education Liaison Schaub suggested more photographs be added, particularly that the annual group photographs migrate to their respective annual meeting pages. Mr. Duncan also hopes the upgrade will allow members to edit their membership information.
The members discussed the feasibility of paying chapter dues online. Education Liaison Schaub will inquire whether MemberClicks, purchased by ARLIS/NA, may be used by chapters. Mr. Duncan will investigate whether Drupal can interact with MemberClicks. Mark Pompelia noted that MemberClicks may require additional software, such as PayPal, to manage payments. He added that PayPal charges 3%, which is typical for such an online service.
Mr. Duncan and Liaison Schaub reported that the effort to migrate old Medium data to the new site, previously undertaken by Laura Schwartz’s student workers at the University of Texas at Austin, had proven too large an undertaking for volunteers. Tara Spies and Sam Duncan will continue to work on the migration project.
VII. Education Liaison’s Report (Liaison Schaub)
ARLIS/NA Education Liaison Schaub thanked President Hinojosa and Vice President Ellard for organizing a wonderful chapter meeting in Guadalajara.
Ms. Schaub reported on the recent ARLIS/NA mid-year Board meeting held in New York, October 2-3, 2008. She stated that it had been a productive meeting; two budgets—one taking into account a membership fee increase and the other formulated on the now outdated membership fee structure—were reviewed and the slate of candidates presented by the Nominating Committee was approved. In addition, the Board received an update about the 2009 conference in Indianapolis and discussed issues related to the 2010 conference in Boston.
Ms. Schaub noted that the Society’s current contract with management firm Clarke Association Services (also known as McPherson Clarke) will terminate on April 30, 2009. She stated that a Request for Proposal for a new management firm has been submitted to firms throughout the United States and Canada by Vice President/President Elect Amy Lucker and the Board is now ready to review carefully weigh the top proposals.
Discussion turned to the recent vote to increase membership dues. Ms. Schaub reported that the increase was approved: 63% in favor, 36% opposed. The dues structure now includes an introductory category, priced at $90, available for one year to new members.
Ms. Schaub highlighted a number of recent ARLIS/NA developments. The Society’s publication Art Documentation is becoming a peer review journal. Ms. Schaub noted that Publications Chair Roger Lawson had recently communicated this change via ARLIS-L. The Publications Committee is also working on digitizing the Society’s Occasional Papers intending to make them available on the ARLIS/NA Web site.
Ms. Schaub stated that Chapters Liaison Cate Cooney is working with the Society’s Technology Advisor Jonathan Franklin to offer Web site hosting to chapters via MemberClicks. In addition, Cooney is working with the Membership Committee to feature chapters’ activities on the ARLIS/NA home page.
Ms. Schaub reported on her recent activities as the Board’s Education Liaison. She has continued to work with Professional Development Committee (PDC) Chair Tom Caswell and noted that the PDC had undergone a relatively recent restructuring with the addition of the Education Sub-committee, chaired by Heather Gendron, and Mentoring Sub-committee, chaired by V. Heidi Hass. Ms. Schaub noted that the Education Sub-committee is working to complete a survey that would be distributed to the members seeking feedback about the development of education initiatives. The Mentoring Sub-committee is working towards expanding the breadth of the year-long mentoring program though training chapter leaders who would then be able to conduct workshops at the regional level encouraging the development of mentoring relationships that would benefit from geographic proximity.
Ms. Schaub noted that she is also working with the Summer Educational Institute (SEI) Implementation Team and SEI Advisory Committee.
IX. Lois Swan Jones’ Award Committee Report (Vice President Ellard on behalf of Lois Swan Jones Award Committee Chair Merriann Bidgood)
This year Catherine Essinger received the Lois Swan Jones Travel award to attend the annual ARLIS/NA conference in Denver, Colorado. She was awarded $500. Members discussed the need to encourage more library science students to apply for the award. This might be achieved by the creation of a separate award, a sponsored workshop, and/or notices on student listservs.
Members discussed methods for promoting the award to student members. Given that the award amount changed yearly and unpredictably, members agreed that a separate award for students was not possible. Members agreed that the committee should be allowed flexibility in determining the number and conditions of the award(s).
X. Call for New LSJ Award Committee Volunteers (President Hinojosa)
Craig Bunch, Catherine Essinger, Edward Lukasek, and Tara Spies volunteered to serve on the 2008-2009 committee. Secretary Essinger nominated Tara Spies to serve as chair. President Hinojosa asked that the new chair post a message to the listserv reminding members of the award’s importance and asking that they be generous when renewing their chapter membership.
XI. Election of Vice President/President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary (Past-presidents Pompelia and Schaub)
The committee nominated Craig Bunch for Vice President/President-elect, Edward Lukasek for Treasurer, and Karen Sigler for Secretary. All were unanimously elected.
XII. 2009 Meeting Planning (Vice President Ellard)
Vice President Ellard suggested the next meeting be held in the Rio Grande Valley (including McAllen, Brownsville, Padre Island, and/or Port Isabel) or San Antonio. She solicited other suggestions. Fort Worth and El Paso were both suggested. After discussion, Gwen Dixie moved that the next meeting be held in the Rio Grande Valley. Secretary Essinger seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
XIII. Chapter Welcome Party Donation (Treasurer Bunch)
Treasurer Bunch stated that the chapter could afford to donate $200-300 to the welcome party at the 2009 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Indianapolis. Jon Evans reminded members of the importance of this donation. Treasurer Bunch moved that the chapter donate $300. Mr. Evans seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
XIV. Post-Hurricane Ike Update (President Hinojosa)
President Hinojosa asked participants to report on library damage caused by Hurricane Ike in September. She discussed the significant damage at the University of Texas Medical Branch and resultant employee layoffs. Jon Evans reported damage to trees at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston house museums, as well as one outdoor sculpture. Mark Pompelia said trees were also damaged at Rice University. Neither institution suffered damage in the library. Treasurer Bunch reported significant damage at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, where employee layoffs also occurred. He reported that the Galveston Arts Center suffered major damage and is now closed. Secretary Essinger reported that the Menil Collection suffered minor roof damage during the hurricane, but no artwork or equipment was harmed. She also reported that a tornado ripped off the roof of the University of Houston’s College of Architecture Building, causing significant damage to both the Visual Resources Department and the Architecture and Art Library. Most of the library collection and some of the slide collection was saved, but both facilities had to be closed. The library should reopen in the spring semester, but not all furniture and equipment will be replaced at the semester start. The Visual Resources Department and its staff were moved to another location and will not reopen the facility by the spring semester start.
President Hinojosa asked Secretary Essinger to speak about what she had learned about protecting a library and collection after a natural disaster. Secretary Essinger recommended moving as much material, furniture, and equipment into offsite storage not owned by the home institution as possible. Because the wait for insurance and FEMA money tends to be lengthy, most institutions will not be able to perform repairs quickly. A reluctance to pay offsite storage costs can motivate institutions to quicken the pace of recovery efforts. She also noted that insurance adjustors and salvage companies can be very cooperative and help librarians receive services and additional staffing needed to recover, due to good will and because they are often paid according to the size of the claim. Secretary Essinger recommended communicating needs directly to these outside companies and also developing relationships with people from facilities and business offices to aid communication and partnership during a later crisis. She also strongly recommended being onsite as much as possible during recovery work. She noted that most progress after the hurricane occurred because she was onsite and able to take advantage of opportunities that arose. She added that librarians could be expected to work 60-80 hours per week for months after a disaster if they helped coordinate recovery efforts. She noted that normal procedures and communication were ineffective in the first weeks after the hurricane and direct, onsite communication worked better. She also stated that librarians must communicate their library’s mission and purpose to people who will not necessarily understand or appreciate its value. Secretary Essinger used the example of having to explain the financial and informational value of the collection to the initial recovery team, who did not realize that art and architecture information is still primarily print-based.
President Hinojosa and Gwen Dixie both suggested that the chapter collaborate on a disaster recovery guide for art librarians.
XV. New Business (President Hinojosa)
Jon Evans asked the chapter to consider revamping the Medium, given that it is now a digital publication and no longer serving its purpose as a newsletter. He suggested articles might be arranged according to content rather than date. He also suggested that the editor’s job might be made more substantive by conducting interviews and creating themed issues. Topics should also be searchable. President Hinojosa and Vice President Ellard agreed with Mr. Evans, stating that members may be more likely to author articles that are built around a theme, rather than news. Tara Spies stated she would also prefer to change the exhibits list, so that members could report on a small number of particularly interesting exhibits they have visited. Sam Duncan suggested the chapter use a weblog model, offered by Drupal, which might replace the chapter listserv. He also stated that the Medium could remain the formal presentation of information collected in other ways. Elizabeth Schaub suggested the chapter submit a proposal to ARLIS/NA for funding to scan earlier Mediums. She also confirmed that grant money can be used to pay an contract employee, so the chapter might hire an intern. Mark Pompelia reminded the members that budget requests must be submitted well in advance of the fiscal year.
Sam Duncan asked what might be done to recruit new members. Members discussed outreach to new librarians. They suggested the new president post an invitation to library school listservs and attend all-school events. Vice President Ellard will offer to present to Dr. Ana Cleveland’s class(s) at the University of North Texas. Ms. Schaub noted that ARLIS/NA was not providing chapters with lists of new members in the chapter regions. She hopes that the new management firm will address this ongoing problem. She also suggested the creation of a member liaison position in the chapter assigned to recruitment. President Hinojosa volunteered to serve in this capacity. Mark Pompelia confirmed that the chapter may create positions not listed in the ARLIS/NA bylaws. Gwen Dixie volunteered to invite art librarians in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well. Members discussed creating an affiliate category for people who would like to join chapters but do not wish to join ARLIS/NA. Secretary Essinger noted that the chapter voted to create a third membership category in 2006, but that category had not yet been adopted. Secretary Essinger moved that the chapter confirm with ARLIS/NA that this category is permitted by organization bylaws and then proceed to change membership forms. Karen Sigler seconded and the motion passed. Education Liaison Schaub will take this issue to ARLIS/NA for confirmation. Jon Evans asked President Hinojosa whether she had invited Mexican art librarians in Guadalajara to attend the chapter meeting. She reported that she had contacted librarians but none attend. She will continue to pursue members in Mexico through a contact at the National Library of Mexico.
XVI. Adjournment (President Hinojosa)
With new further business, President Hinojosa adjourned the meeting at 10:35.
Chapter Annual Conference
December 3, 2008
I cannot tell you how glad I am to see you all here, now, in Guadalajara. I hope you all have found the experience enjoyable and productive.
This year, my second and final year as President, I have people to thank. Certainly the executive Committee, Mark, Catherine, Craig, Carla and Elizabeth. I also need to thank Karen Sigler and Tara Spies. Karen has been an enthusiastic and supportive colleague. Without that enthusiasm and support, believe me, I wouldn’t be here today.
And this year, Tara took over the responsibilities of the art subject librarian at Texas State, which has been a huge help, and will be even more so by next year.
Carla, I just have to tell you, you made this event, the way Gwen did last year in Dallas. Which is to say, FANTASTIC. It was Carla’s connections and persistence that got us Clemente Orozco. This is something you can cherish as a unique event in the history of ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter conferences. YOU can say, you toured the greatest murals of one of the greatest Mexican muralists, with the grandson of that muralist. Carla pushed me as much as she pushed him, and along with the tour, one result will be an interview with Mr. Orozco for the Medium. Carla also investigated our joining with the Central Plains chapter of ARLIS/NA. Regretfully it didn’t happen, but not because Carla wasn’t willing, able, and on top of it from the very first inquiry. Regretfully, they could not make it happen for the coming year, but I hope that we continue to work and meet cooperatively with other chapters around the Americas.
This year, several of us were in Denver. Gwen and I roomed together, and one of the best things I came away with was getting to know her better. We found out we had a lot in common, and owing her so much already, I just want to let her to know, whatever you need Gwen, if you ever need anything, count on me.
It was an interesting experience, WAY colder than I thought it was going to be. I made a presentation, which any of you who were there know, was an unmitigated disaster. Later that evening at the wonderful Denver Art Museum, Jonathan Franklin and I backed into each other, as we were avoiding being seen by the rest of the attendees. We commiserated about being unable to read our notes because of the lack of lighting on the podium and also the missing keys on Steven Patrick’s laptop… never mind its other little quirks. Still, we ended up laughing about it, and the website was a success. It has been used and useful I have been able to recommend lots of the sites for all three countries to patrons and colleagues. I noticed it was gone the other day, but hopefully will be back.
Speaking of disasters, I really wanted to put a focus on what happened to our colleagues in Houston and surrounding areas, after Hurricane Ike. Personally I have been trying to get a disaster plan written (via committee) for several years now. You just never think that it is going to happen to you. Later on in this meeting, under new business, I would like those of you who were affected, to help us learn, as a group, from what you have been through. As Catherine put it to me, “the not so obvious elements of disaster recovery” and how we, as art libraries can help each other when these things happen. We have to gain some insight from bad things happening, or truly we will be diminished.
As a group, maybe we can help put those insights together and produce something for art libraries to share. For me, this is what these last two years have been about. The ability to share information, resources, ideas and knowledge in an profession and discipline that I know you all love and appreciate as much as I do. So thanks for all the insight, the fun, the art and the collegiality…
-Submitted by Selene Hinojosa
The Wittliff Collections
Texas State University-San Marcos
601 University Drive
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Housed on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University-San Marcos, the Wittliff Collections provide access to some of the library’s most unique resources and attest to the tremendous diversity of creative expression among the region’s writers and photographers.
In addition to offering research opportunities, tours, and classes, the Wittliff Collections explore the relationship between artistic processes and the “spirit of place” with public exhibitions, two award-winning book series, and a full calendar of lively events featuring leading visionaries in today’s literary and photographic circles.
Austin screenwriter and photographer Bill Wittliff and his wife Sally founded the Wittliff Collections: the Southwestern Writers Collection in 1986, and the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection in 1996.
The Southwestern Writers Collection preserves and exhibits the literary papers and memorabilia of the Southwest’s leading authors, screenwriters, and songwriters. Manuscripts, research notes and journals, drafts, correspondence, interview tapes, snapshots, movie props, art works, rare books, and personal artifacts are part of the wealth of intriguing resources available to students and researchers on a non-circulating basis.
The Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection is a photo archive and creative center devoted to the photographic arts and culture of Mexico and the southwestern United States, showcasing the works of distinguished photographers whose images document and celebrate the visual heritage of the region. Important serial publications, books, videos, and ephemera are also collected and made available.
The Wittliff Collections have twelve full-time staff members including a Curator, two Assistant Curators, Development Officer, Media Relations & Publications Coordinator, Lead Archivist, Processing Archivist, Archives Assistant, Events Assistant, Administrative Assistant, Cataloging Librarian and Cataloging Assistant and one temporary project assistant. We also support many interns and student workers during each semester.
Southwestern Writers Collection
The Southwestern Writers Collection is focused on literary, film, and music archives. The papers of over 100 authors make up the core of this collection, including Cormac McCarthy, Elizabeth Crook, James Crumley, John Graves, Stephen Harrigan, Larry L. King, Beverly Lowry, Rick Riordan, Sam Shepard, and Edwin “Bud” Shrake.
The entire production record of the CBS miniseries Lonesome Dove and the major archives of the Fox series King of the Hill, as well as select materials from Tommy Lee Jones and Sam Shepard, are part of the television and film archives.
Among the music archives at the Southwestern Writers Collection are original materials by Willie Nelson and the personal archives from Austin City Limits creator Bill Arhos. The Writers Collection also serves as the repository for the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.
Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection
The Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection houses a significant—and quite possibly the largest—collection of modern and contemporary works by leading photojournalists and fine-art photographers from Mexico. Prized among our images are prints by modern masters such as Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lázaro Blanco, Héctor Garcia, Kati Horna, Nacho López, Rodrigo Moya and Mariana Yamposlky. We also house the major collections of many notable contemporary artists, illuminating the arc of their creative development, including Kate Breakey, Keith Carter, Jayne Hinds Bidaut, Ken Rosenthal, Josephine Sacabo, Rocky Schenck, Geoff Winningham, as well as Bill Wittliff.
While traditional silver-gelatin darkroom prints make up the core of this collection, images created using other processes are also included. Daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, tintypes, photogravures, and more recently, archival digital prints represent the variety of processes collected. The collection grows monthly through purchased acquisitions and gifts made by photographers.
Both the Southwestern Writers Collection and Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection have a budget for acquiring books and supporting materials for researchers. These items can be found using our OPAC which is available online through the Alkek library’s website.
The Architecture and Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin has launched a Web site that will serve as the authoritative resource for information about an acclaimed Dallas architect and his work.
"The Architectural Legacy of Herbert Miller Greene" is now available for online research about Dallas architect Herbert Miller Greene (1871–1932).
Featuring architectural drawings and archival material, the Web site grew out of an exhibition at the Architecture and Planning Library in 2005. It includes a online version of the exhibit, as well as all source documentation used during research conducted for the exhibit including full text articles from the Dallas Morning News archive, scans of Greene's archival records and links to other source documents on the Web.
The Web site is the result of a collaborative effort by the Alexander Architectural Archive, the Architecture and Planning Library and the School of Architecture's Visual Resources Collection. It focuses on Herbert M. Greene's Dallas architecture, his Masonic commissions and The University of Texas buildings he designed. The site provides 139 images depicting 42 projects.
Herbert Miller Greene built over 90 projects throughout Texas and other U.S. cities and founded one of the oldest continuously operating architectural firms in Texas. In 1922, Greene received a 10-year contract from The University of Texas at Austin to succeed the esteemed Cass Gilbert as university architect, where he worked with associates Edwin B. LaRoche and George L. Dahl on designs for over 15 buildings on campus. The following year, Greene was the first Texas architect to be elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects.
The John Greene Taylor Endowment for Collections Enhancement funded the processing and preservation of Herbert M. Greene materials throughout the Alexander Architectural Archive, as well as curation of the exhibition.
The endowment—established by Greene's grandson John Greene Taylor—supports the Architecture and Planning Library, the Alexander Architectural Archive and the School of Architecture's Visual Resources Collection by providing funds for collection cataloging, digitization, acquisition and outreach.
-Submitted by Beth Dodd
Report from the Art Libraries Society of North America’s Annual Conference 2008 from Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award recipient Catherine Essinger
It was my privilege to attend the Art Libraries Society of North America’s Annual Conference in Denver and to receive the Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award, which allowed me to do so. I find it heartening that this chapter supports its members and rewards service with this award. I have made a point to contribute every year since I joined the chapter and encourage all members to support the growth of our chapter by doing so, as well. My attendance was required at four other out-of-town conferences during this year and the Lois Swan Jones Professional Development Award determined my ability to attend ARLIS/NA’s.
I have summarized below the content of each session I attended, all of which were informative and helpful.
Scalable digital projects: How to get started with a small digital project
Joan Beaudoin, a Ph.D. candidate and IMLS Research Fellow at Drexel University, was inspired by her work at the Free Library of Philadelphia to investigate digital project selection. She surveyed selection criteria at a number of libraries with scalable projects and assessed which criteria determine whether projects are implemented. Her findings showed that frequency of use and need for more access are the primary determiners. Process-related factors, such as available staff time, did not have the same impact.
Two unusual and successful project examples were then presented. Two Rhode Island School of Design librarians exhibited their digitized collection of large-format dazzle prints. Dazzle is a form of disruptive camouflage for British ships during World War I. A marine painter in the Royal Navy was given the opportunity to create dazzle patterns in order to protect ships from German U-boats. The project was sufficiently successful that the artist, Norman Wilkinson, was sent to assist the U.S. Navy with its own dazzle project. He hired a British Vorticist to oversee the ship painting in Liverpool. RISD’s collection of dazzle plans were formerly the possession of the U.S. Shipping Board, which used them to guide the camouflage of their own ships. The Fleet Library at RISD researched and scanned these very large plans and described their process and challenges during this session. They also developed a unique thesaurus of descriptive terms, in order to aid searching. Dazzle examples and project insights may be found at scalabledigital.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/dazzle.pdf
The second project is a collection of 20th century Swiss posters digitized by Carnegie Melon librarians. The faculty and librarians use these posters to teach graphic design basics. A contact on the faculty acquires posters from a donor in Switzerland. The librarians scan and catalog the posters in Filemaker. The database is housed on the library’s server. The librarians have found a way to manage this process quickly and use low-resolution JPEGs, so the digitized surrogates cannot be used commercially. The posters, themselves, are still used by students and faculty, but the Filemaker database allows for easy searching and information organization.
What’s Hot and What’s Not: Trends in Technologies and Services in Libraries
Amanda Gluibizzi first listed the negatives: text-heavy PowerPoint slides, long lists of options without navigation, vital information that sits at the bottom of web pages, busy backgrounds, overuse of animation, and fonts that mimic historical scripts. She then presented her own mash-up of Ohio State University’s public art.
Adina Lerner spoke about another “hot” item: cloud computing. Cloud computing is the use of free web-based software funded by advertising dollars. She showcased well-known examples, such as Flickr and iTunes, as well as less known software like Shutterfly and Windows Live SkyDrive. Librarians with limited funds could become cyber nomads by using a host of free photo-editing, document management, email, and storage options. She cautioned that librarians must carefully understand opt-in and opt-out features of the service agreement in order to protect their content.
Megan Mackin talked about new technology and presentation options for OPAC’s. These include federated searching for images. API and automated metadata were also discussed. She also admonished most libraries for not hiring graphic designers to create their virtual image and noted that most programmers (librarian or otherwise) do not have a design background.
Hidden treasures redux: Government art resources in the 21st century
Jonathan Franklin recommended resources assembled and authored by Canadian government agencies. Selene Hinojosa did the same with Mexican resources and Stephen Patrick presented U.S. government art resources. Nearly all government documents are produced online now, including those dedicated to art resources. National libraries and arts funding organizations provide the bulk of these sites.
Icon or enclosure? The architecture of the Denver Art Museum
Before ARLIS/NA members departed for the conference party at the Denver Art Museum (the Big DAM party), they could attend this panel discussion on the merits of its architecture. Alan Michelson praised Daniel Libeskind’s vision, but identified many practical and safety problems with the building. A principal in the architecture firm that partnered with Libeskind to build the new DAM and the head of museum’s Community and Family Programs, on the other hand, saw many more positives emerge from this unusual structure.
Using numbers and stories for advocacy
Five librarians focused on the benefits of information gathering when advocating for library budgets, staffing, and programming. Jeanne Brown talked about the need to gather and present stories in order to change users’ perceptions about library services. Much of these are gathered after instruction sessions. She noted that statistics also tell a story and it is up to the librarian to interpret them as such. Laura Graveline detailed the assessment process used to develop a new library web site for Dartmouth College. An assessment process was used by Laura Schwartz at University of Texas at Austin’s Fine Arts Library, which resulted in confirmation of success, as well as a number of great new ideas. Rina Vecchiola used LibQual survey data to make much-needed changes at her branch library.
Plenary Speaker – Dr. David Silver
Dr. Silver spoke about the contemporary college student, the student’s relationship with technology, their self-perceptions, and need for collaboration. The lecture was entertaining, nonlinear, and occasionally philosophical. Interestingly, he also attended the ARLIS/NA conference and used the plenary to comment on the sessions he attended. He also took photographs of the assembly for his blog.
We asked…We listened…We changed…: The undergraduate study at the University of Rochester
An ethnographic study of undergraduate students conducted by a Rochester anthropology professor was used to develop and alter library practices on that campus. The study found that research instruction was extremely inconsistent and students lacked basic research skills. The findings were used to improve liaison services and provide more opportunities for partnership with faculty and support services. The findings also showed that students change topics to suit resources at hand, rather than seek out information on particular topics. Students first consult not with professors or librarians when conducting research, but with their parents. They also consult with librarians, but typically only if they already know them and after already beginning the research process. Many were uncertain what a librarian could do to help them and associate them only with printed material. The study found that students are very confident in their own research abilities and assume their inability to find resources means that information isn’t published. They also heavily use some library services and resources (such as the online catalog) and search beyond the first Google hits. In response, Rochester changed services and developed a successful theme, “Every class has its own librarian.”
I am sure that Texas/Mexico Chapter members recall the Assessment Task Force recommendations from 2007. The ATF recommended that the board shift from having regional representatives to functional liaisons. I spent the first year of my term on the ARLIS/NA board in a "hybrid role" of Northeast Regional Representative and Chapters Coordinator, while the other regional representatives continued their duties and took on their functional roles. As of the Denver Conference, we transitioned into our functional roles.
So what does the Chapters Coordinator do? The Chapters Coordinator Acts as liaison among the various chapters, and between the Executive Board and the chapters, in order to strengthen cooperation and communication. The Chapters Coordinator responds to the problems of individual chapters and aids in their solution. I see myself as the chapters' advocate on the board, and welcome your questions and concerns.
You likely already know about the revised guidelines for special funding requests. We'd like to make it easier for chapters to apply for (and get!) funding for their special projects. I hope that we'll see a request from you next year! You might also want to take a look at the Chapter Success Book. I have updated it to reflect the changes in the board structure and to make some procedures more clear.
I consider myself very fortunate to have the role of Chapters Coordinator. I have been an active member of three very different chapters, and consider the chapters to be the heart and soul of the Society. I'm currently a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter, which is centered in the Philadelphia area. I live outside of Philadelphia, where I work part-time for ARTstor while my husband and I raise my young son.
Again, I welcome your questions and comments. You can reach me via email at Cate Cooney.
-Submitted by Cate Cooney
The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library at the University of Houston was severely damaged during Hurricane Ike last September. A tornado ripped eight tons of copper roofing from the west wing of the College of Architecture. Rain water filtered through four floors, including the Visual Resources Department, faculty offices, studios, and classrooms. The Jenkins Library on the first floor did not receive the same rain damage that nearly obliterated Visual Resources. The mildew and mold infestation that followed, however, required that the ceiling, carpet, walls, and much furniture and equipment, be replaced.
Part of the collection was taken to the M.D. Anderson Library, the University of Houston's central library. Over 60,000 volumes and loose journals were taken to an offsite storage facility for drying and treatment. The collection will be returned to the repaired library facility during the winter break. Shelving, equipment, and furniture replacement will continue in the upcoming months. During the spring semester, the library staff will gradually roll out normal services. Interlibrary loan and normal circulation will likely resume by the start of the spring semester.
Other art libraries in Houston have kindly assisted UH art students find information and resources temporarily missing from their home library. Jet Prendeville at Rice University and the entire Museum of Fine Arts, Houston library staff have assisted a large number of UH students this fall. The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library staff is grateful to all their Houston Area colleagues for this extra help and support.
Martha González Palacios began her tenure as the Architecture & Planning Librarian at University of Texas at Austin on August 12th - just in time to welcome in the fall semester. Her new colleague, Beth Dodd, writes, "Martha brings a remarkable combination of experiences to this position that support reference, library instruction and the development of collections."
Martha most recently worked at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver where she served as a library liaison. She has worked in various library-related positions at the University of British Columbia, Burnaby Public Library, and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Before entering librarianship she worked as an architect in Mexico.
Martha received her Master of Library and Information Studies from the University of British Columbia. She also holds degrees in Fine Arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver and in Architecture from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City.
Martha attended her first ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter meeting in Guadalajara last November.
Welcome to the first issue of the Medium for 2009.
AUSTIN, Texas – Drawings of noted architect Thomas M. Price have been donated to the Alexander Architectural Archive at The University of Texas at Austin.
The gift – provided by Price's family – includes approximately 2,700 architectural drawings that were formerly held at Rosenberg Library in Galveston.
Thomas M. Price (1916-1998) was Galveston’s foremost modern architect. Price was a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and earned his degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1941, where he studied under Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer.
He was a Professor of Architecture and Visiting Architecture Critic at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and was employed as a designer and draftsman for the prestigious firms of Gropius and Breuer, Hugh Stubbins and Oscar Stonarov.
During World War II, Price was commissioned Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and trained at the M.I.T. School of Naval Architecture.
In 1947, Price opened his architectural firm in Galveston, where his work included private residences, hotels, schools, a social club and commercial buildings. His major works include the Sealy & Smith professional building (1964), the Flagship Hotel (with Houston firm Neuhaus & Taylor), the Seahorse Motel (1956) and the Galveston Artillery Club (1959).
Price's other Texas work includes the Lasher House in Houston, as well as buildings in Alvin, Bay City, Freeport, Hitchcock and Webster. He also designed hotels in Asheville, Biloxi and San Francisco.
Price was also involved in early efforts to preserve Galveston’s 19th century architectural heritage. He was responsible for two pioneer preservation planning studies prepared for the city of Galveston.
His work has been published in "Architectural Record" and "Galveston: Architecture Guidebook."
Submitted by Beth Dodd 5/26/09
As this year’s Lois Swan Jones Award recipient I was able to attend my first professional conference. Currently I’m a student at the iSchool at UT-Austin where I’ve been focusing on archives and museum studies. I work in the photography archives at the Harry Ransom Center, and I hope in my future career to work as an art museum librarian and as a visual materials archivist. The ArLis/NA conference showed me the many career possibilities even within the field of art librarianship, which was very exciting to discover as someone entering the field.
I started the conference bright and early on Friday morning by attending the Bloomington Treasures Tour. A small group of us visited the University of Indiana Campus and toured the Kinsey Institute, the Lilly Library, the Fine Arts building, and the IU Art Museum. We saw some of Thomas Hart Benton’s murals in situ in the theater and a couple murals undergoing conservation treatment in the Museum’s labs. This tour was a wonderful opportunity to see some great architecture (the Museum was designed by I. M. Pei), interesting objects (such as the puzzle collection at the Lilly Library), and shocking art (everything at the Kinsey Institute!). It was also refreshing to visit a campus with such a strong commitment to the arts. Later that evening, the First-Time Attendees Orientation, Convocation and Welcome party at the Eiteljorg Museum were all great ways to learn about the Society and meet colleagues.
Saturday and Sunday were both overwhelming days, full of lots of new information and perspectives on the field. In the Opening Plenary, James Neal of Columbia University spoke about new contextual trends—Web 2.0 technologies and mass collaboration, self-service and customization, restructuring and de-formalization. He stressed the need for research and development to understand creation of new knowledge, marketing the library, and rethinking the library space as a more dynamic, social, and collaborative environment. Then, I attended the Museum Division Meeting which presented some innovative online cataloging systems from a few art museums around the country, including the NYARC catalogue which is a combined system for the Frick, Brooklyn Museum, MoMA and the Met.
“The Evolving Art Librarian” session presented a few perspectives on how the role of the art librarian is changing. All four speakers mentioned that there is a growing emphasis on management and administrative duties. While there is also a growing need to use more 2.0 technologies, there is a lack of training or time to learn it. Collection development remains an important duty, especially in the areas of “non-traditional” materials (almost everything seems “non-traditional” anymore) and digital content.
Presenters at “Discovery on this Side of the Virtual Wall: Evolving Authority Control Resources and Techniques in the Digital Age” discussed maintaining responsibility for the resources librarians create. The most interesting part of this session, I found, was Susan Chun’s presentation of www.steve.museum which is an organization that promotes social tagging of online museum collections. The group’s research shows that 88% of tags (in their sample) were useful and 86% were not duplicates of words found in the objects’ metadata. This organization not only researches the effectiveness of tags but provides software and support for museums to implement it for their online collections.
On Sunday, the speakers for “Working Together, Working Better: Liaison Relationships for Art, Architecture, and Visual Resources” offered advice for maintaining the importance and visibility of the art librarian in the eyes of others (i.e. faculty and administration). They all agreed that librarians’ practices should change from collection-focused to user-oriented. Some successful methods presented were: collaborating with faculty on projects; meeting with new faculty and actively maintaining those relationships; having an office in the art department rather than main library; creating a blog for the art department with faculty, students and staff as guest bloggers; auditing classes; collecting syllabi for art department classes; creating physical and virtual exhibitions; and posting lectures and how-to videos on YouTube. Generally, they argued that making your presence as the art librarian very well known fosters greater use and appreciation of the art library.
“Off the Wall: Photography Beyond Aesthetics” was of particular interest to me as I currently work in a photography archives. The speakers were a photography historian, museum curator, and art historian and they offered different perspectives on art libraries than presented in other sessions. They all emphasized the importance of collecting photography for a variety of reasons, from artistic merit to historical evidentiary value, and they urged the audience as art librarians to collect as much photography as possible. This session made me wonder how many art libraries also foray into collecting photography, or other original works, as an archives or museum would?
“Visual Literacy: What, Why How?” was the last session I attended on Sunday before the wonderful Circle City Celebration at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (a great museum, if only we had been able to visit all of it!). Speakers discussed the importance of understanding visual literacy—both the reception of and communication with images—especially in light of studies which prove that students today are cognitively different than those of the past. Though visual literacy is most often linked with art, it is a skill useful across many fields. The speakers encouraged art librarians to promote visual literacy and make this a central part of their jobs.
On Monday, the Membership Meeting breakfast introduced many outgoing and upcoming board members, highlighted other ArLis/NA events, such as European study tours, and provided a preview of next year’s conference in Boston. I attended one more session before the Closing Plenary. Speakers in “Where Libraries and Archives Converge: Artists Files” discussed the difficulty of providing access to holdings of archival and ephemeral materials about artists, but offered insights from a few initiatives. For example, the Artist Files Online Directory at arlisna.org will provide (when it launches) a listing of libraries and repositories around the country with artist files available, and the digitization project of artist files at the Guggenheim (also yet to launch) showed how digitization can be an easy way to provide access to off-site materials. At the Closing Plenary, Brian Payne of the Central Indiana Community Foundation spoke of his work to transform the city of Indianapolis into a more creative, engaging, and enjoyable city. He has worked to make it a liveable city in part through supporting public arts programs. His talk gave me hope that communities in this country are realizing the importance of the arts and creating environments to foster creativity.
My conference weekend felt jam-packed and exhausting, but it was lots of fun and very enlightening. I again would like to thank the Texas-Mexico chapter for the award which allowed me to attend. The conference helped me realize that I have much to look forward to in my future career.
Submitted by Nicole Davis 5/20/09
Texas Reference Sources Online (www.txla.org/pubs/trs/trsonline.html) is a project I have been involved with since I edited the art and architecture section of the 5th (and final) print edition in 2004, coinciding roughly with the appearance of the online edition, which is regularly (or, in the case of my sections, irregularly) updated.
In addition to the art and architecture section, I am continuing editor of design and applied arts.
Very recently, I have submitted some two dozen updates to my sections, including the likes of Intimate Modernism: Fort Worth Circle Artists in the 1940s, Texas 100: Selections from the El Paso Museum of Art, Texas Modern: The Rediscovery of Early Texas Abstraction (1935-1965), Abilene Landmarks: An Illustrated Tour, and Texas Quilts and Quilters: A Lone Star Legacy. Expect these to be added to TRS Online in the coming months.
Works included do not necessarily fit the classic definition of “reference" as a source to be consulted for a specific piece of information. I have thought it important to include catalogues and handbooks of important art collections in Texas, even if their emphasis is not the art of Texas. Monographs on individual artists have somewhat arbitrarily been excluded, although certain architects and a documentary photographer or two have been included.
In conclusion, I quote from the TRS Online homepage on the origins and progress of this prodigious project:
“Texas Reference Sources (TRS) is a selective guide to reference works on, or relating to, Texas and Texans. It is designed to supplement the American Library Association's Guide to Reference Books.
This site is a continuation and update of the 5th edition published by the Texas Library Association in 2004. All content and updates for the printed 5th edition are posted on this site. Due to the large number of revisions, additions, and deletions to Texas Reference Sources since its publication in 2004, the online version was determined to have supplanted the print edition by 2008 and remaining print copies of the 5th edition were withdrawn from TLA Publications inventory and are no longer available for sale. Updating of the errata file for the print edition was discontinued in 2006.
As a continuing project of the Reference Round Table of the Texas Library Association, volunteers throughout Texas compiled, edited, and continue to update this work in the hope of providing a useful guide to identifying both printed and electronic resources on all aspects of Texan life, history, economics, government, and culture. John C. Hepner supervises the project as General Editor.”
Submitted by Craig Bunch 5/31/09
SAN MARCOS, TX—The excitement and anticipation surrounding the Cormac McCarthy Papers is growing as the Wittliff Collections finalize plans for opening the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s archives at Texas State University’s Alkek Library in San Marcos. The first researcher is scheduled for May 18.
Due to limited research space, access to the McCarthy Papers will be provided by appointment only. The Wittliff Collections request form for scheduling is online. Research hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Hours are subject to change during University breaks and interim sessions; closed on holidays.
Author of such acclaimed novels as Blood Meridian and No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy was awarded the Pulitzer in 2007 for The Road, which has been made into a soon-to-be-released feature film with Viggo Mortensen in the lead role.
Aside from a few select pieces the Wittliff has displayed in recent exhibitions and printed in their newsletter, The Keystone, this will be the first time McCarthy’s drafts and manuscripts will be seen by the public. Scholars will have a chance to study the legendary author’s research, note taking, and writing processes, which have remained a mystery until now.
Following the acquisition of the McCarthy archives in late December 2007, Wittliff Collections Lead Archivist Katie Salzmann conducted a comprehensive inventory and re-housed the material in acid-free boxes, many of which she specially constructed. Salzmann then spent months organizing the papers according to archival standards and describing them at the item level for the finding aid, including a complete pagination for the more complicated drafts containing McCarthy’s sometimes puzzling page-numbering systems.
The fully processed collection stands at almost 100 boxes and includes correspondence, notes, hand-written and typed drafts, setting copies, proofs, and other materials documenting McCarthy’s career. The finding aid, plus a link to the Wittliff Collections original news story about the acquisition, is available online.
The official opening of the McCarthy papers was to coincide with a late-spring dedication of the Wittliff Collections’ expanded reading room, which is currently being constructed alongside new and larger exhibition spaces for the Wittliff’s photography collection. Although delays in construction have pushed the dedication to early fall, Curator Connie Todd is working with Salzmann and her archives staff to establish a secure interim reading room, and the papers will be made available to scheduled patrons beginning May 18.
The Wittliff Collections are on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University in San Marcos, located along the I-35 corridor between Austin and San Antonio. Phone: 512.245.2313. Online: www.thewittliffcollections.txstate.edu.
Submitted by Carla Ellard 5/19/09
Members of the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library staff were honored to receive multiple campus awards at the end of the 08-09 academic year. The library coordinator, Catherine Essinger, received the John P. McGovern Employee of the Year Award from the University of Houston Libraries, as well as the Staff Service Award from the College of Architecture. As chair of the UH Libraries Marketing Committee, she was also honored with the Dean's Standard Bearer Award for External Service.
Tina McPherson, who began working as the library's supervisor in June 2008, was awarded the John P. McGovern Rookie of the Year Award. The John P. McGovern awards are endowed awards given annually to reward exceptional service.
Miriam Cardenas, a library student employee and College of Architecture student, was also presented with a Student Achievement Award for her leadership and service during the library's recovery from Hurricane Ike.
Business Meeting: 2009 Business Meeting Minutes
November 10, 2009-Sigler, Karen
Art Libraries Society of North America
Annual Meeting 2009 McAllen, Texas
I. Call to order (President Ellard)
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter’s Annual Business Meeting 2009 was held at the Renaissance Casa De Palmas Hotel, McAllen, Texas on November 8, 2009. The meeting was called to order by President Carla Ellard.
II. Introductions (President Ellard)
President Ellard asked those present to introduce themselves. In attendance were Craig Bunch (Houston Independent School District), Gwen Dixie (Dallas Public Library), Martha González Palacios (University of Texas at Austin), Beverly Mitchell (Southern Methodist University), Edward Lukasek (Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), Sheri Salisbury (University of Texas at San Antonio), Selene Hinojosa (Texas State University), Tara Spies (Texas State University), Karen Sigler (Texas State University), and Carla Ellard (Texas State University).
Guests in attendance were George and Virginia Gause, University of Texas-Pan American).
President Ellard thanked several people for making the meeting a success, including George & Virginia Gause, who helped with local arrangements. She also thanked her colleagues, Karen Sigler and Tara Spies and executive committee, Craig Bunch and Edward Lukasek for all of their support.
III. Secretary’s Report and Approval of 2008 Business Meeting Minutes (Secretary Sigler)
Minutes from the 2008 meeting had previously been submitted to Chapter members for comments. Copies of the revised minutes were given to those in attendance with the one requested change.
Secretary Sigler then asked that the 2008 Business Meeting Minutes be approved with edit suggested by members. President Ellard moved to have the minutes be approved. Craig Bunch seconded the motion.
IV. Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer Lukasek)
Treasurer Lukasek reported we have had 21 members renew or join. Sherman Clark is back as a member (he is now a retired cataloger). We started our balance at $1,055.38, but have had expenses of $153.19 for this conference. Our current balance stands at $1,399.46 but does not include the business meeting breakfast. He also provided President Ellard with an updated directory, which she will have updated on the Chapter’s website. Treasurer Lukasek will also send out another reminder about renewals and donations for the Lois Swan Award.
V. Medium Editor’s Report (Vice-President Bunch)
Vice President Bunch reported there were 5 submissions to The Medium. He thanked those who had submitted articles. He then recruited volunteers for submission to the next issue and asked that they by submitted by mid-December.
VI. Lois Swan Jones’ Award Committee Report (Tara Spies)
Committee chair, Tara Spies, reported that Nicole Davis was selected as last year’s winner and was awarded $500 to supplement her attendance at the national ARLIS North America Conference in Indianapolis. This committee was comprised of Vice-President Bunch, past secretary, Essinger and Tara Spies.
VII. Call for new LSJ Award Committee Volunteers (President Ellard)
President Ellard made a call for volunteers to serve on this committee. Tara Spies (chair), Sheri Salisbury, and Beverly Mitchell agreed to serve. Treasurer Lukasek is a member by default. Tara will put out a call in January for applicants. The amount of the award and number of awardees was discussed and it was agreed that it is more beneficial to have the award go to one person versus splitting it into two amounts. A motion was made by Gwen Dixie to award $500 to the recipient of the LSJ Award, seconded by Secretary Sigler.
VIII. Online dictionary with a bibliography of Texas artists post World War II (Beverly Mitchell)
Beverly Mitchell discussed the need for an updated and extended online dictionary for Texas artists. The members favored the idea and recognize the need. It was also agreed that focusing on a decade at a time might make the project more manageable. Beverly will write up a review of what was discussed and send it out to the members for more discussion. Vice President Bunch is involved in the Texas Reference Sources Online and was able to provide valuable information on his experiences with this project and how this project might proceed in a similar fashion.
IX. Disaster preparedness/management document (Beverly Mitchell)
Beverly brought up the topic for discussion to see what everyone is doing at different institutions as a follow up to what happened after Hurricane Ike. The group discussed various projects that are going on at different institutions. Selene volunteered to bring a copy of Texas State University’s updated disaster/emergency plan at the next chapter meeting.
X. Revisiting the issue of recruiting members from Mexico (Vice-President Bunch)
Vice-President Bunch brought up the topic for discussion to see what we might do to encourage or enlist librarians from Mexico. The group decided the best approach at this point might be to contact ARLIS NA to find out if there might be a way to grant an initial exemption or sliding scale fee for these librarians. Treasurer Lukasek and Beverly Mitchell volunteered to discuss this idea with other members in the parent organization that might provide guidance or assistance in this area.
XI. Election of Vice President/President Elect (Past President Hinojosa and Gwen Dixie)
Past Presidents, Mark Pompelia and Selene Hinojosa, along with Gwen Dixie, made up the nominating committee. They nominated Beverly Mitchell for Vice-President/President-elect. She was unanimously elected.
XII. Chapter Welcome Party Donation (Treasurer Lukasek)
Treasurer Lukasek stated that the chapter could afford to donate $300 to the welcome party at the 2010 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Boston. He anticipates more donations and renewals will be forthcoming. Tara Spies moved that the chapter donate $300. Beverly Mitchell seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
XIII. 2010 Meeting Planning (Vice-President Bunch)
Vice President Bunch suggested the next meeting be held in Houston. Fort Worth was also suggested. After some discussion, President Ellard made the move that the next meeting be held in Houston. Secretary Sigler seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.
XIV. New Business (President Ellard)
President Ellard explained about TEI, ARLIS/NA’s new management firm and their requirements and method for collecting chapter dues. The group discussed the options and it was decided for the time being we prefer to collect our chapter dues through our treasurer. The members felt this new firm needed some time to work out some of the issues before we commit to their guidelines. We will review it again at next year’s meeting.
XV. Adjournment (President Ellard)
After the conclusion of new business, President Ellard concluded the meeting @ 10:30.
The Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum
The Hidalgo Pumphouse Museum features displays that portray, to quote from a McAllen ISD web page, “the important and beneficial effects of the pumphouse towards the irrigation of agriculture in the lower Rio Grande Valley.” We saw tools once used on the machinery and “huge engines that had once sent more than 300,000 gallons of water per minute to an area reaching 70,000 acres around the cities of Hidalgo, McAllen, Edinburg, Pharr, and San Juan.”
A wing of the World Birding Center is also here. Depending on the season, one may see tropical kingfishers, green jays, clay-colored robins, Altamira orioles, warblers, kinglets, and gnatcatchers, and other species.
There is a superb view of the Rio Grande, and we took the opportunity for a group picture on a deck overlooking the river. You may see this and other photos (partial group pictures overlooking the wooden railing, the imposing Pumphouse smokestack, and a section of the border fence) if you click on “McAllen Slide Show” in the fall 2009 Medium.
Submitted by Craig Bunch
Click here for a slide show of the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter fall meeting in McAllen:
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TOUR: Mission Historical Museum Annex
“Day of the Dead” exhibit
Saturday, November 7, 2009 was a full day of tours and events. So by the tail end of the afternoon (and we had two events that evening), I just didn’t think anything would be that remarkable, though I have to admit, everything we saw and did at the chapter meeting last fall has stayed with me, for the good.
It was a small museum, comprised of two buildings, converted from city offices. The larger building was closed, but that it where the main exhibits area is. Here is an online tour of their permanent collection.
The smaller building, the annex, was formerly the Mission post office. It contained a couple of wall murals, one of recent vintage, and one created as part of the WPA post office mural by a Spanish (from Spain) artist, Xavier Gonzales. It was called “West Texas Landscape,” done probably sometime in the 1940s.
But the main part of the building contained 6 large “Day of the Dead” (we were there just after All Souls day) exhibits or “altares.” These are altars, are set up and decorated to honor a friend or family member who has passed away. This art form mimics the Mexican custom of taking gifts and food to the cemetery, in memory of, and to commemorate , departed loved ones, on All Souls Day (November 2).
The altares are set up with food, candy, gifts, and items of cherished meaning to the departed. If intended to commemorate an individual, a photograph of the loved one is often included.
This type of large, in-door art installation is a relatively new art form, and has gained in popularity in the U.S. over the past few decades. Traditionally, in Mexican and Mexican-American homes, photographs, floral arrangements and lighted candles would be place on top of a table or piece of furniture, arranged as a small shrine or altar, to commemorate departed family members. They were referred to as “altares.” I recall seeing this type of installation, as an art piece, in the early 1970s, when the Houston Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) opened their “Dále Gas” exhibit. I just thought it was something Hispanic families did, I had never thought of them as an art form. These contemporary “altares” that we saw in Mission, are a combination of the small family shrine (that was pretty much a permanent exhibit in your home) with the more anthropological “Dia de los Muertos” or All Souls Day cemetery visits and celebrations.
The museum’s Director, Adela Ortega gave us a lovely talk and powerpoint presentation of her version of the history of “Day of the Dead” altares.
Submitted by Selene Hinojosa
Tour of Museum of South Texas History
After breakfast at Rex Cafe, Texas Mexico chapter members drove to Edinburg to visit the Museum of South Texas History. Barbara Stokes, archivist at the museum, served as our tour guide. Ms. Stokes started the tour with a history of the building and explanation of the Spanish-Colonial architectural style of the building. She also gave us a behind-the-scenes tour of the collections area, allowing chapter members to peruse the aisles of items not currently on exhibit. Ms. Stokes also showed us the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archive reading room/library and the archives spaces and cold storage and newspaper storage area.
The Hidalgo County Historical Museum was formerly a jail built in 1910 and the original building was remodeled and opened as the Hidalgo County Museum in 1970. The museum changed their name to Museum of South Texas History, to appropriately reflect their holdings of materials of frontier history from northern Mexico and South Texas.
Texas-Mexico chapter members had an opportunity to view all of the exhibitions on display. There was one hanging at the jail in 1919 and the noose and hanging area is part of the museum’s permanent exhibit. Nearby, were the Day of the Dead altars honoring celebrities and family members that had been made by local citizens. On permanent display in the main museum gallery is Rio Grande Legacy, a bilingual exhibit that explores the history of the region.
Chapter members all headed for the gift shop at the end of the tour. We then drove back to McAllen for our next tour at Quinta Mazatlan.
Submitted by Carla Ellard
Old Town McAllen Art Walk
On November 6th, members of the ARLIS TX/MX chapter gathered in the lobby of the Marriott Renaissance Casa de Palmas Hotel for the Friday night Old Town McAllen Art Walk. The Art Walk takes place on the first Friday of the month from 6 – 10 pm from September to May, and it runs through the center of North Main Street where art galleries and hosts open up their spaces to the public. On our visit, we experienced a crowd of local students and other citizens from South Texas traveling up and down a street filled with art vendors or a variety of performances in the art galleries, such as a lady rhythmically moving on stage with her very attentive dog, and a lively music group at the Nuevo Santander Gallery. The Art Walk supports local culture and artists in the Rio Grande Valley, and chapter members, with their fair share of shopping, did too.
Submitted by Beverly Mitchell
Tour and Lunch at Quinta Mazatlan
Foregoing a scheduled stop for antique shopping due to the fascinating and engaging tour at the Museum of South Texas History, ARLIS members headed for the Quinta Mazatlan for a tour and lunch. Quinta Mazatlan is one of the largest remaining adobe homes built in Texas. Construction began in 1935 by Jason Matthews and his wife Marcia who were publisher/editor of The ‘New’ American Mercury, a pro-American publication originally founded by H. L. Mencken. The first structures completed on the site were a cottage and a hooch which was Mr. Matthews’ hideaway accessible only by a rope ladder. A huge 12 foot deep adobe block swimming pool measuring 25 x 55 feet was then constructed but has since been filled in and converted to what could be called a wading pool.
The main house with more than 6700 square feet of living area was built next. This is where the family lived for thirty years. Interestingly, due to Mr. Matthews’ eccentricity or perhaps paranoia, the home was painted inside and out with aluminum sulfate paint to prevent radar waves from penetrating the building! A beautiful feature of the main house is the front doors. Peter Mansbendel, a famous Swiss wood carver (who created many carvings around Austin including the elaborate woodwork above the door on the fourth floor UT Wrenn Library) was commissioned to recreate the stately doors of the Spanish Governor’s Palace in San Antonio. The door includes two gargoyles and two cherubs in the likeness of the Matthews’ son and daughter.
The back area of the house is called “Cedar Hall”. The ceiling beams are made from Lebanese cedars that were purportedly a gift from the King of Lebanon to Mr. Matthews, who fought alongside Lawrence of Arabia in the War of Independence from the Turks.
After the Matthews’ deaths in 1963 and 1964, the grounds sat empty and in disrepair until Frank and Marilyn Shultz bought the property in 1968 and spent the next 30 years restoring Quinta Mazatlan to its original splendor. The city of McAllen subsequently purchased the historic grounds plus an adjoining eight acres in 1998 leading to the creation of the McAllen Wing of the World Birding Center/Nature Park, which offers nature trails for the viewing of over 100 species of birds nestled in over 100 tropical and native trees, flowers, and plants. Quinta Mazatlan is today devoted to environmental education and the principle of ecotourism.
After the tour, we gathered around the wading pool with its comforting water jets to enjoy a tasty box lunch before heading to Hidalgo in search of the “Killer Bee”!
REX Cafe & Bakery (submitted by Tara Spies)
On Saturday November the 7th the ARLIS/Texas Mexico Chapter met for breakfast at the Rex Cafe & Bakery, located in downtown McAllen, Texas on 321 South 17th Street. El Rex Cafe opened on April 23, 1947 and is the oldest restaurant in McAllen. The original owner, Rogelio Guerrero, opened the cafe after he returned from World War II. He named it El Rex after the Latin word “Rex” for “king” (Quaintance, 2009).
When we arrived at around 8:45am the cafe was completely packed with people waiting and eagerly watching for their spot to eat breakfast. We followed suit and began watching for our chance to grab some empty tables. Our group ended up being split up between the back end and the front end of the cafe as these were the only tables available. Along the wall across from the bar of the cafe was a long monochrome mural collage painting of the cafe and McAllen.
In addition to the REX Cafe and Bakery seeming like the most popular place in town this Saturday morning, they also had a live organ player. I was sitting at the table closest to him and familiar classic tunes sounded great. [See attached .mp3 file for a sampling of the music]. The entertainment, the tasty authentic Mexican breakfast, and the bustling energy of the cafe made for a very positive memorable dining experience. Thanks to George Gause for helping me find some background information on the El REX Cafe.
|Organ Player at REX.mp3||1.44 MB|
“In a quiet country village stood a statue on a hill,
There I sat with ARLIS friends not long ago.”*
On a small hillock next to Hidalgo City Hall is sited a larger than life statue of a KILLER BEE. It commemorates that nameless insect who, in October of 1990, crossed illegally into the United States over the nearby Texas border but was captured and detained in an insect trap. Though their official name is “Africanized honey bee, they are known colloquially as KILLER BEES.
This insect has a dark history. It began in Brazil in 1956 when scientists reminiscent of Dr. Frankenstein sought to mix African honeybees with the local variety to increase honey production. But the African bees escaped the laboratory and began to mate with and dominate the local populations. This miscegenation created a smaller but much more virulent species which began to spread northward out of Brazil at the rate of two hundred miles per year. By 1990 it was at the United States border and heading north.
Why this judgmental appellation? The Africanized honey bees, KILLER BEES, are more belligerent than domestic honey bees. They attack when riled up and tend to go first for the head. They are very irritable insects, and movements as simple as mowing grass or high winds can put them in attack mode. They are attracted to white clothes and ostentatious jewelry. It is their tendency to sting the head first that has caused most of the deaths associated with them. By May of 1991 the first attacks by these mutant bees were reported in Brownsville. The first fatality from KILLER BEE stings happened in Harlingen in 1993.
The KILLER BEES proliferate because they swarm (bee language meaning make new hives) more frequently and are less choosy about where they build their nests than domesticated bees. They will use both natural and made-made places such as hollow trees, porches, sheds, utility boxes, and garbage containers. They dominate by entering the hives of domestic bees and killing their queens. When mated with domestic bees their aggressive traits dominate the new progeny. KILLER BEE history reads like a science fiction novel. The BEES have now spread through Texas into parts of Arkansas and even into the Chesapeake Bay area. Colder climes and lack of vegetation are the only things that stop them.
The KILLER BEES’ fierce reputation has given name to the Rio Grande Valley hockey team and to rebellious Texas legislators who hid in crevices to keep their Houses from having a quorum for legislation that they couldn’t defeat by votes alone. But only the small town of Hidalgo has a statue dedicated to it.
*To the tune of “Maple on a Hill” by Gussie Davis, 1863-1899
Mayor John Franz conceived the idea for the largest KILLER BEE statue and got the City Council to appropriate $20,000 to have it built. He proclaimed Hidalgo to be Killer Bee Capitol of the World; no one disputed it. Hidalgo’s KILLER BEE was written about in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Time Magazine and The Guinness Book of World Records, and featured in a Snapple commercial. The KILLER BEE statue is pulled from the site and paraded down Hidalgo’s Main Street during the annual Border Day Parade, just as saints are in religious parades. Postcards and posters are sold with the KILLER BEE picture on it. “What other small town has something like this?” says Mayor Franz. “We're not going to follow the leaders anymore. We're going to take some chances and get out there in front."
Now here comes a personal comment: This making of lemonade when you have lemons seems to be a South Texas trait. Perhaps it was born of making do in an historically economically depressed area. There’s the story of the Border candy millionaire. When complimented for becoming a millionaire by making milk candy, he said it was especially hard since he didn’t have any milk. The kudzu vine, the walking catfish, the zebra mussel, the Asian carp and the boll weevil have found a home in the United States. So why shouldn’t Hidalgo become famous as the entry point for a dangerous, despised, ill-tempered, invasive and ugly creature like the KILLER BEE, who after all, is just looking for a home?
Did I mention that the Texas/Mexico Art Librarians posed for a picture seated beneath this statue? Next year maybe we can do the Popeye Spinach statue in Crystal City or the Bo Pilgrim colonnade in Pittsburg as we pursue art in all its forms.
Text by Gwen Dixie. Photos by Delana Bunch
For many, the Saturday evening reception and tour of McAllen collector extraordinaire Ann Moore’s home was the highlight of the ARLIS / Texas-Mexico fall meeting—and worth the trip even if it had been the only item on the itinerary.
The house as a whole, and virtually every room, resembled a wunderkammer or phantasmagoria—in fullness and inviting wonder and awe. The collection included the work of modern masters including Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Louise Nevelson, and Michael Tracy. Most in evidence perhaps was Mexican folk art of all colors and media—wood, ceramics, textiles, metal, paper, papier-maché, painting, etc. One such room was marked for donation to a museum. Even a bathroom was so amply mirrored as to multiply the already ample wonders.
The backyard forest—beautifully lit at night--was equally full but perhaps less diverse in its inhabitants. One might nearly trip over a cement alligator, though. The backyard’s winding path led past a swimming pool and to the small guesthouse, as full and charming as the spaces of the main house. Who wouldn’t treasure a night in this house of treasures? Thanks, Ann!
Text and photos by Craig Bunch
It is a great honor to receive the 2010 Lois Swan Jones Award. Thank you to my fellow chapter members for supporting this award and to the committee for selecting me as this year’s recipient. The financial support provided by this award helped make my conference attendance possible.
Boston was still enjoying a vibrant spring in late April. There were tulips and cherry blossoms everywhere and the city seemed abuzz with activity after its post-winter reawakening. The conference programmers are to be commended for providing a very action packed, information rich schedule. My conference experience began on Friday, April 23 with two half-day workshops. The morning workshop, “Televising the Revolution: Designing & Building the Right Channel for Online Instruction,” covered instructional design principles to address information and visual literacy challenges. Working in a visual resources collection nested in a school of architecture, I was particularly interested in discussion around the topic of visual literacy. Visual literacy is a nascent field increasingly recognized as encompassing a set of skills important for today’s students; currently the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is in the process of developing a set of visual literacy standards that will complement their information literacy standards. Workshop leaders Kaila Bussert and Sussette Newberry walked attendees through the process of developing an effective instructional module and provided an in-depth list of resources and tools to assist with development of instructional materials.
The afternoon workshop I attended, “Meeting User Expectations—Strategies for Supporting New Technologies in the Arts Library,” was held off-site at MassArt. Workshop leaders Hannah Bennett and Carolyn Caizzi began the workshop by stimulating conversation around defining who our users are, their expectations, and how best to address their needs. I was particularly impressed with Hannah’s use of jing—a free product that allows one to create video tutorials—to create custom video responses to reference questions. It was very inspiring and I hope to be able to use jing in a similar way.
The 38th Annual ARLIS/NA Convocation was a relatively short but meaningful event where award winners were honored followed by the welcome party and convocation reception. This was an opportunity for colleagues to network with old friends as well as to meet first-time attendees.
Saturday, April 24 began with an early morning ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter meeting. As always it was nice to see familiar faces and connect with the Texas contingent. The chapter’s fall meeting, to be held in Houston in November, was discussed along with business related to the chapter’s Web site, listserv, and recruitment of Mexican members. Following the chapter meeting I attended session A “Confronting the Future: Articulating Purpose, Documenting Value.” It was a very engaging session. Jeanne Brown spoke about the value of assessment and strategies for using and presenting data effectively to university administrators. Jolene de Verges addressed the emerging future for image professionals who are navigating a landscape radically altered by the Digital Age and how these changes influence image collection building and services. In the afternoon I attended session F, “Revisiting the Past, Embracing the Future.” Allison Benedetti and Jolene de Verges discussed MIT’s FACADE (Future-proofing Architectural Computer-Aided DEsign) project at http://facade.mit.edu/. This project—supported by a two-year Institute of Museum and Library Services grant to the MIT Libraries—included research to determine best practices for CAD files during their entire lifecycle. In addition, Patricia Kosco Cossard and Kimberly Detterbeck presented their project to create an online resource documenting ancient Stabiae. Session H “Information Literacy Theories and Competencies in Practice: Making Information Literacy Instruction Relevant To Faculty and Students” presented both the theory and the practice driving effective information literacy instruction. Nichole Beatty’s explanation of how we translate verbal cues into visual ones was fascinating. Rina Vecchiloa’s presentation of her experience working with faculty and students to integrate information literacy instruction into the classroom was equally engaging.
Saturday evening I met with Summer Educational Institute (SEI) Team members Alix Reiskind and Nina Kay Stephenson. ARLIS/NA Board Education Liaison and VRA Foundation Board of Director Chair Elisa Lanzi joined us as well. Our meeting was productive and we look forward to welcoming SEI attendees to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque in June. Following this meeting I met up with ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter members in the lobby for an informal gathering.
Sunday morning, April 25, I attended the leadership breakfast. It was an opportunity for attendees to hear from the Board, a representative from the ARLIS/NA management firm TEI, and news from local chapter leaders about regional activities. Session L “Divide and Collaborate: Building Digital Collections One Piece at a Time” provided two digital collection case studies. Tom Riedel presented Regis University’s Santo Collection online project and Deborah Kempe and Dan Lipcan discussed the collaborative projects of the NYARC consortium (The Frick Art Reference Library and the libraries of The Metropolitan Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and Museum of Modern Art) in partnership with JSTOR to create comprehensive digital collections of New York gallery publications. Along with co-presenter Elisa Lanzi, I presented a paper during session N, “Permanent Beta: Evolving Role of Visual Resource Professionals.” My paper was focused on the successful scenarios outlined in the Visual Resources Association’s White Paper “Advocating for Visual Resources Management in Educational and Cultural Institutions.” Elisa Lanzi’s paper focused on the transformation that visual resources professionals have made or in the process of making in response to a constantly changing, complex environment. Carole Ann Fabian gracefully moderated our session.
Sunday’s membership meeting lunch provided an opportunity for a change in Board leadership and for various Board officers to report to the membership about Society business. The lunch concluded with an enticing promotional video encouraging participants to attend next year’s joint conference with the Visual Resources Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Sunday afternoon’s session O “Creative Practice in Cyberspace” provided an interesting mix of perspectives. Heather Saunders, an artist and librarian, discussed her approach to blogging and how it informed her creative process and Heather Koopmans presented her research into how artists seek and use online information. During Sunday’s poster sessions ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico chapter member Tara Spies presented her use of social networking tools and applications to promote resources and services to Art and Design faculty and students. The other two posters focused on teaching students the ethics and legal issues related to image appropriation and using assessment to analyze the effectiveness of information literacy instruction.
My conference experience came to a close with the Visual Resources Division meeting. It was a chance for attendees to discuss areas for focus over the coming year and ideas for conference programming in 2011.
The Yellow Book
Highlights of a lecture presented by Jon Evans at Rienzi on March 18, 2010
Rienzi is the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston house museum for European decorative arts. Comprising a remarkable art collection, a house, and gardens, it also contains a library amassed by the Masterson family who lived there and eventually donated the entire estate in 1997. A highlight of the libraries’ holdings is a complete 13 volume set of The Yellow Book published between 1894 through 1897.
Every now and again, history provides us with an object that encapsulates a particular era in such a way that perfectly captures the essence of an entire age – The Yellow Book is just such an object.
The brain-child of Aubrey Beardsley and expatriate American writer Henry Harland, they conceived of “a new literary and artistic quarterly” that aimed to publish those who “cannot get their best stuff accepted in the conventional magazine.”
It was a bridge between the waning age of Victoria, and a look forward to the age of modernism and the 20th century. Although short-lived, it featured some of the best and most representative literary art of the time, including several of Henry James’s well recognized short stories, as well as contributions from other literary luminaries including Max Beerbohm, H.G. Wells, W.B. Yeats, and Joseph Conrad, while the visual arts include such figures as Frederic Lord Leighton, Walter Crane, John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert, and illustrator Laurence Housman.
John Lane and his colleague, Elkin Matthews, who published under the imprint of the Bodley Head, became the publishers. The Bodley Head was known for its publications of fiction, drama, and poetry that were produced to high aesthetic standards.
More than any other published document of its time, The Yellow Book has come to represent the fin de siècle decadence that epitomized the 1890s. It was a multi-faceted, complex and often contradictory publication. While it was fashioned as a literary quarterly and eventually came out in 13 volumes, it was primarily comprised of short stories, poetry, and reviews.
It was uncommon, if not unique, in that it never serialized material as did many other illustrated magazines of its day. Nor did it include book reviews, political commentary, interviews or advertisements of any kind. Furthermore, visual artists also were not hemmed in by restrictions. Works of art were intended to be independent of the literary content and thus Beardsley was able to draw on greater talent than mere illustrators.
The Yellow Book drew from strong intellectual antecedents, such as those fostered by the Aesthetic movement. The Aesthetic movement’s intellectual underpinnings developed in the 1830s through the writings of Theophile Gautier. However, it didn’t come to full fruition until the latter half of the 19th century, roughly 1868 to 1900. Specifically, Aestheticism was an Anti-Victorian and proto-modernist European movement that emphasized aesthetic values over moral or social themes in literature, fine art, the decorative arts, and interior design. It was essentially a manifestation of the idea of “art for art’s sake.” Thereby, artists came to believe that art was an end in itself, with no wider social or moral implications. Thus, writers such as Oscar Wilde and artists like James McNeil Whistler exemplified this through their dandied mannerisms. The arts and by extension the artists were the central focus themselves. In fact, Wilde is quoted as saying, “art has no other aim but her own perfection, and proceeds simply by her own laws.” Certainly Beardsley and his companions at The Yellow Book took many of these ideas and the ideals of Aestheticism to heart and integrated them into their own works.
Our chief protagonist, Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (b. Brighton, 21 Aug 1872; d. Menton, 16 March 1898) burst onto the international scene at the ripe age of 21. Beardsley was an English draughtsman and writer. His mother gave her children an intensive education in music and literature. At a young age Beardsley became infected with tuberculosis that would ultimately be his demise. He showed an early talent for drawing, which was recognized by none other than Edward Burne-Jones, who informed Beardsley, “I seldom or never advise anyone to take up art as a profession, but in your case I can do nothing else.”
Stylistically, the most remarkable features of Beardsley’s work was his ability to create extremely austere, beautifully crafted compositions with limited means. Among his finest of his early work were 17 drawings done for Oscar Wilde’s play Salome (1894). As the illustrator of Salome, Beardsley was immediately linked with that great provocateur of the time.
By March of 1894 Lane produced an announcement, appropriately, on bright yellow paper, decorated with a Beardsley female found in a book stall, a foretaste of future writers in The Yellow Book, who reference the act of reading and writing. The announcement stated that it “shall be beautiful as a piece of bookmaking, modern and distinguished in its letter-press and its pictures, and withal popular in the better sense of the word.”
Notably, the publishers and staff barred Wilde from their “Yellow” pages, although Lane was Wilde’s publisher. Oscar Wilde could be said to have nothing and everything to do with The Yellow Book. Before the 5th volume was released, disaster struck on April 5, 1895 when Wilde was arrested and eventually tried on a criminal charge of committing indecent acts. The subsequent scandal also brought down Beardsley. The notoriety spread over into The Yellow Book and an angry public made the association between the two for the following reasons:
Ultimately, The Yellow Book and its art editor could never shake connection to Wilde. Crowds threw stones at the Bodley Head sign and windows. Several of Lane’s respectable – and mediocre – authors urged him to not only withdraw Wilde’s books on the Bodley Head list, but to sack Beardsley for good measure. Publisher John Lane did just that by telegram. He later mourned that Wilde’s trial “killed The Yellow Book and it nearly killed me.”
So we have Beardsley – not quite 23 – embittered and miserable; seeking solace through alcohol. No sexual deviant, no friend of Oscar Wilde, but extremely unpopular and embarrassed by his dismissal from The Yellow Book via telegram supposedly for his questionable taste in art.
In January of 1896, Beardsley and Arthur Symons’ emerged in the rival periodical, Savoy. With a narrower literary spectrum than The Yellow Book, it was accompanied by some of Beardsley’s most inspired illustrations.
Beardsley and Symons teamed up with a new publisher, Leonard Smithers, who supported the unconventional and avant-garde with the profits from erotica and pornography. In addition to contributions from George Bernard Shaw, W. B. Yeats, Max Beerbohm and Havelock Ellis, it contained the first part of Beardsley’s erotic serial, Under the Hill, which, although never finished, remains a minor masterpiece of the period. But by this point Beardsley was a dying man, and with him The Savoy also expired 8 months later.
In the end, The Yellow Book accomplished neither of its attempts at becoming fully “modern”, nor fully “respectable” in its outlook. While Harland as literary editor did not bow to fads or narrow aesthetic lines, part of the downfall of the quarterly was its heavy reliance on the stable of writers who were associated with the Bodley Head publishing house.
And while the Wilde trial brought it a notoriety that one could not have imagined, it also spelled the demise of the quarterly’s style and panache that was brought to it by its young artistic editor, Aubrey Beardsley.
In many ways it was no different than many of the other literary magazines of its day – filled with critical essays, solemn stories, and erotic-mannered drawings. All of this was seemingly done in a mannered style that was seemingly very risqué, but the public in some ways had already moved on.
While much of its literary content may have been representative of its time, its visual contributions – particularly those by Beardsley were defining moments in British visual history. His strong linear qualities, impish characters, and bold compositions clearly have influenced generations of artists and illustrators.
In summary, The Yellow Book straddled two artistic phenomena – both the Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveau – and has been claimed by both. It perfectly reflected its own era and thus it has remained alive today as a metaphor of decadence and downfall.
Beardsley, Aubrey, Henry Maas, John Duncan, and W. G. Good. The letters of Aubrey Beardsley. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1970.
Chan, Winnie. The economy of the short story in British periodicals of the 1890s. Literary criticism and cultural theory. New York: Routledge, 2007.
Greenhalgh, Paul. Art nouveau: 1890-1914. London: V&A, 2000.
Harrison, Fraser. The yellow book: an illustrated quarterly: an anthology. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1974.
Reade, Brian. Aubrey Beardsley. London: H.M.S.O., 1966.
Samuels Lasner, Mark, and Aubrey Beardsley. The Yellow book: a checklist and index. London: The Eighteen Nineties Society, 1998.
Simon Wilson. "Beardsley, Aubrey." In Dictionary of Art, Vol. 3, ed. Jane Turner, 444-446. New York: Grove, 1996.
Taylor, John Russell. The Art Nouveau book in Britain. Edinburgh: Paul Harris Publishing, 1979.
Weintraub, Stanley. Aubrey Beardsley: imp of the perverse. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976.
Weintraub, Stanley. The Yellow book: quintessence of the nineties. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1964.
NB: To access full-text online versions of The Yellow Book, please consult the Internet Archive:
Compiled by Edward Lukasek
April 7, 2010
On June 1, 2010, Margaret Culbertson will become the Director for the Bayou Bend Library. The Bayou Bend Library will be a division of the Hirsch Library and will be located in the new Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center. The Bayou Bend library collection will be moved from the Hirsch Library during the next few months under Margaret’s guidance and is scheduled to open to the public in September 2010.
Jon Evans will succeed Margaret as the Library Director for the Hirsch Library. A new reference librarian will be hired to replace Jon in his current role.
To read the MFAH's announcement about the Bayou Bend Library and the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center, go to: http://www.mfah.org/info.asp?par1=3&par2=351&par3=&par4=&par5=0&par6=3&action=&curpage=&lgc=1
Congratulations to Margaret Culbertson and Jon Evans on their new positions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston!
Susan Frost donates Hugo Brehme collection
Our deepest thanks go to Susan Toomey Frost for generously donating her Hugo Brehme Collection to the Wittliff Collections in November. The comprehensive archive, comprised of over 1,800 Brehme postcards, maximum cards, black-and-white photographs, and hand-tinted photographs, took Frost 15 years to build. In addition to her donation of the photographs, Frost gifted an extensive library of books, periodicals, and travel ephemera related to the artist. The Hugo Brehme Collection is a valuable addition to the Wittliff’s holdings and greatly enhances the Southwestern & Mexican Photography Collection. Considered to be the leading expert on Brehme’s work, Frost’s previous scholarship includes the monograph Colors on Clay, recipient of the Texas State Historical Association’s best illustrated book published in 2009 on Texas history and culture. Read more about Frost’s work with Brehme’s photo postcards at http://www.io.com /~ reuter/brehme.html.
HUGO BREHME (1882-1954) was born in Germany and studied photography in his native land. While in his early twenties, he traveled to Mexico where he began a life long engagement with the country. Brehme captured images of the people and places of Mexico, and he opened his first photography studio in Mexico City in 1912. Identifying himself as a fine-art photographer, Brehme created real photo postcards that were printed on photographic papers with a variety of tones and finishes, giving each image a richness and complexity. His postcards include scenes of Mexico City, Xochimilco, Veracruz, Taxco, Cuernavaca, Puebla, and smaller towns; the volcanoes Popocatépetl, Ixtaccíhuatl, and Pico de Orizaba; archaeological sites and artifacts; and portraits and scenes of the daily life of the Mexican people. Brehme was also an astute businessman and a savvy entrepreneur. He introduced the photographic Christmas card to Mexico, as well as the souvenir booklet of multiple picture postcards that became popular with collectors and which tourists could tear out and mail. Brehme influenced many early Mexican photographers, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, and he is known internationally for his iconic images of Mexican scenic landscapes and life. He became a Mexican citizen before his death in 1954.
Submitted by Carla Ellard
Written by Shin Yu Pai and Carla Ellard, The Wittliff Collections, Texas State University-San Marcos
The Amon Carter Library and Archives hosted its first open house event on April 1, 2010. We had about ninety guests representing diverse areas of the community ranging from those who did not know about the library and archives program to regular researchers and colleagues. Visitors enjoyed seeing a wide range of material that staff assembled in the reading room. Guests also had a special opportunity to peruse the library stacks, which are normally available to staff only.
The library and archives also administers the museum’s Davidson Family Fellowship designed to support advanced research on the collections. This year’s award has been accepted by Timothy Andrus, Ph. D. student at Virginia Commonwealth University. His topic is "Stuart Davis's New Mexican Landscape: Putting the American Scene in Perspective.”
-- Sam Duncan, LIbrary Director, Amon Carter Library & Archives
At the recent ARLIS/NA conference in Boston, I presented a poster session titled Using Emerging Technologies for Target Marketing Art & Design Reference and Instruction. My poster covered how emerging technologies including blogs, wikis, photo editing applications, and web based chat applications can be used to create different types of information and communication platforms to target market my art & design instruction, reference, and research services to Art & Design faculty and students as the Art Librarian at Texas State University – San Marcos. Using these emerging technologies, I created different tools to promote my services including flyers, my blog called Art & Design Inforama at http://artinforama.blogspot.com/, library instruction class outlines, a personal chat widget for answering art research questions, and embedded library instruction class outline web pages in faculty’s class course management sites. Some of the applications and social networking tools that I use are free or open source.
As part of the instruction librarian team, I use an open source wiki tool powered by MediaWiki to create the class outlines that I use on the projection screen when I teach the instruction sessions. The wiki allows for fast and easy editing of the content to customize our class outlines to the instructor’s class or assignment. I can then take this wiki content and add it to, or we call “embed,” it in the instructor’s course management site, or what our institution calls TRACS site, for the class, if the instructor wishes. This allows students to access the class outline with all of its information and links after the class throughout the rest of the semester. I also “embed” a web based chat widget into their TRACS site which gives the students or instructor a live, direct way to contact me with library or research related questions. This widget is also embedded on the Art & Design Research Guide that I maintain on the library’s website.
I had a well attended poster session. Several attendees had questions and discussions that covered topics including copyright, technical issues, and both open source and fee based applications. I enjoyed the informal poster session format, and especially how it seemed to encourage questions and discussions with colleagues.
--Tara Spies, Reference/Instruction Librarian and Art Librarian, Texas State University – San Marcos
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I am pleased to announce that my book, American Art Museum Architecture: Documents and Design will be published in July 2010 by W.W. Norton & Company. The book explores the architecture, evolution and history of the American art museum through in-depth case studies of six important museums through analysis of the institutional history, collections and buildings of these museums. The case studies are:
The case studies are followed by two synthetic chapters addressing additions to museums and designing for contemporary art. The book is illustrated with over 160 images drawn from the archives of the various museums being discussed.
For more information, go to W.W. Norton & Company webpage:
-- Eric Wolf, Head Librarian, the Menil Collection
The annual meeting in Houston began with a tour of The Menil's “treasure rooms,” which delivered exactly what they promised. A line of sculptures by Max Ernst greets visitors upon entering. There are rows of Magrittes and Picassos. Pollock, Rothko, and Matta all hang side by side with one another. A folding screen artfully decorated with cigar bands. And beaded masks and wooden carvings of animals are just the beginning. The rooms are full from floor to ceiling of works by surrealist and abstract masters as well as works by unknown African and Byzantine artists. There are four rooms that are divided by Surrealism, Abstraction and Decorative arts, Byzantine, and African and Oceanic arts.
The “treasure rooms” are located on the second floor of the Menil Collection. The building's cantilevered roof creates an optical illusion that hides the second floor from the ground level. The “treasure rooms” house a large portion of the collection when the items are not on display. The rooms are open to museum staff and scholars. Scholars will need to make arrangements to visit.
Following this tour, members were invited by Eric Wolf, Head Librarian at The Menil Collection, to see the library. Kurt Schwitters: Color and Collage, an exhibition at The Menil, was open to the public that evening and provided members the opportunity to see these rarely exhibited works.
ARLIS Texas/Mexico Chapter Meeting Minutes
November 14, 2010, Houston, Texas
Executive Committee of the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter
Craig Bunch, President
Beverly Mitchell, Vice-President, President Elect
Karen Sigler, Secretary
Edward Lukasek, Treasurer
I. Call to Order (President Bunch)
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter’s Annual Business Meeting 2010 was held at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas on Sunday, November 14, 2010. The meeting was called to order by President Craig Bunch.
II. Introductions (President Bunch)
President Bunch asked those present to introduce themselves. In attendance were Lynn Wexler (MFAH), Catherine Essinger (U of Houston), Jon Evans (MFAH), Kelly Fielding (UNT), Gloria Selene Hinojosa (Texas State), Chia-Chun Shih (Kimbell), Margaret Culbertson (MFAH), Tara Spies Smith (Texas State), Laura Schwartz (UT), Martha González Palacios (UT), Carla Ellard (Texas State), Shari Salisbury (UTSA), Eric Wolf (Menil Collection), Beverly Mitchell (SMU), Jet M. Prendeville (Rice), Samuel Duncan (Amon Carter Museum of American Art), Merriann Bidgood (University of Houston), Craig Bunch (Hamilton MS, Houston I.S.D.), Edward Lukasek (Hirsch Library, MFAF) and Karen Sigler (Texas State).
President Bunch thanked Delana Bunch for all her support and help in arranging many of the conference activities, along with driving the van that transported a majority of the members during the conference to the scheduled events. Beverly Mitchell was thanked for her help and support as incoming President, Edward Lukasek was thanked for his assistance with the duties of the treasurer and membership and Karen Sigler for duties as secretary. A big thank you went to Margaret Culbertson for extending her home and hospitality to the Chapter members for their dinner on Friday evening. Eric Wolf and Clare Elliott from the Menil were thanked for their very informative behind the scene tours of the Menil Collection, along with all the MFAH staff who gave additional tours and Jim Harithas for his talk on the Broken Obelisk and the James Drake show at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art.
III. Secretary’s Report and Approval of 2009 Business Meeting Minutes (Secretary Sigler)
Minutes from the 2009 meeting had previously been submitted to Chapter members for comments. Copies of the revised minutes were given to those in attendance with suggested changes (inclusion of the names of the Executive Board in the minutes and a spelling correction for a member name). Secretary Sigler asked that the 2009 Business Meeting Minutes be approved by the members. Secretary Sigler moved to have the minutes approved. Carla Ellard seconded the motion.
IV. Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer Lukasek)
Treasurer Lukasek reported we had 36 attendees. We started with a 2010 pre-conference balance at $721.51.
$1,985.00 was credited to our account from conference registration and annual membership dues.
Included in that amount was $305.00 for the Lois Swan Jones Award. After expenditures for the dinner party on Friday, Bayou Bend lunch on Saturday, and the conference breakfast on Sunday, the current balance is $1,835.13.
V. Nominating Committee and Elections (Past Presidents Ellard and Hinojosa)
Martha González Palacios was nominated for upcoming Vice-President/President Elect and Shari Salisbury was nominated for Secretary. There was a call to see if there were any others interested in serving in one of the upcoming positions and there none. Both were unanimously elected.
VI. Lois Swan Jones’ Award Committee Report (Tara Spies Smith)
Committee chair, Tara Spies Smith , reported that Elizabeth Schaub was given the Lois Swan Jones Award ($500) to supplement her attendance at the National ARLIS North America Conference in Minneapolis. The committee was made up of Tara Spies Smith, Shari Salisbury and Beverly Mitchell.
VII. Call for new LSJ Award Committee Volunteers (President Bunch)
President Bunch made a call for volunteers to serve on this committee. Tara Spies Smith and Shari Salisbury agreed to continue serving. Karen Sigler volunteered to serve as a member of this committee. Treasurer Lusasek is a member by default. Tara will put out a call in January for applicants. The amount of the award for next year was discussed and it was agreed the amount for next year’s award would remain at $500.
VIII. Chapter Welcome Party (Treasurer Lusasek)
Treasurer Lusasek stated that the chapter could afford to donate $300 to the Welcome Party at the 2011 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Edward Lusasek moved that the chapter donate $300. Carla Ellard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
IX. ARLIS/NA Strategic Planning Initiative (Jon Evans and Eric Wolf)
Preliminary goals drafted and will be circulated at large before the end of 2010. ARLIS National is considering the basic identity and vision of the organization and how they work with other institutions, along with mentoring, professional development and financial stewardship. ARLIS NA is looking for input and would like to improve communication between themselves and the chapters. Beverly offered to look into a wiki to see if this might be a useful way to facilitate communication.
X. Access to L-soft listserv software for chapter listserv (President Bunch)
Letter from Vanessa Kam (ARLIS/NA Chapter Liaison), reviewed. The Texas-Mexico Chapter is being asked if they want their listserv to have an archive capability and if are they willing to pay the costs associated with this functionality. A discussion followed regarding the members thoughts on this question and the costs that would be involved in being able to do so through ARLIS NA. The group discussed the pros and cons of using ARLIS NA, along with the possibility of using an individual institution to host the site and problems which occur if the person leaves the position. Members from UT at Austin offered to check into the possibility of their institution hosting the site.
XI. Searching for a Mexican colleague to attend ARLIS/NA Minneapolis 2011 Conference (Vice President Mitchell and Carla Ellard)
Once again we discussed the difficulties in trying to attract librarians from Mexico. It was proposed that we try to market to students or on listservs to get them interested.
XII. New Business (President Bunch)
Jon provided an in-depth ARLIS/NA Board Report to the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter.
Report included here for further information:
Jon mentioned some of the new features to the next National ARLIS NA Conference will be 1 ½ hour sessions, along with 3 simultaneous sessions. The opening or closing address will be given by a photographer. They are combining membership at the Welcome Party Lunch to include ARLIS and DRA. The meeting in 2012 will be held in Toronto and 2015 in Pasadena, California. He announced incoming board members. The national conference in Boston was much more successful than they anticipated.
Martha González Palacios made a suggestion that the Sunday business meeting be moved to Saturday. A discussion followed and it was suggested that all chapter members be polled to determine the preference of the entire Chapter membership. Beverly will draft a poll and send it out to all the members for their input on this suggestion.
XIII. 2011 Meeting Planning (Vice President Mitchell)
Incoming President, Beverly Mitchell, discussed ideas for activities for the next chapter meeting to be held in Fort Worth. She will research art events being held to determine if October or November would be a better time for the meeting. She also asked for and received volunteers for submissions to The Medium related to our conference events in Houston.
Meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
The corrected 2010 Business Meeting minutes, approved at the 2011 ARLIS/NA Texas Mexico Chapter Annual Meeting, can be found at
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
At the end of the day on Saturday, members had time to see the Rothko Chapel, Byzantine Fresco Chapel, and the Cy Twombly Gallery, all of which are part of The Menil collection. The large paintings by Mark Rothko fulfill the de Menils’ intent for The Rothko Chapel to serve as a sacred space regardless of any particular sect. It provides an interesting dialog with the Lysi frescoes in the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, which is across the street. The frescoes are amazingly beautiful in their chapel, which is equal in austerity to the Rothko Chapel. Dominique de Menil recovered these frescoes from complete destruction after they were stolen in the 1980s, and she saw that they were restored to their current, well-conserved state. The last visit of the day was an intimate tour given by Delana Bunch at the Cy Twombly gallery. Delana recited poetry by the German poet, Ranier Maria Rilke, whose work served as a source of inspiration for five of the Twombly paintings.
On the evening of November 12th, ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico members gathered together at Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk to listen to Jim Harithas give a brief talk. Installed in a reflecting pool, the Newman piece is illuminated beautifully from below. Harithas spoke about its history, Newman, Rothko, and the de Menils. The work was completed in 1963 and exhibited in Washington D.C. at the Corcoran before its permanent site and dedication to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Rothko Chapel in 1971. Harithas’ unique perspective on the piece comes from his experience as director of the Corcoran during the installation of the Broken Obelisk and from his current position as director of the Station Museum of Contemporary Art in Houston. He provided an animated account of the controversy surrounding the piece beginning with its installation in D.C. through the negotiations over the logistics of its installation in Houston. The work now constitutes an integral part of the Menil Collection and serves as a spiritual landmark for many members of the community.
Benjamin Patterson, active in the 1960s Fluxus Art scene, is exhibiting fifty years of his career at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston. The exhibit features video installations, annotated scores and books, sculpture, painting, and video and sound pieces of his musical performances. There is also a room filled with newspaper articles, other ephemera, and annotations by the artist printed on sheets of Plexiglas that cover events of Patterson’s life and hang in a maze-like structure, which the viewer is to read by flashlight.
Patterson received a degree in music composition and performance from the University of Michigan in 1956 and an M. S. in Library Science from Columbia University in 1967. He spent twenty years of his life out of the art scene as a reference librarian and later as an arts administrator until 1989 when he returned to Europe where he created several of the pieces that are shown for the first time at this retrospective.
Patterson also created the Museum of the Subconscious, which was in the loading dock alley between the Contemporary Arts Museum and The Jung Center of Houston. He marked it with a sculpture that is in the photo below. It is Annex No. 3. The original museum is in Namibia and two other annexes are in Israel and Argentina. Museum attendees may fill out a form to bequeath their subconscious minds after they die.
Tara Spies Smith
Image courtesy of Tara Spies Smith
Britt, D. (2010). Fluxus artist’s legacy is tricky. Retrieved December 9, 2010, from http://www.29-95.com/art/story/camh-rediscovers-elusive-pioneer
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston. (2010). Exhibitions: In the Brown Foundation Gallery: Benjamin Patterson: Born in the State of FLUX/us. Retrieved December 9, 2010, from http://www.camh.org/exhib_MAIN.html
Black light white noise: Sound and light in contemporary art. Houston, C. A. M., curator, e. and Oliver, V. C. (2007). [Video/DVD] Houston, TX: Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
Describing himself as a “materialist poet,” Dario Robleto introduced us to several fine examples of his work. “Who Will Mend Your Phantom Limbs” (2007) is composed of “excavated bullets from various wars carved into spools, hair salvaged from excavated lockets, homemade paper (cotton, passion flower), stretched audio tape of the earliest recording of time (experimental clock, 1878), 10,000 year old flower caught in amber, carved bone and ivory, braided hair, lead coated rose stem, ribbon, mourning handkerchief, locket photograph, cast lamp black, resin, typeset, paint,” according to the checklist of works generously provided by Kerry Inman. Anticipating wonder at his use of unique or precious materials, Dario answered his own question: “Is alteration destruction or construction? For me it’s always one way.” And again: “Is it destroying or is it unlocking something else within it?” Another work on display, “Words Tremble With The Thoughts They Express” (2008) has an equally poetic title and cast of materials including “feathers made from stretched audio tape of the last recordings of now extinct birds and now extinct languages” and “volcanic ash from Mt. St. Helens.”
In another vein, Dario discussed his archival inkjet prints on Epson Somerset Velvet paper: “The Sky, Once Choked With Stars, Will Slowly Darken: Cash/Coltrane-Paris” and “The Sky, Once Choked With Stars, Will Slowly Darken: Sun Ra/Coltrane-Shepp” (both 2010). These photographic diptyches reproduce classic album covers from which all but the light sources and their glows have been removed. Archie Shepp is apparently still with us, but Johnny Cash, Sun Ra, and John Coltrane have passed on though their glows remain bright.
Kerry Inman noted the humor in much of Dario’s work. Representing this side of the artist and, like the photographs above, a profound interest in the packaging of music, Dario has created his own fictitious vintage album covers: “Christian Car Wash,” “Sound Odyssey,” and “Don’t Even Think About Livin’ ” (2003). They have the ring of truth.
Our deepest thanks go to Dario Robleto and Kerry Inman for hosting us to this very special exhibition and journey.
On Saturday, November 13, members of the Texas/Mexico chapter were treated to not one, but two tours of current exhibitions at the MFAH, led by their respective curators. The two pendant exhibitions were “Drawing from Nature” and “A Variation of Impressionism: German Impressionist Landscape Painting,” both focusing on the work of three late 19th through early 20th century German artists: Max Liebermann, Lovis Corinth, and Max Slevogt.
First, Dena Woodall, curator of drawing, led the group through “Drawing from Nature,” an exhibition of prints and drawings by the three artists. The works on display ranged from studies for paintings to illustrations of books. This tour was followed by curator Helga Aurisch leading the Texas art librarians through her exhibition of landscape paintings by the German Impressionists. The two exhibitions in tandem clearly established the place of this group of artists, seldom seen in the United States within the art of their time. A clearer understanding of the late arrival of Impressionism to Germany as well as an appreciation for some remote German landscapes emerged from these gallery visits. The expertise, generosity and good humor of Mesdames Woodall and Aurisch provided for an enlightening morning, provocative discussion and an appreciation for three artists who were previously unknown to the majority of the audience.
Following lunch at the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor Education Center and Library, chapter members were able to tour the library, hosted by Director Margaret Culbertson, as well as Ima Hogg’s home and gardens at Bayou Bend. The library, which opened in 2010, is available to the public and holds over 6,000 volumes on American art, culture, history and gardening. Ima Hogg’s home displays a collection of furniture and decorative objects ranging in dates from 1620 to 1870. The surrounding gardens comprise fourteen acres of organic gardening, and fortunately, the showers before lunch cleared so that members were able to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and light weather.
Greetings Texas-Mexico ARLIS/NA Chapter members!
It's my privilege to provide for you a brief update for your newsletter on behalf of the ARLIS/NA Executive Board.
Just a few months ago (September 23-24), the board met for its mid-year meeting in picturesque Santa Fe, New Mexico. We met at the lovely Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, where we mused and dialogued about many things. Here are a few highlights:
-The Board is very excited about the upcoming ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Minneapolis in March 24-28, 2011. This conference will be a joint conference with our Visual Resources Association colleagues, and planning for the conference is moving along smoothly. The sessions should be fascinating and we look forward to exploring Minneapolis, the Walker Art Center, and the city's other cultural offerings.
A preliminary website for the conference is up and running that includes the conference schedule and a link to the conference hotel: http://www.vra-arlis2011.org/
- We also spoke about many other interesting topics such as the upcoming Summer Educational Institute (SEI); updates from TEI (our management company), approved the ARLIS/NA budget, the wonderful new ARLIS/NA Executive Board slate, and more!
- Strategic Plan (2010-2015). A committee has been struck to spearhead the strategic planning process for ARLIS/NA. The composition of this committee has changed slightly to include Jamie Lausch, Hannah Bennett, Jennifer Garland, Eumie Imm-Stroukoff, Barbara Rockenbach, Eric Wolf, and Patricia Barnett, Chair.
Fall is crunch time for this committee, as they are eager to gather input from ARLIS/NA members about the plan. The committee was especially pleased that the preliminary goals were discussed at many chapter meetings this fall. Jon Evans kindly collated Texas-Mexico’s comments, and I am interested to see your strong interest in a blog or wiki for sharing ideas around the strategic plan, and other items of interest to your chapter.
Also, your comments reflected the ongoing challenge of recruiting more Mexican members to your chapter. That is a complex issue with lots of facets to unpack. I’m glad to see that there continues to be thinking around it. If I, or the board in general, can help your chapter unravel this in any way, please let me/us know.
To wrap up my little report on the strategic plan, please be on the look out for more communications from the Strategic Plan committee, including surveys, information about focus groups they are planning on assembling, and other requests for feedback as the plan develops.
Onto TEI matters. In October, some of the ARLIS/NA board members asked chapter members and other members of ARLIS/NA to give us feedback on how our management company, TEI is doing thus far. As far as I know, we are in the process of going through that feedback. Related to TEI is your chapter’s interest in a listserv with more functionality, including the option to archive. One possibility is TEI’s L-Soft listserv. You might recall that I sent out an email asking chapters if they would be interested in upgrading to L-Soft. A couple of other chapters expressed an interest in L-Soft as well. The next steps are for the board to tabulate how many chapters and ARLIS/NA committees are interested in L-Soft, and determining whether the board can support the increased cost in getting enough L-Soft licenses to accommodate all the requests. The board is still gathering the data on this and we will report back to you just as soon as we can.
Finally, tis the season to renew your ARLIS/NA memberships! I encourage you to be the first on your block to get that taken care of! I can assure you that another staggeringly wonderful year of involvement in our fabulous organization awaits!
That's about all I can think of for now. If any of you have questions about this update or anything at all, please feel free to send me an email at email@example.com
I look forward to reading this newsletter and seeing what you have all been up to!
Best wishes for a beautiful holiday season!
Vanessa Kam, ARLIS/NA Chapters Liaison
Station Museum of Contemporary Art was one of the last stops of the day showcasing the art venues of Houston. Currently, the Museum is hosting a provocative show called James Drake: A Thousand Tongues Burn and Sing. We were fortunate to have James Harithas, the Director of the Station Museum, provide an in-depth interpretation of the exhibit.
James Drake is an artist currently living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has lived in Guatemala, Mexico and El Paso. He works in various media including video, drawing, sculpture, and installation. Themes in his work include the conflict between humans and animals, the relationship of language and gesture, identity and the Border.
The Station Museum of Contemporary Art is known for organizing provocative and compelling exhibitions. Over the past several years they have organized shows on the following topics:
• Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual civil rights
• Iraqi artists in exile
• Colombian artists
• Palestinian artists
James Harithas has had an esteemed career himself as former Director of the Corcoran Museum of Art, Everson Museum at Syracuse University, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston and founder of the Art Car Museum.
To learn more about Drake, see James Drake. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2008.
To learn more about the Station Museum visit www.stationmuseum.com.
To learn more about Harithas visit: http://www.artleaguehouston.org/documents/2008_texas_artist_of_the_year....
The collection contains 40 cups from 13 nationally known potters, and all the cups could be checked out for a week by current UT faculty, students, and staff.
We had a reception for the exhibition on Friday, March 4, and Lisa Orr, a local potter and Artstream participant, spoke about the Artstream project. Additionally, Lisa and local potter, Ryan McKerley gave a ceramics demonstration on Monday, March 7th in the Ceramics Studio in the ART Building, room 2.410.
Karen Holt blogged about the exhibition happenings on the Artstream blog, and the cups were on display until March 31st.
We had a total of 50 cup checkouts by 38 patrons.
by Laura Schwartz
9th Annual Meeting Dallas, April 15-17, 2011
Approximately two hundred people attended Caseta’s annual symposium held this year in Dallas. Caseta defines “early Texas art” as that produced in Texas prior to the last forty years, a moving target which excludes current offerings, prevents stagnation, and forestalls arguments about what year “early” ends. Collectors, museum directors, librarians, art appraisers, authors, and just lovers of art attend. You begin to feel that Texas is a small place where everyone knows everyone else when you attend Caseta’s meetings.
The event also sponsored an Art Fair at which ten invited dealers had early Texas art for sale. The Art Fair included well established dealers such as David Dike Fine Art, Kevin Vogel’s Valley House Gallery, Heritage Auctions, and William Reaves Fine Art, as well as several well-known dealers who operate without storefronts. An important added attraction this year was a one-day exhibit of Claude Albritton’s Texas art collection held at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary (The MAC). This private, but very professional museum and theater was founded by Mr. Albritton who collects extensively in early Texas art..
The symposium papers were of high quality and ranged from Kevin Vogel’s discussion of three Texas “memory” painters, Clara Williamson, H. O. Kelly, and Velox Ward, to Michael Grauer’s (Dictionary of Texas artists, 1800-1945) comments on Texas Impressionism. Susie Kahlil gave a spirited, almost emotional talk on Alexander Hogue whose retrospective is currently circulating at several Texas museums. Howard Taylor, Director of the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, whose talk was postponed from Saturday to Sunday due to the wildfires in the region (Texas weather!), discussed an almost forgotten early Texas art colony at Christobal outside of San Angelo which existed in the 1920ies. Mr. Taylor, who moved from the Maritime Museum in Philadelphia to San Angelo, gave a very good answer to a question asked him by a former colleague in the East, i.e. “Is there any art in Texas?” Bill Cheek and Morris Matson, the latter representing the recently deceased A. C. “Ace” Cook, discussed collecting early Texas art, particularly in earlier days. Of particular interest to librarians was the presentation of Cindy Boeke, Southern Methodist University, and Neil Sreenan, Dallas Museum of Art, on digitizing Texas art collections held by these institutions and the Dallas Public Library. It is best explained by accessing the online site. This database is a work in progress and will contain much information of interest to Texas art collectors.
Without going into the details of each talk I’ll mention some of the highlights that remained with me.
Keith Vogel’s contribution was listed as “Three Early Texas Folk Artists, Clara MacDonald Williamson, H. O. Kelly and Velox Ward.” Keith said they were not folk artists which implied a continuing tradition of doing things; he preferred the term “memory painters.” These artists painted an assemblage of memories, not necessarily one event. The view of their pictures is from up above, a bird’s eye, or God’s eye view.
Aunt Clara Williamson’s “Sweet Adeline” shows a barbershop with lots of male activity going on in it as well as a barbershop quartet. She said nice women weren’t supposed to look inside a barbershop, but apparently she had looked enough to make an interesting picture of a male dominated space. Velox Ward was named for his mother’s sewing machine, a Velox, which advertised that it was “speedy and accurate.” “That me! Speedy and accurate,” he said. He accepted any job to make a living and did everything from trap skunks, whose oil he said prevented flu, to preach. He was a successful preacher as long as he preached from the Bible, but said once he went to a seminary his preaching was ruined. H. O. Kelly had an aptitude for painting animals. He devised his own way of figure painting. He painted the naked body first to get it right, then painted clothes on it. All were self taught and painted in a naïf style.
The life of Julian Onderdonk, (1882-1922), Texas’ best known impressionist, almost perfectly brackets the rise and decline of impressionist painting in the United States. By 1900 the three main painters of early Texas art, Emma Richardson Cherry, Robert Onderdonk (Julian’s father), and Frank Reaugh, had been exposed to French impressionism in France or other parts of the globe and either practiced or encouraged it in Texas. Frank Reaugh insisted the Dallas Museum of Fine Art (former name) buy its first Childe Hassam.
Three women who taught at what is now Texas Woman’s University, in Denton, came up in several contexts. Carlotta Corpron, a ground breaking photographer, whose work is not as well known as it should be, was reported to have said, “Light is a plastic medium.” She taught that photography was painting with light instead of paint. Coreen Spellman, a wonderful modern painter, was mentioned. Toni LaSelle, a pupil of Hans Hoffmann, was given the credit for bringing Moholy-Nagy to Denton during World War II.
The panel on collecting early Texas art yielded many anecdotes. A. C. “Ace” Cook who put together the famous Bullring Collection located at the Ft. Worth Stockyards started as an airline pilot. He was fired for refusing to cross a picket line during a strike. A friend gave him a job in a pawnshop and soon he owned three. He bought a second hand book on Texas art in Austin, read it straight through in one night and was hooked. Ace’s grandfather was a horse trader. The pawnshop and the horse trading made him a born art collector. He bought $100,000’s for $1,000’s. When collectors arrived to buy the contents of Kathleen Blackshear’s attic they found that Ace had been there before and bought fourteen paintings.
When asked to discuss “the one that got away” the panelists agreed that it might be the Everett Spruces that ended up in an Austin gallery after his death because storage rent wasn’t paid. Bill Cheek said he didn’t buy modernists and passed them up.
The question came up on how to judge good art? One panelist offered the advice of Ruth Carter Stevenson, daughter of museum founder, Amon Carter, to only look at masterpieces. Then you’ll know the junk when you see it.
One speaker made an astonishing suggestion. He said Caseta and other art lovers should exert pressure on The University of Texas to exhibit those Frank Reaugh longhorn pictures, the ones that hung in the Barker History Center before it became the Alexander Architecture Archives, and have been in storage unseen for forty years. So, Longhorns, if you see a group carrying pitchforks and charging up the mall, it’s not French Revolution re-enactors, but early Texas art lovers coming after the golden horde.
by Gwen Dixie
Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library
Central University Libraries
Southern Methodist University
P. O. Box 750356
Dallas, Texas 75275-0356
Web site: http://smu.edu/cul/hamon/
The Jake and Nancy Hamon Arts Library opened in fall 1990 under the Central University Libraries system at Southern Methodist University. The circulating and reference collection contains over 180,000 items on the visual and performing arts. The Library also has a collection that includes over 300 periodicals and access to more than forty online resources specific to the arts. The art and art history print collection is strong in Iberian, classical, medieval, Renaissance, and nineteenth-century through late twentieth-century art.
The Library has two archives, the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections and the G. Williams Jones Film and Video Collection. The Bywaters Special Collections houses the Jerry Bywaters Collection on Art of the Southwest, McCord/Renshaw Collection on the Performing Arts, Greer Garson Collection, and the Paul Van Katwijk Collection on music. The Jones Film and Video Collection, founded in 1970 as the Southwest Film/Video Archives, contains over 9,000 film prints and negatives in all formats and over 3,000 videotapes stored in a climate-controlled facility. Print materials and antique film equipment are also part of the collection. Among the Collection’s moving image holdings are feature films, news film and video, animation classics, documentaries, television series, and student films. Highlights include the Tyler, Texas, Black Film Collection; the Gene Autry collection; the Belo news film collection; the Sulphur Springs pre-nickelodeon films; and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1926 feature, The Pleasure Garden.
The Library has an eight member staff including a director, three subject librarians for areas taught in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts: music, art, theater, dance, film, and communications; two curators and one curatorial assistant for the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections. The circulation staff includes a print circulation supervisor and an audio visual supervisor.
Most of the circulating and non-circulating collection can be accessed through the SMU library catalog. SMU’s Digital Collections provides access to some images in the Bywaters Special Collections. Research Guides for subjects and courses in the arts at SMU feature many of the print and online resources available at Central University Libraries.
by Beverly Mitchell
Dear ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Members,
As ARLIS/NA Vice-President/President Elect this past year and President this year I’ve heard various concerns from our membership about the state of the Society’s chapters. So, it seemed appropriate to share some thoughts on the state of chapters generally and what we might consider specifically to keep us viable for many years to come.
One thing is clear: our chapters vary significantly in their size, activity level, and aspirations for the future. Some chapters number in the hundreds in terms of members and have a wealth of resources, not only financially but also in terms of professional development opportunities, membership base from which to draw on for expertise and new leadership, as well as fundraising potential. Other chapters have numbers that linger in the teens and may have financial concerns, but more critically are faced with challenges in drawing new members and developing new leaders, which threatens their very viability. Our Texas-Mexico chapter seems to fit somewhere in the lower to middle end of the spectrum – with numbers of members hovering in the mid- to upper-thirties for some time. That said, it seems that we should give some thought to ensuring this stability.
It seems prudent to step back and review the elements at play in chapter sustainability levels before launching into any musings on membership retention or growth.
The following elements pose real challenges that are largely tied to economic realities and have resulted in flat or decreasing numbers of positions in the art information field in recent years:
The question then for us as a chapter is how can we encourage membership retention or even growth when there are a flat or decreasing number of positions in the field? Not an easy question to answer, but here goes nonetheless.
I would suggest we consider some of the following:
While I’m certain that each of you has suggestions of your own, I’m hopeful that your ideas combined with some of these will bolster a chapter that has been and I believe will remain vital for many, many years to come.
Director, Hirsch Library
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Thank you for the opportunity to attend the VRA + ARLIS/NA 2011 2nd Joint Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the Lois Swan Jones Award. Attending the conference helped me to learn more about ARLIS/NA as an organization and developments in art librarianship across the country. Additionally, I participated in the mentorship program through which I was able to discuss my professional interests and questions with my mentor. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend the ARLIS/NA conference at this point in my degree program and have already incorporated information from the sessions into my class work and in determining my future courses. I look forward to becoming more active within both the national and regional organizations in the future.
On Thursday afternoon I attended two special interest group meetings, Artist Files and Materials Libraries. The Artist Files working group addressed concerns raised in a recent article reviewing the group’s work, issues with finding vendors to assist in digitizing artist files, and the potential in digital archiving tools such as the Internet Archive and Archive It. The Materials Library group discussed several different materials vendors and libraries across the country and sparked conversations and brainstorming throughout the group. It was interesting to hear the input and perspectives of people who work in a range of institutions and the various strategies that are needed in the variety of libraries. After the meetings I met with my conference mentor, Milan Hughston, former UT library student and Chief of Library and Museum Archives at the Museum of Modern Art. Mr. Hughston served as a wonderful guide throughout the conference, introducing me to his colleagues and recommending sessions related to my interests.
The opening plenary “Works and Fair Use: Can Bridges Be Built Between Educational Users and Copyright Owners?” by Jule Sigall on Friday provided insight on his work with the orphan works legislation and offered suggestions for library professionals. “Beyond the Silos of the LAMs” addressed the changing roles of information professionals brought forth with digital materials and evolving patron expectations. Presenters from Simmons College, the Centre for Arts and Culture at the University of Calgary, and the Minnesota Historical Society discussed the innovative ways these institutions are redefining traditional roles of librarians and archivists. The “New Voices in the Profession” session was especially valuable because I was able to observe the projects other students and new professionals are working on, including image access in film, digitization projects, and research on copyright issues. Additionally, Kathryn Pierce, UT Austin's iSchool PhD candidate, presented her research on preserving digital architectural records. I, like many others, ended my evening snacking on fancy cheese and desserts at “The Icebreaker.”
On Saturday I attended both the VRA and ARLIS/NA Annual Membership meetings where I gained a sense of the general functions of the organizations as well as their upcoming events and goals. The joint lunch was a great opportunity to chat with people about their various libraries and positions and honor Craig Bunch for his research award! The “Engaging New Technologies” presentations overwhelmed me with social networking options, yet sparked an idea for one of my final research papers. I enjoyed wrapping up the day with the TX/MX meeting and hearing about all the projects happening across the state.
Sunday’s “Collaborative Ventures, Collaborative Gains” presentations inspired me to think about the potential for libraries and librarians to take more active involvement in course curricula. The Museum Library Division and VRA Museum Visual Resources Group meeting introduced me to new technologies available to assist librarians in physically managing collections and the ArLiSNAP meeting was an interesting brainstorming session on how to get more involved within the larger organization. After the ArLiSNAP meeting I quietly picked up my coat from the rack and snuck down the stairs, out the door, across Loring Park, and back to the Walker for the few hours before my flight.
by Mary Wegmann
In 1856, Benedictine monks from Bavaria traveled to Minnesota and built an abbey dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. They brought with them a vision of the future and the role of education that inspired them to found Saint John's University. They also brought a tradition steeped in 1500 years of monastic history. On the last day of the VRA + ARLIS/NA 2011 2nd Joint Conference, I took the opportunity to take a day trip to St. John’s Abbey and University located on 2,500 pristine acres in Collegeville about 75 miles from Minneapolis. The current church was designed by Marcel Breuer (see photo) with impressive stained glass and liturgical objects crafted in the modernist tradition. The University is also home to the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library (HMML), with its outstanding collections of historic material.
The HMML is one of the world’s leading cultural preservation institutions. Its mission is to identify, digitally photograph, catalog, and archive the contents of endangered manuscripts belonging to threatened communities, and then to make these unique cultural resources available to users around the world. HMML has photographically preserved more than 115,000 manuscript books dating from the ancient to early modern eras, totaling some 40,000,000 handwritten pages.
The founding impetus for HMML in the 1960s was to safeguard western monastic manuscript collections in countries on the front line of the Cold War, beginning with Austria. This focus soon grew to include general manuscript collections throughout Europe, and then in Ethiopia as well. The HMML broadened its focus in 2003 to include manuscripts from the many other eastern Christian traditions: Armenian, Syriac, Christian Arabic, and Slavonic.
An illuminated, handwritten Bible was commissioned by Saint John's Abbey at the turn of the millennium. This contemporary Bible is at once old and new: a present-day masterpiece of the ancient crafts of calligraphy and illumination. It is being created by professional scribes in a scriptorium in Wales, under the direction of Donald Jackson (born in 1938 in Lancashire, England), who is the official scribe and calligrapher to Queen Elizabeth II and the Crown Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Jackson has created a new script specifically for the project.
Because of the large amount of text, the writing has to be small. A good clear script in a two-column format was finally chosen. It is easy to read to the modern eye and has a strong enough texture to work with powerful illuminations.
The first task for the calligraphers that joined the project was to learn the new script. They began by making a detailed examination of its style and texture, producing dozens of practice sheets. Once underway, it takes the calligraphers between seven and a half and thirteen hours to complete the 108 lines on each page. To ensure that each page matches the one facing it, care is taken that the two pages are written by the same calligrapher. The vellum pages pass through many hands before completion. Footnotes, book headings, chapter numbers, capitals and Hebrew text are added at different stages by different calligraphers.
The creators of The Saint John's Bible use a mixture of techniques used in the creation of ancient illuminated manuscripts (hand writing with quills on calf-skin vellum, gold and platinum leaf plus hand-ground pigments, and Chinese stick ink) and modern technology (computers are used to plan the layout of the Bible, and line-breaks for the text).
It is a collaborative effort, involving many persons in both Wales and the United States. The Committee on Illumination and Text (CIT) at Saint John's selects the passages to be illuminated in each volume. The version of the Bible used is the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSV-CE). The CIT sends Jackson a set of briefs discussing the proposed illuminations and the theological content the committee feels each illumination should express. As the initial sketches are developed, Jackson and project coordinator, Rebecca Cherry, send digital images and explanations to the CIT by e-mail. The committee members review the sketches for theological content and send back their observations. When the CIT formally approves a sketch, Jackson and team proceed with the illumination.
The scribes require quills that are both strong and supple. The best ones come from mature turkeys, swans, and geese. Before they can be used for writing, the quills must be cured, cut, and trimmed. In every illumination, gold is the first design element placed on the page. Three types of gilding are used: powdered gold, acrylic medium, and gesso. Gesso gilding is the most technically demanding and produces the most spectacular results.
The Bible is separated into seven volumes. This was done for practical reasons—each completed, bound volume will weigh as much as 35 pounds, with a combined weight of more than 165 pounds. This also produced interesting artistic results. While images and motifs repeat across volumes, each collection of Biblical books takes on its own character. I recommend viewing the 2003 documentary The Illuminator and the Bible for the 21st Century that shows the work in progress and many of the technical aspects in wonderful detail.
The Heritage Edition of The Saint John's Bible is the full-size fine art facsimile of the original. Measuring two feet tall by three feet wide when open, each volume is signed by Donald Jackson. The edition is limited to 360 signed and numbered sets with the same seven volumes as the original. In addition, an eighth volume of commentary places The St. John’s Bible in historical context and describes several of the illuminations. Each facsimile is currently available through subscription for $150,000.00
by Edward Lukasek
As part of a campus-wide initiative to bring all "assembly occupancy" areas into compliance with the National Fire Protection Agency's Life-Safety Code, the UT Fire Marshal's office identified level 4 of the Fine Arts Library as needing attention. Because level 4 is a mezzanine-type floor with a balcony that overlooks level 3 (the entrance level of the library and the location of much of the public art, audio-visual materials, and computers) only one of the building's 3-hour rated fire stairs (in the north-east corner) was accessible. The Fire Marshal called for the construction of a bridge from the balcony edge to the fire stair in the south-west corner that, as originally designed and constructed in the 1970s, served levels 3 and 5, with the fire exit on level 2. The fire egress route across the new bridge that links the south end of level 4 with the south-west fire stair not only is a striking piece of artistic engineering and essential should there be an emergency but also is available for normal passage.
Several alternatives were considered before the final plan was agreed during the summer of 2010. Even such non-traditional solutions as slides and chutes were discussed. An early plan that would have involved installing a thick steel column on level 3 to support a bridge was dismissed. With encouragement from Fred Heath, Vice Provost for University of Texas Libraries, the idea of maintaining as much natural light as possible led to the incorporation of glass. The construction period was only 3 weeks, with most of the work taking place between Christmas and the first day of classes of the Spring Semester (Jan. 18).
Architectural Engineers Collaborative (Austin, TX) elegantly utilized the efficient form of a steel tube and the equally efficient principle of the cantilever to support graceful plate steel fins that mimic the rhythm of the original structural mullions of the windows while supporting a refractive structural glass floor. The obscure bottom layer of the tempered, laminated triple-plate glass also, unexpectedly, reflects the activity of the life below the bridge. The 5-ton structure appears to float through the space though it is securely welded at both ends to plates bolted to the poured-in-place original concrete structure. A finite element analysis program was used to determine bolt placement following the identification of rebar by ground penetrating radar. Side rails and top rails are bolted to the substructure using acorn nuts. The steel is painted white to match surrounding elements and the milky whiteness of the luminous glass.
Though initiated as a functional solution for a fire protection requirement, the bridge has not only fulfilled that need but created a unique, beautiful and possibly inspiring complement to the library space dedicated to supporting fine arts higher education.
by Laura Schwartz
On Friday morning (10/28/11) the group enjoyed a tour of the Amon Carter Museum’s spectacular paper conservation lab. Sylvie Penichon, conservator of photographs, and Jodie Utter, conservator of works on paper, welcomed the group and displayed some examples of illustrated books and photographs they had worked on.
Highlights included Bigelow’s American Medical Botany, which included both printed and hand-applied color; John Fisk Allen’s Victoria Regia as an example of excellent chromolithography; and a David Gibson photobook, which Sylvie used to explain that black and white ink jets often contain multiple colors, which in turn impacts upon their care and conservation. Sylvie also highlighted a series of “One Picture Books” as an example of how she works with the ACM library to try to identify the technique used with the original photographs in each book. Lastly, Jodie talked about her technical research on Charles Russell’s watercolor media.
The Amon Carter’s paper conservation lab is an impressive facility in a beautiful building, and it was a real treat for the group to see the operations of a modern, well-lit, state of the art conservation lab first-hand and up close.
submitted by Stephen R. Gassett
ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter Meeting
Fort Worth, Texas
October 29, 2011, Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth
Executive Committee of the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter
Beverly Mitchell, President
Martha Gonzalez Palacios, Vice-President, President Elect
Shari Salisbury, Secretary
Edward Lukasek, Treasurer
I. Call to order (President Mitchell)
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter’s Annual Business Meeting was held at the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday, October 29, 2011. The meeting was called to order by President Beverly Mitchell.
President Mitchell began by giving special thanks to the planning committee consisting of Sam Duncan at the Amon Carter, Chia-Chun Shih at the Kimbell, and Katherine Maloney at the Amon Carter (current chair of Texas VRA) for their assistance in arranging many of the annual meeting activities. President Mitchell also thanked Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios, Treasurer Lukasek and Secretary Salisbury for the many ways in which they provided support.
President Mitchell asked those present to introduce themselves. In attendance were Beverly Mitchell (SMU), Edward Lukasek (MFAH), Chia-Chun Shih (Kimbell), Craig Bunch (McNay), Eric Wolf (Menil), Carla Ellard (Texas State), Gloria Selene Hinojosa (Texas State), Elizabeth Schaub (UT), Laura Schwartz (UT), Martha Gonzalez Palacios (UT), Jon Evans (MFAH), Jet Prendeville (Rice), Beverly Carver (UT Arlington), Dana Harper (DMA), Tara Spies Smith (Texas State), Samuel Duncan (Amon Carter), and Shari Salisbury (UTSA).
III. Secretary’s Report and Approval of 2010 Business Meeting Minutes (Secretary Salisbury)
Minutes from the 2010 meeting had previously been submitted by email to Chapter members for comments. Copies of the revised minutes with changes made were given to those in attendance. Secretary Salisbury moved to have the 2010 Business Meeting Minutes approved by the members. Eric Wolf seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The corrected minutes from the 2010 meeting are attached below.
IV. Treasurer’s Report (Treasurer Lukasek)
Treasurer Lukasek reported we had 22 attendees. After the collection of chapter meeting registration fees and member renewals and expenditures for the meeting, there is currently a balance of $2,365.00 in the account. A number of chapter members have not yet renewed. President Mitchell will send a reminder email to renew on the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter listserv and ARLIS/NA listserv. Treasurer Lukasek also informed those present that we had an account last year with Chase Bank, but because they instituted a $50.00/month fee for a balance of less than $2,500, he moved the Chapter’s account to People’s Trust Federal Credit Union. $377.50 has been received thus far that is earmarked for the Lois Swan Jones Fund. $500 was awarded to the recipient of this year’s LSJ Award. Treasurer Lukasek recommended the next LSJ Award winner also receive $500. Tara Spies Smith moved that the LSJ Award be set at $500. Samuel Duncan seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
V. Editor’s Report for The Medium (Vice-President/President Elect Gonzalez Palacios)
Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios announced that the Spring 2011 edition of The Medium has been published and she will be sending out an official call for articles for the next edition of The Medium. Deadline for submission is November 18, 2011. If anyone has a particular desire to write about an event we attended during the Annual Chapter Meeting, they should let Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios know.
VI. Lois Swan Jones’ Award Committee Report (Tara Spies Smith)
Committee Chair Tara Spies Smith reported that there was only one applicant for the Lois Swan Jones’ Award in 2011 and the award in the amount of $500 went to Mary Wegmann. Edward Lukasek, Tara Spies Smith, and Beverly Mitchell served on the committee.
VII. Call for new LSJ Award Committee Volunteers (President Mitchell)
President Mitchell made a call for volunteers to serve on this committee. Edward Lukasek and Tara Spies Smith initially offered to continue to serve as committee members. In discussion, Jon Evans pointed out that officers should not serve due to a conflict of interest. It was subsequently decided to follow a qualification for serving on this committee that one is not currently serving as a chapter officer. Since Tara Spies was later elected to Vice-President/President Elect, Rebecca Barham will serve in her place. Samuel Duncan volunteered to serve as the new chair and was unanimously approved.
VIII. Project for Scanning Back Issues of The Medium (Laura Schwartz and Samuel Duncan)
Laura Schwartz related the background for The Medium scanning project. The Medium’s archive was at MFAH and Laura contacted Jon Evans who verified that they did in fact have the complete run. Jennifer Lee, Head Librarian, Preservation and Digitization Services at the UT Libraries did the scanning for free at Laura’s request. The scanned documents are machine readable and will reside on the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico website. Samuel Duncan has mounted them on the website (most in PDF format) and reviewed content and formats. He will load an additional module which will make the content of The Medium archive searchable. Laura recommended an official thank you to Jennifer Lee, and President Mitchell offered to send one.
President Mitchell asked for volunteers for a working committee to determine best techniques and methods for archiving issues of The Medium produced on the chapter website. Samuel Duncan, Elizabeth Schaub, and Martha Gonzalez Palacios volunteered to serve on the working committee. Jon Evans commended Sam and Laura for their work thus far.
IX. Discussion of FORO Meeting in Austin (Tara Smith)
Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios and Tara Spies Smith attended FORO 2011, “Rethinking Library Issues in Hard Times.” Mexican librarians, including the Head of IFLA were present; however, no art librarians attended. At least half of the meeting was conducted in Spanish. The librarians present seemed to come primarily from the science and math disciplines. The mission of our ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter members was to meet Mexican librarians that were art librarians, but there were none there and the Mexican librarians who were present could not really connect Martha and Tara with art librarians in Mexico. Elizabeth Schaub reported that the International Relations Committee (IRC) of ARLIS/NA sent representatives to Mexico City and it seemed that they are interested in continuing a dialogue. Martha recommended making sure there is always an ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter member on that committee or that we at least stay in contact with that committee. Carla Ellard is currently participating on the IRC and Tara volunteered interest in participating when Carla’s term ends.
X. Annual Meeting Images page (President Mitchell and Samuel Duncan)
Samuel Duncan has created a page on the website for annual meeting images as a test waiting for content. We can either have an image page outside the site on another site such as a group page on Flickr or Picasa or use the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter site using Drupal. Uploading to the Chapter website would require a certain level of administrative privileges. A point person could manage a third party account. Sam and Tara Spies Smith volunteered to work on this together to recommend where to put the images and determine what would work best with our website.
XI. Amendment Proposal to Bylaws – Discussion of Duties of Officers as Stated in Chapter Bylaws and Inclusion of Procedures for Officers (President Mitchell)
President Mitchell suggested adding to description of duties of officers in the Bylaws as well as adding other pages to our website for separate procedures. Discussion followed concerning keeping the Bylaws as they are at least for now, followed by a recommendation that we create a Procedures section on the Chapter’s website under “Administrative” to which members who have had officer or planning committee experience can add expanded procedural details. Discussion ensued regarding whether we should start with Google Docs to create working documents, but concerns were expressed about the potential to import formatting problems into the website if we did so. Secretary Salisbury moved that we create a Procedures page on the Chapter website under Samuel Duncan’s direction for officers and planning committee members to develop. Jon Evans seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
XII. Discussion of ARLIS/NA Strategic Plan, 2011-2015 (ARLIS/NA President Evans)
ARLIS/NA President Evans reported on the activities of the Strategic Planning Committee. The first meeting of the Strategic Planning Committee occurred at the Boston conference in 2010. Jon felt that the Committee did a good job of reaching out for feedback from the membership and the response was three time what it was in the past. The plan was put forward in late May and was approved by the Executive Board, which is currently looking at implementation. The Executive Board plans to bring in Anne Whiteside, former Board member on this phase of the process and move forward from there. The next step is to determine actionable items. Jon encouraged us to look at the Strategic Plan and provide input. He also took a moment to acknowledge the hard work of those on the committee.
XIII. Nominations and Elections of Treasurer and Vice-President/President Elect (Past Presidents Ellard and Bunch)
President Mitchell called for nominations for the offices of Treasurer and Vice-President/President Elect. Laura Schwarz was nominated as Treasurer and Tara Spies Smith was nominated for Vice-President/President Elect. There was a call to see if there were any others interested in serving in one of these capacities and there were none. Both were unanimously elected.
XIV. Chapter Welcome Party Donation (Treasurer Lukasek)
Treasurer Lukasek stated that the chapter has traditionally given a donation of $300 to the Welcome Party for each year’s ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, and we can afford to do that again this year. Eric Wolf moved that we donate $300. Jon Evans seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
XV. Budget for Dinner Invites for Annual Meeting Speakers (President Mitchell)
President Mitchell raised the topic of inviting guest speakers to have dinner with us during the course of our Annual Meeting. President Mitchell and others felt that inviting our guest speakers to dinner with us was an appropriate way to express our thanks for their contribution to the success of our Annual Meeting, but there currently is no money budgeted for this in the registration fee. Discussion ensued that the estimated cost for this be rolled into the registration fee and the procedure for this be added to the new Policies and Procedures section of the website. Additional discussion followed resulting in more than one member suggesting that we set a budget for the Annual Meeting that would include funds to pay for speakers’ dinners and that an additional line item for donations toward speakers’ dinners also be added to the registration form for those who wished to contribute an additional sum. Laura Schwartz offered the suggestion that this fund be more flexible for annual meeting planners to use either for dinner invites or gifts to speakers.
XVI. Planning for 2012 Meeting (Vice President/President Elect Gonzalez Palacios)
Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios offered options for the venue for next year’s Annual Meeting, including either Austin or Marfa, TX. Those in attendance were particularly interested in Marfa. Martha will get tentative dates together and follow up by email.
XVII. New Business (President Mitchell)
President Mitchell asked if there was any new business. Elizabeth Schaub announced that in her role as the Implementation Team Co-chair for the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management, a joint project of ARLIS/NA and the VRA Foundation, she is interested in going to chapters to discuss financially supporting joint ARLIS/NA and VRA development.
Eric Wolf announced the availability of the Artists Documentation Project available online from the Menil or Whitney websites. The Project consists of filmed interviews with artists that have been digitized.
Carla Ellard expressed thanks (with mutual agreement from those present) to Vice-President Gonzalez Palacios for changing our listserv over to UT.
ARLIS/NA President Jon Evans reported on some ARLIS/NA Board matters. As mentioned earlier, they are moving forward with the Strategic Plan. The Mentoring Subcommittee of the Professional Development Committee is looking for chapters to develop their own mentoring programs. If that is something the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter would like to do, we would need to get in touch with the Mentoring Subcommittee Chair. President Mitchell will be glad to look into that and email the Chair.
Jon reminded those present that the next conference is in Toronto in 2012 and he added that it looks interesting programmatically. Significant interest has been generated in having future joint conferences with VRA and the ARLIS/NA Board has decided they indeed want to go forward. The next step is to develop a mutually agreeable model. ARLIS/NA President Evans cut short his remarks in view of the need to adjourn in a timely manner.
XVIII. Adjournment (President Mitchell)
President Mitchell asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Secretary Salisbury moved to adjourn. Carla Ellard seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
submitted by Shari Salisbury
|Revised 2010 Business Meeting Minutes (Word 97-2003 Compatible File)||32.5 KB|
Artist Tara Spies (aka Tara Spies Smith, Librarian) participated in the juried exhibition Exposed: The Contemporary Nude at 1650 Gallery in the Echo Park district of Los Angeles, California. Her photograph Court Folly, from a black and white negative, is in the Exposed: The Contemporary Nude online exhibition and in the published print exhibition catalog.
She also showed 8 silver gelatin and digital inkjet photographs in the exhibition Nudes in November at Blue Velvet Studio on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile, Alabama. An article by Thomas B. Harrison, Press-Register Arts Editor, announcing and discussing the exhibit appeared in the Mobile Press Register.
Tara’s further involvement in the arts has led to her participation in SMAAC, the San Marcos Area Arts Council, where she is now serving as a member of the board and the Web Committee.
On Friday, November 11, Battle Hall marked the 100th anniversary of its completion with a lecture by Professor Larry Speck, followed by celebrations that included self-guided tours of the building, a reception, exhibit opening, and remarks by Vice Provost and Director of UT Libraries Fred Heath, Dean Fritz Steiner, Professor Richard Cleary, and Architecture and Planning Librarian Beth Dodd.
Speck said that “architecture has become too reliant on imagery, forgetting its roots in the visceral and corporal experience of a building” and urged students and staff not to view Battle Hall as just a building, but rather as an experience that changes lives.View coverage of Larry Speck’s talkin the November 13 edition of The Daily Texan and further coverage of Battle's centennial in The Alcalde online.
Many students, faculty, alumni, and other interested guests who had been impacted by the building returned to Battle Hall on Friday evening to celebrate its centennial. Among the reception highlights was a cake shaped in the likeness of the building.
The exhibit, "Our Landmark Library: Battle Hall at 100", will be on view in the Architecture and Planning Library Reading Room, Battle Hall, through spring 2012. Exhibit highlights include design drawings, construction photos, timeline, correspondence, previously unavailable images, and stories of the significant people in Battle Hall's history. The exhibit, with expanded narrative and images, is also available online.
Designed by newly appointed university architectCass Gilbert in 1910, Battle Hall was completed in 1911 for about $280,000. Beyond serving as the university's first independent library building (later known as "the Old Library"), it was also the first home to the new College of Fine Arts (1938) and later to the new Barker Texas History Center (1950), bringing together for the first time the University Library's archives and rare books collections. In 1973, when the Barker Center vacated the building, it became home to the Architecture Library and was renamed for former university president Professor William J. Battle.
submitted by Beth Dodd
On Friday, October 28, members of the Arlis Texas-Mexico Chapter gathered at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas for a tour with Gary Jennings, Librarian of the BRIT. Located in the Fort Worth Cultural District not far from the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens with its beautiful Japanese Garden, the Botanical Research Institute moved into its remarkable 70,000 square foot LEED Green Building in February 2011. In 1987 BRIT was established as a non-profit organization to house the Southern Methodist University Herbarium, consisting of 450,000 specimens, and its botanical library with 75,000 volumes from the personal collections of Lloyd H. Shinners, one of the most influential Texas botanists of the 20th century. Today the Herbarium houses over 1,050,000 plant specimens and the BRIT Library has over 125,000 volumes of books and journals.
During the tour, Gary Jennings pointed out the use of recycled steel and rubber, use of daylighting, low energy fixtures, wool and linen furnishings, and explained the complex “living roof” and mentioned other innovations such as the storm water management system. In addition to the building’s design which reduces energy and water consumption, the BRIT has reintroduced two native ecosystems, Fort Worth Prairie Barrens and mid-grass prairie, to the land surrounding the institute. Botanists identified over 250 specific species which they anticipate will survive the drought to bring life to the fields in the spring.
Among the tour highlights were Gary’s explanation of what a herbarium encompasses as we viewed through large windows the workspace for the botanists cataloging specimens. The tour ended with a walk into the large space housing rows of compact shelving for the herbarium collection of over one million plant specimens which are arranged by species subdivided by color coded geographic locations.
Located on the 2nd floor, the Library primarily supports the taxonomic research done by BRIT botanists, but also serves visiting researchers, and supports educational programs provided by the BRIT. It is one of the largest and finest collections of botanical literature in the southwestern United States. Exhibit cases welcome the visitor before the library space divides into a periodical reading area and a separate extensive reference collection room to the right. Wonderful books were displayed in the exhibit cases including the oldest book in the BRIT Library: a 1549 edition of De Materia Medica, written by Discorides, a Greek physician in the first century A.D. Gary also had on display for us a number of very beautiful illustrated botanical volumes from the 18th and 19th centuries. As impressive these rooms were, their holdings were just samples of the treasures of the library. Gary ushered us into a closed stack, high density shelving space for the rest of the collection. Gary also pointed out a collection of BRIT Press publications, explaining that the Institute ships a free copy of its publications to all major herbariums and botanical research institutes worldwide regardless of size or expense. In return, the Library receives complimentary publications from these institutes. Although we did not see the collection, another gem for the BRIT library is a rare collection of children’s books on botany and natural history, a gift in 1997 from William R. Burk, Biology Librarian at the John. N. Couch Biology Library at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Submitted by Jet Prendeville
On Thursday, October 27th, members of the Texas/Mexico Chapter of ARLIS/NA were treated to a private tour of the exhibition “Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome” at the Kimbell Art Museum. Curator of European Art Nancy Edwards generously took time from her busy schedule to lead us through this amazing exhibition, which included ten works by Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1571-1610) from collections around the world and hung with the work of his many followers from Italy and Northern Europe. The exhibition was arranged thematically beginning with profane subjects in the “Music and Youth” and “Cardsharps and Fortune Tellers” sections and moving toward sacred subjects with the “Saints” and “Sacred Narratives” galleries. Featured prominently in the exhibition were the Kimbell’s own Caravaggio, The Cardsharps, and perhaps Georges de la Tour’s magnum opus, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs, two of the great masterpieces of this terrific Fort Worth museum.
Dr. Edwards took us through Louis Kahn’s beautifully designed galleries explaining the many innovations of Caravaggio’s paintings and the various ways his contemporaries responded to them. Going far beyond the ubiquitous legends surrounding the artist’s biography she explained the patronage and reception of his work by his Roman and international contemporaries. This tour and exhibition were truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see so much of Caravaggio’s small and seldom lent oeuvre in one venue and with the benefit of an informed and passionate curator sharing her vast knowledge.
submitted by by Eric M. Wolf
On October 20th, as part of the Music in Architecture / Architecture in Music Symposium hosted by the Center for American Architecture and Design, the College of Fine Arts and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, composer Ellen Fullman performed her new work “Tracings” in the magnificent reading room of the Architecture & Planning Library of The University of Texas at Austin. The performance featured Fullman both solo and with the Austin New Music Coop musicians Brent Fariss (contrabass), Nick Hennies (percussion), Andrew Stoltz (overtone guitar designed by Arnold Dreyblatt) and Travis Weller (playing his custom string instrument “The Owl”).
Designed by architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1911, Battle Hall provided an extraordinary acoustic environment for Fullman’s unique Long String Instrument. “Tracings” was composed specifically for the historic building, repurposing ratios found in the design of the building to produce justly tuned musical intervals and was influenced by the activities of library users during the rehearsals in the days leading to the performance.
In order to provide the space necessary to fit the Long String Instrument across the center of the reading room and the audience facing the instrument, all furniture had to be rearranged, not a small feat since the tables in this library are heavy and historical pieces originally designed for various buildings across campus. This was a two-part process so as allow for continued operations in the library during installation and rehearsals and the efforts from our staff were worth it.
Originally scheduled as a single performance, the artists graciously agreed to an encore presentation immediately after the first one in order to accommodate those that arrived once the room capacity was reached. All in all, about 300 people were had the pleasure of this exceptional experience.
submitted by Martha González Palacios
The last venue of the day on Friday, October 28th, chapter members went on a gallery trip to Artspace 111, where the artist Sarah Green in coordination with the owner, Margery Gossett, just finished installing her exhibition, Allure & Utility. Gossett showed members the works of local artists that her gallery represents and gave a tour of the spaces inside and the sculpture garden outside. In its early history, the gallery served as a warehouse for unloading furniture from the railroad behind it. Fortunately for members, it was ready for the exhibition opening that evening and the artist gave a brief talk about her career and these works. Green admitted that she likes working in a lot of different media, and these works, which she creates digitally, are a medium that she is exploring and finding very enjoyable. The artist used a Los Angeles model, Taylor Vlahos, for these slick and colorful works, which present a commentary on feminism and exploitation. Also installed were her works in black and white, derived from celebrity images, and two portraits of well-known Fort Worth residents, artist Nancy Lamb and hair stylist Gary Leatherwood.
submitted by Beverly Mitchell
Ryan Tainter, the digital project designer/developer and head librarian for the Judd Library website, began Friday’s activities with a presentation in the library reading room at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Throughout his talk, Tainter described both the theoretical framework and practical applications he had to consider when designing the digital library. Judd’s thoughtful and precise installation and organization of objects provides a context for the materials that extends beyond that which a simple database could display. The library now functions as a type of archive for Judd’s materials; the project staff used a series of charts to identify original order and organizational structures and cataloged every aspect of the collection, from pencils placed between books to handwritten notations. These aspects, which situate the collection in a specific time, place, and context, are conveyed in the Flash application Tainter built to display the digital library. Backed by a FileMaker database, the library’s interface combines a floor plan of the site with photographs of each bookshelf. These images are linked to the catalog records for the objects and the option to locate the book using WorldCat. This online representation of Judd’s library allows users who are not able to make the trek to Marfa an opportunity to peruse his shelves and gain a deeper understanding into the artist’s thinking.
submitted by Mary Wegmann
Hello Texas-Mexico Chapter!
I have a few things I'd like to report from the executive board's mid-year meeting, held in Houston on Sept 29 and 30, 2011. Our meeting took place at the MFAH, and Jon Evans kindly arranged for one of the curators to give us a talk about her exhibition on " Life & Luxury: The Art of Living in Eighteenth-Century Paris." Several of us took some time to tour the Menil Collection as well. The whole experience reminded me of the best kind of chapter meeting, where I could socialize with colleagues, see wonderful art, and get some work done.
In terms of work, the Toronto planning committee has been busily putting together the conference schedule and finding the best venues for events. There will be tours and workshops and the Welcome Party on Friday; programs, exhibits, meetings and Convocation/Reception on Saturday; programs, exhibits, meetings and the Membership lunch on Sunday; and tours on Monday. I hope that many of you are able to attend, because it is shaping up to be a fabulous conference.
At our meeting, Tom Riedel brought forward several special funding requests for discussion, and all were approved. He then presented the 2012 budget in detail, and explained the financial implications of our new agreement with the University of Chicago Press for the publication of Art Documentation. The board thanked Tom for his efforts and the budget was approved.
Jon Evans updated us on the progress of our strategic plan, which is moving to an action plan phase. A couple of members have finished their service on the group, and so the group is looking to add new members.
At the invitation of Jon Evans, the following individuals have generously agreed to serve as members of the new editorial board for Art Documentation:
• Judy Dyki, Editor, Art Documentation (ex officio)
• Susan M. Allen, Director, California Rare Book School, UCLA Department of Information Studies, Los Angeles, CA
• Jonathan Brown, Carroll and Milton Petrie Professor of Fine Arts, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York, NY
• Clive Phillpot, Fermley Press, London, UK
• Inge Reist, Chief of Research Collections and Programs, Frick Art Reference Library, New York, NY
• Lucile Trunel, Chef du secteur Art, Service Littératures orientales et art, Département de Littérature et Art, Direction des Collections, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, France
• Jayne Wark, Professor of Historical and Critical Studies, Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
• Roxana Velasquez, Executive Director of the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA
I think that moving to the University of Chicago Press and creating an editorial board will prove to be extremely positive steps for Art Doc.
That's all for now! Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
ARLIS/NA Chapters Liaison
Fine Arts Librarian
San Diego State University
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth claims to have been born in 1892, making it the oldest museum in Texas and one of the oldest in the western U.S. Dressed in a stunning Tadao Ando suit, it shows few wrinkles in its current incarnation. You might spot a George Inness landscape tucked away in a quiet alcove. But you must now cross two streets to view another early acquisition, Thomas Eakins’s celebrated Swimming, since 1990 at the Amon Carter Museum. Complementing the Carter’s and the Kimbell’s strengths, the Modern features predominantly American and European art made since around 1940. It has collected in impressive depth some artists including Robert Motherwell, Philip Guston, Anselm Kiefer, Agnes Martin, Susan Rothenberg, and Sean Scully. Others are perhaps less well represented but no less poetic or powerful for their lack of numbers: Joseph Cornell, Vija Celmins, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Gerhard Richter, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Dennis Blagg…
Seeming to float on a shallow lake, the Ando building itself I nominate for the Modern’s greatest artwork. Delivering on the promise of Richard Serra’s monumental Vortex, whose ever-changing surfaces are a photographer’s delight, any view of the museum—from within or without—which takes in the lake view is, for me, a never-ending source of pleasure. This doesn’t necessarily make for a great art museum, but at least one piece certainly shines in the reflected natural light: Pistoletto’s bronze and mirror The Etruscan. Other works seem to shine from their own inner light: Andy Warhol’s monumental green and black Self-Portrait gradually emerges, as you ascend the museum’s central staircase, from shock of electrified hair to curve of his chinny-chin-chin. And the view of Martin Puryear’s Ladder for Booker T. Washington seems to disappear somewhere around Heaven.
Finally, the Modern’s current notable exhibition: “Richard Diebenkorn: The Ocean Park Series is the most comprehensive show to date of Diebenkorn’s most celebrated works,” to quote the museum’s website. While for me it did not achieve the heights of previous Modern shows, including in-depth looks at Hiroshi Sugimoto and Dan Flavin, it is always worth a visit to the Modern no matter what is currently featured.
submitted by Craig Bunch
Chapter Member and Head Librarian at the Menil Collection in Houston, Eric M. Wolf, won the Worldwide Books Award for Publications for his book American Art Museum Architecture: Documents & Design.
Assistant Librarian at the McNay Museum in San Antonio and chapter member Craig Bunch won the H.W. Wilson Foundation Research Award for the second year in a row for his work on his Collage and Assemblage in Texas: The Interviews.
Congratulations to our chapter award winners!
My intention with the "Art of the Book Exhibit: Rare books from the Alkek Library Collections" exhibit was to highlight the unique and beautiful books which belong to the Alkek library’s collections. Over the years, faculty has requested the library purchase books which are virtually works of art, but hardly ever get seen outside of the class or the library.
Several months ago, I was asked if I would formulate some kind of exhibit for our large, four sided exhibit case on the first floor of the Alkek building. I had never worked with this case. Usually it was reserved for campus groups or classes (like our interior design graduates final projects) who had 3 dimensional objects along with 2 dimensional pieces to display. Not only did they need something in the cases for the month of April, but they needed something to remain through June. I felt obliged to help out, and tried to think of books large enough to fill the enormous case, and might not be needed or used by the students during the rest of the semester. The Alkek library’s Special Collections material contained many large books, which also didn’t normally check out. In the end, not all of them were from Special Collections. Several large, beautiful art books were in our circulating oversized book area. They seldom checked out, because they were just too big to carry away.
The library has also been the repository of several beautiful limited editions, handmade books, along with the many oversized, art plate books of famous artists or works of art. These books have been purchased by the library, or donated to us, and in some cases, the provenance of how they became part of our collections is lost in time. While perusing the shelves, I found some beautiful, old, oversized Mexican landscape painting books. I asked how they came into the collection. Nobody knew. It was also clear, that no one had seen them in many, many years. One of the books was issued in 1910, in commemoration of the centennial of the Mexican republic. We had another new book, issued to commemorate the Mexican Bicentennial in 2010. In all, we used 6 books from Mexico, located on one side of the case, and dedicated it to the Mexican republic.
The exhibit is intended to showcase what the Alkek Library owns, along with our awe and respect for the beauty and art of books.
Selene Hinojosa, Collection Development Librarian
The participants at the March 30 workshop held in conjunction with the ARLIS/NA annual conference in Toronto surely walked away from the experience with an arsenal of information about what causes books to break down and the myriad of enclosures available for protecting them. "Protective Boxes, Slipcases … and More," taught by sage book conservator Betsy Palmer Eldridge and hosted at the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, informed the group about a range of often interacting mechanical, chemical, and environment factors that can lead to book damage. Woven throughout the presentation were in-depth dicussions and demonstrations of a catalog of protective enclosures, one of the most prevalent methods for preserving compromised material. The workshop ended up serving as a kind of antithesis to the many sessions addressing digital projects and themes presented at the main conference. Books still form the bedrock of most art library collections, and it was gratifying to be reminded of their "objectness" (and attendant vulnerabilities to physical attrition) and also of their lasting effectiveness as a form of information technology provided they receive even a modest amount of care. As a final exercise, students bound and stitched a small pamphlet—a perfect closing to this revelatory workshop.
DON'T LET BOOKS LEAN!: the worst thing you can do to a book is allow it to lean, which places uneven stress on the binding structure, accelerating its breakdown. Another ingenious shelving tip: shelve books an inch back from the edge of the shelf to allow forefinger swiping for signs of insect activity.
Opening a book from the back: The kindest thing you can do for a book is open it from the back since the rear part of the book is not used as much as the front.
A book's cover: Eldridge stressed the importance of the cover as a kind of protective shield encapsulating the text block: keeping the cover on the book should be the first preservation step. A simple and effective treatment is tying the book up with cotton string or webbing. Another method is adding a Melinex (polyester) dust cover/jacket. Eldridge reminded her students that paper acidity can damage not only the pages in a book, but equally its cover.
Squares: the square is the board cover, which is commonly slighly larger than the text block in a hardback book. An advantage of this design is that there is an open channel around the text block, which can aid with water drainage. Paperback books commonly have squares exactly the same size as the text block.
Hollow and closed back books matrix:
|TIGHT BACK||HOLLOW BACK|
|TIGHT JOINT||All Pre 1850: 17th, 18th and 19th centuries||1850-1950 (late 19th century)|
|GROOVE JOINT||RARE: English Library Binding||All case bindings from 20th century|
The problem of light : it's not the amount of light, it's the kind of light. Ultraviolet wavelengths, i.e. lower end of the visible spectrum, cause probelms. Fluorescent tubes emit lower wavelengths in the photochemical ranges, which are particularly damaging to paper while incandescent light sources are more neutral. UV filters should always be used in book storage areas with fluorescent lighting. Eldridge commented that if a plant is flourishing in the same room as where books are stored, it’s usually a bad environment for books.
Slipcases: do a great job of holding the fore edges of a book together, but there is a problem of friction on boards as the book moves in and out of the case and also spine exposure. The Ascona slipcase is particularly good for books with no "squares," ie with boards exactly the same same size as the text block. One example is featured introduction from the Library of Congress's 1982 publication Boxes for the Protection of Rare Books: Their Design and Construction.
Hedi Kyle's Legacy: In 1983, Hedi Kyle produced 65 copies of her now-very-rare and instructive publication Preservation Enclosures. Eldridge treated the class to a close examination of this marvelous production that provides materials and instructions for constructing seven different kinds of enclosures, commenting on the pros and cons of each assembly. This was an absolute wonder to see! Worldcat holdings; see also: Hedi Kyle archived workshop held at Syracsue University library.
The knitting needle treatment: Eldridge reminded students of the tried-and-true technique for repairing loose hinges developed by Carolyn Horton and published in her 1967/1969 publication Cleaning and Preserving Bindings and Related Materials. A good explantion of the technique is here.
Microclimates: putting a book inside a sealed environment is okay as long as it is a dry environment.
Tissue guard sheets: I brought up the issue of tissue guard sheets and their prevalence in illustrated books to protect an illustration from bleeding over to the opposite page. Betsy recommended removing them as any transfer protection they may have served is now obviated.
Cradles: use cradles to support fragile books when open; a good and inexpensive cradle (and one she used at the workshop) is a simple bath towel with the edges rolled to accommodate the size of the book.
Water damage: the best preventive measure you can take in terms of water risks is knowing where the water comes from and where it is going. Clay-coated paper is especially vulnerable to water damage. Flash freezing is currently the best treatment for water-damaged books; water is frozen and then can be sublimated/vacuumed out. Know the location of the closest book freezer. Another effective method is wrapping a book in a single fold of craft paper to allow air circulation; fan books out to dry. You typically have 48 hours before mold starts growing. Another treatment is paper towels sprayed with alcohol: the alcohol aids evaporation and kills mold. 70% humidity and 70 degrees temperature: ideal environment for mold growth.
More about water (understanding precipitation): Eldridge cited the example of a stack of ten pancakes and that stack’s ability to absorb syrup. Once the pancakes have reached their capacity, what is left is precipitate. Applied to level of water in the air, the precipitate is what is left when the air has absorbed all the water it can. The precipitate is what the mold needs to start flourishing.
Plasticizers!: certain chemicals are added to plastics to make the pliable; the problem is that these chemicals evaporate over time and leave the material brittle.
Anything is better than nothing: throughout the presentation, Eldridge reminded the group that "anything is better than nothing," underscoring that any level of preservation treatment does some good.
Protective Boxes, Slipcases… and more
Friday March 30, 2012 1:00- 5:00pm @ Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.
Workshop Leader: Betsy Palmer Eldridge, Book Conservator
Description: At the heart of every library is the basic problem of preserving its book collections. This workshop will look at a wide variety of solutions for protecting book materials - from catalogues and exhibition announcements to books - from the simple to the complex, from the standard to the unusual, from the traditional to the new. Examples will be shown and the pros and cons of each discussed. Participants will make a paper slipcase for the paperback, Margaret Locke’s "Bookbinding Materials and Techniques, 1700-1920," as a hands-on, take-home example. This information will be both interesting and useful for anyone working with books.
My conference participation at the 2012 annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America in Toronto, Ontario began in earnest at the joint meeting of ARLIS/Ontario and the Canada chapter of the Visual Resources Association held on Thursday, March 29 in the Alsop building at Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD-U). Invited to speak to the groups on utilizing social media in the library, I spoke for approximately a half hour from a prepared outline. My goal was not to explain why libraries should use social media—the topic was justified by my invitation to speak upon it, but how to use it, which outlets, etc., using Rhode Island School of Design and other schools as examples. Making use of a live Internet connection, I guided the audience through the basics of Google (how search results display, incorporating meta tags, map results, etc.) to the Yelp online user-reviewed business directory, publication platforms including the use of blogs and micro-publishing outlets such as Twitter, and finally Facebook as a culminating destination spot for many different source items such as RSS feeds, photographs, events, etc. The presentation was videotaped and I received very positive results afterward along the lines that the audience felt they could see themselves adopting social media in their libraries and that I explained how things worked in order for them to understand both the strategic reasons for doing so as well as some of the technical details so it would not be such a daunting mystery, such as HTML code. I’m very pleased to have had this experience with ARLIS/Ontario and VRA Canada.
The above presentation conflicted with my original plan to attend the ARLIS Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgendered-Queer (LGBTQ) Special Interest Group (SIG) meeting at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
On Friday, March 30 I chaired the Materials Special Interest Group. I tried to organize MATSIG to be held off-site at the materials library at Studio HoK, a well-known design firm in downtown Toronto, but staff shakeups there left it impossible to schedule. With an audience of just eleven people, it was only 25% of the audience that had gathered the previous year at the joint ARLIS/NA-VRA conference in Minneapolis. However, this group presented a critical difference in that there were almost no lurkers: nearly everyone had begun to amass a materials collection in some way or other. Because of this, the round of introductions was very illuminating. Also on the agenda were the issues surrounding the lack of a single taxonomy for materials description, collecting materials versus purchasing them from a consultancy such as Material Connexion, the services and products offered by Material Connexion, further development of the MATSIG blog, material|resource, and the creation of a resource page to be handed out to newcomers to materials collections. I will try to organize the 2013 MATSIG gathering on the campus of Art Center in Pasadena, home to one of the most extensive materials collections, the Color Materials Trends Exploration Lab (CMTEL).
On Friday evening I attended the Opening Plenary presentation by Diana Thorneycroft. An artist from Winnipeg, Thorneycroft stages and photographs dioramas that address and expose social issues from current or recent Canadian history. Most often these are done with humor and even dark humor, the latter of which ultimately led the artist to difficult topics that could no longer be dealt with humorously. The presentation thus ranged from being lighthearted to disturbing, which was an unanticipated trajectory and perhaps led to some audience discomfort. Immediately following the plenary address, then-President and ARLIS-TXMX’s own Jon Evans took the stage to present an illuminating history of ARLIS/NA upon the occasion of its fortieth anniversary, leading to the 40th Anniversary Celebration in the foyer immediately outside. Although in a cramped and crowded space, it was nevertheless the first opportunity for most attendees to greet each other and raise a glass of complimentary champagne. I spent the remainder of the evening reconnecting with colleagues from the Texas-Mexico chapter, as well as those from New York and New England chapters—my previous and new homes.
I was very pleased to see on Saturday morning the expansion of the poster session offerings, allowing many interesting and worthy projects and initiatives to be highlighted in a casual and approachable forum. There was literally something for every possible interest. I was able to stop at four: number 7 “Digital Images in Teaching and Learning at York University”, number 8 “In the Studios: Research Instruction for Art and Design Students”, number 12 “Public Domain and Creative Commons-Licensed Image Resources”, and number 19 “What is a QR Code?”. The digital images session addressed the concern that digital images acquired at great expense through purchase and/or subscription are underutilized and that this is a widespread problem, including at RISD. The research instruction for art and design students session was especially relevant for me as a librarian at RISD as the speaker’s strategy of visiting students in the studio, participating at critiques, etc. is exactly what we are encouraged to do. The session on the public domain and creative commons as a source for images underscored the increasing difficulty in acquiring digital images from a single source: today’s student and professor must become aware of these two sources as part of their understanding of the legal landscape when using digital images, and the librarian plays a critical role to educate image users to become sensitive to all the various concerns. The session dealing with QR (Quick Response) codes was helpful in that, while we are already using them at RISD, I benefited from hearing different ways and different destinations for the codes to connect patrons with library resources and services.
Immediately following those poster sessions I attended the Exhibits Opening Coffee that was generously sponsored by Erasmus Amsterdam/Paris and the ARLIS/NA membership. This coffee break coincided with the opening of the exhibitor hall and was a fine introduction to an important part of the conference experience: personal contact with vendors and distributors. It also provided a more practical forum after the previous night’s celebrations for members to greet each other and network.
Of the late morning sessions, I was drawn—pun intended— to “Colouring with Artists: Librarians Coordinating and Facilitating Information Creation and Appropriation in the Studio.” My position at RISD places me on the periphery of the research and instruction services but I do have a role to play in terms of liaising with cognate departments within the school. While not quite an embedded librarian—others occupy that space, I am increasingly aware that outreach must take on a different and expanded form. I was especially interested in the paper presented by Paul Dobbs and Greg Wallace at Massachusetts College of Art and Design that dealt with a participatory exercise teaching the ethics of image appropriation. Starting with fairly simple concepts and exercises, the “game show” becomes increasingly more intricate and complicated, using contemporary examples that made headlines at the time.
Like many other conference attendees, I then attended the ARTstor User Group Lunch. This well-attended event was devoted nearly entirely to the promotion of the Shared Shelf service from ARTstor. Previously known as ARTstor Hosted Collections, Shared Shelf is a means to ingest locally created digital image content that is then served alongside ARTstor content, providing users with a one-stop search portal. This has long been a desire on the part of visual resources librarians, as most patrons are not willing to search a handful of different image databases when they prefer to search just one. However, where Hosted Collections was free, Shared Shelf has a complex and complicated equation based on number of assets, not size. This strikes me as odd and expensive, given the low cost of server space, especially since it had been a free service that suddenly exploded into costs that run into the tens of thousands of dollars—and without warning. Many schools had to give up their hosted content. Others had to scramble to pay for an entirely new and persistent expense stream. Still others are now weeding their digital collection since each asset now has a defined cost. I do not know if Shared Shelf is in the future for RISD: I cannot discount the general happiness of those who no longer have to maintain their own local digital asset presentation system (after they’ve gotten over the sticker shock) and in a school without strong centralized instructional technology support, I may have to examine Shared Shelf in the near future, if nothing else than to play it on the radar of the RISD library director.
I then attended the meeting of the Visual Resources Division. In addition to general news, announcements, and updates, I was asked to participate on a panel discussion regarding the continued conversation of the collaborations between ARLIS/NA and the Visual Resources Association. This topic both preceded and continued after the joint conference the year before in Minneapolis and is now part of a process that will soon see an agreement of memorandum of understanding regarding future joint conferences. The other panelists spoke to their own experiences of collaboration, such as the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources; mine was the experience of having served on both VRA executive boards that organized the first joint conference in 2002 in St. Louis and the second joint conference in 2011 in Minneapolis, noting the difficulties in doing so, the challenges and successes, lessons learned and lessons forgotten, etc. It was a fruitful conversation and perhaps not surprising given that the group were VR professionals within ARLIS, that by the end of the discussion, everyone—from seasoned members to new—wondered why the two groups haven’t merged! With the current ARLIS/NA president-elect being one of them, this conversation may just not fizzle.
Following the coffee break sponsored by Worldwide Books, I then presented in the session, “Marketing Librarians, Practice, and Spaces in the 21st Century” with a paper on the RISD Material Resources Center. This paper was slightly modified from a paper presented at the 2011 annual conference of the Southeast College Art Conference (SECAC) held on the campus of the Savannah College of Art & Design. The other two papers dealt with contemporary approach to branding and the development of a digital library multimedia creation services unit at the University of Calgary. A healthy amount and distribution of questions was afforded to each speaker, though the paper on branding assumed a corporate approach and this led to some contesting of the major tenets. Although this session was well attended, I was disappointed that my paper was scheduled in a session opposite others that were very appealing: digital humanities and social media. I’ll have to follow up on that content through the proceedings.
While interested in the metadata session that followed, I instead chose to attend the “Promotion and Teaching with Visual Special Collections” that was sponsored by University of Toronto Mississauga Library and supported by the ARLIS/NA Alternative Voices Fund. In the RISD library one of my closest partnerships is with Special Collections, so I was pleased that all three papers presented strategies and projects that further integrated content from their respective special collections. I was especially interested in the efforts at Johns Hopkins University to develop visual literacy with rare books since visual literacy is at the heart of our instruction efforts and this paper presented a new avenue to pursue.
I skipped Convocation in order to have dinner with former colleagues but was able to attend the Convocation Reception at the spectacular new Frank Gehry Building at the Art Gallery of Ontario that was sponsored by the Libraries of the Art Gallery of Ontario, OCAD University, Ryerson University, University of Toronto, and York University. The event description urged attendees to eat beforehand or after, but there was no shortage of delicious edibles. The program at the reception featured welcoming presentations by President Evans and from OCAD University President Sara Diamond, herself a performance artist who is an advocate for libraries. It was a splendid evening.
On Sunday morning I chose to spend time in exhibits and reconnect with colleagues I’d not yet seen as well as make a few new introductions. During the late morning session slot, my first two attempts to join sessions were thwarted due to overcrowding, so I wound up attending “Remix, Reuse, Rework: Fostering Learning Beyond the Classroom” and am so glad I did. Wow! Each of the three papers presented topics that are easily among the most current and contemporary developments of instructional technologies. The first paper presented an architecture-based app that utilized data layers and GPS to deliver scholarly content via smart-phone or smart device based. It felt like a tech commercial that had finally been realized. The second paper explored what works, and sometimes what doesn’t work, in the traditional use of memes, mash-ups, and remixes. And the third paper presented Mimi, a homegrown educational software suite. This last paper was of particular interest since RISD has its own semi-homegrown educational platform called Digication and I could compare the two, especially since Mimi was developed at another art school. This session was easily one of the best, most exciting—and entertaining—session I’d attended anywhere in some time.
In the afternoon I attended the session, “Urban Mapwork: Art, Libraries, and the City,” mostly out of a general curiosity but also because I’m interested in the ways that new technology tools are harvesting and finally using all the different layers of data that are available. The first paper compared public art projects in two dissimilar cities and how libraries can help researchers develop the sense of the constructed environment. The second paper presented the Digital Maps Collection at the University of Toronto, which was truly fascinating. But it was the last paper that was most interesting: dealing with locative media to map archaeology data and reconstructions, joining traditional scholarly discourse with emerging interactive technologies. This is exactly the sort of thing that I think we will see more of and that librarians can play an important role.
The remainder of the afternoon was filled with closing ceremonies. The closing plenary presented a straightforward yet gorgeous summary of library architecture from throughout Canada, which appeared to be far more ambitious than anything we have in the United States. Following that feast for the eyes and mind, the Oxford University Press Launch of Benezit Dictionary of Artists Online was truly impressive in its multi-layered and interactive interface: users are presented with image and text resources in a deeply intuitive manner that found a very happy audience at ARLIS. Then the Exhibits Closing Reception sponsored by OUP immediately followed, which continued the pleasant mood from the Benezit debut. I did not have any meetings that night save for attending the informal gather of the Summer Educational Institute at the nearby Marriott. As a charter member/founder of SEI, I was very pleased to discuss current SEI practices and outlooks, curriculum design, etc.
Looking back during the writing of this report, the 2012 annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America in Toronto was a very rewarding experience, both for my handful of commitments and presentations and for the programming where I was able to sit and learn from others. The social events ranged from the top notch in elegance to scrappier affairs that were equally engaging. And the backdrop of Toronto served as a perfect context for currency and diversity among the membership and its endeavors. At this point in my career, I find ARLIS/NA to be an indispensable organization and the conferences to be always unique, one never like the other. So I’m especially grateful to the ARLIS/Texas-Mexico Chapter, where I still maintain a membership from two thousand miles away, and its Lois Swan Jones Travel Award program, for selecting me as the 2012 recipient and ensuring my ability to attend the conference and have such a successful and enriching experience.
Hello Texas-Mexico Chapter!
I thought I'd share some of my notes from the Toronto conference, especially items that relate to chapters.
a) The Executive Board continues to work with VRA on an agreement about future joint conferences. It will be more like a template for how to arrange matters, and less a strict schedule of having one every set number of years. I feel that a set schedule is quite limiting and puts a great deal of pressure on chapters who are interested in hosting a conference, so I am pleased that we're looking at a more flexible plan.
b) At the chapter chairs meeting, we agreed that it was important to have a set time for
chapter business meetings during the conference. The Pasadena team is well aware of this issue, and I've also shared it with the Executive Board.
c) The membership committee is interested in working with chapters on recruitment strategies, particularly when it comes to ways of reaching out to students. Special regional events can be a draw for those chapters that cover a large geographic area. I can certainly see that being the case with the fall meeting in Marfa that Martha Gonzalez-Palacios is planning for your chapter. I will be coordinating with Rina Vecchiola on this issue.
d) Several chapters have started using Paypal to collect dues, and that seems to be working well. TEI can only collect chapter dues if all chapters agree to participate, so Paypal is a more viable option.
e) Just a reminder that chapters are encouraged to use the gotomeeting software that TEI has in order to hold online meetings. I can find out more details for anyone who is interested.
That's all for now! Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
ARLIS/NA Chapters Liaison
Fine Arts Librarian
San Diego State University
I find hard to believe that it has been nearly four years since I started my current position at the Architecture & Planning Library at the University of Texas at Austin.
It was just a few months later that I was lucky enough to attend my first chapter meeting in Guadalajara where I met chapter members beyond Austin. Although I was born in that city, I never lived there so this was the first time I really spent some time in my birth town. I got to explore Guadalajara with fellow chapter members and it was what could be called “the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
I have since attended chapter meetings in McAllen, Houston and Fort Worth and each has offered great opportunities to visit new places and to spend time with colleagues across Texas. I am certainly drawing inspiration from these meetings for the 2012 Annual ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter meeting. The dates have just been set; we will meet Thursday, November 8 to Saturday, November 10 in Marfa. Updates will be shared with members via the listserv and once a full schedule is put together, it will be posted on this site.
If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to watch the latest video message from Deborah Kempe, ARLIS/NA President. She gives an update on the planning for next year’s ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, which will take place April 25-29, 2013 in Pasadena, California. Deborah also touches on the executive commitment to strengthen communication and her goal to make ARLIS/NA a more outward looking organization. She informs us that negotiations for the renewal contract with our management company, TEI, are well underway including the search for a new ARLIS/NA Association & Conference Manager. You can find contact information for Deborah and other executive board members here.
As always, please feel free to contact me.
if you have any questions or comments.
Martha González Palacios
2012 President, Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter
It was my pleasure to visit the recently opened Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, as well as the Fred R. Jones Museum on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman and the Gilcrease and Philbrook museums in Tulsa while on a trip sponsored by the Amon Carter Museum. It was a special treat to visit these museums with others interested and knowledgeable about art.
By now the whole world knows that there is a brand new museum called Crystal Bridges, located in out-of-the-way, Bentonville, Arkansas, conceived by Wal-Mart heiress, Alice Walton, and richly endowed by the Walton Family Foundation. Admission to the museum is free. Bentonville, Arkansas, is the home of Wal-Mart headquarters and the five-and-dime store, now the Wal-Mart Museum, where Sam Walton started the business which became the largest retailer in the world. Incidentally, Bentonville is named after the nineteenth century's Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. He was the great uncle of the 1930s regional artist, Thomas Hart Benton. Wal-Mart’s success story had depended heavily on it location in small towns. Crystal Bridges’ location seems to say that America’s small towns are no less deserving or receptive of fabulous art than its urban centers. Indeed since its opening in November, 2011, Crystal Bridges has had 800,000 visitors, an attendance record to be envied by other institutions.
Crystal Bridges is a serious museum with a serious collection. Museum Director, Dan Bacigalupi, led the tour for the Amon Carter visitors. The scope of the collection is American art from its beginnings up to the present time. Many early works are, not surprisingly, portraits. There’s a wonderful Charles Wilson Peale portrait of a younger than usually portrayed, George Washington, around 1780-82, with his hand on a cannon (watch out, you Brits!). There are wonderful early portraits of native Americans by Charles Bird King, and an enigmatic, but outstanding portrait of Robert Lewis Stevenson and his wife by John Singer Sargent.
You can see Asher Durand's Kindred Spirits depicting poet William Cullen Bryant and painter Thomas Cole atop a cliff in the Adirondacks overlooking a pristine America. Now considered a gem of the Hudson River School this painting's purchase for $35,000,000 from the New York Public Library caused a firestorm of resentment and talk of the state losing its patrimony. (Incidentally, I saw maybe thirty Asher Durans on the second floor of the New York Historical Society several years ago. It couldn't hurt to spread some of them around the rest of the country to be enjoyed by others.) Perhaps because of this or perhaps not, Crystal Bridges has entered into joint use of collections with financially troubled institutions such as the Fisk University collection in Nashville, Tennessee, and the Randolph-Macon Museum in Lynchberg, Virginia.
In case you wondered where the original Rosie the Riveter was, the one by Norman Rockwell, she takes up a whole wall in the Crystal Bridges Museum. And she's not the cutey pie depicted on stamps and so often in feminist literature telling us "she can do it." This Rosie has attitude! The collection goes right up to the present day with a disturbing Kara Walker, It Was a Warm Summer Day in 1863. One of Ms. Walker's black felt silhouettes of a hanging woman is in a black and white painting of a race riot. The list goes on and on with Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons, indeed anyone you ever heard of and many you haven't.
One of the most interesting rooms was better for history than for art. Called The Arkansas Traveler, it traces the stereotype of Arkansans as ignorant, whiskey drinking, coonskin wearing louts who lay about while a hole in the cabin roof goes unrepaired. The myth goes all the way back to the presidential election of 1840 when William Henry Harrison defeated President Martin Van Buren (Tippecanoe and Tyler too). The Arkansas Traveler, a consumate hillbilly, is celebrated in song, play, joke, politics, and art. Could it still be in people's minds when a new museum with an almost endless budget competes away from the usual art cities?
All of this is in a beautiful 120 acre pastoral setting of native plants with walking trails, ponds, streams and wetlands. Crystal Bridges Museum itself is built over small bodies of water. The grounds abound with first rate sculpture. There’s James Turrell’s Skyspace, the Way of Color, works by Dan Ostermiller, Robert Tanen, and Andre Harvey who gives us is a lifelike hog, not a razorback.
The museum is approached by a winding trail weaving through the woods. There the visitor is met by a life-sized, barren tree, made of stainless steel, by sculptor Roxy Paine, the only decoration to mark the entrance. No recumbent lions recalling ancient times, no name in Roman fonts, just a curving driveway to deliver the patron to an outside porch? loggia? entrance way? which walks you to the elevator taking you down to the galleries and main part of the museum. Israeli born Canadian citizen Moise Safdie is the architect responsible for this masterpiece. You have to see for yourself for full appreciation of the result. But if nicknames express fondness, it’s worth noting that the museum is already being called "The Armadillo". And it has a non-circulating library whose catalog may be accessed at http://crystalbridges.org/library
By Gwen Dixie, Librarian, Dallas Public Library
The Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, CASETA, marked its tenth anniversary in 2012, holding its annual symposium in the art city of Ft. Worth. Though small in numbers, the organization always provides scholarship, information and the chance to see a variety of what’s for sale in the field of early Texas art at its art fair.
Andrew Walker, new Director of the Amon Carter Museum, welcomed members to the conference with a speech stressing the importance to museums of collectors, Collecting for Social Purpose. Committed collectors often recognize outstanding art before museums become interested. They can be more free wheeling. Collectors preserve local history. Hopefully the best of these collections end in museum collections. Museums have obligations to preserve locally. Changing taste and space considerations sometimes require de-accessioning. Mr. Walker gave as an example of this, artist Joe Jones, a Missouri regionalist of Depression years who glorified workers and painted them realistically. Jones’ work can be seen at the Amon Carter and Crystal Bridges Museum. But it has recently been de-accessioned by the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mr. Walker said that de-accessioning is ethical as long as it is done responsibly and the procedure is transparent. Interestingly, the collector who bought these de-accessioned items was in the audience.
Some of the other presentations were:
Professor Emeritus Jack Davis of the University of North Texas sharing his scholarship on Women Artists in the 1936 Texas Centennial Exhibition. Unsurprisingly these women did not receive equal billing with the men in catalog, exhibit space or location of art. Most of these women artists were well-educated and all were committed to art of the highest quality, often modernist. Their careers and work showed that women did not just teach art education and art appreciation, but could hold their own as artists with the men. Professor Davis discussed Coreen Spellman, Ella Mewhinney, Martha Simkins and Florence McClung. He also included lesser known women such as Edith Brisac and Marjorie Baltzel.
J. P. Bryant, Houston, owner of the Torch Collection, the largest collection of Texana in the world, took a text from Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron” to describe the relationship among three El Pasoans. Tom Lea artist, Carl Hertzog printer, and Jose Cisneros self-taught graphic designer and artist, worked together for four decades making mostly books but also other designs like the seal for The University of Texas at El Paso. They worked all together, two together and separately, but each enhanced the work of the other. In a talk titled "Iron Sharpens Iron", Mr. Bryant noted the extreme attention to details including fonts, book cuts (in which text appears next to appropriate illustration), book coverings, completely factual drawings, and of course, art, made for a literary magic which likely will not be matched again. In commenting on the work of these three men Mr. Bryant quoted Michelangelo, “Trifles make perfection, but perfection is no trifle.”
Austin College Professor and former State Historian, Light Cummins, gave a full and well-researched biography of Dallas sculptor, Allie V. Tennant Southwestern Regional Sculptor, which traced the sculptor’s work from Beaux Arts student at the Art League in New York, to classic garden statuary, to professional and fully-formed modernist in Dallas. (ARLIS Texas/Mexico members, she did the famous Tejas warrior atop the porch of the Hall of State in Fair Park Dallas which you saw in 2008.) In latter years Tennant influenced local art by serving on committees and boards including the institution that became the Dallas Museum of Art. Mr. Cummins brought a larger than life-sized black basalt sculpture of a cat, made by Tennant, which had not been seen for forty years. Called Pretty Boy Floyd, this stray wandered up to the sculptor’s studio and stayed to be sculpted into her favorite work of art. Professor Cummins will soon publish a complete biography of Tennant.
Mary Bones, Curator of Art at the Museum of the Big Bend, has researched an almost forgotten summer art school held at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. In a talk called The Lost Colony: Texas Regionalist Paintings, Rediscovering an Artistic Past, she described a successful summer art school with plein aire painting trips and instruction that existed from 1932 to 1950. No one knows exactly why it began or ended. Many well-known Texas artists taught here including Xavier Gonzalez, Otis Dozier, Coreen Spellman, William Lester, and “the dean of New Orleans painters,” Paul Ninas. Part of the success of this undertaking was the outstanding physical beauty of the area which drew both students and teachers. “The Big Bend country is the most paintable place I have ever worked,” said one, Mrs. Ruth Lovelady, a 1940 Art Colony student.
CASETA is not all given over to Texas landscapes and themes. An outstanding overview of Houstonian, Dorothy Hood: Pioneering Texas Modernist, was given by Curator Deborah Fullerton of the Art Museum of South Texas in Corpus Christi. Hood moved with her Bolivian composer husband to Puebla and Mexico City where she knew Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros, and Kahlo. Pablo Neruda arranged her first one-person exhibit. Hood’s abstract work using staining, veining and pooling would have been as at home in New York as Texas.
A panel discussion by representatives of major Texas art dealers who took part in the weekend’s Art Fair ended the meeting. They agreed that the market for Texas art was good despite a general economic downturn. Several collection suggestions were offered, from particular artists, to paper art which is less expensive (though not listed in any index databases), to condition issues, to sending mistakes to Heritage Auctions. But the general guide to new collectors was to buy what you like, not name or deal; study hard; and narrow down to some type of scope, a theme, region, or time. Then it becomes a collection.
If you are interested in a fuller discussion of this organization or event go to: www.caseta.org
By Gwen Dixie, Librarian, Dallas Public Library
The end of the year is quickly approaching and with it, my tenure as Chapter President will also come to an end. I am grateful to my fellow members for giving me the opportunity to serve in that capacity. It has been a great experience that has given me a better understanding of the role chapters play in ARLIS/NA and the work behind the scenes needed to keep ARLIS/NA and the chapters running smoothly. Working with Shari Salisbury, Secretary, Laura Schwartz, Treasurer and Tara Spies Smith, Vice President/President Elect was a pleasure and I look forward to continue my involvement with chapter in years to come. My thanks also go to Beverly Mitchell, Past President, for answering my interminable questions; I hope to be able to do the same for Tara.
Planning the 2012 ARLIS/NA Chapter Meeting in Marfa was an important part of my activities as Chapter President. I had been in Marfa twice before and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to make it out there one more time. This visit was particularly enriched by sharing it with my fellow chapter members. We had wonderful and knowledgeable guides at the Chinati and Judd Foundation; like me, they appreciated having a group that was clearly engaged and thrilled to experience Judd's vision of how art should be displayed.
We had a very busy business meeting during our visit to Marfa. If you were unable to attend, please, take a moment to review the minutes also published in this issue of The Medium. You will find the ARLIS/NA Executive Board Report that was presented by Jon Evans, ARLIS/NA Past President. Some of the highlights are positive news regarding TEI, our management company, and Art Documentation. If you want further background on these issues, take a look at the latest issue of News From the President on the ARLIS/NA website.
I am looking forward to seeing you in Pasadena, California for the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference from April 25-29, 2013 and later in the year at our Annual Chapter Meeting in San Antonio, in what promises to be another great gathering of colleagues from across the region.
Martha González Palacios
2012 President, Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter
ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter
November 10, 2012, Austin Street Café, Marfa
Executive Committee of the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter
Martha Gonzalez Palacios, President
Tara Spies Smith, Vice-President/President Elect
Shari Salisbury, Secretary
Laura Schwartz, Treasurer
I. Call to order (President Gonzalez Palacios)
The Art Libraries Society of North America, Texas-Mexico Chapter's Annual Business Meeting was held at the Austin
Street Café, Marfa, Texas on Saturday, November 10, 2012. The meeting was called to order by President Gonzalez
President Gonzalez Palacios asked those present to introduce themselves. In attendance were Martha Gonzalez Palacios (UT Austin), Sam Duncan (Amon Carter Museum), Shari Salisbury (UTSA), Edward Lukasek (MFAH), Selene Hinojosa (Texas State), Tara Spies Smith (Texas State), Rebecca Barham (UNT), Eric Wolf (Menil), Elizabeth Schaub (UT Austin), Laura Schwartz (UT Austin), Jon Evans (MFAH), Beth Dodd (UT Austin), Mark Pompelia (RISD), Sarah Long (MFAH). President Gonzalez Palacios thanked everyone for their help in assuring such a fine chapter meeting. Beth Dodd thanked President Gonzalez Palacios for all her hard work. Vice-President Spies Smith concurred.
III. Secretary's Report and Approval of 2011 Business Meeting Minutes (Secretary Salisbury)
Minutes from the 2011 meeting had previously been submitted by email to Chapter members for comments. Only one minor correction was made changing the affiliation for those in attendance at the meeting from UT to UT Austin. If approved, the corrected minutes would be posted online. Secretary Salisbury moved to have the 2011 Business Meeting Minutes approved by the members. Vice-President Spies Smith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
IV. Treasurer's Report (Treasurer Schwartz)
Treasurer Schwartz informed those present that she opened a new bank account at United Heritage Credit Union on behalf of the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter in January of 2012 since she needed the ability to transact chapter financial business in Austin. Treasurer Schwartz also reported that the ARLIS Texas-Mexico Chapter currently has 33 members. Attendance at the Annual Chapter Meeting totaled 15. Prior to chapter meeting registration and membership renewal, there was a balance of $2,158.04. After the collection of chapter meeting registration fees and member renewals and expenditures for the meeting, there is currently a balance of $2,744.46 in the account. A number of chapter members have not yet renewed. Treasurer Schwartz will work with President Gonzalez Palacios on contacting members who were not present about membership renewal. $332.88 in donations has been received thus far earmarked for the Lois Swan Jones Award.
V. Editor's Report for The Medium (Vice President/President Elect Spies Smith)
Vice President Spies Smith reported that the spring issue of The Medium has been published. A call for articles has already been sent out for the fall issue pertaining to the Annual Chapter Meeting in Marfa. Vice President Spies Smith suggested that if anyone wanted to write about one particular aspect of a tour that would be fine. The deadline for submissions is November 26, 2012.
VI. Lois Swan Jones Award Committee Report (Sam Duncan)
Committee Chair Sam Duncan thanked the membership for trusting him with the responsibility of chair. Sam also wished to recognize the efforts of committee members Rebecca Barham and Edward Lukasek. The committee received two applications for the Lois Swan Jones Award this year. The award went to Mark Pompelia to defray expenses related to his attendance at the 40th ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Toronto.
VII. Proposed changes to Lois Swan Jones Award application instructions, procedures, policies, and affected
Chapter Bylaws (Sam Duncan)
During the course of serving as Committee Chair, Sam Duncan found some issues he wished to have discussed at the Annual Chapter Meeting. Sam stated that there is no clear language concerning who may serve on the Lois Swan Jones Committee. When this year’s committee was elected at the 2011 chapter meeting, it was believed by various members that Tara Spies Smith’s position on the committee and her election to Vice President/President Elect was a conflict of interest and Rebecca Barham was elected to serve on the committee in her place. Discussion followed as to whether this is a conflict. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans stated that he believes it is a conflict. Eric Wolf stated that he believes it is not and noted that some groups actually require an officer to be represented on such a committee. One of the main points that came out of the discussion was that many agree that it might be preferable to distribute the committee responsibilities to other members who are not officers. Those in attendance agreed that officers should not be on the committee. Sam will write some guidelines concerning who should be on the committee and will send these out to the membership via email for everyone’s approval.
Committee Chair Sam Duncan indicated that there was some question with regard to the recent award applications concerning whether or not applicants expected to receive institutional funding. Sam suggested that the application needs to say that they "must" indicate other funding, as opposed to the current wording which says what the application letter “should” include. Sam will compose the wording and send it to the membership for approval.
Sam asked for clarification concerning whether it is acceptable for an applicant to live geographically outside of the Texas-Mexico region of our Chapter since there is no mention of this in the current award guidelines. Those present agreed that it is acceptable for an applicant to live outside the region as long as they pay dues to ARLIS/NA and the ARLIS/NA Texas- Mexico Chapter.
Another discussion point concerning the Lois Swan Jones Award that arose was over whether the Chapter could make the award available to enable the recipient to attend any one of several options such as the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI), or the ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter Meeting. It was pointed out, however, that the purpose of the award is written to support attendance especially of those actively participating at the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference. It was agreed to make no changes at present but to look at the founding documents for clarification and to look at other avenues to support professional development such as raising membership dues. President Gonzalez Palacios tabled the discussion for now.
In addition, Committee Chair Sam Duncan asked those in attendance whether there should be guidelines for instances that may arise in which a committee member is asked to vet an applicant from the same institution. Those in attendance agreed this was not necessary.
Treasurer Laura Schwartz moved that the Lois Swan Jones Award be set at $500.00. Edward Lukasek seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
VIII. Call for new Lois Swan Jones Award Committee Volunteers (President Gonzalez Palacios)
Mark Pompelia began the discussion by asking whether there should be a soft policy that the award winner should subsequently serve on the committee. Beth Dodd stated that she believed such a policy is in the guidelines and Tara Spies Smith stated that this policy is included in the guidelines spreadsheet available to the award committee. (Secretary’s note: Looking at the online “Conditions of the Award” on the chapter website, there is no mention of the recipient subsequently serving on the committee. However, the "Lois Swan Jones Committee Guidelines" spreadsheet includes a note on the “Guidelines” tab that reads: "Remind awardee(s) of reporting obligations and encourage current recipient(s) to chair/serve on the LSJ committee for the upcoming year.") It was agreed that a statement to the effect that the award recipient is expected to renew their membership should be included in the award guidelines. Sam Duncan can address this in the guidelines he intends to write. President Gonzalez Palacios made a call for volunteers to serve on this committee. Mark Pompelia volunteered to serve and Rebecca Barham and Sam Duncan volunteered to continue on the committee. Since Rebecca Barham was later elected to the position of Secretary, Selene Hinojosa will serve in her place. Sam Duncan agreed to continue as chair. The committee was unanimously approved.
IX. Institutional transition plans for migrating to RDA (Sam Duncan)
Struck from agenda. President Gonzalez Palacios believed this was a more suitable topic for discussion on the listserv.
X. Collection policies related to digital catalogs produced by local galleries (Sam Duncan)
Struck from agenda. President Gonzalez Palacios believed this was a more suitable topic for discussion on the listserv.
XI. ARLIS/NA Executive Board Report (ARLIS/NA Past President Evans)
ARLIS/NA Past President Evans reported on the meeting of the Executive Board this fall in New York City at the Frick. The Executive Board had the opportunity to meet Guadalupe Rodriguez, the Society’s new representative from TEI. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans said that Ms. Rodriguez is “stepping up to the plate and doing good job.”
ARLIS/NA Past President Evans reported that the Executive Board is interested in the idea of virtual conferencing as a supplement to in-person attendance at Annual Conference. They received a proposal submitted by the committee appointed to look into the matter as to what a virtual conference would look like. Mark Pompelia stated that one big challenge is to educate the membership as to the costs involved; virtual conferencing is not free. He added that a second challenge concerns the logistics involved in basically running a second conference. One good aspect would be that TEI would assist in making that happen.
Other items discussed at the Executive Board meeting included encouragement for committees and chapters to use
"Go to Meeting" for webinars; the establishment of a new Special Interest Group on Digital Humanities; the desire to do a website redesign with the intent of using Joomla (bids are being taken); the need for chapters to report back to the Society regarding their accomplishments respecting implementation of the strategic plan; membership discounts to current members as incentives to encourage others to join; the desire for another joint conference with VRA as soon as 2016 (the financial model is in the process of approval); plans to update the ARLIS/NA policy manual as well as the conference planning manual; consideration of project management software Basecamp; announcement that the 2014 Annual Conference will take place May 1-5 in Washington, DC; work being done to ensure free unfettered wifi access at our conferences, likely resulting in increased registration fees (including the Pasadena conference); report about subscriptions to Art Documentation up 34% during the first full year since it moved to the University of Chicago Press; and an update from ARLIS/NA Treasurer which indicated that any deficit in the Society’s finances for 2012 was mostly due to expenses incurred in the transition of Art Documentation to the University of Chicago Press and that over time revenues are expected to increase with increased subscriptions.
In addition to these matters, ARLIS/NA Past President Evans pointed out particular items that involved ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter members. The Executive Board especially noted the professional development provided by SEI and acknowledged the leadership of Elizabeth Schaub in that regard. Two ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter members are represented on the next slate of officers put forward by the ARLIS/NA Nominating Committee: Eric Wolf for Secretary and Martha Gonzalez Palacios for Membership and Development Liaison.
XII. ARLIS/NA Annual Conference 2015 (ARLIS/NA Past President Evans)
ARLIS/NA Past President Evans made those present aware that a number of possible chapter hosts for the 2015 Annual Conference have fallen through, and he asked if our chapter is interested. The New York chapter has offered to host in Brooklyn but this would make our conference locations not as geographically diverse, since 2014 will be in Washington, DC. If our chapter were interested, the Society would like to know by the end of this year. A lengthy discussion ensued. Treasurer Schwartz asked which city would be the stronger candidate to put forth for Texas. Beth Dodd asked what is involved as far as local planning. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans said four people: two program chairs and two local planning chairs would be needed, along with others to assist. There would be a role for all chapter members. A strict timeline would need to be followed. TEI has a very hands-on role with financial issues and registration. Coordinating with the Executive Board, the Chapter President is very involved. Treasurer Schwartz said it is a lot of work, but it is our turn. Treasurer Schwartz asked if anyone was opposed to us hosting in 2015. No one expressed opposition. Vice President Spies Smith suggested Austin as a location. Mark Pompelia suggested that culturally Fort Worth has a lot to offer. Others also offered Fort Worth, but concern was expressed over suggesting Fort Worth since many of our Fort Worth members were not present at the meeting. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans stated that finding a hotel with adequate meeting room spaces would be a challenge and suggested that we first needed to figure out which city to recommend. Mark Pompelia suggested we have three members create a document to send to the Executive Board with recommendations pertaining to both Austin and Fort Worth. Elizabeth Schaub moved that we contact the Executive Board asserting a positive response with regard to hosting the 2015 Annual Conference in either Austin or Fort Worth. Eric Wolf seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. President Gonzalez Palacios will email members for volunteers so that she can work with a member from Austin and a member from Fort Worth to draw up recommendations.
XIII. ARLIS/NA 2011-2015 Action Plan (President Gonzalez Palacios)
The Chair of the ARLIS/NA Strategic Planning Committee got in touch with President Gonzalez Palacios to encourage us to discuss what our involvement could be in implementing the ARLIS/NA Strategic Plan and Action Plan in our chapter. President Gonzalez Palacios had sent members a link via email to the plan document prior to the annual meeting. Two of the document’s goals were briefly mentioned as possibilities for our chapter to work on: Goal III. A.1, Promoting art librarianship as a career, which could involve greater outreach to library or art graduate students; and Goal I.B.1, Developing outreach efforts to increase membership recruitment and retention. The implementation of these goals on the chapter level would fall more on Vice President Spies Smith as the next president. Vice President Spies Smith suggested establishing a committee via email. Beth Dodd moved that we establish a committee via email in order to open it up to the rest of the members. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. President Gonzalez Palacios will send an email to the membership. Beth Dodd volunteered to help.
XIV. Nominations and Elections of Secretary and Vice President/President-elect (President Gonzalez Palacios)
President Gonzalez Palacios represented the Nominating Committee in the absence of the other committee members. The Nominating Committee members consisting of President Gonzalez Palacios, Past President Mitchell, and Craig Bunch put forward a slate of nominees for two open positions. Nominated for Secretary was Rebecca Barham; nominated for Vice President/President-elect was Edward Lukasek. There was a call to see if there were any others interested in serving in one of these capacities and there were none. Both were unanimously elected.
XV. Chapter Welcome Party Donation (Treasurer Schwartz)
Treasurer Schwartz stated that the chapter contributed $300.00 last year to the Welcome Party for the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference. However, based on our current and expected budget we cannot afford to do that this year. She suggested a lower amount and asked ARLIS/NA Past President Evans what the average chapter donation is. He stated that $150 is roughly the average. After brief discussion those in attendance agreed. Beth Dodd moved that we donate $150. Vice President Spies Smith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
XVI. Annual Chapter Meeting Travel Award (President Gonzalez Palacios)
President Gonzalez Palacios stated that this item was already discussed in agenda item VII.
XVII. Planning for 2013 Meeting (Vice President/President-elect Spies Smith)
Vice President Spies Smith suggested San Antonio as the venue for next year’s annual meeting. She expressed a desire to have the meeting October 31-November 2 to take advantage of the first Friday art walk, particularly since it will fall on the Day of the Dead and there are likely to be many holiday-related art exhibitions at that time in San Antonio. Other locations she is contemplating including on the itinerary are the McNay, since Craig Bunch works at the library there, and the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University in San Marcos. The Business Meeting would be held on November 2. There was discussion among those present about the difficulty some might have in attending events on Halloween, although Vice President Spies Smith pointed out that the chapter has had the annual meeting at that time before. ARLIS/NA Past President Evans remarked concerning not only our next chapter meeting, but concerning chapter meetings in the future, that it is difficult to get institutional funding for meeting attendance if there is not sufficient programming for professional development. He encouraged those planning for this and all future conferences to be sure to include such programming. Several in attendance suggested doing a survey of members via Survey Monkey regarding dates and content. Vice President Spies Smith responded that she could do a survey.
XVIII. New Business (President Gonzalez Palacios)
President Gonzalez Palacios asked if there was any new business. Sam Duncan stated that a lot of new content has been added to our website and there has also been an update to the WYSIWYG interface. He can send an email out to the members about that. In addition, Sam said that The Medium archive has a number of extant digital copies in various locations, so he is comfortable with where we are on that.
Eric Wolf asked who of our members is presenting at the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Pasadena. Eric Wolf and
Edward Lukasek are presenting and Mark Pompelia is working with a Special Interest Group.
XIX. Adjournment (President Gonzalez Palacios)
Treasurer Schwartz thanked President Gonzalez Palacios for a wonderful year. President Gonzalez Palacios thanked
both Treasurer Schwartz and Secretary Salisbury for their service. President Gonzalez Palacios called the meeting adjourned.
Thank you Marfa – I get it! No, thank you Donald Judd for not using the three hangar-size buildings in the town center – formally the Marfa Wool and Mohair Buildings – where you intended to house your mind-boggling 100 milled aluminum boxes. But instead, you allowed John Chamberlain to fill the gigantic space with his automobile scrap metal compositions dating from 1972 to 1982. Before Marfa, I would occasionally encounter a Chamberlain sculpture on exhibit somewhere and always pick up on the calculated use of car junk noting the original paint jobs on a mangled door or trunk lid while usually spotting a giant contorted fender embedded as an integral element of the composition. But there and then in Marfa, among so many, the assemblage looked stunning in the progressive buildings. Each unique space with high ceilings lined with wooden beams is divided by Judd’s signature swinging doors that pivot on a rotating axis. The 22 works, definitely on a human scale, are placed to create a flowing spacial rhythm with a striking cohesive visual effect.
Chamberlain was a literary sort who loved giving his work crazy titles. There are two “gondolas” – one called William Carlos Williams and the other Ezra Pound –which are low-built, long-framed, constructions instead of the usual vertical forms. My favorite was the black & white structure called Tongue Pictures from 1979. The title is elusive, but on standing in close proximity it has a seductive animal magnetism and inner power – sort of like a mutation between a giant winged insect (or extra-terrestrial) crossed with Darth Vader! A foreboding sense of powerful potential energy seethes under its compression ready at any moment to explode (now talking kinetic energy here) in order to restore itself to its original shape or perhaps to morph into another entity altogether…
Thank you John Chamberlain – I got it!!
Submitted by Edward Lukasek
It takes a great deal of time and thought to install work carefully. This should not always be thrown away. Most art is fragile and some should be placed and never moved again. Somewhere a portion of contemporary art has to exist as an example of what the art and its context were meant to be. Somewhere, just as the platinum-iridium meter guarantees the tape measure, a strict measure must exist for the art of this time and place. ~ Donald Judd
Marfa may seem an unlikely place for one of the most important modern art collections in the U.S. outside of Los Angeles and New York. But it was precisely its isolation, clear skies and the vast expanses of land that, at least in the 1970s, were available for sale at extremely affordable prices that allowed Donald Judd to realize his vision for how art should exist.
During the 2012 ARLIS/NA Texas-Mexico Chapter meeting last November, we visited the Chinati Foundation. Our group was lead by Eugene Binder, an art dealer that divides his time between Marfa and New York City, just like Donald Judd did for over two decades. Eugene began by talking to us about the history of the area. He provided plenty of time for contemplation interspersed with a wealth of facts and insisted on limiting anything that could be construed as his personal interpretation but his many insightful comments were well received by all of us.
The first clue to the history of the site now occupied by the Chinati Foundation comes from its address: 1 Cavalry Row. The former Fort D.A. Russell began as a base for cavalry in 1911 was originally founded to defend the U.S. border with Mexico. As the needs for the military changed, so did the activity at the base where horses were eventually replaced by motorized vehicles and airplanes. During WWII German prisoners of war were housed in two artillery sheds now occupied by 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986.
In 1979, Donald Judd began renovating and adapting various building at the fort in order to accommodate large-scale art installations. The project was initially supported financially by the Dia Art Foundation but by 1986, when the Chinati Foundation first opened to the public, it had became an independent non-profit institution. Judd’s original plan was to have works by himself, as well as John Chamberlain, and Dan Flavin but over the years the works by another 12 artists were added: Carl Andre, Ingolfur Arnarrson, Roni Horn, Richard Long, Ilya Kabakov, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, David Rabinowitch, and John Wesley. Descriptions of these works can be found on the Foundation’s collection webpage.
For my part, I will just focus on some of my impressions of two pieces; Donald Judd’s 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1982-1986 and Dan Flavin’s untitled (Marfa project), 1996.
Walking amongst Judd’s 100 untitled works in mill aluminum many ideas and images come to mind. There is the sheer scale of the work, the magic of the light coming in and the subtle differences between each box, the way the whole shed, its square windows with square mullions are not just the container for the work; they are part of it. The sun warms up the space and also brings warm tints to the normal cold looking aluminum. The simple and stark grid so prevalent in Judd’s work seems to be infused with other meaning in this piece because of this space’s earlier occupants, cavalry and infantry troops and later German prisoners of war.
Experiencing Dan Flavin’s untitled (Marfa project) is a cumulative process. Spread over 6 u-shaped barracks, seeing this piece in its totality requires time. Both vision and sense of space are affected and walking in and out becomes a meditative activity. It is hard to capture the colours of the fluorescent lights in a photograph but even if the colours were accurate, the sensation of walking through the space while getting closer or further from the lights is a true phenomenological experience. It transforms the landscape seen outside, away from the fluorescent lights on the opposite end of the room. The landscape becomes sharper and its colours more dramatic.
I don’t think I could grow tired of visiting the Chinati Foundation. The experience of walking amongst and/or through these works of art is hard to compare with any other I have had. The remoteness of Marfa and dramatic wind swept landscape only add to the art.
Submitted by Martha González Palacios
During our wonderful tour of the Safeway Studio building of the Judd Foundation in Marfa, Christine Olejniczak, Program and Outreach Coordinator, showed us a number of items bequeathed by Barnett Newman to Donald Judd. In addition to painter’s scaffoldings and a lovely antique Philco radio was an artist’s palette complete with various pigments that belonged to Newman at his death. While one would expect a palette full of reds and whites, the pigments on Newman’s palette were predominantly greens.
As Christine was visiting Houston two weeks after our Chapter’s visit to Marfa, I invited her to look at the unfinished Newman paintings here at the Menil Collection and introduced her to Brad Epley, our Chief Conservator who is very experienced treating Newman works (including a seven year long project restoring Be I, now on display in the 20th Century gallery at the Menil). So, on Monday, November 19th, Christine, her husband Ray, Brad and I met in our Barnett Newman gallery and our treasure rooms upstairs and looked at our Newman paintings. Not surprisingly, the greens only appeared on some early work. But all of us were intrigued and we all want to learn more about this palette.
So we can add Newman’s palette at the Judd Foundation to the file of Marfa mysteries along with the Marfa Lights. I will keep the Chapter informed about any further facts that come to light as Christine, Brad and others continue to pursue this.
Submitted by Eric M.Wolf
Hello Texas-Mexico Chapter!
The Executive Board had our mid-year meeting on September 13-14, 2012, at the Frick Collection in New York. We have also had a couple of conference calls since then. I wanted to share some highlights from our discussions that might be of interest.
1. Strategic planning
The Board would like chapters to review the strategic plan and consider the goals and actions outlined within (see the committee website at http://www.arlisna.org/organization/com/stratplan/index.html). Each chapter should let me know about any goals and objectives that have already been met, but also how the chapter is working to reach other goals set forth.
3. Scheduling webinars and virtual meetings
Guadalupe Rodriguez at TEI (firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 768-8000 x136) is able to set up hosted webinars and virtual meetings for chapters using the GoToMeeting software, but needs 3-4 weeks lead time. We're looking at ways for chapter chairs to be able to self schedule these meetings.
4. Basecamp subscription
The Board has decided to subscribe to Basecamp for project management of ARLIS/NA activities. Once the account is set up, chapters will have the opportunity to use the software to manage and track activities.
5. ARLIS/NA website (AWS)
The Communications & Publications Committee is currently accepting bids for a redesign of the AWS. They are hoping the design work can be done this spring with migrations of content to Joomla over the summer. I think we're all looking forward to a new and improved AWS.
That's all for now! Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
ARLIS/NA Chapters Liaison
Fine Arts Librarian
San Diego State University
The Judd Foundation tour continued after lunch with a visit to the Donald Judd Archives. Caitlin Murray, Archivist and Assistant Manager, Marfa Operations, provided an interesting account of the evolution of the archives, which are securely held in the bank building’s vault.
Where Judd’s library hangs in situ as an installation and memorial to his research and personal interests, Judd’s archive stands testament as evolving evidence of his creative processes and relationships and personal life through the visual and textural documents he produced and collected along the way.
Discussion included Caitlin’s current processing work, generously funded by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, and future plans in providing service to the currently closed collection. Unlike Judd’s library, the archive is expected to continue to grow with new material, including an upcoming accession of architectural records.
Current issues in the archival world came up, including the new Encoded Archival Context (EAC-CPF) standard. EAC is expected to turn the approach to research inside out through the exchange of information about individuals, families, and organizations. This standard results in established records with opportunities to link the relationships of "creators"- such as Donald Judd- to the many people he collaborated with. For more information see the Encoded Archival Context Activities page.
We also touched upon the ArchiveGrid, a significant reference tool for archival research recently made freely available to the public. It provides word wide access to millions of finding aids to archival collections.
Caitlin is doing a terrific job of stewardship with the Judd Archive. It was great to see how much work has occurred in preservation and access since our last visit. Scholarship is bound to flourish once the archival finding aid is published online and the archive is opened to research. Enjoy updates to her work here.
Submitted by Beth Dodd