Library Artwork: M.J. Anderson’s “Column of Light”

6916690066_901305f90eOne of the most visible pieces of art in the library is M.J. Anderson’s sculpture, Column of Light (2000), at the base of the stairs on the 2nd floor.  Commissioned specifically by the Seattle University Law School in 2000, the statue was first carved from marble in Carrara, Italy, before arriving in the Law Library. Anderson, one of the best-known sculptors in the Pacific Northwest, says she sculpts in stone because “it is the least artificial of art forms and the most enduring to our humanity … I try to carve what it feels like to be human, to convey the unspoken emotions of our being here, to create an image of the intangible.” (MJAndersonsculpture.com)  Column of Light displays the giving and receiving of truth and wisdom by the sculpted hands, which then guide interpretations towards ideas of God, nature, and humanity.

Copyright and Fair Use: The Second Circuit Decides Cariou v. Prince and the Gagosian Gallery

On 4/25/2013 the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit mostly overturned a lower court opinion on the nature of appropriation, the importance of transformative use and the protection of works of art under the federal copyright statutes. The 2011 federal district court case had found that artist Richard Prince’s appropriation of photographs by Patrick Cariou were not sufficiently transformative to warrant an exception to the fair use provisions. The Second Circuit mostly reversed this position in an opinion that is reverberating around the art world. Get a link to the opinion and a good dose of commentary from the Art Law Blog.

Art Appreciation 101

If you like art, visit the following galleries on campus:

Also, check out the wonderful artwork at Seattle University Law Library.

Portraits in the Law Library

Justice John Marshall

In addition to the caricatures and engravings in study room 306, the library is also home to three more traditional portraits of important figures in legal history: Judge Thomas Burke, St Thomas More, and Justice John Marshall.  (more…)

Lynn Di Nino’s “Salmon Swimming Upstream”

“Salmon Swimming Upstream”

Tucked away in the administrative offices of the library is a large piece by local Tacoma artist Lynn Di Nino. Made of various fabrics depicting a common Northwest scene—the yearly struggle of salmon making their way upstream—Di Nino, a self-taught artist who utilizes many different mediums in her works. She enjoys sculpting animals because she says they “can be so easily personified, are silly at times, have curves, and come in such a variety of packages – I am constantly, and permanently inspired.” (Artist’s Statement from LynnDiNino.com) Di Nino was a member of the Washington State Arts Educators Delegations to the People’s Republic of China and has participated in an artist exchange program in Russia.

“The Great Human Race: The Counselors”

“Knowledge” from the “The Great Human Race: The Counselors” series

John L. Doyle’s “The Great Human Race: The Counselors” (1985) series is difficult to miss in the library. Comprised of ten pieces, each color lithograph is accompanied by a monochrome copy as well as a brief explanation of the cultural symbols and history at work in each piece. “The Counselors” series seeks to visually represent the relationship between mankind and law, and Doyle invested over a decade to studying the anthropological and ethnographic background for each image. The individual pieces included here represent the concepts different societies have utilized in the formation of their laws:

  • Renewal (Study Room 302)
  • Judgement (Rm. 303)
  • Equity (Rm. 304)
  • Authority (Rm. 305)
  • Knowledge (Administrative Offices, 3rd Floor)
  • Harmony (Rm. 402)
  • Obligation (Rm. 403)
  • Custom(Rm. 404)
  • Truth (Doorway to 4th floor faculty area)

“Renewal” in Room 302

Doyle was born in Chicago in 1939 and received degrees in art from the Art Institute of Chicago and Northern Illinois University. Listed in Who’s Who in American Art, Doyle has received numerous awards, and his work has appeared in national and international showings. In addition to The Counselors series, Doyle also created The Medicine Men and The Builders for “The Great Human Race,” depicting man’s relationship with medicine and architecture, respectively.

Political and Judicial Caricatures

Study Room 306 holds several examples of political and judicial caricature portraits.

British newspapers from the Edwardian and Victorian eras are full of scandalous trials, giving the defendants and lawyers involved a certain celebrity status. Like modern tabloids, the newspaper reports captivated the public’s imagination through stories of intrigue, love, violence, and especially murder. The magazine Vanity Fair, which is still in print today, often published caricatures of well-known barristers and judges in their “Men of the Day” series, and likewise this period was instrumental to the development of our modern political cartoons and caricatures. Study Room 306 houses several pieces from this period, including two illustrations from Vanity Fair’s “Men of the Day Series” (The Tichborne Case, 1873; The Claimants Council, 1873), three caricatures by Edmond Xavier Kapp, and two prints of engravings by T. Woolnoth. (more…)

Art of the Alaska Reading Room

On the 4th floor of the library is the Alaska Reading Room, which exhibits documents instrumental to Alaska’s petition to become the 49th state. Photos and letters have been donated by Mary and George Sundborg, parents of Seattle University president, Father Stephen Sundborg. George Sundborg was an important advocate for the Alaska statehood movement.

On the walls opposite the main display case are two paintings, Alaskan Summer (1963) by Alaskan artist Fred Machetanz, and Fight Song(unknown) by North Central Washington artist William F. Reese.

(more…)

M.J. Anderson’s “Column of Light”

“Column of Light” by M.J. Anderson

One of the most visible pieces of art in the library is M.J. Anderson’s sculpture, Column of Light (2000), at the base of the stairs on the 2nd floor. Commissioned specifically by the Seattle University Law School in 2000, the statue was first carved from marble in Carrara, Italy, before arriving in the Law Library. Anderson, one of the best-known sculptors in the Pacific Northwest, says she sculpts in stone because “it is the least artificial of art forms and the most enduring to our humanity … I try to carve what it feels like to be human, to convey the unspoken emotions of our being here, to create an image of the intangible.” (MJAndersonsculpture.com)

Column of Light displays the giving and receiving of truth and wisdom by the sculpted hands, which then guide interpretations towards ideas of God, nature, and humanity. With studios both in Carrara, Italy, and on the Oregon Coast, check out this Oregon Art Beat clip to see Anderson at work!

Fire to Paper: Mark Calderon’s Pyrographic Prints

On the west wall by the Reference stacks are three pyrograph prints by local artist Mark Calderon: Loyola (1994), representing St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order; Purisma (1994), meaning ‘most pure,’ showcases an image of the Virgin Mary; Mandorla (1995) depicts the Virgin of Guadalupe surrounded by a golden aura.

"Loyola" (1994), "Mandorla" (1995), "Purisma" (1994)

Calderon works with a variety of materials and subjects, and these three pyrograph prints showcase some of his unique methods, including the use of fire to mark an image on paper. Calderon’s pyrography requires that he first shape the images onto branding irons made of ¼ inch steel. Next, he heats the iron in a forge before searing the image onto Mexican bark paper.

The son of a Mexican father and a mother of Norwegian-Irish descent, Calderon notes that his inspiration comes from his own multi-cultural background as well as the world surrounding him. “Some [influences] I am aware of,” he says, “and others still go unrecognized … I do not like to create images that read as only one thing, but try to create works that have both power and mystery.” (www.gregkucera.com/calderon.html)