President Clark: Contentious Times

President Clark meeting with students 1970, University Photographs, UA Ref 3, Oregon Digital Archive

This is the fifth of a series of blog posts highlighting the ongoing work of the Documenting UO History Project within the University Archives. A major part of this project is researching and documenting the often untold and hidden histories of the university’s diverse and underrepresented communities. This year our focus will continue to highlight Black history on campus, specifically Black student activism from the 1960s to present. Prior posts can be seen here.

President Robert D. Clark began his tenure at Oregon in 1969 and remained president until 1975. As far as students were concerned, Clark had large shoes to fill as the replacement to President Flemming, who had been incredibly popular with students from all walks of life and who especially championed the rights of minority students. Fortunately for Oregon students, President Clark came into the job with a wealth of experience, and was known as a progressive administrator. Prior to his presidential tenure at the University of Oregon, Clark served as the President of San Jose State University from 1964 to 1969. Students and faculty appreciated Clark’s ardent defense of civil rights issues, which included his unwavering support of Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith. This post will explore Clark’s relationship with student activists in his first years at the University of Oregon.

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New Exhibit | You Must Never Look Away From This

Colored People by Adrian Piper.Colored People by Adrian Piper.

Curated by Digital Projects and Engagement Librarian Tatiana Bryant and Art and Architecture Librarian Sara DeWaay, this exhibit on view in Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) highlights artists’ books related to themes in this year’s common reading selection, Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The books on view address race, identity, privilege, capitalism, education, diaspora, and family—as lived, studied, observed, and expressed by a variety of artists.

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Oregon Rare Books Initiative Speaker, April 19, 2017

List of Events for the Oregon Rare Books Initiative, 2016-2017

One may not think that the first stock market crash in 18th century Holland could be attractive, but the engravings in the 1720 work Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid, or The Great Mirror of Folly, show otherwise. By using art as satire, the creators of The Great Mirror could reflect on international reactions to the fiscal calamity that they lived through. The book’s many engravings used symbols to make fun of the financial crisis in the Netherlands. For example, it helped to entrench the now-common economic term “financial bubble.” The Oregon Rare Books Initiative is pleased to announce that on April 19, Professor Catherine Labio from the University of Colorado-Boulder will speak about the book in the Knight Library Browsing Room at 4:45p.m. Prof. Labio is a comparative literature professor who has edited several works on this topic and researches the financial world of 1700s Europe. During her talk, the University of Oregon’s copy of Het groote tafereel der dwaasheid and ten different financial works from the 18th century will be available to view. Please join us!

Angela Rothman

Special Collections and University Archives Intern

I blog for SCUA about the University of Oregon Museum of Art. Please see my other writing here.

Drama at the Museum!

Mrs. Leslie Carter as Jeanne in “Du Barry.” Image from “A Portrait History of American Acting” an exhibit from the Hoblitzelle Theatre Arts Library, The Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas.

This is the second of a series of blog posts that will explore exhibits during the 1960s at the Museum of Art at the University of Oregon, known today as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Part of the Documenting UO History Project, this series will investigate three major types of exhibits: the Statewide Services Program, national exhibits that traveled to the Museum, and international exhibits that the Museum displayed. The University Archives collection of the Museum’s records, cross referenced with the Jordan Schnitzer’s current holdings, reveal a unique institutional history of the Museum, its exhibits, and its employees. Though the Jordan Schnitzer’s current focus is on Asian art, and the Museum of Art also worked to complement its Asian collection, this project will focus on a variety of other kinds of exhibit subjects. See previous posts here.

Have you ever worked on a group project where no one’s role was completely clear? Institutions often have this challenge too; similar kinds of collaboration and communication needs to happen between all parties. For example, the American Educational Theatre Association (AETA) decided to hold its annual conference on the UO campus in August of 1962, and they coordinated the conference themes with art exhibits. AETA program managers worked with the Museum of Art’s employees to display theatrical art during the conference. They encountered many ups and downs along the way. The Museum of Art hosted several exhibitions for the AETA in their galleries. One of these was a large exhibit called “A Portrait History of American Acting,” and this post will explain some of the challenges involved in displaying it at the Museum of Art.

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