ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic

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

Month: April 2013

Mary D. Doering to lecture and show Women’s Clothing from the Civil War Era at the Library of Congress

1855 ikat dressWomen’s Clothing during the Civil War Era:  Dresses, Foundations, and Accessories from the Collection of Mary D. Doering will showcase original clothing from the nineteenth century. Planned to compliment “The Civil War in America” exhibit currently on display at the Library of Congress, this lecture and presentation will take place on Thursday, April 18, 2013 in Dining Room A, sixth floor of the James Madison Building, at noon.

The April 18 presentation “Women’s Clothing of the Civil War Era” will combine a traditional lecture and a discussion of original garments from the period 1855 to 1870 with an emphasis on the Northern States. The evolution of the garments’ styles, the accompanying foundations, as well as the related technology and marketing media will be discussed. Despite the trauma imposed by the Civil War, the mid 19th century witnessed the development of ready-to-wear garments and the growth of urban department stores, both of which were essential contributions to the modern American fashion industry.

Mary D. Doering has specialized in costume history for forty years as a collector, lecturer and guest curator.  Since 2001 she has taught costume and textile history at the Smithsonian Masters Program in the History of the Decorative Arts (an academic partnership with George Mason University).  In addition, she has lectured at numerous professional conferences and museums.  She earned her M.A. in Art History/Museum Studies at George Washington University in 1980.  She pursued additional study in the History of Dress at the Courtauld Institute (University of London) in 1982. Selections from the collection have been loaned to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the D.A.R. Museum, the Fashion Institute of Technology and the Smithsonian Institution, to name a few. Exhibitions at historic sites and regional museums have been a particular specialty, and Ms. Doering has worked as guest curator and lender for a variety of locations including Dumbarton House, James Madison’s Montpelier, the John Marshall House, and the Maryland Historical Society.

While still in High School Ms. Doering was given a small collection of family heirloom clothing dating from the 19th century. In the intervening years her collection has grown to comprise over a thousand items, which span the period from 1600 to 1975.  In March 2008, Arts and Antiques Magazine included the collection among its “Top 250 Collectors”.

Kathy Woodrell, Reference Specialist, Fine & Decorative Arts, Library of Congress

In the Library: Announcements from the Vertical Files









Greetings ARLIS DMVers! The show I organized in the Library here at NGA will be closing at the end of next week, Friday, April 26. Please come and take a look–and maybe we can grab coffee or lunch, as well?

Please note that the exhibition is open only during regular business hours, Monday to Friday, 10:00 am- 4:30 pm.

In the Library: Announcements from the Vertical Files

Often printed on simple postcards, museum and gallery announcements advertise upcoming exhibitions—conveying the who, what, when, and where. The objects in this show, however, do more than merely inform; they reflect the materiality of the art they promote. Through imaginative use of layout, color, form, and material they distill the spirit of the works of art into a handheld package. Crafted of paper, vinyl, plastic, and sand, they expand, light up, reflect, and decode.

This exhibition is culled from the vertical files of the National Gallery of Art Library, which houses an extensive collection of announcements, pamphlets and small exhibition catalogues.  Also on display here are installation views borrowed from the Library’s department of image collections. Together, this group of objects provides insight into the overall experience of  gallery-going and the material culture of the art world.

— Anne Simmons, Reference Librarian for Vertical Files and Microforms, National Gallery of Art Library

New Finding Aids from the ICFA at Dumbarton Oaks

ICFA at Dumbarton Oaks

The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection is pleased to announce the publication of four new finding aids on the department’s archival collections webpage.

ICFA staff completed the archival processing and finding aids for the following collections:

Additionally, ICFA has revised existing finding aids for collections produced by Byzantine scholars and/or Dumbarton Oaks staff, including:

In future months, ICFA plans to complete the processing of the Robert Van Nice Fieldwork Records and Papers and the Margaret Alexander Fieldwork Papers. While these projects are still in progress, ICFA staff and interns have created online resources to document these collections, including:

More importantly, ICFA is currently moving its long-form finding aids to an open-source web-based collection management system (International Council on Archives Access to Memory or ICA-AtoM) for increased accessibility.  While the change has opened the door for lively debates about archival description and “More Product, Less Process,” this challenge has definitely been an educational and exciting journey for the staff in ICFA.

For more information about ICFA’s ongoing activities and projects, please visit the departmental blog and “friend us” on the Dumbarton Oaks Library and Archives Facebook page.

Internship Opportunity at the Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries’ Summer Internship Program includes an internship for working with artists’ books at three of the art libraries at the Smithsonian (the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the American Art Museum / National Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of African Art). Interns will be working closely with staff from all three libraries and the Smithsonian Libraries’ internship are unique learning experiences that benefit from professional mentorship from SIL staff, as well as internship programming opportunities and events from the Libraries and the Smithsonian Institution. Please note that this internship does not carry a stipend, though we are happy to work with students to help them obtain credit from their college or university.

Information about the project (titled “Artists’ book accessibility and research”) and how to apply for an internship can be found at:

Please note that although the deadline is given as April 12, we will be accepting applications until the internship is filled.

Smithsonian Fellows Lectures in American Art

The Fellowship Program at the Smithsonian American Art Museum cordially invites you to attend three afternoons of lectures in American art delivered by Smithsonian art history research fellows. The talks will be held in the museum’s McEvoy Auditorium, located at 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C. This event is open to the public and no  reservations are required. For further information, please contact Amelia Goerlitz at (202) 633-8353 or email

In conjunction with the lecture series, the Library will be offering for sale a wide variety of books on American art. Book sales will be held in the auditorium lobby from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. each day and during the afternoon intermissions. All proceeds benefit the Library acquisition funds.


2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., moderated by Karen Lemmey, Curator of Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Katelyn Crawford, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, University of Virginia: “West Indies Portraits: Traveling British Artists and Eighteenth-Century Jamaica”
  • Laura Turner Igoe, Predoctoral Fellow, Tyler School of Art, Temple University: “‘Covert of Danger and Blood’: The Incorporation of Philadelphia’s Centre Square Waterworks”
  • Catherine Holochwost, Patricia and Phillip Frost Postdoctoral Fellow, Independent Scholar: “Living Fossils and Rural Idylls, or Nature in the City”


4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., moderated by Eleanor Harvey, Senior Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Kenneth Hartvigsen, Predoctoral Fellow (National Museum of American History), Boston University: “Banjos, Rifles, and Razors: Black America’s Changing Image on Nineteenth-Century Sheet Music”
  • Shana Klein, Wyeth Foundation Predoctoral Fellow, University of New Mexico: “Cultivating Grapes, Cultivating Empires: A Study of Horticultural Imperialism in Late Nineteenth-Century Still-Life Representations of Fruit


2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., moderated by William Truettner, Senior Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Miri Kim, Predoctoral Fellow, Princeton University: “Dust, Dirt, and Gems: Imagining Geological ‘Deep Time’ in Albert Pinkham Ryder’s Moonlit Marines”
  • Adam M. Thomas, Douglass Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign: “Out of Darkness: Irving Ramsay Wiles and Indeterminacy in the 1890s”
  • Emily Burns, Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in American Art, Washington University in St. Louis: “The Indian and the Cowboy: American Primitives in Fin-de-Siècle Paris”


4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., moderated by Emily D. Shapiro, Executive Editor, American Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Abra Levenson, Predoctoral Fellow (National Portrait Gallery), Princeton University: “Charles Demuth’s Token Subjects”
  • Nicholas Miller, Predoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University: “Painting the Self, Painting the Other: The Ambiguities of Identity and Diaspora in Palmer Hayden’s The Janitor Who Paints


2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., moderated by Virginia Mecklenburg, Chief Curator, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Susanneh Bieber, Postdoctoral Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin: “Building a Better Future: Ben Shahn’s Mural Resources of America
  • Hyewon Yoon, Predoctoral Fellow (National Portrait Gallery), Harvard University: “Lisette Model—The Window Reflections Series, 1938–41”
  • Berit Potter, Terra Foundation Predoctoral Fellow in American Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
  • “Beyond Skyscrapers and Automobiles: Exhibitions, Inter-American Cultural Exchange, and the War Emergency”


4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., moderated by Joanna Marsh, James Dicke Curator of Contemporary Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum

  • Michael Maizels, Predoctoral Fellow (National Portrait Gallery), University of Virginia: “The Aftermath, Again: Re-staging the Work of Barry Le Va”
  • Gregory Zinman, Postdoctoral Fellow, New York University: “Analog Circuit Palettes, Cathode Ray Canvases: Situating Nam June Paik in the History of Motion Painting”