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About Laura Graveline

Visual Arts Librarian, Dartmouth College

Ghost Trees and Reliquary are both an artistic collaboration between poet and Louisiana native Martha Serpas and printmaker Michelle Burgess at Brighton Press. Both books are part of Michele Burgess’s ongoing collaborative series; “The Stratigraphic Archives.” Burgess describes this series as an exploration of the processes, forms, and markings that reflect the patterns, gestures, and atmospheres of both quiet and cataclysmic events. She is interested in the relationship of these events to the human condition and the conditions of nature at its most fragile. She explores the concepts of palimpsest, time and gesture, erasure and repair. Working in collaboration with other artists and poets, she seeks to combine human history and natural history, bringing these themes together in an essential way, working with ideas inspired by places such as churches and reliquaries, geological sites, art museums, personal memory, natural history museums, riverbeds and ocean floors, and library rare book rooms. Martha Serpas’ view of the books is that both translate the feeling of the elements at work. 

“I am imagining one of these books, its pages flipping as if wind-tossed, as an experience of the wind as passionate with a double effect—cleansing and destructive.” [https://www.brightonpress.net/our-collaborators ]

The first volume of the series, Repair [Presses B766bur] is available in Rauner Special Collection as is the fourth, A Torn Web: 16 Poems [Presses B766stto]

Reliquary [Art Special Collection, PS3619.E77 R46 2016] is the first collaboration between Michele Burgess and Martha Serpas and is volume nine in the Stratigraphic Archive. The poems are focused on Louisiana where her hometown of Galliano is disappearing into the Gulf of Mexico due to coastal erosion and rising seawaters. Burgess's etchings are concerned with the disappearance of the languages and patterns of nature.    The etchings are "ghost" printings on Twinrocker paper collaged with torn fragments from the first impression of the print on Gampi paper making each edition unique. Each volume is bound in cloth and leather by Claudia Cohen and housed in a clamshell box made by Sonja Jones. The poem was handset in Perpetua and printed letterpress by Nelle Martin.

Ghost trees [Art Special Collection N7433.4.B865 G5 2017] is the second collaboration between Michelle Burgess and Martha Serpa and is volume ten of the Stratigraphic Archive This volume also combines the poetry of Martha Serpas with 23 drypoints and 2 etchings by Michele Burgess.  The poem first appeared in The Dirty Side of the Storm and was reprinted with permission for this edition. The drypoints were printed by hand from copper plates and were hand colored on Echizen Shikibu Gampi paper by the artist. This edition includes one of the copper plates, bound into the clamshell box by Mark Tomlinson. The text was handset in Perpetua and printed letterpress by Nelle Martin.

These books will be on display in the Sherman Art Library August 13 - December 2, 2019

This exhibit is on display in the Sherman Art Library 6/12/18 - 11/11/18

This beautiful work documents the remaining sixteenth-century village churches in and around Santiago de Guatemala. Original pen and ink drawings of the twenty-two churches were transferred to metal relief plates, printed and hand-colored by Grove Oholendt.  The prints are accompanied by letterpress books, in English and in Spanish, with text by Catherine Docter. The books include twenty-two tipped-in photographs by Mitchell Denburg, documenting the churches. Each volume is covered in traditional Mayan hand-woven petate paper weaving and the woodcut endpapers are printed by the Guatemalan artist Guillermo Maldonado.

Catherine Docter was inspired to document the beauty of the architectural facades of these village churches, which are falling into disuse and disrepair.  This beautifully crafted edition serves as a testament to the beauty of Guatemala’s colonial baroque architecture, surviving nearly 500 years.

Village Church of Santiago de Guatemala

Libros San Cristobal is a fine book press and atelier located in Antigua, Guatemala. This press produces limited edition fine books and portfolios on Central American subject matter.  Libros San Cristobal is one of the only fine press publishers making books about the region, in the region.

Original Etchings by American Artists was published at a time in American history when the country was trying to establish an artistic identity and visual presence that could rival Europe’s.  Sylvester Rosa Koehler, the first curator of prints at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and editor of this work, went on to be a curator of graphic arts at the Smithsonian and was also an editor and contributor to the American Art Review.  He commissioned all of the etchings included in the volume and he chose artists who were at the top the 19th century American art scene.  Through his publishing and scholarship, Koehler had a huge impact on the course of American art history and contributed to the renaissance of etching and engraving in American Art. In some ways this publication was meant to elevate the American taste for landscape and genre art put forth by the American Art Union, which had a more sentimental view of art and promoted artists that took fewer artistic risks. Many of these prints from this volume can be viewed individually in museums around the country, and it is rare to find a complete volume today. Dartmouth’s volume is in fact missing two prints, which have been generously provided in this collection by the Smith College Museum of Art.

Dartmouth's copy of Original Etchings by American Artists can be viewed in Sherman Art Library by asking for NE2186 .K7 in Art Special. The prints also be viewed in Artstor,  and via Shared Shelf Commons.

To learn more about the American Art Union and its impact on American Art in the 19th century, read Laura Graveline's, Dartmouth Art History Librarian, short blog post on the organization.

This work was curated by Monica Erives '14, the Edward Connery Lathem Digital Library Fellow.

 

Julianne Swartz's art exhibit in Sherman Art Library

Part of the Hood Museum's exhibit Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth in the Sherman Art Library Reference Room

9/15/17–12/10/17

Building on the qualities and expectations of the library, Swartz created three listening objects that resemble books in scale, weight, and location. They are meant to be held and listened to by one person at a time, and this one-on-one relationship dictates the objects’ form and function. The sound is a private, singular experience that echoes the act of reading.  Please pick up the objects (one at a time) and listen to them.

One of Julianne Swartz's objects with audio

Each object transmits a short piece of specific text. Swartz transcribed each text and spoke it aloud at the rate of transcription, trying to release the words vocally only as she wrote them. So the pen rushed to catch up with her voice and her voice slowed to stay in time with the pen in order to “absorb" the texts more slowly. She recorded both the sound of her voice and the writing simultaneously on different tracks so she could mix them together in varied combinations.

Swartz chose texts that spoke of the poetic transmission from writer to reader, and of receptivity—that is, the receptivity of listening as akin to the receptive state of reading.

The three texts Swartz used, one for each object, are Deep Listening: A Composer’s Sound Practice, by Pauline Oliveros (Deep Listening Publications, 2005); Collected Prose, by Charles Olson (University of California Press, 1997); and The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard (Presses Universitaires de France, 1958).

Transfer (objects) asks us to consider the act of reading through the act of listening. It suggests the echo of language in our mind as we read to ourselves, and it reminds us of the other sounds that accompany what we often think of as a silent act. As such, it questions how we receive information and develop knowledge and wisdom in an increasingly complex and noisy world.

Students in Sherman Art Library

This exhibit is part of the larger Hood Museum exhibit. Small installations can be seen throughout the Dartmouth Campus:

Hood Downtown:  Terry Adkins and Jess Rowland
Cummings Hall: Laura Mae
Sherman Art Library: Julianne Swartz
Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center: Bill Fontana
Sherman Fairchild Physical Sciences Center: Jacob Kirkegaard
Bema Amphitheater: Alvin Lucier
Strauss Gallery at the Hopkins Center for the Arts:  Christine Sun Kim

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, and generously supported by the George O. Southwick 1957 Memorial Fund, the Eleanor Smith Fund, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Danish Arts Foundation.

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finy

In 1985, a Cuban poet Alfredo Zaldivar and an artist Rolando Estevez established a literary forum for a group of Cuban artists in Matanzas, Cuba and called it Ediciones Vigía. For over twenty years now the goal for these artists has been to create beautiful handmade books. Through all of the social and political shifts, and even a severe paper shortage the artists have found ways to create works of enormous artistry, imagination, and creativity, by using found and recycled materials, such as leaves, sand, broken glass, and plastic.

Although a specific artist creates each edition, a team of artists in a publishing house in Matanzas works to create multiple copies of the book.  On every book, a drawing of a lantern or oil lamp is placed as a logo for the Ediciones Vigía publications. Perhaps, this is synonymous with their missions to light the way for artists and readers to be inspired by the world around them, as well as bringing into light many important Cuban artists and authors.

Dartmouth first began to acquire these books in 2003 as a result of faculty’s growing interest in them and since then has acquired more than 100 volumes, located in the Art Special Collection of the Sherman Art  Library.  A selection of books will be on display in the Sherman Art Library reference room July 29 through November 30, 2015, and the whole collection can be browsed in Artstor, http://library.artstor.org/library/#3|collections|36183||Ediciones20Vigia20Artists20Books|||

This exhibit was curated by Stacey Lee '17.

Splendor1 Splendor2
The Splendor Solis is one of the most beautifully illuminated alchemical manuscripts. The original manuscript of this facsimile is in the British Museum, and dated 1582. The earliest version of this text is considered to be the manuscript in the Kupferstichkabinett in the Prussian State Museum in Berlin, which is dated 1532-35. The Splendor Solis manuscript, which is illuminated on vellum, with decorative borders, beautifully painted and heightened with gold, is perhaps the most visually stunning.

The work itself consists of a sequence of twenty two images, set within highly ornamental borders. The symbolic images depict alchemical death and rebirth, and incorporate a series of seven flasks, each associated with one of the planets. Within the flasks a process is shown involving the transformation of bird and animal symbols into figures of a Queen and King, symbolizing the white and the red tincture. The imagery appears to have been influenced by the earlier Pretiosissimum Donum Dei or The Most Precious Gift of God, an earlier work consisting of twelve images depicting the transformation of white & red stones, often represented by the figures of a queen and a king. This work is thought to have first been appeared as a manuscript in 1475

The Splendor Solis has been associated with the legendary alchemist Salomon Trismosin, allegedly the teacher of Paracelsus, the great renaissance physician, astrologer, botanist and alchemist, although many scholars refute this attribution. The manuscript text was later published with woodcut illustrations, in the Aureum Vellus oder Guldin Schatz und Kunst-kammer, 1598, which was reprinted a number of times. Rauner Special Collections has a French translation, entitled La Toyson d'or, ou la fleur des thresors [QD25 .T751 1612] published in Paris in 1612, with a number of very fine engravings, some of which were hand-colored.
The original manuscript in the British Library can be viewed at the link below
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=harley_ms_3469_fs001r

The facsimile is in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, ND3399 .T75 2010

hueso

This small book is handset and letter press printed, bound with the traditional woven indigo skirt fabric of Mayan women in Guatemala. It is a book of poetry by Caly Domitila Kanek, an indigenous author, who wrote the dark and powerful poems about the internal war in Guatemala. When the book was published in 1996, few were ready to read about the war, especially from an indigenous woman’s perspective. Printed in Spanish, Cachikel, and English, the publisher Libros San Cristobal in Guatemala was brave to print this important, and beautiful book.

From the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, PQ7499.2.G214 H8 1996

The Armory Show was the first, and, ultimately, the only exhibition organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors.  Officially titled The International Exhibition of Modern Art, the exhibition started in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, 1913. The exhibition went on to show at the Art Institute of Chicago and then to the Copley Art Society in Boston.Armory Show  New York  1913  cover (3)

The show became perhaps the most important event in the history of American art.  American audiences who were accustomed to more realistic or sentimental art, were introduced to cutting edge European artists work, including Fauvists, Cubists, and Futurists.   Reviews of the exhibition accused the art of inciting everything from anarchy to insanity.  Works like Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, created a shock among viewers, and caused many American artists to question the boundaries of what art could be.  Many art historians consider the exhibition to have been the turning point that encouraged American artists to become more avant-garde.

The Art Special Collection holds a fine copy of the original catalog of the show, made more interesting by the discreet comments penciled by some of the American art entries by “Abbot”, the original owner of the catalog.  You can view the catalog, N6448.A74 A3 1913, as well as the Association's published response to the exhibition, For and Against: Views on the International Exhibition held in New York & Chicago, N5015.A8 A8 1913, in the Sherman Art Library.

grumpies

This wonderful little book is a one of a kind piece made by artist Aimee Lee.  She often works with fiber and handwoven paper, and a grumpy mood inspired both the design of the book, and the poem printed inside.  The pages the poem are printed on slips of handmade paper, and attached to pages knitted with yarn made from pine wood, and dyed with calligraphy ink.  The sewing of the handmade paper cover was left purposely raised and visible to contribute to the rough feel of the book and poem, an excerpt of which is printed below:

The morning deer venture out
And cheer you

As does the message from a friend:
She woke up grumpy, too

This book can be found in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, N7433.4 L44 G78 2010

Flexagon
A wonderful example of a flexagon, is found in Vermont artist Carolyn Shattuck’s The quilts of Gee’s Bend, V.2. To be more precise, this is a flexagon book, a movable structure made up of 6 tetrahedons. This creates a kinetic structure that allows the user to manipulate and display the book in multiple, unexpected ways.

This is the second book Carolyn Shattuck created, that was inspired by the beautiful and unusual patterns found in quilts created in the rural African American community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. The unknown artists who created the original quilts developed unique designs that are exceptionally vibrant, and this handmade book, #8 in edition of 25, was designed by Shattuck as a tribute to the artists who designed the original quilts. It can be found in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, call #N7433.4 S417 G34 2011.