Studio Art MFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Firth MacMillan

detail of Trestle, 2009
detail of Trestle, 2009

New York City-based artist Firth MacMillan will discuss her work Wednesday, June 29 at 1 pm in Hamilton Hall’s CBS Auditorium. She received her MFA from the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and now teaches on the various campuses of the City University of New York.

Ms. MacMillan’s work is included in Contemporary Ceramics by Emmanuel Cooper (London: Thames and Hudson, 2009). Find it in Greenfield Library, call number 738.09051 C78c.

She is also featured in “The Walter Ostrom Legacy” in Ceramics Monthly v. 51, no. 4 (April 2003) which is available in print in Greenfield Library.

Contemporary Literary Criticism Select

Contemporary Literary Criticism Select (CLCS) is a collection of published scholarly criticism about the works of major modern authors including novelists, poets, and playwrights. This is a great place to start your research on most contemporary authors.

CLCS can be searched by author, title of the work, or even themes such as screenplays (you’ll find Quentin Tarantino and Francis Ford Coppola here), musicals (David Mamet and Arthur Miller are included), and essays (JRR Tolkien is here along with Ayn Rand). Each entry contains biographical information on the author, a list of major works by the author, additional resources for further study, and critical essays. If available, interviews with the author (a primary source!) are also included.

To access CLCS from the UArts Libraries’ homepage, under Online Resources click on Articles. You’ll find CLCS and have 24/7 access (if you are off campus you’ll need to login with your UArts username and password) to scholarly sources for all your research needs.

Digital Resource of the Week: Painting Flowers

With spring in full-bloom, let’s take a look at an interesting collection of how flowers are depicted in painting. The BBC created a website to accompany a television show called Painting Flowers. This site follows the layout of the show by focusing on four flowers often used in paintings: the sunflower, the lily, the tulip and the rose. Besides viewing paintings by the type of flower incorporated, you can compare uses through themes such as love and beauty or death (what a contrast!). A small section on contemporary artists show how flowers are still being used as inspiration.

As always, see more examples by searching the UArts Libraries’ catalog. Search by subject for flowers in art. Below are two artistic interpretations of the tulip. Enjoy!

Flowers in a Glass Vase by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder
Flowers in a Glass Vase by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder
Pollen by Rob Kesseler
Pollen by Rob Kesseler

Digital Resource of the Week: Ocean Flowers: Anna Atkins’s Cyanotypes of British Algae

Ptilota sericea
Ptilota sericea

Ocean Flowers: Anna Atkins’s Cyanotypes of British Algae, from the New York Public Library Digital Gallery, is truly a one-of-a-kind digital collection. In 1841, William Harvey published Manual of British Algae, but it did not contain any images. Atkins sought to illustrate Harvey’s Manual by experimenting with William Henry Fox Talbot‘s “photogenic drawing” technique. By placing an object against light-sensitized paper and then exposing it to sunlight, the paper darkens around the object, creating a silhouette of the object. We know this process today as blueprint, or cyanotype.

The final product of Atkins’ work is Photographs of British Algae. What makes algae so interesting? In this case, Photographs is “a landmark in the histories both of photography and of publishing: the first photographic work by a woman, and the first book produced entirely by photographic means.”

Ocean Flowers contains over 200 images of algae photographed in the cyanotype technique. You can learn more about cyanotype, and see more objects photographed in this technique, by searching the UArts Libraries’ catalog for the keyword cyanotype or the subject blueprints or blueprinting. To see more of Atkins’ work, check out her book Sun Gardens: Victorian Photograms.

Digital Resources of the Week: Focus on Shakespeare

This week, we’ll look at some websites and open-access journals that focus on the authorship question surrounding Shakespeare. Who was William Shakespeare? Did someone else write his works or contribute to them? Why consider whether the unschooled Shakespeare was really the playwright? As Shakespeare biographer Samuel Schoenbaum notes, “there is something incomprehensible about genius. Shakespeare was superhuman.”

Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford

PBS’ Frontline claims, in The Shakespeare Mystery, that Edward de Vere, a poet and highly educated earl, was the real Shakespeare. Various debates and further readings will help you make up your mind for yourself. The Shakespeare-Oxford Society is also “dedicated to researching and honoring the true bard,” Edward de Vere. Their Authorship FAQ and Information Library helps to clarify why so many people question Shakespeare’s authenticity as a writer.

Christopher Marlowe
Christopher Marlowe

Others believe Christopher Marlowe wrote much, if not all of Shakespeare’s work. The International Marlowe-Shakespeare Society was created by a group of scholars who have published works arguing in favor of Marlowe as our Elizabethan bard. They also have a terrific blog that keeps up to date on the controversy, citing excellent resources.

However, not everyone believes Shakespeare is too good to be true! Shakespeare Authorship is “dedicated to the proposition that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare.” Designed much like a blog, Shakespeare Authorship refers to the readers to online resources intended to prove the author.

Want to learn more about this centuries-old debate? Search for Shakespeare William 1564 1616 Authorship in the UArts catalog.

AP Images available through UArts Libraries

Please note: If you are off-campus, you will need to log in using your UArts e-mail log-in.

AP (Associated Press) Images is an incredible resource for those in the visual arts and anyone interested in current events. The AP is the oldest and biggest news organization in the world and has won numerous Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding journalism. In AP Images, there are over 4.6 million photographs, as well as audio and text material, from all these years of international reporting. Each image is high resolution, available for download for educational use only, and has an informative caption describing the photograph.

A statue of Hotei Buddha sits in the debris in the  tsunami-destroyed town of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan Friday, April 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
A statue of Hotei Buddha sits in the debris in the tsunami-destroyed town of Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan Friday, April 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

While you can search by any period in time, including today, you should also take advantage of their Showcases, selected images focused on a topic such as the Civil War, Exploring Colors, and World Records. Also view images from US News and International News; both are great ways to keep up with current events.

AP Images is the perfect source for quality images of politicians and celebrities, action shots, and fashion. You can also find images by concepts, such as happy, boredomwet, and even by color! These search options make the database an excellent electronic picture file for visual inspiration.

Digital Resources of the Week: Focus on Shakespeare

Painting of William Shakespeare attributed to John Taylor, c. 1610.
Painting of William Shakespeare attributed to John Taylor, c. 1610.

For the month of April, we’ll look at some wonderful open-access (aka free!) resources on William Shakespeare, who was born in April 1564 and died in April 1616! This week, I’ll share some websites that give a general overview of the famous bard’s life and writing.

First up is the ever-classic Encyclopedia Britannica which has created a Guide to Shakespeare. This is a great place to start (besides the UArts Libraries, of course!) for anyone studying Shakespeare. The guide includes a comprehensive biography, synopsis of his plays, and audio and video of some of the plays’ greatest scenes.

Another excellent site that provides a great overview of Shakespeare is the Internet Shakespeare Editions. This resource covers the life and times of the bard and performances of his plays, and fully annotated text of his plays and poems.

Finally, make your professors proud and use Borrowers and Lenders: The Journal of Shakespeare and Appropriation for your scholarly research! Borrowers and Lenders is an open-access, peer-reviewed multimedia journal dedicated to the scholarship on Shakespeare.

As always, don’t forget the resources at the UArts Libraries! The librarians here have put together an excellent subject guide on Shakespeare to help you navigate all the books, articles, and even more websites available to you. Also check out how many videos and DVDs we have of Shakespeare’s plays!

American History in Video

American History in Video offers more than 5,000 videos related to the history of the United States. There are documentaries from companies such as PBS and The History Channel. There are also interviews, public debates on contemporary issues, and archived newsreels – before television, a newsreel (a brief film of the current news) was shown before the main feature in movie theaters. These are PRIMARY sources that can’t be beat!

The database provides many ways to access the videos (remember, like all our subscription resources, you will need to log in with your name and library barcode if you are off-campus). You can browse by decade, era, historical event, or by subjects such as dance, music, and fine arts. Also check out their subject-themed playlists or create your own – perfect for class presentations.

To view the newsreel of the Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, watch the clip Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946.

Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945 - Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946
Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, 1945 - Universal Newsreels, Release 526, August 5, 1946

Digital Resources of the Week: Women’s History Month

For this final week of Women’s History Month, let’s take a look at some of the history of working women in the United States.

Women Working 1830-1900 from the Harvard University Library Open Collections Program documents primary resources, such as diaries, magazines, and photographs, to explore how women working impacted the economics of this country, especially during the Great Depression. Browse by key events, including the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 or by notable women included in the collection, such as interior designer Candace Wheeler. Discover more on this designer in Candace Wheeler: The Art and Enterprise of American Design, 1875-1900 in the UArts Libraries. For more general resources on women and labor, try searching the catalog by subject with women–employment.

Esther Bubley at the Bayway Oil Refinery in 1944 (taken by Gordon Parks)
Esther Bubley at the Bayway Oil Refinery in 1944 (taken by Gordon Parks)

A really interesting website from the Library of Congress is Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters during World War II. Eight women, including photographers Dorothea Lange and Esther Bubley, are presented for their hard work and insight during wartime. To learn more about these two photographers, search for Lange, Dorothea and Bubley, Esther as subjects in the UArts Libraries’ catalog.

Finally, a horrible tragedy that, thankfully, encouraged better working conditions for all Americans. March 25, 2011 is the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Factory Fire. Cornell University has a wonderful website dedicated to educating the public about the fire, which occurred March 25, 1911 at the Triangle Waist Factory, a textile factory in New York City. Within minutes of the fire starting, 146 people, mostly women and many of them young immigrants, had perished. Because of this horrific event, labor laws and building codes all over the country were updated and enforced.

We can thank The Women’s Trade Union League who campaigned for the 8 hour work day!
We can all thank the Women’s Trade Union League, who campaigned for the 8-hour work day!

Digital Library of the Week: Women’s History Month

This week, let’s take a look at women in the visual arts. A great place to start is the National Museum of Women in the Arts, located in Washington, D.C. The museum’s library and research center has created CLARA, an online database detailing the lives and work of 18,000 women visual artists. Women from all time periods and nationalities are included. The museum also has a terrific blog, Broad Stokes, that will keep you up to date on all the latest news and happenings related to women artists.

The UArts Libraries has many books published by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. You can see a listing by searching for the Museum in the catalog as an author.

The Brooklyn Museum’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art is also dedicated to supporting and showcasing women artists. A recent exhibition was our own Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery’s Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, 1958-1968!  The Center also has an online database of women artists’ works, Feminist Art Base. Each entry provides a biography, artist’s work images, and related websites.

Janine Antoni's sculpture Lick & Lather (1993)
Janine Antoni's sculpture Lick & Lather (1993)

Two other sites document specific women artists’ and activism. The first is WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution which documents artmaking and women’s civil rights actions between 1965-1980. A 2007 exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, WACK! maintains a collection of audio tours and podcasts of this historic collection. Check out the exhibition catalog in the UArts Libraries‘ collection too; it’s in the Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 704.042 W115m.

Finally, we can’t let Women’s History Month go by without mentioning The Guerrilla Girls. In 1985, a group of women artists created the group that is still going strong today. Each woman in the group assumes the name of a dead woman artist and wears a gorilla mask in public so that the focus is on the issues they are tackling, rather than the woman herself.

A Guerrilla Girls' poster
A Guerrilla Girls' poster

The Guerrilla Girls use performance, posters, and writing to raise awareness of women in the arts – read their FAQ page for more details on this dynamic group. You can also follow them on Facebook for the latest on how they are “reinventing the f-word – feminism.”

Also check out Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls (Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 709.04 G936c) and Guerrilla Girls : Troubler le Repos = Disturbing the Peace (Greenfield Open Stacks, call number 709.22 G936g) in the UArts Libraries.