Open House Chicago This Weekend, October 18-19

Don’t miss the Chicago Architecture Foundation’s fourth annual Open House Chicago, a free public festival that offers behind-the-scenes access to 150 buildings across Chicago. Explore repurposed mansions, hidden rooms, sacred spaces, private clubs, iconic theaters, hotels and more.  Highlights include an airstream trailer on top of a roof between the Montrose and Damen Brown Line stations, a meticulously restored Frank Lloyd Wright home in Rogers Park, and a former meatpacking warehouse turned vertical urban farm.


Making and Managing Your Personal Image Collection

The VRC recently added two new pages to our website to help you take photographs and manage your collection of art images. This is especially useful for students and faculty preparing for a research trip or a large writing project.

In our guide Personal Image Management, we discuss when and why you might choose to have a personal image management system installed on your own computer. The VRC recommends Adobe Bridge and Extensis Portfolio, and our guide describes the pros and cons of each of these systems, as well as some other ideas about how best to manage and back up your image collection.

On a similar note, our guide on Photographing Art, Editing Images, and Digital Camera Recommendations discusses the process of capturing your own images of artworks or archival materials in museums, libraries, archives, private collections, and other cultural repositories. Everything from camera recommendations to preferred settings and techniques for taking photographs is discussed, and a variety of free and low-cost image editing software programs are outlined.

Please consider attending the October 10 panel Tips & Tricks for Researching in Archives, Museums, and More! on Thursday 10/10 at 4:30 pm in CWAC 152. Persis Berlekamp (Associate Professor, Art History), Hillary Chute (Assistant Professor, English), Angele Rosenberg (Student, Ancient Art), Jen Cohen (Student, Modern Art), and Amanda Rybin (Associate Director, Visual Resources Center) will be presenting on their experiences and will be happy to answer questions.

In addition, the VRC is more than happy to schedule an individual consultation to discuss your needs—just contact us!


UChicago’s Cultural Policy Center Fall Workshop Series

The Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago’s Harris School just announced its fall workshop series, which will consider various aspects of “Publishing and Libraries” throughout the quarter. All lectures will take place in the Harris School, room 289B, and are free and open to the public, with no RSVP required.

The first lecture will take place on Tuesday, October 8:
The Mediated Book: eBooks and the Digital Library
Tuesday, October 8, 12–1:20pm
Randal C. Picker “will look at the intersection of law and technological change first for the individual book and then for collections of books.”

Subsequent workshops will cover topics such as:

  • Teens, Digital Media, and the Chicago Public Library (10/15)
  • Après la Révolution: Publishing in the Post-Digital World (10/22)
  • The Human Knowledge Project (10/29)
  • Books, Libraries, and the Changing Digital Landscape (11/12)
  • Making Cents of Art (11/21)

For more information, check out the Cultural Policy Center’s Events.

Ancient Museums News

OI’s Lunchtime Traveler Series Begins Tomorrow

The Oriental Institute Museum will begin the Lunchtime Traveler lecture series tomorrow, Thursday, September 5, with a gallery talk on the Khorsabad Court. The talk is led by Karen Wilson, PhD, Research Associate at the Oriental Institute and begins at 12:15 in the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery and lasts 45 minutes.

The series will recur on the first Thursday of every month. October’s offering on October 3 at 12:15 pm features Martha T. Roth, Dean of Humanities Division and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology at the University of Chicago, who will speak about the Hammurabi Stela.

For more information, visit the Oriental Institute’s Events and Programs.

Image: Oriental Institute, Exhibit Area 10, 1931. Archival Photographic Files, University of Chicago Library, Special Collections Research Center, apf2-05453.

East Asian VRC

The Buddhas of Mes Aynak Screening on Thursday 2/7

The Buddhas of Mes Aynak, a new film by Brent Huffman, Assistant Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University, will be screened at the University of Chicago on Thursday, February 7 at 4:30 pm in Swift Hall, Room 106.

The Buddhas of Mes Aynak directed by Brent E. Huffman  tells the story of the archaeological site, as well as the dangerous environment the mine has created for archaeologists, Chinese workers, and local Afghans. The film follows several main characters, including Philippe Marquis, a French archaeologist leading emergency conservation efforts; Abdul Qadeer Temore, an Afghan archaeologist at the Afghan National Institute of Archaeology; Liu Wenming, a manager for the China Metallurgical Group Corporation; and Laura Tedesco, an American archaeologist working for the U.S. State Department.

For more information view the film’s Facebook page.

Via UChicagoArts

Photography VRC

Book Signing at After Words Bookstore for Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows

Vivian Maier (1926–2009) moved to Chicago in 1956 and though she worked as a nanny to support herself, she spent her spare time taking photographs and making films. Her work was largely unknown during her lifetime, as the more than 10,000 negatives she made were kept hid:

Maier’s massive body of work would come to light when in 2007 her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side. From there, it would eventually impact the world over and change the life of the man who championed her work and brought it to the public eye, John Maloof.

While Maloof and his team were cataloging her work, they maintained an image-heavy website dedicated to her life and work, and the Chicago Cultural Center mounted an exhibition “Finding Vivian Maier: Chicago Street Photographer” (7 January–3 April 2011), which garnered a lot of public interest in Chicago’s “nanny photographer”.

Authors Richard Cahan and Michael Williams released a new book of Vivian Maier’s photographs last month called Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. In addition to providing context for the artist’s life, the book publishes 275 of her photographs. To celebrate, After-Words New and Used Books in downtown Chicago is hosting a book signing party on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30.

Via Chicagoist

Museums Precolumbian

Art Institute of Chicago Lecture: Ritual Mask from Teotihuacan

Curator Richard Townsend brings to life the splendor and pageantry of Teotihuacan, the largest city in the ancient Americas, as he reveals city plans, amazing architectural structures, and powerful ritual objects.

Next Thursday, October 11, the Art Institute of Chicago will present a lecture on Mesoamerican art from Teotihuacan in Fullerton Hall from 6–7 pm. The lecture is free with museum admission—and your UCID functions as your UChicago Arts Pass, providing free admission to the Art Institute of Chicago among other museums and cultural centers.

For more information, view the event page or check out the Art Institute’s collection of Mesoamerican art online.

Color Image Quality News VRC

VRC Workshop at the CTL – Register Now!

Reminder! The Visual Resources Center has partnered with the Center for Teaching and Learning to offer the following workshop:

Visual Literacy in the Classroom: How to Find, Create, and Display Images

Friday, November 18, 10:30AM – 12:00 PM

Gates-Blake 133

Images in the classroom go beyond Google and PowerPoint: students are expected to be visually literate (according to the Association of College and Research Libraries, “able to find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media”). This 90-minute session offers an introduction to the Visual Resources Center and a starting place for instructors seeking quality images for teaching in a visually literate classroom. The session will also cover techniques to engage students with image resources. Graduate instructors and Post-Docs are encouraged to attend.

Registration is Required. Please Register in advance for the session by clicking here.

Architecture News

Chicago Architecture Foundation’s openhousechicago 2011

We’ve all done it…walked or driven by a building and thought, “I wish I could see what the inside looks like”. Well, now you can.

Over the weekend of Oct 15-16, 2011, the Chicago Architecture Foundation is proud to present openhousechicago 2011 (OHC2011), a free public event that gets you behind-the-scenes of some of the city’s greatest spaces and places.

Whether you are an architecture buff, history enthusiast, or cultural novice, OHC2011 is a unique event that’s fun for all ages, locals and visitors, suburbanites and city dwellers. Participating in OHC2011 is like getting a “backstage pass” to many of Chicago’s most important and interesting buildings.

openhousechicago is a free public event. You can plan your own itinerary. No reservations or tickets are required, but you can register for up-to-date information and to win prizes.

Exhibitions Innovative Technology Modern - Contemporary Museums

Soviet Arts Experience

The Soviet Arts Experience is a 16-month-long collaborative showcase of artistic work created under the Politburo of the Soviet Union, from 1917 to 1991. This series of programs includes works of art, dance, concerts, lectures, and classes. Twenty-six of Chicago’s prominent arts institutions will present events through 2012.

A Soviet Arts Experience iPhone app has been created to help navigate the showcase’s many events. It includes embedded Google Maps and is available for free to download through the iTunes store.