Black History Month reception in the Special Collections Research Center

crisis_cover news graphicJoin us for a reception to celebrate Black History Month on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 5:00-6:00 p.m. in Bird Library’s 6th floor gallery. On view will be the current exhibition Black Utopias exhibition, co-curated by Professor Joan Bryant and SCRC Director Lucy Mulroney. Refreshments will be provided.

About Black Utopias 

Black Utopias commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the best-selling narrative of one of the most prominent men of the Civil Rights era. This anniversary holds special significance for Syracuse University because the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is home to the records of Grove Press, the avant-garde publisher of the Autobiography. Grove hailed the book as one of its “most important” publications. The first printing of 10,000 copies sold out before it was released in October 1965.

“Black Utopias” takes the personal transformations that form the narrative arc of Malcolm X’s Autobiography as the framework for exploring a range of utopian visions that have shaped Black American life. Although utopias are, by definition, the stuff of dreams, the examples presented in this exhibition are firmly rooted in historical experiences of subjugation, inequality, and injustice. They are at once visionary and modest endeavors to craft worlds of freedom, unity, power, equality, and beauty.

The exhibit features the handwritten letter that Malcolm X sent to Alex Haley during his pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as other unique and rare materials from the collections. It includes documents by little-known individuals and such prominent figures as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, Madam C. J. Walker, James Ford, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Exhibition dates: October 8, 2015 –  April 15, 2016

Visit us at: http://scrc.syr.edu

Matrix, Meshwork, Moiré: Patterns in American Print

Jennifer Roberts

2015 Syracuse Symposium™ on Networks

Public Lecture: November 17 / 6 – 7:30 p.m. / Peter Graham Scholarly Commons, Bird Library

Mini Seminar November 18 / 3 – 5 p.m. / Special Collections Research Center / Lemke Seminar Room

Both events are free and open to the public, but advanced registration is required for the mini-seminar. To register, contact Romita Ray at rray@syr.edu

A key question lies at the intersection of network studies and print studies: how might we define the relationship between the social networks that replicated images enable, and the physical net-works — the screens, dots, and lines of various printing matrices — that enable those images to be replicated in the first place? Proceeding through select examples by artists from Benjamin Franklin to Roy Lichtenstein, Jennifer Roberts’s public lecture, Matrix, Meshwork, Moiré: Patterns in American Print, superimposes these social and material networks in order to explore their patterns of convergence and their reciprocal agencies.

Jennifer L. Roberts is Elizabeth Cary Agassiz Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. She is an art historian focusing on American art from the colonial period onward, with particular interests in craft and materiality theory, print studies, and the history and philosophy of science. She is the author of Mirror-Travels: Robert Smithson and History (2004), Jasper Johns/In Press: The Crosshatch Works and the Logic of Print (2012), and Transporting Visions: The Movement of Images in Early America (2014).

Event Co-Sponsors:

The Syracuse University Humanities Center in the College of Arts and Sciences, organizer of the 2015 Syracuse Symposium™ on Networks

Department of Art and Music Histories

Special Collections Research Center

SUArt Galleries

Visit the website at: http://www.syracusehumanities.org/syracuse-symposium/

 

Libraries’ fall exhibition focuses on Black Utopias

crisis_cover news graphicSyracuse University Libraries’ fall exhibition, Black Utopias, opened on Thursday, October 8 in the Special Collections Research Center gallery on Bird Library’s sixth floor. An opening reception will be held on October 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. The show will run through Friday, April 15, 2016.

Co-curated by Dr. Joan Bryant, associate professor in the African American Studies Department, and Dr. Lucy Mulroney, interim senior director of the Special Collections Research Center, the exhibition commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Autobiography of Malcolm X, the best-selling narrative of one of the most prominent men of the Civil Rights era.

This anniversary holds special significance for Syracuse University because the Libraries are home to the records of Grove Press, the avant-garde publisher of the Autobiography. Grove hailed the book as one of its “most important” publications. The first printing of 10,000 copies sold out before it was released in October 1965.

“Black Utopias” takes the personal transformations that form the narrative arc of Malcolm X’s Autobiography as the framework for exploring a range of utopian visions that have shaped Black American life. Although utopias are, by definition, the stuff of dreams, the examples presented in this exhibition are firmly rooted in historical experiences of subjugation, inequality, and injustice.

The exhibit will feature the handwritten letter that Malcolm X sent to Alex Haley during his pilgrimage to Mecca, as well as other unique and rare materials from the collections. It includes documents by little-known individuals and such prominent figures as W.E.B. Dubois, Langston Hughes, Madam C.J. Walker, James Ford, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Other events associated with the exhibition include an exhibition tour and brownbag discussion with the curators on Friday, October 23 from noon – 1:30 p.m. and marathon community readings of The Autobiography of Malcolm X for Banned Books Week on September 29 from 2 to 6 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library, on September 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Coulter Library at Onondaga Community College, and on October 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Beauchamp Branch Library, located at 2111 South Salina St. in Syracuse.

For more information, contact scrc@syr.edu or call 315.443.2697.

Lecture and performance by visiting artist Shaun Leonardo

shaun_leonardoShaun Leonardo will present Identity & The Invisible Man on Thursday, April 9 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.  in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in Bird Library. He will also lead a participatory performance on Friday, April 10, 2015 from 5 to 6:00 p.m. at the La Casita Cultural Center, 109 Otisco Street, Syracuse. Both events are free and open to the public.

Shaun Leonardo will speak on the shape-shifting qualities of identity in the “New World” and the fluidity permitted within the construction of American identity by younger generations, relating his own art practice to colonial and post-colonial histories of the Dominican Republic from the Special Collections Research Center. Leonardo’s work asks: How do I see myself? What does it mean to consider one’s self through multiple identities? When and how are these identities felt to be seamless or celebrated? When and how are they felt to be invisible or manipulated?

In Friday’s participatory performance, Leonardo will call on audience members to join in developing a narrative on identity that draws inspiration from the artist’s own family history, while tying each person in the room to one another and thereby forcing participants to reexamine their self-perceived identities. The performance will incorporate recordings of SU Professor Sydney Hutchinson’s Music in Latin America students’ readings of literature that Leonardo selected from among SCRC holdings.

Shaun Leonardo is a multidisciplinary artist who uses modes of self-portraiture as a means to convey the complexities of masculine identity and question preconceived notions of manhood. The portraits take the form of cutout paintings, drawings, and sculptures, and are also brought to life through performance. He received a BA from Bowdoin College, an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has received awards from Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; The New York Studio School; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council; Art Matters; New York Foundation for the Arts; McColl Center for Visual Art; Franklin Furnace; and The Jerome Foundation. His work has been presented internationally with recent solo exhibitions in New York City.

La Casita is a vibrant cultural, artistic, and educational center supported by Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Office of the Chancellor.

Keeping Images Alive, a lecture and workshop in the Brodsky Series

Gary AlbrightConservator Gary Albright, will present a lecture in the Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation series entitled The Intensification of Photographs: Observations from Recent Research and Practice on March 26 at 5 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons on the first floor of Bird Library. The lecture is free and open to the public, with a reception to follow.

As cultural objects, photographs require special care. They react aggressively to the climate and can suffer from inherent problems as a result of their chemical composition. Albright’s program will familiarize participants with the construction and unique problems of photographs and offer practical advice on their preservation. He will also cover current storage standards and factors to consider when preparing a photographic exhibition. The focus of the sessions will be on black and white, however other aspects of photography will be addressed as time permits.

On Friday, March 27, Mr. Albright will lead a daylong workshop to familiarize participants with the construction of photographs. The workshop is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. To register, contact Barbara Brooker at bbbrooke@syr.edu or at 315‐443‐9763.

Gary Albright is a conservator of paper and photographs in private practice. During his career, he has treated a diverse array of objects, including the Emancipation Proclamation, a Honus Wagner baseball card, Ansel Adams’ photographs, and working drafts of the Constitution of the United States. He is a graduate of the Winterthur Museum/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. He has served as senior paper and photograph conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center, Andover, MA, and conservator at the George Eastman House, Rochester, NY, where he taught in the the Advanced Residency Program for Photograph Conservators. Albright has been a visiting professor at the State University of Buffalo, the University of Delaware, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

 

The Brodsky Series for the Advancement of Library Conservation combines a public lecture with a hands-on workshop. Supported by William J. (65, G68) and Joan (67, G68) Brodsky of Chicago, Illinois, the series offers programs that promote and advance knowledge of library conservation theory, practice, and application among wide audiences, both on campus and in the region.