Now THAT’S a bookcase!

Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian
The Ark at the V&A Photograph: Christian Sinibaldi for the Guardian

Do you have bookcases at home made from cement blocks and boards? Get inspired by this Norwegian design in the Victoria and Albert Museum:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2010/jul/13/the-ark-bookcase

To hear one of the architects discuss it (and see some snowy Norwegian landscape), watch this short film:

http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/architecture/smallspaces/videos/Rintala%20Eggertsson%20Architects/index.html

SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Joan Linder

Joan Linder received her MFA from Columbia University and also attended the prestigious Skowhegan School in Maine. A lifelong New York resident, she now teaches visual studies at the University of Buffalo and is represented by Mixed Greens Gallery in New York City.

Cooler (2007) by Joan Linder
Cooler (2007) by Joan Linder

Here is some additional reading material, offered through the University Libraries’ website, to help you learn more about Linder, her artwork, and her inspirations.

Lauren Fensterstock (“Samson Projects/Boston, MA: Joan and Liz Linder: Self Help” in Art New England from October/November 2005) provides a brief review of Joan’s and her sister, Liz’s, work at Samson Projects in Boston. Fensterstock describes Joan’s drawings as works that “raise questions that upset traditional concepts of power and complacency.” This article is found through the article database Wilson Web; the links will take you right to the article (if you are off campus, you will need to enter your name and library barcode first).

Kerr, Merrily (“Joan Linder at Mixed Greens” in Art On Paper from March/April 2006) reviews an exhibition of work, stressing that Linder’s paintings “are a wonderland of laboriously rendered forms.” Find this article in Greenfield Periodicals on the lower level in Technical Services.

Cathy Lebowitz (“Joan Linder at Mixed Greens and White Columns” in Art in America from November 2004) reviews two accordion-fold books of Linder’s drawings, Ramifications and Undue Influence. The conceptual process and techniques are described in these works that “have a grittiness and immediacy that give them strength.” Find this article in Greenfield Periodicals on the lower level in Technical Services.

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: Restaurant Menus

How about two for you! There are quite a few digital collections of restaurant menus available to browse on the Internet. Here are two of my favorites:

Children's menu from the University of Washington collection
Children’s menu from the University of Washington collection

The University of Washington’s University Libraries put together this great Menus Collection that also includes placemats and other graphic material from area restaurants. Designs, foods, and prices all the way back to 1883 are represented, showing a timeline of American history through our eating habits!

The New York Public Library also hosts a digital collection of menus: the Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection, 1851-1930. Miss Burton became passionate about collecting menus for their historical significance and, when she passed away in 1924, had amassed over 25,000! This collection terrifically demonstrates how text and visual graphic design can be visually stunning together.

Easter dinner menu for the Stanwiks Hall (1893)
Easter dinner menu for the Stanwiks Hall (1893)

How you’re helping to digitize books

You know those squiggly words you have to type in on certain Web sites to get access or to make a purchase? That’s a piece of software called CAPTCHA, or you may even be using reCAPTCHA and, unbeknownst to you, helping to digitize materials in the Internet Archive, Google and elsewhere. Want to know more? Watch this video of CAPTCHA and reCAPTCHA creator Luis von Ahn describe it in a Computing Research Association presentation. (It’s 11:50 long, but he’s quite charming and funny, and the idea is so simple and great. Thanks to UArts librarian Josh Roberts for finding this great clip!)

Luis von Ahn

This is of particular interest to UArts since we have just begun a digitization project of the UArts archives. The resulting digital files will be freely available and searchable through the Internet Archive. Want to contribute? Check out Google’s “What is reCAPTCHA?” page, and start helping to digitize immediately!

SuMFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Francis Cape

Francis Cape has his MFA from Goldsmiths College, University of London and was also a resident at the prestigious Skowhegan School in Maine. He is represented by Murray Guy in New York City and Andreas Grimm in Germany.

Francis Cape's 2009 work HomeFront
Francis Cape's 2009 work HomeFront

Here is some additional reading material, offered through the University Libraries’ website, to help you learn more about this popular artist collective. All found through the article database Wilson Web, the links will take you right to the articles (if you are off campus, you will need to enter your name and library barcode first).

In Sculpture magazine, Dominick Lombardi (July/August 2000) interviews Cape about his craftsmanship and art world influences.

In a review of an exhibition at Murray Guy, Nancy Princenthal (“Francis Cape at Murray Guy” in Art in America, November 2004) notes that Cape’s work is full of impulses including “confession and stonewalling, Shaker-style transcendence and Minimalist materialism.”

In a brief review of Cape’s installation, Forest Park, at the St. Louis Art Museum, Eddie Silva (in the Sept/Oct 2004 issue of ArtUS) alludes to the work’s “quiet disruptions of expectation” and “exquisite craftsmanship.”

A final article on Cape’s work can be found in print in Greenfield Library’s bound periodicals. Janet Koplos (“New York: Francis Cape at Murray Guy” in Art in America, Jan. 2000) reviewed Cape’s non-functional cabinetry and drawings on exhibit at Murray Guy. Koplos calls the works a “virtuoso of quiet.”

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.