Art Libraries Society

Central Plains





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ARLIS/CP is a chapter of:

Central Plains Irregular

Number 36, May 2003


You are cordially invited to attend the Spring 2003 ARLIS/CP Chapter Meeting to be held May 29-31 in Topeka, KS. We will be touring the recently renovated and expanded Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, designed by Michael Graves. Mr. Larry Peters, curator of art for the library will introduce us to the Sabatini Gallery and its collection.


Other highlights of the meeting include tours of the Tiffany windows at the First Presbyterian Church, the Kansas State Capitol and the Kansas Museum of History.As in the past, the group will sample two local restaurants, The Blind Tiger and Paisano's Italian Ristorante.

Meeting registration is a bargain at $5. If you need a program and/or registration form, send an email to

Poehler Goes To Baltimore

Thanks for the Travel Award. My first ARLIS annual conference was a delight from start to finish. I jumped in on Saturday morning with the workshop "Looking at Pictures: How to Identify Illustrations in Books." Although different from the program description, I enjoyed this overview of print production processes in monographs. I loved starting my day with an expert on valuable prints in old books, squeezing in sight- seeing and fine dining, winding down with an Elvis authority (how a trip to Graceland is like the Haj) and ending with a party. This is the scope of expertise and interest I now know to expect from ARLIS people.


Sunday was more business oriented. It was a good day, starting with Robert Martin's cheering news in the opening plenary that the Institute of Museum and Library Services actually has money to give to libraries (, followed up with a broad review and overview of the state of Web resources (if you missed it, go to -- it's all there), following that with a FREE LUNCH, courtesy of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. There I had very satisfying face-time with a group of exceedingly helpful AICAD colleagues I'd known previously only by e-mail.


At the convocation I enjoyed Joyce Scott's performance (definitely it was more than a speech). What a woman! She'd be fun to hang out with. (I followed Baltimore with a trip to see family in Cambridge and Boston, where I got to see Joyce Scott's work along with that of other fiber greats at the Boston MFA.) Too bad that her slides at the convocation didn't do justice to her work. The post-convocation reception at the Baltimore Museum of Art was lovely. The world needs more of such genteel hospitality; it was certainly refreshing.


Monday's membership luncheon was memorable for the slide-tour of Baltimore by architectural historian Charles Duff. Duff's history of the Baltimore row house, as well as his top-ten architectural picks, put our inner harbor neighborhood in perspective for me. The ARLIS leadership followed, amply demonstrating their organizational skills by running an effective meeting that included lively discussion of reorganization of the Society's structure.


Tuesday morning's leadership and chapter officer's breakfast was a great opportunity to hear the concerns of the organization in a nutshell. We learned that ARLIS/NA membership, currently at 860, is down by about 100. (531 attended the Baltimore conference.) The decline in membership is a topic for more discussion in local chapters. How can we attract student members? How about getting student members to chapter meetings? Can we promote diversity in the organization by offering a stipend for student attendance at conference? Also discussed: how can the conference be made more directly relevant to professional development? Would this involve continuing education credits or certification of some sort? This is being discussed in many different venues within ARLIS. Naturally there was talk of next year's conference in New York.


Shortly after the leadership breakfast I boarded a train for Boston. I had an excellent time in Baltimore. Thank you, Central Plains chapter, for the travel award of $200. I truly appreciate the support. If anyone has any conference-related questions, send them my way-I brought back lots of notes and handouts and might be able to help.


Marilyn Russell moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico and has assumed a new job. She began work as the Director of Library Programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts on March 3.

The most exciting and challenging task ahead is the building of a new seven million dollar library and technology center. The new facility is to have a total of 52,000 square feet consisting of a library, an archival center, a lecture wing, classrooms, and an administration wing. The
target date for completion is the summer of 2003. The opportunity and challenge of building the Library and Technology Center is to create a space that portrays an image and identity while providing for the functional needs and requirements of IAIA.

I will be attending a Tribal Librarians Conference in Bozeman, Montana in June. If any of you are passing through New Mexico, come by and see me at IAIA. Their new campus is located at 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe.


Patrice O' Donoghue reports that the Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System have joined forces to share resources. The Elizabeth Prewitt Taylor Memorial Library catalog went online in January through a partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System. The catalog is accessible through the Arts Center website: (Click on Education, then on the Elizabeth Prewitt Taylor Memorial Library, then on the online catalog). The catalog is also available through the Central Arkansas Library System's website:


Coinciding with going online, public hours have been doubled. The library is now open Tuesdays and Wednesday 10-2, and Thursdays 10-5. O'Donoghue's article describing the partnership between the Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System appeared in the April 2003 issue of Arkansas Libraries.


"It has been crazy around here as we get ready to reopen," writes Lois Crane of the Wichita Art Museum. "The Chihuly people were here this week to install the confetti chandelier and the Persian Ceiling (the first one that you can walk under and over). Yesterday, April 17, we had an event for major donors, trustees, and the media to witness the installation and get their first glimpse of the new Great Hall. The place was hopping with excitement and enthusiasm. We reopen on June 9th, after a huge Gala on the 7th. The library is getting its share of attention, and an expensive book that was given to the library will be featured in an exhibition along with works of art given in honor of the new building--it makes a statement that the library is an important component of the museum.

We might also exhibit The Dictionary of Art, which was purchased with gift funds in 2002. (We would probably show only one volume.) There's a story with that; when I called the person about donating funds for it, having located a source for $1000 for the $8800 work, he was so pleased about it at the bargain price that he later ordered a copy for himself. I have Suzy Frechette to thank for calling my attention to the special offer."


Dana Beth, Art & Architecture Librarian at Washington University in St Louis, will be starting July 1 as Director of VCU-Qatar Library in Doha, Qatar. The school, which graduated its first class in 2003, is a branch of Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts, and offers BFA programs in communication arts, interior design, fashion design and merchandising. The Qatar Foundation sponsors it.


Ellen Petraits, Reference Librarian at Washington University, has been promoted and will take over from Dana on May 3.


Gloria Short sang with Mid America Singers in a concert on April 6th, and will sing in her church Easter cantata on April 17th. Gloria writes, "this weekend I'm looking forward to an outdoor concert in the woods called Roots Deep. My kids are going to camp out for the 3-day event, but I will be driving home to my comfy bed each night."

Suzie Frechette got a taste of what is involved in being Midwest Regional Representative during the Baltimore conference. She attended two all-day Executive Board meetings, some committee meetings as Board Liaison and a Midstates Chapter meeting, where she introduced herself to chapter officers of the other Midwest Regional chapters.

Other chapter members who were in Baltimore, reports Suzy, were Marianne Cavanaugh, Lois Crane, Rachel Crane, Norma Johnson, Susan Craig, Tom Young, Cindy Barth, Jane Zander and M J Poehler. MJ and Rachel represented the chapter at the Leadership Breakfast. Susan Craig organized and moderated the workshop entitled "Effective Library Surveys: Creating, Administering, and Analyzing". And long-time member but now-moved-to-New Mexico Marilyn Russell, was there also.


Back at work, Suzy reports, that the St. Louis Art Museum Library and the St. Louis Public Library Fine Arts Department are collaborating on a local artist questionnaire project. "We are hoping to augment our files on contemporary artists. The questionnaire has been posted on the SLAM website, and I have paper copies here at my desk," Suzy says. "Artists can submit their info in either format, and we will share all the responses."


Susan Bobo published an article on John Rex Cunningham in the OSU School of Architecture 2003 Annual Newsletter. The Architecture Library at OSU is named in his honor. Cunningham, a beloved faculty member at OSU for more than forty years, would have been 100 years old last September.


Tom Young aided Susan immeasurably in her research. Cunningham was a close family friend of Tom's grandfather, Dwight Stevens (also a long time OSU faculty member) and mother, Mary Stevens Young. Tom kindly shared family photographs and through his parents, some personal reminiscences.


Susan and Tom's collaboration culminated at the 50th anniversary rededication ceremony for the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University. Dwight Stevens, Tom's grandfather, was the architect of record for the Georgian style library which is the most recognized symbol of the OSU campus and is considered to be one of the finest buildings of its kind in the region. Tom represented the Stevens family at a luncheon and ceremony in Stillwater on February 24th.


Tom Young has been working on several projects of his own including two upcoming exhibitions at Philbrook: "The Abstract Impulse: Works on Paper from the Permanent Collection" (Feb 23 - June 22, 2003) and "Artists' Books from the Minnesota Center for Book Arts" (June 29 - October 19, 2003). "These are two small exhibitions that fit into our Works on Paper Gallery," reports Tom.





Last Updated on August 31, 2004