13 April 2008

Shermaniana exhibition (1994?)

Elaine Paul put a wonderful postcard picture of the Hotel Sherman in Chicago on a Facebook page (yes, that page). I was teasing back and forth with her about that picture and other things and mentioned the Shermaniana exhibition in the Amon Carter Museum Library when I worked there.

The library reading room had a vitrine or two in which we usually displayed some books or other objects that related to one or more of the exhibitions in the galleries. They were usually pretty high class. As the display was getting stale or the shows were changing in the galleries, Milan Hughston would engage us in a discussion of what should be next. If the discussion wasn't going much of anywhere, I'd volunteer an exhibition of Shermaniana. Milan would giggle and say something along the lines of "I don't think so."

One year (1994, I think), it was mid-late March when we were having the "next?" conversation. I offered the Shermaniana again. Milan laughed. A bit later, I chatted with some colleagues and said we could do it as an April Fool's gift for Milan. On the morning of the first, we traded out whatever had been there and put in the Shermaniana. We waited for Milan's arrival, all but giggling out loud. We were doing the normal morning ritual of coffee and New York Times. Milan got up to go over toward the reading room desk and then started veering toward the vitrine with a "what's this?"

Well, it turns out that Milan loved the Shermaniana show and led several museum staff members over to see it. I had thoughtfully included a few items from Sherman, Texas. After its week's run and the show had been dismantled, we realized that we forgot to photographically document it. Perhaps when I get thoroughly modern and have a digital camera, I will take some pictures of the stuff and recreate it in the digital world.

And that reminds me of the virtual recreation of the Otto Ege manuscripts, one of the highlights of the Banff ARLIS/NA conference for me. http://library2.usask.ca/ege/ During the panel on the Ege reconstruction, I gasped as I saw another leaf from one of "my" books. Manuscript leaves were cheap when I was in grad school; most of my leaves were in the $15 range, some a bit less, none a whole lot more. No gilding, only one face, but lots of lovely writing and some exquisite red-and-blue linear marginalia.

1 comment:

Janine said...

I really enjoyed reading about the Shermania exhibit and hope that Shermania 2.0 is in the works so that it can go up in time for your retirement party! Of course now a web version is in order so that it can live on beyond its physical presence.
Happy Friday!