Special Collections Exhibitions and
The following article appeared in The Golda Meir Library Newsletter in the Spring 1996 issue.
Special Collections Librarian Max Yela and his staff have successfully developed a variety of exhibitions and public programming to promote library resources and suggest avenues for research and teaching. These efforts have drawn attention not only to the collections of the Golda Meir Library, but also to the scope of scholarship and teaching in the arts, humanities, and social sciences at UWM.
A summary of the main 1995 programs and a look at some upcoming events includes four major exhibits which were produced and installed in the Golda Meir Library`s Fourth Floor Exhibition Gallery under the direction of Special Collections:
"Resources in African-American and Women's Studies at the Golda Meir Library," February-May, 1995. Commemorating Black History and Women's History months, this exhibit showcased the broad range of materials available for study and teaching in African-American and women's studies found throughout the library, including the American Geographical Society Collection, the Archives/Area Research Center, the Curriculum Collection, Media Services, Microforms, the Music Collection, Special Collections, and recent acquisitions from the library's general collections.
"The Contemporary Fine Press," June-August 1995, featured the work of more than twenty private presses from the United States and England, celebrating the art of modern fine bookmaking. Drawn principally from the Special Collections of the Golda Meir Library, and augmented by materials generously loaned for this exhibition by numerous fine presses and individuals, the exhibit focused on three recurring themes: the homage paid by several printers to the works of the noted wood engraver and illustrator John DePol; the deep influence of the book-arts program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, under the auspices of veteran fine-press printer Waiter Hamady; and the exuberant and collaborative esprit de corps that characterizes the international community of the contemporary fine press.
"DANNY: 36 Years or the Red Door Studio," September-November, 1995 honored the work of Danny Pierce, retired UWM professor of art, long-time Shorewood resident, and proprietor of the book press Red Door Studio. Twenty of his portfolio books, highlighting his black and white and multi-color woodblock prints, were showcased, spanning his 36-year career in finely hand-made books. A reception in Danny's honor was held on October 10, where he presented a talk on his career and book work, and their meaning in his life.
"Ye Scots Wha Wish Auld Scotland Well:" Scots Life and Culture, November 1995-February 1996 was initiated by the St Andrew's Society of Milwaukee and produced and installed under the direction of Max Yela and St. Andrew`s Society President John Ally. Celebrating the richness of Scottish life and culture, the exhibit marked the festival day (November 30) of St Andrew, Scotland's patron saint, and the 200th anniversary of the death of Robert Burns. Scotland's most revered poet and national figure. On display were books and artifacts from the personal collections of the Society's members, augmented by materials from the library's Special Collections and American Geographical Society Collection, covering a range of topics from prehistory to literature to Scotch whisky.
Six smaller exhibits were also produced by Special Collections in the Special Collections Reading Room and the main floor display cases:
"Selections from the George Hardie Aviation and Aerospace History Collection," February-May 1995, highlighted the Hardie Collection as a resource for research and teaching in the broader history of science and technology in the twentieth century and its impact on contemporary culture.
"UWM Women Authors," April-June 1995, commemorated Take Our Daughters to Work Day (April 27) by highlighting the scholarly activities and professional contributions of UWM women faculty and staff. The books on display were drawn from the UWM Authors Collection housed in Special Collections.
"Special Collections Resources in American Indian Studies," May-August 1995, focused on the primary source material available in Special Collections for studying American Indian history, culture, and literature.
"Researching the History of Homosexuality," September-November 1995, was guest-curated by Dr. Jeffrey Merrick, UWM associate professor of history. It focused on the rare and special research materials in Special Collections available for scholarly research in gay and lesbian history.
"Women's Studies in the Fromkin Memorial Collection: Recent Acquisitions." October-December 1995, was produced in conjunction with the 1995 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture by Genevieve McBride, "'Forward Women: Winning the Wisconsin Campaign for the Country's First Equal Rights Amendment, 1921." October 16, 1995. This exhibit focused on recent additions to the collection's holdings in late nineteenth and early twentieth-century women's suffrage, temperance, labor, and reproductive rights movements.
"The Infancy of Printing: Incunabula at the Golda Meir Library," November 1995-January 1996, presented twelve of the library's oldest books - those printed before 1501 from Special Collections and the American Geographical Society Collection. The exhibit also featured Whitefish Bay Public Library's 1473 edition of St. Augustine's De civitate Dei (City of God), on a two-year loan to the Golda Meir Library and held in Special Collections.
In addition to producing exhibits in the library, Special Collections also produced a small exhibit of its materials for Temple Emanu-El, Milwaukee. entitled "Illustrations of Biblical Text," January-March 1996, and worked with other institutions in lending Special Collections and Archives materials for the exhibitions, "Conspiratorial Laughter: The Friendship of Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp," Zabriskie: Gallery, New York, February 15-April 8, 1995, and "Prairie School Collaborators, Milwaukee Art Museum, October 5, 1995-February 4, 1996.
Special Collections initiated and directed several special programs in 1995 associated with its collections and activities.
The Scholar and the Library:
This new library speaker series runs once a month during each semester, inviting UWM humanities and social science scholars to discuss their current research projects and methodology, and demonstrate how libraries and other repositories help facilitate the research process. Past speakers included Laurie Glass, Associate Professor, School of Nursing; Harold Rose, UWM Distinguished Professor, Department of Geography; Robert Turner, Professor Emeritus, Department of English and General Editor, New Variorum Shakespeare Project; Jeffrey Merrick, Associate Professor, Department of History; Kerri DuPont, Assistant Professor, Department of Art; and Judith Senkevitch, Assistant Professor, and James Sweetland, Associate Professor, School of Library and Information Science.
This Special Collections panel presentation on women in the book arts was held on June 13, 1995 in conjunction with the opening of the exhibition "The Contemporary Fine Press." The three participants were Caren Heft, Arcadian Press, (Racine); Tracy Honn, Silver Buckle Press, (Madison); and Mary Laird, Quelquefois Press, (Berkeley, California).
Special Collections, the Department of Art, and the Friends of the Golda Meir Library cooperated this first annual book artist speaker series in association with the Art Department's inaugural Book Arts Workshop course in Fall 1995. Fine-press printers and artists of the book were invited to spend a morning working with students in the Workshop, and then present a public lecture on their work in Special Collections during the evening. The series ran from September to November 1995 and included Caren Heft, Arcadian Press, (Racine); Amos Kennedy, Jubilee Press, (Milwaukee); Marta Gomez and Ivan Sell, Tiramisu Press, (Madison); Gaylord Schanilec, Midnight Paper Sales Press, (Stockholm, Wisconsin); Michael Tarachow, Pentagram Press, (Minneapolis); James Twomey, Book and Paper Conservation Co. (Kenosha); and Jim Escalante, Iguana Press, (Madison).