ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America

Month: November 2012

“Comfort Women” Exhibition and Symposium

Unveiling the Truth: The Sorrow and Hope of “Comfort Women”

An exhibition presented by the Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues (WCCW)

Reception: Friday, Nov 30, 6-8 pm (artist talk/film screening @7 pm)
Exhibition Dates: Monday, Nov 26 – Friday, Dec 14, 2012
Venue: Mason Hall Atrium Gallery, George Mason University, 4379 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030 (map)
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm
Contact: Jungsil Lee, Curator: 301.755.7067; Walter Kravitz, Gallery Director: 703.993.4375

The exhibition “Unveiling the Truth” brings together works created by distinguished Korean, Japanese, and American artists who have expressed their concerns with “comfort women” issues through their works. “Comfort women” is a euphemistic term used by the Japanese military to refer to women they imprisoned and forced into sexual slavery during World War II. This exhibition explores sexual violence, historical truths, the physical pain, and the mental trauma those women suffered. The artists interpret the women’s experience in hopes of preventing future war crimes and to affirm basic human rights. The participating artists are Steve Cavallo, Dai Sil Kim-Gibson, Chang-Jin Lee, Sasha Yungju Lee, Yong Soon Min, Youngmi Song Organ, Yoshiko Shimada, In-Soon Shin, and Arin Yoon.

Washington Coalition for Comfort Women Issues, Inc.

Schedule of Events:

Friday, November 30, 2012

  • Exhibition Opening Reception 6:00 pm
  • Artist Talk and Dai Sil Kim-Gibson’s Film Screening 7:00-8:00pm

Saturday, December 1, 2012

  • Reception 3:00-3:30pm
  • WCCW’s 20th Anniversary Ceremony 3:30-4:30pm, Keynote Speaker: Hon. Mike Honda, House Representative (CA-15)
  • Symposium, chaired by Dr. Jungsil Lee 4:30-6:30pm: Korean/Asian “Comfort Women,” Then and Now, Tracing the Historical, Political and Cultural Aspects of the Comfort Women Movement in the United States and South Korea
  • Dinner 6:30-8:00pm

4379 Mason Pond Dr. Fairfax, VA 22030 Atrium Gallery & Edwin Messe III
Conference Room in Mason Hall, George Mason University (see map)

This event is free and open to the public. All are welcome. The event is made possible by sponsors ArTrio, Prof. Youngchan Ro (Director of Korean Studies Center), Prof. Walter Kravitz (Director of George Mason University Art Gallery), and the Academy of Korean Studies, Korea.

Please RSVP:
For more information please call: 202.746.2186 (President of WCCW, Christine Choi)

Fall Meeting Recap and Photos

Photo by Sarah Osborne Bender.

Our day started with Erin Blake, curator of art and special collections, giving us an overview of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s history and telling us a bit about who the Folgers were. The collection was a result of Henry and Emily Folger’s lifelong shared passion for collecting and Shakespeare. Though the Folgers lived in New York, Washington D.C. was chosen as the home for the museum, making it a gift to the nation. The neoclassical building was dedicated in 1932. As we were to see on a quick jaunt outside, the facade features marble bas-relief Shakespearian scenes designed by John Gregory and carved in-situ.

The extensive collections, the largest Shakespeare collection in the world, include a vast array of materials. In her curatorial position, Erin oversees everything that is not a book, which means she is responsible for items such as furniture, paintings, snuff boxes, playbills, and much more. In the library, the Shakespeare Collection includes the first two complete folios of Shakespeare’s work, some with original binding.

On our walk around the building, we encountered many special features of the design and construction of the interior spaces: period furniture, decorative glass windows, the vaulted ceiling of the Great Hall, and the evocative Elizabethan theatre. Folger was a big employer of many crafts people during the construction of the library at a time when jobs were needed as the country suffered from the effects of the Great Depression.

Photo by Sarah Osborne Bender.

After our history lesson and journey around the building, we began a tour of the current exhibition, Very Like a Whale. Just as fanciful as the cloud watching from which its title is derived, the show features abstract or fantastical photographs of a unique process paired sympathetic with passages from Shakespeare and accompanied by delightful cabinets of curiosity drawing from the Folger’s collections as well as those of the photographer, Rosamond Purcell. Drawing on literature, photography, history, rare books and printing, natural history and found objects, the exhibition related to many aspects of all of our professional activities and experiences.

Photo by Sarah Osborne Bender.

A visit to the photography and digital imaging lab made many of us starry eyed. Despite being below-ground, the space was beautifully lit and designed. Julie Ainsworth, department head, discussed her experience moving from a darkroom-focused lab to creating a space to accommodate the demands of digital image reproduction and rare materials. The copy-stands were monuments of precision, able to accommodate the wide variety of printed materials in the Folger collection. The minute attention to detail was evident, as well as a love of photography and a sense of humor: the ground glass from a vintage large format camera was salvaged and served as the window in a door between the office and the studio.

Photo by Sarah Osborne Bender.

From the basement to the top floor, we paid a visit to Renate Mesmer and her colleagues in the conservation lab where one of many boxes of house deeds was being cleaned and their wax seals restored. Apparently the Folger is the leader in wax seal restoration, a specialization most of us probably didn’t even know existed. The care demonstrated in their hand-sewn felt pockets for the preserved wax seals and their in-house-developed phase box with Mylar spine were enough to make us all applaud.

The day concluded with chapter business and conference planning meetings. For many of us who had not been to the Folger in a while, or who were visiting for the first time, the day certainly made all of us appreciative of the work that takes place there and probably made more than a few of us pull a Shakespeare volume off the bookshelf when we got home.

– Write-up and photographs by Sarah Osborne Bender.

See more photos on Flickr

Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center presents the 12th Biennial Book Arts Fair and Conference, the preeminent book arts event on the east coast. Now in its third decade, the fair will showcase a dynamic array of innovative book art, limited edition prints, fine papers, and specialty tools along with a rich program of notable speakers, demonstrations, and special exhibitions. This three day event will connect international artists, scholars, collectors, publishers, and art lovers. Serving to inform and inspire, the Book Arts Fair and Conference is a celebration of the printed form and the book as art.

For more information, visit:

Smithsonian AA/PG Book Sale

By Popular Demand -It’s Back!

Right in time for the holidays

Smithsonian AA/PG Library
Art, History, and Biography Book Sale

November 14-16
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

@ AA/PG Library, Victor Building
750 9th Street NW, Suite 2100

Over 1200 books, catalogs, and magazines to choose from at prices that cannot be beat!

Choose from titles featuring art from all periods, history, biography, and more.

All proceeds benefit the Library’s acquisition fund. Cash/check only.

Fall Meeting at Folger Shakespeare Library

The Chapter’s Fall Meeting will be held this Friday, November 9, 2012 at the beautiful Folger Shakespeare Library. Learn more about what is planned for our day here: