Past, Paper, Scissors: Scrapbooks from the Northwestern University Library Collections
In an era of Facebook and Instagram, it’s important to recall that once we collected our own histories by pasting them into scrapbooks. Past, Paper, Scissors explores history at Northwestern and beyond as depicted by the photos, clippings, ticket stubs, faded flowers, and dance cards packed onto the scrapbook pages of a bygone era—and looks forward to the ways we can preserve our increasingly digital memories to create tomorrow’s history.
Past, Paper, Scissors is free and open to the public. The exhibit runs now through January 3, 2014 on the main floor of the University Library at 1970 Campus Drive. It's open to the public during the Library's regular public hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to noon.
Homage to Khidekel
By Mikhail Karasik, St. Petersburg: M.K. Publishers, 2012. One of 12 copies.
According to the artist, Homage to Khidekel is an attempt to interpret designs and drawings of the artist and architect Lazar Khidekel (1904-1986). Khidekel was a pupil of the Suprematist artist and theorist Kasimir Malevich and went on to formally study architecture. While he tried to incorporate Suprematist and Futurist aspects into his architectural work, the cultural climate of Stalinist Russia turned against the avant garde and much of his commissioned work had to conform to state sponsored aesthetics.
In this suite of prints Karasik also pays tribute to the beauty he finds in simple tools such as a protractor and spears.
Born in 1953, Mikhail Karasik is one of contemporary Russia’s most famed and respected creator of artists books. He has been producing artists books since 1987. He recently had an exhibit in the State Museum of Architecture in Moscow and in September 2013 he will have a solo exhibit at the St. Petersburg Museum of the Avant Garde that will include another copy of Homage to Khidekel.
The exhibit is free and open to the public on the third floor of Deering Library during normal libary hours.
Photographic Views of Picturesque Evanston
A new exhibit in the corridor between Main and Deering Libraries on the Northwestern campus creates a passageway back to an earlier time—thanks to modern technology. The plasma screens along the walls offer digitized glimpses of 19th-century Evanston, originally captured by the lens of photographer Alexander Hesler.
(Image here shows Chicago Avenue, looking south from Northwestern's campus gate.)
Hesler (1823–1895), one of the most prominent regional photographers of his era, spent most of his career in the Chicago area. Among his best known works are portraits of Abraham Lincoln and a panoramic view of Chicago taken in 1858 from the top of the city's courthouse. In Evanston, where he had a home and studio, Hesler focused on portraiture, but also produced widely admired landscape photographs. His volume of photographs of Evanston buildings and streetscapes, Photographic Views of Picturesque Evanston, was published in 1887.
The exhibit in the Deering corridor celebrates Evanston's 150th anniversary with a selection of 40 images from Picturesque Evanston. Each of the screens highlights an aspect of Evanston's past—gracious homes, tree-lined streets, school and church buildings, and the young Northwestern campus. Many of the buildings in the photographs are now gone (remaining structures include University Hall, the Frances Willard House, and the Methodist Church)—and many of the leafy street-corners are now busy commercial sites. But thanks to Hesler's photography and the magic of technology, a slice of Evanston's history is vividly brought back to life.
The exhibit was curated by Janet Olson and the staff of the Northwestern University Archives; images were digitized by the Library's Digital Collections Department; and the installation was done by the Library Technology Department.
University Archives holds a copy of Picturesque Evanston and over 150 photographic prints made by Hesler during the 1870s–80s, including portraits of NU faculty and students; and photographs of buildings and student groups. The Evanston History Center has additional Hesler photographs and biographical materials, including an annotated volume of Picturesque Evanston.
If you don't have the opportunity to visit Deering in person, an online version of the exhibit can be viewed here:
Enhance your journey through Evanston and Northwestern's past with these additional digitized resources:
For more information, contact Northwestern University Archives, tel. 847-491-3136.
Best of Bologna: Edgiest Artists of the 2008 International Children's Book Fair
This exhibit presents a selection of artists chosen from an original pool of more than 3,000 who entered a competition to be featured at the Bologna Book Fair, the world's largest annual children's book event. The illustrations on display are extremely high-resolution copies of originals that were digitized by the Library's Digital Collections department and are also displayed online, along with a film about the Bologna Book Fair created by created by Ayami Morizumi in 2007. Their permanent installation was made possible by the Walter A. and Dawn Clark Netsch Fund.
The permanent exhibit is located on the fourth floor of Northwestern University Library and is free and open to the public daily from 8:30 am - 10 pm.