Session Abstracts

Sessions will be held in the Price Auditorium at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Please use the Michigan Avenue entrance. Session topics, presentations and times are listed below.  For more details and to create your own personal calendar, please consult SCHED.

Tuesday, August 9
8:30 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 9:20 am
Opening Remarks

Viveca Pattison Robichaud, Special Collections Librarian, Architecture Library and Institute for Latino Studies, University of Notre Dame
Sandra Ludig Brooke, Librarian, Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

9:20 – 10:30 am
Architecture’s Impact on the Art Library’s Program, part 1

From Research Library to Research Services: Stories of Change at the Rijksmuseum 
Geert-Jan Koot, Curator of Library Collections and Former Head of the Research Library, Rijksmuseum
Saskia Scheltjens, Head of Research Services, Rijksmuseum
Museum Libraries in the Prado-Recoletos Axis in Madrid, 2005-2015: New Spaces for New Services
Soledad Canovas del Castillo, Head Librarian, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
Javier Docampo, Director of the Department of Manuscripts, Incunabula and Rare Books, Biblioteca Nacional de España
Moderator: Jon Evans, Chief Librarian, Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Koot & Scheltjens, From Research Library to Research Services: Stories of Change at the Rijksmuseum
The ‘service turn’ about which Lorcan Dempsey once wrote so eloquently, also had its influence on recent changes within the Rijksmuseum regarding the way information services and departments have been organized throughout the years of its existence. Geert-Jan Koot will highlight the history of the library up to the recent complex, decade-long restoration project. Saskia Scheltjens will focus on the related organizational changes within the Rijksmuseum that resulted in an integration of the Rijksmuseum Research Library into a larger new department called Research Services. The new focus lies on collection information across all kinds of data silos within the museum, and how this data universe in the future can interact with users in new and engaging ways.
In 2001, the Spanish firm Cruz y Ortiz Arquitectos won a competition to renovate the Rijksmuseum. The main art gallery and library were selected to receive an especially thorough treatment. The Cuypers Library Hall is the one of the very few nineteenth-century library spaces to survive in the Netherlands. The reception is an impressive twenty-meter-high rectangular book hall, elaborately decorated and composed as a Gesamtkunstwerk. The presentation will draw attention to the design and the historic functions of the great library hall and the challenge of keeping the library afloat during an extended renovation.
Three years after the 2013 grand reopening, evaluation studies showed radical changes in the use of reading room spaces by the public. The rise of digital scholarship and the influence this has had on object-based research were indicators of the need for a completely new organizational structure for the collection information departments. In June 2016, three units—the Rijksmuseum Research Library, Collection Information, and Cuypers Reading Room—became part of a new department called Research Services. The aim is to offer to the public new and innovative services for finding historical information on Dutch art. The knowledge within the museum regarding open and networked data services will be the basis for these exciting new developments.
Canovas & Docampo, Museum Libraries in the Prado-Recoletos Axis in Madrid, 2005-2015: New Spaces for New Services
The Prado-Recoletos axis is the main historical boulevard in Madrid and it houses the most important concentration of art museums in Spain. From south to north these are: the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía with the national collection of twentieth-century art; the Museo Nacional del Prado with a world-renowned collection of old masters; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza that houses a formerly private collection of old and modern masters; and the Museo Arqueológico Nacional with an important collection of Spanish antiquities and artefacts. In the last ten years, these museums have been renovated and various approaches taken for their libraries. The Reina Sofía, designed by Jean Nouvel, opened in 2005 with a wing dedicated to the library. As part of the Prado’s expansion between 2001 and 2007, the library was transferred to a renovated historical building. In 2004, the Thyssen-Bornemisza opened a new wing, but the library remained in the historic building that has housed the collection since 1992. Finally, the Museo Arqueológico underwent a complete renovation in 2014 that included new space for the Library.

The different types of projects can be used as a significant test to check how museum libraries might face the needs of their users and solve the problems of providing modern library services. These new buildings and refurbishments have presented the libraries with an opportunity to be more open to society. The new State Museum Libraries Network (BIMUS) has been an important factor in this development of Madrid’s museum libraries.

10:30–10:45 am
Welcome from the Art Institute of Chicago

James Rondeau, President and Eloise W. Martin Director, Art Institute of Chicago

10:45 – 11:15 am

11:15 – 12:45 pm
Architecture’s Impact on the Art Library’s Program, part 2

Awaking an Old Lady, The Salle Labrouste: How to Re-invent an Art Library in 2016
Anne-Elisabeth Buxtorf, Director, INHA National Art History Library
Designing for the Program, Programming for the Design: Stanford University’s New Bowes Art & Architecture Library
Peter Blank, Senior Librarian, Bowes Art & Architecture Library, Stanford University Libraries
Moderator: Carole Ann Fabian, Director, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University
Buxtorf, Awaking an Old Lady, The Salle Labrouste: How to Re-invent an Art Library in 2016
After years of consideration, debates, and renovation work, the library of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) will soon be moving into the historic Salle Labrouste reading room of the Bibliothèque nationale—thereby realizing the dream of a great art library in the heart of Paris. In these prestigious, historical premises, how did the library manage to innovate? What were the challenges for the architects, librarians, and art historians? What are the readers’ expectations? This talk will describe the renovation of this architectural masterpiece and give key points in how it has been renewed as an art library.
Between 1854 and 1875, as architect of the Bibliothèque nationale, Henri Labrouste totally renewed the library—separating stacks from readers, introducing preservation considerations, and modernizing librarianship. For more than a century, the Salle Labrouste was the heart of the Bibliothèque nationale. Generations of scholars worked in this temple of books until 1998 when the collections were moved into the Bibliothèque nationale’s new François-Mitterrand complex. It was then decided to dedicate the Salle Labrouste to art history and make it INHA’s reading room. In 2016, this vision will finally be achieved.
What will this new, unified library contain? The INHA Library gathers holdings from the great art collector and fashion designer Jacques Doucet, and collections coming from the Louvre and the Archives de la critique d’art. Soon to be added are the collections of the Ecole nationale des beaux-arts. This is also very much a twenty-first-century library project that provides for accessible collections, collaborations with scholars and research programs, and digital and visiting programs. Mixing new aims and preserving the past was a great challenge for the architects and the librarians. The paper will present how the library is managing to deal with these exciting challenges.
 Blank, Designing for the Program, Programming for the Design: Standford University’s New Bowes Art & Architecture Library
Stanford University’s Bowes Art & Architecture Library opened its doors to patrons in September 2015. A purpose-built, academic art library comprises the entire second floor of the Charles Renfro designed (Diller Scofidio + Renfro) McMurtry Art & Art History Building. The planning process for the Library began in 2007, with a program-planning consultant brought on board in 2009, and with final architect selection in 2010. The Head of the Art & Architecture Library was an invited member of the project’s Executive Committee and was instrumental throughout the planning process from 2010 to 2015. Although special care was taken to fully articulate and then realize the program for the Art & Architecture Library, from conceptual and philosophical underpinnings to furniture selection, it was inevitable that working with a boutique firm would lead to architectural design considerations trumping some aspects of the Library’s program. With the Library now open for its first year, expected and unexpected consequences of the design—positive, negative, and still uncertain—continue to impact the Library’s operations and the ongoing goal of achieving the Library’s programmatic vision, and specifically the new model of the Art Library as Laboratory.

12:45 – 1:45 pm

1:45 – 2:45 pm
What Makes an Art Library an Art Library?

From ‘Maps’ to ‘Labyrinths’ of Knowledge: The Spatial Factor in Art Libraries
Jan Simane, Head of the Library, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, Max-Planck-Institute
The Right Space: 150 Years of Housing a National Gallery’s Library and Archive Collection
Andrea Lydon, Head of Library, Archives, Web, National Gallery of Ireland
Moderator: Kathleen Salomon, Assistant Director, Getty Research Institute
Simane, From ‘Maps’ to ‘Labyrinths’ of Knowledge: The Spatial Factor in Art Libraries
Libraries are places where the disposition of literature (and other material) together with the ergonomics of its consultation constitutes a specific spatial scenario. However, a library defines itself as a place through another—probably the most important—ontological category, and that is its ability to provide orientation and to support navigation in scientific work processes. This is true for open-shelves libraries with systematic placement of their holdings, and has an outstanding significance in the humanities where the availability of and comfortable accessibility to comprehensive book collections is the norm. Therefore, when we talk about libraries as places, we have to understand their historically conditioned spatial ‘didactics’ in order to get a clearer idea of possible future developments.
This paper will show how spatial concepts of art libraries have always been related to specific methodological and functional requirements and, in a second step, how the future can be imagined in view of substantial changes in publication formats and media. The starting point is a historical view of particular cases, focusing on the years around 1900 when both art history as a discipline and the art library as library typos were consolidated. Since the early modern period, the systematic order of libraries has mirrored microcosmically the current order of knowledge and the system of the sciences respectively. In the late nineteenth century, when more and more highly specialized sub-disciplines emerged, the related libraries, particularly in the humanities, became laboratories for specific research. If it is true that, with the systematic spatial order of the collections a corresponding ‘knowledge space’ is being incorporated into the real space, what will be the consequence when ‘physical’ libraries disappear? What does it mean for the library as place when more and more parts of the collection and related sources become ‘invisible’ and are stored outside the library building, in the ‘digital’ space?
Lydon, The Right Space: 150 Years of Housing a National Gallery’s Library and Archive Collection
The National Gallery of Ireland, the nation’s premier art institution, maintains a comprehensive collection of library and archive materials relating to the visual arts. Some 100,000 volumes and substantial archives are held in the main National Gallery of Ireland Art Library, the ESB Centre for the Study of Irish Art, Yeats Archive, Institutional Archive, and the Sir Denis Mahon Library & Archive. This world-class art research collection plays an invaluable role in supporting the work of the Gallery and is regularly consulted by artists, scholars, dealers, collectors, and the general public. Surprisingly, for more than a century there has been no dedicated space for the Library and Archive collection. Today it is housed between three stores, three reading rooms, two processing areas, as well as staff offices. This paper considers both the positive and negative aspects of the arrangement that has evolved.It has been a management challenge to develop new spaces, re-purpose areas never intended for library use, and upgrade facilities not fit for purpose. However, the challenge of dispersal has benefitted the public’s experience of the collection and has led staff to be more creative in how they introduce people to the collection. While the traditional research role remains a central focus, direct public engagement with the collection has become increasingly important.  Space limitations have resulted in the Gallery space itself being used to connect the public with the library and archives through exhibitions, tours, and lectures that now form a regular part of the institution’s main public engagement program. The paper concludes with details of the Gallery’s exciting future plans for the Library and Archive Collection, and the challenges the Gallery faces in finally realizing its ambitions to develop a large dedicated, secure and publicly accessible space that will be a fitting home for this remarkable collection.

2:45 – 3:15 pm

3:15 – 4:15 pm
Art Libraries and the Aesthetic Response

Building Art into Architecture: An Exploration of Ann Hamilton’s Library Installations
Julie Mellby, Graphic Arts Curator, Princeton University Libraries
Light and Wood: An Intimate and Human Space within the Art Libraries of Louis I. Kahn
Kraig Binkowski, Chief Librarian, Reference Library and Archives, Yale Center for British Art
Moderator: Jonathan Franklin, Librarian, The National Gallery, London
Mellby, Building Art into Architecture: An Exploration of Ann Hamilton’s Library Installations
Raphael and the Papal Library at the Vatican, John Singer Sargent and the Boston Public Library, and Rufino Tamayo and the Hillyer Art Library at Smith College: these are only a few of the many collaborations between artists and architects that resulted in triumphant spaces for public and private libraries around the globe. There continues to be a strong tradition of painters and sculptors joining forces with librarians and architects to imbed moments of artistic brilliance into our library buildings. One contemporary artist whose work is particularly intertwined with books and texts is the visionary Ann Hamilton, who is responsible for numerous temporary and three permanent installations in American libraries. Self-identified as ‘a maker,’ Hamilton develops spaces that both engage the senses and captivate the mind to bring art off the shelf and into direct confrontation with the public. Each installation is site-specific, responding to the history of the place and its visitors. The success of these projects is evident in the long waiting list of institutions eager to engage in similar collaborations.
This paper will focus on Hamilton’s three permanent commissions, beginning in 1996 with an installation for the San Francisco Public Library, home of the Osher Foundation Art, Music and Recreation Center. Nearly two hundred scribes volunteered to annotate selected catalog cards in more than a dozen languages representative of the diverse communities served by the Library. For the Seattle Public Library’s building, which opened in 2004, Hamilton designed a 7,200-square-foot wood floor made up of 556 lines of text in 11 languages. The inverted texts, set like printing blocks about to be pressed onto a page, are the first sentences of books from library collections. According to the artist, visitors are both immersed in text and, like the pages they pore over, imprinted upon. Finally, “Verse” is a 2011 project installed within the floor of the Thompson Library at Ohio State University, in the artist’s hometown of Columbus, Ohio. A two-color cork surface was inlayed with a field of words set in relief, arranged in a literary concordance interweaving three different accountings of world history. The work combines the ephemeral presence of time and linguistics with the material tactility enhancing both the physical building and the users’ experience.
Binkowski, Light and Wood: An Intimate and Human Space within the Art Libraries of Louis I. Kahn
In the Reference Library of the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, and the Library of the Kimbell Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, Louis I. Kahn created spaces and atmospheres that are particularly conducive to reading about and viewing art. In these rooms natural light combines with sympathetic materials and weaves into a timeless dance with thought and contemplation. This paper looks closely at the humanist elements of Kahn’s art libraries, focusing on the creation of unique library carrels which form the physical bridge between light and dark, inside and outside. Kahn borrowed from designs and ideas for carrels (and libraries) that he created for the Library at the Phillips Academy at Exeter, and I will look closely at these carrels and spaces that heavily influenced his subsequent library designs. Kahn’s library carrels are situated within large modernist structures and yet help to form a “room within a room” that both insulates and assimilates users from and into their surroundings. I relate these finely designed and crafted reading carrels to their concomitant libraries and museums as well as to other Kahn designs. By looking at the Exeter Library, as well as intimate spaces from the Fisher and Esherick Houses, I wish to gain an understanding of the architect’s thoughts about reading, libraries and museums, and how they are synthesised into the creation of human space.

4:15 – 5:00 pm
Keynote Address: Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer, Design With Company, LLC.

Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer teach at the University of Illinois at Chicago and are cofounders ofDesign With Company (Dw/Co). Stewart holds an M. ARCH degree from Princeton University and Allison from the University of Michigan. Their work explores the intersection between literature and architecture through exhibitions, speculative urban scenarios, and temporary pavilions. The practice was recently featured in the Chicago Architecture Biennial and as Next Progressives by Architect Magazine, New Talents by Metropolis Magazine, and Chicago’s Next Generation by Architectural Record.

5:00 – 6:00 pm

Relax in the Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, stroll around Millenium Park, or freshen up back at your hotel prior to our opening reception on the steps of the Grand Staircase just inside the Michigan Avenue entrance of the Art Institute. For those staying in the building, refreshments will begin being served at 5:45 PM, and for those who choose to wander around outside the building, the doors will open at 6 PM for the reception.

6:00 – 7:30 pm
Opening Reception

Wednesday, August 10
8:30 – 8:45 am
Opening Remarks

8:45 – 10:15 am
Making Space for Different Kinds of User Interactions

Old Building, New Public: The Renovation Project of the Forney Art Library in Paris
Lucile Trunel, Conservatrice en chef, Directrice de la Bibliothèque, Bibliothèque Forney
Furness’s Brooding Building: An Engine of Active Thought
Hannah Bennett, Head of the Fisher Fine Arts Library, University of Pennsylvania
From the Historical Space into a New Context: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Research Library as Part of the Future House of Text
Ekaterina Igoshina, Head of the Library, Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Research Library
Moderator: Kenneth Soehner, Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Trunel, Old Building, New Public: The Renovation Project of the Forney Art Library in Paris
Since 1961, the Forney Art Library has been set in the Townhouse of the Archbishops of Sens which dates from 1475. Bought by the City of Paris in 1911, it has been renovated throughout the twentieth century, preserving authentic parts as well as reinventing the interiors. The library is currently restructuring its internal spaces, aiming to attract a new diversity of users.
Since its foundation in 1886, the library collections have been renowned for their specializations in fine and decorative art, graphic arts, and artistic crafts. Holdings include one of France’s premier poster collections and the third most important national collection for wallpapers. Following a long tradition of mounting exhibitions, the present renovation aims to rationalize the building’s spaces and enable the library to attract tourists and curious visitors who will discover spectacular historic spaces and heritage collections.
The ground floor around the courtyard will be devoted to temporary and permanent exhibitions, conferences, workshops, and collaborative experiences with all users, from researchers to tourists, art students, and families. An unrestricted visitors’ path will be opened with original collections under cases as well as facsimiles and tactile and digitized attractions. Two noble staircases will be freely accessible, and the main reading room and its spectacular medieval style decorations will be visible through a glass door. The library itself will be wholly installed on the first floor, an improvement on the current confusing mix of offices and public spaces on the first and second floors. The new arrangement will also offer more space and better working conditions for the librarians.
Bennett, Furness’s Brooding Building: An Engine of Active Thought
The Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania was designed by Frank Furness in the late 1880s as a machine for learning. Furness used industrial elements and imagery, such as exposed steel beams and geometricized ornament, to resonate with the contemporaneous notion that the body and, with it, the mind, were machine-like themselves and, consequently, could be engineered to attain peak performance abetted by both monumental form and subtle detailing. An inspired work—easily the best building on campus, arguably the finest interior in Philadelphia and certainly one of the world’s great library spaces—the Fisher today must balance respect for its physical fabric with new models of cognition and new demands from library patrons. Our understanding of the human mind and how it learns is now framed by protocols of computation and information processing, which, in fact, comprise much of the present-day patrons’ actual activities within the library. Today, we hear of libraries as hybrid states of physical interfaces or “collaboratories” where knowledge is fostered by academic technologies. While one should not overlook these considerations when thinking about spaces or how users should interact, one must also consider the message in the space’s physicality which, in this case, has fostered generations of scholars. This paper will take the audience through the evolution of the Furness library in relation to its users, its program for them and how it has impacted them, and will then focus on how the library is now exploring ways to draw upon the building’s historical and material propositions in order to facilitate the digitization, visualization and fabrication tools of our own time.
Igoshina, From the Historical Space into a New Context: The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Research Library as Part of the Future House of Text
In 2019, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts Research Library is going to move from its historical place into a new building. It will blend into the so-called House of Text—a new museum integral to book heritage. Exploring the future role of the House of Text, we face the problem of adapting a former lodging house built at the beginning of the twentieth century that has never been used as a museum or a library before, for the uses of an institution that is going to conserve books on the fine arts and make them accessible to the public in multiple ways.
In my talk on the future of our library, I would like to touch upon the following topics. First of all, I will dwell on the history of the library and show how it corresponds to the present day. Secondly, I will tell about the museum restoration and extension project which is to result in the re-emergence of the complex Museum Quarter in the place of the current location of the Pushkin Fine Arts Museum. Next I will give an idea of the architectural characteristic of the former Stulovs’ lodging house, where, according to the plan of the Museum Quarter, the Museum Research Library is going to move. Then I am going to pay a great deal of attention to the concept description of the so-called “House of Text” which is to emerge in the former Stulovs’ house; and finally, I will speak upon the exact place that the Research Library is going to take within the structure of the House of Text.

10:15 – 10:30 am

10:30 – 12:00 pm
A Creative Force in the Library

The Last Doge’s Groom: How Villa Manin Stable Became a Regional Institute for Friuli Venezia Giulia Cultural Heritage and its Library
Sinometta Pasqualis Dell’antonio, Information Specialist and Secretary of the University Language Centre, Università degli Studi di Trieste
Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design: Ten Years and Counting
Carol Terry, Director of Library Services, Rhode Island School of Design                                                                         Mark Pompelia, Visual+Material Resource Librarian, Rhode Island School of Design
Moderator: Heather Gendron, Director, Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University, and President, ARLIS/NA
Pasqualis, The Last Doge’s Groom: How Villa Manin Stable Became a Regional Institute for Friuli Venezia Giulia Cultural Heritage and its Library
The last Doge of Venice, Lodovico Manin, was the landlord of Passariano and to his family belongs the beautiful Villa Manin where this story takes place. The Villa survived many historical hardships: military occupation over the centuries (Napoleonic troops at the end of the eighteenth century, Austro-Hungarian and German troops during World War I); the inevitable decline of the manor due to the Manin family’s loss of power and prestige; and then the last blow, the earthquake of 1976 which devastated Friuli but was the beginning of a rebirth for the Villa. A few months after the earthquake, the Regione Autonoma FVG issued a law which established a School for Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage with laboratories for didactic activities and a library to support the activity of the Centre for Cataloguing and Restoration of Cultural Heritage. The location was Villa Manin.
In 2015 the School evolved into the Istituto Regionale per il Patrimonio Culturale del Friuli Venezia Giulia (IPAC). IPAC has the mission to promote research, learning and training in the field of conservation and restoration of our cultural heritage, meant as a public and popular good; to support political action which is centered on landscape protection and promotion, with a global and historical vision of cultural heritage; to assess and analyze the risk and vulnerability of a landscape that heavily depends on its cultural heritage; and to promote active participation of citizens, local authorities, universities, and schools in preserving our heritage and memory. Its Library, its Photographic Archive, and its Restoration School–they are all proactive agents of the many activities in which IPAC is engaged.
Terry & Pompelia, Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design: Ten Years Counting
What happens when you turn an iconic banking hall into a contemporary library of art and design? The Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design is a successful reinvention of the art library through the adaptive re-use of a historic bank building in downtown Providence. While always beloved by the school, the former iteration of the library was full of character and an intimacy that suited its analog holdings, but penned in by insufficient space that inhibited teaching and meant a third of the collection was in storage. It was unable to embrace its twenty-first-century future.
The 2006 opening in the former Rhode Island Hospital Trust bank (York & Sawyer, 1919) was the culmination of a design-forward building project that began with non-site specific program development in the mid-1990s and, following a collaborative design and construction process, resulted in “one of the world’s most amazing libraries”. In addition to quadrupling the library’s space, the magnificent banking hall serves as the library’s main reading room while the second floor accommodates a new reading room for Archives and Special Collections and expanded space for the Visual + Material Resource Center. In keeping with the building’s co-function as student residence hall with five hundred beds on nine floors above, the library’s spaces and collections invite student habitation and activation. In a studio-based environment such as RISD, the Fleet Library easily satisfies the need for a commons and for “place” while keeping browsable collections readily at hand. It has achieved an optimal balance of analog and electronic resources in an attractive and inviting setting.
So has the building met its promise after ten years? What have been the unanticipated questions? Have the furnishings been successful? And what has changed from the original intent? Evidence of congruence with the program goals and details of the most significant change to the space—the transition from Slide Room to Material Resource Center—will be presented. This co-presented paper will explore how the Fleet Library at RISD has preserved its legacy while forging its future, using its nascent Material Resource Center as a case study for exploration and learning.

12:00 pm

1:00 – 6:00 pm
Tours Begin — See Tour Listing for Options