Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Quotable Ethan Allen, January 28th, 2010

Kevin Graffagnino
The Quotable Ethan Allen

Based on his 2005 book with H. Nicholas Muller III, The Quotable Ethan Allen, Kevin Graffagnino's lecture offers a representative selection of Ethan's fiery rhetoric on the American Revolution, the Yankee v. Yorker struggle for control of the area that became Vermont, theology, the rights of man, and other subjects that attracted his attention.

Thursday, January 28, 2010
4:00 p.m.
William L. Clements Library
909 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Free and open to the public

For more information, contact the library at 734-764-2347 or

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Fall-Winter 2009 Quarto is Here

The latest issue of The Quarto is now available. The Quarto is a semi-annual newsletter published by the William L. Clements Library and sent to members of the Clements Library Associates. If you would like more information about membership, please contact Ann Rock at or 734-358-9770. To become an Associate, download the membership application and mail it to: Library Associates, William L. Clements Library, 909 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190.

Contents of the Fall-Winter 2009 issue of The Quarto:
  1. "Native Americans," by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director. An introduction to the focus of this issue, Native American history materials at the Clements Library.
  2. "Tales of Indian Captivity," by Emiko Hastings, Curator of Books. The Library's extensive collection of published Indian captivity narratives.
  3. "To Bring the Tribes Together There," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Curator of Maps and Head of Research & Publications. Indian nations in the region of eighteenth-century Detroit.
  4. "Expressions of Assimilation?" by Barbara DeWolfe, Curator of Manuscripts. Kiowa student drawings and letters in the Hilon A. Parker papers.
  5. "The Art of James Otto Lewis," by Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphic Materials. Portraits of Native American leaders.
  6. "Native American Food and Food Ways," by JJ Jacobson, Curator for American Culinary History.
  7. "Developments," by Ann Rock, Director of Development. Summary of 2009 outreach activities.
  8. Announcements.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Recent Acquisition: Audubon Wolverine Print

The Clements Library has recently acquired a hand-colored lithograph of a wolverine from John James Audubon's The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (New York: 1845-48). It is now on display inside the back entrance of the building. Appropriately, as the first Audubon piece owned by the Clements Library,* it illustrates an animal famous on campus as the University of Michigan mascot.

A naturalist and painter, John James Audubon (1785-1851) was best known for his illustrations of North American birds, published in his masterwork Birds of America (1838). His paintings were based on extensive field observations, and combined scientific accuracy with artistic poses in natural settings. Audubon's final work, The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, was a study of American mammals in collaboration with his sons and Rev. John Bachman.

*The University of Michigan Special Collections has a complete set of Audubon's famous Birds of America, the first book purchased for the University of Michigan library in 1838. This book has been on display in the new Audubon Room in the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Reframing the Color Line: MLK Symposium Event at the Clements Library, January 18, 2010

On January 18, as part of the University of Michigan's 24th Annual MLK Symposium, the Clements Library will be hosting a discussion in conjunction with the current exhibit, Reframing the Color Line: Race and the Visual Culture of the Atlantic World.

MLK Symposium Event: Reframing the Color Line: Race and Visual Culture
January 18, 2010 4:00 pm
Location: William L. Clements Library, 909 S. University Avenue
Speaker: Martha S. Jones, History and Afroamerican & African Studies; Kristin Hass, American Culture

An exploration of racism as portrayed and challenged in American public culture. How do we critically understand contemporary representations of African Americans and “reframe” them with ideas that counter racism and enhance our understandings of identities, difference, and power? How do sites of public memory shape our shared understandings? The discussion is held in conjunction with the Clements Library exhibit, “Reframing the Color Line: Race and the Visual Culture of the Atlantic World,” curated by Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphics, and Martha S. Jones, Associate Professor of History and Afroamerican & African Studies.

Free and open to the public. Reception follows.

Sponsored by the William L. Clements Library, Department of History, Center for Afroamerican & African Studies, and the Dean’s Office, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.

To learn more about the issues explored in this exhibit, see Professor Martha S. Jones' recent article, "Reframing the Color Line: Clements Library's exhibit delves into origins of racial prejudice in American visual culture." The exhibit will be in the Main Room of the Clements Library until February 19, 2010.

UPDATE: has posted a review of the exhibit by John Carlos CantĂș: "Clements exhibit explores visual roots of racist stereotypes," January 4, 2010.