Archive for the ‘Events’ Category


Six Pack–student exhibition opening

   Posted by: rring

Six Pack Student ExhibitionsIt is somehow fitting that my 300th post to this blog is about our student exhibition opening on Wednesday night (12/10), which was a solid success, and drew almost 30 students and staff who heard the presentations with interest.

Filling the occasional gaps in conversation, and providing an excellent backdrop as always, was our resident piano player Romulus Perez.

All six shows will be up through June 30th, and catalogs will be available for those who stop in to see them (Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 4:30 pm).

Six Pack Student ExhibitionsThe shows are:

Voices for the Vote: What Women were Saying and Reading during the Fight for Suffrage (Gaia N. Cloutier ‘16)

The Impossibility of Translating Culture (Alix A. de Gramont ‘15)

Aotearoa: The Land of the Long White Cloud (Quirin A. Sackmann ‘15)

Vinegar Valentines (Meghan E. Shaw, graduate student)

Shall We Dance? The Evolution of Etiquette on the Dance Floor (Karen J. Tuthill-Jones, graduate student)

Functional Pottery in America (Mariah J. West, graduate student)

Six Pack Student ExhibitionsSix Pack Student Exhibitions


“This was a man!”

   Posted by: rring

Charles_Promo_021The Watkinson (with support from the English Department) hosted a dual celebration–both of the acquisition of the 2nd Folio of Shakespeare in 2012, and of the life and work of Charles Keating, who among many other achievements, had a special Trinity connection in that he worked with generations of Prof. Milla Riggio’s Shakespeare students for almost 30 years.

Three of Milla’s former students came back to talk about the influence that Charles–and Shakespeare–has had on their lives.

IMG_3007Shown here are Kirk Peters (center, who played Othello, and was then the Associate Dean of Trinity; he is now Dean of Student Affairs at Tunxis Community College); Chris Andersson (left, who played Iago, and who is now Director of Admissions at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU); and Kara Molway Russell (right, who played Bianca, and is an English professor at CCSU, teaching Shakespeare!). Also shown here is the original cast of Othello, ca. 1990. Each special guest spoke of Charles’s profound impact on their lives as students of Shakespeare, and it was clear that he served the function of a grand mentor to all of them in different ways.img049

Also present were Charles’s son (Sean) and widow (Mary), and about 25 students from Milla’s current Shakespeare class.



Making books!

   Posted by: rring

book making workshop 029 copyPaulette Rosen, an instructor from the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, held a workshop in the Watkinson on making a book by hand. A small but enthusiastic group learned how to assemble and sew a pamphlet and make an accordion-fold book. We learned about the properties of paper, tricks for measuring and folding, sewing, and covering boards. We all came away inspired with ideas for new projects and gifts for the upcoming holidays under the capable guidance of book artist Rosen.

book making workshop 022 copy

pamphlet 72 dpiaccordian 72 dpi


Daniel Kelm visits!

   Posted by: rring

Kelm2On October 9 book artist Daniel Kelm gave a talk in the library on his life and work. Kelm has a background in chemistry and weaves science into his inventive book structures.  He has been commissioned by artists who explore bookish forms to help engineer their non-traditional structures, and he also makes books of his own design that challenge the reader to interact with the books as mechanisms and puzzles.  Members of the varied audience–from the chemistry department, Wesleyan University and other parts of Connecticut–had great fun figuring out how the books worked after Daniel’s talk.




Commencement 2014

   Posted by: rring

IMG_2854We were thrilled yet again to have a steady stream of visitors on Saturday of Commencement Weekend, many of whom were urged to visit by President Jones, who has always been a staunch supporter of the Watkinson.

In all we had 113 people, including students and their families, as well as random alumni, wander in between Noon and 3pm, who came to view our featured items:


IMG_2853Lucky 13!, a “baker’s dozen” of student exhibitions in the Watkinson Library including Native American education movements, explorations of Latino identity through artists’ books, 19th-century tourism in the Hudson Valley, the history of the Hartford Insane Asylum, and the works of Beatrix Potter.

2nd folio t.p.The so-called “2nd Folio” of Shakespeare’s plays, acquired in 2012, which was published in 1632, nine years after the landmark “First Folio” of 1623 (in which eighteen of Shakespeare’s plays were published for the first time). The 1632 edition bore over 1,200 corrections as well as the first published poem by John Milton.
title pageThe first edition (Brooklyn, 1855) of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which the poet self-published (he also designed the binding and set some of the type). Just acquired, this literary landmark has been considered America’s second Declaration of Independence, in terms of its radical break with European literary culture and distinctly American voice.
John James Audubon’s Birds of America (1826-39). Given in 1900, this is by far the most valuable book at Trinity. We began turning the page to a new bird every week in September 2011. We are halfway through Volume II, and will get through the entire 4-volume set sometime in 2019.



First annual Writing Residency

   Posted by: rring

RubanoI am pleased to announce that Julia Helena Rubano ’14 is the first awardee of the South Beach Writing Residency, offered by the family of Hyam Plutzik ’32.

Originally from Madison, CT, Julia entered New York University in the Fall of 2010 as an English major and made the Dean’s List during her three semesters there (Fall 2010-Fall 2011). She transferred to Trinity in the spring of 2012 as an English major with a focus on creative writing (poetry), with a minor in Film Studies. A member of the Varsity Track & Field team, Julia has studied writing and literary topics at Trinity with Ciaran Berry, Dario Del Puppo, Lucy Ferriss, Sheila Fisher, Christopher Hager, Daniel Mrozowski, David Rosen, Clare Rossini, Mary Beverly Wall, and James Prakash Younger. Julia’s advisor at Trinity is Ciaran Berry, Assistant Professor and Director of the Creative Writing Program, recipient of the 2012 Whiting Writer’s Award, and author of The Sphere of Birds (2008) and numerous pieces in journals and anthologies.  Her thesis advisor is Clare Rossini, poet and Artist-in-Residence, and author of Winter Morning with Crow (1997) and Lingo (2006), as well as numerous pieces in journals and anthologies.

Betsy south beach

The Family of Hyam Plutzik (Trinity ’32) is proud to offer an annual residency (for five years, beginning in Spring 2014) in South Beach in the Betsy Writers Room to a graduating senior with outstanding talent in the literary arts.  The award will be given in May, as part of the graduation program.  This residency comes with a $500 travel stipend, six days lodging, and a per-diem of $50. During the residency, the recipient will be invited to participate in an Arts Salon to share his/her work with the community; planning will be done in close partnership with the visiting artist.  The residency will be awarded annually by the Head Curator and Librarian at the Watkinson, in cooperation with College advisors, for a residency to be scheduled directly with the Betsy Writers Room.



   Posted by: rring

EJJohnson_photo2We were thrilled to host Eric Johnson, Curator of Early Books & Manuscripts at the Ohio State University, from March 10-13 for a series about medieval manuscripts. On Tuesday he delivered a great talk on the notions of “value” or “worth” that underlie our understanding and appreciation of medieval manuscripts by examining the life of the Hornby-Cockerell Bible (OSU MS.MR14).

Hornby Bible_asstdAn example of a rare “proto-Paris” Bible likely produced in a Parisian workshop sometime in the early 1220s, this Bible survived intact until 1981 when it was sold at auction and promptly broken by its purchasers to be sold off leaf-by-leaf. Johnson is purchasing those leaves as they come back on the market and re-assembling them at Ohio State.  He discussed the manuscript’s original value as an objet d’art, its destruction and “re-packaging” into 440 constituent units of sale, and the slow, methodical process of reconstructing it at The Ohio State University.



Then on Wednesday Dr. Johnson spoke to the students in Jonathan Elukin’s course on the history of the Bible, where he discussed the transition from manuscript to print, using leaves from both the Watkinson and Ohio State University Libraries. Later, we had well over a dozen staff, faculty, alumni and students take part in a guided workshop on medieval manuscripts, when Dr. Johnson spoke at length about the production of parchment, inks, and other elements of the medieval book.



“Leaves of Grass” print for sale

   Posted by: rring

IMG_4439I am pleased to announce the availability of copies of a limited, signed and numbered edition (1 through 30) of a 3-color lino-cut print by local artist Kait Lennon, a recent graduate of the University of Hartford Art School and a printer at Hartford Prints!

All proceeds from the sale of these prints will go toward the purchase of a copy of the first edition (1855) of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass.

The dimensions of the sheet are 9 x 12 inches, and the print itself is 8 x 10, ready-to-frame!

Cost: $150.00

Please e-mail if you would like a copy.



img808Also available for those who donate to the Whitman:

On December 3, 2013, the students of Clare Rossini’s First-Year Seminar (“The Practice of Poetry”), having visited the Watkinson to compose lines of Whitman’s poetry in metal type the week before, went on a field trip to print keepsakes at Hartford Prints!, a local letterpress shop.  The news article covering the event is here, and here are pics of the students printing.


Lucky 13! opening a success!

   Posted by: rring

AMST 835 class picThe opening of our student exhibitions last month was a great success, with over 60 people in attendance from as far a way as upstate New York.

Every fall I teach a course in the American Studies department on museum and library exhibitions, and my students curate their own shows “soup to nuts,” – not just telling a story with artifacts, but also fundraising, planning and budgeting for an opening event and producing a published catalog. This fall I had 13 students, and each one did their own show, so I called the collective exhibition “Lucky 13.” The shows will be on display through June 15, and catalogs are still available.





Family weekend poster sale a success

   Posted by: rring

fotoOn Saturday of Family Weekend (October 5th), we held a poster sale at Vernon Social to raise awareness about (and a little money for) our intended acquisition of the first edition (1855) of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. 

These are original event posters from various venues in Rhode Island from the 1970s – 1990s, ranging from circuses to magic shows, musical theater, professional wrestling, boxing, and musical acts, among others. The posters were de-accessioned by another university as duplicates, and given to us without restriction.

Although the actual money raised was small ($250) compared to our goal ($50,000 by December 31), we sold over 50 posters, and I spoke with many people about the Watkinson and its programs, which was an immeasurable gain.

We still have over 400 posters left, available in the Watkinson until the end of the semester and on display in two racks behind the case in which the copy of Leaves of Grass we wish to acquire is displayed.  If you are looking for some funky art for your dorm walls, or a funny, retro/nostalgic gift for your crazy uncle at Christmas, or just a good laugh–stop on by!