This is the final entry in this Book(s) of the Month Club series and a bit longer than usual. I appreciate the feedback and comments (both online and off) we’ve received over the past twelve months. Thank you!
|September marked the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month (it runs through mid-October). In addition to Hispanic artists you may already be familiar with – Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, etc. – this celebration gives us an opportunity to look at other areas of our collections dealing with Hispanic art and artists that are perhaps less well-known. All books in this list are available for consultation at the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library at SAM Downtown:|
An art museum is often fittingly described as “a collection of collectors,” for each is founded on the gifts of magnanimous individuals who loved art and built personal collections that became an invaluable public resource.
The same can be said about library book collections, too—they represent the personal interests of individual readers. This is especially the case with the American art book collection found within the other collections of the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library at SAM downtown. The museum’s founding director, Dr. Richard Fuller, took a special interest in building a reference library to enhance public knowledge of the city’s art collection, and his tenure was marked by yearly growth of the book collection in all areas, through purchases, gifts, and exchanges with other libraries. Over the years, the library grew in relationship to the growth of individual curatorial departments, with American art thus little represented, since American art was not actively collected or exhibited at SAM.
July and August books are all about American artists.
August is American Indian Heritage Month. We are excited about the upcoming exhibition on native Quileute art and artists: Behind the Scenes: The Real Story of the Quileute Wolves. This is an excellent opportunity to talk about a number of new additions to the library collections to support the works in this exhibition.
I started volunteering with the McCaw Foundation Library at the Seattle Asian Art Museum in October of 2007. Since then I’ve applied to, attended, and graduated from, the University of Washington’s Masters in Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. These two experiences have been intertwined from the start.
I didn’t get an entry in for May, so you’re getting a double-whammy of book highlights this month!
June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month. Many artists acknowledge, raise awareness of or define their own sexuality through their artistic practice. We have a number of books in our libraries that address the art, intersections, relationships and crossroads of the LGBT community.
Nothing is more rewarding to a museum educator than seeing the positive impact of your programs on students. During the six month run of Alexander Calder: A Balancing Act more than 9,300 students visited the SAM’s galleries and experienced Calder’s work in person. Students learned about how he used geometry and math to create beautify balanced sculptures and created their own works of art out of wire and recycled materials in the museum’s art studio spaces. Here are some of our favorite thank you notes and quotes from students who visited the exhibition.
April is the month when we celebrate Earth Day.
Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Interestingly, Nelson announced his intent to have a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment – which led to the first “earth day” – in the spring of 1970 at a conference in Seattle in September 1969. (Source: EarthLink.)
Earth Day gives us a great excuse to look at books and videos in our library collections that focus on environmentalism and land-focused art.