Why Quilts Matter is the title of a new program (and DVD) now showing on Kentucky Educational Television. This fascinating 9 part series is not to be missed. Below are just a few of the highlights from the series.
You’ll discover how quilts can illuminate our past. For example,
- Standards of living can be deduced from the fabric choices women made.
- Increasing numbers of quilts made in the American west with fabrics manufactured in the east directly demonstrate improvements in transportation.
- When women from all parts of the country started using the same patterns, it is because national magazines were being published.
- Constrained in their ability to speak out, women got their ideas across in quilts, as long as the viewer could decode the message.
- An increase in the number of quilts made for decoration, not function, indicates an increase in the country’s wealth.
The art marketplace is explained. You’ll understand how value is assigned to a quilt and why some old quilts might be valued very low while new quilts can command high prices. And you’ll get insights into quilts in the museum world as well as the marketplace.
You’ll learn from an extended conversation on what it art and what is craft. Is a quilt an example of craft when it’s on the bed and art when it’s on the wall? Does it even matter?
You’ll get an insight into how huge the quilt world is:
- 30,000 people attend the quilt festival in Paducah, Kentucky each year. That’s more people than live in Paducah!
- 250,000 people visited the most recent quilt festival in Tokyo, Japan, which lasted for 10 days.
- There are 54 magazines devoted to various aspects of quilt making.
Why Quilts Matter was funded and produced by the Kentucky Quilt Project. The UofL Libraries is fortunate to have the Kentucky Quilt Project records in the University Archives. Shelly Zegart, one of the co-founders of the project, is also the moving force behind Why Quilts Matter. Zegart is an internationally-known curator, lecturer and writer on all aspect of quilts.
If you miss the series on KET, stop in the Art Library and watch the DVD. You won’t be disappointed. And make sure to look at the accompanying website, whyquiltsmatter.org. It’s full of helpful information, particularly the download-able Image Resource Guides.
The Ekstrom Library is host of the “Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933-1945“, which is a traveling exhibit from the U.S. Holocaust Museum that focuses on the experiences of LGBT people during the Holocaust. The exhibit highlights the history between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany sought domination over Europe and, in what is now called the Holocaust, the total annihilation of Europe’s Jews.
As part of its effort to create a “master Aryan race,” the Nazi government persecuted other groups, including Germany’s homosexual men. Believing them to be carriers of a “degeneracy” that threatened the nation’s “disciplined masculinity” and hindered population growth, the Nazi state incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps tens of thousands of men as a means of terrorizing German homosexuals into social conformity.
Through reproductions of some 250 historic photographs and documents, Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945 examines the rationale, means, and impact of the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality that left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.
Everyone is welcome to visit! There is an area designated for people to post thoughts about the experience on the comment board or in the comment box, and you can attend one of the many events scheduled listed here!
The exhibit will be in the Ekstrom Library from September 19th – November 28, 2011. If you have more questions please contact Toccara D. Porter or call (502) 852-6747.
About the Image:
“Solidarity.” Richard Grune lithograph from a limited edition series “Passion des XX Jahrhunderts” (Passion of the 20th Century). Grune was prosecuted under Paragraph 175 and from 1937 until liberation in 1945 was incarcerated in concentration camps. In 1947 he produced a series of etchings detailing what he witnessed in the camps. Grune died in 1983.
Credit: Courtesy Schwules Museum, Berlin
This is the first in a series of blog posts that look at some of the earliest books in the Art Library’s collection, all housed in the Art Library’s rare book room. If you want to see any of them, just ask at the desk.
The first book is the oldest in the collection – Anton Francesco Doni’s I Marmi del Doni, Academico Peregrino, published in Vinegia (Venice) by F. Marcolini in 1552-53.
Anton Francesco Doni (1513-1574) was an Italian writer and poet. He served at courts in Piacenza, Milan and Pavia but, finding it difficult to accept the conservative rules of court life, he started his own press in Florence. Unfortunately, his business lasted for only two years. He was an eccentric figure in Renaissance Italy, working outside the traditional cultural centers of court and church. I Marmi is a satirical poem, parodying the Petrachan idea of feminine perfection. Below are the title page from I Marmi del Doni and a typical page.
Why does the library collect rare books? Because they are primary source materials for art history, offering a first-hand account of an artist’s life, the first critical response to a building or painting, or a new theory of art or architecture. As the building blocks of art history, they remain relevant sources for researchers.
It’s also very cool to hold a 458 year old book in your hands!
Let me start out by saying that the United States Census is THE go-to source for historical statistics on the U.S. population. Now let me enumerate the ways in which it drives me crazy.
- The Murphy’s Law of Statistics: Statistics will never be compiled exactly the way you want them. I learned this one early on as a reference librarian. If you want the data broken out by sex, you’ll only find it broken out by race.
- Census data is rarely comparable from one decade to another.
- Boundaries change over time so that if you look at statistics from 1790 Louisville, Ky. and 1970 Louisville, Ky. you are looking at two very different cities in terms of what areas are counted. And then there’s Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas (SMSAs), Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (CMSAs), and Primary Metropolitan Statistical Areas (PMSAs). The short version of this is that the Bureau of the Budget created a list in 1949 of standard metropolitan areas that constituted the core areas of population, economic activity and social interaction which are generally centered around a city. And like everything else about the census, these areas have changed over time (in 1958, 1971, 1975, 1980, 1990, and 2000).
- Methods changed over time as to how the data was collected. A notable change for those of us studying people’s occupations is the change from counting “gainful workers” and members of the “labor force”. Until 1930 anyone who said they had an occupation was listed as being a “gainful worker” in that occupation. Starting with the 1940 census the rule changed. Only people who were employed or seeking work during the week the census was taken were counted as being in the labor force.
- And if that weren’t enough to make you go cross-eyed, social standards changed over time as well. So tables from the 1920s give occupational data from 10 years of age and up, 1940s give it for 14 year olds and up, and 1970 gives it for 16 years and up.
All that being said, the Census is still the go-to source. Why? It’s a really rich source of information. So if you have a need for historical population or economic data, you’re probably going to need to deal with the census one way or another.
- While a lot of the census info is available online, Ekstrom Library also carries print versions in the Reference Collection under HA 201. While the online is great if you can’t get to the library, the print collection is sometimes easier to use because of the sheer size of each census and the number of tables it includes.
- Write it down! Make sure you get all the info from the title indicating what the table includes (ex. “Detailed occupation of employed persons by sex, for the state, and for cities of 100,000 or more: 1940″) as well as the table and page numbers and citation info for that book or webpage.Try to be as clear as possible about exactly what the statistics represent so you don’t mis-state the facts later.
- Give yourself plenty of time and don’t be afraid to browse. Sometimes you’ll discover some great information you never knew existed.