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la Cortada book cover

La Cortada is the story of Cuban American scholar Ruth Behar’s immigration from Cuba to America.  She was almost 5 when her family immigrated, but unlike other family and friends who immigrated around the same age, she had no memories of her life in Cuba.  Because of this her family called her La Cortada, referring to one who has been cut off, lost their speech, their memories.  Behar had become painfully shy and continued to be so even as she became a college professor.  In search of her early childhood memories, and perhaps a key to the laughing little girl her family remembered in Cuba, Behar traveled to Cuba to get to know the family left behind, including a woman, Caro, who cared for her as a little girl.  Behar’s mother had told her Cuba was so safe when she was a child, that she would let her ride alone in a taxi to visit her aunts.   When Ruth said she couldn’t remember the taxi or anything from that time, Caro told her she had come home from a visit to her aunts and told Caro that the man had pinched her thighs the whole way home and refused to get back in a taxi again.  Ruth never told anyone else what happened, and she realized it was at that time that her memory cut off. She lost her happy memories and her laughter, but also her fear and her sadness at what happened.

First published in 1997 story was published in Cuba by Ediciones Vigia in 2004, a cooperative of Cuban artists that create handmade books in editions of 200, using mostly recycled materials. This edition is designed by artist Rolando Estévez in English and Spanish, and includes a puzzle image of La Cortada in a back pocket that, like Behar's memories, can be pieced back together.

Professor Ulrike Wegst at the Thayer School of Engineering developed a library of material samples that allows students to explore the structures, properties, and processing characteristics of common metals, ceramics, polymers, composites, and natural materials.  Understanding these materials informs the process and selection for their projects, prototypes and manufacture in the shops at Thayer and the HOP.

 Foam, Metal,  Discover Materials!, accessed May 27, 2020, https://discovermaterials.omeka.net/items/show/413.

To make the materials samples more accessible, Prof. Wegst worked with students  to photograph materials and create data sheets about these materials that could be viewed on a website. Maintaining the website required some programming background and created website maintenance issues. Prof Wegst and her students assistants were able to work with Mina Rakhra from the library to create material templates in JSTOR Forum where students can add and update materials information with consistent terminology, and publish directly to an OMEKA website. Students helped to create supporting documentation for new students working on the project, as well online exhibits from the materials library, such as the Food for Thought Exhibit on chocolate, https://discovermaterials.omeka.net/exhibits/show/food-for-thought/chocolate

  Cacao Pod & Bean Samples

The physical Discover Materials! Collection is located in Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering, next to the machine shop. The collection consists of hundreds of materials and products, with information to guide students with materials selection for their projects.  Browse the collection online: https://discovermaterials.omeka.net/collections/browse?sort_field=Dublin+Core%2CTitle 

The collection is also being added to Dartmouth's public collections in Artstor: https://library.artstor.org/#/collection/100075907

 

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.

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.

The American Art-Union was founded in 1844 in New York City, with the aim of promoting the fine arts through its publication, which was available as membership subscription, and eventually through its art gallery, which was free and open to everyone.

Inspired by European models, the membership subscription entitled members to receive the annals and transactions, including prints and engravings of famous works, as well as an opportunity to participate in an annual lottery for a painting by a well-known American artist.  

The original aim was to focus on art that had an American character or appeal, and images of the American landscape and country life predominated. The American Art-Union also endeavored to provide artwork that represented all of America without a regional bias.  As this was the era of abolition, a politically charged atmosphere reigned over all public spheres, and it seems as though their aim to be unbiased created a bias.  Eventually, the union became embroiled in anti-abolitionist politics and was accused of running an illegal lottery, which led to its downfall.

However, the union had inspired other American cities to develop their own art unions, and the free and open to the public art gallery changed the greater public perception of art for the masses.  Few scholarly monographs have been published on the American Art-Union until Perfectly American was published in 2011, presenting new scholarship on this important aspect of American art history.  This volume can be found in the Sherman Art Library, N6510 .P47 2011.book  

In addition, an original volume of the Transactions of the American Art-Union is available in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection, 700.51 A5122T  1845; 1849.   All issues of the Transactions of the American Art-Union, as well as the Bulletin of the American Art-Union, are freely available from JSTOR’s Early Journal Content:

http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=tranamerartunio

http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublication?journalCode=bullamerartunio

book
This beautiful handmade artist’s book, created by artist Jill Timm, is illustrated with exquisite Chinese rice paper cutouts of horses, attached to thick, paper covered boards. The boards are hinged to create a double sided, accordion fold book, accompanied with a poem by Bonnie Lewis.

Jill resides in Washington state, and her books can be found in libraries and art collections around the world. This book was a special limited edition of 6, and you can find it and more examples of Jill’s work in the Sherman Art Library Special Collection: http://bit.ly/14V2YFP