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Movie theater architecture, botanical art, African American literature, and the 150th anniversary of the Morrill Act among topics covered in upcoming U of M Libraries exhibits

March 21, 2012

The University of Minnesota Libraries will open the following exhibits over the coming year in the galleries of Andersen, Wangensteen and Wilson Libraries. All exhibits are free and open to the public. Dates and times for any opening receptions will be listed as they are scheduled at

Bibliophilia: Collecting Black Books
Now through April 20, 2012: Andersen Gallery

As early as the 1830s, free African Americans began collecting books and memorabilia documenting the history and literary work of Americans of African descent. In addition to celebrating the beauty, romance and workmanship of African American material culture, this exhibit from the Givens Collection demonstrates the intimate ties between collecting African American literature and locating African American life in every thread of American history and culture.

Life and Limb: The Toll of the American Civil War
Now through April 28, 2012: Wangensteen Historical Library

The perspectives of surgeons, physicians and nurses are richly documented in the history of Civil War medicine, which highlights the heroism and brutality of battlefield operations and the challenges of caring for the wounded. Yet the experiences of injured soldiers are less well known. This traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine explores the experiences of disabled Civil War veterans and their role as symbols of the fractured nation.

Wild Green Things: The Art of Anne Ophelia Todd Dowden
Now through May 2, 2012: Andersen Horticultural Library

Original artwork and sketches as well as pre-publication mock-ups by popular botanical illustrator Anne Ophelia Dowden, from the collections of the Andersen Horticultural Library, the Children’s Literature Research Collections and the Bio-Medical Library.

Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals 1933–1945
April 2 – May 11, 2012: Andersen Atrium Gallery

Between 1933 and 1945, the Nazi German regime promoted racial health policies that sought to eliminate all sources of biological corruption to its dominant “Aryan” race, including Germany’s homosexual men. Believing them to be carriers of a “degeneracy” that weakened society and hindered population growth, the Nazi state incarcerated tens of thousands of men. This traveling exhibition from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum examines the Nazi regime’s attempt to eradicate homosexuality, which left thousands dead and shattered the lives of many more.

Pacific Encounters (ca. 1250 to ca. 1850)
April 2 – June 25, 2012: T.R. Anderson Gallery

This exhibit features items from the James Ford Bell collection that tell the story of European encounters with the peoples of the Pacific—from China to Polynesia to the Bering Strait—told by explorers, merchants, missionaries, sailors, naturalists, and cartographers.

Marquees on Main
May 1 – June 29, 2012: Andersen Gallery

Movie theater buildings played an important role in the experience of moviegoers, whether they lived in a small town in central Minnesota or a metropolitan area. The Hollywood “dream machine” often came to life in the lights and sounds of the theater building itself, and the new “streamlined deco” quickly became a popular style. This exhibit from the Northwest Architectural Archives showcases dozens of these by the Minneapolis architectural partnership of Liebenberg and Kaplan.

Proud Heritage: 156 Years of Building Community
June 11 – August 24, 2012: Andersen Atrium Gallery

Before Minnesota was a state the YMCA was active in building community in Minnesota. This exhibit from the Kautz Family YMCA Archives reflects on 156 years of community building throughout Minnesota: from building camps that connect youth to nature, to building University YMCAs that help freshmen orient to life on their own; and from transitional housing that help families get back on their feet, to after-school programs that bring out the best in youth.

First Contacts: Native Americans and Champlain in New France
July 9 – September 14, 2012: T.R. Anderson Gallery

Samuel de Champlain first ventured to North America in 1603, as geographer for a French fur-trading expedition. He opened up relations with Native Americans in the region, established the city of Quebec and served as governor of New France. This exhibition explores the relationships between native peoples and Europeans and the impact of French exploration and settlement in the 17th century and beyond. Produced by the James Ford Bell Library in cooperation with faculty in American Studies, Native American Studies and Anthropology.

Happy 100th Birthday, Dr. Kerlan!
July 16 – September 26, 2012: Andersen Gallery

Dr. Irvin Kerlan, started collecting children’s books as well as the manuscripts and artwork from which they sprang in 1945 and would have turned 100 on September 18, 2012. Dr. Kerlan began donating his amazing collection to the university in 1949 and the balance of the books came in 1963 after a tragic automobile accident ended his life. This exhibit honors Dr. Kerlan’s collecting acumen with highlights from the collection.

For the Common Good
September 10 – November 30, 2012: Andersen Atrium Gallery

The Land Grant Agricultural College Act—signed by President Lincoln in 1862—set aside public lands, the sale of which were used to fund public colleges to “promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes.” The legislation provided much needed financial support for the University of Minnesota, then a fledgling and struggling institution. This exhibit examines the ongoing question of how the University should fulfill its role as a “land grant” university.

If we can get the beast out of his lair...
October 8 – December 31, 2012: Andersen Gallery

The exhibit of documents, posters and photographs from the American Social Health Association records in the Social Welfare History Archives will explore how the Association used research, education, undercover investigation, and civic action in an effort to eradicate prostitution and human trafficking and promote the prevention and proper treatment of STDs.

Celebrating Venice: On Land and Sea
October 8, 2012 – January 15, 2013: T.R. Anderson Gallery

At one time, Venice was a major maritime power, a staging area for crusades and pilgrim travel, renowned for early printing, and a flourishing trade center between Western Europe and the rest of the world. This exhibit features items from the James Ford Bell Library that illustrate these aspects and more of the long and richly colored pageant of Venetian history.

Creating the World for the Stage 1893–1929: An Exhibit of Scenic Sketches
January 15 – March 15, 2013: Andersen Gallery

Before movies and television, American audiences filled theatres and vaudeville stages to escape the monotony of everyday life. This exhibit from the Performing Arts Archives explores the exotic worlds created by the scenic artists of both public theatres and private fraternal spaces of the Freemasons.

Feminist Art: Then and Now
January 22 – February 23, 2013: T.R. Anderson Gallery

This exhibit, a collaboration of the Libraries and Katherine E. Nash Gallery, features women artists from the 1970s who founded feminist art programs and organizations, and achieved high cultural impact with their work. Funded by the Department of Art and the University Libraries with support from the College of Liberal Arts Freshman Research and Creative Awards Program.

Gallery Locations and Directions

Andersen Gallery is located on the first floor of Elmer L. Andersen Library; the Andersen Atrium Gallery on the second and third floors.
222 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
hours and directions:

The T.R. Anderson Gallery is located on the fourth floor of Wilson Library, at the entrance to the James Ford Bell Library.
309 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
hours and directions:

Andersen Horticultural Library is located at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
3675 Arboretum Boulevard
Chaska, MN 55318
hours, fees, and directions:

Wangensteen Library is located on the fifth floor of Diehl Hall.
505 Essex Street S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55455
hours and directions:

The full listing of galleries is available at

Twin Cities Campus: