January 2015 Archives

January 16-April 11
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Opening on Monday, January 16 in the Beinecke, this exhibition provides a glimpse of the treasures in two extraordinary collections associated with the legacy of Asakawa Kan’ichi (1873–1948), professor of history and first curator of the East Asian collections at Yale. The Japanese Manuscript Collection (1907) and Yale Association of Japan Collection (1934) include stellar examples of early printing, woodblock print publishing, and artworks, as well as an impressive array of rare historical documents. The exhibition is a tribute to Asakawa’s vision for a great Japanese library that would engage Americans in the study of Japan’s history, society, and culture. It also celebrates recent efforts by faculty, students, librarians, and conservators at Yale University and the Historiographical Institute of the University of Tokyo to document Yale’s holdings of pre-modern Japanese books and manuscripts and bring them to the forefront in research and teaching.

Post on January 6, 2015 - 12:33pm |

January 16-April 16
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Behind the Iron Curtain, a generation of poets, artists, musicians, and performers turned their backs on the promise of “really existing socialism” and official culture in the East German state. In back-courtyard apartments, private studios, and workshops, they created a space for free creative expression that (they hoped) might elude the dictates, police, and policy-makers of the Communist regime, which they viewed as a dead end for culture, or—in the prescient metaphor of the poet “Matthias” Baader Holst—a sinking ship.

In this new exhibition, Fun on the Titanic explores the creative diversity and exuberant performativity of culture nurtured behind closed doors by the East German underground of the 1980s. Rare and colorful, the self-published ‘zines and artist’s books on display from Beinecke’s collection tell a story of persistent resolve, resourcefulness, and mischievous youthful determination—punctuated by betrayals, arrests, voluntary exile, and even suicide—all in the name of a lost generation and its yearning to have fun in the final days of a totalitarian state.

Post on January 6, 2015 - 12:35pm |

January 16-April 18
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Many of the productions that we now consider highlights in the history of African Americans on the stage—Shuffle Along (1921), The Green Pastures (1930), Porgy and Bess (1935)—were performed by entirely African American casts. This exhibition features productions and performers that attempted to bridge racial divisions through integrated casting.

Initially viewed as a novelty, as when Sam Lucas became the first African American man to play the lead in Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1878, crossing the color line on stage would soon be held up as a triumph in the multi-pronged fight against Jim Crow. By the middle of the 20th century, commentators embraced the appearance of black and white actors onstage together as a symbol of progressive civil rights. Later playwrights, however, most notably August Wilson, questioned the validity of integration as a worthy goal in itself, advocating instead the celebration of African American life on the stage.

Post on January 6, 2015 - 12:52pm |