Monthly Archives: September 2015

Avery Art Properties at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race

During the Spring 2015 semester, Art Properties worked with Elizabeth Hutchinson, Associate Professor of Art History, Barnard College/Columbia University, and her students on a set of ten drawings from the 1890s made by the Inupiat people. These drawings depict aspects of a ceremonial ritual still performed by some groups in Northwest Alaska, and are part of the extensive Bush Collection of Religion and Culture, donated to Columbia by alumnus and Philosophy instructor Wendell Ter Bush (1867-1941). The result of this curricular collaboration is an exhibition curated by Prof. Hutchinson with her students and installed in the Gallery at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, Hamilton Hall, on the Morningside campus of Columbia University. These fascinating drawings, made by unknown indigenous artists, document moments in the Messenger Feast, an essential event in the ceremonial lives of the Inupiat people. The drawing seen here depicts the Wolf Dance. Entitled “Messages from across Time and Space: Inupiat Drawings from the 1890s at Columbia University,” the exhibition runs September 22-November 20, 2015.

For more information about these works, visit the accompanying exhibition website.

Video –

Avery Drawing & Archives in Affordable Housing exhibit at MCNY



Affordable New York: A Housing Legacy
Museum of the City of New York
September 18, 2015-February 1, 2016

“Fifteen objects were lent from Drawings and Archives including drawings for Roosevelt Island development by Philip Johnson and John Burgee (preliminary scheme) and John Johansen (final design), sketches and photographs of Carver House by Simon Breines, and other ephemera. Included in the exhibition is a digital image gallery of plans of New York City Housing Authority projects from the Breines collection.”

All images from the Simon Breines papers, circa 1930-1990. Click image to enlarge.




Avery Classics in Early Soviet Photography exhibition

The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film

Jewish Museum, New York
September 25, 2015 – February 7, 2016

From early vanguard constructivist works by Alexander Rodchenko and El Lissitzky, to the modernist images of Arkady Shaikhet and Max Penson, Soviet photographers played a pivotal role in the history of photography. Covering the period from the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution through the 1930s, this exhibition explores how early modernist photography influenced a new Soviet style while energizing and expanding the nature of the medium — and how photography, film, and poster art were later harnessed to disseminate Communist ideology. The Power of Pictures revisits this moment in history when artists acted as engines of social change and radical political engagement, so that art and politics went hand in hand.

Avery Classics has volumes 1, 2 and 4 of El Lissitzky’s Industrii︠a︡ sot︠s︡ializma in the exhibition. Rodchenko & Stepanova’s Moskva rekonstruiruetsi︠a︡ and SSSR stroit sot︠s︡ializm by El Lissitzky will also be on display when the show travels to other venues in 2016.

Industrii︠a︡ sot︠s︡ializma





Meadmore’s Curl being conserved

DSC_0277_72dpiConservation day has arrived! The Curl by Clement Meadmore, the large sculpture installed outside Uris Hall, is about to undergo a major conservation project.

On Tuesday, September 8, Conservation Solutions and their riggers will dismantle the sculpture, and on Wednesday, September 9, the sculpture will be moved off-site so conservation work may begin. The sculpture will be reinstalled later in the fall semester, looking as good as it did when it arrived on campus nearly fifty years ago.

More info:

Avery Library Welcomes Students

Avery Library welcomes new and returning students! We hope you had a great vacation and are ready for the new semester.

Just a couple of quick reminders:

When we are not available for reference questions you can click on “Ask a Librarian” to be connected to Virtual Reference.

Our hours for the Fall semester are here.

We are giving tours of the library and resources. Here is the tour schedule:

Open tours (45 minutes; limited to 15 people/tour; sign-up sheets at the Avery Library Service Desk & meet at the Service Desk)

All held at 12noon

Thurs. 9/10 

Fri. 9/11
Tues. 9/15 
Thurs. 9/17 
Fri. 9/18
Mon. 9/21
Tues. 9/22
Thurs. 9/24
Fri. 9/25


Scheduled tours as part of Departmental orientations:
Historic Preservation
Thurs. 9/3 — 1:00pm (2 tours) 

Art History
Thurs. 9/3 — 12noon (PhDs) 
Thurs. 9/3 — 2:00pm (Master’s)
Thurs. 9/3 — 3:00pm (Master’s/critical & curatorial studies)

Urban Planning 
Fri. 9/4  12noon (2 tours)
Fri. 9/4 —  1:00pm


A.J. Downing and His Legacy exhibition

Publicity_imageA.J. Downing and His Legacy

Assembled by the staff of Avery Library and Janet W. Foster, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Columbia University GSAPP

September 1 – November 13, 2015

Avery Classics reading room
Monday – Friday, 9:00am – 5:00pm

Alexander Jackson Downing, known as the “father” of the American architectural pattern book, was born 200 years ago, on October 31, 1815, in Newburgh, New York. Not an architect, nor a trained artist, Downing was an avid reader of British horticulture publications, some of which illustrated ideal houses for the country. Through the British publications, Downing saw both how books could transmit design ideas in words and pictures, and how modest houses with Romantic Revival design gestures could form the basis for an improved American housing for its middle classes, particularly in rural and small town settings. To further that end, he published three important works: A Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening (first issued in 1841); Cottage Residences (first published 1842); and The Architecture of County Houses (first issued in 1852). Each ran to several editions, and remained in print for some thirty years. Earlier architectural design books showed buildings in stiff and barren elevation drawings, where in Downing’s images, the house, landscape, and inhabitants become part of one happy, desirable image. The exhibition in Avery Library’s Classics Reading Room showcases several editions of Downing’s publications and those of many successors, offering a glimpse into the world of mid-19th century architectural publishing in the United States and revealing how Downing’s distillation of design ideas came to influence American housing for half a century.