Boston College Libraries Faculty Newsletter

VOLUME 6   NUMBER 1

FALL 2004

Art in the Libraries

Fantasy Garden 51: Pungo River Grass - Sarah WestlakeThis fall, visitors to the O’Neill Library were greeted with an intriguing piece of art as they entered the lobby. Sarah Westlake's sculpture, Fantasy Garden 51: Pungo River Grass, which was inspired by the gardens of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain, is on loan from the McMullen Museum of Art. This painted wood and steel sculpture was recently seen in the Museum’s summer exhibit.

 

This is not the only example of works of art displayed in the Libraries. In fact, Bapst Library, the original library, and now fittingly the Art Library, once displayed tapestries, oriental rugs, statues and oil paintings in virtually every room. At one point 138 paintings from as early as the 14th century were displayed in Bapst. All of these artworks now belong to the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College, and are put on display periodically.

 

Shakespeare and Company - Michael de LisioCurrently, objects from the McMullen Museum’s collection are on display throughout the Bapst Art Library. Michael de Lisio's sculpture, Shakespeare and Company is located next to the stairs leading up to Gargan Hall. His bronze figures of T. S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, James Joyce and other well known literary figures are gathered at the legendary Parisian bookstore. A 19th century scale model of the Cathedral at Ulm was restored for the McMullen’s exhibit, Fragmented Devotion: Medieval Objects from the Schnütgen Museum, held in 2000 and is now ensconced at the entrance to Gargan Hall. This wooden model was given to the Boston College Jesuit Community by German Jesuits, before the campus moved to the Heights, to inspire neo-Gothic buildings, like those later built at Boston College. The model of Edvard Munch's stage set of Ghosts created by Crystal Tiala, Assistant Professor in the Theater Department can be found in the Art Stacks.

 

Perhaps the most ongoing evidence of the relationship between the arts and the libraries began last spring with the inaugural exhibit in the Bapst Student Gallery, the first ever student gallery on the Boston College campus. This is a unique endeavor between the Bapst Art Library, the Fine Arts Department and the Art Club, the student group for the promotion of the arts on campus. Under the guidance of Stoney Conley from the McMullen Museum of Art, Sheila Gallagher, the faculty advisor from the Fine Arts Department and various shops on campus, the formerly dark and dingy storage space was miraculously transformed into a small but dedicated exhibit space.

 

Response to Fernand Khnopff, Le Vice Suprême - Ryan WadeThe fourth show, Metamorphosis: Response to Fernand Khnopff, Poetry and Artwork inspired by Fernand Khnopff, opened on November 17, 2004. Twenty-nine entries were selected and can be seen until the show closes on January 26, 2005. The previous exhibit, now planned as an annual opening fall semester event, featured the works of faculty and staff. The summer show highlighted the works of upcoming seniors and served as an inspiration for visiting students aspiring to attend Boston College. Each show is preceded by a formal opening, complete with refreshments and speakers. These openings provide ample opportunity for all members of the campus to come together and appreciate the talented students in our midst.

 

As the Boston College Libraries fulfills its vision to provide “seamless access to information regardless of its location,” and the Library increasingly becomes known as “virtual space,” it is wonderful to note that the “Library as place” can play a role in the cultural life of the campus.

 

Adeane Bregman

Head, Bapst Art Library

 

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