Digital Library of the Week: Comic Books of the 1950s

The Greenfield Library just got a new reference book set – The Encyclopedia of Comic Books and Graphic Novels edited by M. Keith Booker (in Greenfield Reference, 741.503 En19). These beautifully illustrated two volumes reminded me of a terrific collection from The University of Buffalo, SUNY library.

Blondie, no. 72 from December 1954
Blondie, no. 72 from December 1954

Comic Books of the 1950s is a collection of comic book cover art from what they call “the most turbulent and interesting decades in American comic book history.” It’s most fun to search by themes such as alien invasion, heroic pets, or jungle girls. Then there is my favorite theme, libraries and librarians!

Also read their essay, Crusade Against the Comics, and find out more about this “unsuitable reading material.”

The UArts Libraries’ has lots of material on comic books and graphic novels. Some of our newer books include A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld (in Greenfield Library open stacks: 976.335064 N394a 2009) and both Persepolis books by Marjane Satrapi (call numbers  955.0540924 Sa83p and  955.0540924 Sa83p2).

If you are into comics, then you definitely want to know about Philly Alternative Comic Con happening August 8, 2010.

SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Walter McConnell

Walter McConnell earned his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and  currently teaches there in the ceramics department. He often uses unfired ceramics in his time-based installations that resemble terrariums. In them, the unfired clay object slowly returns to dust.

To find out more about McConnell’s work, watch this behind-the-scenes video (about 2 minutes long) from the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It shows a time-lapse of McConnell building his work, Calling Earth to Witness. McConnell also spoke about his work at the University of Colorado; watch him lecture on his work in this video from 2000 (about a half-hour talk).

You can also find out more about this ceramic artist through the University of the Arts Libraries. The following articles are all available through WilsonWeb (if you are off-campus, you will have to log in with your name and library barcode to access them).

McConnell's Theory of Everything (White version)
McConnell's Theory of Everything (White version)

Glen Brown’s “At the Daum Museum: Walter McConnell,” (in issue 76 of Ceramics, 2009) is a terrific article on McConnell’s work, particularly focusing on the commercial-mold mass sculptures and terrarium-like unfired clay works on exhibit at the Daum Museum in 2009. Brown discusses the similarities and contrasts of desire that resonant between the two types of work.

In “Encountering Abundance: Multiplicity in Clay” (Ceramics, issue 63, 2006), Holly Hanessian mentions McConnell’s work in discussing with five other artists who work in multiples in clay. In particular,his piece Theory of Everything (Blue Version) is noted.

Mitchell Merback’s “Cooled Matter: Ceramic Sculpture in the Expanded Field” (Ceramics, issue 39 2000) reviews the revised and updated version of the 1999 NCECA Conference exhibition, Cooled Matter. Merback details the work of the six sculptors included in the show, among them McConnell.

Find out more information on the Summer MFA Food for Thought lecture series. Lectures are about an hour long, free and open to the public.

SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Kathleen Gilrain

Kathleen Gilrain joined Smack Mellon Studios as its executive director in 2000. Prior to this position she was the director of Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. As well as her curatorial work at Smack Mellon, Ms. Gilrain is an associate professor in Brooklyn College’s Sculpture department.

As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, she is also an artist! She holds a BFA from Cooper Union and an MFA from The University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Gilrain's site-specific installation at the South Carolina Botanical Garden
Gilrain's site-specific installation at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

To find out more about Ms. Gilrain, check out Socrates Sculpture Park by Alyson Baker and Ivana Mestrovic (New York: Socrates Sculpture Park, 2006). We have it in the Greenfield Library with call number 730.747421 So14b. Ms. Gilrain has written a brief essay entitled The Socrates Years and images of her own artwork are included. Also read Presence of Light” by Andrew Robinson (Gay City News, 9-15 September 2004). It reviews an exhibition curated by Ms. Gilrain at the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts.

Find out more information on the Summer MFA Food for Thought lecture series. Lectures are about an hour long, free and open to the public.

Digital Library of the Week: Stanley Kubrick: Two Views

This dialogue between Robert Kolker and James Naremore (both professors in film studies) is presented by the National Gallery of Art (NGA) as part of their Notable Lecture series. The link is listed under December 2008 (or view all of NGA’s iTunes podcasts – they are all free!). The professors review two of Kubrick’s films in detail: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (ask for GD 241 in Greenfield Library) and Eyes Wide Shut (GD 640).

American film director Stanley Kubrick was very popular – and very controversial! He tended to work slowly and obsessively on a film, making sure everything was as perfect as his vision. His films, most of which were adapted from novels, reflect a strong influence of surrealism.

Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick

The library has plenty of information on Kubrick and his films, including Professor Naremore’s book On Kubrick (791.4302330924 K951n in Greenfield Open Stacks). You can read Stanley Kubrick: 2001: A Space Odyssey: New Essays, edited by Professor Kolker, on ebrary (if you are off campus, you will have to log in with your name and library barcode first).

We also have more of Kubrick’s films – and remember, we have a new DVD loan period for students of 3 days!

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.