Monthly Archives: September 2013

Piranesi Day 2013

Avery's annual exhibition of prints, drawings, and books by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was held this year on Thursday, September 26, from 4:00pm-5:30pm. It combined favorites like the rare first and second states of the Carceri series with a selection of highlights on this year's special theme: infrastructure.

Held in the Wallach Seminar Room and in the Drawings and Archives reading room, this event was organized to coincide with GSAPP professor Mary McLeod's survey on the History of Architecture.

Exhibition webpage

Featured Research Resource: International Bibliography of Art (IBA)

If you are in search of scholarly publications that cover the global region and span the of subject Fine Arts and Architecture,
ProQuest's International Bibliography of Art (IBA) is the resource for you. IBA covers
European art from late antiquity to the present, American art from the colonial era to the present, and global art since 1945.

The definitive resource for scholarly literature on Western art, IBA is the successor to the Bibliography of the History of Art (BHA), and retains the editorial policies which made BHA one of the most trusted and frequently consulted sources in the field. The database includes records created by the Getty Research Institute, with records since 2010 created by ProQuest.

Access to IBA is through the Columbia University Libraries homepage. It can be located by clicking on the Quicksearch drop down menu either through Catalog or Databases. This resource is available only to current faculty, staff and students of Columbia University.

On the Basic Search page, I am given the ability to enter a key term in the search field. If I wanted the opportunity to do a more in-depth search, I would instead choose the Advanced Search page. On the Advanced Search page, I am given multiple fields for key terms and search options including publication date, language, and document (article, review of book, journal, etc…) that will allow me to narrow my results and obtain what I am specifically looking for.

If I wanted to find out more about a Renaissance artist and their medium of art, for example if Titian (Tiziano Vecelli in Italian) produced any etchings, I could enter 'Titian' in the first search field and 'etchings' in the second field. You may also use the drop down menu on the right-hand side and click on the 'Subject Heading (all)' option next to 'Titian.' This selection will help give you results that have 'Titian' in the subject. 



Another possible subject you may want to explore is the German architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and the Bauhaus movement with which he was involved.  I would start my search by entering 'Mies van der Rohe' and 'Bauhaus' in two separate boxes (or fields) within the Advanced Search page. You may click on the drop down menu to the right of the field where you entered the architect's name and choose the 'Subject Heading (all)' option. This will limit your results to only include the architect as your subject in your results.


As the scope of content is wide, I have to keep in mind that IBA is a bibliographic index. Some documents will be available to me in full-text because they are licensed to Columbia. If I find that a document is not available to me in full-text, the resource will provide me a citation that lists the basic bibliography of the work (author, date, publisher) along with a possible abstract of the document, and a link that will lead me to the full-text version of that document. Links to full-text documents will mean that I am sent from the IBA website to Columbia's online catalog. The online catalog will tell me whether or not I have access to the document, and where else I am able to access the document if it is not available through Columbia. I understand that there are multiple resources (or as us in the library world like to call them "databases") at a student's disposal when it comes to retrieving documents or articles related to art, but if you are looking for that one extra article you think will help with your research, try ProQuest's IBA as I am sure you will be pleased with your results.

–by Erin Noto, Avery Library intern; Pratt Institute, MSLIS 2014


Roberto C. Ferrari speaks at Oxford conference

Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties, recently represented Columbia University Libraries at Oxford University, where he was a speaker at the conference Pre-Raphaelitism: Past, Present and Future, held at the Ashmolean Museum and St. John’s College on September 13 and 14, 2013.  The conference was a response to the exhibition Pre-Raphaelitism: Victorian Avant-Garde, which opened in London in 2012 and will have been shown in Washington, D.C., Moscow, and Tokyo when it closes in 2014.
Roberto’s paper, “Pre-Raphaelite Exotica: Fanny Eaton and Simeon Solomon’s Mother of Moses,” considered the Anglo-Jewish artist’s first Royal Academy exhibition painting from 1860, seen here, and addressed the role of his model for this painting, Fanny Eaton, a mixed-race woman born in Jamaica, the daughter of a former slave.  By drawing on contemporaneous issues as diverse as exoticism, race relations, and Jewish history, Solomon’s painting of an Old Testament subject can be seen as a statement on the social politics of slavery and otherness in the artist's and model's day.
Conference program


The Mother of Moses, 1860
Simeon Solomon (1840-1905)
Oil on canvas
24 x 19 7/8 in. (61 x 50.5 cm)

Delaware Art Museum, Bequest of Robert Louis Isaacson, 1999

Avery Tours still Available

Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library

Fall 2013 Orientation Tours

 Sign up for tours at the Service Desk in Avery Library.

Meet at the Service Desk.






   Sept. 17



   Sept. 19



   Sept. 20



   Sept. 23



   Sept. 24



   Sept. 27


Avery Art Properties in “Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth” exhibition

The Art Properties Department has loaned three significant works from the Sackler Collection to the exhibition "Breath of Heaven, Breath of Earth: Ancient Near Eastern Art from American Collections," which opened on August 31 at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University, in Salem, Oregon. The exhibition brings together 64 objects related to the art and culture of the Fertile Crescent from 6000 to 500 BCE.

One of Columbia's pieces on loan is the ivory or bone plaque seen here, depicting a hunter and a lion (S0130). The other two works loaned to the exhibition are a bronze beaker depicting a lion, 7th-6th century BCE Iraq, Neo-Babylonian period (S0145), and an ivory duck-headed spoon handle, 8th-7th century BCE Iran (S0128). These objects join other important works loaned by New York-based institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition closes on December 22.

Exhibit website

–Roberto C. Ferrari, Curator of Art Properties

Plaque with a hunter and lion
Iran, ca. 8th-7th century BCE
Ivory or bone
1 7/8 x 2 3/8 x 14 in.  4.8 x 6 x .6 cm
Sackler Collections, Columbia University in the City of New York