Art Libraries Society

Central Plains





How to Join












Annual Reports





ARLIS/CP is a chapter of:

Central Plains Irregular

Number 39, December 2005


Report of ARLIS/NA Annual Conference, Houston, Texas

Thomas E. Young


First I wish to thank the chapter for the $200 ARLIS/CP Travel Award, which helped make it possible for me to attend the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Houston this past April 2005. The conference was a wonderful experience from beginning to end.


For me it began first thing with the Leadership Breakfast meeting on Saturday morning. During the breakout session for the Chapter Officers there was general discussion on the relationship between the chapters and the society, revisions for the Chapter Success Book, the tax status and liability insurance for the chapters. The latter two issues are being researched by the society to see the best way of providing them to the chapters. Among the things discussed was how the society could provide distance delivery of conference content (e.g. through web casts, power point, etc.). During the open discussion were issues of better recruitment and relationships with library schools, fundraising. How can chapters increase membership was discussed with problems and possible solutions presented by different chapters. The intense early morning session was followed by the “Orange Show Eye Opener tour”, which was a cross-section of visionary art to Coptic chapel murals, and who can forget the “Flower Man’s” garden!


Sunday was the beginning of the sessions, which was followed up by the convocation at Rice University. This is a serious event honoring individuals and presenting travel awards, but was enlivened by a presentation of Houston’s home-town “The Art Guys.” They certainly entertained us with a presentation of their long collaborative career with their often tongue-in-cheek look at the world around us. The reception afterwards at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston topped off what was a delightful and busy day.


The conference was in full swing by Monday, which included the member’s luncheon and meeting. During the latter the annual conference for 2006 in Banff, Canada was presented by hosting chapter, and one is tempted to attend despite its (psychological) distance. The sessions I attended included: Cataloguing Cultural Objects: Implications for the Field; Solo Librarians Discussion Group; Art Museums and their Libraries: A European Perspective; and Oil Patch to Oil on Canvas: Four Texas Women Collectors. The best things about attending the conference were the opportunity to meet for the first time or re-connect with other art librarians and friends from across the country.


Those knowing me, realize that of course I drove to the conference and spent a total of two weeks away from work. This allowed me the opportunity to visit various friends and family members along the road there and back. Checking out the newly re-opened and expanded Fred R. Jones, Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, where I also introduced myself to Matt Stock, the new Fine & Applied Arts Librarian at the University of Oklahoma. Among the other sights along the way were the Dan Flavin retrospective exhibition in Ft. Worth, the Chinese exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Nasher Sculpture Garden and Museum and the Art Deco buildings and the “Carasaurusus” at the Texas Centennial Fair Grounds.





Arkansas Arts Center


Heather Hignite is the librarian at the Elizabeth Prewitt Taylor Memorial Library at the Arkansas Arts Center. Her previous position was Coordinator of Library Services and Information Resources for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office in Bakersfield, California. She received her MLIS from San Jose State University, San Jose, California.


Kansas City Art Institute

Leesa Duby left her position as circulation coordinator at the KCAI Library in August to focus on family and spend more time weaving. Amelia Nelson is KCAI’s new circ coordinator, coming to us from the Kansas City (Missouri) Public Library. Amelia received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kansas State in 2003 and is currently at work on her MLS at University of Missouri – Columbia. Amelia worked at Hale Library while a student at KSU and has been a graphic design consultant for Kansas City Design Center and an exhibition design consultant for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. In the summer of 2001, she completed an internship at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center.


M. J. Poehler, Library Director, and Deborah Tinsley, Associate Librarian for Visual Resources, attended the ARLIS – VRA Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management held at Duke in July, 2005. The week was well organized and packed with excellent content. Some of the top experts in visual resources presented strategies for developing and managing visual resources in the digital age. We returned sobered by the enormity of the challenge, but ready to forge ahead.


Nelson-Atkins Museum

Marilyn Carbonell will leave the University Libraries at University of Missouri-Kansas City after 29 years of service. In January 2006 Marilyn will assume the position of Head of Libraries Services at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where she will lead a team of 15 staff members at the Spencer Art Reference Library, the Museum Archives, and the Slide Library. For the past 18 years, Marilyn has served as head of collection development at UMKC, and has had oversight of the Special Collections Department. Marilyn has also served as an adjunct assistant professor for the Department of Art and Art History and has been extensively involved in development work with the UMKC Friends of the Library. Marilyn comments that she looks forward to rejoining the ARLIS Central Plains chapter.


University of Kansas

Susan Craig has resumed work on the "Biographical Dictionary of Kansas Artists active before 1945" that she first began in 1982. The dictionary now includes over 1600 biographical entries plus addendums on Kansas art schools, Kansas art museums, and Kansas art organizations. The entries range from those that have only a name, flourished date and place, and information source to more lengthy entries that include name, birth date and place, death date and place, artistic pursuits, biographical notes, memberships, exhibition record, awards, collections, and sources of information. The intent is to mount the dictionary as a free internet site through the University of Kansas Scholarworks program sometime next year. In pursuit of information for the dictionary, Susan has had the pleasure of recent visits to the Kansas City Art Institute and the Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery to use their archives and hopes to visit several other collections in the next few months.

Susan Craig and Henry Pisciotta of Penn State University are investigating the possibility of organizing an art librarians trip to the Frankfurt (Germany) Book Fair in October 2006. This is in the very early stages but Susan,, would be interested in hearing from anyone who might be interested in joining such a venture.

A reminder that the spring meeting of ARLIS/Central Plains will be March 16-18, 2006 in Lawrence. The program has not yet been determined so program topics and speaker suggestions are welcome. Please contact Ellen Urton, Tom Young or Susan Craig with program ideas.



On August 24, 2005, St. Louis area art librarians met for lunch at Cunetto's on The Hill. It was an informal gathering with no agenda - an opportunity to meet our colleagues and compare notes. Some of us had never met before, and several people have new libraries or will have new facilities soon. We shared contact information and discussed topics of common interest: changes at our institutions, resources, facilities, collections, and professional organizations including ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/CP.

The attendees included Suzy Frechette, Fine Arts Librarian, St. Louis Public Library; Ellen Petraits, Art & Architecture Librarian, Washington University; Betha Whitlow, Visual Resources Curator, Washington University; Rina Vecchiola, Reference Librarian, Washington University; Joy Wright, Librarian, Laumeier Sculpture Park; Karen, Library Assistant, Laumeier Sculpture Park; Sue Gold, Reference Librarian, Webster University; Susan Baerwald, Librarian, HOK; Mikael Kriz, Reference Librarian, St. Louis University; Marianne Cavanaugh, Head Librarian, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Clare Vasquez, Public Services Librarian, Saint Louis Art Museum. We hope to meet again, perhaps with an agenda, in the spring.


Saint Louis University

New to ARLIS-CP, Mikael D. Kriz started work as a Reference Librarian and liaison to Art, Art History, Theatre, and Communication at Saint Louis University in the fall of 2003. Mikael received an M.A. in Art History in 2002 and an M.S. in Library and Information Science in 2003 from the University of Illinois. Mikael presented a session, "Primary Source Research and the Visual Arts in the 21st Century, at the Fall 2005 ARLIS/Moutain West/Central Plains Joint Chapter Meeting in Santa Fe, NM.


Washington University

Washington University’s Art and Architecture library staff are digitizing 250 photographs from eight albums of the St. Louis based architectural firm, Eames and Young. The project is being studied as a prototype by the Libraries’ Digital Library team for future digital projects.



Philbrook Museum of Art

" Roberta Campbell Lawson: Keeper of Traditions," is currently at the Philbrook Museum of Art, reports Tom Young. (Sept. 19, 2005 - January 15, 2006.) This is an exhibition is about Roberta C. Lawson, whose collection of Native America objects and supporting library were donated to Philbrook in 1947. Born in Oklahoma and of Native American heritage (Delaware-Wyandotte) she was interested in preserving Native American culture. Toward this end, she presented programs on "American Indian music", collected objects and a library. She was active in the Women's Club movement, serving in 1935-38 as President of the General Federation of Women's Club. Additionally, she was involved in a wide range of political, educational and social movements in Oklahoma.

" Bookworks: Exploring the Book as Art." is to be held at The Philbrook Museum of Art, January 29 - April 23, 2006. This exhibition will present a range of artist's books and books by artists, from fine printing to one-of-a kind works. It will include a work by one of our Central Plains members, Ellen Petraits.


Oklahoma State University

On November 30, OSU announced a $14.8 million gift from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to renovate and expand facilities for the university’s nationally renowned School of Architecture. The nearly $15 million project will create 45,000 square feet of new space and renovate 37,000 square feet of space in the existing OSU Architecture Building. The facility will complete a key element of OSU’s historic Bennett Master Plan for the Stillwater campus.

The new building will provide OSU with new campus amenities including a 300-seat auditorium, multimedia classrooms, a visualization/computer lab, gallery space and a greatly expanded architecture library. CP member Susan Bobo is thrilled about the latter. Spaces dedicated to the School of Architecture will include new design studio space, a model shop, expanded administrative areas to accommodate new faculty and various other spaces which will further enrich both the architecture and architectural engineering programs.


Institute of American Indian Arts Library

The IAIA Library has recently added the following databases to their resources: ARTstor, Foundation Grants to Individuals, Human Relations Area Files (eHRAF) Ethnographic Material, and Visual Thesaurus.

Mari Russell, Director of Library Programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts, attended the 12th Annual Tribal College Librarians Professional Development Institute at Montana State University in Bozeman, MT., June 13-17, 2005. Mari presented a paper titled "Repatriation of Native American Objects and Removal of Sacred Lands."

Jenni James, IAIA Electronic Services Librarian, attended the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management sponsored by ARLIS/NA and VRA and hosted by the Department of Art and Art History at Duke University, July 4- 9, 2005.

Mari Russell attended the 4th International Indigenous Librarians Forum in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, September 13-17, 2005. Mari presented a paper titled "Responding to the Information Needs of Native Americans: Changes, Challenges, and Collaborations.

Mari Russell recently had two paintings on exhibit at the 17th juried Annual Lawrence Indian Art Show, September 10 - October 8 at the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, KS. Major sponsors for the Art Show were the University of Kansas, the Kansas Arts Commission, and the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.




Last Updated on November 17, 2006