Exhibitions

The  Library’s exhibition programs showcase just some of the rare and unique materials available to the University’s faculty, students, and visiting researchers, as well as materials loaned by partner institutions. When you are in Charlottesville, we welcome you to visit permanent and changing exhibitions at venues across Grounds. Users around the world are encouraged to browse our large and growing archive of online exhibitions.

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All Upcoming Current & Permanent Past Online

The WSLS-TV Roanoke, Va., News Film Collection, 1951-1971

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The WSLS-TV News Film Collection, 1951-1971, comprises thousands of 16mm news film clips and related anchorperson scripts created by Roanoke, Va., television station WSLS during the mid-20th century. A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities funded the preservation and digitization of this collection. Content of the news stories varies greatly from Massive Resistance and the Civil Rights Movement to soapbox derbies and beauty pageants. The WSLS-TV news film collection is now available to the public in digitized form through the Library’s online catalog, Virgo. Each news story is searchable by both free-text keywords and controlled subject terms via Virgo;  the collection record also offers date-based browsing. The online exhibit features a survey of the collection’s many subjects.

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The James Rogers McConnell Memorial Collections

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1999 (Online only)

James Rogers McConnell, who is commemorated by the Aviator Statue outside of Clemons Library, was a U.Va. student who died while flying for France in the first World War. The James Rogers McConnell papers consist of approximately 210 items, including 160 letters written by McConnell. The letters date from 1915, when McConnell served with the American Ambulance service on the Western Front in France; 1916, the year of the formation of the Lafayette Escadrille, and, 1917, ending a few days before McConnell’s death. The letters provide a vivid picture of McConnell’s service in the cause of France.

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Papers of the Barrett Daycare Center: 1935–Present

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1998 (Online only)

The Barrett Daycare Center, formerly the Janie Porter Day Nursery, has been providing quality child care for the Charlottesville community for over sixty years. The records of this facility document the growth, successes, struggles, and changes in the African-American community in Charlottesville. In addition, the records tell much about conditions in other organizations such as this one in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and throughout the nation.

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Lady Freedom Among Us: A Poem by Rita Dove

Celebrating the Library's 4 millionth volume--Lady Freedom Among Us by Rita Dove

The University of Virginia Library Celebrates the Acquistion of its Four Millionth Volume: a handmade book by Claire Van Vliet of the Janus Press based on Rita Dove’s poem, “Lady Freedom Among Us.”

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A Frost Bouquet: Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature

A Frost Bouquet: Robert Frost, His Family, and the Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature

March '06 - May '96

Alderman Library

From sheet music containing his original lyrics to some of the creative achievements of his family, items of poet Robert Frost’s work and ephemera, included in this exhibition, demonstrate the depth of the University of Virginia Library’s Clifton Waller Barrett collection.

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Books Go to War: The Armed Services Editions in World War Two

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April '96 - September '96

Dome Room of the Rotunda

An exhibition on the history of the Armed Services Editions, paperbacks distributed to members of the American Military during World War II.

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The Most of Special Collections

The Most of Special Collections

January '97 - April '97

Alderman Library

For “The Most of Special Collections,” U.Va. Library staff and friends identified twenty one categories that would provide superlative examples of the Library’s collections, and within each category they made appropriate selections for display. The description of each item in the exhibition was written by the person who chose the item.

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Landmarks of American Nature writing from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley

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April '97 - July '97

Alderman Library

The Catalogue of an exhibition of rare books, manuscripts,maps, engravings, and photographs related to the literature of nature written about western Virginia from the seventeenth through the twentieth centuries, this exhibition is based on the research for The Height of Our Mountains: Nature Writing from Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley, much of which took place in the Special Collections Department of Alderman Library.

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Hearts at Home: Southern Women in the Civil War

Hearts at Home exhibition

August '97 - October '97

Alderman Library

Through letters and diaries, photographs, newspaper accounts, and personal mementos, “Hearts at Home” examines different aspects of southern women’s experiences at home and on the battlefield during the Civil War.

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The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Literature on Prayer, Ritual, and Meditation from the Religious Traditions of Tibet, India, and Nepal

Tibetan Book of the Dead exhibition

November '97 - March '98

Alderman Library

A fortuitous combination of events and personalities has made the University of Virginia Library the repository of one of the most extensive collections of Tibetan literature in the world. “The Tibetan Book of the Dead” exhibition aims to demystify the sacred Tibetan texts on death and dying and to create an opportunity to share the wisdom of these ancient beliefs and practices with the University community and beyond.

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The Psychedelic 60′s: Literary Tradition and Social Change

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April '98 - September '98

Alderman Library

Were the sixties the best of times or the worst of times? Did America evolve as a nation and we as individuals? Are we better for the experience? We who were there have our own answers, but it is the historians who will write the collective answers for posterity. In any case, for better or worse, this dynamic, controversial, exciting time was our youth, our creation, and our legacy, and this exhibition is an attempt to revisit it, share it, and interpret it.

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Sublime Anxiety: The Gothic Family and the Outsider

Sublime Anxiety: The Gothic Family and the Outsider

October '98 - March '99

Alderman Library

University of Virginia Special Collections is home to the Sadleir-Black Collection, a comprehensive compilation of Gothic literature that forms the heart of “Sublime Anxiety.” The gothic in general, and this exhibition in particular, explores the tension between what we most fear and what we most desire. Its extraordinary popularity today, more than 200 years after the publication of the first gothic novel, shows us that the concern with freedom and connection is as relevant as it has ever been.

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All the Hoos in Hooville: 175 Years of Life at the University of Virginia

All the Hoos in Hooville exhibition

June '99 - October '99

Alderman Library

The University of Virginia’s history is filled with fascinating tales, amusing traditions, and inspiring alumni. Through photographs, letters, and mementos, “All the Hoos” explores the history of the University through the lives of its students and its faculty.

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Red, White, Blue, and Brimstone: New World Literature and the American Millennium

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November '99 - April '00

Alderman Library

The Book of Revelation has always been something of a Rorschach test—especially in America. In the short history of the nation, probably no other book has justified as many soap-box sermons and hare-brained schemes as it has, and perhaps none ever will. But neither has any book produced a more profound vision of America’s hopes, duties, dreams, and destiny.

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Pop Goes the Page: Movable and Mechanical Books from the Brenda Forman Collection

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May '00 - August '00

Alderman Library

This exhibition of pop-up books was is drawn almost exclusively from Dr. Brenda Forman’s impressive collection of over 800 items. We would like to thank Brenda Forman for generously placing her collection on deposit with Special Collection.

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Censored: Wielding the Red Pen

Censorship in America exhibit

September '00 - February '01

Alderman Library

This exhibition on censorship in the United States hopes not so much to judge censors and censorship but instead to provoke questions. The prevalence of the red pen in a country founded on the Bill of Rights suggests that most people consider some things or ideas too dangerous or offensive to be made widely available. Is there a line in the sand? And if so, where do you stand? Where are your limits of tolerance? As you move through the exhibition, we invite you to consider whether or not there are restrictions which you might impose on the First Amendment. Are there situations in which you might support the suppression of materials or ideas?

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Private Passions, Public Legacy : Paul Mellon’s Personal Library at the University of Virginia

Private Passions, Public Legacy : Paul Mellon's Personal Library at the University of Virginia

March '01 - September '01

Alderman Library

In May 2000, the University of Virginia Library received 447 rare books, manuscripts, and maps from the estate of Paul Mellon. Celebrated as a philanthropist, art collector, and breeder of thoroughbred horses, Mellon was also a passionate book collector and amassed one of the greatest libraries of original documents of American history. Although Mellon was originally from Pittsburgh, he adopted Virginia as his home state and, through his bequest, ensured that items from his collection significant to Virginia history remained in the Commonwealth. “Private Passions, Public Legacy” is the first full-scale display of a collection that has been in private hands for over half a century.

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James Madison: Unsung Hero of the University

James Madison: Unsung Hero of the University

March '01 - April '01

Alderman Library

Overshadowed by the tremendous contributions made by Thomas Jefferson to establish the University, Madison’s role is often overlooked, although he worked closely with Jefferson to realize his vision for an institution of higher education to prepare students for their responsibilities as citizens of the new Republic. After Jefferson’s death in 1826, Madison was elected the University’s second Rector and guided the University through its fledgling period of development, a period marked by financial difficulties, the departure of several of its first faculty, and episodes of disruptive student unruliness. This exhibit marks the 250th anniversary of Madison’s birth.

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Lift Every Voice: Music in American Life

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September '01 - February '01

Alderman Library

This exhibition takes its name from a hymn composed a century ago by two African-American brothers, James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson. Written in the days of the Jim Crow South, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” inspired African Americans to persist in their struggle for equal rights.

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In the Brilliancy of the Footlights: Creating America’s Theatre

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June '02 - October '02

Alderman Library

This exhibition celebrates the American stage—our playwrights, their plays, and that creative talent which transforms words into living theatre. A testament to our cultural heritage, the items assembled here capture the excitement and dynamism of more than two centuries of American theatre history. They take us simultaneously behind the scenes and into the limelight.

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Breaking and Making Tradition: Women at the University of Virginia

Women at the University of Virginia

May '03 - November '03

Alderman Library

In 1970, 450 undergraduate women arrived on Grounds as part of the University of Virginia’s first fully coeducational class. Although the U.Va. that they encountered was still very much a man’s university, they were by no means the first women to make their mark here. This exhibition highlights the experiences of some of the first women to live, study, and work at the University, who paved the way for full coeducation.

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Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz: Photographs by William P. Gottlieb

Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz

November '03 - March '03

Alderman Library

“Portraits from the Golden Age of Jazz” features a collection of black and white photographs of jazz musicians by William P. Gottlieb. During the 1930s and 1940s, Gottlieb photographed the contemporary jazz scene for The Washington Post and Down Beat magazine. His incisive portraits evoke the essence of the era and capture unforgettable images of jazz greats such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Charlie Parker, and many others.

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Flowerdew Hundred: Unearthing Virginia’s History

Flowerdew Hundred: Unearthing Virginia's History

October '04

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

Featuring archaeological artifacts from the University of Virginia’s Flowerdew Hundred Collection, this permanent exhibit presents material evidence of Virginia’s early inhabitants: Native American pottery sherds; arms and armor used to defend the new colony; refined, imported wares from Europe; and American-made goods, including items manufactured by African Americans. The materials from U.Va.’s Special Collections also on display—images from sixteenth- and seventeenth-century maps and books—illustrate the importance of the historical record in the study of material culture.

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Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America’s Document

Declaring Independence: Creating and Re-creating America's Document

October '04

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This permanent exhibit offers highlights of the Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence Collection, the most comprehensive collection of letters, documents, and early printings of the Declaration of Independence. The exhibition sheds light on not only the writing and signing of the Declaration, but also on its first printing, distribution across the colonies, and future impact on American history. The collection is on permanent display in the Declaration of Independence Gallery. An accompanying documentary film is available for viewing in the gallery.

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On the Map: The Seymour I. Schwartz Collection of North American Maps, 1500–1800

On the Map: The Seymour I. Schwartz Collection of North American Maps, 1500–1800

January '08 - January '09

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

Maps of North America printed during the three centuries after European contact illustrate not only the great strides in scientific, technological, and geographical knowledge during this period, but also express the aesthetic tastes, political agendas, and economic ambitions of those who made and used maps as they shaped the modern world. These rare and treasured documents offer insights into past human experience and attract people with diverse historical interests, who continue to find new ways to read old maps. In celebration of Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz’s pledged bequest of his collection of American maps, this exhibit features highlights from the more than 200 rare, historic items in the collection.

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From Out That Shadow: the Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe

From Out That Shadow--Edgar Allan Poe exhibition

March '09 - August '09

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

Celebrating the bicentennial of Edgar Allan Poe, “From Out That Shadow” was created out of a partnership between the Mary and David Harrison Institute of American History, Literature, and Culture and the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia, and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Poet, literary critic, visionary, inventor of the detective story, and master of the macabre, Poe is recognized as one of the most influential and widely read American authors of the nineteenth century, and his work continues to fascinate schoolchildren and scholars alike.

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From Village to Grounds: Architecture after Jefferson at the University of Virginia

From Village to Grounds: Architecture after Jefferson at the University of Virginia

September '09 - July '10

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

The University of Virginia has presented the same challenge to many eminent architects: how does one build on a masterpiece? As the University has grown, Jefferson’s architectural ideals have been tried and tested, adapted and interpreted. This exhibition explores the wide range of solutions to the architectural and planning problems posed by adding to a growing university. From the picturesque of the 19th century, to the classicism of McKim, Mead & White, to the modernism of the 20th and 21st centuries, architecture at the University of Virginia reflects national trends and responds to Jefferson’s unique vision.

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Danièle Wilmouth: June 15 – Aug. 3

Danièle Wilmouth: June 15 – Aug. 3 2010 in the Niche

June '10 - August '10

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Pulling from traditions of vaudeville, movement and performance art, artists Trevor Martin and Kym Olsen slip from monologue to dance, female to male, in a collection of related vignettes. A Heretic’s Primer on Love & Exertion reveals the duality of identity and a collapse of meaning—probing the construction of gender, the manipulation of desire, and the colonization of the human body within a web of social dysfunction.

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Kelly Sears: Sept. 1 – 29

Kelly Sears: Sept. 1 – 29 2010 in the Niche

September '10 - September '10

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Kelly Sears makes collaged animations that draw on ephemeral American imagery from the past hundred years. Through visual juxtaposition and enigmatic narrative, her animations reflect critically on our understanding of our own history and ideology.

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Rob Carter: Sept. 29 – Oct. 31

Rob Carter: Sept. 29 – Oct. 31 2010 in the Niche

September '10 - October '10

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Using stop-motion animation, time-lapse video and large format photographs, Rob Carter’s animations explore human attempts to understand and control the natural world over time, especially through architecture and urban development.

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An Army of 100,000,000: Celebrating 100 Years of Government Documents at U.Va.

'An Army of 100,000': Celebrating 100 Years of Government Documents at U.Va.

October '10 - January '11

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

The U.S. federal government depository library program distributes government publications to libraries which make the information available to the public. Alderman Library was designated a federal depository library in 1910—shortly before World War I began. Through flyers, posters, and other publications the federal government promoted support for our Allies and a spirit of sacrifice on the part of every American—encouraging the “Army of 100,000,000” that would eventually win the war. The mission of the federal depository library program is to preserve all of these publications. Many of the materials in this exhibit were drawn directly from the Alderman federal depository collection.

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Jerstin Crosby: Nov. 1 – Nov. 29

Jerstin Crosby: Nov. 1 - Nov. 29 2010 in the Niche

November '10 - November '10

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Jerstin Crosby is a multimedia artist whose work engages with the tropes of pop culture, environmental activism, and psychedelics. Jerstin is also one of the founders and the current producer/curator of Acid Rain, a televised video artist series that airs on public access is North Carolina and New York City.

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Kara Crombie: Dec. 1 – Jan. 3

Kara Crombie: Dec. 1 - Jan. 3 2011 in the Niche

December '10 - January '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Kara Crombie is a video artist and photographer who uses animation to explore American culture through both a contemporary and historical lens. Her recent series, Aloof Hills, takes the form of a Civil War soap opera to address culturally specific taboos including interracial relationships and drug use.

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Torsten Zenas Burns and Darrin Martin: Jan. 4 – Feb. 1

Torsten Zenas Burns and Darrin Martin: Jan. 4 - Feb. 1 2011 in the Niche

January '11 - February '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Darrin Martin and Torsten Zenas Burns are long time collaborators whose work uses role-playing and animation to explore relationships between gender, representation, and the technological body. Animatronlove uses CGI technology designed for choreographers to stage a virtual dance between super heros and stars of the contemporary art world.

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Maria Pithara: Feb. 2 – March 1

Maria Pithara: Feb. 2 - March 1 2011 in the Niche

February '11 - March '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Maria Pithara uses video to choreograph everyday objects and gestures into surreal, psychologically charged vignettes. She received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009.

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Vashti Harrison: March 1 – 31

Vashti Harrison: March 1 - 31 2011 in the Niche

March '11 - March '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Vashti Harrison’s current work investigates her Caribbean heritage through the juxtaposition of folklore and contemporary imagery. Pleasure Girl gives a glimpse of the famed Nylon Pool off the coast of Tobago, rumored to be a fountain of youth.

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Sasha Huber: April 1 – May 2

Sasha Huber: April 1 - May 2 2011 in the Niche

April '11 - May '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Sasha Huber’s multi-media work focuses on issues of identity in relation to the Caribbean Diaspora. Rentyhorn is the video component of an intervention that aims to re-claim the Swiss peak Agassizhorn for Renty, an African-American slave. Renty was part of the research by Swiss naturalist Louis Agassiz after whom the peak is officially named.

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Monica Duncan and Lara Odell: May 3 – June 3

Monica Duncan and Lara Odell: May 3 - June 3 2011 in the Niche

May '11 - June '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Monica Duncan and Lara Odell have been working collaboratively for nearly ten years. Four-color Fire Pattern is part of a series of performative videos that investigate camouflage by playing with the relationship of female bodies to their environment.

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Bill T. Jones: June 3 – July 1

Bill T. Jones: June 3 - July 1 2011 in the Niche

June '11 - July '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

During a residency at U.Va. in April 2011, celebrated artist Bill T. Jones and his company conducted research for a new work tentatively titled Story/Time, in which Jones’s inventive choreography will accompany a selection of short stories drawn from his life. The work is inspired by artist John Cage’s Indeterminacy.

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Chris Kennedy: July 1 – Aug. 22

Chris Kennedy: July 1 - August 22nd 2011 in the Niche

July '11 - August '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Chris Kennedy’s experimental film work engages with the transparency and materiality of film. Simultaneous Contrast uses the diagonal designs on city bus shelters in San Francisco, where he lived while working toward his MFA, as a formal device for exploring the interplay of background and foreground.

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Andrew Deutsch: Aug. 23 – Sept. 26

Andrew Deutsch: Aug. 23 - Sept. 26 2011 in the Niche

August '11 - September '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Andrew Deutsch is an artist who works primarily with sound, sometimes in concert with video. He is the founder of the Sonic Arts program at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, NY, where he is a faculty member. Chelation refers to a medical therapy by which excessive metals, including iron, can be removed from the bloodstream.

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Jeff Whetstone: Sept. 26 – Oct. 24

Jeff Whetstone: September 26 - October 24 2011 in the Niche

September '11 - October '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Jeff Whetstone’s work deals with the relationship between humans, particularly men, and nature. On The Use of a Syrinx, which frames an early morning turkey hunt as a narrative about seduction and domination, is influenced by his backgrounds in both zoology and documentary photography.

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Oscar Santillan: Oct. 24 – Nov. 28

Oscar Santillan: Oct 24 - Nov. 28 2012 in the Niche

October '11 - November '11

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Oscar Santillan’s work is rooted in sensual post-politics that aspire more to mood than to message. Born and educated in Equador, Santillan received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011.

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Takahiro Suzuki: Nov. 28 – Jan. 2

Takahiro Suzuki: Nov. 28 - Jan. 2 2011/12 in the Niche

November '11 - January '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Takahiro Suzuki is the current Aunspaugh Fifth Year Fellow in the Studio Art department at the University of Virginia. The film Reservoir is inspired by the short story of the same title by Christa Romanosky. Shot from the first person perspective of the story’s protagonist, the film offers glimpses into the tranquility of the late night landscape and the character’s feelings of darkness, confusion, and uncertainty.

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Jesse McLean: Jan. 9 – Feb. 1

Jesse McLean: Jan. 9 - Feb. 1 2012 in the Niche

January '12 - February '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Jesse McLean is a visual artist and media maker who lives and works in Chicago. Her work investigates the mediation of screens – computer screens, television screens, film screens—and the space between participation and observation.

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Heather Warren-Crow: Feb. 1 – Feb. 27

Heather Warren-Crow: Feb. 1 - Feb. 27 2012 in the Niche

February '12 - February '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Heather Warren-Crow is a performance artist and professor based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her solo work both critiques and embraces representations of identity in the mass media. Bedtime for Suffragettes is a recording of a live webcam transmission that uses stylized speech and gesture to investigate the ambiguity of political action and inaction.

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Bestsellers: Popular Fiction in America

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February '12 - August '12

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

Featuring rare and beautiful first editions from the University Library’s Lillian Gary Taylor Collection of Popular American Fiction, “Bestsellers” explores American reading habits from the earliest works of popular fiction in the late 18th century to today’s blockbusters. Mrs. Taylor compiled a significant collection of bestselling novels and lovingly recorded details of each book in her collecting journals. Mrs. Taylor’s notebooks, authors’ manuscript materials, early bestseller lists, scripts and photos from film adaptations, and modern bestsellers complement the items from the Taylor Collection.

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Erika Heffernan: Feb. 27 – March 28

Erika Heffernan: Feb. 27 - March 28 2012 in the Niche

February '12 - March '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Erika Heffernan is a Rochester, NY, based artist who works with photography and video. Her recent projects deal with perception and comprehension of information in ways that invite viewers to reflect on their experience of her work. In 2 Minutes, we see a kitchen timer ticking down and, as viewers, we are both aware of what we are watching and the time that slips away as we watch it.

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Sound in Early America

Sound in Early America exhibition

March '12 - August '12

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Using manuscripts, rare books, and artifacts, this exhibit traces the rhythms and pitches that reverberate through the collections at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library. ”Sound in Early America” is a collaboration between The Jefferson Trust, the McIntire Department of Music, U.Va. Music Library, and the Small Special Collections Library in conjunction with the Soundscapes of Jefferson’s America Symposium.

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Toban Nichols: March 29 – April 25

Toban Nichols: March 29 - April 25 2012 in the Niche

March '12 - April '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Toban Nichols is an artist living and working in Los Angeles. In Semaphore, which is based on a photographic series, he investigates the collision between the digital landscape and landscape photography.

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Ron Lambert: April 25 – May 23

Ron Lambert: April 25 - May 23 2012 in the Niche

April '12 - May '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Ron Lambert lives and works in Nashville, TN, where he is an Assistant Professor at the Watkins College of Art and Design. Working mainly in video and sculpture, he investigates the intersection between psychology and the environment.

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Bill Thelen: May 23 – June 26

Bill Thelen: May 23 - June 26 2012 in the Niche

May '12 - June '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Bill Thelen is an artist, curator, and teacher who lives and works in Raleigh, NC. He is the director and founder of Lump Projects, a long-standing alternative space in Raleigh, and the constant in Team Lump, a collaborative group of artists who exhibit around the United States regularly. His own artwork deals with abjection and life as a gay man.

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Steve Snell: June 26 – July 26

Steve Snell: June 26 - July 26 2012 in the Niche

June '12 - July '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Steve Snell lives and works in Spartanburg, SC. His work, which includes video, painting, and other media, has its origins in the pursuit of adventure, both as physical experience and as cultural trope. Last Jump cleverly updates The Swimming Pool, a well known work by seminal video artist Bill Viola, by recreating it in a less idyllic setting.

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Charlottesville: 250 Years of History (1762–2012)

Charlottesville: 250 Years of History (1762–2012)

August '12 - January '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This exhibition explores the City of Charlottesville’s 250 years of history, from the periods through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, annexation and the industrial revolution, and racial segregation and urban development. The exhibition is a collaboration between the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and the University of Virginia Community Relations Office.

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Noah Coleman: Aug. 2 – Sept. 3

Noah Coleman: August 2 - September 3 2012 in the Niche

August '12 - September '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Noah Coleman lives and works in Salt Lake City, Utah. His work evolves from an interest in all forms of repetition, from chanting mantras to oscillating magnetic waves.

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Benjamin Bellas: Sept. 4 – Oct. 4

Benjamin Bellas: Sept. 4 - Oct. 4 2012 in the Niche

September '12 - October '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Benjamin Bellas is a multimedia artist whose work balances on the high wire between emotion and intellect, casting ordinary objects as grand and sometimes iconic signifiers.

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Layers of the Past: Discoveries at Flowerdew Hundred

Layers of the Past: Discoveries at Flowerdew Hundred

October '12 - September '13

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

The recorded history of Flowerdew Hundred begins in 1618, when the Virginia Company of London granted George Yeardley a thousand acres on the James River, but as early as ten thousand years ago, successive groups of Virginia Indians began to occupy the site. English colonists, enslaved African Americans, Union soldiers, and countless others later followed—each group leaving behind evidence of their daily lives. Over the past several decades, a clearer picture of Virginia’s early inhabitants and their ways of life has emerged through archaeological excavations at this property. This exhibition features fascinating artifacts and new ways of thinking about one of Virginia’s most interesting archaeological sites.

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Elizabeth Webb: Oct 10 – Nov 5

Elizabeth Webb: Oct 10 - Nov 5 2012 in the Niche

October '12 - November '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Elizabeth Webb is a 2012-13 Aunspaugh Fellow in the Art Department at U.Va. Her performative videos and films are invocations of race and gender that locate the female figure in the natural world.

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Filip Gabriel Pudlo: Nov. 8 – Dec. 7

Filip Gabriel Pudlo: Nov 8 - Dec. 7 2012 in the Niche

November '12 - December '12

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Filip Gabriel Pudlo is an artist based in Warsaw, Poland, who works with video and photography.  The Collection uses video to play with classic portraiture conventions, creating a series of brief glimpses into Eastern European life that together form a new kind of family album.

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Joan Perlman: Dec. 7 – Jan. 11

Joan Perlman: Dec. 7 - Jan. 11 2012/13 in the Niche

December '12 - January '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Joan Perlman is a Los Angeles-based painter who sometimes works with video. The videos she makes closely mirror her abstract paintings which are culled from the surfaces and depths of glacial ice and rivers.

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experimental beds

experimental beds

January '13 - July '13

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

“experimental beds” is a set of six color etchings by Judy Watson, an Indigenous Australian artist who visited the University of Virginia in October 2011 as an artist-in-residence at the Kluge-Ruhe Collection. Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s architectural drawings of U.Va., Watson developed her ideas in collaboration with Professor Dean Dass and advanced printmaking students. The resulting prints use Jefferson’s drawings layered with images from Watson’s visit to Monticello and her experience at U.Va.

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Embracing Equality: Before and Beyond Brown v. Board of Education, 1950-1969: An American Civil Rights Exhibition.

Embracing Equality Civil Rights Exhibit

January '13 - April '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Racism and discrimination, traditionally oppressive institutions in American history and culture, were challenged by the Civil Rights Movement (1945-1970). The “Jim Crow” system remained in place for nearly seventy years, until the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision re-energized equal rights activism. This exhibition highlights local, state and national Civil Rights events through selected legislation, letters, reports, speeches, and photographs from the University of Virginia Library, and the papers of individuals and organizations at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.

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Drawn from Life: Collecting Cartoons and Caricatures

Drawn from Life: Collecting Cartoons and Caricatures

January '13 - September '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

“Drawn from Life: Collecting Cartoons and Caricatures” is an exhibition featuring original and printed artworks from the Golden Age of Illustration. Selections from the private collection of John Francis are on view alongside highlights from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, including published works by the artists featured in Francis’s collection, works by other artists in a similar vein, and selected examples of American commercial art of the same period.

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Stephanie Hough: Jan. 11 – March 6

Stephanie Hough: Jan. 11 - Mar 6 2013 in the Niche

January '13 - March '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Stephanie Hough is an artist and new media practitioner based out of Cork City, Ireland.  Her video, Spam (The Proposition), uses material from spam e-mails to construct a script for an original sci-fi character addressing its present self from the future.

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Miniature Books and Money

Miniature Books and Money

March '13 - April '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

“Miniature Books and Money” was launched as a partner project to an exhibition at the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, “Monumental Ideas in Miniature Books 2.” Drawing almost entirely from the McGehee Miniature Book Collection, the exhibition featured almost 100 miniature books, showcasing some of the ways that one topic–money–can be approached through this 12,000 item collection.

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Peter Nelson: March 7 – April 8

Peter Nelson: March 7 - April 8 2013 in the Niche

March '13 - April '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Peter Nelson is a visual artist who works between photo, video, and audio.  His work incorporates elements of documentary and performance to investigate the contemporary experience of being human.

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Thomas Jefferson Revealed

Thomas Jefferson Revealed

April '13 - June '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

“Thomas Jefferson Revealed” is an mini-exhibition of spectacular treasures pertaining to Jefferson, all drawn from the collections of the University of Virginia Library. Items include a ticket from the “Jefferson Lottery,” a letter from Jefferson to Maria Cosgrove, one of Jefferson’s engraved calling cards, and even a lock of his hair.

The Tools of Preservation Services

Tools of Preservation

April '13

Alderman Library

The variety of tools, materials, equipment, and supplies (not to mention the knowledge, skills, training, and techniques) required for the preservation of U.Va. Library objects is impressive. This exhibit showcases a few of the tools found in Preservation Services in Alderman, the Audio and Film Labs in Clemons, and the Dell Conservation Lab.

The physical exhibit is on view in the Stettinius Gallery of the second floor hallway in Alderman Library.

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Jerstin Crosby: April 12 – May 10

Jerstin Crosby: April 12 - May 10 2013 the Niche

April '13 - May '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Jerstin Crosby is a visual artist who works with animation and video, among other things.  Firestarter (E.L.F.) is a kind of play on words inspired by the Earth Liberation Front arsons begun in the late 90s as a means of environmental protest.

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Ed Osborn: May 10 – June 17

Ed Osborne in the Niche

May '13 - June '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Ed Osborn’s primary medium is sound, including forays into kinetic sculpture, installation, and video in which audio plays an important role.  He has shown and performed nationally in the US and internationally in numerous countries.

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Dystopian Fiction: Trapped in a Nightmare Future

Dystopianfiction_TN

June '13 - September '13

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This exhibition showcases some of the landmarks of dystopian fiction. The popularity of this genre suggests that readers have a fascination with societies in which poverty, suffering, and oppression isolate the individual, and populations are ruled by nightmarish totalitarian regimes. The exhibition is inspired by the critically-acclaimed young adult novel Quarantine, written by Tom Voorhies and Lex Hrabe. Hrabe is a U.Va. graduate and one-time student employee of the Small Special Collections Library.

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Adriane Little: Aug. 26 – Sept. 9

Adriane Little in the Niche, August to September 2013

August '13 - September '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Adriane Little’s work investigates trauma and ritual through an interrogation of presence and absence, in particular of the maternal body.

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Magazines Unbound: Periodicals as Art, 1942–1983

Magazines unbound exhibition thumbnail image

September '13 - January '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Throughout the twentieth century, artists, writers, and small publishers have reinterpreted the genre of the magazine time and again.  Issued serially and sent through the mail to subscribers like most popular magazines, the projects on display variously reimagine the magazine as both a medium for the work of a particular creative community and as a creative genre in and of itself.

The exhibition includes original issues of six American magazines held in the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library: VVV, Folder, Semina, Aspen, S.M.S., and Raw. These varied periodicals document particular moments in the history of Surrealism, the Beat movement, Pop Art, and the graphic novel. On view are works by dozens of artists and writers including Marcel Duchamp, Frank O’Hara, Wallace Berman, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, and Art Spiegelman.

Dietmar Krumrey: Sept. 9 – 30

Dietmer Krumey at the Niche

September '13 - September '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Before he was an artist, Dietmar Krumrey was a student of neuroscience. His work considers memory from that standpoint—as a tally of tiny neural shocks that make up who we are or at least who we think we are.

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Ann Messner: Sept. 30 – Oct. 16

Anne Messner at the Niche

September '13 - October '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Ann Messner has had a long and distinguished career as an artist and educator who works between mediums, including sculpture, performance, and collective action. Her work investigates the inherent contradictions between notions of private life/space and public/civic experience.

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Charles Beneke: Oct. 16 – Oct. 30

Charles Beneke at the Niche

October '13 - October '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Charles Beneke lives and works in Ohio where he teaches printmaking at the University of Akron. He works across media, asking viewers to consider their roles in climate change and their impact on their own environment.

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Collecting American Histories: The Tracy W. McGregor Library at 75

Collecting American Histories: The Tracy W. McGregor Library at 75 in the Harrison Institute

October '13 - July '14

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

“Collecting American Histories: The Tracy W. McGregor Library at 75″ features rare and significant broadsides, books, prints, and letters that illuminate many aspects of the American experience spanning from the early settlement of Virginia; to the clash of European powers over the North American continent; and to the servants and slaves on whose backs the American economy depended.

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Deborah Davidovits: Oct. 30 – Nov. 13

Deborah Davidovits at the Niche

October '13 - November '13

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Deborah Davidovits is an artist and beekeeper living in Beacon, New York.

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Harry Fenn and the Picturesque

Harry Fenn and the Picturesque exhibition

November '13 - January '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Special Collections researcher Sue Rainey used numerous materials from our collections when working on her recent book, Creating a World on Paper: Harry Fenn’s Career in Art. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Harry Fenn (1837-1911) played a key role in popularizing periodical and book illustration. The exhibition investigates his contributions to three highly successful serial publications of New York’s D. Appleton and Company: Picturesque America (1872-74), Picturesque Europe (1875-79), and Picturesque Palestine, Sinai and Egypt (1881-83).

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Naho Taruishi: Nov. 15 – Dec. 4

Naho Taurishi at the Niche

November '13 - December '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Naho Taruishi was born in Tokyo but currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Her understated drawings and minimalist videos have been shown in numerous international festivals and galleries. This video is part of a series using geographic coordinates to suggest imaginary lines drawn on the earth.

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Arzu Ozkal: Dec. 5 – Jan. 2

Arzu Ozkal at the Niche

December '13 - January '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Arzu Ozkal is a Turkish-born media artist and designer who lives and work in San Diego. Her work deals with the liberation of the body from social norms.

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Eagle and the Lion: The War of 1812 (1812-1815)

War of 1812 mini-exhibit

January '14 - February '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This mini-exhibition in the First Floor Gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library celebrates the bicentenary of the war, with original manuscripts, printed books, and artifacts related to the war and to its most famous musical offspring, “The Star Spangled Banner.”

Emily Franklin: Jan. 14 – Feb. 3

Emily Franklin in the Niche

January '14 - February '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Emily Franklin works with photographic media to examine the tension between conscience and corporeality.

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We Are U.Va.

We Are U.Va. exhibit

January '14 - February '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Our annual mini- exhibition in honor of Martin Luther King Day. This year we share artifacts revealing the diversity of the University of Virginia student body.

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Troubadour, Vagabond, Visionary: The Journeys of Vachel Lindsay

vachel lindsay exhibition

February '14 - August '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This exhibition in the First Floor Gallery celebrates the now-forgotten poet Vachel Lindsay, the influential American poet and artist of the early twentieth century. Known for his tramping excursions of hundreds of miles across many states, when he traded poetry pamphlets and performances for food and lodging, Lindsay created an unusual visionary poetics of mystical beauty. Drawing on Christian theology, mythology, and visual symbol systems, he mapped an American spiritual landscape in poems, books, artworks, and performances. Drawn from his massive archive here at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, this exhibition barely scratches the surface of his fascinating life and work.

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Margaret Coleman: Feb. 3 – 17

Margaret Coleman in the Niche

February '14 - February '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Margaret Coleman is a multimedia artist who lives in Brooklyn. She received her MFA from Pratt Institute.

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Drew Cameron: Feb. 17 – March 24

Drew Cameron at the Niche

February '14 - March '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Drew Cameron is a hand papermaker, printer and book artist based in San Francisco. A veteran of the army, he is a co-founder of the Combat Paper Project which gives other veterans a chance to transform their uniforms into handmade paper.

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Gerald Habarth: March 24 – May 1

Gerald Habarth at the Niche

March '14 - May '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Gerald Habarth is an artist and faculty member in the art department at the University of West Virginia in Morgantown. The images in Voyager II were recorded in Chile’s Atacama Desert; the sounds are sampled from an original recording made by the Voyager II spacecraft as it entered Jupiter’s magnetosphere on July 2, 1979.

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Stop & Go: May – Sept

Stop & Go in the Niche

May '14 - September '14

The Niche in the Fine Arts Library

Stop & Go is an on-going animation project curated by artist Sarah Klein in cooperation with associate producer David Kwan.  Over the summer, The Niche is featuring four courses of food-, craft-, and horticulture-based animations organized out of the most recent program, Stop & Go: Made From Scratch.

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Charles Smith/Abstraction

still from Charles Smith block painting film

September '14 - December '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

This exhibition features the work of the mid-century printmaker, painter, and commercial artist Charles Smith (1893–1987). Smith’s  innovative printing techniques were an essential part of his teaching at the University of Virginia, where he was the first chairman of the Department of Art. The exhibition celebrates the Library’s recent grant award to digitize and preserve a film about Smith’s “block painting” technique; the film will be shown on a continuous loop in the exhibition gallery, accompanied by examples of Smith’s work from our collections.

“Who shall tell the story?”: Voices of Civil War Virginia

“Who shall tell the story?”: Voices of Civil War Virginia

October '14 - August '15

Mary and David Harrison Institute for American History, Literature, and Culture

The Civil War’s impact on the culture, politics, and geography of Virginia cannot be overemphasized: battles ravaged the landscape, blockades and other political maneuvers transformed the economy, and profound regional tensions resulted in the creation of West Virginia. This exhibition seeks to reveal how Virginia was changed by the war, focusing on the voices of those who experienced it. Letters, diaries, scrapbooks, maps, newspapers, songsheets, broadside advertisements, photographs, and physical artifacts drawn from across Special Collections’s rich holdings in the period reveal the lived experience of war.

The exhibition’s title is drawn from a manuscript of Walt Whitman who, soon after witnessing a battle in Virginia, wrote,

Who shall tell the story?…We talk I say of stories of this war—have histories of this war already; and shall have books of full detail, hundreds of them. In printed books, full histories of this war will come. O heavens! What book can give the history of this war?

The war stories in this exhibition include those of Confederate and Union soldiers, working women and war widows, black troops and southern Union sympathizers, enslaved people and prisoners of war, schoolchildren and University of Virginia students, poets and musicians, wounded soldiers and nurses. Diverse and contradictory, this plurality of stories confirms the continuing relevance of Whitman’s question.

The Book in Tibet: An Exhibition of Books from the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library and Alderman Library

Tibetan Book exhibition in the Small Special Collections Library

November '14 - December '14

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

“The Book in Tibet” is a mini-exhibition curated by Ben Nourse with the assistance of Christie Kilby and Natasha Mikles, all current or former Ph.D. students in Tibetan studies at the University of Virginia. The exhibition is an adjunct to the Symposium on the Tibetan Book being held at U.Va. Nov. 6-8, 2014.

Envisioning William Blake

Envisioning William Blake

January '15 - May '15

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library

Although celebrated today as one of England’s foremost artists and poets, William Blake (1757–1827) worked and died in obscurity. Drawing from Special Collections’ Sandra Elizabeth Olivier and Raymond Danowski Reference Collection of William Blake, presented by the Danowskis to U.Va. in 2010, this exhibition traces Blake’s artistic achievement as well as the fascinating process by which later generations rediscovered Blake.