The AOK Library is now fully open. More can be found at myUMBC.

Past Friends of the Library Events: 2011 - 2010


Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 4 p.m. : Lecture and Book Signing

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor

Event: Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Dr. Rebecca Boehling

When in 2002 UMBC Biology Professor Sue Ostrand-Rosenberg found hundreds of WWII-era family letters in her parents’ home, she contacted History Professor Rebecca Boehling to determine what best to do with them. The result is this new collective biography (co-authored with Uta Larkey, Goucher College), about a German Jewish family in Nazi Germany agonizing over whether ‘to go or to stay’ while confronting ever increasing obstacles to emigration and immigration. The letters reveal the family members’ hopes and fears as they are scattered over three continents, forced to contend with wartime postal delays and the deafening silence of loved ones left behind.

Cover image of Life and Loss in the Shadow of the Holocaust by Boehling
Cover image of Life and Loss in
the Shadow of the Holocaust

by Boehling
Amazon.com page for the book

This Humanities Forum Event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the AOK Library & Gallery and the Dresher Center for the Humanities. A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, followed the lecture.

The book was published in July, 2011. Synopsis from Publisher:

A family's recently discovered correspondence provides the inspiration for this fascinating and deeply moving account of Jewish family life before, during and after the Holocaust. Rebecca Boehling and Uta Larkey reveal how the Kaufmann-Steinberg family was pulled apart under the Nazi regime and dispersed over three continents.

The family's unique eight-way correspondence across two generations brings into sharp focus the dilemma of Jews in Nazi Germany facing the painful decisions of when, if and to where they should emigrate. The authors capture the family members' fluctuating emotions of hope, optimism, resignation and despair as well as the day-to-day concerns, experiences and dynamics of family life despite the threat of increasing persecution.

Headed by two sisters who were amongst the first female business owners in Essen, the family was far from conventional and their story contributes new dimensions to our understanding of Jewish life in Germany and in exile during these dark years.



Wednesday, September 14, 2011, 4 p.m. : Gallery Exhibition

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor

Event: Sleeping Beauties: Memorial Photographs for the Burns Archive

Seated man with a child on his lap
"Child on Father's Lap, 'The Last Bond,'"
tintype, circa 1875.

For as much as people of the 21st century avoid the subjects of death and postmortem photography, those of the 19th century embraced it. The living were depicted with their deceased loved ones with whom they were often not portrayed previously. The personal nature of postmortem imagery frequently makes it difficult for us to view memorial images from the past much less from our own time.

This exhibition surveyed memorial photography from the 19th through 21st centuries and showed how the artistic efforts of the photographers contributed to the emotional qualities of the images. The imagery connects us across the generations to those who would have died unnoticed had they not been given by photographic means a kind of immortality.

A lecture on the exhibit by Dr. Stanley Burns, from whose collection the images are drawn, was presented on Thursday, April 14, 2011 in the Gallery.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, followed the lecture.



Thursday, April 28, 2011, 5:30 - 7 p.m.: Bartleby

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor

Event: A Celebration of Writing and Art: The Release of Bartleby

Bartleby 2011 poster
2011 Bartleby poster

A Celebration of Writing and Art: the Release of Bartleby 2011, UMBC's creative arts journal, marking its 31st year of publishing the best of UMBC students' prose, poetry, and art. The event featured readings by the authors of selected poetry and prose in the new issue, and artistic interpretations of their work by students from Visual Arts.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, followed the program. This event was free and open to the public.

For more information on Bartleby, see: the Bartleby home page.



Tuesday, April 12, 2011, 4:00 p.m. : Library Event

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th Floor

Event: Poetry Reading by UMBC Faculty Members

Sponsored by the Departments of English and Psychology, the Friends of the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, and the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, followed the readings.

The participating faculty poets were:


6 p.m., Thursday, February 3 : Gallery Exhibit

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library

Event: Psychic Projections/Photographic Impressions

In 2002, the UMBC Photography Collections received the "Jule Eisenbud Collection on Ted Serios and Thoughtographic Photography." The collection documented the research performed by Dr. Eisenbud, a Denver psychiatrist, in partnership with his subject Ted Serios, a Chicago paranormal image maker.

This exhibition focused on Serios's imagery as a manifestation of the creative process and as an insight into the philosophy of mind. On view were approximately 60 frames holding multiple examples of original "thoughtographs" and a selection of enlarged photographic prints from the originals. Films documenting the photographic process of Serios were shown and a selection of primary documents culled from the archive (letters, notes, etc.) were contextualized and presented. Programming included presentations by outstanding scholars such as Dr. Stephan Braude, an authority on the study of the mind in relationship to the paranormal.

At 6 p.m., Thursday, February 3, Stephen Braude, professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy, presented a public lecture on Serios's work.


Thursday, March 10, 2011, 4 p.m. : Lecture

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library

Event: "Technologies of Gender: Science in Science Fiction by Women in Pulp Magazines" by Jane Donawerth

From 1926, when the science fiction magazines and fan clubs were invented by Hugo Gernsback, until 1960, when the paperback novel took over the sf market, the magazines printed on cheap, over-sized wood-pulp paper with garish covers were the primary venue for publishing science fiction. For quite a while, science fiction history ignored women writers in the pulps, but they were there. Even today, many historians assume that women writers wrote a kind of domestic science fiction--one 1950s editor called it "diaper sf"--and left the "hard" science to the men. In this lecture, Professor Donawerth contests this assumption and explores the science in women's short fiction. Drawing on the SF collections of UMBC, Penn State, and the Toronto Public Library Judith Merril Collection, Professor Donawerth considers the invention of prostheses and blood transfusion in stories by Clare Winger Harris and Kathleen Ludwick, the science of reproduction and contraception in fiction by Katherine Maclean and Eileen Gunn, and the development of television in works by C. L. Moore and James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon). Bound by constraints of gender but not always limited by them, women writers often deploy representations of science in their science fiction to explore anxieties about women's roles--about the body and its parts and the ways we use them to construct masculinity and femininity; about reproduction, reluctance to reproduce, and the science that might substitute for women's wombs; and about women as communicators and technologies of connection and alienation.

Sponsored by the Department of English, the Friends of the Ablin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery, and the Gender and Women's Studies Program.

A reception, sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, followed the lecture.

Jane Donawerth is a Professor of English and Affiliate in Women's Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. She has published articles on sf in Extrapolation, Science Fiction Studies, and PMLA, co-edited with Carol Kolmerten of Hood College Utopian and Science Fiction by Women: Worlds of Difference, and authored Frankenstein's Daughters: Women Writing Science Fiction. She won the International Association for Fantasy and the Arts Career Award for her work on gender and science fiction. She has also taught and published widely on Shakespeare, early modern women writers, and history of rhetorical theory by women. She is currently working on a book on the science in science fiction by women in the pulp magazines.


Saturday, November 20, 2010 : Theatre with Dinner

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library

Event: Play "Las Meninas" by Bynn Nottage

The play was Las Meninas by Lynn Nottage, presented by the UMBC Department of Theatre and Directed by Eve Muson, with Set/Costume Design by Elena Zlotescu, choreography by Renee Barger Brozic, and Light/Sound Design by Terry Cobb. (The play is in English.)

The UMBC Department of Theatre described the play as follows: "Set in the glittering court of Louis XIV, Las Meninas tells the true story of the seduction of Queen Marie-Thérèse, and the consequences of her scandalous affair with Nabo Sensugali, her African servant. Irreverent and ironic, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage shines a fiercely imaginative beam on a fascinating but forgotten bit of history that reveals contemporary truths about the racial divide."

The event began at 5 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Library with a wine and soft drink reception. Dinner commenced at 6 p.m., with remarks by Director Eve Muson after dinner at approximately 7 p.m., and the play was held in the UMBC Theatre at 8 p.m. (sold out).

Tickets were priced at $35 per person. Reservations were accepted for individuals, couples or full tables for up to 8 people. Tickets include the reception, dinner and admission to the play.

The Friends of the Library & Gallery sponsors the Theatre with Dinner events not to raise money (the costs are barely covered by the ticket price) but to provide an enhanced experience of the Theatre production and a good time for all participants.


April 5 – June 11, 2010 : Gallery Exhibit

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: Music of the Mind: Photographs and Digital Images by Jaromir Stephany

Music had always been central to the creative life of photographer Jaromir Stephany, Emeritus Associate Professor of UMBC's Visual Arts Department. Throughout his long career as a productive working artist, Stephany made clichés verre (cameraless photographs), representational photographs, and, most recently, digital images which are multi-layered and multi-faceted personal statements. A key influence in the making of all of his work had been music by such diverse composers as Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bruckner. The emotional qualities of the music influence the emotional load of the images. His most recent body of work is titled Dark Music. The exhibition surveyed Stephany's work from the early years through 2009.

Dark Music by Jaromir Stephany
Dark Music by Jaromir Stephany

The opening program for this exhibition was held at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14th, the day Jaromir Stephany passed away: "Music of the Mind: Jaromir Stephany Photographs and Digital Images" a Faculty/Staff/Alumni Panel organized by the Visual Arts Department and the Library Gallery.

Moderator: Emily Hauver, Curator of Exhibitions

Speakers: Mark Durant, Professor of Visual Arts; Tom Beck, Chief Curator, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery; Clarence Carvell, Alumnus; Bonnie Biess, Alumna

Following the opening program there was a reception sponsored by the Libby Kuhn Endowment.

Jaromir "Jerry" Stephany served on the faculties of Maryland Institute College of Art and UMBC from 1966 to 1999. Before coming to Baltimore, Stephany studied photography with Minor White (at RIT), Ansel Adams (at Yosemite), and Henry Holmes Smith (at Indiana University). He took a position as an assistant curator at George Eastman House (GEH) after graduate school, and became Beaumont Newhall's assistant in teaching history of photography at RIT. Eventually Stephany took over teaching the class from Newhall. At MICA, he became chair of the photography department and reorganized the program. He also served as a consulting curator of photographs to the Baltimore Museum of Art. At UMBC, he set up the photography program and advised on the founding of the Photography Collections.

Stephany has had works in shows at MOMA, ICP, GEH, and many other institutions. Throughout his life Stephany has been enamored of music, particularly composers such as Beethoven, Mozart, Bruckner, and Tchaikovsky, and found expression for the emotionality of their music in his cliché verre, cameraless photographs made by drawing on glass and printing the imagery onto photographic paper. No other artists devoted so much of their careers to making clichés verre.

Our retrospective exhibition of Stephany's work examined the development of his unique visual language throughout his career. The opening of this exhibition also served as a remembrance of him and of his many accomplishments as an educator and photographer at UMBC. He will be missed.


Saturday, May 1, 2010 : Theatre with Dinner

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library

Event: Play "The Cripple of Inishmaan" by Martin McDonagh presented by UMBC Department of Theatre

The play was The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, presented by the UMBC Department of Theatre and Directed by Eve Muson, with Set/Costume Design by Elena Zlotescu and Light/Sound Design by Terry Cobb.

The UMBC Department of Theatre describes the play as follows: "Set on a remote island off the west coast of Ireland in 1934, The Cripple of Inishmaan is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling. As word arrives on Inishmaan that a Hollywood director is coming to the neighboring island of Inishmore to film Man of Aran, the one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life."

The event began at 5 p.m. on the 7th floor of the Library with a wine and soft drink reception. Dinner commenced at 6 p.m., with remarks by Director Eve Muson after dinner at approximately 7 p.m., and the play was held in the UMBC Theatre at 8 p.m.

Tickets were priced at $35 per person. Tickets included the reception, dinner and admission to the play.


April 22, 2010, 7 p.m. : Celebration of Bartleby

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library 7th floor

Event: Celebration of Bartleby, UMBC's student literary publication

This event was free and open to the public; approximately 120 people attended.

For more information on Bartleby, see: the Bartleby home page.


January 25 – March 19, 2010 : Library Gallery Exhibition

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: Shadow and Substance: African American Images from the Burns Archive

Since the early years of photography, African Americans appeared in front of and behind the camera. The images in Shadow and Substance—including portraits, snapshots and photographs—not only document industries, property and events related to the African-American experience, but allow us to perceive how African Americans were seen by others and how they wished to be seen over the past 160 years.

This exhibit was free and open to the public.

For more information on the Library Gallery, see: the Library Gallery home page.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010: 4 p.m. : BookNotes

Location: Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Event: "Street Scenes and Blues Lives: Bessie Smith's Chattanooga" lecture by Michelle R. Scott

Michelle R. Scott, Assistant Professor in the Department of History at UMBC and author of Blues Empress in Black Chattanooga: Bessie Smith and the Emerging Urban South, discussed the "behind the music" process in studying the childhood community and environment of blues legend Bessie Smith. Through photos, music clips, playbills, city directories, and oral histories Scott fleshed out the life of Smith as a street performer and explored the use of recreational spaces for social protest by African Americans in the segregated early 20th century United States.

Following the presentation, there was a reception provided by the Friends of the Library & Gallery, the Department of History and the Libby Kuhn Endowment.

This event was co-sponsored by the Departments of Africana Studies, History and Music, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Humanities Forum. It was free and open to the public.

For more information on Dr. Scott's book, see: the reviews on Amazon.com.