Category Archives: Fine Arts Library

Distinguished Author Dinner Recap

Earlier this month, the Libraries hosted a Pulitzer Prize finalist for its third annual Distinguished Author Dinner.

Jacqueline Jones — who has earned accolades for her book A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America, — spent the evening before a rapt full house of University of Texas Libraries supporters discussing her ideas on race as a social construct.

“The effects of this fiction have been devastating throughout history,” Jones recently told The Daily Texan. “The idea here is that this myth or idea has been a very powerful one in justifying the exploitation of [people of] African descent and other people as well.”

The thought-provoking talk provided attendees with ample fodder for discussion after Jones exited the dais.

Jones is Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the Bancroft Prize for American History, among many other awards and distinctions. She’s author of Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow (Basic Books, 1985) and Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War (Vintage, 2009).

The Distinguished Author Dinner is an invitation-only event to acknowledge and thank major donors, advisory council members and friends for their support and interest in the Libraries.

In addition, it provides an opportunity to reinforce the Libraries role in teaching, learning and research, and to promote the outstanding research of world-class faculty on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

Past events have featured Hamilton Book Award winner for Scripting Jesus: The Gospels in Rewrite Dr. L. Michael White, and acclaimed author, library advocate and Texas favorite, Sarah Bird.

To become a Libraries donor and receive invitations to events like this one, please visit our online giving page.

Happily Buried in Music

A few of the 300+ postal bins of CDs from KUT.

Anyone who is a regular user of campus delivery for music deliveries from the Fine Arts Library will find great joy in news of a massive new acquisition of materials from a local Austin institution.

KUT-FM recently moved into their new KUT Public Media Studios, and in an effort to maximize their space, a decision was made to offload 40+ years of physical media. After a near fruitless effort to dispose of the items through a public purchase offering as required by state law, the collection was offered up for the Fine Arts Library — an offer which was quickly pounced upon by Libraries administrators.

FAL is now the proud repository of an additional 60,000 CDs (doubling the current circulating collection) and 4,000 vinyl records, all of which become accessible to the denizens of campus and visitors to the library…after, of course, an arduous effort to process the vast cache of materials is complete.

More about the acquisition here.

Everything old is new again

In a harried world where you can hardly escape the din of constant communication and the proliferation of electronic gadgets, there’s a nascent desire to slow down and take in the mad rush of life. You can find this peaceful revolt against modernity in the community of vinyl music enthusiasts or the slow food movement or in DIY communities that encourage personal creativity and self-sufficiency. And now there’s a community of like-minded folks who have found a similar passion in a device that is an almost perfect antithesis to modern concepts of technology.

The rediscovery of the typewriter by retro fetishists prompted filmmakers Christopher Lockett and Gary Nicholson to embark on making a documentary about the machine’s importance to both our past and our future.

The result of their work — “The Typewriter in the 21st Century” — will receive its Texas premiere in a screening at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 19, in the Fine Arts Library at the Doty Fine Arts building.

The documentary features 30+ interviews with authors, collectors, journalists, professors, bloggers, students, artists, inventors and repairmen (and women) who meet for “Type-In” gatherings to both celebrate and use their decidedly low-tech typewriters in a plugged-in world. Authors Robert Caro and David McCullough, combined winners of 4 Pulitzer Prizes, 3 National Book Awards and a Presidential Medal of Freedom, and both avid typewriter users, provide fundamental commentary about process and the value of slowing down, writing actual drafts and revising in a world of instant, draft-less editing.

The film was inspired by a May 2010 article in Wired magazine called “Meet The Last Generation of Typewriter Repairman.” Director Lockett and producer Nicholson discussed the importance of the typewriter in 20th century literature, their conclusion being that every great novel of the 20th century was written on one, and if typewriters are in their final days, they deserved to be celebrated one last time.

Funded largely through a Kickstarter campaign, the film eventually featured not only typewriter people — the aforementioned technicians, collectors, bloggers, users and fans — but famous typewriters as well. The film features machines once owned by Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac, Tennessee Williams, John Steinbeck, Jack London, Sylvia Plath, George Bernard Shaw, John Lennon, Joe DiMaggio, Helen Keller, the Unabomber, John Updike, Ray Bradbury and Ernie Pyle.

The screening of “The Typewriter in the 21st Century” will be followed by a Q&A featuring producer Gary Nicholson and John Payton, owner of a typewriter “museum” in Taylor, Texas.

The event will be preceded by a small public reception at 5 p.m.

Art in Architecture

More Than Architecture

The Fine Arts Library is participating in AIA Austin’s month-long austin x design program to “celebrate design in both the built and natural environments and demonstrate the ways that design can shape and improve daily life.”

From October 2 – 30, members of the Austin architecture and design community will display their creations alongside the permanent art collection of the Fine Arts Library (FAL) in the exhibit “More Than Architecture.”

An opening reception will be held Friday, October 7, from 5-8 p.m. at the Fine Arts Library, (DFA 3.200).

Artists participating in the show include:

Items in the exhibit include sculpture (large and small), house model, photographs, furniture, glass, paintings, and decorative pieces, with 40 works from over 20 designers and artists.

Art on the Street

Baylor Street Wall Art by Rana Ghana

We’ve all seen Shepard Fairey’s work about town, but the burgeoning Austin street art scene features some great local artists, as well.

Photographer Rana Ghana has become a sort of informal liaison for the loose knit collective, and has extensively documented their growing body of work around the city.

Thursday (9/29) at 6pm in the Fine Arts Library (DFA 2.204), Ghana will discuss her work and that of the current group of artists she’s been tracking.

After the talk, there will be a screening of Banksy’s Oscar-nominated satirical documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.

The event is free and popcorn for the screening is being provided by Cornucopia.

You can RSVP for the event at the Fine Arts Library’s FB page.

This Donation Sounds Great

 

William Vanden Dries of the Audio Preservation Fund and Fine Arts Music Library David Hunter. Photo by Emilia Harris, Daily Texan Staff

An unexpected gift can sometimes be the most invaluable.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Audio Preservation Fund – an Austin-based nonprofit formed by three UT alumni in 2009 – the already extensive Historic Musical Recordings Collection (HMRC) just got a little more so with the addition of 1,000 vinyl albums.

Chairman of the Audio Preservation Fund William Vanden Dries hand-delivered the eclectic mix of recordings to the Collections Deposit Library on Tuesday. After an extensive review of the HMRC’s holdings, the group determined where their reserves might bridge gaps in the collection’s catalog, and the gift was amassed from the cache of an unnamed individual collector.

The Audio Preservation Fund acts as a facilitator for the collection and preservation of sound recordings, and for the distribution of donated items to suitable recipients including public archives, libraries, museums, universities and research centers. The Fund’s goal is to make private collections available to the public in an effort to improve access to rare, unique and historical audio.

We express our gratitude to the Audio Preservation Fund on behalf of the Libraries and the patrons who will benefit from their generous gift.

 

Tennessee at College

 

Playbill for The Garden Players production of "Cairo, Shanghai, Bombay" by Bernice Dorothy Shapiro and Tom Williams, July 12, 1935. Courtesy of the Harry Ransom Center.

For once, we’re pretty happy that a lack of space has become an issue on campus.

Thanks in no small part to the ridiculously extensive Tennessee Williams holdings at the Harry Ransom Center, the Fine Arts Library has gotten the chance to host an overflow exhibit of materials related to the HRC’s massive homage to the Southern Gothic playwright, “Becoming Tennessee Williams.”

The companion exhibit at FAL, “Tennessee Williams, the College Years” features a limited number of items from Williams’s time in the academy – both at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and at the University of Iowa – including photos, correspondence, manuscripts and more.

The exhibition opens today and runs through July 31 in the Roberts Reading Room at FAL, where it can be viewed Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends from noon to 5 p.m.

 

Art On Wheels

We know that food trailers are all the rage right now, so it seems rather natural that those locations on wheels might find some other uses as well.

Enter the Artstream Ceramic Libary, a unique art exhibition featuring the work of 13 nationally recognized ceramic potters. Housed in a vintage 1967 silver Airstream trailer, the library travels across the country to libraries and organizations interested in sponsoring this project so people from coast to coast may participate in this distinctive cultural exchange.

And what better place to host such a gallery on wheels than at the Fine Arts Library at The University of Texas at Austin.

Similar in structure to a literature-based library, the Ceramic Library loans out unique handmade cups for seven days.  Borrowers from the Ceramic Library are required to take a digital photograph of the cup in use, though other art forms are encouraged as well, including music, video and visual art.  The photographs and art based on the loaned items will be posted online.

Take note, though: the borrowing program is limited to University of Texas at Austin faculty, staff and students.

The Artstream Ceramic Library will be hosted at the Fine Arts Library through March 31.

A reception highlighting the 40 cups available for checkout will take place Friday, March 4 at 5 p.m.  Lisa Orr – a local potter and one of the Artstream artists – will speak at 5:30 p.m. about the Artstream project.

On Monday, March 7 at 9 a.m. there will be a demonstration by Orr and Austin potter Ryan McKerley in the ceramics studio in the Art Building, Room 2.410.

Special thanks to ceramics aficionado Dennis Trombatore for his generous sponsorship of the exhibition.

Kerr’s Name Here

He may have retired from the Libraries recently, but that hasn’t led Tim Kerr to slow his pace even a step. And since his wife Beth is still plugging away as Theater and Dance Librarian at the Fine Arts Library, we like to occasionally check in and see what he’s up to.

Turns out that in addition to continuing work on his art, Tim has also been working on a book about his art.

Your Name Here includes images of his activism art – paintings, sketches and multimedia endeavors – with handwritten commentary. It also comes with a cassette (yep) of some of Tim’s favorite musical creations.

The book is available (free preview) from Austin’s own Monofonus Press, just in time for the holidays.

World AIDS Day at Fine Arts

The Fine Arts Library will host an event in recognition of World AIDS Day, which occurs annually on December 1.

Guest speaker Akinyi Wadende, a graduate fellow in Education at Texas State University, will be joined by University of Texas Professor of Art History Moyo Okediji to present “Kwe Mosiko: HIV/AIDS, Art and Activism” in the Roberts Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library in the Doty Fine Arts Building beginning at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, December 1.

“Kwe Mosiko” is a concept among the ethnic Luo people of Kenya and Tanzania that celebrates beauty as a process of physical and emotional healing.

By examining the intersections of beauty and healing in contemporary American art, modern European art and indigenous African art, the presenters will draw on art and activism as creative resources to combat endemic and epidemic aspects of the HIV/AIDS infections. Video and multimedia components will accompany the presentation.

This event is free and open to the public.