Exhibits & News

Current Exhibit

Marshall Gallery

The exhibit Crossing the Skyline is an adaptation of Professor Aneesha Dharwadker’s (Landscape Architecture) December 2019 exhibit at the School of Art Institute of Chicago. Dharwadker won second prize in a Chicago Architectural Club competition for her proposal to build a link between the Harold Washington Library with the Metropolitan Correctional Facility. In the Chicago exhibit, as in the Marshall Gallery, books are displayed that represent the works written by luminaries who have been imprisoned as well as titles that have been banned from American prisons. For the Marshall Gallery, Professor Dharwadker fabricated a 3-D print of the proposed link and the skyline of Chicago. Considering a link between these two vastly different social institutions raises important questions about the roles of literature and architecture and forces us to consider “what happens when blur the lines between these buildings—between freedom and captivity?”

 

North South Corridor

In celebration of Black History Month, the members of the Library Diversity Committee created the “African American Hidden Figures at the U of I 1870s-1950s” exhibit. Unfortunately, the exhibit could not include all of phenomenal Black “Hidden Figures” who have made a significant contribution to the U of I campus during the 1870s-1950s time period. Several individuals featured in the exhibit were the first African Americans to receive degrees in their departments. While all members are very prevalent to the history, two notable individuals included in the exhibit were Dr. St. Elmo Brady, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in the U.S. Dr. Brady completed his doctorate at the U of I in 1916. Dr. Brady worked at four Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and further developed their chemistry programs. The second was John J. Bird, the first African American Board of Trustees member at the University of Illinois from 1873-1882. Mr. Bird was an active politician mostly in Southern Illinois, and he co-edited the Cairo Gazette. All individuals played a role in the long struggle for more opportunities for African Americans to have a presence in their fields of study and profession.