Exhibits

Celebrating the Poetry of Asia and the Middle East

Collage of images derived from itemsin the exhibit

 

 

 

 

 

 


Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fifth Floor
Exhibit Dates: May 1 – June 30, 2018

For their inaugural joint exhibit, five area-studies librarians on the fifth floor of the Joseph Regenstein Library celebrate poetry from their own areas of expertise. The items highlight the diversity of poetry traditions.

Shown are one item to represent each of the three major poetic traditions of the Islamic Middle East: Arabic, Persian, and Ottoman Turkish. Each item also offers an example of their respective traditions of manuscript illumination.

  • Laura Ring, Librarian for Southern Asia and Anthropology

Southern Indian Akam or love poems from the classical Tamil anthology Aiṅkuṟunūṟu.

Having followed one of the major incidents in Korean history, the poems provide insight to moments of sorrow, pain, forgiveness, and hope resulting from and surrounding the Jeju 4.3 Uprising in 1948.

Poetry in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907) is an unparalleled system reaching its pinnacle in the development of the poem. Its great value consists of an ideal combination of thoughts and art. Li Bai and Du Fu are considered two superstar Tang Poets.

Shown are poems composed in the traditional fixed forms waka, haiku, and senryū.

Censorship and Information Control

Censorship and Information Control: A Global History from the Inquisition to the Internet

The cover of the "Complete Unabridged" edition of George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" with the title and author's name blacked out

In 2002 Penguin released this commemorative edition of “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” with the title and Orwell’s name blacked out as if censored, as a tribute to the book’s unique contributions to discourse about censorship. George Orwell. “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” New York: Penguin, 2002. On loan from Ada Palmer.

Exhibition Dates: September 17 – December 14, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Associated website: voices.uchicago.edu/censorship

Why do people censor? For ambition? Religion? Profit? Power? Fear? This global history of attempts to control or silence information, from antiquity’s earliest written records to our new digital world, examines how censorship has worked, thrived, or failed in different times and places, and shows how real censorship movements tend to be very different from the centralized, methodical, top-down censorship depicted in Orwell’s 1984, which so dominates how we imagine censorship today. From indexes of forbidden books, to manuscripts with passages inked out by Church Inquisitors, to comics and pornography, to self-censorship and the subtle censorship of manipulating translations or teaching biased histories, the banned and challenged materials in this exhibit will challenge you to answer: how do you define what is and isn’t censorship?

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Curator

Ada Palmer, Associate Professor History, The University of Chicago

Ada Palmer is a historian and novelist, who works on transmission of radical ideas in hostile intellectual environments. She specializes in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, but also looks from antiquity to modernity for patterns in the ways societies respond to unwelcome ideas.  Her publications include work on Lucretius and atomism in the Renaissance, on revivals of Platonism, Pythagoreanism, stoicism, and heterodox ideas about the soul and afterlife, and censorship of comic books in Japan after World War II.  She is also the author of the science fiction series Terra Ignota, which imagines censorship’s evolution into the 25th century.

Related Events

A public dialogue series brings together scholars of print revolutions past and present with practitioners working on the frontiers of today’s information revolution.  Eight dialogues will unite historians, editors, novelists, poets, and activists, and will be filmed and shared online, to let the public enjoy and continue the discussions.

Sessions are open to the public, and will take place Fridays from 1:30 to 4:20 pm on the University of Chicago Campus, in Kent Room 107, on October 5, 12, 19, 26, November 2, 9, 16, and 30.

Visit voices.uchicago.edu/censorship/dialogueseries/ for more information.

 

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download to members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

The Cage

Colorful fortune tellers with punctuation marks

Fortune tellers from the exhibit “The Cage.” (Photo by Marina Resende)

Exhibit dates: May 30–June 4, 2018
Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, First Floor, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Thirteen hundred “fortune tellers” will be exhibited on the First Floor of Regenstein Library. Inside them are snippets of Henry James’s novella In The Cage.

The Cage functions as a continual re-assemblage of the book. The original novella tells the story of a young woman who works as a telegraph operator at the post office. Through the novella she tries to piece together narratives from the terse telegrams she sends between the members of the upper class. This is, essentially, the mission of the installation as well—phrases have been isolated from within the text and scrambled, leaving only the traces of their original meaning.

Hands fold a fortune teller with text inside

A fortune teller for the exhibit “The Cage” includes snippets of text from Henry James’s novella “In The Cage.” (Photo by Maria Resende)

Visitors to the Regenstein will be invited to play with the fortune tellers, which will result in receiving a phrase and a punctuation mark. This phrase will then be added to a notebook, called the Facsimile, which accompanies the exhibit. Participants will be challenged to determine which form of connection (or non-connection) best completes the addition. The chance connections between phrases and people will create an unpredictable, collaborative re-assemblage of the original text.

The installation was created for “Studio R-A,” an art theory class taught in collaboration with the Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry. The class focuses on the practice of re-assemblage, which is the combining of disparate elements to create a new whole.

This project was led by students Kevin Beerman, Kirsten Ihns, Marina Resende, and Katie Akin, with guidance from Professors Bill Brown and Ted Brown, as well as artist/collaborator Ann Hamilton. Special thanks to Course Assistants Gabe Moreno and Brandon Truett, fellow students Cecília Resende Santos, Eva Murasov, JP Henry, Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield, Leah Chapell, Derek Ernster, Christopher Good, Tianyu Guo, Jola Idowu, Gray Center curator Zach Cahill, and George Scheer (Executive Director of Elsewhere Museum & Artist Residency). Finally, much gratitude is due to the Regenstein Library staff for their accommodation and the friends who helped with folding.

Three students prepare colorful fortune tellers

University of Chicago students Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield (PhD, English), Kirsten Ihns (PhD, English), and Katie Akin (College) prepare colorful fortune tellers for the exhibit “The Cage.” Inside the fortune tellers are snippets of Henry James’s novella “In The Cage.” The exhibit functions as a continual re-assemblage of the book. (Photo by Marina Resende)

Play on Surfaces & Surfing: New Sculpture by Jessica Stockholder

Installation dates:  May 17 – June 7, 2018
Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57th Street, First Floor, Chicago, IL 
Hours
: Mondays to Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Fridays, 8:30a.m.–5 p.m.; and Saturdays 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Opening reception and book signing:  May 17, 4:30–6:30 p.m., Regenstein Library Room 122 – RSVP

Jessica Stockholder, “Ceded,” 2017, Scanner, seed pods, paper maché, oil and acrylic paint, plastic part, table.

Artist statement about the installation

Artwork of CPU, oil paint, silk fabric, vinyl, table, hardware

Jessica Stockholder, “Sorrow,” 2017, CPU, oil paint, silk fabric, vinyl, table, hardware.

Three works are installed in the library where they exist in and amongst other objects that they are similar to.  Each of the works, Sorrow, Keeping Abreast, and Ceded takes as its staring point a generic desktop electronic device. These devices are all produced in multiple; in this way they are part of a grid of production and distribution that is much bigger than they are, and each one is greeted with an expectation that it will be the same as many others. These sculptures surf the wave of that expectation, and though each work takes a generic electronic box as its point of origin, the work is in the end unique.

All surfaces present an opportunity for illusion and storytelling. The surfaces of these boxes are replete with meaning before I get near them. They ask to be taken for granted. They present some small allure for the new owner, but the colors are neutral, the two-toned color scheme they often sport is quiet, and allows for stylistic change from year to year. Their exterior bears little relation to their interior function; the exterior surface of the box is designed to insinuate itself into our lives, to sit amongst the designs of interior home, office and library spaces.

My interventions in these surfaces propose variation, eccentricity, drama, humor, beauty and discomfort; new possibilities, and the suggestion that individual affect matters, are injected into the flow of the grid that these machines are a part of.

—Jessica Stockholder, April 2018


Organized by Laura Steward, Curator of Public Art, Smart Museum of Art

From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon – new web exhibit

A web exhibit of the 2013 Crerar exhibit From Sausage to Hot Dog: the Evolution of an Icon is now available.  The original exhibit was shown in the atrium of Crerar Library from October 29 — December 31, 2013.

Description: The hot dog is an American creation, and Chicago even has its own style. But where did this popular food come from and how did it develop? This exhibit looks to the hot dog’s origins in sausage-making practices brought by European immigrants to the Midwest. We consider techniques used in neighborhood butcher shops and the rise of industrial meat production. Homemade recipes and artisanal makers past and present are also examined.

War, Trauma, Memory

Soldier in front of flag on cover of the Anzac Book

Cover, The Anzac Book. 1916. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Dates: April 30 – August 31, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

It seems an understatement to note that war is traumatic to those who experience it in any way, shape or form. The pieces in this exhibition reflect their creators’ experiences in wars from the 16th century through the present day. Each was published or made public by their creators; by that action the creator invites us into the captured moment. We see, not a moment of trauma itself but a time after that moment, whether that be seconds or years. In this exhibition, the trauma of war is represented by that very absence of trauma, through the experience creators share with viewers, listeners or readers.

Here, photographs by soldiers or journalists at the scene share space with expressions of the effect of war created at a greater remove. Events are recounted at a personal, intimate level as in portraits of families or on a grand scale: the destruction of Dresden. Over time, images retain their power but may no longer serve the purpose for which they were made. For example, some of the items were created to be propaganda and here are displayed as art or as a curiosity. At times an overt intent of the creator or bias of the image is evident, and at others we need to remind ourselves that creators may have emotions hidden even from themselves. With images of war, in particular, the observer’s relationships to the conflict will affect the ways in which the object is understood. How many recall the stakes of the 30 Years War?

Drawing of soldiers

Jean Louis Forain. Le Poilu psychologue, [1918]. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Anchoring the exhibition is Francisco Goya’s Los desastres de la guerra, a book of prints etched in the early 19th century, left unpublished until 1863 for fear of censorship. The suite of plates Goya created in response to suffering he witnessed during the Napoleonic wars is considered to contain the first eyewitness images of war reporting. The book is opened to Plate 44 “Yo lo vi” (I saw it).

Indeed “Yo lo vi”: the images, sculpture, poetry, and music here are haunted by the very absence of violence and the persistence of memory.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Yo lo vi

Francisco Goya. Plate 44, “Yo lo vi,” Los desastres de la guerra, 1893. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Related Event

In the Wake of the Bombs: Germany, 1945

May 14, 5 p.m.
Regenstein Library, Room 122

Professor Françoise Meltzer will speak about the book she is currently completing on the bombing of Germany in World War II: Through a Lens, Darkly. The talk is based on a series of photographs of the ruins taken by her mother in 1945.

Meltzer is the Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor in the Humanities, Professor in the Divinity School and the College, and Chair of Comparative Literature.

Cost: Free

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download by members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.

Migration Stories: book spines there burrowed

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Third Floor
Dates: March 27 – June 9, 2018
Public reading: April 19, 5:30 p.m.

A composite photograph showing a clenched fist holding a blurred driver’s license with three watches around the hand, wrist and forearm.

UndocuTime by Alejandro Monroy, AM’17, 2017.

Come to read and see writing and art drawing on experiences of migration.  This exhibit features the work of University of Chicago community members and of student writers and photographers including Urvi Khumbhat, Felipe Bomeny, Erik Mueller, and Gautama Mehta, together with that of faculty Vidura Bahadur, Laura Letinsky, Srikanth Reddy and Vu Tran. This wonderful work can be understood anew seeing it creatively set and reset among the beautiful and disturbing pages of artists’ books, including work by Zarina, Ana Mendieta, Paul Chan, Eva Fuková, Jacob Lawrence, Gerhard Richter, Mona Hatoum, and more.

Migration experiences may be full of disaster and hope, disorientation and transformation, and they generate stories, reflections, and images to be carried in turn.  The Migration Stories Project, begun through the University of Chicago creative writing program, has recently produced an anthology with some thirty stories, poems, essays, and documentary photographs from a huge variety of places and people who now live near the University of Chicago.  The anthology has taken its place in the Regenstein Library collection, and this installation celebrates the bravery and work of anthology contributors with the exhibition: book spines there burrowed.

A faded, horizontally printed page with dense columns of Japanese written characters and eight small blue-toned landscape photographs.

Japanese Historical Map. Awaji Annai by Hanshichi Bando, Meiji 36 [1903]

In three glass cases, the work of Migration Stories contributors is drawn together with art books from the Library’s collection, creating an art installation of its own.  Migration Stories: book spines there burrowed was curated by two University of Chicago students, Amber Collins and Lydia Mullin, who used for their title a line from contributor Jacqueline Feng’s poetry.  In the curators’ vision, the exhibition is “told in three parts: mapping, making home, and photographing motion.” They write that “its seams are not pulled from any one contribution to the anthology, but are instead made from the words, phrases, and sentences of its texts or the hues and negative spaces of its photographs.”  Come and contemplate art and writing that grow out of the human experience of migration, an experience that is a part of the history of every member of the University of Chicago community and of our larger neighborhood and community.

Related Event

A special, free public reading by anthology contributors and University of Chicago creative writing faculty will be held at the Regenstein Library, Room 122 on Thursday, April 19th, at 5:30 pm.

Related Resources

Migration Stories: A Community Anthology, 2017 is available in Knowledge@UChicago, the University of Chicago’s digital repository.

New Harry Potter book display and research guide

Harry Potter Book Display

Display of books about the Harry Potter series. Photo by Rebecca Starkey.

Do you need a little bit of magic during reading period and finals week? Take a break from studying by visiting our new display of Harry Potter materials on the 1st floor of Regenstein (near the Dissertation Office). This one-case display highlights just a few of the items available at the University of Chicago Library about the Harry Potter series, including translations, critical studies, and parodies.

For more Potter-related materials in our collections, visit our accompanying Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling Research Guide which includes links to ebooks, reference sources, music, and more.

Remember, if you need help locating research materials on Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling, children’s literature, or just need help with your final paper, Ask a Librarian!

“Because that’s what Hermione does,’ said Ron, shrugging. ‘When in doubt, go to the library.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Rhythm and Bombast: In Memory of Willie Pickens (1931-2017)

Willie Pickens at Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park

Willie Pickens at Pritzker Pavilion at Millennium Park, July 2011 (Viewminder, CC BY-NC-ND)

Exhibit Dates: February 19 – April 29, 2018
Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Fourth Floor

“I don’t have big paws like Oscar [Peterson] or a nice, big stretch like Benny Green’s. . . . I have to create illusions, make it sound like I’m doing something I’m not.”
— Willie Pickens (Lloyd Sachs, “Willie Pickens Rides Jazz Machine to Glory,” Chicago Sun Times, March 13, 1994)

Internationally known Jazz pianist and Hyde Park resident, Willie Pickens, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, after practicing for a “Jazz at Lincoln Center” show at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola in New York. Pickens was known for his bombastic style and thunderous sound, paired with a melodic and harmonic ingenuity and versatility. He was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on April 18, 1931. One of six children, his mother, Minny Hall, was a pianist who exposed him to music at an early age. Young Willie took to the piano early, practicing for hours at a time as a boy.

He graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1955, with a BA in music education, and soon after moved to Chicago. In Chicago, Pickens found his place among the jazz community, in which he would excel as a musician, a teacher, and a mentor. Pickens achieved international acclaim with his piano work on Eddie Harris’ hit recording “Exodus,” from the gold record “Exodus to Jazz,” released by Chicago-based VeeJay records in 1961. He released his recording debut as a trio leader with his 1998 album “It’s About Time” on Southport Records. During his career, he toured with Joe Henderson, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis, Quincy Jones, Louis Bellson, Bunky Green, and Red Holloway. He appeared regularly at the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Hyde Park Jazz Festival.

Willie Pickens’ debut album, “It’s About Time”

Willie Pickens’ debut album as a trio leader, “It’s About Time” (Southport Records, 1998)

Willie Pickens was a devoted teacher and mentor, including to his daughter, jazz pianist Bethany Pickens. He taught in Chicago high schools from 1966-1997. He launched the music program at Hyde Park’s Kenwood Academy in the 1960s. Bethany Pickens currently teaches in this program. In 1995, he became a founding member of the Ravinia Jazz Mentor Program, and in 1997 joined the faculty of Northern Illinois University’s School of Music.

This exhibit in two cases displays examples of Pickens’ work from the University of Chicago Library’s general collection, as well as materials from the Chicago Jazz Archive.

An online exhibit is available as well.

The social media post announcing the passing of Willie Pickens

The social media post announcing the passing of Willie Pickens, from his daughter, Bethany Pickens (reproduced with permission)

The Printing Press Comes to Eastern Europe in the Slavic Tongues

Exhibit Location: The Joseph Regenstein Library, Second Floor
Exhibit Dates: February 13 – June 1, 2018

Graving with Francysk Skorina 1517

Woodcut of Francysk Skorina 1517

 

2017 marked the quincentennial of the printing of the first translation of the Bible into the Belarusian language. Francysk Skaryna (1490-1552) is credited with publishing this translation.

From the start, the work reflects the international scope of the world of the printing press. Skorina’s Bible was translated into Belarusian and printed in Prague. From there it was shipped into Belarus to be distributed. The first Bulgarian book was printed in Germany and again shipped and distributed in Bulgaria. Printing presses started, closed and moved to new locations. Presses started throughout the area. Since then scholars have studied the changes brought by these books to language, culture, and other aspects of life. The exhibit reviews the history and study of the printing press in Eastern Europe through various vernacular tongues.

Science and Conscience: Chicago’s Met Lab and the Manhattan Project

Reunion of atomic scientists on the 4th Anniversary (1946) of the first controlled nuclear fission chain reaction, December 2, 1942, pictured in front of Bernard A. Eckhart Hall at the University of Chicago. University of Chicago Photographic Archive, apf3-00232, Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Dates: February 19 – April 13, 2018
Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

On December 2, 1942, scientists at the University of Chicago produced the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction beneath the West Stand of Stagg Field, the University’s athletic stadium. This experiment, crucial to the control of nuclear fission, drove a rapid nationwide expansion of the Manhattan Project, the secret federal research and engineering program charged with producing a nuclear bomb.

Chicago’s role in the Manhattan Project did not end with the successful operation the first nuclear reactor.  Buildings across the University of Chicago campus were converted for use by the code-named Metallurgical Laboratory.  The Met Lab conducted extended research on the structure of uranium, developed the process for separating plutonium from uranium, and investigated nuclear radiation’s biological effects and safety issues.  At the end of World War II, the Metallurgical Laboratory was transformed into the first United States federal laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory.

Chicago’s Met Lab also took the lead in organizing scientists’ political response to the devastation caused by atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  Concerned about the future development and use of nuclear weapons, Met Lab veterans created the Atomic Scientists of Chicago and began publishing the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.  They joined scientists from other Manhattan Project sites across the country and pressed successfully in 1946 for the passage of the Atomic Energy Act (McMahon Act) and creation of the civilian Atomic Energy Commission.

The Met Lab scientists achieved great technical success in their contribution to the creation of a powerful new military weapon.  Yet the sobering consequences of their work moved them to enter the political arena and make the first critical arguments to control nuclear weapons and turn nuclear energy toward peaceful ends.

Based on archives and manuscripts in the Special Collections Research Center, Science and Conscience presents unique historical documents and artifacts, many not previously exhibited.  Items on display are drawn from records of scientists’ organizations and the papers of those who worked on the Manhattan Project and at Chicago’s Met Lab, including Enrico Fermi, James Franck, Herbert L. Anderson, Samuel K. Allison, Samuel Schwartz, Francis W. Test, Lawrence Lanzl, John H. Balderston, Jr., Albert Wattenberg, Eugene Rabinowitch,  Paul Henshaw, William B. Higinbotham, and Donald MacRae, among others.

Hours: Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., and, when University of Chicago classes are in session, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9 a.m. – 5:45 p.m.

Free and open to the public.

Use of Images and Media Contact

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for download by members of the media and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.

For more information, contact Rachel Rosenberg at ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu or 773-834-1519.