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April 16, 2014, 12:39 pm
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On This Day

2013 — In the Boston Marathon, Joan Benoit Samuelson ’79 breaks the marathon world record for her age group (women 50-55) by more than two minutes, and beats her goal of coming within 30 minutes of her winning time 30 years ago. The race was marred by a terrorist bombing at hour 4:09. Two blasts on Boylston Street within 12 seconds claimed the lives of three people and injured more than 180, many grievously.


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Daily Archives

April 2014
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New Berkeley Show Fusing Art, Science Warns of Songbird Collapse


A Bowdoin ornithologist, two artists and a composer have collaborated on an evocative new art installation that warns viewers of collapsing songbird populations while mesmerizing them with its moving images and music.

The installation, called Quiet Skies, will be at the Kala Gallery in Berkeley, Calif., through Sunday, March 30. The artists behind the multimedia presentation are printmaker Barbara Putnam, a former Bowdoin Coastal Studies Scholar, and two Boston University faculty: Associate Professor of Art Deborah Cornell and Professor of Music Richard Cornell. They worked with Nat Wheelwright, who is Bowdoin’s Anne T. and Robert M. Bass professor of natural sciences. Wheelwright studies the behavioral ecology of birds.

While they work in different disciplines, the artists and scientist share something in common. They are all deeply concerned about the environment, and their work touches on the deleterious effect of humans on habitats and ecosystems.

Read the full story.

Why We Overuse Exclamations (Discovery)

Exclamation Point

Exclamation points have worked their way into much of the text we write and see every day, appearing in everything from restaurant receipts (Please let us know how we did!!!) to bathroom signs (Toilet paper only in toilet!!!).

Language purists worry we’re diluting the meaning of our words, and that we should only use exclamation points to express a high degree of emotion. But other linguists argue that language is always changing, “and exclamation marks are just one example of how we alter the way we speak and write to foster social connections and adapt to changing modes of communication,” such as smart phones.  ”By responding to people the same way they communicate with us, we bond.”

Read more about the changing trend of exclamation points.

Museum of Art Curator Joachim Homann: There is a Pot for Every Lid

Lid of the “Mintianquan” Rectangular Lei 商代晚期 “皿天全”铜方彝盖 1922年桃源漆家河出土 Late Shang period, 12th–11th century BCE Unearthed in 1922 at Qijiahe, Taoyuan Hunan Provincial Museum

Lid of the “Mintianquan” Rectangular Lei
商代晚期 “皿天全”铜方彝盖
Late Shang period, 12th–11th century BCE
Unearthed in 1922 at Qijiahe, Taoyuan
Hunan Provincial Museum

Well-known to the Bowdoin community, a famous Hunan bronze lid, exhibited at the Museum in 2011, will be reunited with the vessel it once topped. When the Bowdoin College Museum of Art presented the exhibition Along the Yangzi River: Regional Culture of the Bronze Age from Hunan in the fall of 2011, visitors were fascinated by the dramatic shape and intricate decoration of a sculptural lid.

The ornate piece had originally topped a wine vessel, used for ceremonial sacrifices some 3,000 years ago. Many visitors wondered where this matching vessel was located (answer: in a private collection) and whether both parts would ever find together. After the exhibition, organized by New York’s China Institute and also seen at the Museum of Art, the only other venue for the show, the work returned to display at the Hunan Provincial Museum in Southern China.

This week The Art Newspaper reported that the ancient bronze vessel with which the piece was previously associated, but from which it has been separated since the 1920s, has now been acquired by a private consortium of philanthropists from China who plan to donate the piece to the Hunan Provincial Museum.

The effort reflects ongoing interest in the important bronzes that traveled to Bowdoin in 2011 and suggests an exciting new chapter in the history of the provocative Lid of the “Mintianquan” Rectangular Lei. Read the description from the Christie’s catalog.

-Joachim Homann, Bowdoin College Museum of Art

John Lockwood ’01 Joins Winemakers to Watch List (San Francisco Chronicle)

Hermitage wine glass isolated on white background

A Washington, D.C., native, John Lockwood moved west after graduating from Bowdoin 2001.

Four years later, winemaker David Mahaffey happened into the Oakland, California, wood shop where he was working and began a conversation that ended with Lockwood’s moving north and working in wine country.

The San Francisco Chronicle proclaims Lookwood a “Winemaker to Watch.”

Frank Goodyear’s ‘American Cool’ Irresistibly Up for Debate (New York Times)

 STEVE MCQUEEN by William Claxton,1962. Gelatin silver print, Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, Calif.; © William Claxton Estate, courtesy Fahey/Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, Calif. AUDREY HEPBURN by Philippe Halsman,1955. Gelatin silver print, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. © Philippe Halsman Archive MADONNA by Kate Simon, 1983 (printed 2013). Gelatin silver print, Collection of the artist. © Kate Simon

JAMES DEAN by Roy Schatt, 1954. Gelatin silver print, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Schatt. © Roy SchattGallery, Los Angeles, Calif.


American Cool, the National Portrait Gallery exhibition featuring 100 photographs of icons who have contributed an original artistic vision to American culture, and co-curated by Frank Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, “is the kind of exhibition many people will find irresistible,” writes Patricia Cohen in The New York Times.

Cohen points out that Goodyear’s and his co-curator’s selections for this exclusive collection — and those omitted — provide fodder for lively debate.

Bowdoin’s Potholm on a ‘Little French Going a Long Way’ (The World/PRI)

Christian Potholm

Christian Potholm

Christian Potholm, Bowdoin’s DeAlva Stanwood Alexander Professor of Government, is quoted in a segment for PRI’s The World looking at the number of Franco-Americans in Maine and the enduring nature of their language.

“28% of Franco-Americans are fluent in French,” says Potholm, who recently completed a study in the state. “Now, when you think about that, that wouldn’t be surprising if you were interviewing recent immigrants. But if you think of the Franco-Americans as being here for 250 years, that’s an astonishingly high number.” Listen to the segment or read the article.

Unintelligible Rock Lyrics Leave Us Hearing What We Want to Hear (Chronicle of Higher Education)


Ask someone who’s been married a long time: we hear what we want to hear. Truer words may never have been spoken — and they’ve been sung, too. Who thought Jimi Hendrix was singing “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy”? Or believed CCR was simply being helpful with “There’s a bathroom on the right”?

Kevin J.H. Dettmar, chair of Pomona College’s English department, delves into what we think we hear and why in an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education, adapted from his new book, Gang of Four’s “Entertainment!”.

Bowdoin Artists Enjoy ‘Second Nature’ Opening in New York (Portland Press Herald)

Left: John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12" spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

Left: John Bisbee, Cyclonaut #1 (2014), Heated, hammered, and bent 12″ spikes, 11 feet 9 inches in diameter. Right: Cassie Jones, From the Brink (2014), Sand on panel, 24 x 24 inches

“Second Nature: Abstract Art from Maine,” the New York City gallery exhibition curated by Mark Wethli, Bowdoin’s A. LeRoy Greason Professor of Art, enjoyed a successful opening March 6 with a big turnout of Bowdoin alumni. Anne Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, was on hand, as were a number of other museum directors, curators and artists from Maine. The inaugural exhibition at The Curator Gallery, founded by former Time Inc. chairman and CEO Ann Moore, includes work by John Bisbee, Meghan Brady, Clint Fulkerson, Cassie Jones ’01, Joe Kievitt and Andrea Sulzer. In addition to Wethli’s, Bisbee’s and Jones’s Bowdoin connections, Brady has taught at the College and Andrea Sulzer is a former lab instructor in biology here. Read coverage in the Portland Press Herald and in Bowdoin News.

10 Things You Might Not Know About St. Patrick’s Day

While you wear green today in proud support of your Irish heritage, or merely to be festive, you might peruse a list that suggests that much of what we’ve come to believe about St. Patrick’s Day is wrong. Also check out the Trulia map showing where Irish-Americans live across the country.

Image: Trulia/Imgur

Image: Trulia/Imgur

New York Times, Boston Globe Put Museum of Art In Focus


Quarter-size dry plate camera manufactured around 1880, owned by artist Winslow Homer.


The Bowdoin College Museum of Art finds itself making news in two of the nation’s leading newspapers.

The New York Times shares news of a camera, owned by artist Winslow Homer and donated to the Museum by Scarborough, Maine, resident Neal Paulsen. The camera joins an extensive collection of archival material at the Museum related to the life and art of Homer, including nearly 100 vintage photographs. Read more about the camera owned by Winslow Homer.

Boston Globe reviewer Mark Feeney visited the Museum recently and writes of two exhibitions Under the Surface: Surrealist Photography and The Object Show: Discoveries in Bowdoin Collections.