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Sports et divertissements

First published in 1923, Sports et divertissements is an album featuring 20 illustrations by Charles Martin, a prominent contemporary French fashion illustrator, alongside 20 short scores for piano written by famed composer Erik Satie. The project was commissioned by publishing magnate Lucian Vogel in 1914 and was intended to represent the sports and leisure activities that were fashionable at the time. Martin's illustrations transport viewers into a world of fashion and luxury rendered in the strong geometric shapes and bold colors that are emblematic of Art Deco. Satie's lighthearted compositions and the humorous, handwritten texts inscribed throughout the scores further imbue the project with the feeling of play. Sports et divertissements is a strong example of the early 20th century Avante Garde's interest in creating works of art that synthesized music, language, and visual art.

This exceptional work of art also has a remarkably strange publication history. Although the work was commissioned in 1914, the outbreak of WWI delayed publication. Because the album would have seemed inappropriately frivolous in light of the war, Vogel put the project on hold. By the 1920s, the mood in Paris had lifted and the Jazz Age brought an atmosphere of luxury and pleasure. In the ten years since the project was commissioned, fashion had changed so drastically that Martin's original drawings seemed dated. To ensure that the album remain au current, in 1922 Vogel commissioned Martin to create 20 new drawings. At long last, publication began in 1923, but the strangeness doesn't end there.

Nine hundred copies of Sports et divertissements were printed, but three different versions were created.

The first version of the album is extremely rare — only 10 copies were printed. This version features the 20 musical scores alongside both the 1922 illustrations and the original drawings from 1914.

The second version, issued in an edition of 215, features the musical scores alongside all of the 1922 illustrations. This is the version that we have in the Burling Library Special Collections.

The third version, comprising the remaining 675 copies, contains the entire score, but each copy only features one of Martin's illustrations.

This strange publication history has shaped how the album has been received. The public is most familiar with the third version; however, that is also the most diminished version because Martin’s contribution to the project is almost completely absent. Today, Erik Satie is often regarded as the primary artistic genius behind the project. This misunderstanding demonstrates that in order to fully understand a creative work, it is essential to research it as an object by delving into the history of its publication.

Sports et divertissements is currently part of our Visual Narratives exhibit. We encourage you to visit the Special Collections and Archives to examine this version of the album that the public rarely gets to see. We are open to the public 1:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and mornings by appointment. You can also read an extended analysis of the album’s publication history in “Satie and Martin’s Sports et divertissements: Towards a (re)Object-ive  Historiography” published by The Teh Drinking Musicologist blog.


Tutorial and Research Literacy

In the fall, Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the Libraries run at a hectic pace as librarians interact with Tutorial classes in a variety of ways -- teaching research literacy sessions in Burling’s computer commons, lounge, and computer classroom, visiting and teaching class sessions in Noyce and other classroom buildings around campus, leading tours around Burling Library and Kistle Science Library, and introducing first-year students to key members of library staff.Tutorial session with Phil Jones and Professor Andrews

These activities come about through partnerships between Tutors and faculty librarians. New students often first meet the Grinnell College librarians and initially encounter the Libraries’ print and online collections through these Tutorial experiences, which are meant to introduce students to library resources and to the people who will support their academic work in Tutorial and beyond.

Tutorial students are learning through these partnerships, and so are librarians, by paying close attention to the always-evolving research experiences that first-years carry along with them to Grinnell. Working closely with Tutorial students gives librarians the opportunity to see firsthand how each new generation of college students approaches their academic work, and librarians look forward to learning as they teach.

Tutorial session with Kevin Engel and Professor SandquistThese fall semester collaborations among librarians, Tutors, and first-year students are a major component of the Libraries’ research literacy program, and helping students develop research literacy is at the core of the work of Grinnell College librarians. Tutorial partnerships are a great way to begin this important work.

Vernon Faulconer ’61 – Devoted Alumnus of Grinnell College

Vernon Faulconer '61Vernon Faulconer '61– oilman, philanthropist, and art collector – was born in 1939 in El Dorado, Kansas, and grew up on a dairy farm. Faulconer and his future wife, Amy Hamamoto ‘59, met while students at Grinnell; a perusal of yearbooks from the College Archives shows a young “Vern Faulconer” in  group photos with fellow residents of South Younker Hall.  Amy is pictured with the women of Loose Hall, and was active in the Student Iowa State Education Association and Orchesis.

The couple began their married life in Kansas. In 1970, the family moved to Tyler, Texas, where Faulconer soon started Vernon E. Faulconer, Inc., an oil- and gas-equipment leasing company that soon grew to a large production company, currently operating oil and gas wells in nine states.

Longtime friend Ron Gleason commented in a recent interview that Vernon Faulconer was “anything but a stereotypical oil- and gas-man,” describing him as very humble. Gleason now directs the Faulconer Scholar program, founded by Vernon Faulconer in 1990. To date, the scholarship program has allowed 750 African-American and Hispanic students in the Tyler community to attend Tyler Junior College. “He really believed that the key to opportunity was education. He saw that in his own life, and in the lives of the people around him” (Williams).

Vernon Faulconer joined the Grinnell College Board of Trustees in 1984, serving for many years and on numerous committees. He was actively involved in the development and building of the Bucksbaum Center for the Arts, and in 1999, the art gallery was named in honor of Vernon and Amy Faulconer.  The Faulconers have been involved ever since with building the facility’s collection and program in close partnership with its director.

Start by Asking Questions: Contemporary Art from the Faulconer and Rachofsky Collections, Dallas, an eagerly-anticipated Faulconer Gallery exhibition, runs from September 18 to December 13. Vernon Faulconer’s legacy of enriching lives through art and education continues with this exhibition of forty-six works from The Warehouse, the contemporary art collection Vernon and Amy built with Howard and Cindy Rachofsky in Dallas, Texas. Represented artists include Janine Antoni, Eric Fischl, Mark Grotjahn, William Kentridge, Sigmar Polke, Yinka Shonibare, Kara Walker, and other artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Works Consulted:

Cyclone. Grinnell: Grinnell College, 1958. Print.

Cyclone. Grinnell: Grinnell College, 1959. Print.

“In Memoriam: Vernon Edward Faulconer ’61.” Grinnell College Website. Grinnell College, 2015. Web.

9 Sept. 2015.

Williams, Coretta. “Tyler Oilman, Philanthropist Faulconer Dies.” Tyler Paper (10 Aug. 2015). Web.

9 Sept. 2015.


Freshmen in Grinnell: 100 Years of New Students at Grinnell College

New Freshmen“Freshmen in Grinnell: 100 Years of New Students at Grinnell College” is now on display on the main floor and in Burling Gallery on the lower level. Using materials from the Special Collections and Archives, this new exhibit explores the differing experiences of first year students at Grinnell College from 1900 to 2000. Broken up into thirty year periods, each case explores the first year life and follows changes that occurred over time. Throughout the exhibit, the topics of housing, behavioral expectations, registration, and tutorial are discussed.

Items such as freshmen beanies from 1945 and 1957, student handbooks from 1901 and 1924, a variety of photographs, and new student guidebooks from the 1940s onward are featured. Stop by Burling Library to view the new exhibit — perhaps you’ll see something familiar from your own time as a first year!

This exhibit was curated by Allison Haack, with poster design by Hannah Condon ’16.

Online Bibliography for Peace and Conflict Studies Program guest speaker, George Lopez

G. LopezPeace and Conflict Studies Presents “Attaining Hard Peace, Soft Peace, and Smart Peace” with George Lopez

George A. Lopez, an internationally renowned scholar and expert in peace and conflict studies, will present a public talk on September 2 at 7 p.m. in Rosenfield Center, Room 101. During a week-long residency from August 31-September 4, Mr. Lopez is team-teaching the College’s pilot blending-learning course, “Introduction to Peace and Conflict Studies,” with Timothy Dobe, Associate Professor of Religious Studies.

For further study and in support of his work on campus, Grinnell College Libraries recently developed an online bibliography of George A. Lopez’s writings.

A Closer Look at the Iowa Prairie

"A Closer Look at the Iowa Prairie: Photographs by Justin Hayworth" is on view at Grinnell College through Sunday, Oct. 11, in Burling Gallery on the lower level of Burling Library.

Prairie dominated the Iowa landscape when the first white settlers arrived in 1833. Now, less than 0.1 percent of the original Iowa prairie remains.

Hayworth's macro photographs invite viewers to take a closer look at the beauty of prairie plants, celebrate the intricate aesthetics of prairie life, and teach about the unintended consequences of development. Macro photography is the art of producing photographs of small objects larger than life size.

Hayworth holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kansas State University and worked as a photojournalist at the Duluth News Tribune and the Des Moines Register before joining Grinnell College as photographer/videographer in 2012.

Gallery Talk

Hayworth and Jon Andelson, director of the College's Center for Prairie Studies, will give a gallery talk at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2. They will discuss the loss of the Iowa prairie, the importance of close observation and the aesthetics of prairie life, celebrated through macro photography. A reception will follow.

Nature Photography Session

On Friday, Sept. 4, Hayworth will lead an exploration of the Grinnell campus for those who want to bring cameras and learn how to photograph nature up close.

The session will take place from 4 to 6 p.m. and start in Burling Gallery. The rain date will be Friday, Sept. 11.

Individuals with all levels of photography experience are welcome. Each person should bring a camera of any sort, including digital single-lens reflex, point and shoot or cell phone. Grinnell College students, faculty and staff may check out cameras from the Audio-Visual Center.

The gallery talk, photography session and exhibition, which are free and open to the public, are sponsored by Grinnell College's Center for Prairie Studies and the Faulconer Gallery.

Hours and Accessibility

Grinnell welcomes and encourages the participation of people with disabilities. Accommodation requests may be made to Conference Operations, 641-269-3235.

Burling Gallery is open 10 a.m. through 10 p.m. daily. For more information about  the exhibition and related programs visit Faulconer Gallery.



New Version of Digital Grinnell Available

Digital Grinnell: Sharing and preserving Grinnell's heritage

After months of hard work, the Grinnell College Libraries is pleased to announce that a new version of Digital Grinnell is now online and available for use!

Digital Grinnell is the institutional repository of Grinnell College, and serves as a home for digital versions of student, staff, and faculty scholarship; art; books; and manuscripts held by the College. The updated version of Digital Grinnell includes many new features aimed at improving functionality and usability. A new main page format allows for easier navigation and a clearer understanding of the collections found within Digital Grinnell. The site now also features improved search capabilities and easier browsing to aid patrons in locating and accessing the information they need.

Omeka online exhibits will also be accessible through Digital Grinnell. There are currently two exhibits available, Classics and World Music Instruments, with more to come.

Contact us if you have questions about contributing content, the technology, or setting up a new journal or conference. Learn more about Digital Grinnell.

Summertime at the Libraries

Summer in Burling

Iowa Private College Week, the first week of August, kept the Grinnell College Libraries especially full of activity and the energy of prospective students and their families checking out what the College has to offer. Many groups have toured Burling and Kistle libraries this summer during visits to our beautiful campus - viewing the Libraries’ collections, technology, and study spaces. No matter the season - it’s always a pleasure to meet potential Grinnellians!

August is already halfway gone, and faculty and staff across campus are preparing for the annual late-August influx of Grinnellians from all over the world - Grinnell’s new and returning students begin arriving early next week! And what have the Libraries been up to since the academic year ended in May? Returning students and faculty will find a renovated Burling Lounge and Peer-Mentoring & Group Collaboration Space, a re-designed Web site, and new electronic resources. Check here for more information in the coming weeks!

Grinnell College Libraries Website Re-design

Please excuse our cyber-dust as the Grinnell College Libraries work to complete the re-design of our website. The new website was launched on August 14, and we expect that there may be a few glitches that we need to iron out. If you encounter any please let us know at query[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

Some features of the new website include a more intuitive navigation bar, a condensed search box, and easier access to the things you need. If you have any questions or feedback, we’d love to hear from you. Just send us a note at query[at]grinnell[dot]edu. Thank you!