Open Access Week in October

Central University Libraries and Southern Methodist University present and invite you to Open Access Week 2016 at Southern Methodist University

Open Access Week at SMU will take place on October 24 – 28, 2016, in the Fondren Library. Three speakers will be highlighted in the Foyer of the Fondren Library on Oct 25, 26 and 28 and an informational table will be placed in the Collaborative Commons area,
Monday through Friday from 11am to 2pm. Continue reading “Open Access Week in October”

Strange inheritance

In the spring of 2009, I received a telephone call from Atlee Phillips, Texas art specialist at Dallas’s Heritage Auction Galleries.  Although I’d never met Atlee, she told me that I’d soon think of her as “my new best friend.”  A few days later, she arrived in my office with numerous photographs of a painting of the Battle of San Jacinto by Texas painter Henry Arthur McArdle (1836-1908).  Although I knew that this painting had been executed in 1901, I had assumed it to have been destroyed in a fire and had stated as much in a footnote in my 1992 book, Painting Texas History to 1900.  But Atlee’s photographs, taken by members of McArdle’s family, who owned the house in West Virginia where the painting had been stored in an attic since the 1950s, proved me wrong (fortunately).  In November 2010, Heritage auctioned the painting, which was purchased by a private collector in Texas. Continue reading “Strange inheritance”

Hamon staff appointment to Dallas Historical Society Board

Congratulations are in order for Dr. Sam Ratcliffe, Head of Bywaters Special Collections, who was recently appointed to the board of trustees of the Dallas Historical Society. A long-standing non-profit organization, since 1922, the Society has, according to its mission, sought to collect, preserve, and exhibit collections relevant to the heritage of the city. Dr. Ratcliffe brings his more than twenty years of experience overseeing the Special Collections at Hamon, and knowledge of Texas art and history – subjects in which he has frequently published and presented – to the board. Continue reading “Hamon staff appointment to Dallas Historical Society Board”

Pioneers of African-American Cinema

Kino Lorber recently released Pioneers of African-American Cinema, a five DVD set with extensive film notes.  An announcement of the collection’s release appeared in The New York Times (August 10, 2016), in which the film critic, J. Hoberman, stated that “there has never been a more significant video release” in cinema history.  This set includes films discovered and collected by the late SMU professor G. William Jones, which are part of the Tyler, Texas “race films” in the collection. It includes approximately 20 hours of feature films, shorts, interviews, trailers, and fragments.  Many of these films have only been circulated and seen in 16mm versions of inferior quality or have never been available for home video.  Each film has been digitally restored and reflects a wide-range of subject matter and styles.  Accompanying the set is an 80-page booklet with contributions from scholars.

Continue reading “Pioneers of African-American Cinema”

Pictorial: Meadows singers learn from masters Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade

 

Three judges
The master teachers, Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade (from left to right).

On November 3, Mezzo sopranos Joyce DiDonato and Frederica von Stade and composer Jake Heggie took time between performances of Heggie’s opera Great Scott to give a master class for singers in the Division of Music in the Meadows School of the Arts. Five students performed art songs and opera arias for the artists and a sizable audience of fellow music students and faculty. Each performer was then given feedback and comments from Heggie, von Stade, and DiDonato. Here are some of the highlights of the two-hour class. Continue reading “Pictorial: Meadows singers learn from masters Jake Heggie, Joyce DiDonato, and Frederica von Stade”

Some assembly required: Interview with artist Ryan Goolsby

Hamon’s newest update to its lobby is a pair of customized computer kiosks that were designed and built by Meadows staff member, Ryan Goolsby. We interviewed Ryan about his position at SMU, his work as an artist, and the process for creating these kiosks.

Continue reading “Some assembly required: Interview with artist Ryan Goolsby”

Pierre Boulez (1925-2016): A personal remembrance

Composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential musical figures of the second half of the twentieth century, passed away on Tuesday, January 5. Since then, multiple news organizations have published lengthy assessments of Boulez and the manner in which he shaped and challenged notions of established concert repertoire as a stalwart advocate of new music and new compositional techniques. This post cannot improve upon the far more eloquent and precise appraisals of Boulez written in The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Los Angeles Times. I would like, instead, to offer the less celebrated work of Boulez—his work with young, aspiring musicians.

Continue reading “Pierre Boulez (1925-2016): A personal remembrance”

Therapy dogs in the Taubman Atrium, December 9th

Take a break from finals to stop by the Taubman Atrium 11am-3pm on December 9th to visit with our four-legged friends. We are proud to partner with A New Leash on Life for this event. Research has shown that spending 5-24 minutes with a calm dog reduces blood pressure and the levels of stress hormones in the body. Continue reading “Therapy dogs in the Taubman Atrium, December 9th”

The travels of The Blood of Jesus

One of the most significant of the Tyler Race Films is The Blood of Jesus, written by and starring Spencer Williams.  As with many of Williams’ films, this is a study of the continuing conflict between good and evil, holiness and godlessness, church and juke joint.  Williams filmed it with a largely amateur cast and with a minimal budget in 1941 for distribution to the 1200 or so movie houses that catered to all-black audiences at that time.   Despite the limitations imposed by its restrictively small budget, “The Blood of Jesus” was a financial success. Continue reading “The travels of The Blood of Jesus”