Category Archives: Our UArts Community

Library- and research-related news and notes about UArts students, faculty and staff.

Studio Art MFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Matthew Higgs

Photograph of a Book (John Currin)
Photograph of a Book (John Currin)

Curator and artist Matthew Higgs will discuss his work as director of White Columns as well as his artwork this Wednesday, July 6, 2011, at 6pm in Hamilton Hall’s CBS Auditorium. Mr. Higgs has been director and chief curator of White Columns, an alternative art space in New York City, since 2004. He has also internationally exhibited his own artwork and is represented by Murray Guy in New York City.

Read his introduction to Elizabeth Peyton (New York: Rizzoli, 2005) in Greenfield Library, call number 759.1 P468h. Also, search “Matthew Higgs” as a keyword phrase in the UArts Libraries’ catalog to find more books to which he has contributed.

“Matthew Higgs: The Director of White Columns in New York”  in Modern Painters v. 23, no. 1 (February 2011) is a brief interview with the curator. The full text of this article is available in WilsonWeb (you will have to login first, if you are off campus).

In “Matthew Higgs” in Art Papers v. 30, no. 5 (September/October 2006), Adam Thompson reviews Higgs’ exhibition What Goes Around Comes Around at Murray Guy. The full text of this article is also available in WilsonWeb.

New Book Edited by UArts Professor Virginia Bower

Jingdezhen ware porcelain vase from the Ming dynasty before 1585
Jingdezhen ware porcelain vase from the Ming dynasty before 1585

The UArts Libraries is proud to add Chinese Ceramics: From the Paleolithic Period through the Qing Dynasty (Greenfield Open Stacks 738.0951 C441li) to its collection. Virgina L. Bower, an adjunct associate professor at the University of the Arts, is one of the editors of this beautifully illustrated book on the history Chinese ceramics from Yale University Press.

To create such an in-depth catalogue of one of China’s most celebrated artistic forms took ten years of collaboration among Chinese, American, and Japanese scholars, including Professor Bower. She says of the project:

“Editing Chinese Ceramics was among the most challenging tasks I’ve ever undertaken, but it was also among the most rewarding. All the scholars—from China, Japan and the United States worked hard to fully discuss and illustrate the best works from all over the world; it really was a global team effort.”

Chinese Ceramics will be on display in the Greenfield Library until the end of the semester. Congratulations, Professor Bower!

Book Published by UArts Foundation Professor Buy Shaver

Buy Shaver, a 2D Foundation professor, has had a book published by The University of Chicago press. Titled Moving the Eye Through 2-D Design, Professor Shaver’s book is a step-by-step approach to the basic elements of successful two-dimensional art. To achieve this, Professor Shaver writes in the book’s introduction that “an artist must firstly get the viewer’s attention and secondly must control how the viewer perceives a composition.” This is accomplished though “visual dynamics – contrast, motion, and noise.”

This is a terrific resource for both faculty and students. Moving the Eye Through 2-D Design will take the reader through line, shape, value, color, and, of course, feeling. You’ll learn why “sex, death, food, and all things cuddly” are so important to good artwork!

The Foundation Department is sponsoring a lecture by Professor Shaver on Wednesday, February 26. Join him as he discusses his book and his approach to teaching two-dimensional design. The lecture will be held in CBS Auditorium in Hamilton Hall at 12:00 p.m.

from Buy Shaver's 2006 installation at the Philadelphia Art Alliance
from Buy Shaver's 2006 installation at the Philadelphia Art Alliance

Music Library Survey

Please assist the University Libraries in its continuing efforts to assess and improve library effectiveness by completing a survey about Music Library services and collections. We greatly appreciate and value your input and encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the survey available at

Please contact Carol Graney, Director of Libraries, if you have any questions about the survey, difficulty with the online survey, or if you prefer to complete a paper survey.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

Visual Music: Mary Greenewalt at HSP

A University of the Arts alumna’s work is at the center of a Historical Society of Pennsylvania event on Thursday, January 27, 2011. Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt, an 1893 graduate of the Philadelphia Musical Academy (today’s UArts School of Music), was known for her invention of the nourathar, an organ that displayed color scored to music (she also invented the rheostat, or light dimmer!). The Historical Society event will feature composers performing their own work inspired by Greenewalt and her papers, now available to researchers at the Historical Society and on exhibit for the event. One of the composers is UArts faculty member Andrea Clearfield.

Greenewalt seated at one of her inventions. This image taken from

Intrigued by the nourathar? To find out more you can read UArts Music Librarian Mark Germer’s essay on Greenewalt, published in an earlier library newsletter.

Greenfield Library Student Exhibition Opportunity 2010

If you’ve been in the Greenfield Library lately, you probably noticed Printmaking senior Cerise Kacensky’s print, Upside Downside Rightside Up, in the book stacks study area. She is one of our student exhibitors, and you can be, too!

Cerise Kandinsky's Upside Downside Rightside Up
Cerise Kacensky’s Upside Downside Rightside Up

The Greenfield Library study area has a small, but terrific and highly visible, space for showing 2D work, creative writing, and short scripts. There are no entry fees and no deadlines. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

1. A pdf form has all the information on applying. Or, stop by the Greenfield Library circulation desk to pick up guidelines and a proposal form. Questions? Contact our Circulation Supervisor, Shannon Robinson, at or 215 717 6280.

2. Submit up to 2 photos of the work you would like to show. You can submit photos with the application or email a .jpg to Shannon at

3. Submit an artist’s statement (1 page or less) with your application. This is optional, but always helpful in understanding the artwork. If accepted, the artist’s statement can be included in the exhibition.

We can’t wait to display the work you’ve been doing in your studios!

Philadelphia Center for the Book

In 2003, Jude Robison and Caitlin Perkins were MFA students in Books Arts and Printmaking at UArts. Amazed at all the local book arts, library history, and publishing houses right here in Philadelphia, they wanted to build a “bridge between Philadelphia’s cultural riches and its passionate bibliophiles, artists, collectors, librarians, educators, and students of all ages.” In 2005, The Philadelphia Center for the Book was born.

The Philadelphia Center for the Book hosts exhibitions, workshops, and other book-related fun. To find out about what events they are hosting, and when, read their blog. They will keep you up to date on everything book and library related in the Philadelphia region.

This is an offset lithography, handbound book entitled Everything and Everyone: In the End We All Are One by Philadelphia Center for the Book member (and UArts grad!) Sarah Pohlman.

Award-winning student thanks librarians!

The Greenfield Library had a very nice visit about two weeks ago from UArts Art Education graduate student Aaron Schnittman.  Aaron made extensive use of the UArts Libraries’ staff and services throughout his academic career with us, from making appointments with the reference librarians to making extensive use of interlibrary loan, and stopped by to return all of his materials and say a sincere thank-you for all the assistance he received. It’s what we do in libraries, and we are happy to offer these services!

Aaron and his son Max rev things up in go-karts
Aaron and his son Max rev things up in go-karts

Aaron happens to be this year’s winner of the Art Education Department Graduate Education Committee Award for Excellence in Scholarship for his thesis, An Examination of the Self-Regulated Learning Process of Middle School Students in an Online Art Class. Coincidence that he also used the library more than once? We think not!

Aaron has been working full-time for years as an online art teacher, and found little research material concerned with his specialty. He hopes to publish his thesis as a scholarly journal article. Our congratulations and best wishes to Aaron and his publishing (and racing) future!

Quay Brothers Love Libraries

UArts alumni (1969) and identical twins Timothy and Stephen Quay were featured on last week’s cover of City Paper, but it was the quote inside that caught this librarian’s eye:

“The thing that we liked instantly was that the college had a fantastic library and music library and a fantastic film course. We suddenly dove into a period of hunting and researching and learning things that we wouldn’t have had access to in high school. And you’d see a lot of other artists at work. It was really a hothouse — a humbling experience in the best sense of the word.”

The library is of course what was then the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA) library, and the music library they mention is that of the Philadelphia Musical Academy, with whom PCA had reciprocal library access.  The Philadelphia Musical Academy is today’s UArts School of Music, and PCA is the UArts College of Art and Design. The libraries are now the UArts Greenfield Library and UArts Music Library.

The film course they mention was probably taught by the late David Grossman, a local legend known for his repertory film screenings. Grossman is listed as teaching a Liberal Arts department film course in the 1967-69 PCA catalog.

What’s so great about the Quay Brothers? A September 7, 1999 Village Voice article says “To call the Quays’ work the most original and rapturously vivid image-making on the planet might sound like hyperbole until you see the films, which have no genuine precedent (the films of their forerunners, from Ladislaw Starewicz to Jan Svankmajer, are charmingly crude by comparison) and can redefine your ideas of cinematic space and causality.”

Find out for yourself by watching some Quay Brothers DVDs, available in the UArts Greenfield Library. Search the library catalog by author for Brothers Quay, which is how they used to prefer to be known.