Free Public Lecture in Honor of “Imaging/Imagining” Exhibition

Join us for a special event in celebration of our recent exhibitionimaging2 “Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation” 

Thursday, April 17th at 5pm

Lecture: “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging”
Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street, room 122

Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, author of X-Ray Vision: The Evolution of Medical Imaging and its Human Significance, will explore the exhibition’s themes in a free public lecture. Dr. Gunderman is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

imaging4

Free. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.
Gallery will be open immediately after for viewing.

Current Exhibits Imaging/Imagining the Human Body

Imaging Imagining exhibition - 3 images of handsThree-venue exhibition at the University of Chicago examines anatomical representation from artistic and scientific perspectives throughout history

March 25–June 20, 2014

A multi-venue exhibition curated by two physicians at the University of Chicago explores the history of anatomical representation and the evolving relationship between the arts and medical science. On view from March 25–June 20, Imaging/Imagining the Human Body in Anatomical Representation is jointly presented in three parts by the Special Collections Research Center (The Body as Text), Smart Museum of Art (The Body as Art), and The John Crerar Library (The Body as Data) in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

The exhibition includes over 60 works in a variety of media—drawings, rare manuscripts, sculptures, engravings, and radiographic images—dating from the Renaissance to today. It features both imaginative depictions of the human figure made by artists as well as scientific images of the body, and traces the interplay of artistic and medical imaging throughout history.

“In popular perception, the artist depicts the human figure for aesthetic or expressive purposes, while scientific images of the body lay claim to objective representation,” write the curators, Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. “In fact, the story of anatomical representation is far more complex.”

As Imaging/Imagining reveals, early anatomical illustrations required close collaboration between anatomists and artists, illustrators, and engravers. These images reflected scientific conventions but were also weighted with aesthetic, social, political, and religious meaning. As anatomical images became more medicalized, the disciplines diverged. Following the advent of the X-ray at the turn of the twentieth century, the divide widened as new imaging technologies allowed medical practitioners to visualize the body as never before. At the same time, modernism and abstraction radically transformed artistic practice, which had for centuries emphasized the centrality of the well-drawn figure. Today, modern medical imaging continues to inform artists’ perceptions of the body while still relying in part on the subjective hand of an expert to manipulate and reinterpret layers of data into a visual form.

“A project like Imaging/Imagining transcends traditional disciplinary boundaries in a way that enriches our understanding,” said Julie Marie Lemon, Program Director and Curator of the Arts|Science Initiative in the Office of the Provost at the University of Chicago. “The exhibition is an example of the sort of sustained dialogue the Arts|Science Initative seeks to foster between artistic and scientific forms of inquiry within the University and beyond.”

The exhibition’s themes will be explored in greater depth through several public programs, notably the talk on Thursday, April 17 at 5 pm, “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging” by Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Exhibition Sections

Imaging/Imagining runs concurrently across three venues, each with a dedicated section that contributes to the larger themes of the exhibition.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Text

March 25–June 20, 2014
Special Collections Research Center, Joseph Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street
Monday–Friday, 9 am–4:45 pm; Saturdays, 9 am–12:45 pm (when University of Chicago classes are in session); closed Sunday

The Body as Text explores the history of anatomical representation from the Renaissance to the turn of the twentieth century. It features illustrated anatomic texts, like Vesalius’s De humani corporis fabrica and Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, that map the body’s complex systems and functions, as well as prints, paintings, sculptures, drawings, and radiographs. The objects on view are drawn from the holdings of the Special Collections Research Center and the Smart Museum of Art.

Together, the works prompt viewers not only to examine the intent of the image makers and the intended function of the image but also to explore our contemporary understanding of the human body in the context of a broad history of anatomical representation and scientific progress.

The Body as Text is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Catherine Uecker, Rare Books Librarian, Special Collections.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Art

March 25–June 22, 2014
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue
Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm; Thursday until 8 pm; closed Monday

The Body as Art gathers images of the body from a range of historical periods and considers the extent to which they conform to established representational conventions or seem instead to reflect the artist’s own observations or expressive goals. It features works drawn from the Smart’s collection and the holding of the Special Collections Research Center. Highlights include figurative etchings; sculpture by Edgar Degas, Henry Moore, and Jacques Lipchitz; a cubist portrait by Jean Metzinger; prints by Otto Dix; and a sketchbook of watercolor drawings by Ivan Albright.

This section of the exhibition asks visitors to consider the enduring role of figure drawing in academic art study; the relation between artistic and scientific abstraction; the depiction of bodily suffering in wartime; and what art and medicine have to offer each other in the pursuit of accuracy, humanity, and empathy, when it comes to representing the body.

The Body as Art is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine, in collaboration with Anne Leonard, Smart Museum Curator and Associate Director of Academic Initiatives.

The Body as Art is made possible by Smart Museum’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Endowment.

Imaging/Imagining: The Body as Data

March 25–June 20, 2014
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue
Monday—Saturday, 9 am–4:30 pm; closed Sunday

The Body as Data examines the data revolution of modern medical imaging that has transformed anatomical representation and how we view the body. This data revolution occurred when the basic concepts behind x-ray technology combined with the capabilities of computers. The result is imaging technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans that produce vast amounts of data which is then processed into modern anatomical representations.

These images often claim scientific neutrality and are viewed with a clinical gaze, yet they are more than objective and unaltered pictures of the body. They represent the body broken apart into bits of data that are then manipulated to produce a myriad of visually interpretable images. These images have in turn informed artists’ perceptions of the body and further pushed the boundaries of how we view the human form.

The Body as Data is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine in collaboration with Stephen Thomas, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, and Adam Schwertner, fourth year medical student at the Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago.

Related Programs

Family Day: Ultrasounds, Exquisite Corpses

Saturday, April 5, 1–4 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Drop by the Smart for an afternoon of family-friendly art activities. Combine ultrasounds with the ultimate Surrealist parlor game to make exquisite corpse drawings from ultrasound images of your internal structures. The ultrasound machine will be operated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and co-curator of the exhibition Imaging/Imagining.*

Free. All materials provided. Activities are best for kids ages 4–12, accompanied by an adult.

*The purpose of the ultrasound demonstration at the Smart’s Family Day is educational only. The ultrasound machine is not being used for any medical or diagnostic purpose.

The Body in 3D

Thursday, April 17, 3–5 pm
The John Crerar Library, The University of Chicago, 5730 S. Ellis Avenue, Kathleen A. Zar Room

Drop by Crerar Library and watch a 3D video tour of the human body including the brain and other internal organs. Using images captured with contemporary medical scanning technologies this looping film will run every 5-10 minutes. 3D glasses will be provided.

Lecture: “Seeing Into and Seeing Through: The Promise and Peril of Imaging”

Thursday, April 17, 5 pm
Regenstein Library, The University of Chicago, 1100 E. 57th Street, room 122

Dr. Richard B. Gunderman, author of X-Ray Vision: The Evolution of Medical Imaging and its Human Significance, will explore the exhibition’s themes in a free public lecture. Dr. Gunderman is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy, and Vice Chair of Radiology at Indiana University.

Free. Seating will be available on a first come, first served basis.

How to Draw Hands

Thursday, April 17, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

The human hand is notoriously hard to draw. Learn some tricks and techniques during a fun and supportive sketching session.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.

Drawing the Body with the Body

Thursday, May 15, 5:30–7:30 pm
Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 5550 S. Greenwood Avenue

Enjoy a performance by Mordine & Co. Dance Theater and take part in a gesture drawing and sketching program. The dance, choreographed by Shirley Mordine, is inspired by works on view in Imaging/Imagining. Performing Artists: Simone Baechle, Danielle Gilmore, Joseph Hutto, Emily Lukasewski, Michael O’Neil, and Melissa Pillarella.

Free. All materials provided. Open to adults of all skill levels.

About

Imaging/Imagining is curated by Brian Callender, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Mindy Schwartz, MD, Professor of Medicine, at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. It is presented by the Special Collections Research Center, Smart Museum of Art, and The John Crerar Library in collaboration with the UChicago Arts|Science Initiative. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

Images (from left to right): Detail from Henry Gray’s Anatomy, Descriptive and Surgical, 1858, Rare Book Collection, The University of Chicago Library.

Walker Evans, Untitled (Two hands), n.d., printed by the Chicago Albumen Works in 1980, Gelatin silver print. Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, Gift of Arnold H. Crane, 1980.107.

X-ray of a hand holding a feather duster from Walter König’s 14 Photographien mit Röntgen-Strahlen, 1896. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine, The University of Chicago Library.

Media Images

Download high-resolution images on Dropbox.

Media Contacts

C.J. Lind, Associate Director, Communications, Smart Museum of Art, 773.702.0176, cjlind@uchicago.edu

Rachel A. Rosenberg, Director of Communications, The University of Chicago Library, 773.834.1519, ra-rosenberg@uchicago.edu

2014 Platzman Fellowships awarded

The Special Collections Research Center of the University of Chicago Library is pleased to announce the recipients of the Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowships for 2014. 

Established by bequest of George W. Platzman (1920-2008), Professor Emeritus in Geophysical Sciences at the University, the fellowships are named in memory of George’s brother Robert Platzman (1918-1973), who was Professor of Chemistry and Physics and worked for the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago during World War II. The Platzman Fellowship program provides funds for visiting researchers whose projects require on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily but not exclusively materials in Special Collections. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program, as are projects that cannot be conducted without onsite access to the original materials, and where University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research.

Additional information on the Platzman Fellowship program is available on the Special Collections web site:  http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/about/platzmanfellowships.html

Robert L. Platzman Memorial Fellowship Recipients for 2014

 D. Trevor Burrows, PhD candidate, History, Purdue University; drawing on the Hyde Park and Kenwood Interfaith Council Records, student organization records, and faculty papers for a study of “Social Reform and Religious Renewal: Religion and Student Activism in the Long 1960s”

Ben Glaser, Assistant Professor of English, Yale University; examining the Poetry Records, Harriet Monroe Papers, and William Vaughan Moody papers, for a project on “Modernism’s Metronome: Metrical Vestiges, Historical Prosody, and American Poetry, 1910-1930”

Jordan Grant, PhD Candidate, History, American University; researching the William H. English Papers, Stephen A. Douglas Papers, and Lincoln Collection for a study of “Catchers and Kidnappers: Slave-Hunting in Early America”

Camden Hutchison, PhD candidate, History, University of Wisconsin-Madison; consulting the Henry C. Simons Papers and other faculty collections for a project titled “The Efficiency Norm and U.S. Legal-Economic Policy, 1969-1992”

Karina Jannello, PhD candidate, History, Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina; reviewing the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Cultural Cold War in the Southern Cone: Intellectuals, Magazines, and Publishing Networks in the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay, 1950-1970”

Brian Lefresne, PhD Candidate, Literary Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario; researching the Alton Abraham Collection of Sun Ra for a dissertation titled “Sun Ra at the Crossroads of Jazz and Performance”

Martin Nekola, PhD, Political Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic; examining the Archive of the Czechs and Slovaks Abroad for materials on a study of “Czechs in Chicago”

Melanie Newport, PhD candidate, History, Temple University; researching the American Civil Liberties Union, Illinois Division Records and faculty papers for a project on “Cook County Jail and the Local Origins of Mass Incarceration, 1836-1995”

Daniel Royles, PhD, History, Temple University; consulting the ACT UP Chicago Records for a study titled “Don’t We Die Too? The Political Culture of African American AIDS Activism”

Adam Smith, Senior Lecturer, History, University College London; examining the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a project titled “The Stormy Present: Conservatism in American Politics in an Age of Revolution, 1848-1876”

Leif Tornquist, PhD candidate, Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; reviewing the Shailer Mathews Papers for a study titled “Evolving the Divine: Eugenics, Embodied Perfectionism, and the Evolutionary Theology of Shailer Mathews”

Tobias Warner, Assistant Professor of French, University of California-Davis; consulting the International Association for Cultural Freedom Records for a study of “The Role of the Congress for Cultural Freedom in Shaping the Politics of Language in African Literature”

Michael Woods, Assistant Professor of History, Marshall University; to research the Stephen A. Douglas Papers for a book titled “Arguing until Doomsday: Stephen Douglas, Jefferson Davis, and the Struggle for American Democracy”

Stephen A. Douglas Papers Temporarily Unavailable

Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas

The Stephen A. Douglas Papers are currently being re-processed and thus are not available for research. Please contact Special Collections before planning a visit to use this collection, or with any questions you may have about the project.  We anticipate the collection being ready for use again on June 1, 2014.

Norman Maclean Papers available for research

Norman Maclean

Norman Maclean

Author and University of Chicago professor Norman Maclean’s papers are available for research in the Special Collections Research Center.  Raised in Montana, Maclean earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago in 1940 and taught English until he retired at age 70. He then began writing, and  achieved national fame for works he wrote after his retirement, including the novel, A River Runs Through It. The collection includes correspondence, administrative and teaching materials from the University of Chicago, materials related to the creation and publication of his writings, and an array of additional materials. Maclean died in 1990. 

Maclean’s distinguished teaching career at the University of Chicago began when he accepted a graduate assistantship in English at the University in 1928. He was promoted to instructor in 1930. Maclean earned his Ph.D. in English literature in 1940 with a dissertation on lyric poetry, and was made an assistant professor in 1941. He was promoted to associate professor in 1944, and attained a full professorship in 1954.

Maclean’s gift for teaching was recognized multiple times throughout his career. He won a teaching award early on in 1932, and was awarded the Llewellyn John and Harriet Manchester Quantrell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 1941 and again in 1973. Quantrell recipients are nominated by students and the award is a high honor for faculty. Though tough, Maclean’s courses were popular among students. His demand for excellence was tempered by a keen sense of fairness and a generosity of spirit toward the students he mentored. In 1962 he was installed as the William Rainey Harper Professor of English Literature, a position he held until his retirement in 1972.

Upon retirement, Maclean embarked on a second career as a writer. He eased into authorship with two well-received critical essays published in 1952, and a handful of autobiographical and witty essays published in the early 1970s. His most significant work of fiction, A River Runs Through It, was published in 1976 by the University of Chicago Press – the first work of new fiction ever published by the Press. A River Runs Through It consists of a novella of the same title and two short stories. The book was a critical success, a popular bestseller, and a contender for the 1977 Pulitzer Prize. Multiple filmmakers and production companies vied for the film rights to the book, and it was eventually adapted for film in 1992 under the direction of Robert Redford.

The University of Chicago named an undergraduate dormitory for Maclean — Maclean House — in 1991. Every year, residents celebrate “Maclean Day,” during which the House president gives a speech that celebrates Norman Maclean and the House community. In 1997 the University’s alumni association established the Norman Maclean Faculty Award which recognizes emeritus or senior faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and student life on campus.

 

 

Special Collections Online Request System to Experience Temporary Outage on 2/14/14

SCRC request pageThe online request system for Special Collections will be unavailable beginning at 9p.m. CST on Friday, February 14th, 2014. The outage should last about two hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

To contact the Special Collections Research Center, please use our webform found here: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/ask/SCRC.html

Not sure how to make requests online? View our tutorials on the Library’s YouTube channel.

A Rare Valentine’s Treat

Historic Valentine

Historic Valentine

 

In love? Lovelorn? Bibliophilic?

The Special Collections Research Center on Wednesday, February 12th is the place to be. Join us for a Blind Date with Books; an event in celebration of Valentine’s Day featuring a rare book and archival materials display, a blindfolded book test, and light refreshment.

The event will be held in the Special Collections Research Center (on the first floor of Regenstein Library) from 2-4pm. All are welcome.

And in the meantime, discover your literary love profile with our quiz:
http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/using/literaryloveprofile/

The Homeric Library: Translations, Editions, Commentaries

When: Friday, February 14, 2014,  9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122A-B
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL
Description: A colloquium cosponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the University of Chicago Library
Homer - George Chapman title page

Title page. George Chapman (1559?–1634). The Whole Works of Homer. . . . London:
Printed for Nathaniell Butter, [1616]. Rare Books Collection. Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Speakers will present approaches to Homer’s texts highlighting the research potential of the University of Chicago Library’s Homer collection, which stretches from the 15th century to the 21st. This colloquium is presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Texts” at the Special Collections Research Center, and the publication of “Homer in Print: The Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library (Chicago: University of Chicago Library, 2013).

9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Guided Tour of the Exhibition

10:30 – noon
Glenn Most, University of Chicago and Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa
“How Many Homers?”

Sophie Rabau, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
“Exploring the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana: On the Trail of a Spurious Line”

1:30 – 4 p.m.
David Wray, University of Chicago
“Quarreling over Homer in France and England, 1711-1715″

Larry F. Norman, University of Chicago
“On Not Knowing Homer: Translation and its Discontents”

Tiphaine Samoyault, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3
“Homerinfant: On Translations and Retellings of the Odyssey for Children”

This colloquium is free and open to the public.

Cost: Free
Contact: Joseph Regenstein Library
773-702-4685
More info: http://www.lib.uchicago.edu/e/scrc/exhibits/
Notes: Persons with disabilities who need an accommodation in order to participate in this event should contact the event sponsor for assistance. For events on the Student Events Calendar, please contact ORCSA at (773) 702-8787. Information on Assistive Listening Device
   

Special Collections Closed January 20

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2014, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. We will resume our usual hours on January 21.

Special Collections Closed Monday, January 6

The Special Collections Research Center will be closed on Monday, January 6, due to severe weather conditions. We will re-open and follow our normal hours of 9:00am-4:45pm on Tuesday, January 7.

Exhibits Feature Story Homer in Print: Transmission and Reception

Homer - George Chapman title page

Title page. George Chapman (1559?–1634). “The Whole Works of Homer. . . . ” London:
Printed for Nathaniell Butter, [1616]. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Exhibition Title: Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Works

Dates: January 13 – March 15, 2014

Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Price: Free and open to the public

Curators: Alice Schreyer, Catherine Uecker, and Catherine Mardikes

Description: For almost 3,000 years, the Homeric epics have been among the best-known and most widely studied texts of Western civilization. Generations of students have read the Iliad and the Odyssey to learn Greek or to study Greek mythology, history, and culture, or for the sheer enjoyment  of the stories themselves. Concepts such as heroism, nationalism, friendship, and loyalty have been shaped by Homer’s works. Countless editions, translations, abridgements, and adaptations have appeared since the invention of printing, making Homer accessible to students, scholars, and general readers.

The Iliad comic book

Cover. “The Iliad.” New York: Gilberton Company, 1950. Classics Illustrated, no. 77. Illustrated by Alex A. Blum. Walter C. Dopierala Comic Book Collection. The University of Chicago Library.

Homer in Print puts the spotlight on the text itself, not as an object of literary or linguistic analysis, but rather as the product of a particular time, place, editor, printer, publisher, or translator. From the very first printed edition of Homer through the 21st century, every editor of a Greek edition must decide what sources should be consulted and whether notes are needed to achieve the goal of the particular edition. Translators face a host of additional choices: Will they produce a prose or verse translation, if verse then in what poetic form, and will they aim at fidelity to the words and meter or to the spirit of the “original” (however that is defined). The way each translator answers these questions reflects available sources, literary principles, and individual preferences.

The study of Homer has been part of the core curriculum at the University of Chicago since the first year of classes in 1892-93, and from its earliest days the Library built a collection strong in Greek editions, commentaries, translations, and scholarly literature. In 2007 M. C. Lang donated the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana to the University of Chicago. He had formed the collection, consisting of 187 separate items, with the goal of tracing the transmission of the text in printed form. Homer in Print draws on this splendid gift as well as Homeric works acquired before and afterwards to tell this story.

Among the editions and translations in the exhibition ranging from the 15th century to the 21st are the earliest printed edition of Homer; editions and translations aimed at scholars, students, children, and other specialized audiences; scholarship; and finely printed, illustrated, and graphic editions. Together they illustrate the profound influence of the Homeric poems on classical studies, the history of printing and print culture, textual editing, translation studies, and the development of English language and literature as well as their enduring appeal to this day.

 

First page of the Odyssey

The first page of Alexander Pope (1688–1744). “The Odyssey of Homer.” London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, 1725–26. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago.

Associated Publication

A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library. Edited by Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer. Published by the University of Chicago Library. Distributed by University of Chicago Press.

 

Associated Web Exhibit

Visit lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/homerinprint

 

Associated Event

Colloquium Title: The Homeric Library: Translations, Editions, Commentaries

When: Friday, February 14, 2014

Where: Regenstein Library, Room 122, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Description: This colloquium will explore the paths through Homer’s poetry opened by the University of Chicago Library’s Homer collection, which stretches from the 15th century to the 21st. It is co-sponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and the University of Chicago Library in conjunction with the exhibition Homer in Print at the Special Collections Research Center.

Speakers include Glenn Most, University of Chicago and Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa; Larry Norman, University of Chicago; Sophie Rabau, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; Tiphaine Somoyault, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3; and David Wray, University of Chicago.

 

Use of Images

Images from the exhibition included on this page are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.  Email Rachel Rosenberg (phone: 773-834-1519) or Joseph Scott (phone: 773-702-6655)  to request high-resolution images.

The Iliad in Greek, 1497-1599?

A passage from “The Iliad” printed in Greek. Johann Herwagen (1497–1559?). “Homeri Ilias et Vlyssea. . . .” Basel: Apud Io. Hervagium, 1535. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

 

Cover of Lattimore Iliad

Dust jacket. Richmond Alexander Lattimore (1906–1984). “The Iliad of Homer. . . .” Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1951. Rare Books Collection, Special Collections Research Center, The University of Chicago Library.

Library publishes ‘Homer in Print’ catalogue

Homer in Print: A Catalogue of the Bibliotheca Homerica Langiana at the University of Chicago Library, is now available for consultation or check out at the Library and for purchase from the University of Chicago Press.

Homer in Print cover

Homer in Print cover art. Jacket design by Jerry Kelly, using a roundel by Bruce Rogers from his 1932 edition of the Odyssey.

Homer in Print traces the print transmission and literary reception of the Iliad and the Odyssey from the 15th through the 20th century. Over 175 mini-essays provide new details of each included edition’s textual, intellectual, and publishing history. Three long-form essays contributed by scholars Glenn W. Most and David Wray, and collector M. C. Lang,  place these editions within a wider context, exploring their role in ancient and modern philology, translation studies, and the history of printing. An extensive and strikingly illustrated testament to the power and popularity of Homer over the past 500 years, Homer in Print is an essential text for students and teachers of classics, classical reception, comparative literature, and book history. This volume, a product of new research and sharp scholarship, evidences Homer’s ability to captivate the imaginations of poets, editors, and readers throughout the centuries.

Edited by Glenn W. Most and Alice Schreyer and published by the University of Chicago Library, the Homer in Print catalogue and the collection it documents provide the foundation for the upcoming exhibition Homer in Print: The Transmission and Reception of Homer’s Works, on view at the Special Collections Research Center from January 13 to March 15, 2014.

Special Collections Thanksgiving Hours

Special Collections will be closed November 28-Dec. 1 for the Thanksgiving holiday. We will resume our normal hours of 9:00am-4:45pm on Monday, December 2.

Circulation Request System Down Time Nov. 29

The Circulation Request system for the Special Collections Research Center will be unavailable from midnight until 2:00am on Friday, November 29, 2013. During this time, users will not be able to place requests.

2014 Robert Platzman Memorial Fellowship applications now open

The University of Chicago Library invites applications for short-term research fellowships for the summer of 2014. Any visiting researcher residing more than 100 miles from Chicago, and whose project requires on-site consultation of University of Chicago Library collections, primarily archives, manuscripts or printed materials in the Special Collections Research Center, is eligible. Support for beginning scholars is a priority of the program. Applications in the fields of late nineteenth- or early twentieth-century physics or physical chemistry, or nineteenth-century classical opera, will receive special consideration.

Awards will be made based on an evaluation of the research proposal and the applicant’s ability to complete it successfully.  Applicants should explain why the project cannot be conducted without on-site access to the original materials and to what extent University of Chicago Library collections are central to the research.  Up to $3,000 of support will be awarded to help cover projected travel, living, and research expenses.  Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are encouraged.

The deadline for applications is February 22, 2014.  Notice of awards will be made by March 15, 2014, for use between June 1, 2014 and October 1, 2014.

For more information please see our website about the Platzman Fellowship program.

Our website also contains a list of last year’s recipients and their projects.

Exhibits Feature Story ‘A different way of learning about history’

Christopher Dingwall with album covers

Ph.D. candidate Christopher Dingwall explores race and consumer culture as a curator

The exhibition Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art runs through January 4 in the Special Collections Research Center. Rachel Rosenberg interviewed Christopher Dingwall, a Ph.D. candidate in History, to learn about his first experience as a curator and the exhibition itself.

Tell me a bit about the exhibition.

Jazzin' the Cotton Town Blues

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917. John Steiner Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

Images of African Americans have appeared on a wide range of consumer goods throughout the twentieth century, from Aunt Jemima’s pancakes to the Air Jordan basketball shoe. But these images did more than sell things. The exhibit explores how commercial art capitalized on—and gave powerful form to—widely held racist attitudes among white Americans throughout the twentieth century. It also illustrates how many corporations and designers, white and black, used graphic design to envision the place of African Americans in American society—from the nadir of Jim Crow racial segregation to the advent of the Civil Rights Movement.

With racial imagery, American advertisers and consumers gave social meaning to the mass produced things of modern consumer culture. Particularly for African American entrepreneurs and artists, the graphic design of race could be used as a powerful tool to claim their place as consumers and as citizens in American society.

What got you interested in this subject originally?

It comes out of my dissertation, Selling Slavery: Memory, Culture, and the Renewal of America, 1876-1920. There I explore how images of slavery get commodified, mass produced and consumed. I’m asking why slavery became a way to sell movies, postcards, food products, and very modern cultural products.

The exhibit came out of my curiosity about what happens next, after 1920. In a way, it’s an epilogue to the dissertation I’m currently writing, but curating the exhibit is a different sort of intellectual challenge and involves different ways of thinking about how I’m using objects and how I’m going to try to explain them to audiences. It’s a way for me to explore a different kind of scholarly communication directed at a public audience rather than scholarly, academic readers.

Did your ideas about the subject evolve much as you worked on it?

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Yes. Originally I thought that the exhibition would focus on racial memorabilia and would present a narrative of how racial imagery evolved over the twentieth century. The Special Collections staff was pretty keen on the idea, and Dan Meyer, the Director of the Special Collections Research Center, gave me other suggestions for collections to look at. He pointed me to sheet music and record albums, the archives of Chicago printing company R. R. Donnelley & Sons, and the Yoffee Ephemera Collection, which includes records, games, playing cards, and little figurines.

So my focus expanded from racial memorabilia to how race works in consumer society more broadly. The different collections I saw spoke to different ways that race worked and different kinds of dynamics between graphic designers, corporations selling these images, the products they were selling, and where the products were used in the home. In the end, although each part of the exhibit advances a history that moves forward through time and shows changes, particularly in the role of African Americans as consumers and designers, I decided that each section of the exhibit should focus on a different kind of relationship between the image, its makers, and its ultimate consumers.

Can you tell me about some of the imagery in the exhibit?

One thing that fascinated me was how the advertisements represented blackness in abstract forms to different effects. In blackface minstrelsy, white men impersonated African Americans by blacking their faces with burnt cork, which allowed them to turn blackness into an object of hate and profit, but also to project onto it all kinds of fears and anxieties facing white working men in the new industrial age. The blackface mask was so powerful that advertisers adopted it as an image to sell modern industrial products toward the end of the nineteenth century.

But blackness could be abstracted in other ways to project different visions of African American life. Take, for instance, the albums produced by African American entrepreneur Henry Pace for Black Swan Records in the 1920s. “Black Swan” was an allusion to a nineteenth-century black opera singer Elizabeth Greenfield, and the image of a swan on the records became a sign that signified musical talent and heritage. A more modern example would be the Nike Air Jordan jump man. A silhouette of Michael Jordan holds a basketball in mid-air. It coded blackness as physical prowess, but also transcendent flight, escape.

Obviously, some of the images on display here have been and continue to be especially painful for African Americans. Have you given special thought to how you want to address and analyze those images in the exhibit?

Mcintyre, "Humility in the Light of the Creator"

Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. Humility in Light of the Creator. DS-419. Chicago: Delmark, 1969. Modern Jazz Series.
Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Zbigniew Jastrzebski.

Yes, absolutely. That’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about. I don’t want to show these images gratuitously. They come from a dark time in American history when this was a part of everyday life. But I think to leave it at that would be a huge mistake because we are not yet over this history. The blackface images are not just some bygone, antiquarian caricature; they were here at the heart of the birth of our modern mass culture, and we are still dealing with that legacy. But these images change. African Americans protested, revised, and transformed the imagery and changed the terms by which images of race could be figured in consumer culture.

I’m trying to show this material in a way that provokes thought about how race is still a big part of consumer culture. I hope that, after you see this exhibit, you can go outside and see a sign or a billboard with an African American figure on it and ask yourself how it plays on the same kind of tropes, feelings, and associations that were used in earlier racial imagery in American design, as well as how the imagery has changed.

So you have important educational objectives for visitors to this exhibition. Are there other ways you expect to use your curatorial experience in your teaching?

Right now I’m a preceptor and supervise history seniors as they write their BA essays, and I’ll be teaching a course of my own in the spring. I hope to bring these students to Special Collections to show them the range of materials available there: books and printed material but also things that you wouldn’t expect a library to have, albums and three-dimensional objects, consumer goods. They offer a different way of learning about history.

Visit the associated web exhibit at lib.uchicago.edu/e/webexhibits/raceanddesign

SCRC Circulation Request System Down 11pm Oct. 18th

alertsymbolThe Special Collections Circulation Request system will be unavailable due to server maintenance for approximately one hour tonight,  from 11:00 PM to 11:59 PM CST on Friday, October 18th.  We regret any inconvenience caused.

Exhibits Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art

Exhibition: Race and the Design of American Life: African Americans in Twentieth-Century Commercial Art

Dates: October 14, 2013 – January 4, 2014

Kenny Burrell cover illustration by Andy Warhol

Kenny Burrell. BLP-1543. New York: Blue Note, 1956. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Reid K. Miles; illustration by Andy Warhol.

Description: Images of African Americans have outfitted myriad mass-produced consumer goods in the twentieth century, from Aunt Jemima’s pancakes to the Air Jordan basketball shoe. How has graphic design shaped the relationship between the politics of race and mass consumption? How have African American entrepreneurs and artists used design to shape their own images of “the race”? Drawing from collections of food packaging, print advertisements, children’s books, album covers, and toys, this exhibit traces the vexed history of racial design, from stark racist caricature to the productions of black-owned advertising firms. It explores how graphic design capitalized on racist attitudes; it also illustrates how for many corporations, designers, and consumers, graphic design was used to envision and transform the place of African Americans in society. As a market force and aesthetic style, graphic design emerged as a material and often intimate activity that wove race into the fabric of everyday life.

Curator: Christopher Dingwall, Ph.D. candidate, Department of History, University of Chicago

Price: Free and open to the public

Location: Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery,
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Associated Event

Conference: Invisible Designs: New Perspectives on Race and American Consumer Capitalism
Dates: October 24-25, 2013
Location: Regenstein Library, 1100 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL

Invisible Designs aims to gather faculty and graduate students from the humanities and social sciences whose work explores new directions in the study of race and American consumer capitalism. We are particularly interested in approaches to the material and visual “design” of race in consumer goods, from household goods to corporate brands to Hollywood films. Recently, such approaches have illuminated otherwise “invisible” cultural logics and historical processes that have woven racial difference into the fabric of American life. Ultimately, we believe that racial design comprises a common and rich field and has begun to have a significant impact on the way many scholars think about the American consumer economy.

For more information and to register, visit invisibledesigns2013.sites.uchicago.edu.

Use of Images

These images from the exhibition are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.  Email Rachel Rosenberg (phone: 773-834-1519) or Joseph Scott (phone: 773-702-6655)  to request high-resolution images.

Items from "Race and the Design of American Life" exhibition.

Items from “Race and the Design of American Life” exhibition. Left: American Negro Exposition Official Program, 1940. Center: Zanzibar Brand Bitter Almond Flavor, 1924. Golden Shred Eraser, 2002. Right: Back cover from A Century of Negro Progress Exposition Program; Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Paul Lawrence Dunbar. When Malindy Sings. 1903.

Paul Lawrence Dunbar. When Malindy Sings. 1903. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues.

Roger Lewis and Harry Olsen. Jazzin’ the Cotton Town Blues. New York: M. Witmark & Sons, 1917. John Steiner Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Aunt Jemima’s Album of Secret Recipes

Aunt Jemima’s Album of Secret Recipes, 1935. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

 

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy

Roscoe Mitchell Sextet. Sound.DS-408. Chicago: Delmark, 1966. Art Ensemble of Chicago Series, vol. 1. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago. Cover design by Sylvia Abernathy; photograph by Billy Abernathy.

 

Mcintyre, "Humility in the Light of the Creator"

Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre. Humility in the Light of the Creator. DS-419. Chicago: Delmark, 1969. Modern Jazz Series. Chicago Jazz Archive. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library. Cover design by Zbigniew Jastrzebski.

 

Take a historic campus tour from your couch

Beginning of historic campus tour

Beginning of historic campus tour

A new online tour of the University of Chicago campus allows visitors to view select campus residence halls and classroom buildings as they were in decades past, while simultaneously seeing that location as it appears today.  The campus tour, created by Special Collections staff and using the social media site HistoryPin, features dozens of images from the Special Collections Research Center’s Photographic Archive.  Each image is then mapped to a current-day Google Street Map location.  Viewers have the option to use the “fade” control to fade the historical image into the background or bring it forward. 

This historic campus tour is the second such virtual tour created in Special Collections, the first being a tour of iconic sights of Chicago, inspired by the postcards in the Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia.  The Chicago city postcard tour was curated by the Special Collections archives and manuscripts unit staff, and  launched at the same time the exhibition, “Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs!” opened in the Special Collections Exhibition Gallery.  The physical exhibition runs July 22- October 5, 2013.  View the postcard tour  online.

Exhibits Feature Story ‘Souvenirs’ exhibition closes Oct. 5

Professor’s collection recalls University’s strong relationship with growing city

At gift shops and events around the country, Americans are inundated with souvenirs. Postcards, playbills and ticket stubs are so ubiquitous that many toss them without a second glance.

Souvennir parasol from the 1933 Chicago World Fair

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress. Hyde Park Historical Society Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

What if we could learn from these small pieces of memorabilia? What if old-time souvenirs collected around a particular theme could give us a close-up glimpse into an historical time and place?

That’s just what the Special Collections Research Center’s newest exhibition, Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia, delivers. The collection is themed around the World’s Fairs of 1893 and 1933 and the contemporaneous University of Chicago, and it includes everything from souvenir pillows to a Columbian Exposition spittoon.

The inspiration for the exhibition came from a gift from Janel Mueller, Professor Emerita of English Language & Literature. But the person responsible for the impressively detailed collection of souvenirs is her late husband, Ian Mueller, who for decades taught in the department of philosophy. He had a passion for collecting ephemera related to the University and the World’s Fairs.

“It was a lot of fun when this collection came in,” said Eileen A. Ielmini, one of the exhibition’s curators. “Professor Mueller collected from the sheer joy of it.” The enjoyable pieces, she said, showed “an unexpected side” of Ian Mueller, who is better known for his academic research on Plato and Aristotle. In addition to the Mueller souvenirs, the archivists featured other Chicago memorabilia, including pieces from the Hyde Park Historical Society Collection.

Three souvenir plates

Chicago souvenir plates. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

The exhibition is part of a program called “Discovering Hidden Archives Treasures,” which features little-known gems from the Special Collections Research Center. Co-curator Kathleen Feeney said, “With this series, we hope to bring out items in the collections that visitors wouldn’t necessarily expect to find.” The exhibition is especially timely as 2013 is the 120th anniversary of the 1893 World’s Fair and the 80th anniversary of the 1933 fair. Feeney noted that this exhibition highlights the long and vibrant relationship between the University and the city.

The exhibition makes judicious use of modern technology to showcase its vintage treasures, including a slideshow projection of Mueller’s collection of various postcards. One especially interesting item is the famed woodcut artist Charles Turzak’s wordless book, Abraham Lincoln: A Biography in Woodcuts. Turzak created the book’s artwork in the midst of curious visitors to the 1933 fair. Though the exhibition has the original book on display behind glass, its illustrations are accessible for easy viewing on an iPad screen.

Spittoon from 1893 World's Fair

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

The University’s connection to the 1893 fair is highlighted in a designated display case as well as throughout the exhibition. One notable item in the case is a small notebook filled with former UChicago professor Frederick Starr’s handwritten field notes of his observations at the 1893 World’s Fair. Starr, one of the University’s first anthropologists and a preeminent scholar of his day, had traveled the world observing cultures in South America, Asia and Africa before turning his ethnographic attention to his own city for the largest gathering it had ever seen.

The educational focus of many souvenirs—pamphlets with names like “The Story of the Rolled Oat”—reveal the hopefulness and sense of progress embodied by the World’s Fairs, which celebrated advancements in technology, food production and medicine. The collection also shows visitors how little has changed since 1893 and 1933. “These souvenirs, bits of ephemera, are still being produced in very similar forms today,” Ielmini said.

The curators noted that the historical content and focus on the University’s relationship with the greater city of Chicago should appeal to a large audience of Chicagoans, including Hyde Park residents and campus visitors, as the next academic year gets under way. 

In addition to Ielmini and Feeney, other contributors are co-curators Ashley Locke, Laura Alagna, Brittan Nannenga, and Judith Dartt, and exhibition designer Joe Scott.

A University of Chicago news release

Photographic Archive Featured on WBEZ

whitecity

Lee Bey at WBEZ has featured our Photographic Archive — read the full story: http://www.wbez.org/blogs/lee-bey/2013-08/places-and-spaces-courtesy-university-chicago-photo-archives-108468

Special Collections Opens at 10:30am August 23

The Special Collections Research Center will open at 10:30am on Friday, August 23. We regret any inconvenience caused.

Special Collections closed August 17

alertsymbolDue to building-wide electrical work, the Special Collections Research Center will be closed August 17. As a result of this necessary closure, the only Saturdays SCRC will be open in August are the 3rd and our last Saturday of the summer, August 24, 9:00am -12:45pm. We apologize for any inconvenience caused.

Exhibits Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia

Exhibition: Souvenirs! Get Your Souvenirs! Chicago Mementos and Memorabilia
Dates: July 22 October 5, 2013

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress

Parasol from the 1933 Century of Progress. Hyde Park Historical Society Collection. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library.

Souvenirs can come in all shapes and sizes; they can be simple or complex, tasteful or tacky. This exhibition will present various souvenirs created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the 1933 Century of Progress International Exposition, and the City of Chicago. It draws on collections throughout the Special Collections Research Center, catalyzed by the Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia.

At the Special Collections Research Center Exhibition Gallery
1100 East 57th Street, Chicago
Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Saturdays, 9:00 a.m.–12:45 p.m. when classes are in session

Visit the associated web exhibit.

Use of Images

These images from the exhibition are available for members of the media, and are reserved for editorial use in connection with University of Chicago Library exhibitions, programs, or related news.  Email Rachel Rosenberg (phone: 773-834-1519) or Joseph Scott (phone: 773-702-6655)  to request high-resolution images.

 

Chicago souvenir pillows

Chicago souvenir pillows. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

Chicago souvenir plates

Chicago souvenir plates. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition

Spittoon from the 1893 World’s Fair Exposition. Ian Mueller Collection of Chicago Memorabilia. Special Collections Research Center. The University of Chicago Library

 

 

“Recipes for Domesticity” Exhibition in the News

Coffee Arabica plant

Colored engraving from Alexandre Martin’s Manuel de l’amateur de café… Paris: Audot, 1828. John Crerar Collection of Rare Books in the History of Science and Medicine. The University of Chicago Library.

The Chicago Tribune recently featured the Special Collections Research Center’s exhibition, “Recipes for Domesticity: Cookery, Household Management, and the Notion of Expertise,” in the Wednesday column written by Bill Daley.

As the review notes, there are only a few days left to visit the exhibit in person. The Special Collections Gallery is open Monday-Friday, 9am-4:45pm, and Saturdays mornings when University of Chicago classes are in session, 9:00am-12:45pm. The exhibition is free and open to the public. If you cannot visit in person, the exhibit has an online component Recipes for Domesticity web exhibit

The exhibit has also been featured on WBEZ as a podcast, also available online. WBEZ podcast of Recipes for Domesticity gallery talk