Repealed Asian exclusion acts, anti-colonial freedom movements, and imperatives for radical queer spaces completely reimagined the order of New York City during the twentieth century. Founded in 1990, the Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) derived from networks dedicated to dismantling institutional structures and values that “deny us our fullness,” as well as desires to create safe spaces for gay Asian/Pacific/American (A/P/A) men to socialize and organize. For the past twenty-five years, GAPIMNY has collaborated with local and transnational organizations to empower queer and transgender A/P/A through social, educational, peer-support, cultural, and political activities.
The GAPIMNY Records at the Tamiment Library & Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives celebrates the ongoing liberation struggle for queer and trans A/P/A. The collection contains video footage, printed materials, and intimate artifacts documenting the organization’s changing vision and contributions from 1990-2015. My digital archive will not only make these works available to the public. It’ll incorporate multimedia and intergenerational dialogues reflecting on the intersectional programs pioneered by GAPIMNY’s entirely volunteer membership through the LGBT Center in Greenwich Village. It’ll offer a layered investigation into issues of race, gender, sexuality, public health, immigration, and citizenship facing GAPIMNY and its constituents across NYC—and in the Village, particularly—over the past quarter century.
The digital archive comes out of my current curatorial collaboration with GAPIMNY, the Tamiment Museum, and the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU. Called “Nothing Lost in Translation: 25 Years of Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York,” the physical exhibition will be on display starting October 8, 2016.
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This semester, for the Greenwich Village History Digital Archive, I would like to contribute an online exhibition that examines the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts when it was relocated to 52 West 9th Street in 1936 and then to its permanent location at 52 West 8th Street two years later. While conducting my literature review of both primary and secondary sources, I hope to discover what circumstances, including those related to World War II, led Hofmann to relocate to New York and, more specifically, why at that point during his career he chose to move from Madison Avenue to the Greenwich Village.
According to The Art Story Foundation’s website
, which was developed to “educate, inform, and introduce people to modern art through speaker series, educational workshops, and online educational resources,” artist Larry Rivers believed the Hofmann school was removed from “any notion of Art school relaxed bohemia with its sex and good times abounding.” Such notions of “bohemia” have frequently been attributed to the Greenwich Village area. Although Hofmann had been an instructor for many years before moving to Greenwich Village and had taught previously at many locations both in Europe and United States, I intend to provide sufficient evidence to support the idea Hofmann, the sole instructor at the Hofmann School of Fine Arts, was not only influential to the Greenwich Village neighborhood, but illustrate how Greenwich Village also permeated the walls of his school and influenced his teaching, lecture series, and art practice. In order to support my hypothesis, I will need to better understand who Hofmann came in contact with in Greenwich Village (other instructors, students, artists, etc.) and where. It is likely I will discover a host of artist hangouts as my research takes shape that will hopefully persuade visitors to my exhibition that Hofmann was not immune to his surroundings and his teaching and artwork were both affected by his environment.
My research is in its beginning stages, but I have already found ArchiveGrid to be a valuable tool in order to find materials for my digital archive. Using the website I have located archival and manuscript collections with a variety of primary sources both locally and outside of the New York area, including the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida, the library at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Rare Books and Manuscript Library of the University of Pennsylvania, the files of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Library, Columbia University and the Hans Hofmann Estate, which is conveniently located on the Upper East Side. I even hope to take my own pictures of the location now and record a meeting with Suzi Villiger, editor of Hans Hofmann: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, which was published in 2014. Like the website of the Hans Hofmann Estate, the bibliography of this recent publication will further direct me to a variety of sources to consult as my research takes shape over the course of the semester.
ArchiveGrid has been a useful tool during my beginning stages of research on the relocation of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts to Greenwich Village in the late 1930s.
Although I have already been able to locate many sources using the digital tools and search engine techniques discussed during our previous classes, I believe an exhibition about this subject would greatly benefit from materials available at the Archives of American Art in Washington D.C. I feel the omission of sources from the Archives of American Art, including firsthand accounts from students of Hofmann’s lecture series, would undoubtedly compromise my exhibition. I certainly hope the Smithsonian will approve my use of images from their collection so I can contribute an online entry that fills a hole in the current Greenwich Village History Blog, which is currently lacking in entries and exhibitions from the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Posted in Archival Resources, Creating Digital History course, Greenwich Village History, GVH Exhibits, Hans Hofmann, Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, Interesting People, Modern Art, New York History | Tagged 1930s, 20th Century, archives, art, artists, digital history, digital projects | Leave a Comment »
My family came to the United States from Vietnam in 1989. Growing up in San Diego, California, I worked in my mother’s tailoring and dry cleaning store everyday after school. I answered phone calls, translated paperwork, and during breaks, listened to her stories about the Vietnam War. My mother’s ever-changing accounts inspired my interest in history, trauma, and American hegemony. After high school, I became the first in my family to attend college and studied twentieth century U.S. Empire at Brown University.
Paul Tran – Poets House Emerging Poets Fellowship 2015
With Francoise Hamlin and Naoko Shibusawa, I trained as a social and cultural historian. I researched the ways higher education supported U.S. domestic and foreign policy after World War II. I specifically investigated Brown’s Third World student movement and diversity promoting programs, partnerships, and interdisciplinary initiatives from 1968-1996, which I argue weren’t simply challenges to but constitutive of contemporary state power.
This scholarship brought me to the Program in Archives & Public History at New York University, where I’m the Graduate Scholar in the Archives at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute. With fellowships from the Imagining America and Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, I’m collecting and building an archive on Asian American student activists from NYC Chinatown during the Cold War. I’m curious about the circuit of radical leftist ideologies developing in Lower Manhattan after the repeal of anti-Asian immigration laws and how the children of these immigrants brought these ideologies—and the projects that rose from them—to American universities and life’s various offices to advance a trans-local anti-imperial struggle.
As a poet and teaching artist, I coach the Barnard College and Columbia University slam team. My work can be found in The Cortland Review, Prairie Schooner, Nepantla, Cream City Review, Split This Rock, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and RHINO, which gave me a 2015 Editor’s Prize. I’m currently writing my first book manuscript, Private Parts, and can be found at iampaultran.com.
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Fashion brands create thousands of product designs every year. In addition, thousands of digital images are created with every delivery (5 to 7 times a year) to help market that product as well as narrate the company’s brand story. Eighty percent of those designs and marketing images are never used and are only ever seen by a handful of people. Not only is this wasteful and extremely costly, it is also void of thought and care. Day after day we are taking the history of a brand, and the creativity and hard work of workers, and tossing it out the window. This could all be avoided by setting up archives. Some designers have pristine archives with vast libraries holding priceless artifacts. Some have nothing more than plastic bins and basement storage. Needless to say, this has become my obsession.
“Team Aerie” and I editing images for our Holiday 2015 campaign. After three days shooting and eight hours of editing we go from 15,000 shots to 350. Only 30 or so make it to stores or online.
I moved to New York, from Harrisburg, PA, 21 years ago to attend FIT. I never looked back. After receiving my BS in textile development and marketing, I went to work for magazines and then landed in retail where I became a copywriter. Building brands quickly became my passion. Over the last 15 years I have worked for many labels, in both full-time and free-lance capacities, and continue to find excitement in writing and sharing brand stories. Today, I am happily work as Director of Marketing & Brand Voice for American Eagle Outfitters, specifically our intimates sub-brand called Aerie. I am a die-hard city dweller who runs to the country every weekend with my partner Steven and our two dog-ders Maeble Jones and Milly.
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I’m Celeste Brewer, and I love a good story, especially if it happens to be true.
Stories are what drew me to study history and archives. I am fascinated by the layers of narrative and counter-narrative that can be constructed around the narrowest frames of primary evidence, then deconstructed and rebuilt. I love a sweeping historical saga as much as anyone, but I think more than that, I love the strange small anecdotes that get mentioned in footnotes, or not at all. When I get the chance to create the narrative, those are the types of stories I like to tell.
I divided my time in college between classes in early modern British and twentieth century American history, with a senior seminar on nineteenth century Charleston, South Carolina thrown in for good measure. These days, I’m equally likely to be seen on the subway reading Blacks in Gold Rush California or The Grand Strategy of Philip II. (Or I might be dozing. Full disclosure.)
I could certainly be accused of dilettantism, but the balance of (relatively) new and old history works for me right now. Sometimes the recent past is just too raw, while other times the distant past is too foreign. If I continue to pursue academic history I suppose I’ll have to choose. However, for now, it makes me a more versatile librarian and archivist-in-training.
Me in professional mode, presenting a poster at the Society of American Archivists’ annual meeting in August 2015.
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Despite growing up in a small town in western Pennsylvania that’s rarely ever included on maps, where there’s nothing to do for miles, and whose residents don’t travel too far from home, stay away for too long, or concern themselves with art or fashion, I firmly believed a move to New York City would change my life for the better. Even before graduating from high school, I recognized my undergraduate education at The Pennsylvania State University was a stepping stone to even higher education, initially believing medical school was the next logical step after college. Like many incoming freshmen, I was under the impression only a curriculum in science could ever result in a successful career. However, everything changed with a single art history elective and a trip to New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since then, more classes in the humanities have followed and have stimulated my thinking and creativity in ways science never could. Half way through my undergraduate education, I decided to change my major from premedicine to art history and even interned as a curatorial assistant for the university’s Palmer Museum of Art where I initially fell in love with working with primary documents and original artwork firsthand.
I moved to New York City soon after graduating from Penn State in order to attend the new MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons The New School for Design. Outside of the classroom I wrote concise, critical reviews on contemporary art exhibitions in and around the city for the blog M Daily, volunteered for Karen Augusta of Augusta Auctions, a rare dealer of historical textiles and antique clothing, as well as interned for the Special Collections and Archives of the Fashion Institute of Technology. Although I enjoyed learning more about experimental fashion and other instances of how art and fashion intersect, I truly missed learning about fine art and decided to finish my graduate education at Christie’s Education New York. In 2013, after finishing an internship with the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of Christie’s Auction House, I graduated with an M.A. in The History of Art and the Art Market from Christie’s and began working as a freelance archival assistant.
My freelance positions made me realize I need to continue to strengthen my research and archival skills if I want to advance in the competitive field of modern and contemporary art and ultimately work for a museum or university collection. I’m excited to be a first-year student of NYU’s Archives and Public History graduate program, as well as a new graduate assistant at Fales Library. For this course I am looking forward to building upon my pre-existing skills, as well as learning more about digital humanities as I research the relocation of the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts to Greenwich Village in the late 1930s. This is certainly an exciting time to research Hofmann since a comprehensive catalogue raisonné on the artist, Hans Hofmann: Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings by Suzi Villiger, was only recently published in 2014.
Posted in Biographies, Creating Digital History course | Tagged archives, Biographies, Digital Humanities, Hans Hofmann, Modern Art, New York University, NYU | Leave a Comment »
It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’ve had a pretty intense interest in history for much of my life. I knew going into my undergraduate studies at Rutgers University that I wanted to major in history, and I did, concentrating my studies on 20th century social history and earning a BA in History, with minors in English and Political Science, just this past May.
It was there, too, that I had my first interaction, via an internship in the spring of 2014, with a real, in-person archive after spending countless hours over the course of my life browsing the digitized Special Collections of other universities. A great deal of my interest in history lies in dealing with the physical ephemera of the past: the letters and typescripts and pamphlets and posters that are sometimes our only way to experience the past first-hand. Given that, I felt that it made sense to me to pursue a degree that would allow me to deal with this aspect of the historical record, and that led me to apply to the Public History and Archives program here at NYU, where I am in my first year of study.
One of my recent illustrations. More where that came from if you click through.
In addition to my studies, I’m also interning at the Centenary College archives up in the hills of northwest Jersey, where I have lived for more or less my entire life. When I’m not working I’m jamming to punk rock and making a lot of art, mostly in the form of illustrations and comic scripts. My illustrations can be seen here; the comic is still in the works.
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