Visitors to University Libraries at the University of Oklahoma can now enjoy a little fine art along with their literature, thanks to a new collaboration with the university’s Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art. Several new works of art from the art museum’s collections have been loaned to the University of Oklahoma Libraries for display, including 32 katsinam tihu, popularly known as Kachina Dolls, displayed across two large glass cases in the intersection of the halls on the main floor of Bizzell Memorial Library.
“Hopi people have used cultural materials like these carved tihu as a conduit to their traditional knowledge since time immemorial. These carvings represent knowledge about astronomy, meteorology and philosophy. They are particularly suited to presentation within an educational environment where students have access to the knowledge of the world. We appreciate the opportunity to share our museum collection hosted by Bizzell Memorial Library,” said Heather Ahtone, the James T. Bialac assistant curator of Native American and non-Western Art at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum.
The library’s display complements Hopituy: Hopi Art from the Permanent Collections, the current exhibition at the museum, which runs until Sept. 15. The carvings for both exhibits are drawn from the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art’s permanent collections, including those given by James T. Bialac, OU President and Mrs. David L. Boren, Richard H. and Adeline J. Fleischaker, Rennard Strickland and others. The 32 carvings will be exhibited in the library until February 2014. In addition, a number of new large works were hung in the library this past summer, as part of an additional loan partnership with the art museum. The new large works are installed throughout the building, but the majority of works are clustered on the main floor of Bizzell.
The new works on the main floor include two Reginald Coleman untitled abstracts, a large untitled abstract by Larry Dale Hefner, Jeff & Friends by Carolyn Farris, Bantry by Richard Hogan, Oklahoma by Ralph Steeds, Flotation by Rick Pottes, an untitled abstract by Amy Eppard, an untitled abstract by Woody (Lewis Woods) Teel, Electrolux by Robert Morgan Taylor, and the largest work in the building, Calabria, by British abstract expressionist artist Albert Irvin.On the upper floors, additional works have been installed. Another untitled Reginald Coleman abstract and A Little Piece by John Black are located on the second floor. On the third floor is Home of the Brave #13 Water Dept. by David E. Conn, an untitled abstract by David Dawson, and Port de Printemps by Michel Henry. These large works will be displayed until summer 2015.
“University Libraries is overjoyed at the opportunity to collaborate with the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art in making these impressive works of art available for viewing by the university community,”according to Jeffrey M. Wilhite, University Libraries art liaison.