The Brain Behind Japanese Mail Art

Ryosuke Cohen and his involvement in the global mail art movement

By Emily Zuber ‘23

Sometimes when conducting research, it is unknown what will be found or which items will pique interest the most. As I dug through the Claudia Cave papers within the Mark O. Hatfield Library Archives learning about the wide world of mail art, I found a variety of artists’ pieces; specifically, a collage of colorful stamps from a Japanese mail artist. After reading the papers about him, I wondered: who is Ryosuke Cohen, and how did he become one of the leading figures in the history of the mail art movement in Japan? How did Claudia Cave, an artist from the Pacific Northwest, obtain his art? What is this artist up to now, and how has other mail art influenced his current work? In further research, I discovered some answers to these questions along with a better understanding of how mail art is adapting within the age of the Internet.

Ryosuke Cohen was born in 1948 and became an art teacher in Osaka, Japan. His early work consisted of traditional Japanese imagery mixed with contemporary styles until he was introduced to Western mail art in 1980 by his friend Byron Black. This art intrigued Cohen, because, according to him at that time, “Japan is known only for the classics, like Kabuki, Noh plays, bonsai plants, Zen…People misunderstand that the exhibitions in the authorized gallery are the best works.” The mail art movement consists of materials like stamps, collages, paintings, postcards, intricately decorated envelopes, newspapers, etc. that can be sent to a plethora of other artists who may choose to keep it, send it to another, or add onto the piece and return it. In the archives, I found that Claudia Cave even had multiple eggs with a stamp on it, so it is assumed that this ‘art’ can be interpreted freely by all; this freedom is what enticed Cohen to create and continue creating a variety of mail artwork. 

To participate in international mail art, Cohen began Brain Cell in 1985, which he continues with today. He explains that the reason why he titled this project Brain Cell is because “the structure of a brain seen through the microscope, with thousands of neurons grouped together and stratified, really resembles a diagram of the mail art network.” Using Gocco, a unique printing process for Japanese greeting cards, he creates a collage of logos, stamps, stickers, drawings, etc. on A3 paper. Then, he mails the result along with a list of addresses and a typed article to around 60 artists and keeps additional copies that are put into books. Cohen is said to have made 3 issues every month, now totaling over 1,000 Brain Cell papers. Unique materials are sent to him to be used for each issue so no two pieces are alike; all are different and made due to the wide array of images provided by other artists. This is perhaps how Cave was able to have 2 of the Brain Cell collages in her international mail collection. The cells I located inside the archives contain a wide array of images, including an insect, ocean landscape, bigfoot, ocean sunfish, Big Ben, the statue of liberty, random Hirigana letters and so on. The multiple ‘C’s found on some cells are Cohen’s signature stamp. These Brain Cell mail art papers are a unique assortment of art created by many artists from around the world and it is amazing just how many pieces Cohen has been able to create with his community.

Ryosuke Cohen had found widespread success in gaining participation from international artists, but it seems that the wonders of mail art in Japan had yet to be widely recognized. There had been a few Japanese postal artists who published works in Gutai magazine, though the publication died out in 1972. Ryosuke Cohen joined the Artists’ Union or Artists Unidentified (AU) in the ‘80s. This organization had a couple of Japanese postal artists at the time, like On Kawara, who is known for his postcard and contemporary art. Eventually, Cohen was able to collect work for exhibits at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum, the Osaka Contemporary Art Center and the Kyoto City Museum. Though, it seems it would not be until later that he himself would travel outside of Japan.

Ryosuke Cohen ArtIn 2001, Cohen began his next art collection, The Fractal Portrait Project. With these works, he would travel to meet those who contributed to Brain Cell, including artists in the U.S., Italy, Korea, Holland, Belgium, England, and more. He would meet his correspondents and have them lay down on the Brain Cell papers where he would trace their silhouette in ink. Afterward, he draws a side-view portrait of their faces on smaller Brain Cell paper. Once finished, both pieces would be given to the artist. Cohen had to pause in 2010 due to cancer, but he continued the project until 2019. I found that since the pandemic began, he has been sending Brain Cell mail art. The latest piece is shown on his Facebook page as people tag him in posts thanking him for sending it to them. Unfortunately, he is unable to send any art to Ukraine at this time in 2022 due to the ongoing conflict with Russia.

It astonished me to learn about the vast amount of art Ryosuke Cohen has produced within the last 40 years in collaboration with tons of artists all over the world. From fellow artists in Osaka to Claudia Cave, these collages of art in Brain Cell and The Fractal Portrait Project continue to be created and seen by many. Even today, the Japanese mail artist states on his website that “Mail Art is far from finishing,” and that the multiple methods of correspondence in the digital age gives way to a diversity of participation within the mail art movement. This is especially true in a world currently facing a global pandemic where people seek connections with loved ones online. I am intrigued to see what Cohen & fellow mail artists will be creating in the future. It seems that we will see a larger increase in younger postal artists via the era of the Internet where reaching out to numerous contributors is extremely easy and I look forward to how it will evolve further.

Resources

Baroni, Vittore. The Neural Collages of Ryosuke Cohen. Artpool, https://artpool.hu/MailArt/chrono/1998/BrainCell.html.

Cohen, Ryosuke. Mail Art – Brain Cell – fractal (1997). Artpool, https://artpool.hu/MailArt/chrono/1998/BrainCell3.html.

Cohen, Ryosuke. Mail Art – Brain Cell – fractal (1999). Artpool, https://artpool.hu/MailArt/chrono/1998/BrainCell4.html.

Cohen, Ryosuke. Ryosuke Cohen Official Site. http://www.ryosukecohen.com/.

Held, John, Jr. Interview with Ryosuke Cohen from the National Art Center In Tokyo, Japan. SFAQ / NYAQ / LXAQ. 19 October 2012. https://www.sfaq.us/2012/10/interview-withryosuke-cohen-from-the-national-art-center-in-tokyo-japan/.

Held, John, Jr. Japanese Mail Art, 1956-2014. SFAQ / NYAQ / LXAQ. 8 September 2014. https://www.sfaq.us/2014/09/japanese-mail-art-1956-2014/#:~:text=Mail%20art%20remains%20a%20means,Association%2C%20continued%20with%20participation%20in.

International mail art, 1983-2016, Subseries A, Box: 3, Folder: 1. Claudia Cave papers, WUA118. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.


The Girl and Her Goat: Dale Whitney’s Photojournalism in Korea

By Tess Manjarrez ‘24

South Korea, 1963. Kim In Soon, dressed in a polka-dot dress and recently diagnosed with Hansen’s disease, or leprosy, hugs a young goat. In an era of harsh isolation tactics, Hansen’s was a cruel and lonely disease to catch. While Hansen’s is not a cause of death, it often causes permanent disfigurement and disabilities, which were treated globally as a cause for ostracism. Korean sufferers of the disease were moved from their communities and isolated on Sorok Island, a ‘leper colony’ for those whom society wished to forget. However, children in the early stages of Hansen’s were allowed to stay home on the condition that they were being treated and also not in contact with other children. Six-year-old Kim In Soon was one of these children, as photographed by Lois Dale Whitney.

Whitney, a self-taught photographer and Salem resident, was born in Chicago in 1923 and spent much of her life working in Europe, immortalizing events such as the aftermath of Hungary’s revolution, or the World Health Organization’s outreach in Italy. Whitney’s work in Europe even reached the UN, through the lenses of photo series from Turkey and Germany. In 1963, she took her photojournalism to Wedong Nyun, a village in Southern Korea being visited by a WHO-sponsored mobile leprosy team, and there met the young Kim In Soon, who had just started her first year of school. In a series of photos which capture the playfulness of the young girl as well as the isolation brought on by Hansen’s disease, Whitney’s work deeply humanizes a population made invisible by policy and social stigma.

Isolated as she was from other children, many pieces of Whitney’s photographs from this series feature In Soon engaging alone in otherwise communal activities –– we see her sitting, eating, and playing alone, even as the discolored spots characteristic of Hansen’s begin to appear on her legs and ankles. Whitney was even able to capture the moment in which Dr. Youn Keun Cha informed In Soon’s parents of her diagnosis.

child and goat

Kim In Soon, isolated after her leprosy diagnosis, hugs a young goat.

A successful photographer with achievements in both media photography and international photojournalism, Whitney moved to Oregon in 1979, where she remained until her death from cancer in 2003. Her legacy is one rich with stories and kept alive by occasional displays in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, The Portland Art Museum, Salem Public Library, and Salem Hospital, as well as on the World Health Organization’s own website. Many of her original photographs and associated typed or handwritten context are housed in Willamette University through the Pacific Northwest Artists Archives (PNAA).

While Whitney’s Korean series shows events such as WHO-backed doctors visiting villages or conducting treatments, the truly standout piece in this series is that of Kim In Soon with her goat. By Whitney’s own admittance, the black-and-white photograph is underexposed –– “A great shot”, she writes in her brief notes on the piece, found in the WU archives. “Photo was made inside a barn where we had taken shelter because of rain.” Perhaps the effect was mere happenstance, but its significance remains. The result of the underexposure is a totally black background, a stark contrast to In Soon’s bright dress and white goat. The goat itself seems to be smiling at the camera as In Soon cradles its head, a point of joy in an otherwise lonely future. Truly, with the dark background intent on swallowing them up, it seems in this photograph that Kim In Soon and her goat are alone in the world.

Such images beg the question: what, then, happened to Kim In Soon? Was she, like many victims of Hansen’s, sent to live on Sorok Island? Did she become permanently scarred, and ostracized as a result? Well, no. While Whitney did not add these details in her photograph description, the World Health Organization did indeed check in. Hansen’s disease is treatable, after all, as long as it is caught early. Kim In Soon needed only to continue taking her sulfone tablets regularly for more than a year. She recovered well and was able to continue her education, with the “arrested”, or inactive, lesions on her legs the only reminder of her illness.

child eating alone

Kim In Soon, eating alone.

The practice of sending those with Hansen’s disease to Sorok Island was officially abolished in 1963, the year Whitney met Kim In Soon, but of course, unofficial abandonment or isolation of ‘lepers’ continued. Indeed, it was not until 2007 that a bridge opened from Sorok Island to the mainland, finally connecting the historically isolated island and its residents to the rest of the country. Decades later, Lois Dale Whitney’s adventures, her notes, and the lives she captured on her 35mm negatives, remain immortalized and frozen in time — much like six-year-old Kim In Soon’s soft smile and the moment she shared with her young goat companion.

 

*Photograph 07 W.U., 1963, Subseries A, Box: 3, Folder: 7. Dale Whitney papers, WUA017. Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.


Winter Snow

Winter is almost upon us. This year the winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, the astronomical first day of winter, occurs on December 21st. The solstice marks the moment when the hemisphere is tilted farthest away from the sun, and as a result, is the shortest day of the year. Will winter bring snow to campus or your hometown? Snowfall in Salem has fluctuated greatly over the years. Average annual snowfall for the city is 6 inches but large snow storms do happen. The 1937 storm dumped over 31 inches of snow on the city as did a storm in 1950. There has also been 10 (nonconsecutive) plus years with no annual snowfall recorded.

The Willamette University Archives houses thousands of photos of campus, many of which are available online through the Campus Photo Collection. A search through the collection reveals several images of a snowy winter on campus. Here are just a few:

Eaton Hall

Eaton Hall

Waller Hall

Waller Hall in snow, 1982

Smith Auditorium

Smith Auditorium in snow, 1992

Lee House

Two students walk past Lee House

Goudy Commons

Students walk in the snow next to Goudy, 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you hope for? Whether it is to be outside enjoying winter sports or inside reading in front of a fire, best wishes for a fun holiday season!

Group of skiers.

Group of skiers.

Skier in snow.

Taking a break.

Skier on the snow.

Chilling on the snow.

Women reading by fireplace

Reading by the fireplace.


The Call of Public Service

Mark O. Hatfield’s lengthy career of representing Oregon is the subject of the Oregon Historical Society’s traveling exhibit now on display in Hatfield Library, 2nd floor.  The Call of Public Service: The Life and Legacy of Mark O. Hatfield explores his career and highlights the issues Hatfield championed including healthcare, education, equal rights, the environment and world peace.  The exhibit is on display through November 15, 2021.

Hatfield graduated from Willamette University in 1943. After serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II, he completed a Master’s Degree in political science at Stanford University, then returned to Willamette University as an assistant professor and dean of students. Hatfield began his political career at the age of 28, when he was elected to the Oregon State House of Representatives in 1950. During his forty-six year career, he served as Oregon’s Secretary of State, Governor, and U.S. Senator.

Hatfield, pictured to the right in front of the Oregon State Capitol, donated his papers to Willamette University Archives. The collection includes materials from his time as Oregon Secretary of State and governor through retirement. The bulk of the collection relates to his time in the U. S. Senate documenting his legislative work, constituent services, communications and media, and campaign efforts. The large collection is currently being processed and will open to researchers on July 12, 2022. For more information on the collection, contact archives@willamette.edu.


Jim Mattingly’s Mural: From Individual Artwork to Community Representation

By Sanja Zelen, Willamette Student

Walking through downtown Salem along High Street, one will see a bright blue, 68-foot-tall mural portraying actors and actresses known for their groundbreaking performances in the 1920s and irreplaceable contributions to the world of theater. The mural, titled “Theatrical Heartscape,” was originally designed and painted by Jim Mattingly and was later renovated by Portland-based artist Dan Cohen. The mural, completed in 1984, serves as not only a striking piece of artwork for Salem to enjoy, but a community-inspired commemoration of Salem’s theatrical history as well.

Theatrical Heartscape mural on the back of the Elsinore Theatre

Theatrical Heartscape mural on the back of the Elsinore Theatre.

James “Jim” Mattingly, the artist behind “Theatrical Heartscape,” was born in 1934. He was an art professor at the Oregon College of Education, known as Western Oregon University today, from 1968 to 1994. He was the head of the art department from 1977 to 1986, founding a printmaking program. His artwork has been displayed in the United States, Australia, and parts of South America, Asia, and Europe. In Salem, he was an active member of the arts community, increasing the Northwest Print Council’s recognition on both the national and international levels.

It was Jim Mattingly’s presence in the Salem arts community that ultimately led him to be selected by the Historic Elsinore Theater to commission a mural for the theater’s East exterior side facing Ferry Street. The goal of the project was to beautify the wall by creating a design representative of the Elsinore’s theatrical culture. Mattingly’s concept stood out from the other artists’ because it incorporated actors and actresses that rose to fame during the early years of the Elsinore, including Theda Bara, Marlene Dietrich, W.C. Fields, and Charlie Chaplin. The community board at Elsinore felt that Mattingly had picked “people of substance” that highlighted the Elsinore’s vaudeville origins. The chosen colors and shapes for the mural− white and black for the actors, red for the hearts, bold three-dimensional boxes that framed the characters, and a blue backdrop− encapsulated the drama, comedy, and excitement of theater.

Mattingly started the mural in 1982 with a $31,000 budget funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Oregon Arts Commission’s Art in Public Places, and the City of Salem’s transient occupancy tax. However, it was donations from Salem community members that guaranteed the project’s completion.

Mattingly’s process for creating the mural started out as an individual project and ended as a community effort. Mattingly was permitted to set up butcher paper on the floor of an elementary school gym to sketch out his concept. Artist Don Hoskisson assisted Mattingly in painting the mural. One group of citizens making up the Gorilla Wall Flare dressed up as gorillas to assist in fundraising efforts. Inmates were recruited by prison superintendent Hoyt Cupp to set up the scaffolding for the mural’s creation. A kickoff party in September 1984 celebrated the two-year long project’s completion. Jim Mattingly summarized his appreciation for the community’s involvement and support by saying, “I am really trying to do art for all the people”.

Portland artist Dan Cohen updating the mural.

Portland artist Dan Cohen works on updating the mural in 2013.

The mural started to fade over time, but the community base that the original project had obtained came together once more to fundraise $20,000 for renovations of the mural in 2013, including power washing moss, repainting, and applying a protective layer to the wall. Dan Cohen, a Portland artist known for his murals displaying movie scenes, was selected as the painter to renovate the wall, filling in the missing parts and preserving Mattingly’s previous work. He painted with the goal of honoring the community just as Mattingly had, with the hope that restoration would “bring inspiration and colors into people’s lives” (Cohen as cited by Curtin).

Jim Mattingly’s mural was a success, portraying figures that were later shown on screen at film festivals at the Elsinore and creating an urban art piece to be enjoyed by pedestrians and drivers alike. Mattingly died in 2006, but his legacy lives on through Cohen’s and Salem community members’ 2013 renovations of “Theatrical Heartscape,” which stands as blue and bright today as it did in 1984.


Holiday Greetings

By Susan Irwin, University Archivist smirwin@willamette.edu

It is that time of year when greeting cards celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s (and even the Winter Solstice) are sent to family and friends, near and far. Although ecard purchases are on the rise, Americans purchase and physically mail over one and a half billion holiday cards each year.

The origins of holiday cards date back to 19th century England. In 1843, Sir Henry Cole sent out the first known Christmas card.

The first Christmas card

The first Christmas card (Wikimedia Commons)

Considering the problem of how to send holiday greetings to his large social circle and associates, he commissioned the design of an illustration which he had printed on stiff cardboard with the sentiment, “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.”

It took several decades before Christmas cards truly became a common part of holiday celebrations. In the United States, the cost of imported cards was prohibitive for most people, until Louis Prang of Boston started manufacturing Christmas cards in 1875. Prang hosted the first design competition for Christmas cards in 1880. A newspaper article in The New Northwest (Portland, OR) on July 1, 1880 noted that a Boston firm offered prizes for the four best original designs for Christmas cards. Out of the 600 entries, four received prizes. The winner received $1,000 (a little over $25,500 in today’s dollars!).

By the 1920s the format and style of Christmas cards had evolved and become big business. Early Christmas cards were similar to postcards – an image and sentiment on one side and space on the other to write a brief message. Folded cards of various sizes followed until, in 1915, the Hall Brothers company (now known as Hallmark) developed the standard format we use today.

Early Christmas Cards

Selection of American Cards

 

As Christmas cards evolved, art remained the central focus. Nativity scenes, angels, and robins were common on Victorian era cards. Flowers and nature scenes were the most common images in 19th American Christmas cards. Over time images expanded to include children, families, religious, Santa, humorous, and family homes and photos. It is not surprising then, that holiday cards can be found in the correspondence files of many of our artist collections.

 

 

Some examples:

As a child Edith Price Walford, a wood block artist, expressed interest in how her uncle made one of his linoleum block Christmas cards. Corresponding through the mail with him, she learned how to make her own. One of her wood blocks is seen here along with the card she made.

Woodblock Engraving for Christmas card making. Christmas Card made from a woodblock printing.

 

Rex Amos is known for his assemblage art – three-dimensional art assembled with everyday objects typically gathered by the artist.   His holiday greeting card seen here showcases his art, along with his sense of humor.

Rex Amos Christmas card

 

Through his work in the Pacific Northwest arts scene, Jack Eyerly maintained correspondence with hundreds of artists, but it is in his family Christmas cards that his own artwork is found. Here he personalized the card for his cat-loving mother.

 

Jack Eyerly Christmas card.

 

Sources:

Ames, Kenneth L., Dover, Caitlin, and Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts, Design, Culture. American Christmas Cards, 1900-1960. New York, NY] : New Haven [Conn.]: Bard Graduate Center, Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture ; Distributed by Yale UP, 2011. Print.

Buday, György. The History of the Christmas Card. London: Spring, 1964. Print.

Edith Price Walford papers, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University. https://libmedia.willamette.edu/archives/as/repositories/2/resources/96 Accessed December 04, 2020.

Hane, John. The History of the Christmas Card, Smithsonian Magazine, December 9, 2015. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/history-christmas-card-180957487/ Accessed December 04, 2020.

Jack Eyerly collection on Pacific Northwest Art, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University. https://libmedia.willamette.edu/archives/as/repositories/2/resources/130 Accessed December 04, 2020.

Rex Amos papers, Archives and Special Collections, Mark O. Hatfield Library, Willamette University. https://libmedia.willamette.edu/archives/as/repositories/2/resources/107 Accessed December 04, 2020.

 


Shakespeare’s Second Folio

By Doreen Simonsen
Humanities & Fine Arts Librarian, dsimonse@willamette.edu

Folio Second Edition in Archives
“Dig those crazy hieroglyphics!”
“Pardon me sir, but are you referring to that copy of Shakespeare’s Second Folio which you have in your hand?”

This is how Betsy Perry started her article, “Vault Harbors $1000 Book,” in the January 23, 1959 issue of the Willamette Collegian about the library’s valuable rare books. The “hieroglyphics” were 17th century typesetting, which even 21st century students struggle to read. Typesetting issues are one of the factors that differentiate the Second Folio from its famous sibling, the First Folio, printed in 1623, by William Jaggard for Edward Blount, John Smethwick, and William Aspley. Of the 750 copies printed, only 235 copies of the First Folio remain today.

By 1632, William Jaggard and Edward Blount had died, and the copies of the First Folio had sold out. Thomas Cotes printed all the copies of the Second Folio for five different publishers: John Smethwick, William Aspley, Richard Hawkins, Richard Meighen, and Robert Allot. Each of these publishers owned the copyrights to different plays written by Shakespeare. John Smethwick held the copyright for Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and The Taming of the Shrew. Willamette’s copy of the Second Folio was printed for John Smethwick, which is one of the rarest versions of this work. (Please watch this video from Peter Harrington Booksellers to learn more about the Smethwick version of the Second Folio.) Watermark Example Click on this image to the right to see a close-up of the watermark in a page of our Smethwick Second Folio.

No definite census can be found reporting the number of Second Folio copies printed, but in 1990 there were 178 Second Folios in libraries in the United States, as well as several more in international libraries (Otness, 65). The Folger Shakespeare Library, famous for its collection of 82 First Folios, also owns 58 copies of the Second Folio.

But what is a folio and what makes it so special? Folios are large books comprised of pages that have only been folded once before being gathered into quires (four sheets of paper folded to form eight leaves) that are then stacked and sewn together. During Shakespeare’s life, (1564-1616), many of his plays had been printed in a quarto format, which is half the size of a folio. Folios are meant to be impressive works, like coffee table books. The playwright Ben Jonson, Shakespeare’s contemporary, published a collection of his own plays in a folio version in 1616. Jonson’s and Shakespeare’s folios were the first collections of drama meant to be read as a book, giving printed drama a place of esteem in the world of English literature. In Shakespeare’s time, plays were considered merely low brow entertainments, not worthy of serious study.

By 1632 Shakespeare’s plays were 40 years old, and some of the language used in the First Folio had become dated. The editors of the Second Folios updated some of the language, corrected hundreds of typographical errors, and made “1679 `deliberate editorial’ changes, 459 alterations of grammar, 374 changes affecting the thought, 359 affecting meter, and 357 affecting style, and 130 changes pertaining to the action.” (Black and Shaaber, 45). They added mythological and Classical allusions which the typesetters of the First Folio missed. A good example of this is this quote from Henry VI, Part I, Act I, Scene 4, lines 95-96:

First Folio (1623) example:
First Folio Example

 

 

Second Folio (1632) example:

Second Folio Example

 

 

 

Subsequent versions of this play up to the standard versions used today, such as The Complete Pelican Shakespeare (2002), now include the name Nero.

“Plantagenet, I will – and like thee, Nero,
Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn.”

These changes in the text of the Second Folio mark the beginning of Shakespearean scholarship. Second Folio Mark Changed TextIt wasn’t just the editorial work of the publishers of Shakespeare’s Folios that reflect this change in attitude to the words written by Shakespeare.  Readers themselves engaged with the texts of these plays.  They studied their personal copies of the Folios and made annotations in them. The most famous of these annotated copies belonged to King Charles I (1600–1649), son of James I, who inherited the British throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth I. Charles I’s copy with his own annotations is in Windsor Castle, part of the collection of Queen Elizabeth II.  Here you can see the names of favorite characters written in King Charles I own hand.

The other thing that makes the Second Folio distinct from the First Folio is that it contains the first ever published poem by a young, 24-year-old John Milton, the author of Paradise Lost.

John Milton Poem

For a good introduction to the meaning of this poem and the significance of the Second Folio please watch this video of Ari Friedlander, University of Dayton.

In the 1950s, Charles McCulloch, Chairman of the Willamette Board of Trustees, donated the rare 1632 edition of Shakespeare’s Second Folio to the university. In the Willamette University Archives, you can find articles about this generous donation, as well as students’ reactions to seeing the Second Folio and other rare books. (See: McCulloch Gives Rare Cotes Book to WU Library, Benefactor Gives Rare Volume of Shakespeare Plays to Library.)

Over the years, the Second Folio has been brought out of the vault to honor visiting lecturers, (See: Rare Volumes Shown), but more often than not, it has been brought to the Mark O. Hatfield Library’s Instruction Room to show it to students in English and other classes.

Below you can see a group of Theatre History students in November 2015 who were delighted to see the text of Macbeth and check out the watermarks in our 1632 Second Folio. (Some students even took selfies of themselves with the Second Folio).

Students looking at the book in the Instruction Room.

Pandemic-related quarantine issues currently prohibit viewing our rare books in person, but we look forward to the days when students and scholars can come to the Hatfield Library to see our Second Folio for themselves. In the meantime, there are wonderful digital versions that you can enjoy online.  (See: Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, tragedies: published according to the true originall copies. The second impression. )

 

Bibliography

Black, Matthew W., and Shaaber, M. A. Shakespeare’s Seventeenth-century Editors, 1632-1685. New York, London: Modern Language Association of America; Oxford UP, 1937.   https://archive.org/details/shakespearesseve00blac/page/n3/mode/2up

Douglas, Adam. “Shakespeare Second Folio – John Smethwick Imprint, 1632.” Peter Harrington Rare Books. Video. https://vimeo.com/61085857

“Folios of William Shakespeare.” Walter Havighurst Special Collections of the Miami University Libraries at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. https://digital.lib.miamioh.edu/digital/collection/wshakespeare

Friedlander, Ari. “Shakespeare: Second Folio.” University of Dayton. Video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33Ep_SjErDE

“King Charles I’s Copy of Shakespeare.” British Library Collection Items. https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/king-charles-is-copy-of-shakespeare

MacDougall, Bill. “Benefactor Gives Rare Volume of Shakespeare Plays to Library.” Willamette Collegian 19 May 1950: 3.

“McCulloch Gives Rare Cotes Book to WU Library.” The Willamette University Alumnus 6.3 (1950): 5.

Otness, Harold M. The Shakespeare Folio Handbook and Census. New York: Greenwood, 1990. Print. Bibliographies and Indexes in World Literature ; No. 25.

Perry, Betsy. “Vault Harbors $1000 Book.” Willamette Collegian 23 January 1959: 2.

“Rare Volumes Shown” The Willamette University Alumnus 4.3 (1957): 6.

Shakespeare, William. Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies. The 2nd Impression. ed. London: Printed by Tho. Cotes, for John Smethwick, and Are to Be Sold at His Shop in Saint Dunstans Church-yard, 1632. Print.  https://alliance-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/11t0l49/CP7199449290001451

Shakespeare, William, and Alfred Harbage. Complete Pelican Shakespeare. , 2002.

Smith, Emma.  “Wadham’s Four Shakespeare Folios.” Wadham College, University of Oxford. 18th February 2019. Video. https://www.wadham.ox.ac.uk/news/2019/february/wadhams-four-shakespeare-folios

“What Is the Second Folio of William Shakespeare?” Meisei University Shakespeare Collection Database – Meisei Copy, http://shakes.meisei-u.ac.jp/e-second.html


COVID: Experience, Thoughts and Feelings

By Susan Irwin, University Archivist smirwin@willamette.edu

We are living in an unprecedented moment in history. While we are experiencing the pandemic together, each of us is experiencing this pandemic in our own unique way. In line with our charge to collect, preserve and make available records of enduring value relating to Willamette University, the Archives and Special Collections invites you — Willamette students, staff and faculty — to submit original created works that capture your current experiences, thoughts, challenges and feelings.

Hatfield Library’s archivists and librarians will curate these submissions into a digital exhibition, “COVID: Experiences, Thoughts and Feelings.” This project is by and for our community. Eventually, the collection’s accessibility will broaden, so that decades from now, it can be used for exploration and scholarship into the impact of the pandemic on our lives.

Express yourself in a medium that best encapsulates your unique lived experience including sketches, audio recordings of music, videos of dance performances, photographs, poems, stories and essays. Full guidelines and the submission forms are available online.

If you’re not ready for your submission to be shared today, you may add it to a historical collection that won’t be released until 2025. Do not submit works you want to remain private. You retain the right to ask us to remove your submissions in the future.

If you’d like to make an anonymous submission, donate a physical item (e.g. written diary, sketch, etc.), or have other questions, please contact University Archivist Susan Irwin.

Thank you for helping us preserve this moment in history.


Digital Collections for Remote Research

By Stepanie Milne-Lane, Processing Archivist and Records Manager smilnelane@willamette.edu

Since the ongoing public health crisis forced the Hatfield Library to transition its services in March, the Willamette University (WU) Archives & Special Collections has missed the students, staff, faculty, and community members that frequently walked through our door.

We know that remote research comes with challenges — Not everything is digitized and there is something satisfying about opening a box and systematically going through archival folders. Over the years, the WU Archives & Special Collections has made steady progress in creating digital collections. Each of our four collecting areas boasts digital collections that are ripe for research.

Parsons Sketch

Eunice Parsons, “Sketchbook 1, Image 5,” Willamette University Archives

The WU University Archives & Records has numerous digitized collections that are keyword searchable and hold the key to WU’s history. Popular digitized collections include The Wallulah, 1903-2006 (student yearbook), The Collegian, 1875-2020 (student newspaper), WU Student Handbooks, 1892-2020, and Catalogs and Bulletins, 1860-2007. Also available are materials relating to Freshman Glee, one of Willamette’s longest running – and most beloved – traditions.

A collaborative project of the WU Archives & Special Collections and the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, the Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (PNAA) is a collection of materials related to the careers of artists who are or were active in Oregon and Washington. Digitized PNAA collections include an Eunice Parsons online exhibit that explores and considers the development of Parsons’ more popular style through the lens of her personal sketchbooks.

People exercising in an empty Sparks Pool.

Exercise Class in Sparks Pool, Undated, Campus Photograph Collection.

WU’s extensive Political Papers contain photographs, memorabilia and audiovisual materials of elected individuals representing Oregon at the state and national level. The digitized Norma Paulus Scrapbooks offers a glimpse into Paulus’s campaigns and legislative work.

Rounding our holdings are the Personal Papers, which include manuscript collections, diaries, and the correspondence with a focus on individuals involved in regional missionary work, settling Salem, and developing Willamette University. The digitized Suffrage Era Scrapbook is worth exploring, as it contains poetry, comedic articles and satire, cartoons, articles about women’s suffrage — which celebrates its 100th anniversary in August — and news bulletins about the 1918 Influenza pandemic.

Hatfield Library in 1986

Hatfield Library in 1986

Although our door hasn’t opened and closed as frequently over the past four months, the Archives is anything but quiet. Susan Irwin joined the Hatfield Library team and is spearheading the processing of Senator Mark O. Hatfield’s papers. Staff also completed processing associated with the NHPRC and LSTA grants. We can’t wait to see you, but in the meantime, we hope that our digital collections might come in useful. We are always here to assist with any and all questions you might have. We look forward to having you walk through our door again in the future!


Chuck Williams Collection Update

By Rosie Yanosko, Processing Archivist, ryanosko@willamette.edu

This spring, the Chuck Williams Collection will open for research. Charles Otis “Chuck” Williams was an environmental activist and professional photographer who was of Cascade Chinook descent and a member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. His collection, which primarily document his activism, careers, and writings, are held in the Willamette University Archives & Special Collections, while his photographs, which document a plethora of tribal communities, cultural celebrations, and landscapes in the Pacific Northwest, are held in the Oregon Multicultural Archives at the Oregon State University Special Collections & Archives Research Center. This LSTA grant-funded project seeks to preserve and make accessible his papers and photographs.

Born on July 20, 1943, in Portland, Oregon, Williams and his family moved to Petaluma, California several years later. Williams was interested in animals and nature from an early age, and his collection includes a charming childhood scrapbook titled “The Nature Part of the World”. After graduating high school, he took engineering classes at a community college and worked full time as a draftsman/technician, eventually landing a job at Johnson Controls and working on projects for NASA and Boeing. Despite his success, Williams realized he wasn’t cut out for this career path and went on to serve with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic and AmeriCorps VISTA in El Paso, Texas. In 1973, he earned a BA in Art from Sonoma State University. Soon after, he began travelling the U.S. extensively, ultimately spending seven years touring the National Parks System (he managed to visit every park in the contiguous U.S.) in his camper van while honing his writing and photography skills. As he travelled, he sent notes to the environmental organization Friends of the Earth (FOE), informing them of issues he noticed while exploring the parks. This caught the attention of FOE’s founder, David Brower, who offered him a position as the organization’s National Parks Representative. While serving in this position, Williams lobbied for stronger protections for national parks and helped establish the Golden Gate and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Areas. He also wrote articles for FOE’s’s journal, Not Man Apart. His papers from this period contain a manuscript for a book he was writing on the National Parks, as well as research files on the U.S. National Parks Service, and research gathered while writing his article “The Park Rebellion” for Not Man Apart. In the late 1970s, Williams moved back to his native Oregon to take care of his ailing father, and became involved with the fight to preserve the Columbia River Gorge.

salmon fishery

In the early 1980s, Williams co-founded the Columbia Gorge Coalition, a grassroots environmental group that started the campaign for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. In an article for Earthwatch Oregon in February 1979, Williams summed up the conflict in the Gorge: “Most conservationists agree that strong federal action will be needed to preserve the Gorge. Like Lake Tahoe, the Gorge is shared by two states that seldom see eye to eye, and nearly fifty local jurisdictions spread up and down both sides of the river have never been known to agree on anything. A national scenic area managed by the National Park Service is the most likely proposal.” While Williams and the Coalition wanted the Gorge to be protected from development and managed by the National Park Service, affluent activist groups in Portland favored fewer restrictions on development and thought the land should be managed by the U.S. Forest Service. To help bring attention to the cause, Williams wrote, photographed, and largely self-financed the publication of his book, Bridge of the Gods, Mountains of Fire: A Return to the Columbia River Gorge. After years of contention, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act was passed in 1986. Williams did not think the National Scenic Area (NSA) provided necessary protections and considered the legislation a failure, but continued to fight for stronger protections. He worked with his family to preserve their land allotment in the Columbia Gorge, ultimately establishing the land as the Franz Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Williams went on to serve as the Public Information Office Manager and Publications Editor for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fishing Alliance (CRITFC), an organization that coordinates management policy and provides fisheries technical services for the Yakama, Warm Springs, Umatilla, and Nez Perce tribes. Williams’ position at CRITFC led him to begin photographically documenting various tribal and cultural celebrations throughout the Pacific Northwest. In the mid-1990s, he co-founded and managed the Salmon Corps, an AmeriCorps program that worked with Native American youth to restore salmon habitats and riparian areas in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. After leaving the Salmon Corps, Williams was able to devote more time to his photography and writing. He continued to photograph cultural festivals and celebrations in the Pacific Northwest and exhibited them in the Columbia Gorge Gallery, which he operated out of his home in The Dalles. Proceeds from prints sold were shared with the subjects of his photographs–a testament to the depth of his care for his community. Williams also designed calendars commemorating Celilo Falls and offered slideshows and presentations on the histories of Native American Tribes in the Pacific Northwest. In 2013, Williams, along with David G. Lewis and Eirik Thorsgard, co-authored the chapter “Honoring our Tilixam: Chinookan People of Grand Ronde” in the book Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia.

Sherar Fall, Oregon

During his storied career, Chuck Williams was a tireless advocate for the protection of countless rivers, forests, parks, and animals, earning him the nickname “Wild and Scenic Chuck” (in Chinook Wawa, “chuck” means river). He consistently placed environmental causes before his own well being, and this took a toll on his health and finances. In 2015, Williams was diagnosed with lung cancer, and on April 24, 2016 he passed away. Williams was a diligent record keeper and his collection contains a wealth of materials pertaining to grassroots environmental activism, the histories of Native American Tribes in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. National Parks Service, tribal fisheries, and other subject areas. His collection also provides a crucial counter-narrative to the prevalent discourse surrounding the creation, passage, and effects of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act. Willamette University Archives & Special Collections will open the Chuck Williams Collection for research in the coming months–please stay tuned for updates.