Odum Library Blog

Blog Image Alt Text

Learn, Study, Discover

Desert Storm 25th Anniversary

by Emily Rogers on January 28, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

This January and February mark the 25th anniversary of the United States’ participation in Operation Desert Storm, a military campaign designed to end Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait, which began in August 1990.  Consider official accounts of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm with this article from the U.S. Air Force Public Affairs Office and a fact sheet from the U.S. Air Force Historical Support Division. More information about the 25th anniversary of Desert Storm is available through a special commemorative Air Force web site that includes links to videos featuring Major General Paul T. Johnson, Colonel David Web, and Lt. General David “Orville” Wright. The U.S. Navy also presents an overview of the Navy’s role in Desert Storm.

View a collection of photographs of Desert Storm activity courtesy of the Defense Media Network.  The U.S. Army has prepared a timeline of Desert Storm, which includes comments by veterans who served in the operation. See what other veterans of the operation have to say in this recollection published by the Air Force’s 403rd Wing Public Affairs Office.   Those who returned from Gulf War service have often suffered major health consequences, as documented in this site from the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

Learn more about Operation Desert Shield and Storm and efforts to commemorate service in the Gulf region by visiting the government information exhibit on the 25th Anniversary of Desert Shield and Desert Storm on the second floor of Odum Library, near the Reference Desk.

 

 

MLK Day Opportunities and Library Hours

by Emily Rogers on January 5, 2016 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question,” asked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “is what are you doing for others?” View Odum Library’s exhibit of government materials about Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, available in the Reference area on the library’s second floor.

The library will close at 12:00 midnight on Sunday, January 17, and will reopen at 8:00 am on Tuesday, January 19, in observation of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

In recent years, many people have used the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday as a day of volunteer service to the community. This year’s MLK Day of Service is Monday, January 18. MLKDay.gov offers more information about available service opportunities.

The Department of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services offers educational materials about the life of Dr. King and history of the Day of Service along with information about becoming a United States citizen.

Read the “I have a dream” speech, available through the National Archives at archives.gov.

For those traveling away from Valdosta this holiday, MLK Day is a good time to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC, and the King Center in Atlanta.  Once you return from holiday activities, remember that Odum Library will be open again on January 19 at 8:00 am.

Wisdom returns to National Wildlife Refuge

by Emily Rogers on November 30, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

The oldest living banded wild bird, Wisdom, has returned to Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in Hawaii. Wisdom, a 64-year-old Laysan albatross, spent a year at sea before returning to the refuge to reunite with her mate.  Sighted on November 19, 2015, Wisdom flew back to sea but should return soon to lay her egg.

The Laysan albatross lays just one egg per year and spends around 130 days incubating and raising her chick. Once done with this process, Wisdom should fly away again; refuge workers estimate that she has covered approximately six million ocean miles in her lifetime.

National wildlife refuges help protect and provide habitat for birds, amphibians, mammals, fish, and reptiles, many otherwise threatened. View the current list of threatened/endangered species, including those located in Lowndes County, Georgia:  the striped newt, the wood stork, the purple bankclimber mussel, the eastern indigo snake, and the gopher tortoise.

The National Wildlife Refuge system, run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, covers more than 150 million acres of land and water, with at least one refuge located in each state. Nearby wildlife refuges include the Banks Lake NWF and the Okeefenokee NWF in south Georgia and the St. Marks NWF and the Lower Suwanee NWF in north Florida. Daily and annual passes are available–a small price to spend time with wildlife friends such as sandhill and whooping cranes, monarch butterflies, American alligators, and black bears.

Autumn Ways and Holidays

by Emily Rogers on November 18, 2015 in Government Documents, Hours, Odum Library, Reference

November has brought a few hints of cooler weather, Daylight Savings Time, Veterans Day, and Native American Heritage Month. As the days grow shorter, keep in mind upcoming schedule changes during the Thanksgiving break:

  • Odum Library will close at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 24, and reopen Saturday, November 28, at 9:00 a.m.

Other significant November events:

Once VSU students return to classes on November 30, the days of the semester grow shorter as well. Classes end on Monday, December 7, and final exams end Friday, December 11, with graduation on Saturday, December 12.  After that, it’ll be January 11, 2016, before students start classes again. Take care and enjoy your holidays!

 

Unveiling of the Rembrandt & Destino Collections

by Dallas Suttles on November 9, 2015 in Events, Odum Library

An unveiling of artwork generously donated to Valdosta State University by Lynn and David Morley

rembrant-dali_logo

Come and see the new Art in Odum Rembrandt-Dali Gallery on the second floor of Odum Library.  The collection features rare prints of the artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Salvador Dali. The Dali etchings are posthumous re-strikes of Rembrandt’s original prints from the 17th century. The works by Dali are film prints created for the 1945 Walt Disney-Dali collaboration Destino, which was completed by Roy Disney in 2003.

Destino

youtube-destino

The six-minute short follows the love story of Chronos and the ill-fated love he has for a mortal woman named Dahlia.[1] The story continues as Dahlia dances through surreal scenery inspired by Dalí’s paintings. There is no dialogue, but the soundtrack includes music by the Mexican composer Armando Dominguez. The 17-second original footage that is included in the finished product is the segment with the two tortoises (this original footage is referred to in Bette Midler’s host sequence for The Steadfast Tin Soldier in Fantasia 2000, as an “idea that featured baseball as a metaphor for life”) – Wikipedia.

Rembrandt van Rijn

Netherlands, 1606-1669

rembrandt-head As the youngest son of a miller, Rembrandt van Rijn was free of the obligation to follow the family trade and was able to spend seven years in Latin school and go on to study at the University of Leiden, but soon left, according to his first biographer, because “by nature he was moved toward the art of painting and drawing”1. After three years of study with Jacob Isaacsz van Swanenburgh and six months tutelage in Amsterdam with the finest historical painter of that era, Pieter Lastman, he returned to Leiden and was soon sought after as a portraitist and history painter. By 1631 he established a studio in partnership with art dealer Hendrik van Uylenburgh,
who arranged commissions, and he also taught students as well. He married van Uylenburgh’s niece Saskia in 1634; the couple had four children, only one of whom, Titus, survived infancy, and Saskia died in 1642, the same year he painted his most famous work, the large mural, Night Watch.

His life became increasingly unsettled. A house he had purchased in 1639 at the height of his success drove him into debt that eventually forced him into bankruptcy, forcing the sale of his estate, including his art collection. After his wife’s death, he had taken up with his son’s nursemaid, Geertje Dirckx, then dismissed her and became involved in 1649 with Hendrickje Stoffels, by whom he had a daughter, Cornelia, in 1654. Because they were unmarried, she was summoned before a council of the Dutch Reformed Chuch and censored for having “lived with Rembrandt like a whore”2, but they remained together until her death in 1663.

Both his domestic scandals and general changes in artistic styles, which did not focus on personal aspects of their subjects as Rembrandt did, affected his patronage. He received fewer commissions and no students are known to have worked with him in the 1650s, and only one in the 1660s. His assets declined further due to rejection of his work and the deaths of Hendrickje Stoffels and his son Titus, who had set up a business partnership to protect him financially. He died in 1669, and Rembrandt was buried in a rented grave, which has since vanished in Westerkerk, Amsterdam.

As an artist, Rembrandt had parallel careers as painter and printmaker, but he seldom depicted the same subjects in both media, and only rarely did he convert his paintings into prints.
He often used ordinary materials in unusual ways, and also experimented with his copper plates to obtain different printed images. He was also among the first printmakers to use various kinds of the newly available Asian papers to achieve different effects. As a result, he is still a highly important influence upon printmakers who are working today.

  1. Wheelock, Arthur k., Jr. “Rembrandt van Rijn.” National Gallery of Art. 2014. Web. 28 September 2015. <http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/artist-info.1822.html?artobj_artistId=1822&pageNumber=1>
  2. Ibid.

Salvador Dali

Spain, 1904-1989

dali-headSalvador Dali was named for a deceased older brother whom he considered himself the reincarnation of and whose image he placed in his works. His parents recognized his artistic talent early and placed him in a private school where French became his primary language, and built him his first art studio. He had his first public exhibition in 1919 as part of a group show, and went off to Madrid to study painting at the San Fernando Academy of Art, but failed to graduate when he refused to be examined on the theory of art, stating the teachers were incompetent to judge him. He journeyed to Paris, where he met Picasso, Joan Miro, and Andre Breton, who exposed him to works of the Surrealist movement. And it was also during this period he grew the mustache that was his trademark, and wore for the rest of his life.

1929 marked the beginning of an eventful period in Dali’s life. That year he collaborated with director Luis Bunuel in writing script of the film Un Chien Andalou, the film which is famous for its opening scene of a human eyeball being slashed open by a razor, and he also met Gala, the woman who became his lifelong inspiration, muse, wife, and business manager. At that time he was an important member of the Surrealist group in Paris, but they eventually broke with him due to his political beliefs in 1934. This did not impede his career, for several significant works were produced during this decade: The Persistence of Memory (1931), Rainy Taxi (1934), Lobster Telephone (1938), and the New York World’s Fair Pavilion, Dream of Venus (1939).

When World War II broke out, Dali and Gala fled to the United States in August, 1940, where Dali spent the next eight years working in a variety of media that included designing jewelry, clothes, furniture, stage sets for plays and ballet, theater costumes, and retail store display windows. He also wrote catalogs for his exhibitions, published his autobiography, The Secret Life of Salvador Dali (1942), and illustrated at least four novels, including an edition of Don Quixote. His first major retrospective was held at the Museum of Art. His most famous works of this period, however, are his film collaborations with Alfred Hitchcock on the dream montage in Spellbound (1945) and with Walt Disney for the short film Destino (1946), which was not completed due to financial problems at that time, and remained unfinished until 2003.

After returning to his home in Port Lligat, Spain in 1948, his art reflected a more religious aspect in his nature as well as shock over the dropping of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima, described in his Mystique Manifeste (1951). He painted nineteen large, detailed murals depicting detailed scenes of religious, historical or scientific events, as well as paintings that illustrated his “Nuclear Mysticism” such as Leda Atomica (1949) and The Hallucinogenic Torreador (1970). His deepening religiosity led him to remarry his wife in the Catholic Church in 1958, and to honor her wishes for a separate residence in 1968—a castle at Pubol, Spain—which he could only visit with her permission.

His last years were filled with labor on creating the Theater-Museum Dali in Figueres, Spain, at the Municipal Theater of Figueres where he had had his first exhibition, from 1961 till its opening in 1974, and he continued to suggest improvements until 1980. Despite being showered with retrospectives and honors by the world, including the title of Marquis de Pubol from King Juan Carlos, he was beset by fears of losing his beloved wife, who was suffering from depression and senility. In 1980, she mistakenly gave him medication which caused his right hand to tremble uncontrollably and damaged his nervous system, which largely ended his career as an artist. Gala died in 1982, robbing him of his desire to live. After a fire broke out in his bedroom in 1984, friends intervened and took him back to Figueres, where he lived at the Theater-Museum until his death in 1989. By his own wish, he is buried at the museum in a crypt below its geodesic dome, while Gala is buried in a crypt in her castle at Pubol.

By Denise Montgomery, Odum Library

Jane Smiley Talk and Exhibit

by Emily Rogers on November 6, 2015 in Neat Stuff, Odum Library, Reference

Jane SmileyOn November 12th at 7:30pm in the Student Union Theater, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley will be holding a public reading from her newest work, the Last Hundred Years Trilogy. In order to celebrate Jane Smiley’s visit to Valdosta State University as 2015’s Writer-In-Residence, Odum Library has prepared an exhibit showcasing her works of fiction and non-fiction.

From a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel inspired by Shakespeare’s King Lear (A Thousand Acres) to a sweeping historical novel reminiscent of the sagas of Iceland (The Greenlanders), Jane Smiley has created works that span a variety of genres exploring different time periods, places, and interpersonal dynamics.

If you are interested in exploring the works of Jane Smiley for yourself, please visit the second floor Reserve Desk in Odum Library.

Whether you are a long-time Smiley fan or you have just discovered her novels, mark your calendars for November 12th at 7:30pm to see Jane Smiley at the Student Union Theater.

Veterans Day

by Emily Rogers on November 5, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

On Veterans Day we recognize veterans and all of those who have offered military service. While the post office and some businesses are closed for the day, Odum Library will observe its regular hours.

Find out more about Veterans Day through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, where you can read this History of Veterans Day, and the Veterans Day National  Committee. View the 2015 official Veterans Day poster along with posters from previous years.  Take a look at these FAQs about Veterans Day, including the correct spelling and punctuation for the holiday.

As a Federal Depository Library, Odum Library’s Government Documents collection includes many publications about veterans, including these hearings about issues affecting veterans:

Veterans’ history and needs to extend beyond Veterans Day, of course. The Library of Congress invites public participation in the Veterans History Project. Veteran Brian McGough describes ways to help veterans after Veterans Day.  Mark these and other ways to honor and thank the veterans who have served our country.

 

 

VSU library exhibits the Irene Dodd Collection

by Dallas Suttles on October 13, 2015 in Archives & Special Collections, Odum Library
irenedodd.image

VSU ArchivesIrene Dodd taught art at Valdosta State from 1967 through 2002. She donated artwork to VSU Archives earlier this year. The Irene Dodd Collection is open to the public in Odum Library.

By Dean Poling dean.poling@gaflnews.com

When former VSU art professor Irene Dodd donated several pieces of her art and art she has collected from other VSU art professors and students, Davis discovered a recently cleared hallway in the Odum Library.

Davis transformed the hallway into the new gallery for the Irene Dodd collection.

The works are primarily abstract paintings, prints, etc. They share a glimpse into the talent that has fueled Valdosta State’s art program from the past to the present.

The collection includes canvases by University of Georgia art professors Howard Thomas, Madeline Gekiere, Samuel Adler; VSU art professors Karin Murray, Stephen Lahr, Lanny Milbrandt; former VSU students Earl McKey, Chris Wilson, Anne Coyle, Chaya Levy.

The collection also includes four Dodd works. Dodd’s works are also exhibited in VSU’s Lamar Dodd Collection named for her father and the Valdosta Artists Collection.

Irene Dodd is a retired Valdosta State University art faculty member, working with the school from 1967 through 2002.

The daughter of famed artist Lamar Dodd, who founded the University of Georgia art program, Irene Dodd has spent her life developing as an artist.

She has headlined approximately 70 solo exhibits, ranging from Valdosta shows to exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the High Museum of Atlanta, the University of Georgia, etc.

Painting and being an artist is always a work in progress.

“It’s never finished,” Dodd said in a past artistic statement. “If you painted the perfect painting, why continue? There are times to continue with a certain work and a time to stop, but the painting is never absolutely finished. New experiences, past experiences, your attitude on a given day, they are all reflected and each painting is only a fragment representing a larger statement.”

Davis said the Irene Dodd Collection includes a signature piece of recurring themes throughout the artist’s career.

“Florence triptych” represents Dodd’s love for travel, especially to Italy; the use of gold throughout her paintings; and a canvas that straddles the abstract with the observed.

Dodd has painted Italian scenes throughout a career that has produced numerous paintings from European nations. She calls these paintings “Euroscapes.”

“My work is usually the outgrowth of sensory responses to an event something like an epiphany,” Dodd has said. “Because I have mastered the needed techniques to do that they seem natural, my approach is intuitive. As the work takes form, I move between the instinctive act of painting and the analysis of the emerging product. The resulting work should embody life experienced by the artist and recreated to the viewer.”

The Irene Dodd Collection is on view and open to the public on the lower floor of Odum Library, Valdosta State University campus.

Resources on Breast Cancer Awareness

by Emily Rogers on October 5, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

Among the best sources for current information about breast cancer and other health issues are government web sites such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), and the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov).

The CDC provides background on breast cancer and collects statistics about its occurrence.  Breast cancer is “the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity;” in 2012 (the most recent year available) “224,147 women and 2,125 men in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer,” according to the CDC. Young women as well as those above age 50 should be aware that approximately 11% of each year’s new cases of breast cancer affect women under age 45.

Fact sheets about breast cancer and an overview of risk factors and current research are available from the NIH, and more information, including sources on coping, are available through the National Cancer Institute. As you note breast cancer awareness month, be sure that the information you rely on is current and authoritative.

Georgia at a Glance

by Emily Rogers on September 23, 2015 in Government Documents, Odum Library, Reference

From the Archives to the Reference Collection, Odum Library offers a wealth of information about the history, culture, and environment of Georgia. As an official depository of state of Georgia government publications, the library has much material about the state and its unique resources. To get started locating online information about Georgia, visit Georgia.gov, the official web site of the state of Georgia.

Some of the most popular topics about Georgia include how it was settled, who was born here, and what role it played in the Civil War; read answers to such frequently asked questions and more. The most thorough source of facts about Georgia is the New Georgia Encyclopedia, jointly produced in its digital edition by the Georgia Humanities Council, the University System of Georgia and GALILEO, the University of Georgia Press, and the Office of the Governor. There you can read about geography, history, arts, education, government, science and medicine, sports and recreation, and business, all with a Georgia flavor.

Your State Parks Day takes place Saturday, September 26th, 2015. Volunteer to help a Georgia state park in return for free entry to that park all day! For instance, Reed Bingham State Park, in Adel, Georgia, will use volunteers to help build a pollinator park to attract birds and butterflies in its “For the Birds” event. Once you’re done volunteering, you can find hiking, canoeing, camping, fishing, and more. Other upcoming events at Reed Bingham include Little River Paddle Tours on October 3rd and 17th and November 7th (parking on non-volunteer days costs $5/day).

Find ways to enjoy the beauty of Georgia this fall!

Home page photograph of canoe on Reed Bingham Lake courtesy of Julie Bowland.