Introducing ARTstor

The Academy Library is pleased to announce a new subscription to ARTstor, the latest addition to the Library’s database holdings. ARTstor is an online database featuring over 1.2 million images from a variety of museum collections, professional photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, artists, and artists’ estates. The contents are arranged by geographic location, collection title, and “image groups” sharing similar attributes. The ARTstor learning environment includes tools for helping students and teachers browse for images on sample topics, such as Maps and Geography and Native American Studies, and study these images closely. For example, the database features a “zoom tool” that facilitates close visual analysis, and users are able to export image files for use in papers, presentations, or elsewhere in their studies. In addition, teachers can organize and upload outside images into course folders, which students can access both at school and from home. You can find the link to it here, and once you’re on the ARTstor landing page, click the orange “Go” button near the upper right to begin searching.

A Short Slideshow from the Archives

Using a new slideshow feature that WordPress recently introduced, we thought we would share some images of the Third Academy Building from the Archives. Before it was lost to fire in 1914, it occupied the same space as today’s Academy Building, but was built from far more flammable materials. While not much survived the conflagration, we have images to remind us how lovely it was.

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Rivera’s portrait of Lamont returns to the library

Hanging the portrait of Corliss Lamont
The painting being reinstalled in the Library

True picture of the Man of Letters, Defender of Liberty and Human Rights, Corliss Lamont. I painted this picture in Mexico in the month of July of the year 1954.
                                –Diego Rivera

Corliss Lamont ’20 was an alumnus of the Academy who went on to become a well-known socialist philosopher and philanthropist. His donations to the Academy were numerous and generous, and included this portrait of himself painted by Diego Rivera.

The oral tradition around this painting explains the calla lilies in the portrait as a tribute to Frida Kahlo.  Kahlo died while this portrait was still a work in progress, and Rivera completed it, saying that working on his art was good therapy.  The story goes that he included the lilies because they were her favorite flowers, and that all his paintings from the time after her death included the lilies for that reason.

The painting was displayed in the library from the time of the gift in 1979 until 2007.  While it was being rehung after a water leak that had required moving it, the frame came apart, revealing that the original frame had been covered up by a second frame.   The decision was made to have the painting professionally restored and returned to its original frame, and it recently arrived back in the Lamont Room on the fourth floor of the library.

Recycling the Unrecyclable: Public Art Project Inspires “Green” Thinking

Students in Isaac Bingham’s Access Exeter cluster, Project Exeter: A Greener Earth, converged in the Library on July 17, 2009, to assemble a mosaic out of bottle caps. The project, a result of planning and cooperation between three class sections, highlights the relationship between unrecyclable materials and global warming, and offers a model for the creative use of unrecyclable objects. Students mounted bottle-cap collection jars throughout campus and spent time organizing the caps by color. Under Bingham’s direction, they presented proposals for the mosaic design; ultimately a footprint was chosen to reflect the concept of an “environmental footprint.”

Working in teams, Bingham’s students spent roughly six hours assembling the mosaic, which will be on display in Rockefeller Hall through Tuesday, July 28. The students have posted digital video relating to the project at 

http://www.youtube.com/user/WhyArt2009