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Library and museum studies

Museum drawing
Spring 2014

A wider canvas

A new museum of art on the Washington State University campus in Pullman could be a multi-story glass-walled building in which students, alumni, and community members can venture in to an open and intriguing series of galleries.

The new building, now in the conceptual phase, will have more than twice the space of the current 5,000-square-foot museum and include four distinct galleries. It will rise out of the hillside across from the Compton Union Building on the site of the former fire station and current police station.

“It gives an opportunity to complete Terrell Mall in a way that reinforces the public quality of it,” … » More …

Summer 2012

The Collectors

A tale of tenacity, obsession, and ancient texts

The papers were yellowed, fragile, and disorganized, but in December of 1941, on a search for rare books and documents in Mexico, Spanish professor J. Horace Nunemaker found his treasure.

A long-time collector who spent many hours searching for old Spanish texts and papers through booksellers and dealers in Spain and the United States, Nunemaker had just turned his efforts to Mexico City. There he made the find of his life, a collection that dated almost as far back as the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire and contained the business dealings of one central elite family … » More …

Spring 2012

Gallery: Life at Heart Mountain internment camp

George Hirahara and his family, including Frank ’48, had their lives in Yakima disrupted in 1942 when they were forced to relocate with about 10,000 other Japanese Americans to Heart Mountain, Wyoming.

Frank’s daughter Patti Hirahara has shared a number of items with Washington State University from her family’s internment experience. They include about 2,000 photographs and negatives, many of them showing daily life at Heart Mountain.

The gallery below shows a few scenes from the Heart Mountain internment camp: celebrations, school days, sports events, and daily routines.

The complete collection is housed at WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, where students, scholars, and descendants … » More …

Spring 2012

Sacred Encounters

“When I drive past this place it gives me a good-hearted, happy feeling,” says Quanah Matheson ’04, cultural resources director of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. At what is now Old Mission State Park, just off Interstate 90 at Cataldo, Idaho, Matheson is taking a breather from the rush of last-minute details prior to opening a major historical exhibit.

A graceful, whitewashed chapel, the Mission of the Sacred Heart, completed in 1853 and the oldest building in Idaho, tops a grassy knoll at the state park, but down below, the tribe has just completed a modern museum that is now the permanent home of an exhibit … » More …

Internment camp children photo by Frank Hirahara
Spring 2012

A Hidden History

In 1992, Frank Hirahara ’48 sent his daughter Patti to Yakima to help his elderly parents pack up their home for their move to Southern California.

What had at first seemed a chore turned into a treasure hunt as Patti unearthed letters, photographs, and official records that chronicled her family’s experience as Japanese Americans who had spent World War II in an internment camp. “These things were hidden all around the house,” she says. She discovered notes in the buffet, letters in the kitchen cupboard, and photo negatives tucked into books.

Frank’s grandfather Motokichi Hirahara came to Washington from Wakayama Prefecture in Japan in 1909. … » More …

Architect Jim Olson’s work featured at the WSU Museum of Art
Winter 2011

Homes for art

Few of us will ever see inside the homes of some of the Pacific Northwest’s major art collectors. But this fall we get a glimpse when the Museum of Art at Washington State University hosts an exhibit of internationally-known architect Jim Olson’s houses built for art.

Olson’s clients collect works by Alexander Calder, Edward Hopper, and Henri Matisse, and they seek out modern sculpture, pre-Columbian artifacts, and antique Southeast Asian artworks. Some of them are sharing images of their homes, as well as art from their own collections, with WSU.

With large photographs dominating the gallery space, it will be almost as if you … » More …

Gallery: Washington’s First Women in Government

The Washington Secretary of State’s office and the Washington State Heritage Center presented an exhibit on Washington state’s first women in state government.

View the posters from the “Moving Forward, Looking Back” exhibit in the state capitol building.

Read Civility in Politics and Campaigns

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Winter 2010

Nature twice: Poetry and natural history

I lean on a glass case that displays stuffed egrets, herons, and sparrows. Across the room, Larry Hufford—director of the Conner Museum of Natural History and professor in the School of Biological Sciences—taps data into his computer. Larry is tall with thick graying hair and sharp blue eyes. I’m a full foot shorter, and this, coupled with the fact that I’m a professor in the English Department, makes for an unusual collaboration.

I used to feel alien in Larry’s scientific domain, even though my office is just a five-minute walk across campus. But over the last six years, Larry and I have … » More …

Winter 2009

Old News

Just as several of Washington’s newspapers have vanished from the landscape, librarians and volunteers are bringing our state’s near-forgotten newspapers to light. Through a project in the Washington Secretary of State’s office, library employees and about 15 volunteers are digitizing the Washington State Library’s extensive newspaper collection to make it accessible to teachers, students, and the general public. In addition, WSU’s own Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections division recently assumed responsibility for an aging newspaper collection in the Holland library that contains Pacific Northwest papers dating back to 1851 as well as Colonial America papers dating to 1728.

Both … » More …