Collection Spotlight: Rosa Bonheur papers 

The Collection of Rosa Bonheur correspondence, 1808-1961 held in Bywaters Special Collections is a significant record of the artist’s correspondence and writings. 

French painter Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), acclaimed for her detailed paintings of animals, is considered one of the most well-known female artists of the 19th century. She was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1865 by French Empress Eugénie. Bonheur had female life companions and was gender non-conforming, often dressing in men’s clothing. This collection consists of primarily of letters by Rosa Bonheur written from 1861 until her death in 1899 to her artist and friend Paul Chardin. Included are letters to Paul Chardin written by Rosa’s brother, Isidore Bonheur and by Jeanne Micas (Nathalie), Rosa’s life companion.

Rosa Bonheur letter

Materials are handwritten in French. 

Please take a look at the detailed finding aid available through Texas Archival Resources Online. 

https://txarchives.org/smu/finding_aids/00094.xml  

Many of the letters have been digitized and are available here: 

https://www.smu.edu/libraries/digitalcollections/rbc  

In Honor of Veterans’ Day: John ‘Carr’ Pritchett (1921 – 2016)

Untitled (Ranch Scene at Night)

While serving as curator of Bywaters Special Collections there were many times I would find interesting items housed in the archival files that were of importance to Jerry Bywaters and his colleagues. One such discovery was a folder of drawings made by John ‘Carr’ Pritchett who graduated from SMU in May 1942. Pritchett studied art with Bywaters and assisted him with the Trinity, Texas Post Office mural in 1941.  As with many young Americans at this time, Pritchett joined the armed forces in October 1942.  While serving, he made sketches of everyday military life, including illustrated letters, that he would send back to Bywaters.

In one letter to Bywaters, Pritchett noted that there were many soldiers from Texas in the military and they would break out with some of the cowboy songs such as “I Wanna Go Back to Texas” and “When It’s Round-up Time in Texas.”  Pritchett continued to serve as a Marine in World War II and the Korean Conflict.

After World War II, Pritchett studied Commercial Art at the Pratt Institute in New York but in 1949 left the art world to start his new career as a cattleman.  He eventually settled in Mesilla, New Mexico where he died in 2016.


Blog post: Ellen Buie Niewyk, former Curator, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library

Image: Jerry Bywaters, Untitled (Ranch Scene at Night), 4.88 x 4.88 inches; Paper: 11 x 8.5 inches, no date.

Extended date to December 18 for Michael Corris: Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes

Michael Corris, Retour à la Normale

Michael Corris
Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes, 1976-2020
Extended to December 18
Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library

The Hawn Gallery is pleased to extend this exhibition for one more week before the campus closure for the winter break on Monday, December 21.

SMU community hours (SMU I.D. required): 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mon.-Thurs; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.; 12-5 p.m. Sat.; 2-9 p.m. Sun. Following Thanksgiving, Hamon’s hours change to Mon. – Fri. 8 am – 5 pm, closed weekends.

Public hours 12-5 p.m. After Thanksgiving by appointment during the weekdays. For appointments, please contact hawngallery@smu.edu.

SMU and all campus libraries require masks and six feet social distancing. Three people in the gallery at one time.

Continue reading “Extended date to December 18 for Michael Corris: Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes”

New Contactless Delivery Service Option at Hamon – Locker Pick Up!

new lockers for request pick-upIn addition to the Curbside Pick Up service begun by SMU Libraries this summer, the Hamon Arts Library now offers a second way for contactless delivery of materials – Locker Pick Up. Once you request materials in Hamon’s collection through the SMU Libraries catalog, the notification you receive gives you instructions for either pick-up option.

For the locker Pick Up, you will be sent the number of the locker and your unique combination. The lockers are located at the Hillcrest entrance to the Hamon Arts Library in the Owen Arts Center. Access to the lockers is available until 9 pm seven days a week, and begins 7:30am Monday – Friday; 8:00am, Saturday; 9:00am on Sunday. Materials will be held for 5 days. Continue reading “New Contactless Delivery Service Option at Hamon – Locker Pick Up!”

Hawn Gallery presents Michael Corris: Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes, 1976-2020

Michael Corris, Incident on a Page 2
Michael Corris, Incident on a Page 2

Michael Corris
Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes, 1976-2020
September 21 – December 11, 2020
Hawn Gallery, Hamon Arts Library

The Hawn Gallery is pleased to announce Incidents on a Page: Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes, 1976-2020Michael Corris, SMU Professor Emeritus of Art, has been active as an artist since the early 1970s, first as a member of the collective Art & Language in New York, and later, as a founding editor of the publications The Fox and Red Herring. Subsequently, he began teaching art criticism and art history in England, and eventually came to Dallas as Chair of the Division of Art at SMU in 2009. His expansive practice is not easily distilled into distinct categories or media, but rather maintains a sustained engagement with and critical analysis of the conditions of production and dissemination of art. Over the course of his career Corris’s work has taken many forms, including but not limited to essayistic writing, graphic design, curation, public intervention, community activism and organization, and education, responding to the needs of a given circumstance or lived situation.   Continue reading “Hawn Gallery presents Michael Corris: Incidents on a Page, Dallas-Venice Dreamscapes, 1976-2020”

“Mainly Concerning Myself” – Edward Eisenlohr’s Life Documented in His Scrapbook

Renowned Texas artist Edward G. Eisenlohr (1872-1961) captured a record of his life, art, and honors from childhood through his later years in his scrapbook, which he titled “Mainly Concerning Myself.” Though Eisenlohr was born in Ohio, he migrated to Texas with his family when he was very young, and his love for Texas, Dallas, and his Oak Cliff neighborhood – as well as his deep appreciation for New Mexico — is reflected in the items that he saved.

His achievements began early. He saved his third-grade diploma of honor from Temple Emanu-El School, which shows that “Eddie” Eisenlohr had an overall average of 96 percent.  Among numerous newspaper clippings, an article from the Dallas Morning News notes that the Texas State Fair’s Golden Jubilee in 1936 is also Eisenlohr’s. He was also awarded a first prize of $10 in the Fair’s very first exhibition for a hand-drawn map at age sixteen.

Eisenlohr_cropped
https://digitalcollections.smu.edu/digital/collection/byw/id/48 [Photograph of Edward G. Eisenlohr], no date, Bywaters Special Collections, SMU.
The scrapbook features a number of black and white photographs of Eisenlohr’s artwork, including pieces such as  “Our Lady of Guadalupe,” “Waller Creek,” and “The Three Veterans.” On many pages, he noted the name of the person or gallery that purchased the work. Several of his works found another life as Christmas cards in the 1930s and 1940s. Collections of clippings and exhibition catalogs tell the story of his many shows in the Dallas area and beyond.

He also kept more personal items, such as snapshots of himself and his sister, getting ready for an art exhibition; an article about Dallas that mentioned his father, Rudolph F. Eisenlohr, and his father’s death notice from the Dallas Morning News, where he hand-corrected the middle initial from an incorrect “S” to the appropriate “F” in ink on the page.

Numerous smaller clippings show Eisenlohr’s engagement with the local art scene. He had many groups come by his studio to visit, and stopped by to give talks to a variety of local groups, mentioned here and here.

Country church at Palo Pinto
https://digitalcollections.smu.edu/digital/collection/byw/id/91 Country Church at Palto Pinto, ca. 1940s, Bywaters Special Collections, SMU.
The Rainbow_Eisenlohr
https://digitalcollections.smu.edu/digital/collection/byw/id/62 The Rainbow, 1924, Bywaters Special Collections

“Mainly Concerning Myself” is held by the Bywaters Special Collections, a unit of SMU’s Hamon Arts Library, as part of the Edward Gustav Eisenlohr Art Work and Papers. The 45-page (plus 2 covers) scrapbook was digitized in the Norwick Center for Digital Solutions’ photography lab using a Hasselblad H6D-100C camera. Prior to digitization, the scrapbook was conserved at SMU’s Bridwell Library conservation lab. The scrapbook was a gift from Gertrude Helmle and the digitization project was supported by the Helmle-Shaw Foundation.


Featured image: Featured image: The Rainbow, Santa Fe, 1924, Bywaters Special Collections, SMU.

Note: Due to copyright law, many of the clippings may only be viewed on request; however, the album’s detailed metadata provides details and descriptions of every item contained in the scrapbook.

For more information, contact Bywaters Special Collections at bywaters@smu.edu, or read more about the Eisenlohr collection and archive finding aid.

Conservation of drawings for Octavio Medellin’s Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church murals

On the Hamon blog in March, Ellen Buie Niewyk discussed the history of Octavio Medellin’s murals for the the Saint Bernard of Clairvaux Church in Dallas and the drawings held in Bywaters Special Collections. Medellin donated these drawings to Bywaters Special Collections in 1996 where these drawings have been rolled in storage for many years. Niewyk contacted  paper conservator Cheryl Carrabba to carefully unroll and repair these drawings. Carrabba, who lives in Austin, works as a conservator for museums, libraries, archives and other institutions. In this post, she details decisions she made in her conservation and her intricate process to restore them.

 

The Octavio Medellin project included twelve mural sketches for his “Stations of the Cross” mosaic in the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church in Dallas. Four of the sketches are executed in colored pencil on medium weight, white paper. Eight are graphite on thin, lightweight, wood-based paper.

All of the drawings arrived in the lab rolled in brown paper backing sheets. Their condition indicated they were exposed directly to standing water, causing damage to all twelve sheets. In addition to pigment bleeding, severe discoloration, and hard water staining, the paper exhibited creasing, fold overs, and losses to corners bearing image details. Disfiguring tears and insect soiling were also present. Image visibility was compromised. The reverse of all these drawings were stained and mottled with animal glue deposits. Inherent aging had caused adhesives to bind the image-bearing sheets to the backing sheets.

 

OM.96.22: Stations 12 and 13, “Jesus dies on the cross” and “Jesus is taken down from the cross.” Note the losses and dark stain on the left edge in the first image. The sheet was also significantly curled. The second image shows the fills with original blank backing paper, stain reduction, and lining.

After photography and documentation, all surface debris was removed using rubber erasers and soot sponges in preparation for washing. The paper was flattened and cleaned with absorbent blotters and salt solutions consisting of calcium, ammonium, and sodium. These chemicals swell the papers and help release the residue caused by prolonged dampness in storage. After the surface debris was removed, multiple applications of calcium hydroxide, ammonium dibasic, and sodium borohydride were carefully applied to diminish tidelines or pooling of liquid. Tears were delicately mended with sheer-toned Japanese paper and wheat starch paste.

OM.96.23: Station 14, “Jesus is placed in the tomb.” Here water damage is seen not in one dark stain, but as vertical lines of discoloration on the left half of the sheet and glue staining across the top and bottom. Losses and tears are also present. Fills, mends, stain reduction, and lining is shown in the second image.

The graphite sketches were lined using two layers of Japanese paper: Yamakozo Hidura and Tenjugo. Linings were attached to the reverse of the sheets with wheat starch paste using a polyester cloth pasted to a Formica table surface in a tension drying method. The result of this process can be seen in the featured image. Because the colored drawings are on a stronger weight paper made from a mixed blend of cotton and wood fiber, they did not require lining. To fill losses at the edges, we used the original blank backing paper. This mend assured that the fills were the same weight, tone, and fiber as the drawings themselves.

OM.96.12: Station 1, “Pilate condemns Jesus to die.” The paper bearing the colored pencil sketches is heavier-weight and a mixture of cotton and wood pulp, so it did not suffer the same level of deterioration as the graphite drawings and did not need to be lined. Mends and stain reduction were performed.

The conservation process not only improved the appearance of the Medellin sketches, but raised the pH of the paper to alkaline, promoting longevity. This step is especially important for wood-based papers. Together with archival framing methods, storage, and high resolution scanning, the art is preserved to ensure future stability.

 


Feature image: Example of tension drying method. Polyester cloth is adhered to the Formica table surface, on which Japanese paper is pasted underneath the drawings. This method flattens the sheets and allows the lining to be attached to the reverse.

Blog post: Courtesy of Cheryl Carrabba, Senior Conservator at Carrabba Conservation
Image credits: Cheryl Carrabba

In memory of our friend and patron, Jeff Gordon

SMU Libraries and staff of the Hamon Arts Library mourn the loss of our friend and patron, Jeff Gordon, who recently passed away after a sudden illness.  A longtime film historian, enthusiast, and collector, Jeff served on the SMU Libraries Executive Board since 2016. For all who knew Jeff, he had an outgoing and effervescent personality and readily shared a limitless supply of accounts and anecdotes about film and cinema history, its mid-20th century stars, or even Jeff himself. Indeed, his great passions were film and dogs.

Jeff was loyal and dedicated to the Hamon Arts Library and supported us in so many ways. He regularly attended library lectures, exhibition openings, and participated in fundraising events for the Meadows School of the Arts and SMU Libraries’ annual Tables of Content. He collaborated with Hamon staff on a 2013 Hawn Gallery exhibition, Linda Darnell: from Dallas to Hollywood — Selections from the Jeff Gordon Collection, which included a selection of his film posters on the Dallas native actor. In conjunction with the opening, he delivered a well-received lecture on Darnell. Always ready to loan his collection to Hamon, he worked with Georgia Erger, former Hawn Gallery fellow, on an installation of his rare movie posters throughout Hamon and discussed their significance in the Hamon blog in September 2016.

Having grown up and lived in New York City and later Knoxville, Tennessee, Jeff arrived in Dallas in 2016, where he formed a network of friends and acquaintances who equally shared his enthusiasm for film. In addition to his participation in other film circles, Jeff formed his own series of screenings held in his newly-remodeled detached garage. There the participants enjoyed thematic screening events, which Jeff curated from his collection of films, TV shows, and serials. He began each event with an introduction, which included stories, some personal, about the cast, producers, scriptwriters, and always accompanied the evening with an exhibit of photos and posters from his extraordinary collections. Regulars could count on visits from one of his 4 “pups,” who always managed to find a welcoming lap and seemed to enjoy the company as much as Jeff. Jeff, from everyone at Hamon Library and throughout the Meadows School of the Arts and SMU Libraries, we will miss you dearly.

Readers may read Jeff’s obituary posted in the Dallas Morning News.

All donations made in memory of Jeff to the Jones Film & Video Collection will be conveyed to his family.

Searching for Texas Animals

In attempting to complete both archival work and schooling a first grader while also caring for a toddler (Hi toddler parents, I see you!!)….I figured I might as well experiment with using Bywaters Special Collections digital images with the K-12 crowd (i.e. my 7-year-old son). I quickly deduced that our online digital collections, while amazing for older kids and adults, are not easily browsable or readable for early readers. Instead, I’ll be searching and selecting specific images to showcase.

My first idea is to use images of animals from the DeForrest Judd sketchbooks for a lesson on native Texas animals. For our activity we’ll walk around our neighborhood to look for animals. Assignment is to draw an animal that we saw on our walk.

Thank goodness for a warm sunny day to complete this activity. The three of us took a long walk and saw birds, squirrels, dogs, tadpoles, butterflies, daddy long legs, yellow jackets (!), hawks, and cats and talked about the armadillos, deer, coyotes, bobcats, skunks and rabbits that we’ve seen before. After some lunch and nap time for little sister, my son drew a picture of Texas animals (including a couple we didn’t see on our walk- like beavers and a fawn).

The heart of the Texas Regionalism movement in the 1930s was creating art based on your local surroundings. As we shelter-in-place here in the Dallas area in 2020, I think we can all take this to heart and appreciate the beauty of our immediate surroundings – and attempt to teach and share that appreciation with others.


Image: Untitled by DeForrest Judd, watercolor and ink on paper

http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/dfj/id/111

Blog post: Emily Grubbs
Courtesy of DeForrest Judd Artwork and Papers, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, Southern Methodist University

G. William Jones Film and Video Collection – Winter 2019 Update

News

We thankfully survived the fall and winter months of 2019, so that we can ring in the new year and celebrate the Jones Collection’s 50th anniversary!

  • Reporter Chris Sadeghi, along with a film crew from WFAA, came down to the vault to film a promotional piece for Sadeghi’s REWIND series, which features footage from our WFAA Newsfilm archive.   Check that out here!
  • Two SMU classes, David Sedman’s Introduction to Film and Mike Morris’ 16mm Film Production, toured our facilities in October.  For Sedman’s course, Jones Collection curator, Jeremy Spracklen, gave a presentation on the history collection to the class and showed samples of 35mm films from our vault.  Morris’ students came back towards the end of the semester and had their films digitized and color corrected.  These students showed their films, along with a Jones Collection 16mm print of UN CHIEN ANDALOU, at Top Ten Records in December!
  • KERA’s FRAME OF MIND latest season included an episode on Norm Hitzges, which featured footage from our collection.  NORM HITZGES: AN OPINIONATED HISTORY OF DALLAS SPORTS had a special advanced screening at the Alamo Drafthouse before premiering on KERA in November.
  • Jones Collection curator Jeremy Spracklen attended the 2019 Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) conference in Baltimore.  While there, as part of the festival’s archival screening night, Spracklen showcased our footage of the Velvet Underground at a Vietnam War protest on Dallas’ White Rock Lake.
  • One of the collection’s highlights this fall was the digitization of a WFAA audio reel,entitled “A Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication,” commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of Dallas.  Please give it a listen and read some of the Dallas Morning News’ Robert Wilonsky much needed context  here.
  • The Video Association of Dallas donated over 30 years of media materials to the Jones Collection, including features and shorts from its storied local festival, VIdeofest.  We at the Jones Collection couldn’t be more excited about this donation! Stay tuned for a more formal announcement to come!;

As we mentioned, this is the Collection’s 50th Anniversary, and we’ve had a number of exciting events in store including:

  • January 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm – The historic Texas Theatre will screen our beautiful 35mm print of the 1947 Bogart & Bacall noir, DARK PASSAGE. Tickets and info can be found here.
  • January 30, 2020 – The Jones Collection will offer tour of our facilities for attendees of the World Languages and Literature Department 2020 Film Festival, followed by a panel discussion and a screening of JUKE JOINT, which will be introduced by SMU film faculty member, Kevin Heffernan.
  • February 6, 2020 – The Jones Collection and the SMU’s Friends of the Library are so excited to host an evening with WFAA’s Tracey Rowlett, Doug Fox, Byron Harris, and John Sparks, discussing their favorite stories from the 1970s and behind-the-scenes tales from newsroom, along with footage from our collection. Current WFAA reporter, Chris Sadeghi, will moderate.

For more information on these and other events in 2020, check out our Facebook and Twitter.

Screenings

The Jones Collection screened prints for SMU classes, continued its monthly series at the historic Texas Theatre, and had several prints travel nationally and abroad.  These include:

  • DEADLY SPAWN – 35mm – The Texas Theatre
  • THE BLOOD OF JESUS – DCP – Zurich
  • SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER – 35mm – SMU
  • BLOOD OF A POET – 16mm – Top Ten Records
  • UN CHIEN ANDALOU – 16mm – Top Ten Records

And we’ve got some big 2020 films lined up for classes at SMU and public screenings beyond, including:

  • BALLET MECHANIQUE
  • SULPHUR SPRINGS SILENT FILMS
  • JUKE JONT
  • DARK PASSAGE
  • THE IMMIGRANT
  • COPS
  • BIG BUSINESS
  • I AM A FUGITIVE ON THE CHAIN GANG
  • LET THERE BE LIGHT
  • MEMPHIS BELLE
  • NEAR DARK
  • CARIB GOLD
  • LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
  • I AM JOAQUIN
  • DISCO GODFATHER


In the Media

The Jones Collection was more than busy in the final quarter of 2019, and our footage could be seen everywhere!  Here are just a few of the notable highlights:

Continue reading “G. William Jones Film and Video Collection – Winter 2019 Update”