Special Collections and University Archives

Please take a minute to view the wonderful new exhibit in the cases at the College Avenue Entrance and in the Lobby of Jackson Library! The exhibit is a collaborative effort between Professor Amy Purcell’s ART 344: The Digital Darkroom classes (fall 2017 and 2018) and UNCG’ Special Collection and University Archives.

Professor Purcell’s art students visited Special Collections for a presentation and a “pop-up” display of vintage cameras and historic photographs. Then, they selected three photographs from the collection and three photographs from their personal resources to study, repair, and restore. With an understanding of the craft of photo restoration, they were asked to use one image as inspiration for a creative work that responded to the restoration process and/or the content of the images.

The exhibit cases by the Reference Desk reflect how the role of photography has changed during UNCG’s 125-year history and how their position as students connects them to the university’s past.  Several students used photographs from the Dr. Anna Gove Collection. Dr. Gove was the second campus physician and an amateur photographer, who used her camera to document the college, the community of Greensboro, and her time with the Red Cross in France during World War I.

In one piece, a bombed-out cathedral is modified to include menacing clouds in the background. In a work by Alexis Brunnert, a fragment of a family photograph has been restored and colorized and, in another piece, Maryam Alamoudi changed places with the unknown woman in a tintype from Special Collections.  Kaiya Bitner’s grandmother’s walk on a beach offered inspiration to transform her into a flower fairy inspired by the infamous Cottingley fairies, and Johnny Nguyen overlays textile textures and colors as fabrics of today into an image of Duncan McIver with his students (ca. 1895). These works show an amazing range of talent, from digitally “restoring” historic images to adapting photographs in very surprising ways!

In the large case at the College Avenue entrance, Lean Bishop celebrates how the diversity of the student population defines UNCG today in her “I am UNCG” piece. The exhibit case also features an adapted image of Julia Alexander sitting on the same rock (plus many coats of paint) with sorority sisters from the 1970’s, as well as a piece by Anthony Carter that redefines the columns of the library entrance as flames of knowledge. Especially effective was the incorporation of student Peter No’s modern truck and car next to the bombed-out cathedral in France that Anna Gove photographed during the war. In another striking work, Sarah Tatum visually traces the evolution of the camera.

Please stop by both cases and see this stunning exhibit!

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