Libraries Support Exhibits at Two Milwaukee Museums This Summer

Nirmal Raja "Vergence: An Orientalist Dystopia" (detail). Photo by C.M. DeSpears.

Nirmal Raja “Vergence: An Orientalist Dystopia” (detail). Installed at Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum. Photo by C.M. DeSpears.

The UWM Libraries are substantial contributors to two remarkable exhibitions in Milwaukee museums this summer—Photographing Nature’s Cathedrals: Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and H.H. Bennett at the Milwaukee Art Museum and Look Here! at the Villa Terrace Decorative Arts Museum.

Look Here! is a collaboration between the UWM Libraries, artists from RedLine Milwaukee and the UWM Peck School of the Arts, and Villa Terrace.

Organized by Ann Hanlon, head of UWM Libraries’ Digital Collections & Initiatives; Marc Tasman, artist and senior lecturer, UWM Dept. of Journalism, Advertising and Media Studies; and Max Yela, head of UWM Libraries’ Special Collections, the project asked artists to create works that reimagine, transform, and engage with the Libraries’ unique archival, special, and digital collections in ways that bring new light and creative perspectives to these rare and unique materials.

The resulting art, including videos, photographs, paintings, and more–many of them site-specific–has been installed throughout Villa Terrace.

Participating artists are Jake Hill, Madeline Martin, Jill Sebastian, Dara Larson, Cynthia Hayes, Nirmal Raja, Marc Tasman, Clayton Haggarty, Anja Sieger, Melissa Wagner-Lawler, Stephanie Copoulos-Selle, Laj Waghray, Rebecca Holderness, and Andrew Miller.

A “Walk and Talk” series is being offered in conjunction with the exhibit. UWM Libraries curators and department heads will join the artists in the museum to discuss their work, the project, and the Libraries’ perspective. The talks are:

Eadweard Muybridge, "Piwyack. Valley of the Yosemite." 1872. Collection of the American Geographical Society Library.

Eadweard Muybridge, “Piwyack. Valley of the Yosemite.” 1872. Collection of the American Geographical Society Library.

Milwaukee Digital: Reinterpreting Local Spaces
July 5, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Abigail Nye, Head of UWM Archives, Ann Hanlon, Head of UWM Libraries’ Digital Collections, and Look Here! artists Marc Tasman,Clayton Haggarty, and Jake Hill.

Maps and Artifacts: Mining the Collections of the American Geographical Society Library
August 1, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Marcy Bidney, Curator of American Geographical Society Library, and Look Here! artists Jill Sebastian, Nirmal Raja, Anja Notanja Sieger, Madeline Martin.

The Contents of Books: Reprocessing Pattern and Image
August 8, 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Max Yela, Head of UWM Libraries Special Collections, and Look Here! artists Laj Waghray, Melissa Wagner-Lawler, and Stephanie Copoulos-Selle.

Look Here! is open through September 16, 2018. UWM students, faculty and staff are admitted free during the length of the Villa Terra exhibition.

Photographing Nature’s Cathedrals, curated by the Milwaukee Art Museum, is in part  organized from the collections of the UWM Libraries’ American Geographical Society Library. AGSL loaned over 40 rare images by the great nineteenth century photographers Carelton E. Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge to the exhibit.

Nature’s Cathedrals, according to to MAM, “presents American landscape photographs by three nineteenth-century artists who used mammoth plate prints, panoramas, and stereographs—the cutting-edge photographic technology of their time—to capture the natural wonders of the country. The photographs on view helped create the myth of the Edenic American West, attracted tourists to the unusual formations in the Driftless region of Wisconsin, and inspired the creation of Yosemite National Park.”

Photographing Nature’s Cathedrals runs until August 26, 2018.