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.
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.
“When George and Gerrie Andrews climbed their first Maya pyramid in the late 1950s, they hardly could have anticipated that a life’s calling was awaiting them.” That’s how I introduced the digital exhibition, “Their Maya Story: George and Gerrie Andrews,” which just went live on the UT Libraries website.
What I “hardly could have anticipated” was the variety of experience I would gain by curating this exhibition. I intended the project to enhance my skills in archival arrangement and description and to allow me to work more closely with digitization, metadata standards, Internet applications, curation, and outreach. And I did all these things, but these are fairly broad terms when it comes to information work. The specifics are where it got interesting.
I learned that you can never really be completely done with processing a series—more records always materialize. I now can scan photographic slides with confidence. Adobe Bridge became a valuable resource as I automated the conversion of dimensions, format, and resolution of digital image files. As I planned the exhibition, conversation with Mayanists gave me a clearer idea of what interested them about the archives. Crafting narrative that works as a whole or in snippets was a new kind of writing challenge. To prepare sound clips, I used Audacity and made my first foray into working with audio. I discovered the ins and outs of Drupal’s exhibit module.
In short, I learned about the wide variety of work that goes into planning and executing a digital exhibition. Too often we think of the Web as a shortcut, an easy way to make information accessible to many. And the Web does offer a great resource for increasing awareness of archival collections such as the George F. and Geraldine D. Andrews papers. But presenting information online in an engaging way, one that takes advantage of the flexibility of the interactive model, is a lot of work. As exhibition curator, I can guide you gently in the direction I think you should go and tell you what I think is interesting, but your experience with the exhibit is really up to you. That’s true in a physical museum setting, but even more so online.
To learn more about the Andrews papers, read my previous post, Adventures in Mayaland—or just visit the exhibit! Explore sites ranging from Tikal to Hormiguero, learn about the Andrews’ research methods and legacy, and simply enjoy beautiful images of Maya architecture and the story of a couple that devoted their lives to documenting this history.
Images from top, left to right: Tikal: The man in the portal helps comprehend the scale of this roofcomb at Tikal (1981) Kabah: George Andrews often traced over his photos as he attempted to understand the different styles of decoration (undated) Tulum: The Andrews’ son, Alan, joined them for this trip to Tulum in 1964 Hormiguero: One of the many “monster masks” seen at Hormiguero (1978) Coba: Stelae such as this one at Coba help scholars better understand Maya hieroglyphs and mythology (1978)
By Amanda Keys, processing assistant in the Alexander Architectural Archive and School of Information student focusing on archival enterprise and special collections
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.
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 celebration100: 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.
Many people shy away from group projects. After all, teamwork frequently suffers when clashing personalities and working methods meet. But when it is successful, collaboration can yield a better outcome than working alone and serve as a learning experience. While much of the work that goes into planning an exhibition is not visible in the final product, the process itself is often very exciting, particularly when dealing with an archive. I wanted to take a moment to share my experience co-curating Maya Architecture.
It was only a few months ago that I discovered the George F. and Geraldine Andrews collection tucked away in the Alexander Architectural Archive. A classmate of mine was looking for a rare photograph of a Maya structure taken before it collapsed. [He found it.] I was trying to get a sense of the Andrews’ documentation of Puuc architecture for my own research. At the time of our visit Beth Dodd and Donna Coates had already started organizing an exhibition for the Architecture and Planning Library reading room to call attention to this unprocessed collection. Aware of the importance of this resource I offered to help, and they gladly accepted.
A collection of didactic materials from an earlier exhibition on George Andrews’ work on Maya architecture acted as the framework for the show. The panels emphasized George Andrews’ photographs and final drawings, but we also wanted to reflect the depth and variety of the Andrews archive.
The three of us met on several occasions to sort through prints, photographs and drawings for the wall cases, moving and adding some, vetoing others. The large glass cases in the library also allowed us to curate objects. One of the perks of assisting on this exhibition was that I had the opportunity to search through the collection with the explicit order to pull some of the most interesting, and obscure, materials housed in the stacks.
Though it was difficult to choose from the thousands of objects, books, drawings (some in progress), negatives and photographs available, we tried to provide a representative example. The exhibition even includes photographs of the collection while it was still in George and Geraldine’s home in Oregon!
The text for the exhibit is a mix of old and new writing. Some of the text came directly from the earlier exhibition, other text was pulled from George Andrews’ publications and artist statement. A number of panels were written specifically for this display.
The organic working process provided plenty of opportunities to talk through ideas and make changes when necessary. The exhibition was truly a team effort. Donna, Beth and I worked closely together, but also had the help of staff members from the Architecture and Planning Library and the Alexander Architectural Archive. Many people assisted in compiling information, hanging and arranging work, editing, printing labels and posters, and building on the concept of the show.
It was a great opportunity for me to get to know the collection and work closely with the staff in the Alexander Architectural Archive…and a chance to promote a significant Maya resource at UT!
reBILD installation at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room. To see full size image, click here.
On February 25, 2010, reBILD created an installation in UT’s Architecture and Planning Library featuring
8 full-scale “statues” of people made of transparent tape and plastic-wrap arranged to appear as active patrons of the library. This specific location was chosen because of the light quality, scale and design of the main room, as well as the unique condition of libraries as spaces that discourage talking, altering what might otherwise be predictable reactions to this spatial intervention. A particularly surprising aspect of the project was the degree to which different kinds and amounts of light (natural, artificial, direct, indirect, etc.) dramatically changed the effect of the sculptures and, thus, changed their spatial presence.
reBILD plans to use observations made from this project as a starting point to inform their next project, which should be in late March.
reBILD is a student group at the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture building on the initiatives of Linus Day, a 19th century experimental artist/architect. Our aim is to challenge preconceived notions of spatial experience and document the results to inform a wider sense of design. reBILD hopes to accomplish this goal by developing fun and decidedly unscientific experiments that alter spatial conditions and engage the community. reBILD grew out of a project that the founding students undertook as part of a Theory of Architecture class with Larry Speck, the organization’s advisor.
To see other images of this installation, visit the slide show on the Architecture & Planning Library flickr page.
Historic Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009 exhibtion on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room. To see full size invitation, click here.
“Historic Preservation Program: A Retrospective of Student Work, 2008-2009” will be open in the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall March 6 through May 24, 2010.
Presented by the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and curated by a committee of students, the exhibition showcases the products of various preservation classes from the past two years, including Preservation Studio, Graphic Documentation, and Materials Conservation. The works on display from the multi-disciplinary classes include annotated drawings for building condition assessments, HABS-level documentation measured drawings, design proposals, photographs, and models.
Austin sites, including historic campus buildings, are the focus of all of the projects. This exhibit offers a preservation perspective for conservation, documentation, as well as exploration of new design ideas for several of the city and the university’s historic resources.
Karl Kamrath exhibition on view at the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room
“Karl Kamrath: Architect and Collector” will be open in the Architecture & Planning Library Reading Room in Battle Hall through March, 2010.
Houston modern architect, Karl Kamrath (1911-1988) collected and consumed information on Frank Lloyd Wright and organic architecture, and then incorporated his own articulations of Wright’s principles in built form. His interest in organic architecture was evident in projects that blended into the landscape while satisfying the individual needs of his clients.
This exhibit highlights several of these projects through drawings and photographs from the Karl Kamrath collection in the Alexander Architectural Archive. Evidence of Kamrath’s collecting practice is displayed through books and journals selected from the Library’s Special Collection of published material.
Karl Kamrath, Architect and Collector continues a series of student-curated exhibitions held at the Architecture and Planning Library, drawing from rare and unique resources used during their research.
This exhibit reflects the scholarship of Katie Pierce, who recently completed her master’s thesis in architectural history on Kamrath. Pierce was also the lead processor of the Kamrath archive while earning her Masters degree at the School of Information. She is now an IMLS Doctoral Preservation fellow in the School of Information.
Katie Pierce, curator, stands by one the cabinets displaying drawings and artifacts from the Karl Kamrath Collection.
Joshua Bailey, fourth-year architecture student and library student associate, stands behind the mobile he designed for the Architecture and Planning Library.
The UT Austin Architecture and Planning Library (APL) recently installed a two-story mobile in the grand stairwell of Battle Hall.
The installation is intended to raise awareness about electronic journals made available through the University of Texas Libraries that focus on subjects related to the research needs of School of Architecture students, faculty, and staff.
Almost one-third of the 215 journal subscriptions at the APL are available online. The mobile is proportioned to represent this trend—quarter-scale booklets represent journal titles that can be found in print, while the symbol @e is used to represent electronic journals.
Together, the objects hanging in the stairwell illustrate technology’s impact on journal publication and the transitional tension between printed and digital media.
The Journals On(_)line(s) installation, designed by architecture senior Josh Bailey, was funded in part by the School of Architecture’s John Greene Taylor Endowment for Collections Enhancement and the University of Texas Libraries.
Two exhibits highlighting architectural information resources and services available to students, faculty, staff and the general public on The University of Texas at Austin campus are now on view: “Architecture and Planning Library Collections and Services” in the Main Building ground floor corridor and “Timeless Treasures” in the entrance floor lobby of the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL). Both exhibits will be up through October 2003.
The PCL exhibit features materials from the Architecture and Planning Library’s Special Collections and its Alexander Architectural Archive. Included are architectural drawings, photographs, models, scrapbooks and other unique artifacts from the archival collections, as well as pop-up books and rare titles such as the two oldest books in the collection: a 1568 edition of Philibert de l’Orme’s Premier tome de l’architecture and a 1570 edition of Andrea Palladio’s I Quattro libri dell’ architettura. Both are originally from the library of architect Paul P. Cret, the architect of the Main Building.
The Main Building exhibit highlights the collections, services and facilities of the Architecture and Planning Library and the Alexander Architectural Archive located in Battle Hall, a 1911 building designed by architect Cass Gilbert and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Alexander Architectural Archive – the largest repository of architectural records in Texas with more than 90 collections containing over 300,000 drawings and 1,600 linear feet of papers, photographic material, models and ephemera – documents thousands of projects in Texas as well as many in New York, Chicago, California and Great Britain.
Blog from the University of Texas Architecture and Planning Library