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Art

Ruth Asawa at Tamarind lithography workshop 1965 by an unknown photographer

Walking around campus, one can readily see the impact of Stanford’s Arts Initiative. Joining the existing Cantor Arts Center are several new buildings, including the Bing Concert Hall, which opened in 2013, the Anderson Collection at Stanford University, which opened on September 21st, and the growing structure that will be the McMurtry Building, slated to open in 2015.

In parallel with this new focus on the arts, the MSS division in Special Collections has worked over the last year with Peter Blank and Anna Fishaut at the Art & Architecture Library, in identifying and funding the preservation and processing of four recently acquired art collections. Some of the projects will include selected reformatting of audio-visual elements, processing of digital files, additional digitization efforts, and collaboration with the libraries’ Department of Conservation and the Art Library’s Visual Resources Center.

Happy Birthday to Aldous Huxley, born July 26, 1894!

“There are things known and there are things unknown and in between are the doors of perception.”
-Aldous Huxley

Aldous Huxley is widely known as the author of Brave New World, The Doors of Perception, and Island. Did you know he was also the grandson of scientist Thomas Henry Huxley, a Hollywood screenwriter who wrote the screenplay for Pride and Prejudice (1940), lectured on the “Human Potential” at The Esalen Institute in the 1960’s, and was once Eric Arthur Blair’s French teacher at Eton College before Eric went on to write 1984 and Animal Farm with the pen name George Orwell?

Special Collections at Stanford University Libraries has a sketchbook, which Huxley used when he was 17 years old. Dated March 7-July 6, 1912, it is possible that Huxley brought the sketchbook along with him during his travels through Marburg, Germany before attending Oxford University in the fall of 1913.

We are happy to announce that Lucy Waldrop will join Special Collections in September as the project archivist on the Helen and Newton Harrison papers project. This is an NEH-funded project and will conclude in February 2016. Lucy comes to us from Wichita State University, where as a project archivist, she processed several large collections including that of photographer and film director Gordon Parks. The Harrison collection is a significant acquisition and this preservation and processing project is one of several art projects being undertaken by Special Collections in collaboration with the Art Library in the coming year. 

chinese brush painting class exhibition

The works of Continuing Studies ART221: The Art of Chinese Brush Painting Class Art Exhibit 2014 are on display in the East Asia Library from May 18 - 23.

Recently acquired, an engraving by Jan Sadeler (1550-1600) from 1590, based on the painting of Joos van Winghe (1544-1603) depicting King David playing the harp. A group of choristers is gathered around an open choir book which contains the 5-part setting of Psalm 116 by Andreas Pevernage (1542 or 3-1591).

Open tape reel from Gerhard Samuel Collection, ARS.0049

During the fall of 2013, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) convened a working group to investigate the current state of access to audio and moving image materials held within its various collections, notably rare materials within its different special collections departments, along with those held at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. 

Following many weeks of investigation, the Media Access Working Group (MAWG) produced a report in December 2013 outlining its findings, along with various recommendations to help tackle the issues discovered. The group considered issues relating to use cases, copyright status, available technologies - including media streaming, and content usage. 

Yung-Yidish no. 1, cover.
I'm pleased to announce that the Stanford University Libraries have digitized a complete set of the rare (and fragile) avant-garde Yiddish literary and artistic journal Yung-Idish.  All three issues were published in Lodz, 1919, and the digitized versions are found at the following URLs:
 
 
For background on the Yung-Idish (or: Yung-yidish) group, see the entry in the YIVO Encyclopediahttp://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Yung-yidish.
"The founding of Yung-yidish, the first Yiddish artistic avant-garde group in Poland, grew out of a meeting in 1918 between poet Moyshe Broderzon and a group of visual artists centered around Yitskhok Broyner, Yankl Adler, and Marek Szwarc. Eventually, the group included some 20-odd members including Yitsḥak Katzenelson, Yekhezkl-Moyshe Nayman, and Hershele, as well as younger people discovered by the group, such as the artist Henekh Bartshinski and the writers Elimelekh Shmulevitsh, Khayim Leyb Fuks, and Yisroel Shtern."
 
Yung-Idish was also the subject of a scholarly monograph by the Polish art historian Jerzy Malinowski: Grupa "Jung Idysz" i żydowskie środowisko "Nowej Sztuki" w Polsce, 1918-1923. Warszawa: Polska Akademia Nauk, Instytut Sztuki, 1987.
 
In addition, I see that there is a Facebook page devoted to the group:
 

Stanford's set of Yung-Idish is part of the Ezra Lahad Collection, which was acquired by Roger Kohn for Stanford in 1998.  The issues, on crumbling thin cardboard stock, were painstakingly conserved by the Stanford Libraries' professional conservators in 2012, prior to their digitization.

Artists' books class visit - Photo by: Ala Ebtekar, used with permission. Artists' books class visit - Photo by: Ala Ebtekar, used with permission. 

Each year, students from art, art history, photography, and design classes visit the Art & Architecture Library to view a selection of the artists’ books held in the library’s Locked Stacks collection. This winter, students from Ala Ebtekar’s Artist’s Book class made two visits to see twenty different titles, with highlights such as Stéphane Mallarmé’s typographic masterpiece ...Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard; poème, Gordon Matta-Clark’s Conceptual work Walls Paper, and Anna Hellsgård and Christian Gfeller’s silkscreen-printed Relax (Zeitgeist). The students used the books as inspiration for their final projects, which will themselves be on view in the Art & Architecture Library’s reading room in April.

The artists’ book collection, with holdings ranging from the historical to the contemporary, is available to the entire Stanford community for study and enjoyment. Those who are new to the field or are interested in expanding their familiarity can consult the Artists’ Books topic guide or peruse the representative sample included in the SearchWorks Stanford Artists’ Books Collection.