Members of the ARLIS/NA Artist Files SIG usually work with files about individual artists, but at the New York Public Library’s Picture Collection, artist file material is handled a little differently. Among the array of topics represented in the kaleidoscope of images in the Picture Collection, filed after “Artillery — Naval,” are several artist-related subjects, including “Artists,” “Artists — Cartoons,” and “Artists — Materials.” These files contain a surprising variety of pictures taken from all kinds of sources that feature artists doing artist stuff: painting, drawing, sculpting, etc. There are images from books about artists, magazines featuring people  … READ FULL POST

Librarians and archivists often approach collections of donated ephemera with assumptions about their contents and organization. Once processing starts, however, the collection demands we rethink our initial assumptions. Upon its arrival at the NGA Library in 2015, the Evans-Tibbs Collection posed many challenges: chief among them was determining how best to describe the collection to facilitate access.

During his lifetime, Thurlow Evans Tibbs Jr., an accomplished art appraiser, broker, collector, and dealer, as well as the founder and director of his eponymous art gallery, compiled approximately forty-five linear feet of material documenting the history of African American art and artists  … READ FULL POST