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On This Day

1900 — General Thomas H. Hubbard, Class of 1857, donates funds to build a “first-class library building.”


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Daily Archives

April 2014
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Profile: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Writer Elizabeth Strout Coming to Bowdoin (ME Sunday Telegram)

Elizabeth StroutBates graduate and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout is heading back to Maine—the site of a real-life horrific act that made it into the pages of her most recent novel, “The Burgess Boys.” Strout, who will speak at Bowdoin on Thursday, April 17, is profiled in the March 30 edition of the Maine Sunday Telegram.

How Many Polish Guys Does It Take To…? (Slate)

iStock_000001288967SmallWe’ve all heard them, even if we claim we never tell them: so-called “stupidity jokes” that target a certain nationality or ethnic group. A British researcher has found this to be something of a global phenomenon, and just about everyone gets picked on. There’s one exception: “The Great American Lawyer Joke Cycle of the 1980s” didn’t make it outside the U.S.

Tony Molinari ’96: Stunt Double (Huff Post)

iStock_000001956089SmallActing can be tough, especially when the script calls for a dangerous action scene. Good thing the stars can call on stunt doubles willing to do the scary stuff—folks who look just enough like the real thing that they can fool an audience. That’s just what Bowdoin’s Tony Molinari (Class of 1996) does for actor Mark Ruffalo. Here’s a look at Tony and a bunch of other stunt doubles who make it all look so easy.

Creative Energy: Acclaimed Writers at Bowdoin

From left: Russ Rymer, Susan Faludi, Sarah Braunstein, and Jaed Coffin

From left: Russ Rymer, Susan Faludi, Sarah Braunstein, and Jaed Coffin (Photo: James Marshall)

Right now Bowdoin is a writing powerhouse. No fewer than four illustrious writers – Susan Faludi, Russ Rymer, Jaed Coffin, and Sarah Braunstein – are on campus this year as visiting faculty members, joining Professor of English Brock Clarke to teach courses in fiction and creative nonfiction.

Read excerpts from their books: Sarah Braunstein’s The Sweet Relief of Missing Children • Brock Clarke’s The Happiest People in the World • Jaed Coffin’s A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants • Susan Faludi’s The Terror Dream • Russ Rymer’s Paris Twilight

Between the five of them they have authored a wide array of published works – books on feminism, articles on science, novels, memoirs, short stories, and more. “Having these distinguished writers with us is an inspiration and invaluable resource for our students,” said Dean for Academic Affairs Cristle Collins Judd.

As part of a series of readings by the visiting writers, Rymer will read from his novel Paris Twilight on March 31 at 4:30 p.m. in Massachusetts Hall.

Click here for the full story, which originally appeared in the Winter 2014 issue of Bowdoin Magazine.

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.