Program Pics: Hirsch Library Tour

A couple Thursdays ago HMAG toured the MFAH Hirsch Library. What an amazing program! Our host, Library Director Jon Evans, was extraordinarily knowledgeable, gracious, and also super fun. We explored upstairs and downstairs and saw incredible reference materials for jewelry and art history, and learned exactly how to find it all again on a return visit.

 

A highlight was getting to see the expansive rotating carriages of Artist Files and Ephemera. Amazing little treasures from decades ago can be found here, whether it’s an old exhibition program of Barnett Newman’s or newspaper clipping interview with Val Link. And yes, we totally did get to see a 1980 interview with Val and the Houston Chronicle, along with a “Val Link and Graduates- A Platinum Retrospective” exhibition flyer. We also got to thumb through a 2004 Glassell Faculty Exhibition Catalog featuring Sandie and Jan!

 

Of course, seeing some fine examples from the rare book collection was pretty incredible too. What I think was a sort of fascist manifesto by Mussolini sported a fabulous copper-embellished book spine. Halved tubes of copper were hinged together in a rather intricate diagonal pattern, wrapped around the entire spine and connected to a wicked cool steel ax-head shape on the front cover. But that’s not all! We also saw a bizarre medieval-esque compendium of Tiffany’s jewelry, Electrum Gallery ephemera, an artist’s reference book of hand-drawn botanicals, even a crazy huge book on Hitler with real photos glued into the pages!  And we barely scratched the surface of what the library actually has in it’s vast stores.
Before I came out to the program, I knew in that abstract, passive kind of way that libraries generally held some cool stuff. But wow, walking through the Hirsch Library and seeing everything they had to offer, how easy they made it to access, and how immediately useful and relevant it was to me right now made me realize my life could be a great deal easier if I stopped by the library before sifting through Google. From piles of jewelry magazines like Ornament and Metalsmith, to auction catalogs where you can track the value of prized pieces, to Houston specific art events throughout the years, the Hirsch Library is truly a staggering resource that is happy to point an eager artist to whatever they need.

 

Click here  to explore the library’s homepage and check out their collections, searchable catalog, and online resources. While you’re at it, plan a visit!

3 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Terry Fromm says:

    Great article! Just a comment, the Val article was 1980, not 1960, wasn’t it?

  2. Marsha says:

    Hope you guys can do the Museum library tour again in future. Couldn’t get off early enough from work, maybe next time.

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