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Past Friends of the Library Events: 2006 - 2007

Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 4:00 p.m. : Library Events

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Vanishing Point, Fifty of Photography" by David Plowden

Renowned photographer and visual historian David Plowden spoke about his new book DAVID PLOWDEN: VANISHING POINT, Fifty Years of Photography. Plowden believes strongly in using photography as a tool of historic preservation of fast disappearing Americana, and he discussed his views in relationship to the new book. Author of more than twenty photography books, beginning with Hand of Man on America (1971) and including such highly regarded works as A Sense of Place (1988) and Small Town America (1994), Plowden has provided a window into the soul of America. David McCullough has called Plowden “a de Tocqueville with a camera.”

This event was free and open to the public.

Following the presentation, there was a reception provided by the Libby Kuhn Memorial Endowment.

Co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library & Gallery

October 24, 2007: 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. : Library Events

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "The Big Read: Baltimore Reads - Fahrenheit 451" by Sam Weller, authorized biographer of Ray Bradbury

The talk focused on the man behind the masterpiece. As his biographer, Sam Weller spent five years working very closely with Ray Bradbury. Weller covered his own relationship with the author, offering a rare window into his private world. He shared many behind-the-scenes stories of the man behind Fahrenheit 451. His presentation surveys the genesis of Fahrenheit 451 and the cultural, historical and personal influences that contributed to its inspired creation in 1953. Finally, he addressed the cultural relevance of Fahrenheit 451 and concluded with why Ray Bradbury matters today more than ever before.

Sam Weller is the author of The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury, the only authorized biography of the legendary American author. The book won the prestigious Society of Midland Authors Award for best biography of 2005 and was praised by the New York Times as "essential for all Bradbury Fans." It was also short-listed for the Bram Stoker award. Weller is the former Midwest Correspondent for Publishers Weekly magazine. He is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune Magazine, a frequent literary critic for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, and he has written for the National Public Radio Program "All Things Considered." He also writes about punk rock for Punk Planet magazine and is a contributing writer for the Chicago Public Radio program, 848. As a staff writer for the Chicago alternative weekly, Newcity, he received the Peter Lisagor Award for arts criticism—the highest honor in Chicago journalism.

Weller is a full-time professor in the Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter. For more information, see the web site.

Copies of Fahrenheit 451 were given away at the event.

Following the presentation, there was a reception provided in part by the Libby Kuhn Memorial Endowment.

This event is part of The Big Read, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

May 3, 2007: 4 – 5:30 p.m. : Spring BookNotes/ArtsNotes

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Youth, Voting, and American Politics" by Dan Bailey and Kevin Kallaugher

Kevin "KAL" Kallaugher, political cartoonist for the Economist Magazine, and Artist-In-Residence at UMBC's Imaging Research Center (IRC), presented with Dan Bailey, Director of the IRC, presented Kal's collaborative media work with the Visual Arts IRC Fellows Class, "Youth, Voting, and American Politics."

Following the presentation, there was a reception provided by the Libby Kuhn Memorial Endowment.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 : Theatre with Dinner

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Silence, Cunning, Exile" by Stuart Greenman

Saturday, April 28, 2007.
The play was Silence, Cunning, Exile by Stuart Greenman, based on the life and work of the photographer, Diane Arbus. Arbus left behind an original and provocative body of photographic work following her suicide in 1971. The UMBC Theatre Department described the play: "thrilling, disturbing, moving, and formally inventive, this deeply original play—widely celebrated since its professional debut in 1993— is presented here for the first time in Baltimore." UMBC Library Chief Curator, Tom Beck, provided a mini-exhibition, in the Library Rotunda, of Arbus photographs from the UMBC Special Collections in conjunction with this event.

The event began with a reception at 5 p.m. in the Library Rotunda to review the mini-exhibition. Remarks by Tom Beck and Xerxes Mehta on the mini-exhibition and play preceded the dinner. Mehta's talk was entitled "Down the Rabbit Hole: Tracking Genius." Dinner was at 6 p.m. and the play was held in the UMBC Theatre at 8 p.m.

Reservations were handled through the Library Administrative Offices. Tickets were $35 per person. Tickets included the reception, dinner and admission to the play.

February 8, 2006: 4 – 5:30 p.m. : Opening lectures and reception for Gallery exhibition

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "A UMBC Tribute to Samuel Beckett" by UMBC's Tribute to Samuel Beckett

The program, entitled "A UMBC Tribute to Samuel Beckett," featured UMBC's resident Beckettians - Xerxes Mehta, Angela Moorjani, and Wendy Salkind-in readings, performances, and discussions related to the works on display.

As part of the centenary celebration of Samuel Beckett’s birth, the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presented Celebrating Samuel Beckett at 100, on display from January 29th through March 24th. The show, curated by Professor Emerita Angela Moorjani, consisted of original art work illustrating some of Beckett's works, illustrated books signed by author and artist, and rare signed editions, production photographs and posters of his plays, photographs of the author, and several pieces of correspondence.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment, followed the lectures and performances.

The exhibition opening was co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library & Gallery

For further information, call the Library Administrative offices at 410.455.2356 or email

October 20, 2006, 9 p.m. : Opening lectures and reception for Gallery exhibition

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: Unveling of UMBC's millionth library book

October 20, 2006, 9 p.m., in front of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery:

The unveiling of UMBC's millionth library book

The lighting of the 40th Anniversary Birthday Candles atop the Library

The screening of a new celebratory video developed with the Imaging Research center


The Library’s 1,000,000th book was celebrated as part of UMBC’s 40th Anniversary Homecoming and Family Weekend. Most notably, it was preceded by "office hours" and reunions hosted by the Deans and other UMBC organizations, including a reunion of UMBC Library staff, former staff and their friends. Many additional events were scheduled for the following day.

September 28, 2006: 4 – 5:30 p.m. : Fall Booknotes

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South" by Dr. Thomas Schaller, Associate Professor of Political Science

Dr. Thomas Schaller, Associate Professor of Political Science, on his book, Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South.

Abstract: Once the "swing region" in American politics, the South is now firmly Republican and becoming more so with each election cycle. To forge a national majority, Democrats need to build a non-southern majority similar to the one the GOP used to dominate American politics from the Civil War through the start of the New Deal. Because the South is the most conservative region of the country, Democrats are better served by consolidating their control over the blue coastal states while improving their electoral performance in the Midwest and the increasingly competitive interior West. Then and only then can Democrats focus on restoring their lost southern glory.

Following the presentation, there was a reception provided by the Libby Kuhn Memorial Endowment.

September 27, 2006: 4 – 5:30 p.m. : Fall Booknotes

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: Opening Symposium and Reception for Reflection from the Heart by David Seymour

The exhibition presented 75 photographs taken by founding Magnum photographer David Seymour, also known as Chim. The retrospective was organized chronologically and showcased many of the photojournalistic black and white images for which Chim is best known, as well as exhibiting for the first time several of Chim’s rare color images. It ran September 11 – December 10, 2006.

Speaking at the opening symposium were:

Joshua Karlip, Baltimore Hebrew University, “Between East and West, Hope and Despair: The Life and Times of David Seymour” Tom Beck, Chief Curator, UMBC, “Humanism and Photography: the Imagery of David Seymour” Carole Naggar, poet and photographic historian, “For Better and Worse: the Magnum Family”
A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment, followed the symposium.

The exhibition was co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library & Gallery

September 27, 2006: 4 – 5:30 p.m. : Life in the Universe

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Life on Earth - Astrobiology, Evolution and Cosmology"presented by Dr. Stephen J. Freeland, Assistant Professor of Biology, UMBC

LECTURE SYNOPSIS: One of Darwin's key innovations in launching the modern, scientific theory of evolution was to supplant older thoughts of a process by which living things grew in complexity according to a predictable plan. As NASA turns attention to the search for life elsewhere in this universe, the question of long-term evolutionary predictability comes under new scrutiny: what might life elsewhere look like? Would we recognize it if we saw it? How can we even address such questions?

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment, will follow the lecture.

Thursday, February 23, 2006, 4 p.m. : Gallery Poetry Reading

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: Gallery Poetry Reading by UMBC Faculty members

Robert Deluty, Associate Professor, Psychology Michael Fallon, Instructor, English Piotr Gwiazda, Assistant Professor, English Jonathan Peters, Associate Professor, Africana Studies
Copies of these poets' works will be available for sale at the reading.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment, will follow the reading at 5 p.m.

About the Poets:

Robert H. Deluty has been a psychology professor at UMBC since 1980. He was named UMBC's Presidential Teaching Professor in 2002 and is currently the Director of the Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program. His poetry has appeared in The Baltimore Sun and Evening Sun, The Wall Street Journal, The Pegasus Review, and many other journals and anthologies. His eighth book of poetry, Specks and Flashes, is scheduled to be published in April 2006. Michael Fallon has taught Creative Writing at UMBC for more than 20 years. He has been an editor of Puerto del Sol, was the founding editor of The Maryland Poetry Review and President of the Maryland State Poetry and Literary Society. Fallon received a Maryland State Arts Council Fellowship Award in Poetry in 1988 and was a fellow in Poetry at the Virginia Center for the Arts in 1991. He has published his poems widely in literary magazines including Sin Fronteras, Puerto del Sol, The Potomac Review, Antietam Review, The Salmon (Ireland), and The American Scholar. His first book of poems, A History of the Color Black, was published by Dolphin-Moon Press in 1991. His current manuscript, "House of Forgotten Names," is now being considered by a publisher. Piotr Gwiazda’s poems have appeared in many journals, including Barrow Street, Columbia, Drunken Boat, Hotel Amerika, Rattle, The Southern Review, Swink, Talisman, and Washington Square. His book, Gagarin Street, won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Poetry Contest and was published in 2005. At UMBC he teaches courses in American literature and twentieth-century poetry. Jonathan Peters was surprised when, in 1986, he suddenly began writing poems after sending someone a poem as a peace offering. In a few short months, he had enough to copyright a collection he entitled “Musings At Home and Abroad.” What he had expected to be since age 21 was a playwright, and here was this distraction more than twenty years later. In 2001, he finally got his wish when he wrote his first play, Gentleman, produced at the British Council, Freetown, in July the following year. Two other plays, Pis Pis Pis in his native Krio and Acres and Acres of Diamonds have followed. Peters has written scores of occasional poetry since 1986 and has been musing about publishing his poetry; but it is the forthcoming poetry reading on February 23, 2006 at UMBC that finally got him moving. Homecoming, his third volume but the first planned as a volume will be the first volume he will publish and in a spoken arts medium—as a CD. The volume has been recorded at the UMBC studio and is to be released in time for the poetry reading. His two other volumes, What is Love? and Where Is Home? are to be released as CDs subsequently. Dr. Peters has also just completed a draft of a book-length manuscript, “Seven Laws of Love.”