The Mott-Warsh Collection maintains a revolving display of art work by celebrated black artists. They are on loan to University of Michigan-Flint for a limited time to provide our community with an opportunity to view items from this renounced private art collection.
Located on the 3rd floor of Thompson Library, just across the room from the Main Entrance to the Library, the display hangs on the west wall, easy to locate and easy to view.
This summer, we currently host a display of works by the artist Hale Woodruff (1900-1980). Selections are from his “Atlanta” period from the 1930s era.
Each new display will also have a flyer available nearby which contains information about the various pieces as well as the artist who created them.
The seven works currently on display are titled (respectively):
a. African Headdress
b. Old Church
c. Returning Home
f. Trusty on a Mule
g. Sunday Pomenade
The artist, Hale Woodruff, was born in Cairo, Illinois in 1900 and began as a self-taught artist drawing cartoons in his youth. He later attended college at the John Herron Art Institute of Indianapolis and Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum. He spent four years in Paris studying at the Academie Scandinave e Academie Modern before returning to the United States and a teaching position at Atlanta University. He taught at New York University from 1945 through 1968 before retiring as an active member of the art world until his death in 1980.
Woodruff’s woks are included in major collections in many of our greatest institutes, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and the Smithsonian Institute.
To learn more about Hale Woodruff, and to spend some time enjoying a selection of his early work, please visit Thompson Library on the University of Michigan Flint campus.
For more information about the Mott-Warsh Collection, visit them at http:www.m-wc.org or check out their page on Facebook.
“Libraries are simple. I can figure this out all by myself.
Wait — How do I get to the library website? And where are the databases I’m supposed to use?
I thought there was only one university research database. Just how many databases ARE there? Which one am I supposed to use?
I don’t know what to do, or where to look or who to ask. If I ask for help, will they think I’m stupid? I don’t want anyone to think I’m stupid.
I’ll just use Google . . .
This is a common reaction by new students beginning their first research paper at university.
If it’s been a while since they visited their local public library, they may not be aware of the vast changes in how libraries collect, store, index, and provide access to information. Or they may not be aware of the very real and immediate need to ask a librarian for assistance when faced with so many options.
It is often assumed that all libraries are identical. They aren’t familiar with the specialized services an academic library provides to students and faculty researchers.
Plus they are often overwhelmed by the technology involved in using library resources — such as databases — resources which index and provide access to such varied sources of information as books, ebooks, scholarly journal articles, or even statistical data.
Few expect to find over 1,000 subscription service databases available to them.
Selecting the specific database they need to begin a research project is the first major hurdle students face. Frustration often drives them to return to their old friend, Google, when they don’t know how to find or use Library resources. Google is not a reliable source of scholarly, or even accurate, information. This helps no one.
The data libraries provide as part of their standard service today cannot be matched by search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Search engines can only access materials that are available for free through open access on the internet. Any service, such as newspapers, magazines, scholarly journals or data services that require a subscription to get access are not available to any search engine. They are blocked from these resources, the very materials to of greatest value to researchers.
These are the very services that libraries DO provide.
As an example of the extent of this problem, Google can only provide access to approximately 17% to 25% of the resources an academic library makes available to its researchers. Worse — Google can only provide that much because a small portion of what libraries offer IS open source materials.
Think Google Scholaris able to get around that? Nope. Google Scholar simply re-directs it’s student users back to their own library, but without the ability to use multiple index search words, or limiters that allow users to select for things such as full text articles, peer-reviewed articles, or articles published in English language (all actual limiters available in most library databases).
Check the settings options in Google Scholar, and select for Libraries to see where it is redirecting.
Libraries organize a wide variety of online resources, including such things as useful statistical or data which governments and organization sites (that don’t require subscriptions) provide and are freely available for online access and use by anyone.
But Google can’t get at the scholarly journal or other databases the library pays for through its annual subscription The databases and other resources provided by the Library are far better choices to find and use research materials.
But — with over 1,000 current subscription databases available through Thompson Library, how does a researcher find which databases to use for any given research project or question?
That very dilemma is the reason Thompson Library uses —
The LibGuides help our librarians create a selection of Guides for specific areas of study (as well as for specific courses, or topics of interest, when needed).
For each teaching department on our UM-Flint campus, our librarians have created a general Guide that organizes all databases of use to a researcher within that discipline.
Each Guide offers tabs to different pages that further organize the resources needed by researchers.
And in many cases, several specialized Guides are created within a discipline that focus on those resources useful to a specialized branch of study.
Let’s look at some examples of Guides and how to find them.
FINDING the Guides:
To find a LibGuide for any of the major subject areas at UM-Flint, a researcher must navigate first to the Thompson Library website.
Find Thompson Library Website:
From UM-Flint page, use top toolbar for ACADEMICS; the drop-down options include LIBRARY. Use the “click here” option to navigate to the Thompson Library website.
Scroll down the library website; find the box in the center of the page labeled, “NEED HELP GETTING STARTED?“
This page presents an alphabetical list of the major discipline LibGuides. Scroll down the list to find the one you need. Click to open.
Each Guide starts with an OVERVIEW page. This page lists the librarian who created the Guide and how to contact them on the far right of the screen. The center of the Guide will offer links a short list of the most frequently used databases.
Along the lower left may be a list of related Guides that could prove useful to your search.
Each Guide has a tab-list of pages within the Guide along the far left side.
Each page provides links to library resources (databases, books, etc) as indicated on the tab.
Let’s look at a Guide.
From the alphabetic list of subject Guides, let’s select NURSING.
Click on the Guide for Nursing, found in the alphabetic list.
The landing / OVERVIEW page tells you this Guide was created by librarian Laura Friesen and provides her office address, office phone number, and email. It gives a few “quick links” back to useful Library information, such as the hours the Library is open. It also provides a link to the CHAT feature.
CHAT is a real-time way to ask a librarian for help. Click CHAT to type your question and have an online discussion with a librarian. This is a great way to get a quick answer to a simple question.
Under the center FREQUENTLY USED DATABASES is a short list of those databases used most often by students and instructors in the Nursing Program at UM-Flint.
Each database includes the name of that database as a clickable link, and below the name, a brief description of what kind of information is found within that particular database.
DO NOT assume that the short list of databases found on the Overview page is all the library offers for researchers in this subject. Nope. Check the tabs on the left and look for an A-Z List of Databases; click to open.
The A-Z list in the Nursing Guide is not a list of all Library databases. It IS a list of all databases useful to those researching topics in the field of Nursing and Medicine — a great way to narrow down the over 1000 databases the Library offers to just those useful in THIS, the current research project.
It is wise to remember that they are NOT listed by usefulness or relevance, but simply alphabetically.
Choosing the first database in a list may not be a good way to select a database. Check the description found below every database link to understand the contents of that particular database. With that information, it is easier to determine which database is more likely to provide the information sought by the researcher.
Do not, for example, use a database that lists and describes current drugs (such as the Merck Index Online) when searching for an index to journal articles. For journal articles, a better database choice may be Nursing & Allied Health or CINAHL.
Some Guides will offer additional tabs to group a large list of databases by narrower topics. Look for those to help you narrow down which database to use.
So you select a NURSING database, say the one named CINAHL,but find it a bit confusing to use. To make it easier to figure out, the Library included a tab in this Guide with short videos that explain how to use some of the databases found in this Guide.
This video walks a new user through how to find, open, and use the CINAHL database both effectively and efficiently.
When the current research project is finished and the research paper written, there’s even help from the Library Guides for doing a References page.
Find the tab for APA STYLE, again, from the Page list on the far left side of each library Guide, for assistance.
Each subject Guide will vary a little based on the type of information is needed for that particular subject and the resources available through the library in that discipline. But the basic organization of each Guide is similar. Learn one and have no problem using the others.
But that’s not all. There are additional Guides to help for other research projects as well. Want to learn about The Flint Water Crisis? We have a Guide for that! It organizes a wide variety off resources available to a researcher, including print and online sources of background information about the Flint and what happened.
But that Guide is NOT in the list by subject we just looked at. The “extra” Guides can be found using the FULL List of Guides.
The link to the FULL LIST of Library Guides can be found on the far left of the Thompson Library website, directly under the “Frequently Asked Questions.”
The List defaults to a “major categories” list, but by clicking either of the other options at the top, a user can change to ALL GUIDES to see the complete list, or OWNER, to see all those Guides created by any one of our librarians.
Or, if the exact title of a Guide is known (such as The Flint Water Crisis), that can by entered into the search box to zero in on a single Guide quickly.
– There are plenty of options to find and use any of the Guides.
– Using the Guides is easy as they are all organized similarly.
– The Guides are extremely useful because they organize links to databases and online documents needed to research a specific subject.
– The Guides make finding and using a database — and other resources — much easier.
– In short, the best way to begin any research project at the Thompson Library of University of Michigan-Flint is to start with the Guides.
Choose a Guide based on the type of subject to be researched. Browse through the contents of a Guide to select a database (resource) to use.
Get to the best resource for each search faster and with less effort. Get the research started and completed quickly.
Subject Guides — Helping UM-Flint researchers find and use the best library database (or other resource) to meet their needs quickly.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Need more help?
Don’t forget the BESTresource in any library are it’s librarians!
If you are a UM-Flint student, staff, or faculty, this is where you find help with your research needs.
Contact a UM-Flint Thompson Library LIBRARIAN for help.
Passwords at UM-Flint can be very confusing for new students. And sometimes for those of us who have been around a while, too.
Every student and employee has a UM-FLINT password. AND — every student also has a University of Michigan password (their “umich” password.) These are two separate passwords, and up until now, they could not be combined into one.
The Flint password works for any protected resource originating on the Flint campus.
This includes UM-Flint student email accounts, AND the various subscription databases provided by Thompson Library.
Why are those databases protected? They are protected because the license agreement required for subscription limits our Library to providing access to these resources ONLY to University of Michigan-Flint people, either currently registered students or current employees.
Our continued access to these resources is contingent on them remaining protected access resources.
For those that only use Library databases while on campus, no special login is required. Any online computer is pre-recognized as being authorized to use these databases by dint of being physically on the Flint campus (as identified by the internet login IP address).
For those using our databases from off campus, an automatic prompt requiring a password will pop up on screen before granting access to subscription service products.
But which password works for which service? Remember, currently each Flint campus student has TWOUniversity of Michigan passwords.
The simple answer is that any resource that originates from the Ann Arbor campus will require the UM “umich” password (previously referred to as the KERBEROS password).
Any resource that originates from the Flint campus (such as databases subscribed to by the Thompson Library, or Flint campus email system) will require use of the UM-Flint password.
It can be very confusing, especially if you’re not sure WHERE a particular service originates.
This year, ITS (Flint campus Information Technology Systems) and ITD (Ann Arbor campus Information Technology Department) have worked together for a solution to this frustrating conundrum. And they have a solution that not only allows for a single University of Michigan password, but also maintains the high level of security required today.
However, to get this new “one UM password,” each student must go to the UM password website and change to their new password.
IT IS NOT AUTOMATIC!
If a student does not change to the new single password, they will continue to have — and use — two separate passwords to access services from the University of Michigan.
To change to the new single password, go to the following website:
Once the password has been changed, students will be able to use their new, single University of Michigan password for any login required using any UM service, such as the Library databases, or the MIRLYN Library Catalog (list of books owned by the library at UM).
It will make life much simpler for our students, while still maintaining a secure system of access.
Scroll to bottom of article to see links for online digital content of Willcox Collection from the Genesee Historical Archives.
Historical Display, Thompson Library
The Woman Who Works for a Living
Life of the Wilcox Sisters, Early 1800s
For her capstone project in History, Jeanette Routhier’s created a display demonstrating an historical examination of the contents of a box of materials she found in the Genesee County Archives.
The box contained historically educational “primary source materials,” the majority in the form of letters written by the Willcox sisters.
The letters were not originally intended to act as a mirror to the time period, nor to serve as an educational tool for historians. They were, in fact, private correspondence within a family that became poverty stricken. The letters detail the struggle of the women of the family to survive in a male-dominated society which offered them few opportunities to provide for themselves outside of the protection of male members of their family.
These letters were intended to be, and remain, private; letters between family. They were not created with the express purpose of becoming a first person observation of the times in which these women lived.
As often happens with documents preserved over time, primary source materials — such as these letters — do just that. They become an historical record of the world in which the authors lived. They teach modern historians about daily life of people living during earlier time periods. They pass along valuable information so that modern students of history can better understand what has happened and how our modern society developed into its current state.
From the letters, beautifully written in the cursive hand taught to all students of that time, we come to know the Wilcox family and follow the course of their lives over time.
Jeanette created the display to lead us through the years along with the sisters, beginning with their father, who was shipped off to Debtor’s Prison in the early 1830s, leaving his daughters destitute.
This was a time when women had few rights. They were generally the chattel (property) of their fathers or husbands.
Single women living alone and depending upon their own efforts to survive had to find work in a world that considered working women a mere step up from slave labor. Finding work was difficult. Once obtained, there were no benefits other than a very meager income. Hours were extremely long. Conditions in the workplace were poor. Opportunities for a better future were non-existent.
Our information about the time period and conditions women endured is passed along to us by history teachers. History teachers learn the history from books. But where does the information in the books come from? And how accurate is it? Does the writer of a book have pre-conceived notions of life in a time period which predates their own? Does that then appear in the book?
Where can we get an accurate description, one passed down to us through time by people who lived through experiences long before we were born?
We find that information in “primary source” materials — the written record of people who were alive and witnessed events of a time before our own.
Primary source materials include such items as letters, the written descriptions of life and events passed down through time, describing conditions that no longer obtain and that we no longer understand through our own experience.
To know more about the time period and conditions that women experience, Ms Routhier opened a box of primary source materials stored in the University of Michigan-Flint Archive.
Jeanette located Box 1 of the George Willcox Papers. She opened it, and began reading the contents.
Through letters saved over the centuries, Jeanette was able to piece together the world in which the Willcox sisters lived. And through her display, Jeanette shared with us what it was like to live as a single woman in early 1800s United States.
Using the Archives and these original documents, which recorded first person observations of the life of these women, Jeanette has given us a small taste of the struggle of women trying to survive on their own in 1800s United States.
This display has now been dismantled.
To see the material upon which this display was based, visit the Genesee Historical Collections Center, or use the links below to view the digitalized contents of the Lyman George Willcox collection stored in the Archives.
From the online digital collection of the
Genesee Historical Collections Center (UM-Flint Archives):
(Click above to access entire online collection, or view the individual letters using the links provided below.)
Lyman George Willcox (1831-1918), a native of Rochester, Oakland County, Michigan, was a lawyer, an officer during the Civil War, orator, public servant, and journalist. His father, Lyman J. Willcox, settled in Michigan during the 1820s. The son, known as George, graduated from Hamilton College in 1855. He went to Kansas in 1856 to study the pro- and anti-slavery situation, then went to Omaha the next year. He returned to Detroit, and in 1861 was appointed captain of Company B, 3rd Michigan Cavalry Regiment. His company saw action at Corinth and Iuka, Mississippi, and he left the service in 1864 as a major. From 1865 to 1870, he was in Antrim County and in Traverse City, working as a lawyer and newspaper editor and in 1867 as U.S. Land Office registrar. From 1871 to 1879, he was a fruit farmer in Centralia, Illinois, in addition to practicing law and regularly speaking as an orator. He returned to Michigan, and was a law partner with his brother in Pontiac from 1879 to 1885. He continued his legal and journalistic interests in Bay City, where he lived from 1885 to 1910, at which point he lived with his son George in Saginaw. His papers include letters to and from his father from relatives in New York; correspondence with his wife during the Civil War; military orders and papers from his service in the Civil War; clippings from his political activities; and various reminiscences and documents from his activity in Civil War veterans’ organizations.
— The Letters of the Willcox Sisters (1830 – 1836) —
(Includes transcribed text in print.)
Angeline Willcox to Lyman J. Willcox, May 31, 183-
Thompson Library opened it’s doors in its new facility in October, 1994. We have been at our “new” location for 23 years this October. During that time, the Library has continued to add, slowly and selectively, to our Art Collection, which is on display throughout the building.
While many are unaware the Library has an art collection, it has been on display on our walls and on selected tables since those doors opened.
Some of the pieces in our collection have been gifts, donated by thoughtful and generous patrons of the University of Michigan and of the Library. We sincerely appreciate our patrons and thank them for sharing their love of the arts with the our university community.
Some of the pieces were purchased by the library, often from UM-Flint student art shows.
Some of the pieces are part of the Genesee Historical Collections Center — known on campus as The Archives.
The subjects of our artwork are as varied as the mediums used to create them. The majority of our works are in oil, charcoal, or pastels. But there are also a large number of reprints and photographs. The Art in the Library isn’t limited to framed images hanging on the walls; we have a number of sculptures and items of mixed media as well. There are works in glass, in fabric, in metal, and in ceramics. From paintings to sculptures, it’s all in your library, free for anyone to enter, walk around, and enjoy.
We have paintings of people; some famous, some forgotten, some fabricated from the imagination of the artist who created them. There are images of both well known and obscure local sites, some representing the architecture of a specific era, landscapes or geographic features.
There are a number of paintings with subjects that are related in some way to the University of Michigan.
Best of all, the majority of our artworks are on public display. Anyone may visit the Thompson Library to leisurely wander through the building, finding art in both prominent and obscure locations throughout all three floors of our facility.
We invite our readers within the UM-Flint community and visitors to our fair campus to come and enjoy the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of study and contemplation our library offers.
The building itself is — quite literally — a work of art, having won the design firm an award. The stacks shelving over a quarter of a million volumes are open, accessible and well lit.
There are comfortable chairs as well as hundreds of reading carrels on all three floors.
The first floor Atrium boasts 3 story windows, letting in natural light throughout the vast space, with plenty of tables for readers to sit and enjoy the view, quietly read their favorite tome, or engage in research.
And please, take a moment to just look around at the many fine pieces of art on display.
When you are at the Thompson Library, beauty is all around you.
— CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE —
Below we have included a sample of some of the pieces in our art collection.
Please visit the library soon to view these, and many other, works of art.
FIRST FLOOR OF LIBRARY
SECOND FLOOR OF LIBRARY
THIRD FLOOR OF LIBRARY
Thompson Library has so much more than books in print on our shelves. We have videos (both VHS and DVDs — even a Blu-Ray or 2), we have ebooks (and yes, many can be downloaded to a tablet for two weeks at a time), we have hundreds of online databases.
But we also have a unique art collection.
The Library — and all it contains — is a part of your academic experience.
Come to the Library and enjoy the experience soon.
Information — and culture — are all there for you, at your library.
Since September of 1890, the Michigan Daily has been the official student newspaper at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Throughout the decades since then, the student staffs of the Daily have chronicled not only the goings on at the University, but also the local and global community more generally.
Until recently, one had to go to the Hatcher Graduate Library in Ann Arbor to look at back issues of the Daily on microfilm. Now, almost the entire run of the paper is available to anyone with a computer and internet connection, thanks to the Bentley Historical Library on the North Campus in Ann Arbor.
The Michigan Daily Digital Archives is located at:
Current coverage of all back issues is from 1890 to 2014.
The archive landing page has a basic keyword search box.
At the top of all the archive pages there is a blue bar with the familiar Michigan Block M with the Archive and Bentley Library names.
This bar also contains links to other archive features.
The first of these is labeled Search, and takes the user to a screen with more search options than the basic keyword search on the landing page.
There is a drop down menu that allows users to limit their search by date of publication.
The default is any date, which will search the entire archive for the keywords entered by the user.
Users can choose to limit their search to results before and after a certain publication date, as well as between specified dates.
The left side of the search screen allows users to browse the archive by decade, year, month, and day. There are also a few sample searches available to stimulate creative ideas on how best to search.
Next to the Search link in the blue bar at the top of the archive pages, is a link marked Browse. Clicking here will bring up all of the available issues of the MICHIGAN DAILY, starting with the oldest issue in the archive which is from September 30, 1891.
Again, from here there are drop down menus to limit your search by decade, year, month, and day.
These can be combined, so, for example, you could limit your search to issues of the DAILYthat were published in July — in all of the years of the decade of the 1960s.
The Help link in the blue bar at the top of the archive pages has useful information on search techniques such as Boolean logic, as well as how to use the page viewer feature and how to download pages and entire digital back issues of the Daily.
While the Michigan Daily initially focused mostly on activities on the Ann Arbor campus of the University of Michigan, it quickly expanded to cover events across the state, nation, and world.
The November 12, 1918 issue reports on the end of the first World War, while issues from the early 1940s include extensive reporting on World War Two.
An extra issue from November 22, 1963 carried the tragic news of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Five years later, the Daily would report on two additional assassinations of prominent public figures-Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and President Kennedy’s brother Robert.
The progressive social movements of the 1960s, 1970s and beyond have been extensively covered by the Michigan Daily.
Tom Hayden, one of the founders of Students for a Democratic Society, was editor of the paper in the early 1960s.
White Panther/Rainbow People’s Party founder John Sinclair (a 1964 Flint campus graduate) both wrote for the Daily as well as being a frequent subject of articles in the paper.
The African-American civil rights and Black Power movements, second and third wave feminism, countercultures such as the hippies, the LGBTQ+ movement and more have all been written about in the Michigan Daily.
Varsity sports on the Ann Arbor campus have always been well covered by the Daily, from Fielding Yost’s Point A Minute football teams of the early 1900s, through the Bo Schembechler era, and on to today’s teams led by coaches such as Carol Hutchins of the women’s softball team and Jim Harbaugh, current head football coach.
On page three of the February 8, 1955 Daily is a short news article reporting on the Board of Regents vote to “establish a senior college of the University in Flint.”
This, of course, is what evolved into the present day University of Michigan-Flint campus.
News from both the Flint and Dearborn campuses regularly appear in the Daily.
The Michigan Daily Digital Archive is a very valuable historical resource, and is available free for all to use.
Thompson Library open Monday am; closes Thursday pm
The Frances Willson Thompson Library will open at 8 am on Monday, April 17th and will remain open (24 hours per day for 4 days!) until midnight on Thursday, April 20th this spring (2017).
—-> See below for complete schedule of library hours. <—-
Students needing to study for exams or work on that final paper are welcome to come and take advantage of these special extended hours for this week.
Where to Go?
Study Rooms and group areas will be available in the library for those that need to study together, while quiet areas will be strictly enforced for those that need peace and quiet to get that studying in and work on final papers before exams begin.
Will it be safe in the Library?
Department of Public Safety officers will be on hand to ensure the library will be a safe environment for those wishing to stay into the wee hours of the morning — or overnight!
ITS lab inside the library offers over 100 computers (including a few Macs) divided among all 3 floors. Additionally, ITS has 3 printer/copier machines (one on each floor) inside the library, all connected to the campus print queue.
There are many electrical outlets (including under each of the carrels along the edge of the room) for powering devices.
Need a laptop?
Thompson Library even has laptops available to checkout for use within the library. (Remember; student id cards — the UMID — also acts as your library card using the barcode on the back of your card.)
Need to play videos or CDs?
VHS and DVD players are available in each of the Study Rooms.
Check out headphones using your UMID at the Circulation Desk (3rd floor near entrance to library).
Need study space?
Study Rooms can be reserved online (check the UM-Flint Thompson Library website) for study groups.
Need help using Library?
And as always, our librarians and staff will be here during the entire 88 hours and will be available to assist patrons with their research needs.
Student Government at The University of Michigan-Flint will be providing snacks from 9pm – 1am Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights in the 3rd floor library lobby.
Will it be safe walking on campus?
University of Michigan-Flint Department of Public Safety will provide escorts on request all around campus, all night, and will be keeping the UPAV lot and Skywalk open all night to further ensure student safety.
Thompson Library will have:
Adult COLORING BOOKS available.
AND … the THERAPY DOGS will again be visiting!
Therapy dogs will be in the library on Thursday, April 20th between 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Come by and get a little canine cuddling to help steady those exam nerves.
Six new pieces have arrived at Thompson Library — on loan from the Mott-Warsh Art Collection — and now available for viewing.
The new display of lithographs may be seen on the 3rd floor of Thompson Libray along the back wall. Please stop by soon to see and appreciate these works while they remain with us.
The art collection, owned by The Maryanne Mott and Herman Warsh Collection, contains samples of some of the very best late 20th century works by African American artists.
The mission of the Mott-Warsh Collection is to present contemporary fine art to public audiences in non-traditional venues as well as educational and cultural institutions.
University of Michigan-Flint (with its strong historical ties to the Mott family of Flint, Michigan) and the Thompson Library in particular fit perfectly with the mission and vision statements established by Maryanne Mott and her late husband, Herman Warsh.
The collection was established in 2001 by Maryanne Mott and he late husband, Herman Warsh. The collection features the work of artists of the African diaspora and those who reflect on it. It comprises over 600 works by more than 185 artists working in varied media and stylistic approaches.
Represented within the collection are works from mid 20th century masters such as Romare Bearden and Elizabeth Catlett to many new and innovative artists of the early 21st century, and includes a broad array of work from the abstract to the representative.
Common to all pieces within the collection is the focus on unique cultural and social experiences of Africans and Americans of African descent living and working in western (American) society.
Maryanne and Herman begun collecting their art with the intent to assemble and preserve rare works of art endemic to the African community and make them available to the wider audience through its lending program with the intent to educate viewers in art appreciation, art making processes, art history, 20th century American history and the history of the African diaspora.
More works from the Mott-Warsh collection are on view at their Galley in downtown Flint on 815 S Saginaw Street (corner of S. Saginaw and E. Court Street).
Gallery hours are 11:00 am through 6:00 pm on Thursday and Friday, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday, and 11:00 am – 9:00 pm on the second Friday of each month. You may call ahead for information at (810) 835-4900, or check their website at m-wc.org.
The Gallery and it’s extended collection are supported by the Mott-Warsh research library, which has assembled monographs, exhibition catalogs, auction catalogs and journals with subject concentrations in African American art as well as information on fine arts collection management.
Selected works from the Mott-Warsh Collection are currently on display at several locations around Flint, including the Flint Institute of Music, the Flint Public Library, the Ruth Mott Foundation, Mott Community College, Applewood, Kettering University Innovation Center and other locations.
Nationally, pieces are on loan at such renowned institutions as the Museum of Contemporary Art (San Diego), Wexner Center for the Arts (Ohio State University), Walker Art Center, Denver Art Museum, Rudenstine Gallery (W.E.B. DuBois Institute, Harvard University), the Seattle Art Museum, the Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Hartford), the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Boston) and many other museums and art galleries around the nation.
Thompson Library is proud to be numbered among such fine institutions in being selected as a location to display pieces from the Mott-Warsh Collection.
We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Michael Doyle, our Assistant Director, for being instrumental in arranging for Thompson Library to participate as a display site for works from this esteemed, world-renowned collection.
The new lithographs currently on display in the Library are by the artist Elizabeth Catlett (1915 – 2012), and as a series are entitled For My People.
The lithographs were conceived and published as illustrations for a limited edition large folio featuring Margaret Walker’s poem of the same name. Ms. Walker, a celebrated poet, novelist, essayist, and educator, was Catlett’s roommate when they attended the University of Iowa in 1939/40.
For My People is from a series of poems written by Walker in which she expressed her ambivalence bout the south, where she had spent her childhood. Many scholars feel her work bridged the gap between the Harlem Renaissance of the 20s and 30s and the black arts movement of the 60s.
Elizabeth Catlett is known for her abstract sculpture in bronze and marble as well as prints and paintings, particularly depicting the female figure. Ms. Catlett is unique for distilling African American, Native American, and Mexican at in her work.
Born in Washington D.C. and later becoming a Mexican citizen, Catlett received a bachelor of arts degree from Howard University and a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa, where she studied with the regionalist painter, Grand Wood. She also studied at the Art Institute of Chicago as well as the Art Students League in New York City.
Wood’s teaching dictum was, “paint what you know best.” This set Catlett on the patch to dealing with her own background in her artwork.
In 1940, her painting, “Mother and Child,” depicting African-American figues, won her substantial recognition.
Later in 1946, she traveled to Mexico and became interested in the Mexican working class. She settled pemanently in Mexico in 1947, and eventually met and married artist Francisco Mora.
From 1958 to 1973 she was head of the deparment and professor of sculpture at the National School of Fine Arts in Mexico. During this time, she did extensive work in printmaking, which she found an affordable medium for reaching the masses, and produced images of African-American and Mexican working class women.
Ms. Catlett’s art can be found in major museums in the United States and abroad. She has received countless honors and awards for her work within her lifetime.
Following is the poem, For My People, by Margaret Walker (inspiration for this series of lithographs), which was published in 1942.
For my people everywhere singing their slave songs repeatedly: their dirges and their ditties and their blues and jubilees, praying their prayers nightly to an unknown god, bending their knees humbling to an unseen power;
For my people lending their strength to the years, to the gone years and the now years and the maybe years, washing ironing cooking scrubbing sewing mending hoeing plowing digging planting pruning patching dragging along never gaining never reaping never knowing and never understanding;
For my playmates in the clay and dust and sand of Alabama backyards playing baptizing and preaching and doctor and jail and soldier and school and mama and cooking and playhouse and concert and store and hair and Miss Choomby and company;
For the cramped bewildered years we went to school to learn to know the reasons why the answers to and the people who and the places where the days when, in memory of the bitter hous when we discovered we were black and poor and small and different and nobody cared and nobody wondered and nobody understood;
For the boys and girls who grew in spite of these things to be man and woman, to laugh and dance and sing and play and drink their wine and religion and success, to marry their playmates and bear children and then die of consumption and anemia and lynching;
For my people thronging 47h Street in Chicago and Len\ox Avenue in New York and Rampart Street in New Orleans, lost disinherited dispossessed and happy people filling the cabarets and taverns and other people’s pockets needing bead and shoes and milk and land and money and something-something all our own;
For my people walking blindly spreading joy, losing time being lazy, sleeping when hungry, shouting when burdened, drinking when hopeless, tied and shackled and tangled among ourselves by the unseen creatures who tower over us omnisciently and laugh;
For my people blundering and groping and floundering in the dark of churches and schools and clubs and societies, associations and councils and committees and conventions, distressed and disturbed and deceived and devoured by money-hungry glory-craving leeches, preyed on by the facile force of state and fad and novelty, by false prophet and holy believer;
For my people standing trying to fashion a better way from confusion, from hypocrisy and misunderstanding, trying to fashion a world that will hold all the people, all the faces, all the dams and eves and their countless generations;
Let a new earth rise. Let another world be born. Let a bloody peace be written in the sky. Let a second generation full of courage issue forth; let a people loving freedom come to growth. Let a beauty full of healing and strength of final clenching by the pulsing in our spirits and our blood. Let the martial songs be written, let the dirges disappear. Let a race of men now rise and take control.
The year was 1817. The United States itself had not existed for very long, and Michigan was not yet a state but still a frontier territory. Detroit was a long way from being the world class city it would become.
Flint, Dearborn, and Ann Arbor would not be established until somewhat later. Yet, even then, people in Michigan Territory had big ideas about public education.
On August 26 of 1817, territorial governor Lewis Cass and local judges drew up the initial charter for what was originally called The Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania. “Catholepistemiad” being a word coined by Judge Augustus Woodward, after whom the main north-south road in Metro Detroit is named.
He intended the word to mean “a school of universal science.” The original proposed name was soon simplified to The University of Michigan.
In the early years in Detroit, the U of M was not really what we would now think of as a college or university. It was something more like an advanced high school or preparatory school.
Fast forward 20 years to 1837. By then, Michigan had become a state and the population was growing. Therefore, there was more of a need for public education at all levels.
Among the many towns and cities being established in the state at that time was Ann Arbor, in the county just west of Wayne County where Detroit is.
A forty acre, square shaped plot of land in Ann Arbor was acquired and the first few buildings of what would eventually become a world class university were built. The Reverend Henry Colclazer was appointed in 1837 as the first University of Michigan Librarian.
In 1841, the first college level students began their studies at the Ann Arbor campus. Four years later, twelve men formed the first graduating class of the University of Michigan.
The School of Literature, Sciences and Arts (LSA) was the first specific U of M college or school to be established. As the rest of the 1800s progressed, other schools and colleges were added, such as Engineering, Medicine, Law, and of course Library Science.
As has unfortunately been the case in American society generally, the University was slow to integrate on the basis of race and gender. Samuel Codes Watson was the first known African-American student at the University in 1853.
In 1870, Madelon Stockwell became the first woman student at Michigan.
By the 1860s, many of the extracurricular activities that are now such a big part of University life had been or were being established. Greek letter societies had existed almost from the beginning of the Ann Arbor campus.
The first of today’s intercollegiate sports teams, the Wolverines baseball team, began play in 1866.
The following year, the familiar University colors of maize and blue were first used.
In 1879, the Michigan football team played and won its first game.
At that point, the American version of the game had not yet fully evolved and what was played then was more like today’s game of rugby.
As history moved forward from the 1800s into the 1900s, the Ann Arbor campus continued to grow and expand far beyond the original 40 acre “Diag” area, taking over larger and larger parts of Ann Arbor.
Eventually there would be four distinct “campuses” in Ann Arbor, first being the original campus, another being the Medical Center.
The North Campus first began to be built in the 1950s and has grown over the years.
Finally, there is the South, or Athletic campus, where the University sports venues including Michigan Stadium (The Big House) are located.
Another favorite sports venue on the Ann Arbor campus is Alumni Field, where Coach Carol Hutchins leads the top ranked Wolverine women’s softball team.
Wondering about our campus here in Flint?
As Michigan’s population grew along with the demand for higher education, it was proposed that the University open additional campuses outside of Ann Arbor.
Flint businessman, Charles Stewart Mott, offered a large sum of his fortune to the University for the purpose of starting a campus here.
Others joined him in the effort, and in the fall of 1956 the first students arrived to attend classes at what was originally called The University of Michigan-Flint College.
Later, the word “College” was dropped from the name; we were officially the University of Michigan-Flint
The Dearborn campus opened in 1959.
The University still maintains a presence in the city where it originated 200 years ago, in the form of the Detroit Center, located on the street named after one of the University’s founders, Woodward Avenue.
From a dream in the minds of ambitious frontier residents, the University of Michigan has grown over two centuries into one of the leading institutions of higher education in the United States and the world.
The bicentennial motto is a very fitting description of this great University, and it echoes the refrain of the school’s famous fight song: The University of Michigan…Always Leading, Forever Valiant.
By: Vanessa Prygoski
Thompson Library, UM-Flint — LINKING PEOPLE WITH IDEAS!