Staff Recommendation: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

I love old movies. And I especially love old movies with Cary Grant in them. I could probably write a whole review about the various Cary Grant films available in our library, because I’m sure I’ve gone through most of them at this point.

Despite the fact that Cary Grant is in this film, full of gentlemanly sharp wit and amazing suits, it is Katherine Hepburn who truly steals the show and makes this her movie. A strong-willed, spoiled, and haughty aristocrat from the Main Line, Hepburn’s character finds herself in a series of awkward situations the day leading up to her wedding to an equally wealthy (yet completely dull) second husband. Grant plays her ex-husband, who invites himself to the wedding festivities, with a tabloid reporter (Jimmy Stewart) and photographer in tow disguised as friends of her brother. Hilarity ensues like most of these 1940s “screwball comedies,” including one of my favorite scenes of Hepburn and Stewart drunkenly dancing late into the night before the wedding day.

People sometimes pre-judge black-and-white films like The Philadelphia Story as being boring and stuffy, but this movie is actually really funny. Watch for a great scene right at the beginning of the film involving Hepburn breaking a golf club over her knee.

If you enjoyed this movie as much as I did (Greenfield Library GD2171), check out Bringing Up Baby, (also available in the Greenfield Library, GD1895) another award-winning film starring Grant and Hepburn as love interests, and equally ridiculous.

~ Recommended by Lillian Kinney, Cataloger/Archivist, Greenfield Library

Staff Recommendation – The Artists Way

Do you ever feel creatively blocked, a feeling like all the color and life is lost from your artwork or craft? The Artists Way, by Julia Cameron, is a guidebook designed as a course in creative artistic recovery. Each section of the book describes practices, mindsets, and techniques for creative people, all of which build upon each other, to guide the reader into a more authentic artistic expression. The course is 12 weeks long. The aims include overcoming creative blocks and self-destructive beliefs, while building creative relationships, gaining confidence, and re-connecting to what she believes are the spiritual underpinnings of the creative drive.

In my opinion, this book is a valuable read, even if one does not pursue the entire 12 week course. The various practices described within it encourage one to be more mindful and creative on a consistent basis. For example, the practice of writing a full page of thoughts every morning, described in one chapter early on, can have the effect of bringing one face to face with what is going on the their life, paving the way for action. I recommend this book to anyone with an open mind who feels the need to re-connect to their creative self, whether you want to dive into a full-on course, or could use a few well placed pointers.

The Artists Way is available in the Greenfield Library open stacks at BF408 .C175 1992.

Mike Romano, Music Library Circulation Assistant 

Staff Recommendation: Look Inside, Cutaway Illustrations and Visual Storytelling

LookInside

This fascinating book reveals a variety of cross sections for the reader to gaze at, appreciate, and ponder. The Velasco brothers take the reader through the history and theory of these artistic cutaways, while delving into their aesthetic and edifying qualities.  From grand 19th century buildings, to modern transportation vehicles, and through wild rain forests and the human body itself, the book covers a lot of ground and explores the myriad ways in which these cross sections can be beautiful and educational. Large colorful prints of the cutaways dominate the book and are a reason, in and of themselves, to pick it up and start learning!

This book is available for check out at the Greenfield Library.  Just stop by the circulation desk and ask for call # T11.8 .V85 2016

Mike Romano – Circulation Assistant

Digital Resources of the Week: The National Trust Library Historic Postcards

Postcards have always been a popular souvenir and a fun way to send a quick message home while on vacation. Often depicting famous buildings or landscapes, The National Trust Library Historic Postcard Collection suggests that “these postcards also provide unique evidence of the evolution in American architecture, with rare glimpses of buildings or places that may no longer exist or have dramatically altered over time.”

The National Trust Historic Postcard Collection has over 20,000 postcards. The University of Maryland’s University Libraries’ Digital Collections provides images of many of these postcards. Browse by state (there are 830 postcards depicting aspects of Pennsylvania) or enter a keyword search such as Philadelphia, ocean, or flower.

 

Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, circa 1908
Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, circa 1908

Want to see more postcards? Search the UArts Libraries’ catalog for the subject postcards. We have many beautiful books including one about Philadelphia postcards from the early 1900s. Happy travels this summer!

 

Philadelphia's City Hall, circa 1901-1907
Philadelphia's City Hall, circa 1901-1907

Digital Resources of the Week: PhilaPlace

PhilaPlace: Sharing Stories from the City of Neighborhoods, created by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (our neighbor, at 13th & Locust), tells the stories of Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The interactive website focuses on particularly on two neighborhoods whose immigrants and working class citizens have dramatically shaped the history of the city: Old Southwark and the Greater Northern Liberties. On the PhilaPlace Map you’ll discover local items like The Clef Club at 738 South Broad Street and photographs of South Street contributed by Philadelphia College of Art (now UArts) alumna Peggy Hartzell.

"13th n' South - That's Us" - 1969 photography by Peggy Hartzell
"13th n' South - That's Us" - 1969 photography by Peggy Hartzell

There is a lot of Philadelphia culture and history to explore on the Topics page and an informative blog. This is a terrific way to learn about your new home and all the arts, culture, and history it has to offer. Perhaps as you spend more time here in Philadelphia, you’ll want to share your story too!

Want to know more about Philadelphia and the history of UArts? Head over to the library. We have a great illustrated book on The University of the Arts co-authored by Sara MacDonald, one of our reference librarians, and Eugene Bolt (find in in the Greenfield or Music Libraries). You’ll find books on the Philadelphia murals, Philadelphia architecture, the Mutter Museum and we’re working right now on digitizing the University Archives. Want to know more? Check out our Philadelphia subject guide.