Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.9, No.1
Summer 2010

Chair's Column
Mountain West Virtual Conference: Fall 2010
Chapter Meeting Minutes: Boston 2010
New Mountain West Members
Spotlight on Collections & Exhibitions
Shelving it / Joan Benedetti
Great Reads for Late Summer, Early Fall / Rebecca Loughlin

Chair's Column
Contributed by Marly Helm

Greetings! In this issue of our chapter’s newsletter, we’re delighted to introduce you to the faces and backgrounds of some of our new chapter members (welcome one and all!) and to highlight some exhibitions of our chapter institutions. We have a few feature articles that we hope you’ll enjoy reading about change and transformations. We also bid a sorrowful farewell to Paula Wolfe, a chapter member, who recently passed away.

Mountain West chapter members have not been idle this past spring and summer. We met for our business meeting at the ARLIS-NA annual conference in April in Boston. The minutes of that meeting are linked in this newsletter and I encourage all to read over the proceedings. At the meeting it was decided to hold a virtual conference this fall and our Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Meredith Kahn has been busy organizing the event. There is an article on the conference in this newsletter, which will fill you in on the particulars. I do hope all our chapter members will support the event by attending and volunteering when Meredith asks for help. If the conference runs all day and we can’t fit a chapter business meeting in that day, we may need to schedule it for another day. We are still working through the scheduling for the conference at this time and will announce that decision later via our chapter listserv.

I want to thank our many chapter members and other Mountain West librarians who helped make the Boston national conference a resounding success. We were well-represented by the following colleagues who either gave presentations or posters: Jean Brown (UNLV), Greg Hatch (Utah), Eumie Imm-Stroukoff (Georgia O’Keefe), Meredith Kahn (UC/Boulder), Dena Kinney (UNM), Nancy Pistorius (UNM), Tom Riedel (Regis), and Nina Stephenson (UNM).

Congratulations are in order to our Winberta Yao Travel Award winner, C. Alexandria Casler (UA, School of Information Resources & Library Science graduate). Alexandria used the funds to travel to the ARLIS/NA conference in Boston. Her report is available on our chapter website at:

Congratulations are also in order to chapter member Tom Riedel who was elected to the ARLIS/NA Executive Board as Treasurer.

Coming up this fall our Past Chair, Jennifer Mayer, will be heading up the Nomination Committee and looking for candidates willing to run for the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect officer position for next year. Voting will occur in mid-December. I strongly encourage any member who has not held a chapter officer position to consider the opportunity. It has been an honor to serve as Chair this past year, thank you for the privilege, and if you would like to discuss the work load and time commitment, please contact me.

Our chapter once again contributed financially to the ARLIS/NA conference and also to the Summer Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI PRO 2010), the ARLIS/NA and VRA Foundation’s educational program held this year at the University of New Mexico/Albuquerque. Chapter member, Nina Stephenson, served on the Implementation Committee for the institute. Thanks Nancy!

I‘m looking forward to our successful virtual chapter conference on November 4th, so see you all in cyberspace.

Marly Helm
ARLIS-NA/Mountain West Chair
Associate Librarian
Arizona State Museum Library
Tucson, AZ



The Mountain West Chapter
Fall Conference will be on
November 4th, 2010.

It’s virtual! It’s affordable! It’s educational! The conference is open to all ARLIS/NA members.

Contact Meredith Kahn,

Mountain West Virtual Conference: Fall 2010

Adapt, Evolve, Transform: Current Issues in Art Information is the theme for our chapter’s virtual conference to be held on November 4th, 2010. Unlike all our previous chapter conferences that were restricted to our chapter members, this conference is open to any member of the art information community. We’re anticipating an exciting and varied selection of papers and sessions for the full-day conference.

The conference is stretching our horizons in many ways. Because it is virtual, it will be conducted via the software GoToWebinar, which is being provided courtesy of ARLIS/NA. GoToWebinar is a new product for us and we may be one of a few, if not the first, chapter to utilize it for conferencing. We are also investigating using registration software, new to us, to handle the registration requirements for the conference. At this time we anticipate that the conference will be broken into morning and afternoon segments. Attendees will be able to listen and interact via the web while sitting at their office computers.

I hope that all Mountain West chapter members will participate. We are offering a special price of $30 for chapter members. More information will be posted to the Mountain West Chapter website and to the ARLIS/NA and Mountain West listservs as it becomes available.

Stay tuned and hope to see you virtually in November!


Chapter Meeting Minutes: Boston 2010

The minutes of the ARLIS-NA Mountain West Chapter Business Meeting held on April 24, 2010 at the Seaport Hotel, Boston, MA are  available online at:



Introducing New Mountain West Members
Contributed by Marly Helm

Jennifer Barton is currently a graduate student attending the San Jose State School of Library and Information Science in their distance education program. She is about 2/3 of the way through her MLIS graduate work. Although Jennifer attends San Jose State she has lived in Colorado since 2008. She has an M.A. in Art History from the University of California, Riverside and has varied arts work experience, including working in a museum and an art gallery. She has worked in public relations and with curating/research for exhibitions in photography and contemporary art. She has also taught a class in Art Appreciation at the college level and looks forward to more teaching opportunities in the future. Currently Jennifer is working as a library aide at a medical library and in administration at a state college. While juggling work and school is tough for her, it is giving her a worthwhile real-world experience while she learns in the virtual classroom. Her interests within the library field are reference (she has worked as a volunteer for the online reference service AskColorado), library instruction and archival studies. She is also interested in how she can combine her interest in art and in librarianship in creative ways. Her next step is to get a great internship (or two) as she nears the end of her graduate program.

Joan Benedetti is a long-time member of ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/Southern California (SC), but is a new member of ARLIS/Mountain West. She and her husband moved to Santa Fe last November. Since she retired seven and a half years ago, she has worked on several large projects, mostly related to her experiences as an art museum librarian. See her article “Shelving It: Life After Retirement” in this newsletter. In the article, Joan looks backward in order to “make sense” of what she has been doing in retirement and forward to “really retiring” in Santa Fe, though she will continue her membership in ARLIS/NA indefinitely. Besides what is related in the article, Joan has also worked on a bookmobile in Bloomington, Indiana, as a children’s librarian in Gary, Indiana, and as a Decorative Arts Librarian in Milwaukee, WI. She served as ARLIS/SC Chapter Chair in 1979-80 and as Chair of the 1985 ARLIS/NA Los Angeles annual conference. She has published several articles on folk art terminology as well as art museum librarianship. Her edited book, Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship, published in 2007 is part of the Occasional papers of the Art Libraries Society of North America series. An interview with Joan conducted by Tom Jacoby and Eileen Markson appeared in the Spring 2004 issue of Art Documentation.

C. Alexandria Caster is a graduate student and Knowledge River Scholar at the University of Arizona (UA), School of Information Resources and Library Science and plans to graduate in May 2011. Her undergraduate degree is in Art History with a minor in French from the University of Oregon. While in the Pacific Northwest, Alexandria interned at the University of Oregon’s Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum and was a long-term volunteer at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Goldendale, Washington. She owned a successful bookstore/art gallery in Oregon, The Three Graces, for four years, worked for several years in the used book trade and was a bilingual specialist/LSTA grant coordinator in a public library. She is fluent in Spanish.

Alexandria is currently working as a Graduate Assistant (year two) at the UA’s Special Collections where she is processing photographic and manuscript collections, providing reference services, creating finding aids and encoding them using EAD, assisting with exhibition planning and set-up, and creating a digital exhibit for the Arizona Memory Project. This summer she will be working at the Martha Cooper Library, a branch of the Pima County Public Library, where she is planning a Refugee Health Fair and art-based programming for youth. In the fall, she will start an internship at the Tucson Museum of Art Research Library. Alexandria has a special interest in photography; she is an amateur photographer/artist, mostly specializing in portraiture. Her goal is to become an art librarian/ photo archivist.

Meredith Kahn is the Art & Architecture Librarian at the University of Colorado, Boulder since September 2009. As the librarian she is the liaison to the Department of Art & Art History and the College of Architecture & Planning and provides reference, instruction, and collection development for those disciplines. Prior to arriving at CU-Boulder, Meredith was a graduate assistant in the University of Michigan's Art, Architecture & Engineering Library for two years. She received her MSI from the University of Michigan, her MA in Art History from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her BA from the University of Michigan. Meredith’s research interests include information literacy among architecture and design students and vernacular American architecture. She just returned from the ACRL's Immersion Program (Teacher Track). Meredith has been a member of ARLIS/NA since 2005 and is co-currently chair of the ARLIS/NA Diversity Committee and our chapter’s Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.

Sarah R. Kostelecky is Director of Library Programs at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has been there since 2007. In addition to her current role supervising the 4 year college library and institutional archives, she is working as a First Year advisor and is involved with the Assessment of Student Learning committee.  Her collection development areas include Native American history and film studies. Previously she was a Librarian in the Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System, also in New Mexico, focusing on Youth Services. She also recently finished a 2 year term on the American Indian Library Association's Youth Literature Award committee. Sarah is a native New Mexican, having grown up in Zuni Pueblo.  She earned her MA in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona in 2003 and was chosen as an ALA Spectrum Scholar in 2002. She also earned her BA at the U of A in Sociology in 2001.  As a student, she worked at the Arizona State Museum Library, where her interest in art and museum librarianship began.  Her professional interests include recruiting diverse librarians to the field and library outreach to Indigenous peoples.  She looks forward to learning more about the ARLIS organization and issues in
the art librarianship field.

Betsy Shepardson is an artist, poet and art educator residing in Denver. She is currently engaged as an archive and office volunteer. Betsy has published her poems in River Voices, an anthology, and she has sold her artwork to collectors, museums and commercial establishments. She also sells a line of note cards and post cards since 1988. Since 2008 she exhibited her work at the Heimbold Visual Arts Building, Sarah Lawrence College alumni art exhibit in Bronxville, NY. Her work has also been exhibited at the Museum of American Illustration in New York. Betsy is the recipient of several recognitions including the Preservation Grant from the Newark Museum and the Gramercy Park Drawing Award. Betsy received her BA in Comparative Literature from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and a Fine Arts Illustration Certificate from The Art Students League New York. She also recently completed the Summer Writing Program at Sarah Lawrence College and the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop. Betsy previously worked as the photography coordinator at the Newark Museum and as the Executive Assistant to Carlos Fligler, President of Delta Capital Corporation. She is a past member of the Society of Illustrators and ARLIS/NA New York Chapter.

Memorial: Remembering Paula Wolfe
Contributed by Marly Helm

Long-time Mountain West chapter member, art librarian and artist Paula Wolfe, 60, passed away on July 28, 2010.  Paula was known to many chapter members and will be remembered for her beautiful smile and enduring optimism, her courageous battle over her illness, and her contributions to librarianship.  She worked at the University of Arizona (UA) libraries since 1999 beginning as a science-engineering librarian before moving to the Art and Architecture library.  

Prior to coming to Arizona, Paula worked at the University of Wyoming Science Library, the California Academy of Sciences, the Moss Landing Marine Lab Library and the Boston Museum of Art.  Some people may not know that Paula was a marine biologist before becoming a librarian.  Over the last few years, Paula worked on digital projects at the UA Libraries and curated their current exhibit at Special Collections on architect Josias Joesler, see article in the Spotlight on Collections in this issue.

Paula was very pleased that ultimately she found an art-related library position and was able to become active in ARLIS/NA.  She helped plan the Denver ARLIS/NA conference in 2008, and had agreed to serve as Chair of the Mountain West chapter before her illness intervened.

Paula is survived by her life partner, Laura Bender, and will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by those who knew her.  A celebration of her life will be held in October in Scottsdale, Arizona. Memorials can be directed to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Southern Arizona Office, 4574 E. Broadway Blvd, Tucson AZ 85711.


Spotlight on Collections & Exhibitions

University of Wyoming Libraries, Art Invitational
Contributed by Jennifer Mayer

Alpine Woods by Joe Arnold
Alpine Woods by Joe Arnold

This summer, the University of Wyoming Libraries are hosting their first ever Art Invitational. Using a proposal process, we invited local artists to loan their art for display in Coe Library, for a minimum of one year. This program provides an opportunity to see more local art in a heavily used public building that has a variety of patrons. In addition to the benefit of art in the building, the intention is to provide visibility to sell the art to someone who might be willing to donate it to the Libraries or purchase it for their personal collection. We hope to make the Invitational an annual event!

University of Arizona Library Special Collections, Josias Joelser: Tucson Architect
Contributed by Marly Helm

[Editor note: As a tribute to Paula Wolfe, we are featuring “Josias Joesler: Tucson Architect” in our Spotlight on Collections and Exhibitions. This is her last curated exhibition.]

Eclectic, comes from the Greek word meaning “to select/gather”. Paula Wolfe, curator of the “Josias Joesler: Tucson Architect” exhibit, used that term accurately to describe the vision and historical contributions of J. Joesler to Tucson’s architecture. Joseler designed more than 400 buildings in Tucson Arizona beginning in the mid-1920’s until the late 1950’s in styles ranging from European historic (Tudor, Swiss chalet) to revival styles of Spanish colonial, Pueblo and California Mission. He is Tucson’s best known architect and one of the most important influences on Tucson architecture. Many of his designed buildings reflect Southwestern rural estate living and, today, command premium sale prices. According to architectural historian and UA professor R. Brooks Jeffery, Joesler “transported many architectural styles to Tucson and popularized them particularly to an elite class that was looking for a connection to a romanticized view of the Southwest.”

Walk in to the Joesler exhibit at UA’s Special Collections and you walk back in time to when conceptual drawings and architectural designs were hand-drawn in pencil and highlighted with colored pencils. There are no precision AutoCad renderings in this gallery. Rather, there are display cases of protractors and slide rules, the early 20th century surveying and drafting tools. Panels are covered with Joesler’s original sketches and meticulously scaled architectural designs. Most of Joesler’s work was for single-story residential dwellings that featured adobe walled structures with clay-tiled roofs and wood-beamed ceilings surrounding courtyards and terraces. He incorporated wrought-iron, hand-carved wooden doors, tin and decorative tiled accents into his designs. He also had an appreciation for the desert landscape and a great sense of scale and proportion with many of his designs incorporating the native vegetation and framing the mountain and city views. One of his more famous commercial designs is the St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church (extant) which has a large alter window with a breathtaking view of the Catalina Mountains as its nave.

The Joesler exhibit is a collaboration between UA’s Special Collections and the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. As part of the project, the Joesler/Murphey Collection at the Arizona Architectural Archives is being digitized. For more information on Joesler, visit the web exhibit, Josias Joesler: An Architectural Eclectic at: and for more information on St. Philip’s in the Hills, visit:

Arizona State Museum- Culture Campaign
Contributed by Marly Helm

In February 2009, when the University of Arizona and the city of Tucson indefinitely suspended the construction of the new Arizona State Museum (ASM) which was part of its downtown re-development project, the staff at ASM began an evaluation on where we go from here. The result of that re-examination is the Culture Campaign, a multi-year advocacy initiative happening both within and external to the museum. The campaign’s intent is to re-focus the museum with a broader vision on how we can better serve and inform our public.

Its four goals are to: 1) Clarify to the public who we are, what culture and anthropology are, and why cultural sustainability matters; 2) Articulate, renew, and communicate our commitment to public service; 3) Identify and serve our communities’ needs as they relate to culture, and inspire our audiences to become actively involved in behaviors that support and sustain cultural diversity; and 4) Increase ASM’s visibility and relevance locally and beyond. In order to translate these goals into meaningful actions, the campaign is working first internally with staff to unify them around a set of shared principles including, cultural literacy, life-long learning, respect for diversity and the value of education. Three new in-house programs, Culture Conversations, Viral Readers and Coffee with the Curators provide museum staff and volunteers with readings, discussion and conversation opportunities and personal connections to curators, who make themselves available to discuss current topics and/or research.

The Culture Campaign will next go external as an educational, marketing and fund raising initiative. It will include a coordinated series of exhibits, events and media blitz that will remind people that ASM is alive and well and that we are about culture and that culture matters. A cultural literacy program will promote learning about cultures, understanding the concept of Culture, and mobilizing the concept of culture to improve people’s lives. Marketing will include a coordinated advertising campaign based on “culture” - encouraging cultural sustainability, cultural stewardship, and increased community involvement toward a cultural wellbeing of the Tucson community. In the end the campaign hopes to create an informed public on the value of many cultures, build community partnerships and stimulate public support for the museum.

Brigham Young University: Museum of Art and Lee Library Events
Contributed by Christiane Ramsey


BYU Museum of Art

The BYU MOA is currently hosting Works by Vito Acconci, Bill Viola, and Seoungho Cho in the Electronic Media Gallery to inaugurate a new Electronic Media Gallery. This new exhibition space is dedicated to the exploration of electronic media art in all of its forms: internet, film, sound, installation, and other electronic visual media. The current exhibition features artists exploring the western landscape, beginning with an early conceptual consideration by Vito Acconci; a metaphysical and contemplative exploration of essence and place by prolific video artist Bill Viola; and, a more recent work by Korean artist Seoungho Cho, examining the disconnect we often feel with our environment. Upcoming exhibitions include:


"Gethsemane" by Carl Bloch  

Carl Heinrich Bloch: The Master's Hand (November 12, 2010 – May 7, 2011), in development for the last nine years. It will feature the life and work of Carl Heinrich Bloch, the 19th-century Danish artist whose paintings on the life of the Savior are often used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and greatly loved by its members. The focal point of the exhibition will be five large altar paintings. One of these works is "Christ Healing the Sick at Bethesda," which has become the signature piece of the museum since its acquisition in September 2001.
More ...

Dorothea Lange: Three Mormon Towns (January 21, 2011 – April 30, 2011). In the 1950s, Dorothea Lange completed four major photographic essays for publication, including “Three Mormon Towns,” that appeared as a collaboration with Ansel Adams in the September 6, 1954 issue of Life magazine. Lange and Adams’s 1,100 images were pared down to 36 photographs of Toquerville, Gunlock, and St. George for the photo essay. This exhibition will highlight the Museum of Art’s recent acquisition of 21 photographs from Lange’s “Three Mormon Towns” series, with other images from her series borrowed from the collections of John Dixon and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Harold B. Lee Library
Art in the Library Program, Visiting Artist

The Mormons / Photography by Mark Hedengren
August 17 - November 4, 2010
Auditorium Gallery, level 1


Being In The World (2010) 

Harold B. Lee Library
Documentary Cinema Film Series

Contributed by Julie Williamsen, Theatre, Media Arts & Communications Librarian, BYU

The third season of the Harold B. Lee Library’s Documentary Cinema Film Series begins this fall. The premier film is Being In The World This film takes the viewer on a gripping and surprising journey around the world to meet extraordinary people, to show how we go from following rules to proficiency, to becoming masters in the form artists, craftsmen, athletes, and, ultimately, unique human beings attuned to the sacred. Filmmakers Tao Ruspoli from UC Berkeley, and Mark Wrathall from UC Davis will be at the event for a post screening discussion.

Most Dangerous Man in America and Typeface will also be shown this fall among other films. The Documentary Cinema Film Series is designed to support campus curriculum and operates as a lab with Brigham Young University Courses. Watch for updates on the Documentary Cinema Film Series website



Shelving It: Life After Retirement in Santa Fe
Contributed by Joan Benedetti

Mountain West Ledger Editor Helm asked me to write an article about “what I’ve been doing since retiring.” But in order to make sense of it I have to do a little backtracking. Because I have continued to go to ARLIS conferences and the occasional chapter meeting, it may surprise some of you (it surprises me when I think of it) that I actually retired from the salaried life seven and a half years ago.

After an active professional career, mostly (though not entirely) in art museum libraries in Los Angeles, I retired from the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA) at the end of 2002. My husband, Robert (“Beny”), and I lived in Southern California for 36 years; for the past 12 years, in Santa Monica. Last year we decided to move to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a place we had visited often and that was nearby to Corrales, where our daughter, Kirsten, had moved some eight years before.

More ...


Great Reads for Late Summer - Early Fall
Contributed by Rebecca Loughlin, Reference Librarian, Art Institute of Colorado

Dog days – the hottest, most sultry days of summer, usually corresponding to the time between July and September. It is believed that the name derives from the Dog star, Sirius, somehow responsible for this lethargic weather period. For some, the dog days of summer provoke images of hot, humid days resulting in laziness; lying around, like old dogs, or capturing the last remaining glorious, fun activities of summer--picnicking, swimming and reading good books. This summer’s recently published books bring riveting tales of adventure, mysteries of the museum world, and beautifully written art histories; and conveniently, for travel and relaxing in the late summer and early fall settings, many of these are now available in paperback.

Whether you are looking for something deeply stimulating, professionally relevant or guiltlessly entertaining, select some of the works listed here on the subjects of art, architecture, librarianship, and literature. Enjoy!

  • Mirror of the World by Julian Bell. 496 pp.
  • The Quest for Shakespeare's Globe by John Orrell. 203 pp.
  • Cartographies of Time: A History of the Timeline by Anthony Grafton. 272 pp.
  • Picasso and Apollinaire: The Persistence of Memory by Peter Read. 334 pp.
  • Pop by Mark Francis. 204 pp.
  • Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury. 352 pp.
  • The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World's Largest Unsolved Art Theft by Ulrich Boser. 272 pp.
  • The Librarian's Guide to Graphic Novels for Adults by David S. Serchay. 320 pp.
  • This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson. 288 pp.
  • Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell. 352 pp.



2010 ARLIS/NA Conference, Boston

2011 ARLIS/NA Conference, Minneapolis

The 2011 VRA+ARLIS/NA 2nd Joint Conference will be held in Minneapolis, MN from March 24-28, 2011.

The conference theme is Collaboration: Building Bridges in the 21st Century. Check the ARLIS/NA website for upcoming information.


Newsletter Editor:
Marly Helm, Arizona State Museum Library, University of Arizona

Web Editor:
Christiane Erbolato-Ramsey, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University

23 August 2010