The Lost Art of Letters

UCSD Arts Library Exhibit: The Lost Art of Letters
January 8 through January 27, 2012

This exhibit provides an opportunity for visitors to browse Library books on the topic of penmanship and cursive writing. Visitors will also browse literature outlining the etiquette of letter-writing (particularly ”thank-you” notes.)

While supplies last, visitors are encouraged to write a letter at the exhibit site using stationery and pens provided.

On Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at 3:00 p.m., a free, live event is hosted at the exhibit site: a penmanship expert, local educator Sylvia Rubin, will give quick pointers on how to improve your handwriting. Under this supportive supervision, and with stationery and pens provided by the UCSD Arts Library, visitors will write a neat, tidy letter on-the-spot. At the writer’s request, the UCSD Arts Library will have that very letter delivered to the addressee via the U.S. Postal Service.

Exhibit & event: Lower level, West wing, Geisel Library, UCSD
More information: (858) 822-5758 or or

or of course, you could send us a letter at :

UCSD Arts Library
9500 Gilman Drive 0175Q
La Jolla, CA 92093

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The Magic Lantern: Early Window to Africa & the African Diaspora

February Exhibit:

The UCSD Arts Library and AAASRC present a magic lantern exhibit showing views of Africa and relaying the African Diaspora. This small exhibit of early magic lanterns, along with some surprising magic lantern slides of Africa, is supplemented with Library materials about the African Diaspora and celebrates the role the magic lantern had in raising awareness of Africa and the African Diaspora.

Perhaps the earliest views Americans saw of Africa came in the form of magic lantern shows (hand-painted glass slides that were used in early gas-lamp-powered projectors). Magic lantern shows relayed news and views of far-away places pre-dating still photography and moving pictures. Even as early as the 1600’s and 1700’s, lively magic lantern shows employed early animation techniques, narration and live music to show the culture of other continents. As early photographic technology grew, the magic lantern’s glass slides became even more valuable in relaying worldly experiences: some of the earliest photographs of Africa were shown to Americans through a magic lantern via glass slides.

This is a collaborative exhibit for Black History Month from the UCSD Arts Library and the African & African-American Studies Research Center. With an opening reception at the exhibit site at 3:00 p.m. on February 1, 2012, hosted by the UCSD Arts Library and AAASRC.



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R.I.P. Eva Zeisel, groundbreaking designer

From the Washington Post Online

Eva Zeisel, who designed and produced stylish but simple lines of tableware that were credited with bringing a sense of serenity to American dinnertime, died Dec. 30 at her home in New City, N.Y.

Mrs. Zeisel was 105 and had come to America just before World War II, after a harrowing series of adventures in the turbulent Europe of the 1930s.

Her daughter, Jean Richards, confirmed the death but said she did not know the medical cause.

Mrs. Zeisel was widely regarded as a master of modern design. Her salt and pepper shakerscreamers and ladles are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Yet she resisted being characterized as an artist. “Art has more ego to it than what I do,” she once told the New Yorker.

What Mrs. Zeisel did was create everyday objects that fundamentally changed the look of American kitchens and dining rooms.

She brought “a trained designer’s eye and touch to the kind of inexpensive daily goods that were available to everyone,” said Karen Kettering, vice president for Russian art at Sotheby’s and a former curator at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in the District, which featured a retrospective of Mrs. Zeisel’s work in 2005.

Mrs. Zeisel received artistic training in her native Hungary in the years after World War I. She moved to the Soviet Union, where she worked in a factory and, after building a reputation as a talented ceramicist, landed a job as art director of the state-run porcelain and glass industries.

While in that position, Mrs. Zeisel was falsely accused of conspiring to assassinate Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin. Read more…

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It’s Our Annual Turkey Calling Show!

This Wednesday, November 23 at noon in the Seuss Room of Geisel Library at UCSD, free!

Always held the day before Thanksgiving, this Annual Turkey Calling Show is a campus favorite. Turkey call lessons, turkey trivia and much more: the American turkey actually got to Europe in the 1500’s and immediately the bird became celebrated in European art and song.
Hosted by sound effects expert Scott Paulson with special guests:
Elizabeth Podsiadlo (San Diego’s opera-singing chef)
Wes Hawkins (UCSD undergrad and banjo aficionado)
Melanie Peters (Library Story Lady)
Aislinn Sotelo (appearing as ‘radio ballet teacher’)

For more information, contact Scott at or call (858) 822-5758

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Passage to Proxima Radio Drama!

Sunday, October 30,7:00 p.m.
Seuss Room, Geisel Library at UCSD, free!

Join radio sound effects expert Scott Paulson and Union Tribune science writer Gary Robbins for a special premiere performance of a live sci-fi radio drama “Passage to Proxima!” written with specially solicited help from the readers of the science section of the Union Tribune and assistance from the listeners of the Science Talk show on The action is set in 1935 San Diego (with some perilous time travel, as well!) Featuring live actors, live music & lively sound effects. For more information, contact Scott at, call (858) 822-5758 or visit this site!
More Info HERE at SignonSanDiego!

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11th Annual Toy Piano Festival!

at UCSD Geisel Library, in the Seuss Room
Live performances on September 3 at 2:00 p.m. and September 6 at noon.

At these two free events (Sept 3 at 2:00 p.m. and Sept 6 at noon) you’ll hear new works for toy piano. Come early or else you’ll have to sit on the floor (the performers have to sit on the floor, so you’ll be in good company!). The Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library consists of actual instruments, audio recordings, extant literature, and commissioned works. In May of 2001, the Library of Congress issued a subject heading and call number for toy piano scores because of the activities of the Toy Piano Collection at Geisel Library. The call number is: M 175 T69

For more information, contact Scott Paulson at (858) 822-5758 or

We had no idea!

The Smithsonian has an online streaming radio station. Amazing, right?

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Check out the online art resource dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology through open platforms for exchange and collaboration at Rhizome, an affiliate of the New Museum (New York City) includes Artbase (online archive of new media art), Community (artists’ portfolios, etc.), and Programs (publications, exhibits).

The UCSD Libraries initiated a subscription to Rhizome, enabling UCSD students, faculty and staff using their UCSD email to register for full access to the powerful and interactive features of Rhizome.

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Lost Hitchcock Film, Found!

VIA The Film Archive
After a world-wide search, a large part of The White Shadow (1923), thought to be the earliest surviving feature by Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1990), the celebrated master of suspense has been found in New Zealand – just in time for the filmmaker’s 112th birthday.

A wild, atmospheric melodrama starring Betty Compson in a dual role as twin sisters, one angelic and the other “without a soul,” the lost film turned up among the cache of unidentified American nitrate prints safeguarded for the last 23 years by the New Zealand Film Archive. So far, only the first three reels of the six-reel feature have been found; no other copy is known to exist.
Read more…

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Annual Paper Theater Festival

It’s the smallest show on Earth!

A full production in a scale model theater is featured, much like was done in the Victorian Era (when families gathered, after hours of cutting & pasting, to bring a play to life). Performance takes place Thursday, August 25 at noon, with an encore performance immediately following at 12:30 p.m. on the lower level, West wing of Geisel Library at UCSD.

Paper Theatre was a popular Victorian Era educational toy. These colorful scale model theaters were cut and pasted together from posters promoting specific playhouses or plays. The paper doll characters included were often in the likeness of popular actors of the era and were costumed as seen in the actual stage play. Distinctive architectural elements of the historic playhouses were meticulously recreated on the paper sheets of these scale-model promotional kits, including accurate miniature backdrops. Scripts, translated into several different languages, were included in these kits, showing the international popularity of these toys.

An exhibit of Victorian Era replicas and modern takes on paper theater is featured in the UCSD Arts Library the day of the paper theater performance. This year’s featured play, about shape-shifting folk legends of Hawaii, will be performed in a tiny replica of a 1922 theater still active in downtown Honolulu called the Hawaii Theater.

About this production:
Annie Flager of UCSD’s Pan-Asian Staff Association helped write and will perform this paper theater play along with readers Nancy Relaford and Glen Motil. Live music is provided by UCSD alumnus Scott Paulson. UCSD alumna & artist/playwright Miriam Manning created the play and built the replica theater for this production.

For more information, contact Scott Paulson at (858) 822-5758 or

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