• Lindsay King posted an article

    On Friday, March 31, 2017, ARLIS/NY members visited the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Greenwich Village. Located in a historic building that held

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    On Friday, March 31, 2017, ARLIS/NY members visited the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture in Greenwich Village. Located in a historic building that held Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney's art studios beginning in 1914, it was also the birthplace of the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1931.

     

    Alexandria Williams, Associate Director of Development and Historical Tours, recounted the history of the Whitney Studio and the New York Studio School (NYSS) as she walked members through the gallery spaces and studios, still in use by art students at NYSS but retaining many features of the original townhouses and carriage houses. (Only within the past year, after receiving a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has the landmark building opened for public tours.)

     

    The upstairs space, which was originally Whitney's studio, has an ornate bas-relief ceiling and fireplace by Robert Winthrop Chanler, and once featured colorful stained-glass windows. Even in its current state of disrepair, the studio is dramatic. Eventually, Whitney repurposed the loft for entertaining and moved into humbler spaces to do her artwork, including the “Spirit of Flight” sculpture exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair.

     

    By 1928, Whitney had accumulated more than 500 works of American art, including surrealism, modernism, and folk art. When she offered them to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, they were refused, so Whitney, along with her assistant Juliana Force, decided to start her own museum. There were 4000 visitors at the opening of the Whitney Museum in 1931; the museum would later move to larger quarters in 1954.

     

    Mercedes Matter founded NYSS in 1963 as a rebellion against what she saw as the harmful movement of art education away from the studio. She preferred the earlier model of the atelier, with its intense focus on drawing, painting, and sculpting from life while studying past masters. After a few years, when the Whitney Studio became available, the NYSS moved into the gallery and studio spaces.

     

    Chantal Lee, NYSS's solo librarian, gave members a tour of the library: a single room bursting with books, situated across a small hallway from the large painting studios. There are about 5000 books in the collection. Lee described a strong culture within the school from its beginnings that emphasized using books as part of artistic practice and of being inspired by artists from the past. Reference questions that Lee answers often involve helping an artist see more examples of a certain technique, subject, or approach, and conversations evolve depending on who else is in the library at the time. It was interesting to hear about Lee’s approach to visually-focused questions, as opposed to more historical or theoretical questions. Lee said that reference is the biggest part of her job, using monographs and exhibition catalogs to help artists work through ideas and get inspired.

     

    The library also hosts films and other programming, and it has been a meeting place for those kinds of activities for many years. Philip Guston, Alex Katz, Morton Feldman, and other prominent artists lectured at NYSS. The Evening Lecture Series archive is held in the library, and some excerpts are now on the NYSS YouTube channel.

     

    It was great to see the historic Whitney Studio spaces still in use by artists, and also to visit a library designed specifically to inspire artists.

     

    Lindsay King, Associate Director for Access and Research Services, Robert B. Haas Arts Library, Yale University

  • Tammi Lawson posted an article

    On March 15, 2017 ARLIS/NY members met at the Jewish Museum, located in Manhattan at 92nd street and 5th Avenue. The group was then led on a guided tour of the exhibition,

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    On March 15, 2017 ARLIS/NY members met at the Jewish Museum, located in Manhattan at 92nd street and 5th Avenue. The group was then led on a guided tour of the exhibition, The Pierre Chareau: Modern Architecture and Design, by guest curator, Esther da Costa Meyer. 

     

    da Costa Meyer shared  a little bit about Chareau’s background: that he grew up on the Left Bank of Bordeaux, France; that both he and his British-born wife, Dollie, were Sephardi; that Chareau never learned to speak English; and that he was never formally trained as an architect.  Despite these apparent disadvantages, Chareau was a sought after interior designer, furniture maker, and architect.

     

    In addition to being members of the French intelligentsia of the day, the Chareaus belonged to a “collectors” collective that bought and shared artwork. The group included influential artists and artisans, as well as clients of Chareau.  In fact, it was Chareau’s art connections that saved his life after the Nazis occupied Paris. With the help of his non-Jewish friends, he was able to store his art collection and leave Paris for New York citing his need to retrieve a loaned Amedeo Modigliani sculpture, Caryatid, now in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. 

     

    For the exhibition, the Jewish Museum borrowed180 items from private collectors and museums from around the world.  The exhibition featured a few gems formerly of Chareau’s personal collection: Max Ernst’s The Interior of Sight, 1922, the aforementioned, Caryatid, ca. 1914, by Modigliani, and a beautiful Chana Orloff piece titled, Maternity, 1914. Other rooms displayed photographs and original design sketches by Chareau of works that did not survive the Nazi occupation of France in the 1940s. The show also recreated the interior of a Chareau-designed apartment, complete with exquisitely embroidered, high-backed chauffeuses and a couch, never before sat upon. The exhibition’s designers, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, also included virtual reality goggles through which museum-goers could view a digital rendering of the original room based off of photographs. 

     

    A highlight of Chareau’s career is the Maison de Verre, 1928-1932, a glass house he designed for his friend and client, Dr. Jean Delsace. It is a tour de force of modern design and is listed as a historical monument in Paris. The house is made of translucent bricks, moving steel walls, exposed beams and cylindrical mobile cabinetry. With no load bearing walls, it is a true marvel of its time, and while the physical house was not part of the exhibition, Chareau’s original designs were included in this stunning show for all to view.

     

    Tammi Lawson, Associate Curator, Art & Artifacts Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL

  • William Blueher posted an article

    On October 14, 2016, members of ARLIS/NY and the Grolier Club gathered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art...

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    On October 14, 2016, members of ARLIS/NY and the Grolier Club gathered at The Metropolitan Museum of Art for a lively lecture on the past, present, and future of the Museum Meermanno/House of the Book, delivered by the museum’s director and curator, Rickey Tax. Located in The Hague, the Museum Meermanno was a highlight of last summer’s tour of the Netherlands organized by the ARLIS International Relations Committee, which is where Thomas J. Watson’s Chief Librarian, Ken Soehner, met Tax and invited him to The Met to discuss this fascinating Dutch museum.

     

    As Tax explained, whereas the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) primarily collects books created in the Netherlands, Museum Meermano tries to capture the entire history of printing in the West, collecting important works created throughout Europe, America, and beyond. He relayed the history of the collection through its two most influential collectors, Johan Meerman (1751-1815) and, museum founder, Baron W.H.J. van Westreenen van Tiellandt (1783-1848), whose residence remains the site of the collection to this day. In addition to highlighting some of the pre-1848 holdings of Meermano, Tax also introduced the audience to its more modern holdings, which include items like its complete run of Kelmscott Press books and its collection of private contemporary Dutch presses. He briefly discussed some recent difficulties the museum has faced but ended on an inspiring note, nicely using one of the museum’s objects (an eagle’s stone) to symbolize the strength and fortitude requisite for Meermanno to see itself through its current troubles.

     

    After the lecture, attendees gathered in Nolen Library for a reception, where members of ARLIS New York and the Grolier Club got to chat with Tax over wine, nuts, and finger sandwiches. He was as entertaining in casual conversation as he was compelling at the lectern, and it was wonderful that ARLIS was able to extend as warm a welcome to Tax as he and Meermano were to ARLIS last year.   

     

     

    William Blueher, Assistant Museum Librarian, Metadata & Collections, Thomas J. Watson Library

     

  • Meredith Hale posted an article

    On Wednesday, September 21, 2016 approximately twenty-five ARLIS/NA New York members gathered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Carroll Classroom to learn how art information is currently being analyzed and presented using digital tools. The presentations introduced participants to a...

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    On Wednesday, September 21, 2016 approximately twenty-five ARLIS/NA New York members gathered in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Carroll Classroom to learn how art information is currently being analyzed and presented using digital tools. The presentations introduced participants to a host of resources and projects. The staff at the Frick Reference Library contributed greatly to the event, with presentations from Ralph Baylor, Dr. Stephen Bury, Samantha Deutch, Ellen Prokop, and Dr. Louisa Wood Ruby. Dr. Titia Hulst also shared her research.

     

    The presentations illustrated that librarians can benefit from using familiar tools in new ways and exploring software that is not typically used in the arts and humanities. While it is not often grouped with popular programs like Tableau, D3, and Gephi, Ralph Baylor’s presentation highlighted the visualization capabilities of Zotero. In addition to its tried and true use as a citation manager, Zotero has a plugin called Paper Machines that allows it to display word clouds, heat maps, and topic models based on bibliographic data. This could be the perfect tool for patrons who are interested in visualizing information but might be discouraged by technical barriers. Titia Hulst’s work on contemporary art markets demonstrated the value in seeking out non-conventional visualization tools. She used Cytoscape, a bioinformatics software platform developed for visualizing molecular interactions, for her doctoral research on artworks distributed by Leo Castelli.

     

    The session also revealed some of the trials and tribulations associated with working on digital art history projects today. While there are numerous free tools available for data gathering, visualization, and analysis (a quick look at all of the free applications listed on DiRT confirms this), relying on them can be problematic. These tools can become quickly unavailable due to lack of support. In addition, they often transform from being open source to proprietary. For example, Kimono, a web-based scraper that requires no coding knowledge and was initially open source, was purchased by Palantir and is now fee-based. Free programs also frequently involve compromises in terms of historical accuracy. For instance, most free mapping programs rely on contemporary maps, which can cause significant anachronisms when working with art historical information. Ellen Prokop sensitively addressed this issue by noting that maps are themselves products of their time and should be treated as such.

     

    Still, continued efforts to develop new projects show progress in the field. This is especially apparent from the work being completed by The Frick on ARt Image Exploration Space (ARIES) and the Pharos consortium. Both of these projects foster image comparison. The Frick is working to find funding to make ARIES available to the public and a website for Pharos was published this past October.

     

    Meredith Hale, Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship, 2016-2017, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University

  • Amye McCarther posted an article

    Back on July 29, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a tour of Mana Contemporary. Located in Jersey City, the expansive former tobacco warehouse is home to exhibition spaces, studios for visual and...

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    Back on July 29, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a tour of Mana Contemporary. Located in Jersey City, the expansive former tobacco warehouse is home to exhibition spaces, studios for visual and performance artists, arts organizations and on-site services, including the Keating Foundry.

     

    The event opened with a docent-led tour of current exhibitions showcasing private collections, public programming and resident artists. The T’ang Horse: Anthony Quinn, was on view in the first floor gallery, and presented paintings, sculpture and drawings by actor Anthony Quinn juxtaposed with artworks and artifacts from his vast personal collections amassed over a lifetime of international travel. Wake the Town and Tell the People, a group exhibition co-presented by the International Sculpture Center, occupied the fifth floor gallery. The Carole A. Feuerman Sculpture Foundation, populated with hyperrealist sculptures, was among the many artist studios visited. The building’s fourth floor also featured Armitage Gone! Dance, the contemporary ballet company of choreographer Karole Armitage, whose glassed-in studio offers visitors an intimate view of the dancers as they rehearse.

     

    Archivist Marie Penny guided the party through the remarkable Richard Meier Model Museum. Visitors enter the Museum through a gallery of rotating exhibitions featuring Meier’s sculptures, drawings and encaustic collages, a window into lesser known aspects of Meier’s practice. Beyond the gallery over 400 hand-made basswood and birch scale models of Meier’s architectural and furniture designs occupy an airy exhibit space, as well as glassed-in stacks that allow visitors a 360-degree view of their intricacies. The Getty Center and the Smith House are among the iconic designs rendered in three-dimensional studies and framed drawings on permanent view. The adjacent library features design publications collected by Meier over the course of his career.

     

    Guests were also given a tour of Weegee’s Bowery, presented by the International Center of Photography at Mana (ICP). Although no longer on view, the exhibit highlighted the press photography of Arthur Fellig - known as Weegee - with prints featuring the dingy environs of the Bowery during the 1940s and 1950s, and the flamboyant characters that inhabited them. Weegee centered his practice around police headquarters, even installing a police radio in his car, in order to capture the lurid and sensational images for which he was known. ICP specialist Christopher George was on hand to answer questions regarding the exhibit.

     

    The afternoon concluded with a tour of the ICP archives and media lab led by ICP Director of Library, Archives, and Museum Collections, Deirdre Donohue. Guests were treated to a curated selection of highlights from the archives, followed by a lively reception of Indian sweets and prosecco in the ICP lab space.

     

     Amye McCarthur

     

  • Paula Gabbard posted an article

    On July 9, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members gathered at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a tour of the Garden’s library. Librarian Kathy Crosby...

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    On July 9, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members gathered at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for a tour of the Garden’s library. Librarian Kathy Crosby greeted members in the reading room, where only a small portion of the library’s approximately 80,000 volume collection is housed.

    Once the group had assembled, Crosby detailed some of the Garden and library’s history. Charles Stuart Gager, the original director of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, was also a bibliophile and understood the importance of a well-rounded library to the study of botany. As such, Gager made a conscious effort to create and continually grow the Garden’s collection, founded in 1910, mainly through private donations.  Gager was so devoted to the library that when his son and heir died in 1918, Gager bequeathed a significant amount of money to the library.

    Members were then shown some highlights from the library’s rare book collection, including a medical text from 1542 by Leonhart Fuchs, Christoph Jacob Trew’s Plantae selectae quarum imagines ad exemplaria naturalia Londini, in hortis curiosorum nutrita from 1773, and the Banks' Florilegium, beautiful color engravings based on sketches created during Captain Cook's travels between 1758 and 1761. The Banks Florilegium is particularly interesting as the engraved plates sat in the British Museum until the 1980s and 1990s, when they were rediscovered and subsequently published by Electo Publishers in stunning color.  

    The library circulates non-rare books to members and to those taking classes in the Botanical Garden, but the library is open to everyone Tuesday through Friday, from 10am to 4:30pm, and on Wednesdays until 8pm.

    Pictures from our trip are available on ARLIS/NA New York’s Facebook page.

     

    Paula Gabbard, Fine Arts Librarian, Avery Library, Columbia University

    and

    Arielle Cohen, Librarian, Gagosian Gallery

  • Lily Chin posted an article

    On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a special tour of two exhibitions at the Morgan Library & Museum. Sidney Babcock, Curator and Department Head, Ancient Near...

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    On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a special tour of two exhibitions at the Morgan Library & Museum. Sidney Babcock, Curator and Department Head, Ancient Near Eastern Seals and Tablets, escorted the group. The first exhibit members saw was Founding Figures: Copper Sculpture from Ancient Mesopotamia, ca. 3300-2000 B.C., a temporary exhibit on view through August 21, 2016.  Founding Figures is located on the first floor in the Clare Eddy Thaw Gallery, which usually displays prints or other works on paper, and Babcock informed the group that this was the first time the room has been used to display these types of objects.

    The exhibition showcases ten rare copper sculptures (averaging about one foot in height) that were discovered under the foundations of various ancient structures. These “foundation figures” were not meant to be seen during their time; instead, they were put in the foundations of buildings, perhaps to be discovered by future generations and for the gods.

    This particular group of ancient sculptures comes from the Morgan’s permanent collection, as well as loans from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Babylonian Collection of Yale University, and private collections; it marks the first time the Morgan has mounted an exhibition on ancient sculptures. The focal point of the exhibition is The Foundation Figure of King Ur-Namma (ca. 2112-2094 B.C.) from the museum’s permanent collection. Pierpont Morgan purchased the statue in 1907 in Paris. This statue and another of King Ur-Namma in the exhibit, made about twenty years apart, are the only surviving portraits of the ruler. Decorating the walls of the room are enlarged images of impressions from cylinder seals, which served as a preview for the second part of the tour.

    The second exhibit the group saw was the permanent installation Monumental Miniatures: Engraved Cylinder Seals from Ancient Mesopotamia, located in the North Room. This is the same room that was once the office of  Belle da Costa Greene, who served as Morgan’s librarian and the first director of the Morgan Library. The engraved cylinder seals that comprise this exhibition span a wide range in time, c. 3500 BC to 350 B.C., and they are but a small part of the Morgan’s extensive collection, which is one of the most distinguished in the world. Each cylinder seal has a unique engraving, and they were even sometimes worn as amulets. As in the first exhibit, special lighting was installed in the North Room, ensuring that visitors are able to view the objects in the ideal light.


    Pictures from our trip are available on ARLIS/NA New York’s Facebook page.

    Lily Chin, MSLIS​​​​​
    MA Candidate Art History, Hunter College

  • Arielle Cohen posted an article

    On Saturday June 4, ARLIS/NA New York members gathered at the Cloisters, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a tour of the branch’s library and...

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    On Saturday June 4, ARLIS/NA New York members gathered at the Cloisters, a branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a tour of the branch’s library and archives. Some members arrived by bus, while others traveled by train to the 190th Street A train station and walked through the Fort Tryon Park Heather Garden, which was in full bloom.

    Cloisters librarian Michael Carter greeted members in the main hall and led them to the top of the Cloisters tower to the Office of the Director. With gorgeous views of Fort Tryon Park and the Hudson River as a backdrop, members were shown a selection of archival materials on the history, creation, and construction of the Cloisters Museum. Carter also took this time to recount the story of how the Cloisters came to be.

    Founded by George Grey Barnard (1863-1938), the original museum, which Barnard called “George Grey Barnard’s Cloisters,” opened in December 1914 and featured Barnard’s personal collection of medieval sculpture and architectural fragments. Ten years later the museum was offered for sale, and John D. Rockefeller Jr., who wanted the museum to remain in New York, provided the funds for purchase, with the understanding that the Metropolitan Museum of Art would operate the Cloisters as a branch of the Museum. Thus, in 1925, the Cloisters reopened as part of the Met. A few years later, it was decided a larger building was needed to house and exhibit the collection. Working with architect Charles Collens and the Olmstead Brothers landscaping firm, Chief Curator Joseph Breck finalized plans for the new building and landscape in 1933, and the museum as we know it today opened to the public in 1938.

    The group then made its way to the library reading room, which included medieval architectural details, such as stained glass windows. Here, Carter showed members more treasures from the collection, including facsimiles of medieval materials and scrolls, books of hours, and playing card sets, and even comic books with stories set in the Cloisters.

    The tour finished with a visit to the library stacks and the archives.

     

    Pictures from our trip are available on ARLIS/NA New York’s Facebook page.

     

    Arielle Cohen, Librarian, Gagosian Gallery
     

  • Annelise Ream posted an article

    On the evening of Thursday, May 19, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York and METRO members met at Rhizome to learn about its digital preservation initiatives.  Located at 231 Bowery, Rhizome is an affiliate in residence at the

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    On the evening of Thursday, May 19, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York and METRO members met at Rhizome to learn about its digital preservation initiatives.  Located at 231 Bowery, Rhizome is an affiliate in residence at the New Museum and an anchor tenant of NEW INC, New Museum’s arts and technology incubator.  Rhizome was founded in 1996 and is a leading international organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, and preservation of new media art.  Central to its digital preservation program is the creation of free, open-source tools to preserve legacy materials and the dynamic web.

     

    Rhizome’s executive director Zachary Kaplan welcomed the group and made opening remarks before passing the mic to artistic director Michael Connor.  In his presentation, Connor introduced the group to a number of tools developed to maintain Rhizome’s digital collections platform ArtBase.  Tools discussed included: Emulation as a Service, a cloud-based emulation framework; oldweb.today, a tool connecting legacy browsers to web archives; and webrecorder.io, a platform for dynamic web archiving.

     

    Connor illustrated why emulation tools are necessary to digital preservation by showing examples of art Rhizome presents.  “Bomb Iraq,” a work Corey Arcangel built using Macintosh TV—a product Apple produced briefly in the early 1990s—demonstrated how the Emulation as a Service tool allows viewers to interact both with the work and aspects of the hard drive on which it was built.  Connor presented a work Theresa Duncan originally created as an interactive CD-ROM narrated by David Sedaris, which Rhizome has made fully accessible online.

     

    Connor demonstrated the value of oldweb.today using Alexei Shulgin’s Form Art Competition.  The Form website is still accessible via modern web browsers.  However, when viewing the site through oldweb.today, users can see how the project originally appeared on Netscape 3.0 in 1997.  Created by the Jodi collective using Google Earth, Geo Goo, shows how artists are using commercial applications as a medium and illustrates the importance of preserving the original software environment in order to fully access and comprehend new media art.

     

    Perhaps the most exciting new tool Conner presented was webrecorder.io, a free platform for hi-fidelity, symmetric web archiving.  The tool is intended to make web archiving accessible to anyone by providing a secure and easy to use archive-as-you-browse interface.  Eventually, webrecorder.io will allow individuals and organizations to easily build an archive of web content pertinent to their collections.  In the meantime, users are invited to test the platform in its beta version, which can be found at https://webrecorder.io

     

    Indeed, these types of archival tools are critical to Rhizome’s core mission.  Nevertheless, even those who deal primarily with physical collections should be grateful to tech savvy Rhizome for developing these digital preservation tools and making them openly accessible to all.

     

    Annelise Ream, Creative Director, Keith Haring Foundation

     

  • Amelia Catalano posted an article

    On Thursday, February 18, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a tour of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Library and the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, located on the second floor of 380 2nd Avenue. Members were...

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    On Thursday, February 18, 2016, ARLIS/NA New York members were treated to a tour of the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Library and the Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives, located on the second floor of 380 2nd Avenue. Members were greeted with light refreshments and complimentary buttons with imagery taken from the newly renovated SVA Library website.

    After members had assembled, the group made its way to a computer lab where Library Director Robert Lobe introduced the SVA Library Staff and gave a brief history of the SVA and Library. Caitlin Kilgallen, Associate Library Director, then reported on the library’s newly opened Library West, an extension of the main SVA Library. The space was created to better serve the school’s west side campus and, like the location at 380 2nd Ave., features alumni and student work in its decor.

    A demonstration and explanation of the development of the new SVA website followed. Phoebe Stein, Digital Services Librarian, and ARLIS/NA New York Member-at-large for Membership, explained that the website features art by SVA alumna, Donica Ida, and was conceived with end user experience in mind.

    From there, the group moved to the SVA archive space where Archivist Beth Kleber discussed the history of the SVA Archives and its collection policies. Members were shown some of the archives' highlights; these included original works by SVA alumni and faculty, such as the Design Study Center and Archives' namesake, Milton Glaser.

    Next stop on the tour was the SVA Visual Resource Center. Visual Resources Curator Lorraine Gerety discussed the library’s move away from slides and towards a more digitally oriented operation. The group was also given information regarding the center’s frequency of use and patronage, which centers around the SVA faculty.

    The last leg of the tour took members into the stacks of the library. The group made its way past the newly installed study tables, complete with imbedded reading lights. Managing Cataloging Technician Eric Ingram explained the development of the SVA’s comic book/graphic novel/manga collection, unique in the fact that it is a circulating collection of this size and type. Mr. Ingram also spoke about the significance of the collection to the history of the SVA, a school known for developing and producing many prominent comic artists.

    The tour concluded with closing remarks by Director Lobe, a look at the new book and rare book collection, and an invitation to explore the Library further at the members’ leisure.

    See our Facebook page for more photos from the event.

    Amelia Catalano, Laboratory Technician, Pratt Institute

  • Emily Walz posted an article

    On May 9, ARLIS/NY members met at the Frick Collection for a tour of the current exhibition, Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture. The group was led to the Oval Room, where Adam Eaker, one of the...

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    On May 9, ARLIS/NY members met at the Frick Collection for a tour of the current exhibition, Van Dyck: The Anatomy of Portraiture. The group was led to the Oval Room, where Adam Eaker, one of the exhibition’s co-curators, gave a brief tour of some of the exhibition’s highlights. Although, unfortunately, no photography was allowed in the exhibit.

    One of the features of the tour was a pair of portraits Van Dyck painted of the artist Frans Snyders and his wife, Margareta de Vos. These early portraits, commissioned by Snyders, allude to the confidence the older painter had in Van Dyck, who was only about 20 years old at the time. Snyders and his wife are both dressed in lavish black fabrics with intricate lace details – clothing that signified their wealth and allowed Van Dyck to show off his skill as a painter. Directly across from these paintings is the portrait of Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio, in which Van Dyck again seized the opportunity to showcase his skills through his sitter’s opulent dress. The rich red of the cardinal’s robes and the ornate lace detail show both Titian’s influence on Van Dyck and his ultimate goal of becoming Titian’s “heir,” despite his lack of Italian heritage.

    The portraits of both the cardinal and Snyders demonstrate Van Dyck’s preference for posing his non-royal subjects in casual, less traditional ways. In the Frans Snyders portrait, the subject’s body is in a relaxed pose, and his overcoat is draped on the back of the chair he leans against. In the Cardinal Bentivoglio portrait, the pose is even more striking, especially in comparison to how cardinals were typically portrayed: he is hatless, exposing his receding hairline, and he is gazing out of the frame as though someone or something has captured his attention.

    In the East Gallery, royal portraits stand in contrast to the casual nature of the Snyders portrait and the portrait of the cardinal. Queen Henrietta Maria with Jeffrey Hudson is a formal, full-length portrait of the Queen in hunting dress with her companion, who many tour-goers were surprised to learn was actually a dwarf rather than a small child. Interestingly, both of these features help place the painting within the framework of traditional English portraiture.

    On the opposite wall, portraits of Van Dyck’s wife and other contemporaries further solidify the formal-informal dichotomy: the subjects of these portraits are casually posed, laughing, smiling, and one subject is even showing his teeth. The casual style of these portraits proved so popular that eventually royals were requesting their portraits look like Van Dyck’s.

    After the tour, members were treated to light snacks and drinks in the Frick Art Reference Library where reference librarian, Suz Massen, gave a brief history of the library.


    Emily Walz, Associate Librarian, Christie's
     

     

  • Suz Massen posted an article

    Thursday, September 24, 2015, New York City was graced with the presence of Pope Francis. It was also the day that several ARLIS/NA New York members visited Material ConneXion (MC), an industrial materials...

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    Thursday, September 24, 2015, New York City was graced with the presence of Pope Francis. It was also the day that several ARLIS/NA New York members visited Material ConneXion (MC), an industrial materials library located in the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center. Its parent company Sandow focuses on products and services that are driven by innovation and design. MC is a subscription library that has branches in several countries around the world. Members pay a fee to access its extensive database of materials and its onsite library where samples can be touched and examined. MC acts as liaison between designers and companies that manufacture pioneering materials. New materials are investigated by a staff of material scientists, and library candidates are presented at monthly meetings to determine if they are in or if they are out. There are more than 7,500 materials listed in MC database and more than forty new materials are considered each month for inclusion in the library.
     

    Jacquelyn Wilson, Business Development Manager–Academic Access, gave an introduction and tour of MC’s headquarters. She discussed how MC supports academic design programs by having a subscription model specific to schools that allows students to access its on-site library, as well as its database. In addition to a conversation about access, she described the organization of the library. Materials are given  numbers that represent their manufacturers. They are arranged by categories such as ceramics, polymers, naturals, and glass. MC has a special category for materials that use groundbreaking processes in their manufacturing.
     

    ARLIS/NA members were allowed to roam free in the library to discover materials of interest. Leather made from a stomach of an animal, mosaic tiles made from recycled skateboards, and a squishy polymer that contains no liquid are examples of what can be found.
     

    Suz Massen, Chief of Public Services, Frick Art Reference Library

  • Esta Goldin posted an article

    On September 12, 2015, intrepid ARLISans ventured forth to Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District of New York City, for an inaugural visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art,

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    On September 12, 2015, intrepid ARLISans ventured forth to Gansevoort Street in the Meat Packing District of New York City, for an inaugural visit to the Whitney Museum of American Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles LibraryFarris Wahbeh, Director of Research Resources, and Ivy Blackman, Library Manager, graciously hosted the visit. 

     

    The recently opened Renzo Piano designed museum building overlooks the Hudson River and the High LineIt integrates the water, park, and industrial structures that anchor the neighborhood. The building's large, sheltered public space and entry that brings in light recreate and revitalize the area. The design and execution of the museum are coincident with the Whitney’s dedication to twentieth-century and contemporary art. The reinstallation of its collections shows it off to great advantage.

     

    The library has two reading rooms, one largely for curatorial staff in the museum building and a shared space on West 26th Street. As of September, the library has been open for four months in its new locations. The staff is delighted to have more space than they have ever had with room to grow the collection, particularly artist files and reference. The library is non-circulating. Appointments can be made for individual use a week in advance.

     

    Farris has undertaken writing a strategic plan for Research Resources. This area includes archives, reference, periodicals, documentation, records management, and special collections. These are the early days of the plan's evolution and transformation.  Farris is creating a road map characterized by thinking in larger aggregate terms. The challenges are many: developing a digital strategy, initiating tech workflows, addressing infrastructure, ongoing integration, interoperability, and fostering collaborative projects. Owing to the uniqueness of the Whitney, there is a need to develop its own methods, including piloting a program to institute procedures. Consideration also must be given to the evolving nature of the scholarly record, access to content, progress in technology, standards and research, the expanding borders of creativity, and housing new forms of it. Farris’s program is an ambitious one. As it unfolds, others may find value in learning how it is progressing. For many, similar questions are being asked. The value in visiting the new Whitney library was hearing about its path of reinvention and how its staff is taking up the challenge.

     

    The sixth floor view from the library of the Hudson River is spectacular. 

     

    Esta Goldin, Archivist, Huntington Town Archives

  • Chantal Sulkow posted an article

    On August 13, 2015, New York chapter members of ARLIS/NA gathered on The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) library terrace in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building for drinks and nibbles. While the evening was a wonderful...

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    On August 13, 2015, New York chapter members of ARLIS/NA gathered on The Museum of Modern Art’s (MoMA) library terrace in the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building for drinks and nibbles. While the evening was a wonderful opportunity for friends and colleagues to have a drink, chat and reconnect, the New York chapter was fortunate to welcome a number of newcomers to the group. As the sun set and the summer night cooled, we appreciated the remarkably gorgeous views of midtown Manhattan and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden where indie-pop band Lower Dens played below. We also enjoyed a marvelous close-up view of the elaborate gothic detailing of St. Thomas’ Church, MoMA’s next-door neighbor.

     

    Janis Ekdahl, New York Chapter Chair and Bard Graduate Center Acquisitions Librarian, took a few minutes to announce some exciting upcoming events. We have scheduled a tour at the Whitney Museum's new space in the Renzo Piano building on the morning of Saturday, September 12, and a tour of Material ConneXion on Thursday, September 24. Tony White, Associate Chief Librarian at The Thomas J. Watson Library, announced the 2015 Contemporary Artists' Books Conference at PS1 on September 18 and 19 (The New York Chapter of ARLIS/ NA is a proud sponsor of this event!). See our events page for more information. The Board is also seeking venues for the annual meeting in October and the holiday party at the end of the year. If you know of suitable locations please let us know.

     

    See our Facebook page for more photos from the event.

     

    Chantal Sulkow

  • Janis Ekdahl posted an article

    On Saturday, June 6, an adventurous group of New York chapter members gathered on the East End of Long Island for a richly rewarding day visiting three very distinct arts institutions. 

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    On Saturday, June 6, an adventurous group of New York chapter members gathered on the East End of Long Island for a richly rewarding day visiting three very distinct arts institutions. 

     

    The day began at the stunning Parrish Art Museum designed by Herzog and de Meuron Architects in 2012. The seemingly understated building, like the museum’s permanent collection, is reflective of Long Island’s landscape and heritage. Signature works by American artists such as William Merritt Chase, Fairfield Porter, Cindy Sherman and April Gornick form the core of the museum’s permanent collection to which we were affectionately introduced by our docent Felicias Wetter. We navigated the temporary exhibition, Chuck Close: Photographs, by ourselves, admiring fifty years of Close’s innovative photographic practice ranging from monumentally scaled Polaroids to intimately scaled daguerreotypes.

     

    After a leisurely al fresco lunch on the patio of the Parrish Museum’s Café, we drove a short distance to the Watermill Center--Robert Wilson’s influential laboratory for the performing arts. This strikingly austere building, completed a decade ago, was designed to function as an incubator for “young artists to work, learn, create and grow with each other.” Deb Verhoff and Clifford Allen, the Center’s librarian and archivist, described the challenges and rewards they face in documenting the work of an internationally renowned living artist. An informal wine and cheese reception capped our visit and provided a welcome opportunity for additional conversation and networking.  Julie Mellby has posted a fuller description of the Watermill Center with photos of Wilson’s eclectic object collection on the Princeton Library’s Graphic Arts Collection website.

     

    The day ended at the intimate Dan Flavin Art Institute in Bridgehampton. Created by the artist in a former Baptist church in 1983, the installation traces 20 years of Flavin’s work—beginning when he started working exclusively with fluorescent fixtures and tubes. The Institute is supported in perpetuity by the Dia Art Foundation and was an appropriate venue in which to conclude our art filled day and bid farewell to a wonderful cohort of ARLIS colleagues and friends.

     

    Janis Ekdahl, Librarian, Bard Graduate Center