Curator of Exhibits, University Museum Southern Illinois University
Librarians and archivists are sometimes blessed with collections that include significant works of art. What do we do with them? We focus on strategies for housing, storing and preserving these interesting misfits, and they sit safely in a box or a drawer for decades. But what happens when we finally decide to share them with the public? Where do we turn for help? This poster depicts the collaboration at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) between archivists at the Special Collections Research Center of Morris Library and curators from the University Museum to showcase important art works from the Caresse Crosby Papers. An expatriate publisher in Paris between the wars, Crosby moved in art circles that included Surrealists such as Man Ray, Salvador Dali and Dorothea Tanning, and the Decadent German artist Alastair. In the 1940s Crosby opened a gallery in Washington, D.C., where she was among the first to show Romare Bearden’s early work. Original art submitted to Crosby’s Black Sun Press and her (now collectible) periodical Portfolio will be displayed later this summer, with examples by Bearden, Eldzier Cortor, Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski among other artists and writers from the period. Featuring striking color images, the poster details how the team worked together to exhibit these too long hidden treasures to the campus and local community and eventually a wider audience through a planned future traveling exhibit.