Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New VRC Accessions in 2008!


2008 has drawn to a close and the promise of a new year inspires me to go back and examine some of the highlights of the collection's image accessions!

January images included documentation of the installation of two of the plaster casts of the Panathenaic frieze from the Parthenon in the VRC!

These two (slightly damaged and restored) relief panels did not fit into the new space for the "Elgin Marbles" in the renovated Architecture Hall, so I volunteered to house them here in the Collection. An elegant and completely earthquake safe bracketing system for the panels was designed and installed by Paula Patterson.

January also brough us some fabulous copywork images from a book edited by Marc Treib called
The Architecture of Landscape, 1940-1960. Professor David Streatfield requested images of the works of Sven Markelius, Sylvia Crowe, and Sutemi Horiguchi (among others).

In February of 2008,
Professor Jennifer "Ready-for-Digital" Dee requested scans from her personal 35mm slides of the Etruscan Banditaccia Necropolis in Caere (Cerveteri). These compelling interior shots of some of the carved tufa tombs in the necropolis were a welcome addition to the Etruscan holdings of the VRC.

In February of 2008,
Professor Jennifer "Ready-for-Digital" Dee requested scans from her personal 35mm slides of the Etruscan Banditaccia Necropolis in Caere (Cerveteri). These compelling interior shots of some of the carved tufa tombs in the necropolis were a welcome addition to the Etruscan holdings of the VRC.

February also brought the Collection some on-site photography of the SANAA Exhibit at the Henry Art Gallery here at the UW; Professor Ken Oshima arranged for me to photograph the exhibition in the Henry.

A new publication about the Taj Mahal by Ebba Koch, The Complete Taj Mahal and the Riverfront Gardens of Agra, provided the collection with some fascinating new images and new scholarship on the Taj Mahal Complex in March, 2008 . The growth of the city of Agra into the intended forecort of the complex is vividly illustrated in these images.

In March, Professor Dave Miller requested scans from his personal slides of the Metro Water Quality Laboratory by Miller/Hull in Seattle. Miller/Hull's Northgate Branch Library of the Seattle Public Library System was also documented in March by a VRC photographer.

April brought Spring Break to the college and inspired me to venture out to Ballard to photograph the Clarence Mayhew "Ballard Dennys" restaurant -- a rare example of "Googie" architecture in Seattle. Despite valiant efforts by DocomomoWEWA and AUP librarian Alan Michelson, the Ballard Dennys was torn down later in the year.

I photographed many buildings and sites in San Diego during the annual VRA (Visual Resources Association - or "Slide Curators of the World United," as I like to call us) conference; these images were cataloged into the VRC database in April. Some buildings I tracked down by request of faculty included Irving Gill's Church of Christ Scientist, the Lee-Teats Cottages on Albatross Street, and the Bishops School in LaJolla.
In May, VRC graduate student assistant Josh Polansky donated a number of his photographs of Japanese sites and gardens made during his Spring Break trip to Tokyo and Kyoto.

Le Corbusier's National Museum of Western Art, Herzog and de Meuron's Prada Boutique, and the 17th century Shugakuin were among the images the VRC acquired from Josh.

Copywork images acquired by the collection in May included the Denver Art Museum addition by Daniel Libeskind, plans and elevations of Romanesque churches, and some fabulous public domain images of the Galerie des Machines and the Eiffel Tower from the 1889 Exposition Universalle in Paris.

May's acquisitions also documented the
College's Recognition Day Ceremony.

In July, buildings from the Beijing Olympic campus were scanned from the July issue of the Architectural Record for cataloging into the database.

Professor Jim Nicholls requested i
mages from a 1945 issue of a magazine called View and from a book by Janis Mink, Marcel Duchamp, 1887-1968: Art as Anti-Art for an article and presentation he gave at a conference.

Copywork in September included Sir Lawrence Weaver's
Houses and Gardens by E. L. Lutyens (1985), Elizabeth Rogers' Landscape Design (2001), James Crathorne's Cliveden: The Place and the People, and Chinese Imperial City Planning by Nancy Steinhardt.

Original photography acquired for the collection in September was dominated by Hilltop Community houses in Bellevue; through a tour of several of the houses sponsored by DocomomoWEWA, I was able to photograph historic houses by Wendell Lovett, Paul Hayden Kirk, and Thomas Albert Smith.

Through the efforts of Professor Grant Hildebrand, the VRC was able to photograph six original models of houses by Wendel Lovett.

The models are in great shape and are currently housed in the VRC.

November brought the Collection some copywork documentation of the W. E. Oliver House by Rudolph Schindler in Los Angeles, and of the Quai Branly Museum by Jean Nouvel in Paris. Professor Meredith Clausen requested the latter from GA Document 93.

Professor Carrie Sturts-Dos
sick requested documentation of the presentation boards her students made in CM313 Materials and Methods class. The concommitant Materials Fair in Gould Court was also photographed for the collection.

Rainer Metzger, graduate student assistant in the VRC, also donated throughout 2008 scans of some of his vast personal collection of 35mm slides and copies of some of his original digital photography during his trips to Europe.

They include a lovely sequence of the Brion Cemetery in Treviso by Carlo Scarpa and some great shots of the Pa
lazzo del Te in Mantua, Balkrishna Doshi's School of Architecture in Ahmedabad.


The VRC also acquired the 2008 "Module" (next installment) of Archivision's image archive -- some 6000 images as far-ranging as Sir John Soane's Bank of England, San Marco in Venice, and the ancient site of Ephesus.

With any luck, 2009 will prove to be as productive and eclectic for the Visual Resources Collection as 2008 was, despite impending budget cuts and economic gloom!