The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection is comprised of over 1,000 photographs and photographic portfolios featuring some of the most important images from the mid- to late 20th-century to present date. The photography collection grew dramatically in the last several years thanks to the efforts of Michael E. Hoffman, SLU ’64, former executive director of the Aperture Foundation, who, since his years at St. Lawrence, was a steadfast supporter of the Collection. In 2000, the Gallery published Photographs at St. Lawrence University: A Critical Survey and Catalogue (Stinehour Press). All of the Gallery’s 211 photographic reproductions in the book are included in this online image collection. Featured are works by Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Harold Edgerton, Nathan Farb, Carole Gallagher, Bill Gaskins, Nan Goldin, Mark Klett ’74, W. Eugene Smith, Paul Strand, Garry Winogrand, David Wojnarowicz, and Alison Wright, among many others. More recent acquisitions will be forthcoming, including photographs by Jeff Brouws, Amanda Means, Abelardo Morell, and Viggo Mortensen ’80.
In 1987, as part of the University’s then annual Steinman Festival of the Arts, Vietnam War veteran Dick Amerault and photographer Boyd Nicholl organized what they called a “balanced view of the war era” in an exhibition of photographs by American G.I.s and nurses at home and abroad. 1992, Amerault donated 63 photographs from the exhibition to St. Lawrence University in honor of art historian and fine arts faculty member Elizabeth Kahn. The images, by amateur and professional photographers, depict battlefields, war zones, soldiers and prisoners, and villages and city life in Vietnam, as well as protests, sit-ins, and peace marches in the United States, and they offer a great deal of potential for use in research and course-related studies.
A gift of 70 West African textiles from the collection of Chris and Nora Roy includes a variety of woven and sewn cloths, blankets, robes, shirts, and wrappers. Collected between 1970 – 2007, the textiles originate from Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Cape Verde, and other countries in the region. Stanzi McGlynn ’10 was awarded a special research fellowship, titled “From Weave to Web: Creating an Online Digital Collection of West African Textiles,” which helped support this project. In addition, approximately 3,500 photographs by Chris Roy can be found on ARTstor.
The Richard F. Brush Art Gallery is working with Professor Obiora Udechukwu to create a unique digital image collection of work by Nsukka and contemporary Nigerian artists. Initiated by St. Lawrence University with funding from the Mellon Foundation in 2009-2010, the digital collection is available online though the Gallery’s Web site. In addition to digitizing this body of work, our goal is to work with faculty to foster curriculum development and integrate the collection into department and program course offerings.
Professor Udechukwu suggested Akala as the title for the project. He writes, “Akala is the Igbo word for ‘line’ and can also stand for ‘mark.’ A primary element of design, line occupies an important place in both the Uli drawing and painting and the Nsibidi writing traditions of southeastern Nigeria. Further, by changing the tone, the prefix ‘aka’ becomes ‘hand,’ while ‘ala’ changes to the name of the earth goddess, who oversees ethics and aesthetics. Aka-ala can then be glossed as the hand of the earth deity.”
ARTstor, initiated in 2001 by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is a digital library of nearly one million images in the areas of art, architecture, the humanities, and social sciences with a set of tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. The ARTstor Digital Library is used by educators, scholars, and students at a variety of institutions including universities, colleges, museums, public libraries, and K-12 schools. The Digital Library serves users both within the arts and in disciplines outside of the arts. This includes historians of art and architecture and others engaged in the visual arts, as well as individuals in fields as diverse as American Studies, Anthropology, Asian Studies, Classical Studies, Literary Studies, Medieval Studies, Music, Religious Studies, and Renaissance Studies, all of whom find the images in ARTstor to be relevant to their teaching and research.
To obtain access to ARTstor images and collections, users should contact SLU’s ARTstor representative, Michelle Gillie, at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to create a registered username and password.
***Users may upload personal image and sound files to ARTstor’s platform, and in the spring of 2009, ARTstor will implement a beta bulk download feature that will allow users to download groups of images directly into PowerPoint. This feature will enable users to bulk download up to 500 images per semester, facilitating the offline use of images for teaching and study.