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Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wine, Cheese, and Renaissance Drawings (oh my)


Are you a member of the Rosenbach? Well then you're invited to join us at an opening reception to preview our newest exhibition, Drawn Together: Two Albums of Renaissance Drawings by Girolamo da Carpi. This is the first-ever exhibition of its kind, featuring drawings from the collections of both the Rosenbach and the British Museum. The exhibition will be accompanied by a full-color, bilingual catalogue.

The members' preview is Wednesday, September 7 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. If you're not a member, sing up now. Better yet, join at the door. (I mean, really... free wine and cheese? C'mon. You can't beat that with a stick.)

Moore Moore Moore!


Yesterday we had several bits of Marianne Moore news--these things tend to come in groups. First, we got our copy of Cristanne Miller's new book, Cultures of Modernism: Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, and Else Lasker-Schuler, published by U. Michigan Press. Then Vivian Pollack sent us an offprint of her recent article on Sylvia Plath and Moore , called "Moore, Plath, Hughes, and 'The Literary Life,'" published in American Literary History. We haven't had a chance to read them yet, but look forward to it--in the meantime, it strikes us for the thousandth time that a) without researchers and readers, our collections can't tell any stories at all, and b) the need to take care of and present the materials too often gets in the way of spending time with them and learning from them.

A call also came in yesterday from a would-be researcher who wants to know more about Moore's time teaching at the Carlisle Indian School. There's a lot here about it--especially in Moore's letters to her brother from that time--but fortunately the researcher had also been in touch with Carlisle's Jeff Wood, Moore scholar and bookstore owner, who knows more about Moore's time in Carlisle than anyone else.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

20/20 Hindsight





On Friday night, much of the United States saw a 20/20 Episode called "The Summer of the Vampire," in which the Rosenbach played a starring role. The episode looked into the backstory of the new bestselling novel The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. The central issue--whether Bram Stoker wrote Dracula with Vlad Dracula a/k/a Vlad the Impaler a/k/a Vlad Tepes in mind as his vampire villain. And he didn't. But what's the point of holding a novelist to a strict interpretation of fact?

But sadly, the show--one of our best PR exposures in years--was not seen here in Philadelphia, nor in Boston, nor in any number of markets that chose to show pre-season football.

So Dracula's curse lives on--but look out for the new events calendar and this year's Bat Parade.

...oh, and here's a good Frontline story about Vlad...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Farewell, Mandell

Melissa Mandell, our long-suffering Office Manager, defender of the weak and powerless and sworn enemy of telephone customer service runaround, is leaving today. Pictured here helping Facilities Manager Jim Manzella with a fancy new backpack, she has been at the RML for nearly four years, lasting through many staff reorganizations, office rearrangements, new calendar schemes, and The Move. She has done so many things here and been so integral to our daily operations that it's hard to imagine the museum without her (all the cliches are true), so it's also hard to really face up to the fact that she's leaving. We are totally in denial.

An important part of her job has been to try to impose order on us, whether through the Yahoo calendar, the Denworth room reservation forms, office supply orders, the "two week look ahead" or, perhaps her greatest legacy, the S'Monkey planning system. Only a truly noble person tries to take this stuff on. In a recent Development Department planning document, Melissa's job description included serving as a "reality check" to the department and the museum. And we are definitely going to miss that, almost as much as we miss the photocopier collages, the stories about her parents, the stories about John and the Eagles tailgates... all of it.

Melissa's going back to grad school full time, though, so she's not leaving town, so we'll be comforted by knowing that she's doing good work and that she might come to the Young Friends Prom next year.

We are also losing a fantastic summer intern today, Ashley Augustyniak. Ashley worked incredibly hard on helping us with our object cataloging and whatever else needed doing. When 20/20 was here two weeks ago filming their piece on The Historian, Ashley escorted camera crews and sound guys up and down the stairs many times without complaining. She has to go back to school too.

Thanks are not enough, but we mean it, and we will miss you.

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

The First Post

Welcome to the rosen-blog, the quasi-official blog of the Rosenbach Museum & Library. We've set this up in order to give more informal, more frequent, more accessible news about the people, places, and things of the Rosenbach. We hope this will be read by our staff, members, researchers, visitors, and total strangers, or anyone else who might come across us. Those of you looking for information on the Italian progressive rock band Museo Rosenbach will have to look elsewhere, though we are very curious to know more about them, too.

As always, for more information about the museum, visit our official site