Library staff recommendation: Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller

"Emancipation", 1913.

Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) is a UArts alumna (Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art (PMSIA), Class of 1898) whose fame has diminished over the years. Following her PMSIA graduation and an award of another year of post-graduate PMSIA study, Fuller studied and exhibited in Paris for three years. While in Paris she met Auguste Rodin, who gave her encouragement, and notables such as W. E. B. DuBois. Upon returning to Philadelphia she again attended PMSIA in 1903, studying ceramics. She is best known for her sculpture, “Ethiopia Awakening” (1914).

Ater states in her introduction that her aim “is to make Fuller’s art visible and to define its importance in the history of American art. The canon of American art continues to presume that there is one American art history and one way of telling it. We need to broaden the academic inquiry, for if we do not, we fail to acknowledge the entirety of American culture. Fuller’s art and the cultural moment in which she created it reveal the interdependence of art making, race, gender, history, and public culture in the United States during the Progressive era. Early twentieth-century critics hailed Fuller as a significant African American artist of her generation, often linking her to Henry Ossawa Tanner. Today, however, Fuller is marginalized, invisible, and isolated from serious scholarship. I write to rectify this situation.”

Recommended by Sara MacDonald

Music In the Process of Becoming/Music As the Process of Becoming . . .

From left to right: Pauline Oliveros, 2011 (Photo: Claudio Casanova/AAJ/Italia), Earle Brown, 1993 (Photo: Sabine Matthes), Karlheinz Stockhausen, 1971 (Photo: Ray Stevenson).

In their attempts to rupture preconceptions of what music is, many composers of the 1960s and 1970s concerned themselves with “concept” as opposed to aesthetics. Artists and musicians of many stripes questioned both how music should be understood as a cultural product and how music should be performed and appreciated as a human activity. Here we spotlight three figures possessed of an experimental turn of mind—renegades, perhaps, but more accurately, searchers. Occasional headline grabbers (not always intentionally so) during those decades, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Pauline Oliveros, and Earle Brown have in common only that they afforded listeners with no conventional points of reference. Stockhausen, somewhat mystically, sought “the sound not yet heard”; Oliveros strove to deemphasize the value conventionally assigned to formal training; Brown emphasized the “creative ambiguity” of all interpretation. Their compositions embody that tendency within modernism that insists upon, indeed creates crisis—as in “crisis of conscience”—as the historically appropriate response to a beleaguered moment in the history of our age. But their conceptualizations of form, notation, and performance also lie at the core of the mobile and open-ended improvisatory music associated with today’s so-called New York downtown scene.

Excerpts of the scores for Oliveros’s Sonic Meditations (above), Stockhausen’s Stimmung (right) and Brown’s Event: Synergy (below).

As part of a series highlighting ideas that connect different approaches to music-making, the Music Library is exhibiting several scores and recordings from its collection by these composers.

By way of inducement, look-&-listen here—recent performances of Stimmung at the New Museum (Manhattan), Event-Synergy in Boston, and Oliveros’s ambient Heart of Tones at the Kolumba Museum, Cologne, Germany.

[youtube SjK7iG_5hIU]
Stockhausen’s Stimmung performed by Magic Names Group at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City, May 2009

[youtube QflAzc5j7W4]
Earle Brown’s Event: Synergy II- version I “illustrated” with Abstract Expressionism.

[youtube iBSZbbMfOAU]
Pauline Oliveros’s Heart of Tones performed by the Kolumba Choir at the Kolumba Museum in Cologne, Germany, 26 June 2008

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to visit our exhibit “Rethinking Music” in the UArts Music Library, 3rd floor of the Merriam Theater Building.

—Article by Phoebe Kowalewski

Digital Resource of the Week: PBS Arts

PBS Arts is a visual and performing arts website of the Public Broadcasting Service. Explore visual art, filmdance, theater, music, and writing through video. View them all in the Exhibition Archives. Here are some highlights:

Off Book is a PBS Arts collection of videos on experimental and avant-garde contemporary art. Topics such as Art in the Era of the Internet and Product Design are featured.

Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders is a series of video interviews with musicians and singers from around the world. Learn about Seu George, Brazilian samba singer, and concert pianist Yuja Wang.

loopdiver: The Journey of a Dance goes behind the scenes with the group Troika Ranch to capture the lives and emotions of its members.

PBS Arts also invites you to submit your own artwork via Flickr or YouTube. If you like PBS Arts, check out the PBS DVDs and videos available at the UArts Libraries!

Library staff recommendation: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
A film by Werner Herzog
GD1132 Greenfield DVD

Film director Werner Herzog was granted a rare opportunity to film the Chauvet Cave in France, which contains some of the oldest works of human art making known to exist. Not only are we able to see the mysterious and haunting images created thousands of years ago, but Herzog introduces us to the people studying the cave, and allows us to the see the methods that they are using to learn about its origins. As always, Herzog brings a unique perspective to the proceedings, one which fits with the profound nature of the subject.

To see more films by Werner Herzog, please check out
Herzog / Kinski, GD 619 vols. 1-6 in the Greenfield DVD collection.

Recommended by Mike Sgier
Recommended by Mike Sgier

New in ARTstor from UArts Visual Resources: Robert Alan Bechtle

Visual Resources recently added works by American artist Robert Alan Bechtle to the UArts Visual Resources Collection in ARTstor. Check it out now!

"'61 Pontiac" 1968-69

Robert Bechtle is an American artist, born 1932. He is a Photorealist, which was most popular during the 1970s. Bechtle used photography to construct his paintings, taking a picture of something first, then working from the photograph.

"Roses" 1973

There is a certain simplicity to Photorealism that can be refreshing. The artists’ intentions are usually to just paint exactly what is seen. This holds true for Bechtle’s work, though his paintings also emit a sense of stillness. Now, they also exhibit some nostalgia for the American lifestyle.


"'71 Buick" 1972

If you would like to see more works by Bechtle, click on an image to be taken directly to ARTstor. For more information about the artist, please visit Grove Art Online.