Tag Archives: display

“Postcard to Mum”

If you visit the Davis Family Library atrium between now and Sunday, May 21st, you will see a very special display on the main floor, and continued in the glass display case on the Upper Level. Here’s what it’s about:

Middlebury student Miguel Castillo renders an artistic tribute to his mother with this interactive display.

Name: Miguel A. Castillo

Year: Junior/third-year

Major: Dance/Theatre

Hometown: Caracas, Venezuela

Collaborators: Aida Rodríguez [Tata], Andrew Pester, my family

Thanks Yous/Acknowledgements: Joseph Watson, Danielle Rougeau, Kim Gurney, Joseph Watson, Katrina Spencer, Deborah Leedy, Katrina Moore, Angela Valenzuela, Gabriel Ferreras, Emina Mahmuljin, Cathy Collins, Hedya Klein, Milo Stanley, Eliza Renner, Nando Sandoval, Ximena Mejia,  Wonnacott Commons, International Student Organization, and everyone else that said yes to this.

So what is this that you’ve set up on the main and upper levels of the Davis Family Library?

Part of the display on the upper level of Davis Family Library

It’s a three-part art installation that explores nostalgia, loss, and memory. This past year has been hard for me. On March 30th, 2016, my mother was diagnosed with brain cancer. On June 12th, 2016, she passed away under a bright blue sky. Dealing with her physical absence has been a journey, a messy one. I compare this process to dropping a stone in the ocean water. A stone that falls in water makes ripples; at first they are small, intense and constant. With time, they become more spaced out but larger. They are all the result of the same stone. This art installation has been an opportunity to collect my feelings about what is going on– a space to bring out what cries and laughs inside. My grandmother, my mom’s mom, came to live with me for a month, so I thought that having an artistic project to collaborate on would give us the opportunity to deal with something that is hard for us both, and this is what we came up with.

How are library patrons supposed to interact with it?

I hope people come to see it and check out all the parts. There is a typewriter, some postcards, envelopes and stamps. My hope is that people use them to write with an open heart to whomever comes to their minds. Maybe they’ll write one and send it to a random address. Mother’s Day is coming up soon. I hope that people can reflect on the ephemerality of life. Live fully not because one will die but because one is alive. Life is a fleeting moment and, as my mother said, “No hay tiempo para pendejadas” (“There’s no time for bullsh*t”.)

What do you hope the community will gain from the display?

I hope people stop for a second, breathe, and keep going feeling even more human.

The Library Responds to the Charles A. Murray Visit

The Middlebury Libraries are sensitive to the discord on campus surrounding Charles A. Murray’s recent visit. Given our core role of providing access to as wide a range of information as possible, as well as teaching the skills necessary to interpret and assess that information, we thought it might be useful to outline some of the ways we have responded to the controversy.

  • We have purchased additional copies of core titles by Charles A. Murray in order to meet the heightened interest from the community.  The library also holds multiple copies of works that respond to and/or dispute Murray’s conclusions, such as William Wilson’s The Truly Disadvantaged, and Stephen Jay Gould’s The Mismeasure of Man;
  • In response to the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life’s email message recommending specific books about conflict resolution, we purchased titles we were lacking and highlighted these works with a display in the library atrium.  This display remained in place for over three weeks and was also highlighted in The Campus;
  • Special Collections has been identifying, collecting, and preserving a variety of Web-based content relating to the controversy and protests. This material includes blogs and social media feeds created by student political action groups, as well as local news articles covering the events. We hope that these Web archiving efforts — in addition to our growing collection of donated images and video — will enable future researchers and generations of Middlebury students to understand the Murray visit and the March protests in a fuller context, and ensure that student voices continue to be heard more clearly than they might be if relying solely on secondary, mainstream sources;
  • Special Collections also received a donation of digital photographs, videos, articles and responses to the Murray protest from August Hutchinson ‘16.5.  These materials, which the donor has called “The Middlebury Moment,” are now held in our digital repository along with other student-created materials documenting the event.

We continue to seek ways to provide thorough information about Murray’s work, the various responses to it in the literature, and the recent protests relating to his visit to Middlebury.  If there are additional titles that might speak to any these themes, we encourage you to submit them at go/requests/ (or go.middlebury.edu/requests/ if off-campus).  Finally, please feel free to email us with other ideas for the Libraries to consider as we continue to respond as a community to these challenging issues.

AIDS Memorial Quilt Panel on Display

A section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt will be on display on the second floor of the Davis Family Library, beginning the week of April 11 through the end of April. All interested members of the community are invited to visit the display.

MoreAIDS Memorial Quilt Panel on Display April 11-29, Davis Family Library

AIDS Memorial Quilt

(Photo of AIDS Memorial Quilt courtesy of the NAMES Project Foundation)

Read, and Cultivate Inclusion

Stop by the Davis Family Library atrium this month to browse our book display featuring literature and research in Ethnic Studies, Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, and Disability Studies.

inclusivity display

All materials are available for checkout, so grab a book and find a comfy blue chair to curl up in!

View more titles online at go/inclusivitydisplay and recommend books that have inspired you at go/displaysuggestions!

“Dear James” Exhibit

The exhibit entitled “Dear James,” currently on view in the Davis Family Library Atrium exhibit cases, was curated by Emmie Donadio, Asst. Curator of the Middlebury College  Art Museum, in collaboration with Special Collections, and mounted in the Library by Ms. Donadio and Special Collections Assistant Curator Danielle Rougeau.

The artist Ben Schonzeit wrote daily letters to his son, James Schonzeit, Middlebury Class of 2010, during James’s four years at Middlebury, and on each envelope he painted a portrait. The work came to the notice of Emmie Donadio who approached Special Collections to consider an exhibition of these unique and beautiful works for the entire Middlebury community to enjoy in the Davis Library Atrium, one of the highest traffic areas on campus. Mounted in mid-May, the exhibit was on display in time for Commencement week when James Schonzeit’s classmates and their families could  admire these extraordinary watercolor paintings. The exhibit, which continues to make a great impression on Library visitors, will be on display through the end of July with a possible extension through mid-August, after which the materials will be returned to the Schonzeit family.

Ben Schonzeit is the subject of a handsome monograph: Ben Schonzeit,  Paintings, by Charles A. Riley II [NY; Harry N. Abrams, 2002], and he maintains a website at www.benschonzeit.com.  None of the portraits is reproduced in the monograph, but the website may have examples of his portrait paintings.

[This post was contributed by Andrew M. Wentink, Curator, Special Collections & Archives.]