Announcing a new Director for Avery Library

Hannah BennettWe are pleased to announce the appointment of Hannah Bennett as the new Director of Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

Bennett, who will join Avery on October 7, comes to Columbia after more than four years at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries where she oversaw three divisions – the Fisher Fine Arts Library, the Penn Museum Library, and the Music Library – as well as the Materials Library and Common Press Letterpress Studio. She has served in other management roles at Penn including, most recently, the Assistant University Librarian for Humanities and Social Sciences.

“The Avery’s incomparable collections and services have been a critical bass note to my career in art and architecture librarianship,” said Bennett. “It’s an absolute honor now to be at its helm and, with its talented staff and faculty, to continue shaping the Avery’s pivotal role in the future of arts scholarship and education.”

For the official announcement, see Columbia Libraries’ News & Events page.

Animalia

June 17 – September 13, 2019
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

Vessel in the form of a Dog, Colima culture, Mexico, ca. 200, polychrome earthenware, H. 7 1/4 x W. 5 3/4 x L. 12 1/2 in. (18.4 x 14.6 x 31.8 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Samuel Kirkland Lothrop Collection, Gift of René A. Wormser (1968.8.22).

Now on view in Avery Library is a new summer exhibition called Animalia, which celebrates the essence of animal life as depicted in sculpture, decorative arts, and cultural heritage objects, all drawn from the Art Properties collection. The works on view date from antiquity to today and present animal forms in various media, including soapstone, wood, ceramic, and watercolor on paper.

For many world cultures, the representation of animals in art has had a spiritual significance, reminding viewers today of the perpetually strong ties humans and animals have always had for survival and companionship. The first two cases include works by indigenous populations from Canada, the southwestern United States, Mexico, and Central America, while the latter two cases showcase works of art from China and Japan. With the exception of two modern sculptures, each of the objects on view was made by an artisan whose identity remains unknown to us. That anonymity arguably forces our attention away from the maker and toward the subject represented, reminding us that humankind, and the animals around us, are all one, united as part of nature.

Hoppner, Beechey, Fisher, Lavery: Researching Columbia’s Portraits.

February 11 – May 10, 2019
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wallach Study Center for Art & Architecture, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

John Hoppner, Portrait of Isabella Ricketts, later Mrs. Stanlake Henry Batson (1782-1845), ca. 1800-01, oil on canvas, 39 1/2 x 30 in. (100.2 x 76.2 cm), Art Properties, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, Gift of Loyd H. Langston (C00.762).

Now on view in Avery Library is the exhibition Hoppner, Beechey, Fisher, Lavery: Researching Columbia’s Portraits, curated by Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties, with Mateusz Mayer, Ph.D. student, Department of Art History & Archaeology. This focused exhibition showcases four rarely-seen historical British portraits from the University art collection, painted by these artists between the years 1800 and 1927. The show highlights new discoveries made about each painting, ranging from biography to provenance to political propaganda, but also proposes to question what “British” means both historically and in the age of Brexit.

The Columbia University art collection, stewarded by Art Properties and based in Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, includes nearly 1,000 portrait paintings, as well as hundreds of portrait busts, photographs, and prints. This exhibition encourages students, faculty, and researchers to reconsider the world of portraiture and to encourage the use of the entire University art collection for curricular and educational programs, where new discoveries can be made every day.

 

Celebrating the publication of New York Rising

New York Rising : An Illustrated History from the Durst Collection
The Monacelli Press, 2018
Published in association with The Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

From the first European settlement in the seventeenth century through the skyscrapers and large-scale urban planning schemes of the late twentieth century, this book presents a broad historical survey, illustrated with images drawn largely from the rich archival resources of the Durst Collection at Avery Library. Authors Kate Ascher and Thomas Mellins with ten contributing scholars — the late Hilary Ballon, Ann Buttenwieser, Andrew Dolkart, David King, Reinhold Martin, Richard Plunz, Lynne B. Sagalyn, Hilary Sample, Russell Shorto, and Carol Willis — delved into the collection assisted by Chris Sala (Avery Architecture Librarian and Durst Collection curator) to select objects that reflect their own areas of interest and expertise.

Book reviews:
https://www.6sqft.com/the-durst-collection-shows-new-york-rising-from-the-17th-century-to-the-skyscraper-age/

https://www.brickunderground.com/live/new-york-rising-durst-collection-book-review

Kate Ascher and Tom Mellins interviewed by George Bodarky on “Cityscape.”
http://www.wfuv.org/content/new-york-rising-17th-century-skyscraper-age

An Evening with Avery: Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Kurt Forster & Barry Bergdoll
in Conversation
Reception and book signing following

Thursday, December 6th 2018
6:00 – 8:00 PM
Stronach Center
8th Floor Schermerhorn Hall

Please join us for a very special Evening with Avery celebrating our recent acquisition of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Werke der höheren Baukunst.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Professors Kurt Forster (Professor Emeritus, Yale School of Architecture) and Barry Bergdoll (Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History, Columbia University)  will discuss this incomparable portfolio of Schinkel’s work and Forster’s recently published Schinkel: A Meander Through His Life and Work (Birkhauser, 2018)

The evening’s program is co-sponsored by Avery Friends and Columbia’s Department of Art History & Archaeology, Collins-Kaufmann Forum.

Image Credit: Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Interior view of reception hall in the royal palace on the Acropolis, Werke der höheren Baukunst (Potsdam: Verlag von Ferdinand Riegel, 1840-1848).

Transportation Alternatives

New York City as it will be in 1999: a pictorial forecast of the city, 1900. (AA735 N4 N422)

 

TRANSPORTATION ALTERNATIVES

Curator: Lena Newman, Special Collections Librarian

November 9, 2018 – February 8, 2019
Monday – Friday9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library

In April 2019, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will shut down the Canarsie Tunnel, a vital underground link that carries L-train riders between Manhattan and Brooklyn, for much-needed repairs. As New Yorkers know all too well, the problems plaguing the city’s transportation infrastructure extend far beyond a single subway line. Express bus lanes, Citi bikes, pedestrian plazas, the constant debate around congestion pricing for cars – all these are attempts made by the city to deal with an aging and increasingly inadequate transportation system. But the challenge of moving people in to, out of and around the city isn’t a new one. The objects in this exhibit seek to illustrate various transportation solutions – from the never realized to the barely still working – throughout New York’s history.

Model Projections

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and GSAPP are pleased to announce the opening of a co-presented exhibition, Model Projections, October – December 15, 2018 at the Arthur Ross Architectural Gallery, Buell Hall, Columbia University.

Gallery Talk: November 29th, 6:00-8:00 pm
Reception following
REGISTER to ATTEND

Co-curated by Jennifer Gray and Irene Sunwoo, Model Projections investigates the complex pathways between architecture and its representation through an examination of the practice of model making. While models have long occupied a central role in the design and building processes, during the postwar period the production and function of models expanded as architecture firms increasingly commissioned elaborate three-dimensional representations that were extraordinarily precise in detail—from simulated materials to landscaping, from designer furniture to electrification. The exhibition reveal the model as a site of collaboration, negotiation, and speculation—not unlike the full-scale building that it anticipated.

Drawing primarily upon the collections of Avery Library’s Department of Drawings and Archives, the exhibition focuses on an ecosystem of architectural model making during the mid-twentieth century. It features original photographs, correspondence, and ephemera from the archives of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; photographer Louis Checkman; and especially the pioneering model maker Theodore Conrad, whose material experiments and specialized production techniques offer a framework for questioning the relationships between technology and craft, authenticity and authorship, architectural vision and systematized labor.

Image credit: Photo documenting Neue Nationalgalerie model: view into model, fallen Barcelona Chair. Theodore Conrad papers 1937-1991, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Dept. of Drawings & Archives.

Looking East: James Justinian Morier and Nineteenth-Century Persia

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition, “Looking East: James Justinian Morier and Nineteenth-Century Persia,” in the Wallach Study Center.  This exhibition is the second in a new series called “MA in Art History Presents,” in which the MA students, under the guidance of Dr. Frederique Baumgartner (director of the MA program, Dept. of Art History and Archaeology) and Dr. Roberto C. Ferrari (curator of Art Properties), curate an exhibition drawn from Art Properties and other related Columbia Libraries holdings.  The online exhibition can be viewed by going to http://projects.mcah.columbia.edu/ma/2018/.

“Looking East” focuses on a portrait of J. J. Morier (ca. 1780-1849) wearing Qajar-era Persian clothing, his illustrated travelogues to Persia (published in 1812 and 1818), and his 1824 picaresque novel The Adventures of Hajji Baba of Ispahan, all considered from the perspective of Morier’s own documentary eye, and post-colonial readings of Orientalism today.  The exhibition includes material from Art Properties, the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and Burke Library.  Conservation work on the books and their cradles were prepared by the Columbia Libraries Conservation Lab.

Complementing the exhibition is a display of Iranian ceramics from the 10th to 19th centuries from the Art Properties collection, and an illustrated copy of Pascal-Xavier Coste’s Monuments modernes de la Perse (Paris, 1867) from Avery Classics.

The exhibition is open to the public Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm until December 14, 2018.

IMAGE CAPTION:
Attributed to George Henry Harlow, Portrait of James Justinian Morier (ca.1780-1849), 1818, oil on canvas, 28 x 24 in., Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University, Gift of Dr. Calvin H. Plimpton and his mother Anne Hastings Plimpton, to the George A. Plimpton Collection (2000.6.32).

Digital Serlio Symposium

Friday October 19, 2018
9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Maison Française, Buell Hall, Columbia University

Please join us to celebrate the launch of the Digital Serlio Project at a day-long symposium focused on current research on Sebastiano Serlio’s unpublished masterwork, On Domestic Architecture (Tutte l’opere d’architettura, Libro VI).

The Digital Serlio Project provides online access to Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library’s unparalleled holdings of the works of Sebastiano Serlio (1474–1554). The Project brings together this corpus of newly digitized works with scholarly essays focused on the unpublished sixth book contributed by an international cohort of scholars and students.

Symposium: Free and open to the public; registration required

REGISTER to ATTEND

Symposium speakers & moderators:

Francesco Benelli, Alma Mater Studiorum, Università di Bologna
Maria Beltramini, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
Chloe Demonet, French Ministry of Culture
Carole Ann Fabian, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University
Sabine Frommel, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Sorbonne, Paris
Sara Galletti, Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Duke University
Teresa M. Harris, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University
Mauro Mussolin, Getty Scholar, The Getty Research Institute
Eleonora Pistis, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Mark Rakatansky, GSAPP, Columbia University
Francesca Mattei, Sovrintendenza ai Beni Architettonici, Venezia
Lorenzo Vigotti, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University


The Digital Serlio Symposium is supported by Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
and the Maison Française at Columbia University, Avery Friends and the
Sidney J. Weinberg, Jr. Foundation.


Image credit: Detail of Plate XLVI, Sebastiano Serlio, VIII libro di Serlio : m.s. architettura, ca. 1550.

Wisdom of the East Exhibition

Yellow Tara (Vajra Tara), Tibet, late 17th to 18th century, gilded copper-zinc alloy (brass) with traces of polychromy, semiprecious stones, and silk
H. 7 3/16 x W. 6 3/8 x D. 3 1/2 in., Art Properties, Avery Library, Columbia University, Gift of J. G. Phelps Stokes (C00.1603.25).

Now on view in Avery Library’s Wallach Study Center for Art and Architecture is an exhibition of Buddhist art from Art Properties. Entitled Wisdom of the East: Buddhist Art from the J. G. Phelps Stokes Collection, the exhibition showcases a selection of works of art from Tibet, Nepal, China, and Japan dating from the 12th to 19th centuries.

This collection of over fifty sculptures and decorative objects was donated to Columbia in 1959 by James Graham Phelps Stokes (1872-1960), an alum of the College of Physicians & Surgeons and a New York City politician. His brother Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes was an architect whose projects included St. Paul’s Chapel on the Morningside campus. J. G. Phelps Stokes seems to have acquired his art collection during his travels abroad, his brother and he having visited Asia for the first time in 1892-93. Most of the art Stokes donated to Columbia represents the rich visual cultures of Mahayana (“Greater Vehicle”) and Vajrayana (“Diamond” or “Thunderbolt”) Buddhism.

In addition to this collection of art, Stokes’s papers and correspondence are deposited in Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. The I. N. Phelps Stokes papers and architectural drawings collection is held in Avery Library Department of Drawings & Archives. The exhibition, curated by Roberto C. Ferrari in Art Properties, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and will remain on view until September 14, 2018.