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The Time of the Force Majeure - Helen & Newton Harrison

Today I received a copy of The Time of the Force Majeure: After 45 years, Counterforce is on the Horizon (Munich: Prestel, 2016), a major title on Helen and Newton Harrison, celebrated artists in what has become known as the Eco Art movement. With six critical essays this 464 page retrospective monograph covers their remarkable shared studio practice of forty-five plus years. SUL acquired the Helen & Newton Harrison papers in 2010. The appearance of the Harrisons’ monograph marks an extremely active publication period related to SUL’s more recent acquisitions of artists’ archives.

Lynn Hershman Leeson: Civic Radar (Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2016) was published in conjunction with an exhibition held at three venues over 2014-2016 where materials from the Lynn Hershman-Leeson papers were shown, the ZKM, Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, the Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Falckenberg Collection, and the Lehmbruck Museum Duisburg. Two recent monographs draw on the Carolee Schneemann papers. The first is a major monographic treatment, Carolee Schneemann: Unforgiveable (London: Black Dog Pub., 2015), and the second, Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting (Salzburg: Museum der Moderne; Munich: Prestel, 2015), presents an exhibition held at the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg (November 2015-February 2016) and publishes materials from the archive.

Sadly, but on a related artists' and collections' note, I report the recent passing of Nathan Lerner, an extremely important American photographer, curator, museum director, educator, founding member of the Society for Photographic Education, and founder in 1969 of the Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, New York). SUL is fortunate of have recently acquired a considerable treasure trove of early Visual Studies Workshop materials, which includes approximately 125 titles published by the Visual Studies Workshop Press, an extensive collection of ephemera (103 pieces) related to the early years of the VSW, and over 150 original silver photographs, silkscreen prints, offset lithographic prints, xerographic prints, and photo-etchings from VSW students and faculty. These materials offer a glimpse into the early years of the VSW and will certainly provide the visual material necessary for research and publication on Lyons and the Workshop.

 

This years IFLA Arts Libraries Satellite meeting was held at the Art Institute of Chicago, with papers delivered on the theme of "The Art Library as Place: Building on the Past, Building for the Future." Art librarians from eight countries spoke to a select audience of art librarians from around the world on a host of planning, facilities, and program issues pertaining to the refurbishing of existing historical structures (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam; INAH Art, Paris; Pushkin State Museum of Art, Moscow, etc.) or 100% new construction (Stanford's Bowes Library). Peter's paper, "Designing for the Program, Programming for the Design" was part of two sessions devoted to "Architecture's Impact on the Library's Program," with the second paper in his session delivered by Anne Buxtorf (pictured), Director, INHA National Art History Library, Paris, which is in the midst of a major renovation project.

Antigone.

This year, Stanford Classics turns 125, and to celebrate, we have put together an exhibit examining its early history. While small and undistinguished early on, the department quickly produced scholars of distinction. Today it is a major center of American classics, and a world leader in the study of ancient Greece and Rome. Still, the century and a quarter that intervenes between us and its foundation is often a sort of ever-advancing black box—that is, we seldom have an institutional memory that extends any further back than the recollection of the faculty's most senior member. Earlier outlines of the department's history are therefore simply lost. This exhibit hopes to shed some light on that earlier place and time.

Sylvan Bar, Valley of Yosemite

October 1, 2015, marks the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Yosemite National Park. To commemorate our nation’s third National Park, the University Archives has mounted an exhibition of photographs of Yosemite Valley taken by Eadweard Muybridge in 1872. On display are ten albumen photographs printed from replicated negatives made from photographs by Muybridge in 1872. This set of images comes from a limited edition printed by the Chicago Albumen Works, Inc. and published by Yosemite Natural History Association in 1977. Only 50 sets were produced. To read more about this amazing series of photographs follow this link. To view additional Muybridge photographs held by the Stanford University Libraries follow this link.

The photographs are on display in Green Library, 2nd Floor, near the Human Resources office (241) located near the middle of the Bing and East Wings. Viewing hours are Monday-Friday from 8AM to 5PM.

Albers interaction of color

The current "Higlights from the Marmor Collection" exhibition, "Josef Albers: Interaction of Color," closes June 15 at the Cantor Arts Center. The exhibition displays prints by Albers from the "Homage to the square" series in the Marmor Collection alongside a selection of plates and the Text and Commentary books from the Art & Architecture's copy of Alber's Interaction of Color (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963). The Interaction of Color presents Alber's rigorous examination of color's ability to deceive us, with numerous comparative color experiments shown via 150 silkscreen plates, the two text volumes outlining the step by step color examinations. Heavily used by classes in art history, design and photography, the Interaction of Color is one of the hallmark publications of design pedagogy. One of the great masters of 20th century art, Albers taught at the Bauhaus schools in Weimar, Dessau, and Berlin from 1923 to 1933, at Black Mountain College from 1933 to 1949, and at Yale University from 1950 on. This is a unique opportunity to see Alber's artwork displayed next to a sampling of the Interaction of Color. The exhibition is curated by Colleen Stockman, Assistant Curator for Special Projects.

Shu-Wen Lin

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab and the Department of Special Collections are delighted that Shu-Wen Lin is spending the summer with us in Redwood City interning as a media archivist. Leveraging her interest and background in the arts, Shu-Wen will help to process and preserve several media-based collections, including the archives of visual artist Carolee Schneeman and the archives of Telling Pictures, a prominent Bay Area film production company. Shu-Wen's first day is June 1.

Have you ever wondered why Stanford is represented by the color cardinal, and not the original choice of gold? Or why the university's motto is in German?

The University Archives, in collaboration with Kathleen Smith, Curator of Germanic Collections and Medieval Studies, is pleased to announce a new exhibition focused on the development of Stanford's insignia. Becoming Stanford: The History and Meaning of the University’s Insignia is now on display in the South Lobby of Green Library.

San Francisco Fountain detail by Joe Thompson

As previously announced, the Ruth Asawa papers are now available. In thinking of fun and innovative ways to present certain aspects of her work, we decided to scan a small series of San Francisco architecture snapshots from her collection and upload them to the social mapping website Historypin, and also include them in their Year of the Bay local history project.  These photographs were probably used as research in creating the San Francisco Fountain in Union Square, which features many cast dough relief images of the city. Unfortunately there is no information on or about the prints in the collection. They are likely all from the 1960s, and were probably taken by Asawa (she has referred to taking pictures of the city in preparation). Architectural historian Sally Woodbridge may have also contributed. The varying qualities of the prints implies that several cameras or developers were used, and that they were probably taken over a period of time. At any rate, they collectively serve as a remarkable portrait of the city in that decade.

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