Special Collections & Archives Blog

In the 'Exhibits' Category...

30 Years of Performing Arts: The Secrest Artists Series at Wake Forest University, 1983–2013

Wednesday, September 10, 2014 2:35 pm

The following is a guest post by Corrine Luthy, a graduate intern with Wake Forest University’s Special Collections & Archives.

2006-2007 Season Mailing

2006–2007 Season Mailing

During the week of the first Secrest Artists Series event of the 2014–2015 season, Special Collections & Archives is pleased to announced the online exhibit 30 Years of Performing Arts: The Secrest Artists Series at Wake Forest Univeristy, 1983–2013.

Explore the exhibit ›

This exhibit aims to capture the spirit of the Secrest Artists Series mission from 1983 to 2013, showcasing not only the talent that has graced the campus, but also the dedication of many different university departments that collaborate to make Secrest performances multifaceted affairs. The Secrest Artists Series has been a mainstay in the cultural education of Wake Forest University students for decades. Its mission has been to bring premier established and up-and-coming performing artists to the university and to expand their involvement beyond the performance events. Artists guide master classes, lectures, and participate in the larger Wake Forest and Winston-Salem communities.

Included in the exhibit are items of visual interest such as event programs, articles from student newspaper the Old Gold & Black, invitations to artist receptions, mailed season schedules, and pocket schedules that illustrate the graphic themes for each season. These represent just a small selection of items from the Secrest Artists Series collection—the working files of Lillian Shelton, whose career with the Secrest Artists Series spanned nearly the entire 30 years. Shelton retired as the director of the series in 2013, and the files are now housed in ZSR’s Special Collections & Archives.

On a personal note, as the curator of the online exhibit my goal was to tell the Secrest “story” as succinctly as possible. When I began the process of selecting items to include in the digital exhibit, I was so concerned with telling the whole story that I had trouble narrowing down what items to include; I listed just about every item I feasibly could in each of the first few folders. But as I continued to work my way folder by folder through the collection, I realized that certain items summarized the mission and vision of the Secrest Artists Series quite nicely on their own.

Although it was still difficult at times not to include everything, I had the advantage of seeing, for example, how the programs for each performance were reflections of the artists and the series itself. They provide photographs, biographical information, and the performance’s context within the Secrest Series. In many cases, as with the Philadelphia Dance Company, programs have an additional element of interest by being signed by the artists.

2002 Philadanco Signed Event Program

2002 Philadanco Signed Event Program

I also saw how the artists’ reach in the university and Winston-Salem communities often extended beyond just their performances. Other events include masterclasses, lectures, fundraising efforts, and artists lunches and receptions, like one following the 1993 performance of the Moscow Virtuosi.

1993 Moscow Virtuosi Reception Invitation (1 of 2)

1993 Moscow Virtuosi Reception Invitation (1 of 2)

1993 Moscow Virtuosi Reception Invitation (2 of 2)

1993 Moscow Virtuosi Reception Invitation (2 of 2)

I was also intrigued by the care taken to ensure the visual elements of each season were incorporated across different printed items. Often, these were a reflection of the WFU Communications and External Relations team’s graphic design, as with this mailing from the 2002–2003 season announcing the upcoming year’s schedule to Secrest supporters.

2002–2003 Season Mailing

2002–2003 Season Mailing

Each season has its own graphic theme, like this fuchsia spread from the 1989–1990 season mailing.

1989–1990 Season Mailing

1989–1990 Season Mailing

I encourage you to explore the online exhibit 30 Years of Performing Arts to learn or reminisce about the past 30 years of the Secrest Artists Series, particularly the vast amount of information and graphic arts work that goes into preparing for a performance season. Included in the exhibit are programs, season mailings and schedules, promotional fliers, and other visually interesting items. I hope you enjoy this digital representation of a pillar of the university’s culture!

Worth a Thousand Words: Ken Bennett’s Photographs of ZSR

Friday, August 1, 2014 11:20 am

Ken Bennett Exhibit POster

Special Collections & Archives is honored to host a selection of photography from University Photographer Ken Bennett. The exhibit will be up in the Special Collections & Archives Research Room (ZSR 625) through December 31st.

Artist’s Statement:

The photographs in this exhibit all have a common theme: they include the Z. Smith Reynolds library in some way, either as the subject, the location, or the background.

On one level, I make these photographs simply as part of my job as the university staff photographer. But it goes beyond that on a personal level: the ZSR library inspires me in the way that few other places do. Rising above the campus, the cupola is a recognizable symbol of Wake Forest, visible from many locations in Winston-Salem, and it makes an excellent subject as well as a background for portraits. The interior spaces of the library, bustling with student activity, are a wonderful place to find those small, intimate moments that make candid people photography so compelling. The ZSR library is a primary center of academic and student life on campus, and as such is the first place I go looking for new photographs, or when I want inspiration.

I’m now in my eighteenth year of documenting life at Wake Forest, which provides a unique long-term perspective and the opportunity to go back to the same places many times for new photographs. One of my first successful images here was of the cupola at dusk, shot in 1997, and over the years I have been fortunate to explore changes in the library itself, as well as the students and other members of the community who inhabit it.

Please drop in Monday-Friday, 9-5 to take a look at this stunning exhibit.  Please read more about the two events planned for the exhibit.

Buildings & Roads of WFU: A Student Perspective

Friday, May 16, 2014 9:26 am

Bostwick Residence Hall

Did you ever wonder who Jasper Memory was? Or want to know more about Bostwick Residence Hall? We have got the online exhibit for you!

Special Collections & Archives is excited to release Buildings & Roads of Wake Forest University: A Student Perspective on our University’s History. This project started last summer when John Walsh, Class of 2014, worked part-time in Special Collections. His charge was to research and write-up the history of how or why buildings and roads on campus were named. The result is an engaging narrative of the campus landmarks we see every day. Enthusiastically written and complemented by the photography of Ken Bennett, Special Collections & Archives hopes that students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors all utilize this exhibit to learn more about campus and have a little fun. Many thanks to Kevin Gilbertson and his expertise for putting this online exhibit together.

Dream Big: Commencement at Wake Forest University Through the Years

Tuesday, May 6, 2014 1:47 pm

dream big

Special Collections and Archives is honored to recognize the Class of 2014 with a new exhibit “Dream Big: Commencement at Wake Forest University Through the Years.” Commencement is the culmination of years of academic work, when Wake Forest graduates are recognized and introduced to the wider world. “Dream Big” is a visually dynamic exhibit featuring images of past Wake Forest commencements, in addition to 19th and 20th century invitations, and programs. All are welcome to come see the archival materials on display as we get ready to send another class of Demon Deacons out into the world.

See details on the University Calendar.

Letters in Lead: Moveable Type and the Books It Created

Thursday, February 27, 2014 10:45 am

letters in lead heading 1

The invention of a practical method for printing with moveable type was a watershed event in European history. From Johannes Gutenberg’s first metal types in the mid-15th century to letterpress printing of today, printers and type designers have practiced their craft to create texts that are both legible and beautiful.

baskerville milton

A 1759 edition of John Milton’s Paradise Lost by the famous printer and type designer John Baskerville.

Letters in Lead, the current exhibit in the ZSR Library Special Collections and Archives Reading Room (room 625), features examples of type and other materials of printing. The ZSR Preservation Lab houses a small 1906 job press and a large supply of type font. Examples of type and other equipment from the ZSR Press are included in the exhibit.

type drawer

One of many cases of moveable type from the ZSR Press collection

The exhibit also features volumes from the ZSR Rare Books Collection, tracing the development of printing and book design from pre-Gutenberg manuscripts to 20th century illustrated books.

manuscript book of hours

Page from a 14th century manuscript Book of Hours

Letters in Lead will be on exhibit February through April 2014. Visitors are welcome any time during Special Collections and Archives open hours, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., and other hours by appointment. For more information please contact Special Collections at 336-758-6175 or via our query form.

N.C. Archives Week!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:35 am

Archives Week exhibit

Archives Week exhibit

It is Archives Week in North Carolina! This year’s theme, “Home Grown! A Celebration of NC Food Culture and History” provides a wonderful opportunity for institutions across the state to highlight materials in their archives as well as create local connections.

Here at ZSR, our student Brittany put up a small exhibit in the entrance-way that contains some archival materials It also has brochures, posters, and other materials from food-related campus initiatives. Soon we will be partnering with Campus Kitchen, the Office of Sustainability, and the Food, Faith, and Religious Leadership Initiative to establish collections and schedule events. Stay tuned!

Hawthorne Hill Treasures: Objects from the Wake Forest Medical Historical Archives

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 12:08 pm

hawthorne-hill-treasures-poster

Hawthorne Hill Treasures: Objects from the Wake Forest Medical Historical Archives
October-December 2013
Special Collections Research Room, Room 625
Z. Smith Reynolds Library

Books in Fiction: Deborah Harkness and Charlie Lovett

Thursday, August 1, 2013 12:00 pm

Book in Fiction: Deborah Harkness & Charlie Lovett
August-September 2013
Special Collections Research Room, Room 625
Z. Smith Reynolds Library

New Samuel and Sally Wait Exhibit in the Atrium

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:34 pm

A look at the new exhibit

Special Collections is happy to announce a new exhibit in the small case in the atrium. The exhibit highlights the Samuel and Sally Wait Collection and shows examples of their letters from Wait. It also includes Samuel’s walking stick and reading glasses. Take a look when you get a chance!

Fall 2012 Exhibit: Faithfully English’d: Classical Literature in Translation

Thursday, September 6, 2012 3:58 pm
Detail from the engraved title page of George Chapman’s The Whole Works of Homer (1616)

Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow’d Homer ruled as his demesne;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold…

John Keats, “On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer”

The book that inspired Keats’s famous sonnet, George Chapman’s The Whole Works of Homer,  is one of the volumes included in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library Special Collections fall 2012 exhibit.  On view August 2012 through February 2013, Faithfully English’d: Classical Literature in Translation features Greek and Latin classics in English translations from the 14th through 20th centuries. All of the books are from the ZSR Rare Books Collection.

The exhibit includes translations by Geoffrey Chaucer, George Sandys, John Dryden, Aphra Behn, Alexander Pope, Ezra Pound, Allen Mandelbaum, and many others.  The books themselves, published from the 16th through 20th centuries, are as varied as the texts they convey. From large, lavishly illustrated folios to cheaply bound schoolbooks, the different physical manifestations attest to the diverse readership of classical translations.

The five centuries’ worth of books on view are a testament to the enduring fascination that English-speaking authors and readers have for the literature of ancient Greece and Rome. But the texts also show how styles and theories of translation have changed over the centuries. George Chapman, a contemporary of Shakespeare, was the first author to attempt to render both the Iliad and Odyssey into English verse. Chapman’s extravagant Elizabethan style contrasts with the carefully crafted heroic couplets of Alexander Pope’s 1715 Iliad. William Morris’s Odyssey (1887), inspired by Anglo-Saxon poetry, proves interesting if not particularly readable. And annotated typescript draft pages of Allen Mandelbaum’s 1990 Odyssey show the painstaking process of translating Homer’s verse into modern English poetry.

Interest in Homer’s epics has scarcely flagged for the past 500 years, but some classical authors seem to resonate more strongly in certain periods. Aesop’s fables, for example, are now largely regarded as children’s fare. But in Roger L’Estrange’s 1692 translation they are the basis for pointed political satire. The Roman poet Ovid, widely read from medieval times through the 18th century, is the subject of many translations and adaptations, from Chaucer’s Legends of Good Women (on view here in a 1515 edition) to Mandelbaum’s 1993 translation of the Metamorphoses.

Throughout the past five centuries translations have provided access to classical texts for those who cannot read the original Greek and Latin. From the Renaissance through the 19th century, anyone who wanted to participate in the literary culture and intellectual discourse of England needed to be familiar with the classics. But fluency in Latin, and even more so in Greek, required an elite education difficult for anyone but the sons of wealthy families to attain. John Keats, the son of a London stable-master, experienced Homer through Chapman’s verses. William Shakespeare, whose merchant-class origins left him with “small Latin and less Greek,” used Thomas North’s 1579 translation of Plutarch’s Lives as the basis for Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and Coriolanus. And Aphra Behn , in a dedicatory verse for Thomas Creech’s translation of Lucretius (1638), praised the translator while lamenting the fact that women were denied a classical education:

The Godlike Virgil and Great Homer’s Muse
Like Divine Mysteries are conceal’d from us….
But… Thou by this Translation dost advance
Our Knowledge from the state of Ignorance;
And Equall’st Us to Man!

The best translations in every era combine thorough scholarship with literary sensibility and a profound appreciation of the original texts. Pope, Dryden, and others preface their works with discussions of how best to render Greek and Latin texts into English. Most counsel a middle ground between literal translation and loose paraphrase. Pope famously observes in his introduction to the Iliad that

It is the first grand duty of an interpreter to give his author entire and unmaimed; and for the rest, the diction and versification only are his proper province, since these must be his own, but the others he is to take as he finds them.

Other authors have adapted Greek and Latin texts to create entirely new works of literature. From Chaucer to James Joyce, whose Ulysses is on exhibit here, countless English authors have taken inspiration from the classics.

The ZSR Special Collections exhibit is one of several fall 2012 events celebrating classical translations and adaptations. Other events include the Reynolda House special exhibit Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey, a celebration of the life of Allen Mandelbaum, and an appearance by children’s author Rick Riordan.

Faithfully English’d: Classical Literature in Translation  is on exhibit in the Special Collections and Archives Reading Room on the 6th floor of the Reynolds Wing. For more information contact Megan Mulder at 758-5091.


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