Tompkins County Public Library

Friday, February 5, 2016

Project for a Re-Volution in New York opens on February 5, 2016

The exhibit, Project for a Re-volution in New York, gets its theme of revolution from the eponymous novel by the French writer Alain Robbe-Grillet. While Robbe-Grillet’s work has been called a cross between an erotic and a detective novel, it follows a character’s fears of culture being subverted—in this case, a gritty 1970s New York City. It offers a window into a man’s fantasies of an overturning of cultural norms, where the underbelly of “rape, arson and murder” rises to the surface, thereby completing a kind of revolution. Note, the dual meaning of revolution, as it describes both a political upheaval and a rotation of social structures. 

The novel Project for a Revolution in New York describes the terrifying underbelly of the City in the 1970s; it proposes a vision of orderly society being overshadowed by apocalyptic lawlessness. But that is not the concern of this exhibit. We wish instead to borrow from the big picture ideas that Robbe-Grillet raises, an overturning (or revolution) of systems, social change, and an examination of what lies beneath cultural facades. 

Organizers Todd Ayoung and Krishna Ramanujan asked 22 contributing artists to take these themes and use them as a springboard for their own commentary and creations, without censorship. They asked them to use the ideas here to free-associate in the name of an interesting exhibit. While the title of the show contains ‘New York', the city and state are used as symbols for anywhere in the world where universal themes of revolution apply.   

Exhibiting artists include Curlee Holton, Kadie Salfie, Kim Asbury, Jim Costanzo, Greg Sholette, Floyd Hughes, Sowon Kwon, Jason van Staveren, Nestor Armando Gil, Antonio Serna, Krittika Rananujan, Suada Demirovic, Kara Lynch, Sarah Gotowka, Lucas W. Melkane, Patricia Capaldi, Elaine Angelopoulos, Kaleb Hunkele, Carlos Andrade, Allison Bolah, and Aaron Bass.

Performances at the opening reception include GK2, Aaron Burr Society and the Poet Melissa Tuckey.

This exhibit is made possible by the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation through generous support from the Community Arts Partnership. 

Downton Abbey Farewell - an Exhibit of Hats, Shoes and Accessories of the Downton Abbey Era

Tompkins County Public Library is hosting many events to celebrate the final PBS series Downton Abbey as well as presenting a special exhibit in the Avenue of the Friends during February, 2016.

Drawing from the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection, as well as the History Center in Tompkins County and the Lansing Historical Association, this exhibit extends our glimpse of life at Downton Abbey, capturing a variety of moments from the popular PBS series. Horseback riding,strolling the estate, dressing and being dressed…

The majority of the items on display are from the wardrobe of Gertrude Heim Remey, thoroughly documented and donated by her husband, Cornell alumnus Charles Mason Remey,to the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection. The Remeys resided in Washington DC but the wardrobe is comprised of pieces from home and abroad, picking up on European trends familiar to the women of Downton Abbey. We are fortunate to also include items donated by local individuals to the History Center of Tompkins County and the Lansing Historical Association, bringing the exhibit closer to home.

These are the material items of daily life, a privileged life but residual pieces from dialogues pased upstairs, downstairs, and the spaces in between.  Pieces that accompanied important conversations surrounding courtship, business, and schemes (sometimes one and the same).

The exhibit opens on Friday, February 5 and will be on display through the end of the month.

This exhibit has been made possible through the generosity of the Cornell Costume and Textile Collection in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design with thands to Denise Green and Helen McLallen for their help.  Special thanks go to Catherine K. Blumenkamp whose expertis and invaluable help selecting and cataloging and displaying the items made the exhibit possible.  For further information please refer to 
Cornell Costume and Textile Colletion
The History Center in Tompkins County
The Lansing Historical Association