Submitted by Joseph Watson
For more than a year we have been working with the Museum of Art to select a location for a large “Scholar’s Rock” that the museum wanted to place in the Main Library. Happily, the rock was placed the the East Reading Room on the Upper Level last week. The existing ledge on the interior wall was redesigned by Ken Pohlman of the museum and reconstructed by Stark Mountain Woodcrafters. The resulting pediment enhances the room and presents the rock beautifully. The piece was given to the museum by Robert P. ’64 and Barbara P. Youngman who have given generously over the years to encourage the study and collection of Asian art. In the rocks’ descriptive label Prof. Colin Mackenzie writes “Appreciated for their contorted shapes and fissured surfaces, ornamental rocks have been collected in China since the Han dynasty (206 B.C.E.–220 C.E.). Small rocks were displayed on scholars’ desks, while the largest ones were incorporated into gardens. They thus played an ornamental role analogous to that of figural sculpture in the West. The connoisseurship of rocks was intimately bound up with philosophical notions of transformation and concepts such as yin (negative) and yang (positive), and xu (emptiness) and shi (solidity). Rocks from Lingbi are prized for their fantastic forms.”
The Youngmans recently stopped by the library to view the stone and Mike had a chance to thank them for their generosity.
And speaking of art in general, the Museum has been adding and removing objects all summer. The revised list of art in the building is available in a brochure at the Info Desk and will also be available on the web soon. Also on the web: http://www.middlebury.edu/arts/capp/mural/mural.htm and http://www.middlebury.edu/arts/capp/exhibits/
And remember, temporary displays of art (or whatever) can be set up in the Main Lib. For more information on what’s available see go/lis?display.
And on an unrelated note– Announcing a new section of the LIS Wikis devoted to Facilities Concerns: The content is fairly brief at this point, but will expand over time. If you have topics that you think would be useful to have included please let me know. Check it out at go/wikis and select LIS then LIS Facility Issues. The best part is, it’s searchable!