All posts by Martha González Palacios

Ellen Fullman & The Long String Instrument in Battle Hall – 10/20

Event: Composer Ellen Fullman brings her Long String Instrument to Battle Hall to premiere her new composition “Tracings.” The event is free and open to the public.

When: Thursday, October 20, 8:30 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Battle Hall, Architecture & Planning Library.

Background: On October 20th, as part of the Music in Architecture / Architecture in Music Symposium hosted by the Center for American Architecture and Design, the College of Fine Arts and the Sarah and Ernest Butler School of Music, composer Ellen Fullman will premiere her new work “Tracings” in the magnificent Battle Hall on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. The performance features Fullman both solo and with the Austin New Music Coop.

Designed by architect Cass Gilbert and completed in 1911, the Battle Hall should provide an extraordinary acoustic environment for Fullman’s unique instrument. “Tracings” was composed specifically for the historic building, repurposing ratios found in the design of the building to produce justly tuned musical intervals. A centennial celebration for Battle Hall occurs on Nov. 11.

Joining Fullman for the performance are NMC musicians Brent Fariss (contrabass), Nick Hennies (percussion), Andrew Stoltz (overtone guitar designed by Arnold Dreyblatt) and Travis Weller (playing his custom string instrument “The Owl”).

Library reading room disruptions 10/14 to 10/21

As part of the Music in Architecture/Architecture in Music symposium, the Architecture & Planning Library will be hosting Ellen Fullman‘s performance Tracings -Work for the Long String Instrument on Thursday October 20th at 8:30 pm.

In preparation for this performance, we will be moving furniture in the reading room on the afternoon of Friday October 14 to accommodate the Long String Instrument.  Access to materials in the reading room (current journals and the reference collection) will still be possible at this stage but will be very limited all day Thursday Oct 20 and until the afternoon of Friday Oct 21.

There will be further disruptions in the reading room (higher than usual noise level) during the assemblage of the Long String Instrument this weekend and rehearsals next week.  However, general and reserve collections and circulation services will not be affected except for the night of the performance (Thursday Oct 20th) when the library will be closing at 6 pm.

More details regarding this event will follow.

“More Than Architecture” at Fine Arts Library

Event: The Fine Arts Library hosts the exhibit More Than Architecture from Austin x Design. The event is free and open to the public.

When: Reception, 5-8 p.m., Friday, October 7. Exhibition on display October 2-30.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Fine Arts Library, DFA 3.200.

Background: From October 2 – 30, members of the Austin architecture and design community will display their creations alongside the permanent art collection of the Fine Arts Library (FAL) in the exhibit More Than Architecture.

An opening reception will be held Friday, October 7, from 5-8 p.m.

This exhibit is a cooperative venture of the FAL with a group of local small-firm architects as part of the Austin x Design month-long celebration of design in the built and natural worlds.  It provides the architecture and design community an opportunity to show off its artistic side, and for artists to exhibit their site-specific works in photographic form.

Artists participating in the show include:

  • Lisa Orr, with her design for the Deep Eddy mural
  • Sculptor Lars Stanley
  • Artist Tim Kerr
  • Designer Davey McEathron of ¡El Grupo!

Items in the exhibit include sculpture (large and small), house model, photographs, furniture, glass, paintings, and decorative pieces, with 40 works from over 20 designers and artists.

Matt Fajkus Talks Sustainable Architecture for Research + Pizza

Event: Research + Pizza features Matt Fajkus talking about his research in sustainable architecture. The event is free and open to the public.
When: Noon, Wednesday, October 5
Where: The University of Texas at Austin, Perry-Castañeda Library, Room 2.500 (map).
Background: The University of Texas Libraries second installment of Research + Pizza features School of Architecture professor Matt Fajkus who will talk about the Thermal Lab and sustainable architectural design strategies, focusing on building envelopes and efficient facade systems.
Fajkus’s research informed his part in the collaborative design of the Home Research Lab, built as part of the Pecan Street Smart Grid experiment to integrate scientific research with sustainable living strategies for the public.
Free Pizza (while it lasts) generously provided to attendees by program supporter Austin’s Pizza.
Research + Pizza is a lunchtime lecture series featuring research presentations by faculty from across the university.

A little wonder from the library of O’Neil Ford

Last week, Joe Sosa, gift processor at the Architecture & Planning Library, came to my office to share a wonderful find.  Joe has been processing books from the library of O’Neil Ford, which came to us as part of his collection donated to the Alexander Architectural Archive.  He starts by searching our catalog for existing copies in our collections so in many cases he is the first one to look closely at donations.  He regularly sees interesting material and once in a while he comes across a jewel like this:

Chinese and Gothic architecture properly ornamented : being twenty new plans and elevations on twelve copper plates containing a great variety of magnificent buildings accurately described ; as also, several of a smaller kind elegantly design’d, with all necessary offices, of great strenght, early construction, and graceful appearance. The whole carefully calculated by the great squares; with instructions to workmen, etc. in several pages of letter-press. intended as an improvement of what has been published of that sort.

This delightful book came in what can be described as a regular preservation nightmare: a homemade cardboard binder (very likely acidic) with a faded photocopy taped on.

Chinese and Gothic Archtecture Properly Ornamented

Inside, we found a pocket for the circulation card.

Pocket for library card

Chinese and Gothic architecture properly ornamented was written in 1752 by William Halfpenny and his son John. William Halfpenny was an English architect, carpenter and author of early pattern books as well as other manuals on construction such as The Art of Sound Building, Demonstrated in Geometrical Problems.

Title page

These are page 6 and 7: “Plate II – The Ground and Chamber Plan, with the Elevation (drawn to double their Scale) for a Design to a House 67 Feet in Front.” As all designs in this book, it includes dimensions for each room ans well as some instructions and estimate of the cost, in this case, 2475£.

Plate II

This book is a great example of an early pattern book as well as 18th Century Chinoiserie.  Gothic? Well, in my opinion, this looks more Palladian influenced but it has made me curious as to why Halfpenny would refer to these designs as Gothic. That is one of the details that makes this book peculiar and fascinating.

ARTstor Mobile is here!

All 1,000,000+ images from the ARTstor Digital Library are now accessible through iPad, iPhone, and the iPod Touch to registered ARTstor users.

ARTstor Mobile provides read-only features such as searching, browsing, zooming, and viewing saved image groups. Also try the new Flashcard View, which allows you to test your knowledge by viewing the image without textual information, and then flipping the image to reveal the image record.

There’s no need to download special software, just go to the ARTstor page via UT Libraries from your mobile device (if you have already created an ARTstor account go directly to ARTstor Mobile is only available through the Safari browser; for more details, visit ARTstor Mobile’s Help page.

Image provided by Alan Kohl, Photographer
Image credits
Image provided by Alan Kohl, Photographer.

Then and Now: The Library of the School of Architecture

Throughout its 100-year history, the Architecture & Planning Library has been an integral part of the School of Architecture, providing services and collections for information and inspiration.  In tandem with the School, the library has grown and changed to meet the needs of its users—students, faculty, scholars, and the community.

A new exhibit – Then and Now: The Library of the School of Architecture – gives an overview of the library’s history as it developed from a faculty collection, to an established library in 1912, and then how it moved along with the School to its new locations.  Featured are interesting examples of how services and collections have expanded and stories about how people have contributed to their library and archive.

Artifacts from the Alexander Architectural Archive
Photographed by Parker Doelling

The exhibition – on view in Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall through March, 2011 – is being held in conjunction with the School of Architecture’s centennial celebration 100: Traces & Trajectories exhibition.

Producing a centennial exhibit is a momentous occasion.  The challenge proves that some things never change: it reflects the efforts of an expert staff, dedicated students, the tireless hours of our volunteers, including co-curator Sarah Cleary.

All items on exhibit are from the vast collections of the Architecture and Planning Library and its Alexander Architectural Archive, as well as images courtesy of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History.

Visit the Flickr slideshow to enjoy more images from the exhibition.

Beth Dodd is Head Librarian for the Architecture & Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin.

Special Collections at the Architecture & Planning Library
Photographed by Parker Doelling

Florence sketchbook of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910

The Architecture & Planning Library recently acquired a limited edition facsimile of the Florence sketchbook of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910, the manuscript sketchbook by Frank Lloyd Wright which served as the maquette or layout for the famous Wasmuth portfolio of 1910 entitled Ausgeführte Bauten Entwürfe von Frank Lloyd Wright [Studies and Executed Buildings by Frank Lloyd Wright].

This sketchbook has never been published before.  Therefore, it will be a very important addition to our collections and will greatly complement our holdings of several editions of the Wasmuth portfolio.  To learn more about these and other Frank Lloyd Wright materials in our collections read Kathryn Pierce’s entry in Shelflife@Texas.

Florence Sketchbook of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910
Florence Sketchbook of Frank Lloyd Wright, 1910

Family Weekend 2010

Welcome Families!
Friday, October 15-Sunday, October 17

The Architecture & Planning Library will be open regular hours:  Saturday 12-6 & Sunday 1-7

There are many interesting highlights that you may enjoy including:

  • reading room exhibit
    Maya Architecture: Selections from the George F. and Geraldine Andrews Collection.
  • library entrance foyer
    Battle Hall exhibit case
  • stair well installation
    Journals On(_)line(s)
  • archive entrance foyer
    UT Centennial models of campus, exhibit about the archive, exhibit on preservation efforts in the archive


Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room
Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room - Battle Hall