Monday, November 23, 2009

New Haven Symphony Comes to Hamden

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra will be performing their Holiday Extravaganza concert on Saturday, December 12 at 7:30 PM at Hamden Middle School. This NHSO Pops! perfomance will have you singing and tingling with anticipation for the season of good cheer!

Bring a donation of non-perishable food items to support The Junior League of Greater New Haven's Hunger Awareness Committee and Connecticut Food Bank and receive a voucher good for a discount toward the NHSO's Valentine's Pops Concert.

Visit the New Haven Symphony Orchestra web site for ticket information.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2009 - International Year of Astronomy

The United Nations proclaimed 2009 as the International Year of
. It is an international celebration of numerous astronomical and scientific milestones, chief among them the 400th anniversary of Galileo's use of a telescope to study the skies.
Our collection of books and audio-visual materials on astronomy is continuously growing. For an overview click here.
For new science books click here.
Browse and enjoy! The Universe is yours to discover!

National Book Awards

The 2009 National Book Award Winners are:

Fiction: Colum McCann for "Let the Great World Spin".
Non-Fiction: T.J. Stiles for "The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt". Poetry: Keith Waldrop for "Transcendental Studies: A Triology". Young People's Literature: Phillip Hoose for "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice".

The Best of the National Book Awards with more than 10,000 votes from the public went to "The Complete Stories" by Flannery O'Connor.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

American Stories 1765-1915

American Stories: Paintings of Everyday Life 1765-1915 is the title of an exhibit on display now through January 24, 2010 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Our library has the exhibition catalog. This exhibit assembles more than 100 masterpieces of American painting from more than 45 museums across the country. It includes works by John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Mary Cassatt and George Bellows. The exhibition is organized into four chronological sections which can also be viewed online: Inventing American Stories 1765-1830,
Stories for the Public 1830-1860, Stories of War and Reconcilation, 1860-1877, Cosmopolitan and Candid Stories, 1877-1915. The website for this exhibition is a treat in itself, well presented and surprisingly detailed. See the review article by
Roberta Smith in the New York Times
. There is also a link to a slide show with some selected paintings.
Another interesting book in our collection on a smiliar topic is Daily Life in Art by Béatrice Fontanel.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Jane Austen Exhibit at the Morgan Library

There is a lovely exhibit now at the Morgan Library in New York: A Woman's Wit: Jane Austen's Life and Legacy. It will run from Nov. 6, 2009 to March 14, 2010. Jane Austen (1775-1817) is one of the greatest British novelists. The Morgan library owns several of Jane Austen's few surviving letters. Some of these rare letters are on display, as well as drawings and prints of important people, places and events in Austen's life. To accompany the exhibit, the Morgan Library has scheduled various gallery talks, lectures, family programs, and film screenings. And there is an online exhibition as well with selected images, facsimiles, and a short documentary film. For our library's holdings on Jane Austen click here. For a selection of websites on Jane Austen click here. See also the article by Edward Rothstein as published in the New York Times. Update: On Dec. 2, 2009 the New York Times reported on a new theory on Jane Austen's Death. PBS will broadcast several new film adaptations of Jane Austen's novels, starting on January 24. For more information and other additional background information, go the PBS Masterpiece website.
The 2010 schedule can be accessed here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall of the Berlin Wall 20th Anniversary

On November 9, 1989, twenty years ago, after weeks of civil unrest and widespread peaceful demonstrations, East-Germans were allowed to travel freely to West-Berlin and West-Germany, resulting in the opening of the Berlin Wall. The Wall, the concrete barrier erected by the East-German government in 1961, separated West-Berlin from East-Berlin and East-Germany for more than a quarter century. Click here for some interesting websites on the history of the Berlin Wall from the Librarians' Internet Index. For a fascinating glimpse of Berlin in the 1920s, check out on DVD the documentary from 1927 titled BERLIN SYMPHONY OF A GREAT CITY. For books on the history of Berlin and the Berlin Wall, click here.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bauhaus 90th Anniversary Celebration

This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Bauhaus ("house of building"), the most important and most influential school of design of the 20th century. It was founded by Walter Gropius in 1919 in Weimar, Germany where it was based until 1925. It was then moved to Dessau in 1932 and on to Berlin until its was closed by the Nazis in 1933. The European avant-garde taught at the Bauhaus: Lyonel Feininger, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Johannes Itten, Oskar Schlemmer, Josef Albers, Anni Albers, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer and Lászlo Moholy-Nagy among others. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has organized a special exhibit on the Bauhaus which will be shown from November 8, 2009 until January 25, 2010. For a selection of books on the Bauhaus in our library click here. For a photo gallery on the Bauhaus click here. See the work of Bauhaus student, painter and printmaker Werner Drewes who immigrated to the United States in 1930.

Mrs. Delany & Her Circle

The Yale Center for British Art in New Haven is hosting a stunning exhibit that includes decoupage, natural history specimans, embroidered textiles, sketches, garden design, and live floral displays.

At the age of 72, Mrs. Mary Delany began working on a collection of botantical collages, or "paper mosaics," as she called them. She would create each work by cutting minute pieces of colored paper to represent each part of the particular specimen, then pasting them on a black background. In the next decade, she made nearly a thousand of these collages before her failing eyesight caused her to stop.

The current exhibit showcases thirty of these collages, as well as other works by Mrs. Delaney and her contemporaries. The exhibit runs through January 3, 2010.

Mrs. Delany and Her Circle, the exhibition catalogue published by the Yale University Press, is now available at the Hamden Library. We currently have a selection of botanical books on display that were inspired by this exhibit, including Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters : Women of Art and Science by Ella Reitsma, Flora Mirabilis by Catherine Herbert Howell, and The Art of Botanical Illustration by Wilfred Blunt. Stop by our lobby to see the entire display!

Friday, November 6, 2009

10 Digit Dialing

Beginning on November 14, all telephone calls made in Connecticut will need an area code, even a call to your next door neighbor. To complete local calls, the new dialing procedure requires callers to dial area code + telephone number. This means that all local calls in Connecticut that are currently dialed with seven digits will need to be dialed using area code + telephone number. Calls outside the local calling area will still need a 1 before the area code, while local calls will require 10-digit dialing, without the 1.

National Day of Listening

NPR joins StoryCorps in declaring Friday, November 27th the National Day of Listening. On this day, Americans are encouraged to record and share an interview with a loved one and to preserve that conversation for future generations. The National Day of Listening falls on the day after Thanksgiving, when friends and family are likely to be together and able to spend an hour honoring one another by listening. StoryCorps provides a Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide and special toolkits to assist people in recording an interview and other National Day of Listening activities.

Listen to other StoryCorps conversations to inspire you.

Check out Listening is an Act of Love, a collection of true American life stories features pieces representing every walk of life from all fifty states, in a nation-wide and thematically arranged celebration of the nation's shared humanity.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Claude Lévi-Strauss 1908-2009

The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss died on October 30, 2009 of cardiac arrest, just a few weeks before his 101st birthday. The father of structuralism and modern anthropology, and "one of the great intellectual heroes of the 20th century" (quotation by Philippe Descola, Collège de France) was born on November 28, 1908 in Brussels. He obtained advanced degrees in philosophy, literature and law at the University of Paris. While teaching sociology at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, he studied various tribes in Central Brazil. These ethnological studies later informed his groundbreaking theoretical work. In 1942 he emigrated from France to the United States and taught for several years at the New School for Social Research in New York. He returned to France after World War II and during his academic career published several influential books, namely Tristes Tropiques (1955), a memoir of his life in Brazil and the The Savage Mind (La Pensée Sauvage) (1962). For more information, see the obituary by Edward Rothstein in the New York Times.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Literary Birthdays

 November is full of author birthdays, including Margaret Atwood, James Agee, Mark Twain, Margaret Mitchell, Sam Shepard, Anne Sexton, Marianne Moore, Kurt Vonnegut, and Albert Camus!

November 1 - Stephen Crane (1871 - 1900)
November 3 - Terrence McNally (1939 - )
November 5 - Joyce Maynard (1953- )
November 5 - Sam Shepard (1943)
November 6 - Michael Cunningham (1952 - )
November 7 - Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)
November 8 - Kazuo Ishiguro (1954 - )
November 8 - Bram Stoker (1847 - 1912)
November 8 - Margaret Mitchell (1900 - 1949)
November 9 - Anne Sexton (1928 -1974)
November 10 - Neil Gaiman (1960 - )
November 11 - Carlos Fuentes (1928 - )
November 11 - Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007)
November 12 - Tracy Kidder (1945 - )
November 13 - Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 - 1894)
November 14 - Astrid Lindgren (1907 - 2002)
November 15 - Marianne Moore (1887 -1972)
November 16 - José Saramago (1922 - )
November 17 - Shelby Foote (1916 - 2005)
November 18 - Margaret Atwood (1939 - )
November 20 - Nadine Gordimer (1923 - )
November 20 - Don DeLillo (1936 - )
November 22 - George Eliot (1819 - 1880)
November 24 - Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849 - 1924)
November 26 - Eugene Ionesco (1909 - 1994)
November 27 - James Agee (1909 - 1955)
November 28 - William Blake (1757 - 1827)
November 28 - Rita Mae Brown (1944- )
November 29 - Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888)
November 29 - Madeline L'Engle (1918 - )
November 29 - C. S. Lewis (1898 - 1963)
November 30 - Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)
November 30 - Jonathan Swift (1667 - 1745)
November 30 - David Mamet (1947)