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Flash Exhibits in Library Special Collections

The UCLA Library Special Collections Flash Exhibit Program features in-house exhibits that are typically on display for less than two weeks.

2014 Disclaimer

This guide was created in September 2015. Therefore, this page does not contain every flash exhibit that was on display in 2014 but only the ones for which a record was retained.

The 500th Anniversary of Andreas Vesalius - Exhibited January 2-10, 2014

The 500th Anniversary of Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564)

Vesalius image

2014 marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of Andreas Vesalius, perhaps the greatest anatomist of all time, and author of one of the most important books in the history of medicine. De humani corporis fabrica, printed in Basel, Switzerland by Joannes Oporimus in 1543.

The Fabrica consists of seven books, beginning with the first book on bones, followed by six others on ligaments and muscles, veins and arteries, nerves, organs of nutrition, heart, and brain and sense organs. Vesalius' arrangement emphasizing the importance of bones completely reverses the traditional way of studying anatomy in which bones were discussed last.

The text is illustrated with more than 300 exquisitely detailed woodcuts by an unknown artist. Historians like to think that they were done by Titian or an artist of his studio, but whoever did them was extraordinarily skilled. The Fabrica is especially celebrated for its series of images in which the musculature of the human body is progressively removed, ultimately revealing how it is attached to the skeleton.

The title page of the Fabrica portrays Vesalius as the star of his own performance of a public dissection which unfolds, appropriately, in a theater. Vesalius' own three-weasel coat of arms ("vesalius" means "weasel") is proudly displayed at the top of the page. With his right hand, he points to the open body before him, while his left hand points upward ... Aristotle, and Hippocrates---watch approvingly.

In the commemoration of the 500th anniversaries of the birth of Vesalius and the death of Aldus Manutius, and in celebration of their achievements, UCLA Library Special Collecitons and the UCLA Center for Medieval Renaissance Studies will co-sponsor a conference, "The Illustrated Body: Printing, Anatomy, and Art in the Renaissance," February 27-28, 2015, which will be accompanied by an exhibit of Aldine imprints.

Kissing by the Book: Rime and Romance in Special Collections - Exhibited: February 10-21, 2014

Kissing by the Book: Rime and Romance in Special Collections

Love in the Renaissance was an art form itself. Poets, musicians, and artists all strove to capture the triumphs and tribulations of erotic love, a theme that left its mark on the printed books of the era. Drawing on and transforming the courtly love traditions of the troubadours, the great Florentine poet Petrarch returned to the theme of love time and again in his Rime and Canzoniere and began I Triunfi with a Triumph of Love.

Fifteenth-century Castilian writer Diego de Pedro imagined the despair of frustrated love as being akin to emotional imprisonment in his Cárcel de amor (The Prison of Love). Another enduring trope of courtly love was to portray the pursuit of one's lover as a hunt. Cardinal Egidio (Canisio) da Viterbo wrote the Caccia amorosa enigmata (1520), an erotic poem in ottava rima; featured here is the first edition, of which only two copies are recorded. Tullia d'Aragona, a sixteenth-century Italian philosopher and writer, featured women as arbiters of the eithics and morality of love in her Dialogo della signora Tullia d'Aragona della infinita di amore. In this treatise, Tullia celebrates the dual nature of human love as both sensual and spiritual, and defends her sex against misogynist attacks by men.

Emblem books, such as that compiled by the English poet and translator Philip Ayres Emblemata amatoria (1683), used familiar tropes of courtly love to illustrate the joys and sorrows of romantic yearning. Ayres added his own compositions and translations, such as "Love's my Pole Star" as he reproduced copperplates from earlier books, such as Amorum emblemata (Antwerp, 1608) and Thronus cupidinis (Amsterdam, 1618). Conduct manuals and courtesy books instructed young lovers on the proper rituals of courtship, some in a humorous and cheeky tone, such as this Dictionary of Love (1795).

Novels, as well as poetry, take up the them of love. Jane Austen's belove regency novel Pride and Prejudice contains one of the most enduring love-stories of her period (featured here is the first edition from the Sadleir Collection). The themes of love and courtship continue to fascinate modern readers today.

Earth Day! - Exhibited: April 15-23, 2014

Earth Day!

What better way to commemorate Earth Day 2014 in Los Angeles than a flash exhibition featuring two recent accessions to Library Special Collections? Andy Lipkis founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973, at age 18. Through his leadership, the organization has grown into one of California’s largest independent environmental organizations. Through the hard work of volunteers and help from supporters, TreePeople has spearheaded an approach using trees and forest-inspired technologies to make cities sustainable while mitigating floods, drought, pollution, and climate change.

TreePeople’s efforts have resulted in the planting of over two million trees in forests, urban neighborhoods and school campuses. Over two million children have participated in its award-winning Environmental Education programs for students, youth groups and teachers. TreePeople has received numerous honors and awards including recognition by the United Nations World Forestry Organization for its work as a global model for other large cities. The TreePeople Records will be processed this summer, and will be open for research later in 2014.

TreePeople’s efforts have resulted in the planting of over two million trees in forests, urban neighborhoods and school campuses. Over two million children have participated in its award-winning Environmental Education programs for students, youth groups and teachers. TreePeople has received numerous honors and awards including recognition by the United Nations World Forestry Organization for its work as a global model for other large cities.

In the late 1930s, in response to a pair of deadly floods, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors called in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to control the unruly Los Angeles River. After 20 years and 3 million barrels of concrete, over 400 miles of the River and its tributaries were narrowed, straightened, deepened and encased in cement. Within a short time, important native species were largely gone and the Los Angeles River gained the reputation of being a huge concrete eyesore.

In 1986, Roger Wong, Pat Patterson and Lewis MacAdams formed the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), now the oldest LA River advocacy organization committed to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat. Among FoLAR’s many programs to connect people to the River are an annual river clean-up, the “Gran Limpieza,” which brings several thousand people to the river to clean up every spring; and an on-going series of conferences and planning workshops dealing with every aspect of the river. Over the years, two former railroad yards along the river have been transformed into state parks and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have created half a dozen riverfront pocket parks, and a bike path that continues to grow. Processing of Friends of the Los Angeles River Records will begin later this year.

Over the years, two former railroad yards along the river have been transformed into state parks and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority have created half a dozen riverfront pocket parks, and a bike path that continues to grow.

Earth Day involves yearly events designed to focus political and community attention on environmental concerns. Taking place on April 22, Earth Day provides the opportunity for us to celebrate Mother-Earth while considering ways to protect her. For the TreePeople and the Friends of the Los Angeles River, every day is Earth Day.

By Julie Graham, Accessioning Archivist (and Friend of Mother-Earth)

Poem in Your Pocket Day - Exhibited: April 24, 2014

Poem in Your Pocket Day

To celebrate Poem in Your Pocket Day, on view in our flash exhibition case –for today only!– are several examples from Library Special Collections’ holdings of miniature bindings.

Poems and Lovers, by A. R. Witten, 1969.

The pocket-sized volumes in the collection include a wide variety of works — from Catullus to nursery rhymes, early Italian printings to modern artists’ books, delicate folded paper to sturdy leather bindings, sublime verse to silly doggerel.

La Divina Comedia di Dante, 1555.

Be sure to discover other Poem in Your Pocket Day events in Young Research Library. Check the Facebook page and Twitter feed (@ucla_yrl) for more information.

 By Megan Hahn Fraser, Processing Projects Librarian

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Co. - Exhibited: May 26-June 6, 2014

Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company

Golden State Mutual (GSM) Life Insurance Company was founded in Los Angeles eighty-nine years ago on July 23, 1925 by William Nickerson, Jr. with co-founders George A. Beavers, Jr., and Norman O. Houston. Their mission was two-fold: To provide dignified GSM Founders Beavers, Nickerson, and Houstonemployment for African Americans and to provide them with insurance protection. At that time, insurance companies regarded Black Angeleños as either uninsurable or an extraordinary risk and routinely either denied them coverage or offered them discriminatory rates. When GSM began imagining its move to its fourth and final Los Angeles home office, it hired Paul Revere Williams, the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects, to design the West Adams facility. When GSM opened these doors in 1948, there was finally enough space to showcase its Afro-American art collection and reveal its historical murals in August, 1949. Williams selected artists Hale Woodruff and Charles Alston to create murals that tell the story of the Negro’s contribution to California history. Portions of these records (collection 1434) are open for research and the entire collection and finding aid will be available via the Online Archive of California in Fall 2014.

In 1947, current Board member and retired president Edgar Johnson, architect Paul Williams, president and co-founder Norman O. Houston and co-founder and chairman George A. Beavers, Jr., look over the scale model of the GSM Life Insurance Company building that was erected at the corner of Western and Adams.

Mrs. Helen E. Batiste was appointed Corporate Secretary of Golden State Mutual in 1964. Her history with GSM dates back to the beginning of the firm, when, as its sole office employee, she performed the multiple duties of policy clerk, cashier, secretary, typist, telephone and mimeograph operator. She also served GSM as its company statistician, Treasurer, Personnel Officer, Controller, Auditor and member of its Board of Directors.

by Kelly Besser, Processing Archivist

Glen E. Friedman Photographs - Exhibited: June 25-July 11, 2014

Glen E. Friedman Photographs

Glen E. Friedman is a progressive political activist whose photography of skateboarders and musicians first became known in the 1980s. His childhood was largely spent hanging out in the legendary West Los Angeles area known as "Dogtown." Friedman began his photography career in his teens by taking photographs of his skateboarding friends, many of whom were eventually featured in magazines as top skateboarders. His photos impressed the editor of SkateBoarder magazine where he was hired as the magazine's youngest staff member.

Years later, Friedman began to shoot photos at punk shows. His photos of proto-punk bands such as Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, and Bad Brains brought the bands some of their first national and international media attention. Friedman went on to photograph many important hip-hop artists such as Public Enemy, Run DMC, KRS One, and the Beastie Boys.

Friedman's photography has been seen in international publications for more than thirty years, on record covers for over twenty-five years, and has been exhibited in art galleries and museums worldwide for over ten years.

The photographs exhibited were pulled from a portfolio consisting of 10 hand-picked selections by the artist.

by Cesar Reyes, Member of LSC Punk Archive

Punk Zines - Exhibited: July 19-July 28, 2014

Punk Zines

Zines, short for fanzines or magazines, are self-published, not for profit, periodicals. Often times handmade, zines are produced in small batches using readily available supplies like glue sticks, scissors, long-armed staplers, typewriters, and photocopiers. Motivated by uncensored self-expression, zine makers, known as zinesters, embrace the DIY (Do it Yourself) ethos of punk rock and tackle every conceivable topic from cats to vegan baking to rape and incest.

Punk zines were an integral part of the punk subculture from the start, emerging around 1976. They typically contain band interviews, shows reviews, music reviews, scene news and gossip, fiction, and political and social commentary. Early punk zines were often regional and included New York City’s Punk, Los Angeles’ Slash, and Boston’s Forced Exposure. San Francisco’s Maximum Rocknroll, considered one of the most influential punk zines, began in 1982 and is still published today.

The zines exhibited were pulled from the Darby Romeo Collection of Zines (Collection Number 1746). Romeo was the creator of Ben is Dead, a well-known Los Angeles-based zine from the 1990s.

By Courtney Dean, Los Angeles Times Processing Archivist and LSC Punk Archive member

Well, Well, and What Have We Here: Optical Cards created by Mary Lewis in 1828 - Exhibited: August 2014

Well, Well, and What Have We Here: Optical Cards created by Mary Lewis in 1828

A mini-exhibit for August 2014 asks (but does not answer) the question: Who was Mary Lewis of Camp Hill (Birmingham, England?) and, in 1828, why did she make 58 carefully handwritten, illustrated flash cards which addressed problems, phenomena, and experiments in optics and vision?

Mary Lewis’s cards (BIOMED Ms. Coll. no. 347 RARE), each with a standard embossed border, were purchased by the History & Special Collections for the Sciences section of UCLA Library Special Collections from Samuel Gedge, a dealer in antiquarian books, manuscripts, and ephemera. They are on display at the Louise M. Biomedical Library (1st floor lobby/research commons) through Labor Day, 2014.

This mini-exhibit is part of an occasional series, Well, Well, and What Have We Here, which brings to light (no pun intended) surprising, unexplained, and sometimes unexplainable items from or added to the collections.

Explanations are welcomed.

The cards are titled:

  1. [Title]
  2. A ray of light
  3. In the same medium, the rays of light are in straight lines
  4. Rays of light may be bended
  5. The same joining of mediums will bend some rays and not others
  6. A ray passing obliquely through a plane glass goes on afterward parallel to its first direction though not in the same line
  7. An angle
  8. The angle of incidence
  9. The angle of reflection
  10. To see an object reflected from a plane looking glass
  11. Parallel rays of light
  12. Converging rays
  13. Diverging rays
  14. The eye sees an object by rays diverging from all the visible points of its surface
  15. A pencil of rays, and a radiant point
  16. A focus
  17. A double convex lens or glass, seen edgewise
  18. A plano-convex lens seen edgewise
  19. A double concave lens seen edgewise
  20. A plano-concave lens seen edgewise
  21. A meniscus or concavo-convex lens seen edgewise
  22. The radius of convexity of concavity of lenses
  23. A triangular prism seen end-wise
  24. The focus of the sun’s parallel rays when transmitted through a double convex lens
  25. Parallel rays become parallel again by passing through two convex lenses placed parallel to each other & at double their focal distance
  26. The focus of the sun’s (or any other) parallel rays, transmitted through a plano-convex lens
  27. Rays diverging from a radiant point in the focus of a lens are parallel after passing through the lens
  28. Rays diverging from a radiant point between a convex lens and its focus will continue to diverge, though in a less degree, after passing through the lens
  29. Rays from a radiant point beyond the focal distance of a convex lens will, after passing through the lens, converge to a point or focus on the other side of the lens
  30. Parallel rays passing through a double concave lens
  31. Parallel rays passing through a plano-concave lens
  32. Parallel rays passing thro’ a solid sphere or globe of glass
  33. The angle of vision
  34. Why an object appears smaller and smaller as we recede further and further from it
  35. A convex lens magnifies the angle of vision, and why
  36. Rays from an object passing thro’ a convex lens, will make a picture of the object in a dark room
  37. To form the picture mentioned on card 36, the object must be farther from the lens than the focal distance of the lens
  38. To find what proportion the size of the picture (card 36) bears to the size of the object
  39. The camera obscura
  40. The multiplying glass
  41. An artificial eye
  42. The human eye, with its coats and humours
  43. The sclerotica & cornea of the eye
  44. The choroides and ligamentum ciliare of the eye
  45. The retina and optic nerve of the eye
  46. The pupil and aqueous humour of the eye
  47. The crystalline and vitreous humours of the eye
  48. The manner of vision
  49. Why an object appears large when it is near the eye, and small when far from the eye
  50. Three patches being stuck on a board, to lose sight of the middle one, whilst both the others are visible
  51. The use of convex spectacle
  52. The use of concave spectacles
  53. Single microscope
  54. Refracting telescope
  55. The magic lantern
  56. The phantasmagoria lantern
  57. The polyphantasma
  58. Prismatic colours.

by Russell Johnson, Curator/Librarian - History & Special Collections for the Sciences

Panama Canal Anniversary - Exhibited: September 22-26, 2014

The Panama Canal 1914-2014

The idea of a canal across the isthmus of Panama has been around since soon after the arrival of the first European explorers in the sixteenth century. In 1819, the Spanish government authorized the construction of a canal and the creation of a company to build it, but nothing was ever built. Between 1850 and 1875 surveys of the area concluded that the most favorable route was across Panama, followed by a route across Nicaragua, and then a route across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in Mexico. In 1881, a French company began construction of a sea-level canal across the isthmus of Panama, but by 1889 had gone bankrupt, having completed only about 40% of the work. On May 4, 1904, the United States formally took control of the French property relating to the canal, having helped Panama gain independence the previous year, and negotiating control of the Panama Canal Zone on February 23, 1904. Initial work on the cnal concentrated on improving construction infrastructure and salvaging and upgrading French equipment and buildings. It wasn't until late in 1905 that a decision was finally made that the canal should be constructed with locks, rather than at sea level. Construction really began to make progress in 1906 as living conditions for workers were vastly improved, leading to a far smaller turnover in the work force, and infrastructure improvements allowed much more rapid and efficient work. By 1914, construction was largely complete, and on August 15, 1914, the Pnama Railway steamship SS Ancon, made the first official transit of the canal.

These photographs are from a collection of 50 photographs documenting the construction of the Panama Canal, and its early years of operation. It includes many photographs of the construction itself, including the locks, work on the Gaillard/Culebra Cut, and the dredges, steam shovels and other equipment used, as well as some of the town of Culebra, shop buildings and docks, railroads, the breakwater in Limon Bay, and ships navigating the canal.

The Graphic Novels of Lynd Ward - Exhibited: October 13-17, 2014

The Great American Novel and Not a Word in It: The Graphic Novels of Lynd Ward

Readers my be forgiven for assuming that the graphic novel form began with the publication of Art Spiegelman's 1992 Pulitzer Prize winning Maus. This assumption is wrong by several decades.

The American graphic novel debuted in 1929 with God's Man: a Novel in Woodcuts by Lynd Ward (New York: Jonathan Cape and Harrison Smith, 1929), published just as the stock market crashed. Often referred to as a wordless novel, the only text to be found in the book, aside from publication information, are chapter headings.

Lynd Kendall Ward was born in Chicago in 1905. He studied fine art at Columbia Teachers College. But, it was while continuing his training at the National Academy of Graphic Arts and Bookmaking in Leipzig that he chanced upon the work of Belgian artist, Franz Masereel, whose woodcuts would prove highly influential on the evolution of Ward's style of working against the wood's grain in a method known as wood engraving.

Ward created six graphic novels during the Depression, culminating with Vertigo, (New York: Random House, 1937) an ambitious work of 230 individual engravings that required two years to produce, Ward, who had a long illustrious career as an illustrator, died in 1985. Thankfully, his graphic works are being rediscovered courtesy of a recent box set issued by the Library of America, and edited by Spiegelman.

"To make a wood engraving," Spiegelman noted, "is to insist on the gravitas of the image," and, in the words of Lynd Ward, on the sublime artistry of storytelling.

By Lauren Buisson