Posts Tagged ‘University of Toronto’

A morning exploring some of the art galleries at the University of Toronto.

below: Robarts Library, a large concrete building, is part of the University of Toronto and is their main humanities and social sciences library. It opened in 1973 and has been called Fort Book ever since.

intersection of Harbord and St. George streets, Robarts Library, large concrete building

I have walked past this library many times but I have never gone inside. What I didn’t know about this building is that it is also home to the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library.  It is named after a Thomas Fisher (1792-1874), who came from Yorkshire to Upper Canada in 1821 and settled by the Humber River.  In 1973, his grandsons, Sidney and Charles Fisher, donated many books to U of T .  Since then, the library has grown to approximately 740,000 volumes including hundreds of versions of Alice in Wonderland in many different languages.  They also collect manuscripts, photographs,  and other rare materials.   You can search their holdings online.

below: The view from the 4th floor observation deck.

interior of Thomas Fisher Rare Book library, looking down from the upper level to the tables below. Shelves of books line all the walls, ceiling is open to 4 or 5 storeys up , large central light fixture

At the moment, the Thomas Fisher Library has an exhibition called “Fleeting Moments, Floating Worlds, and the Beat Generation: The Photography of Allen Ginsberg”. Ginsberg (1926-1997) is known for his poetry but he also took pictures. The Thomas Fisher library has the largest collection of Ginsberg prints in the world.

exhibit of photos by Allen Ginsberg displayed in the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library at U of T, some black and white photos in a case, some books too, shelves of books in the background

below: Mr. Ginsberg took bathroom mirror selfies.  I wonder what he’d think of instagram?

picture of a black and white photo taken by Allen Ginsberg of himself sitting naked and cross legged in front of a bathroom mirror

Ginsberg became friends with William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, and the trio later established themselves as the main players in the Beat Movement with their unconventional writing and wild (for the times) lifestyles.  Ginsberg’s first published work was “Howl” in 1956.  It was called “an angry, sexually explicit poem”.   The San Francisco Police Department declared it to be obscene and arrested the publisher.  The court ruled that it was not obscene.  I can see it being “ahead of its time” in 1956 but today it’s fairly tame.

The opening lines:

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,

dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,

angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,

who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of

cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,”

below: Three books about The Beats.

display in a glass top case, three books by Alan Ginsberg, the one in the middle has a yellow cover and is The Beats

The Ginsberg exhibit continues until the 27th of April.

A short walk through part of the St. George campus….did I mention that it was snowing at the time?… to another art gallery on campus.

snow is falling, snow on the ground, tree in foreground, also black wrought iron fence, looking across the playing field of the U of T St. George campus to a building, tower,

below: We passed a moose standing in the snow.

a flat metal sculpture of a moose stands in a small space beside a tree, snow on the ground, snow falling from the sky. public art

The second gallery was the Art Museum at Hart House.   One of the exhibits showing there is “Figures of Sleep”.  Straight from the gallery website is this description of the exhibit: ” [it]…considers the cultural anxieties manifest in the popular and critical imagination around the collapsing biological function of sleep under economic, social and technological transformation”.  What it is is a collection of videos, photographs, and artwork depicting sleep, i.e. people sleeping by a number of different artists.  This exhibit ends on 3rd March.

below: Watching videos of people sleeping

a person watching a large video display in an art gallery

below: She’s very life like.  She’s also much smaller than life sized but even so, she was a bit creepy. “Untitled (old woman in bed)”, 2000-2002, by Ron Mueck.

very realistic and life like scupture of an old woman with grey asleep under a blanket with her head on a pillow

below: “Dream Catcher” by Rebecca Belmore, 2014 .  This wall hanging is quite large.

dream catcher by Rebecca Belmore, a large wall hanging of a person sleeping on the sidewalk, under a blanket with a picture of a lion on it.

below:  The Malcove Collection is in the same gallery.  The collection includes about 500 pieces, not all of which are on display at the moment.  Dr. Lillian Malcove (1902-1981) was born in Russia just before her parents emigrated to Canada and settling in Winnipeg.  She graduated from the University of Manitoba with an M.D. and then spent most of her adult life as a Freudian psychoanalyst in New York City.  Over her life time she amassed a collection of art that she bequeathed to U of T.

wall display cases in an art gallery, religious pieces on display, old, antiquities

below: From the Malcove collection, ‘Male Dedicant’, made of limestone, Coptic, late 4th century or early 5th century

antique stone carving (relief) of a man with curly hair, both hands raised, one hand holding a spherical object and the other hand holding a cross

below:  Detail from “The Burning Bush”, 19th century.

very old painting, religious, virgin mary and baby jesus in the center surrounded by other religous scenes

 

below: Last but not least, and having nothing to do with art, is this plaque on a wall near the art gallery at Hart House.  It commemorates the relationship between the Canadian and Polish Armies during WW1.  A transcription of it appears below.

 

plaque on an exterior brick wall commemorating the role of the Polish Army

In the early months of 1917, twenty three Polish probationary officers were trained here by the staff of the Canadian School of Infantry in Toronto.  They were the forerunners of more than 20,000 North American volunteers of Polish descent who were trained in Canada (mostly at Niagara on the Lake) to serve in the French Army, ultimately commanded by Joseph Haller.  The existence of this Polish Army in France went far to assure the presence of Poland at the Peace Conference at the end of the war and played a significant role in the reconstitution of a reunited and independent Poland after 123 years of partition. 
The Canadian Polish Congress has placed this tablet to commemorate the ardent Polish patriotism of so many Polish volunteers from the United States and Canada.   The Congress also wishes to honour the Canadian officers who trained the volunteers, including notably Lieutenant Colonel A.D. Lepan of the staff of this university and his principal subordinates, all from this university as well as Major C.R. Young, Major H.H. Madill, Major W.F. Kirk and Major F.B. Kenrick. A.D. 1990

 

a bike parked outside an old brick building on St. George campus of U of T, snow covered

More information about:

Allen Ginsberg exhibition

Figures of Sleep, and others, at Hart House Art Museum

Illustrations of the holdings of the Malcove Collection

 

It’s been a beautiful October to be walking around the city!  With lots of sunny days and above normal temperatures, it’s been a great autumn to be outside…. outside exploring or just sitting contentedly enjoying the sunshine.

below: Life size statue of Dr. Norman Bethune sitting outside the Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto (close to Queens Park Circle).   It is the work of Canadian artist David Pelletier.  Bethune is depicted writing in his journal.  Across the bottom of his apron these words are written:

I am content
I am doing what I want to do
Why shouldn’t I be happy – see what my riches
consist of.  First, I have important work that fully
occupies every minute of my time.  I am needed.

a statue of a man sitting is beside a rock and a light post, they are in front of a large tree and an old stone building, on the University of Toronto campus.

Norman Bethune was born in Gravenhurst in 1890.  He graduated from medical school at U of T in 1919, after taking some time off to serve in WW1.    He also served as a doctor during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and 1937.   The following year, 1938,  he went to China  help the Communist Eighth Route Army during the Second Sino-Japanese war.  It was here that he died of septicemia in November of 1939.   He is credited with helping to bring modern medicine to rural China during his brief stay in that country.

Construction hoardings around the site of the new new Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CEIE) at the University of Toronto have been painted with a wonderful mural.   Back in the spring I took some photos of it.

 

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, a rainbow W, a yellow lego block, two workmen in hard hats, a crane, a T, a red maple leaf

This artwall installation is a collaboration between U of T Engineering and graffiti artist Jason Wing (SKAM).  The mural features many things that engineers do, from the things that are unique to U of T Engineering to those that apply to engineers around the world.

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, older building behind, long stretch of the mural in the picture

below: Batteries, circuit boards, robots and DNA.  The robot cat is Tangy, a bingo playing robot and one of the many assistive robots developed at U of T.

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, a robot cat

below: Astronats in space and the Lady Godiva Memorial Band.  The band is part of the engineering school and it will be getting a new music room to practice in as part of the new building.   That symbol that looks like NY but isn’t – that’s pronounced ‘en sci’ and is the abbreviation for  U of T’s Engineering Science program.

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, two musicians and an astronaut floating in space

below: The Nanoleaf bulb, one of the world’s most energy efficient bulbs is shown along with wind turbines and solar cells.  Wind and solar energy are two of the many research interests of the CEIE.

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, a young man painted on the mural as well as a fancy LED lightbulb and two wind turbines.

below:  The Ye Olde Mighty Skule Cannon is the official mascot of U of T Engineering.   The equation coming out of the cannon is the formula used to calculate power.  Also in this part of the mural is a river and a faucet to represent the Institute for Water Innovation which is part of the CEIE.

 

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, an older building behind, a volleyball player on the mural as well as two students sitting on the ground and looking at a laptop

below: A TTC streetcar and a traffic light are in the artwall to represent the fact that U of T engineers partner with cities worldwide to improve transportation infrastructure.

part of a mural on an artwall on hoardings around a construction site for a new engineering building at the University of Toronto, new TTC streetcar in the mural as well as some musicians, an astronaut floating in space

a small square window cut into painted construction hoardings

The first three days of November have been wonderful – three beautiful warm sunny days, perfect fall weather.

 below: Taking advantage of the warm afternoon in front of Osgoode Hall.

A woman sits on a bench in front of Osgoode Hall, a stone building. Her back is to the camera. A tree with a few yellow leaves frames the picture.

below: On St. George Street in front of Sir Daniel Wilson residence, University College

college on St. George Street, front of the building with black wrought iron fence in front of it along with a few mature trees with some yellow and rust coloured leaves still on them. The clock tower is visible through the tree branches. There are people on the sidewalk in front of the building.

below: Looking across Kings College Circle towards University College

One small tree in the middle of the grass at Kings College circle in front of University College

below: Maple leaves still on the tree.

maple leaves in autumn colours, rust and orange leaves in the foreground, yellow leaves in the background.

below: Mary Pickford looks over University Avenue.

a bust of Mary Pickford, she is resting her head in one of her hands. In the background is a building along with some bushes and a tree with yellow and orange leaves.

There is an historical plaque beside this statue and it reads: “Born in 1893 in a house which stood near this site, Gladys Marie Smith appeared on stage in Toronto at the age of five. Her theatrical career took her to Broadway in 1907 where she adopted the name Mary Pickford. The actress’s earliest film, “Her First Biscuits”, was released by the Biograph Company in 1909 and she soon established herself as the international cinema’s first great star. Her golden curls and children’s roles endeared her to millions as “America’s Sweetheart”. She was instrumental in founding and directing a major film production company and starred in over fifty feature length films including “Hearts Adrift”, “Pollyanna” and “Coquette”. For the last named film, she received the 1929 Academy Award as the year’s best actress. “

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below: Two women outside Emmanuel College, Queens Park Circle

A blueish bronze statue of two overweight women standing facing each other beside a stone building on the University of Toronto campus. It is autumn and there are leaves on the ground. A group of girls is walking in the background.

below: Northrop Frye sits on a bench on the campus of Victoria College (U of T).

A statue of a man, Northrop Frye, sits on a bench with his legs crossed and an open book on his lap. Another book sits beside him on the bench.

This life sized statue was created by Darren Byers and Fred Harrison and was unveiled in October 2012.

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small purple aster flowers in a garden that is close to being covered with autumn leaves that have fallen off the nearby trees