Archive for December, 2012

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New Artist’s Books from UI Center for the Book Faculty

OVideo of Romeo and Juliet movingur two newest book arts acquisitions both come from instructors from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Romeo and Juliet (Naughty Dog Press) is a new book from Emily Martin, who teaches bookbinding and book arts classes here at the Center for the Book. Romeo and Juliet includes one line of dialogue to represent the story being told in each of the five acts, emphasizing the timelessness of the play through repetition of the chorus, and insertion of modern equivalents for Verona.  This carousel book uses a format that Emily Martin devised to allow for scenes and separate text panels. The spine tabbing, also of her devising, functions both to hold the book together and to balance the thickness at the fore-edge. The text lines were letterpress printed onto Mohawk Superfine 100 lb Text paper. The images were made with an ink transfer monoprinting technique. The covers are printed on a handmade flax, abaca and linen paper from papermaker Mary Hark. Edition of 9 with one artist’s proof.  (Adapted from the artist’s colophon).

Small parchment book with leater girdle book bindingNest of Patience is a new acquisition from Kristin Alana Baum (Blue Oak Bindery) and Cheryl Jacobsen, calligraphy instructor at the Center for the Book. A collaboration based on a medieval girdle book, Nest of Patience is a contemporary Book of Hours contemplating the concept of patience by way of words, poetry, fortunes, and nature. The book begins with a spiritual calendar of days and proceeds with eight sections, each headed with a totem animal. Full vellum text block includes hand-stitched indigo-dyed slunk panels, hand-lettered texts, illuminations, and sewn-in found objects relating to patience. Wooden board binding, sewn on hemp cords and laced into beech boards.

Nest of Patience is currently on the New Acquisitions shelf in the Reading Room and Romeo and Juliet will be joining the shelf just after Christmas.  Stop by to enjoy these two new works from U of I faculty!

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An Artistic Test from Norman Meier

By Denise Anderson

During this week of final exams, perhaps a more enjoyable test to engage in might be one that measures your artistic ability?  Professor Norman C. Meier, of the UI Department of Psychology, developed the Meier Art Tests, which evolved from his Ph.D. dissertation at Iowa in 1926, “The Use of Aesthetic Judgment in the Measurement of Art Talent.”

Meier became well known for the tests he designed for assessing artistic aptitude. These were devised, in part, through his study of 100 artists from eight countries. His areas of research were psychology of art, and social and political behavior. Meier’s research in the latter field resulted in methods of measuring audience response to theatre and broadcast programs. He also studied mob behavior and crowd control.  George Gallup was a student of Dr. Meier, who later developed a successful public polling organization, and his papers also recently came to the University of Iowa.

 An example question “Meier Art Tests: I. Art Judgment ” (1940) is presented below.  Which seems like the better image to you?

 

 

The University of Iowa was a primary contributor to the development of aptitude testing in the early 20th century. The Iowa Testing Programs led to Meier and Gallup’s work as well as the widely used American College Testing Program (ACT). You can read more about this time in The Iowa Testing Programs: The First Fifty Years, by Julia J. Peterson, which describes the birth of a testing program within the University of Iowa College of Education in 1928. Norman Meier’s Papers are part of Special Collections & University Archives (RG 99.0163) and you can view the Collection Guide here: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/archives/guides/RG99.0163.html.  George Gallup’s Papers are currently being processed so watch for updates soon.

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New Acquisition to the University Archives – George Ludwig Papers

Portrait of George LudwigWe depend on weather satellite images daily for our forecasts and travel plans. Without the groundwork laid by the National Earth Satellite Service beginning in 1972, though, these images would not be possible today. A distinguished UI alumnus, George H. Ludwig (BA ’56, MS -59, Ph.D. ’60) was a founding director of NESS and led its operations throughout the 1970s. It is part of Mr. Ludwig’s long and significant career in physics and environmental research, now documented in his papers recently donated to the University Archives.

Mr. Ludwig, a native of rural Johnson County, Iowa, was a graduate student under James Van Allen during the pioneering Explorer space exploration missions in the late 1950s. He was the principal developer of the cosmic ray and radiation belt instruments for the successfully launched Explorers I, III, IV, and VII. He was also a research engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for a five month period following the 1957 launch of Sputnik I by the Soviet Union.

His papers chronicle his research in physics as a doctoral candidate at UI as well as the many projects he supervised or consulted while with NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other organizations throughout his 40-plus year career. The guide to his papers is at http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/archives/guides/RG99.0004.html; the guide does not yet account for the most recent materials received by the Archives.

George Ludwig’s contributions to space exploration and environmental research are invaluable, and the University Archives is honored to document his achievements.

 

You can see a remarkable image of George Ludwig with his Cosmic Ray detector on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab web site:  http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/details.php?id=5873#3

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Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Display in Special Collections

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was an instant publishing success, and it remains a beloved piece of literature today, celebrated during the Christmas season around the world.  The first edition, printed in 1843, includes four hand-colored steel engravings by John Leech.  Our copy of this work comes from the collection of James Wallace, a collector of children’s books with a fine eye for condition and rarity.  Several of the high points in children’s literature from our collections were obtained by Wallace. 

Thoughout the month of December we will be consecutively displaying each of the four hand-colored illustrations.  Stop by Special Collections on the third floor of the Main Library where it will be on display in the case just inside the doors.