After being recommended to me by a friend, I watched Children of Paradise and fell in love with it. It is a truly beautiful film made in 1945 during the Nazi occupation of France and tells the story of Garance (played by Arletty) and the four men who love her. Jean-Louis Barrault brings one of her suitors to life as the mime Baptiste Deburau. This Criterion edition also includes a booklet of curious facts, cast biographies, and excerpts from an interview with director Marcel Carné. Not only a love story, Children of Paradise is a film of pure poetry that will stay with you.
You may also be interested in these items:
Memories for Tomorrow: the Memoirs of Jean-Louis Barrault
Another great digital resource is Discovering American Women’s History Online, provided by the Walker Library of Middle Tennessee State University. This database catalogs primary sources such as diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, and interviews, from hundreds of online collections focused on historical life in the United States for women.
Breaking the Mould explores a wide range of new perspectives in the field of ceramics where the vessel is just a very small part of the works presented here.
“Different” and “unusual” definitely come to mind when looking at the porcelain lighting installations of Margaret O’Rorke, the deconstructed household objects of Kjell Rylander, smashed vessels of Hans Stofer, architectural puzzles of David Jones, and the abstracted essence of vessels by Ken Eastman, among many others.
This is a good overview of a field that is building upon and breaking with its roots.
Recommended by Barb Danin, Greenfield Library Acquisitions and Administrative Coordinator.
This week, we’ll focus on African American resources right here in Philadelphia.
The African American Museum is now in its 35th year of exhibiting the history and culture of African Americans. Located at 7th and Arch Streets, pay only $8 with your current student ID. Visit the exhibitions section of the website to learn what’s currently on display.
Want a more current view of African Americans in this city? Check out the Philadelphia Tribune, a newspaper that considers itself “main stream news for African Americans in the greater Philadelphia region.” Established in 1884 by Christopher J. Perry, the award-winning newspaper is the nation’s oldest black newspaper.
Also visit the website for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. You can view work by searching the collection for African American Art. For music lovers, sign up for SoundAboutPhilly, which describes itself as a “free customizable sound-seeing tours told by ‘real’ Philadelphians. The stories are accompanied by dynamic mapping, audio, text and vivid photography that provide a more intimate illustration of Philadelphia and can help you find your way around once you arrive.” Check out Philly Noir to tune in to the African American vibe right around you on South Broad Street.
This week, let’s look at some terrific digital collections that focus on African Americans in the visual and literary arts.
If you are interested in African arts, the first place to explore is the National Museum of African Art, part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The website has a lot of resources on traditional and contemporary African art and artists. You can read about work currently on view and virtually browse their galleries.
There are also two excellent university art collections that focus on African and African American art. Howard University, also in Washington, D.C., has Selections from American Art from the Howard University Collection. View works by prominent African American artists including Aaron Douglas, Isaac Hathaway, and Faith Ringgold.
There are also great digital collections of African American writing. African American Women Writers of the 19th Century, provided by the New York Public Library, is a full-text database of 19th and early 20th century literary works that give us “access to the thought, perspectives and creative abilities of black women” during that era (Introduction). Choose to read fiction, poetry, biographies, or essays.
Congratulations to Robyn Muse, who took a library tour and was drawn as the winner of our $100 VISA gift card, and to Sam Gould, one of our $50 gift card winners! Robyn, who toured the Greenfield AND Music libraries and doubled her chances of winning, is a junior vocal performance major. Sam is a sophomore multimedia major.
If you are interested in music, you might also want to check out the Library of Congress American Memory collection African-American Sheet Music. There are over 1,000 pieces of music from the late 19th century through the early 20th century.
PBS has an excellent website to accompany its program, Free to Dance. The website and video document the contributions of African-American choreographers and dancers to American performing arts. Read the biographies of different dancers and check out their links to other online resources for the modern dancer. Don’t want to watch it online? The Greenfield Library has “Free to Dance” on videocassette. If you don’t have access to a VCR, we have several in the library.
Like theater? The Blues, Black Vaudeville, and the Silver Screen will introduce you to African American entrepreneur Charles Douglass, who founded the Douglass Theater in Georgia, providing diverse entertainment for the state’s African Americans. Or, browse Zora Neale Hurston Plays (another Library of Congress American Memory collection). Her plays focus on her life experiences and her research about African Americans in the nation’s South.