The Library has subscribed to three new databases of visual content available to all UC Berkeley patrons:
The invention of photography represented a turning point in nineteenth-century culture and visual experience. For the first time, there was a means to capture an accurate and true portrayal of the people, places, and events that would shape history. As a complement to studies of history, culture, media, and many other disciplines, Photography: The World Through the Lens provides the visual evidence to support and supplement written sources.
Photography: The World Through the Lens assembles collections of photographs, photograph albums, photographically illustrated books, and texts on the early history of photography found in libraries and archives across the globe. The nineteenth century was about changes in family and society, invention and scientific discovery, exploration and colonization, urban versus rural life, work, leisure and travel — all this is captured in photographs. Photography: The World Through the Lens delivers around 2 million photographs from Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
askART provides access to artists’ profiles, images, literature references, biographies, auction records, art for sale and art wanted, essays on important art movements, and statistics on the markets. Millions of auction records and results (from 1987+). 300,000+ worldwide artists.
History of Art Department Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson is co-curator of the exhibit, Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, currently on at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive until October 14, 2018.
Join exhibition co-curators Andrea Andersson, chief curator of the visual arts at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and Professor Julia Bryan-Wilson, for a discussion of Cecilia Vicuña’s work on July 11 at 6:00 at BAMPFA.
About to Happen / Cecilia Vicuña
From the publisher website, Siglio Press:
“Beginning and ending at the edge of the ocean at the sacred mouth of the Aconcagua River, About to Happen serves as a lament as well as love letter to the sea. In this artist’s book, Chilean-born artist and poet Cecilia Vicuña weaves personal and ancestral memory while summoning the collective power to confront the economic disparities and environmental crises of the 21st century.
Collecting the detritus that washes up on shore, Vicuña assembles out of the refuse tiny precarios and basuritas—little sculptures held together with nothing more than string and wire, which she sometimes makes as offerings to be reclaimed by the sea. These acts of creation and erasure mirror the ways in which her work inhabits and enlivens the liminal spaces between the remembered and forgotten, the revered and the discarded, the material and the dematerialized.
About to Happen, which accompanies an exhibition at the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, and the Berkeley Art Museum, traces a decades-long practice that has refused categorical distinctions and thrived within the confluences of conceptual art, land art, feminist art, performance and poetry. Vicuña’s nuanced visual poetics—operating fluidly between concept and craft, text and textile—transforms the discarded into the elemental, paying acute attention to the displaced, the marginalized and the forgotten.
Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago, Chile) is a poet, visual and performance artist, and filmmaker whose multi-disciplinary and multi-dimensional works bridge art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. Vicuña’s work emphasizes transformative acts and “metaphors in space”: an image becomes a poem, a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. Beginning often with a delicate line (drawn or written) or a piece of string, she weaves complex works that are rich with political and social awareness as well as aesthetic beauty.”
Donors and long-time friends to the Department of Art History, Helen and Raj Desai, have donated a large set of books from their personal collection to the Art History/Classics Library. The collection contains rare exhibition catalogs and books on South Asian art and architecture, as well as other prized items such as a signed, three-volume set on the Plan of St. Gall by our department founder, Walter Horn.
Helen Crane Desai is an alumni of the Department (BA 1952, MA 1954) and her husband, Raj Desai, did his MS in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. The Desais have established the Rajnikant T. and Helen Crane Desai Endowed Fund for Graduate Fellowships in Art History. Their numerous gifts to the Department over the years include generous support to the Joanna G. Williams Endowment for the art and visual culture of South and Southeast Asia and the James Cahill Fund for the study of Asian art. Other gifts to campus include to the L&S Leadership Fund, the BAMPFA, the International House, and the Institute for South Asia Studies.
The Art History/Classics Library is grateful to Helen and Raj Desai for their generous donation.
Here are some highlights from their generous gift:
See Professor Lenssen speak about her new book at NY MoMA on May 23, 6:00-8:00. In conversation with Anneka Lenssen, Sarah Rogers, Nada Shabout, co-editors of the book, and Iftikhar Dadi, Cornell University, with introduction by Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA.
From the publisher website, Duke University Press:
“Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents offers an unprecedented resource for the study of modernism: a compendium of critical art writings by twentieth-century Arab intellectuals and artists. The selection of texts—many of which appear here for the first time in English—includes manifestos, essays, transcripts of roundtable discussions, diary entries, exhibition guest-book comments, letters, and more. Traversing empires and nation-states, diasporas and speculative cultural and political federations, these documents bring light to the formation of a global modernism, through debates on originality, public space, spiritualism and art, postcolonial exhibition politics, and Arab nationalism, among many other topics. The collection is framed chronologically, and includes contextualizing commentaries to assist readers in navigating its broad geographic and historical scope. Interspersed throughout the volume are sixteen contemporary essays: writings by scholars on key terms and events as well as personal reflections by modern artists who were themselves active in the histories under consideration. A newly commissioned essay by historian and Arab-studies scholar Ussama Makdisi provides a historical overview of the region’s intertwined political and cultural developments during the twentieth century. Modern Art in the Arab World is an essential addition to the investigation of modernism and its global manifestations.”
The Bay Area Book Festival will take place this year on April 28-29 throughout Downtown Berkeley. The festival will also include a Screening and Conversation Series in collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
Here is a sampling of art-related talks at the Bay Area Book Festival. See their website for a full schedule.
Geoff Dyer on Street Photography and Beyond, Interviewed by Errol Morris
Geoff Dyer interviewed by Errol Morris
Sunday, April 29
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
The English writer Geoff Dyer’s eclectic, critically acclaimed body of work includes novels, memoirs, literary criticism, and essays on travel, jazz, film, and more, each marked with his inimitable wit. He’s known for defying genres, and his latest, “The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand,” includes 100 essays about 100 photographs by the famed street photographer. Dyer’s responses to the photographs are predictably unorthodox, often hilarious, and always insightful. Billy Collins (former U.S. poet laureate) said the book “amounts to an extensive tour of Winogrand’s photographs conducted by a savvy, observant, and highly entertaining guide.” Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris, who also has authored a book on photography, will interview. Don’t miss this discussion with two powerful, funny, whip-smart speakers.
Aline Kominsky-Crumb: A Life in Comics
Aline Kominsky-Crumb interviewed by Peggy Orenstein
Sunday, April 29
11:45 AM – 1:00 PM
Viet Thanh Nguyen on Art and Politics
Viet Thanh Nguyen interviewed by Karen Tei Yamashita
Saturday, April 28
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
The Transformative Power of Art: Making The Dam Keeper
Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Saturday, April 28
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
In 2014, audiences had to guard their heart-strings against Pixar’s short film “The Dam Keeper,” which told the story of Pig, a young boy who lives in a windmill and must keep a menacing fog away from his town. The responsibility weighs even heavier because Pig has no friends. Not until a new kid shows up at school and introduces Pig to artistic expression does his loneliness begin to dissipate. Join the men behind the film to discuss art, friendship, and creative dreams. This graphic novel is masterful on both literary and artistic levels: Be prepared to be swept away! (Remember, anyone under age 18 is let in free—no wristbands necessary!)
Brenda Hillman and Geoffrey G. O’Brien: A Conversation
Brenda Hillman, Geoffrey G. O’Brien, introduced by Rachel Richardson
Saturday, April 28
1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
Rembrandt and the Mughals
Dr. Stephanie Schrader
10 Stephens Hall, UC Berkeley
April 30, 2018, 12:30-2:30
Dr. Stephanie Schrader, Curator, Department of Drawings, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles will be speaking at UC Berkeley on April 30, from 12:30-2:30 at 10 Stephens Hall. Dr. Stephanie Schrader is the editor of the catalog, and curator of the exhibit, Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India, currently on at the Getty Center through June 24, 2018.
The exhibition catalog can be found in our library: ISBN 9781606065525
Stephanie Schrader will address the 23 drawings Rembrandt made late in his career after Indian paintings that were imported into Amsterdam from Dutch trading post in Surat. Rembrandt’s portraits of Mughal rulers, princes, and courtiers demonstrate how his contact with Indian art inspired him to draw in a different style on Asian paper. Schrader argues that the Mughal compositions Rembrandt copied were not merely foreign curiosities, but carried with them specific associations of empire, trade, luxury, and exceptional artifice.
A reception will follow the talk.
Speaker Bio: Stephanie Schrader is curator at the Department of Drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, specialising in 16th to 18th century Dutch and Flemish art. Her interest in cross cultural exchanges include exhibitions, publications, lectures and classes on artists including Jan Gossaert, Maria Sibylla Merian and Peter Paul Rubens.
Sponsors: Department of History of Art Stoddard Lecture Series, Institute for South Asia Studies, Sarah Kailath Chair of India Studies, Department of History of Art.
Mapping as Research: Trevor Paglen in conversation with Julia Bryan-Wilson
and book launch
Tuesday, April 24 at 5:00 pm
Osher Theater, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, UC Berkeley
To celebrate his first comprehensive artist monograph, Trevor Paglen (UC Berkeley Geography PhD and 2017 MacArthur “genius” fellow) will discuss his work with ARC Director Julia Bryan-Wilson. Paglen’s work relentlessly pursues what he calls the “unseeable and undocumentable” in contemporary society. Blending photography, installation, investigative journalism, and science, Paglen explores the clandestine activity of government and intelligence agencies, using high-grade equipment to document their movements and reveal their hidden inner workings. The new publication includes a survey text by Bryan-Wilson and presents over two decades of Paglen’s groundbreaking work, making visible the structures and technologies that impact our lives.
Please note: Paglen will be signing books after the discussion.
Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures. Trevor Paglen’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Berkeley Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Nevada Museum of Art. He has launched an artwork into distant orbit around Earth in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT, contributed research and cinematography to the Academy Award-winning film Citizenfour, and created a radioactive public sculpture for the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on subjects including experimental geography, state secrecy, military symbology, photography, and visuality. Paglen’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Economist and Art Forum. He is a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award.
Paglen holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley.
Julia Bryan-Wilson is Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include questions of artistic labor, feminism, queer theory, fabrication/production, performance, visual culture of the nuclear age, photography, and textile handicraft. She is the author of Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era (U California Press, 2009), Art in the Making: Artists and their Materials from the Studio to Crowdsourcing (with Glenn Adamson, Thames & Hudson, 2016), and Fray: Art and Textile Politics (U Chicago, 2017). She is the editor of Robert Morris: October Files (MIT, 2013), and she has co-edited two special issues of journals: “Visual Activism” for the Journal of Visual Culture (with Jennifer González and Dominic Willsdon) and “Time Zones: Durational Art and its Contexts” for Representations (with Shannon Jackson). With Andrea Andersson, Bryan-Wilson co-curated the exhibition Cecilia Vicuña: About to Happen, which travels to the Berkeley Art Museum in fall 2018. She is currently writing a book about Louise Nevelson.
Image: Trevor Paglen, Untitled (Reaper Drone), 2010, C-Print, 48 × 60 in. (121.92 × 152.40 cm), Courtesy of the Artist, Metro Pictures New York, Altman Siegel San Francisco.
Help support the collections in the Art History/Classics Library on March 8th during Cal’s Big Give Fundraising event!
Support the Art History/Classics Library by making your donation directly through the Big Give website at this link.
The Big Give is an online fundraising event that began in 2014, giving you and the entire Cal community — alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends — the chance to come together to support your favorite schools and programs.
For more information about the Big Give, see the event website.
Founded in 1972, the Art Libraries Society of North America is a dynamic, international organization of more than 1,000 individuals devoted to fostering excellence in art and design librarianship and image management in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The membership includes architecture and art librarians, visual resources professionals, artists, curators, educators, publishers, students, and others interested in visual arts information. To serve this diverse constituency, the Society provides a wide range of programs and services within an organizational structure that encourages participation at all levels.
Thank you to everyone who attended our successful event on Tuesday, February 13th, showcasing many of the Library’s treasures from around campus:
Students, faculty, staff, and members of the public enjoyed seeing rare and special collection items from collections such as: the Bancroft Pictorial Collections; Artists’ books from the Environmental Design Library and the Bancroft Library; prints from the Graphic Arts Loan Collection at Morrison Library; media resources from the Media Resources Center; image collections from the Visual Resources Center in the History of Art Department and the College of Environment Design; and many more!