American Experience: New York, a Documentary Film

NYC a documentary film

This documentary series features 8 episodes which chronicle the history of one of America’s largest and most important cities – New York.  Beginning with the islands colonization by the Dutch, these episodes span several centuries of urban development fueled by conquest, immigration, ingenuity, innovation, greed, lust, sweat, and love.  You’ll take a tour through the desperate tenements of poor immigrants, the opulent streets of capitalist mansions, the stupendous feats of human engineering, the great works of art and literature, and the complex personalities of the cities political elites.

Curious about about this history of grit and gold? This series is available through Kanopy streaming database. Use your UArts credentials to log in!

https://uarts.kanopystreaming.com/video/american-experience-new-york

NYC Rotator Image

Staff Recommendation: Close-Up

 

Abbas Kiarostami’s 1990 film Close-Up is an inventive and engrossing experience that challenges the delineations of documentary and film. The story it tells is a true one: Hossein Sabzian, a poor man in Tehran, convinces a well-to-do family that he is actually famous Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf and that he wants to use their home for his next film. After Sabzian is found out and the story is reported in a local magazine, Kiarostami quickly begins filming.

close_up

What develops is a movie that blurs the lines of documentary and narrative so well they are often indistinguishable. Kiarostami receives permission to film the courtroom while the trial is underway and then proceeds to question Sabzian on his artistic motives alongside the mullah judge questioning his criminal ones.

Kiarostami then takes everything one step further and portrays reenactments of the events leading up to and following Sabzian’s imprisonment and trial; with everyone from Sabzian, to the family he fooled, to the director he impersonated playing themselves. What emerges is a beautiful musing on film and its ability to both blur and cross lines.

Recommended by Bill Rooney, Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant
Recommended by Bill Rooney,
Greenfield Library Circulation Assistant

Student Work in the School Catalogs: Metalwork of Frederic Charles Clayter

This is the second of a series of UArts Libraries blog posts we’ll write about student artwork in the school catalogs. Some students will be well-known and others less so, but the work will always be interesting.

Copper and German silver jewel casket with green stone enrichments. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a pupil of the school. PMSIA catalog 1913-14
Copper and German silver jewel casket with green stone enrichments. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a pupil of the school. PMSIA catalog 1913-14

Frederic Charles Clayter (1890-1978) attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) from 1911-12 through 1913-14, studying metalwork, a program begun in 1903.  Shortly after leaving PMSIA, Clayter began a long career as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh (1916-1921) and at Carnegie Mellon University (1921-1956)  in industrial design. Industrial design at that time often included crafts such as metalwork and ceramics. In an article from the Journal of Design History**, many former students had fond memories of Professor Clayter.

Silver chalice, set with amethysts. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a student of the school. PMSIA catalog 1915-16.
Silver chalice, set with amethysts. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a student of the school. PMSIA catalog 1915-16.

Considered a master goldsmith, Clayter had continued his studies in metalwork in England for a year and was a first fellow and governor of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. He was the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year in 1953, and earned commissions to create trophies and awards over the years. He continued his work in jewelry design in addition to his work as a faculty member and was an active member of the Pittsburgh art scene.

Police to Get Costly Trophy [by Frederic C. Clayter]. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thu, 28 Dec 1939, p. 10, column 2.
Police to Get Costly Trophy [by Frederic C. Clayter]. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thu, 28 Dec 1939, p. 10, column 2.
** Lesko, Jim. “Industrial Design at Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1934-1967.” Journal of Design History 10.3 (1997): 269-92. http://0-www.jstor.org.catalog.library.uarts.edu/stable/1316296

Staff Recommendation – Trimpin: Contraptions for Art and Sound

trimpin book cover

This book is a collection of the major works of Trimpin, a German artist now based in Seattle, WA. His work focuses on the relationship of sound to instrument design as well as various factors in the physical environment.  Many of the works featured in the book are installation pieces, which seem to the viewer to be mega-musical instruments. These massive Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions, after given the right spark, begin to emit a cacophony of sounds specific to the pieces’ design and environment.  As wonderful as the photos in this book are, the only disappointment one feels is not being in the specific place and time to experience the auditory sensations that Trimpin pursues.

This book is is located in the Greenfield Library Open Stacks. Its call number is — 709.2 T736f

A/V Equipment

Have you ever found yourself on campus with a paper due tomorrow, 5% battery, and your laptop charger forgotten at home? Don’t worry, UArts Libraries have your back! From laptop chargers to headphones, you can check these out at the circulation desks to use in the library:

Greenfield Library

Photo on 3-2-16 at 8.45 AM

 

 

 

 

  • Macbook chargers (Magsafe 1 & 2)
  • iPhone chargers
  • Micro USB cords (for Android & other phones)
  • Headphones
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Ethernet cords
  • DVD USB drive
  • iPad

Photo on 3-2-16 at 8.48 AM copy

Music Library

  • Macbook chargers (Magsafe 1 & 2)
  • iPods
  • iPad
  • iPhone chargers
  • Micro USB cords (for Android & other phones)
  • Headphones
  • Noise-cancelling headphones
  • Ethernet cords

Phone Jim Sad Phone Charge Jim