Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935

Charlotte Perriand, La Maison du jeune homme, Brussels, Belgium, 1935, © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Data source: Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University and Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University

An interview with the graduate student curators of Avery/GSAPP Architectural Plans and Sections

The second phase of Avery/GSAPP’s collection of 20,000 architectural plans, sections, and related materials was recently released in the Artstor Digital Library. To celebrate the completion of our two-year collaborative project with Avery Library and GSAPP, Lisa Gavell, Artstor’s Senior Manager of Metadata & Content, spoke with five of the graduate student co-curators who contributed to the project: Sabrina Barker, Serena Li, Ernest Pang, involved from the beginning of the project, as well as Sharon Leung and Ayesha S. Ghosh. Working with Avery staff, they pored over a vast array of Avery’s holdings in order to compile a selection that reflects the most important modernist architectural works of the 20th and 21st centuries. The result is a resource of essential documentation of modern architecture, shared online for the first time.

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We invited Stanton Belford, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Martin Methodist College, to tell us about his three Marine Biology collections in Shared Shelf Commons: Red Sea, Trinidad, and Key Largo.

Bearded fireworm

Bearded fireworm (Hermodice carunculata). From the Martin Methodist College Marine Biology Collection: Trinidad

Before describing the marine biology digital collections, I would like to mention I first became interested in marine science thanks to my high school teacher, who allowed us to experience informal science education with the reefs as our classroom. Here I saw a kaleidoscope of colors bursting through the ocean’s blue: corals, fishes, invertebrates, all hidden underwater, just waiting for my eager eyes to discover them.

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Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web

Victor Hugo, Vianden Seen through a Spider Web, 1871. Image and original data provided by Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Art Resource, N.Y.; artres.com

Some stories we’ve been reading this month:

Visual arts

  • Artists’ model Jane Morris served as muse to the Pre-Raphaelites, married one and became the undying love of another–and was a fascinating person all around.
  • Zoos make money selling paintings made by animals. Are they art?
  • For unknown reasons, René Magritte cut up a painting into four pieces and reused the canvas for new works. Conservators recently discovered one of the pieces–but there’s still one missing.
  • Paul Klee’s response to crashing fighter planes during WWI was, uh, unique.
  • One of the leading experts on Degas has changed his long-held (and combative!) stance and now thinks that a long-disputed plaster of the artist’s “Little Dancer” is indeed an earlier model of the famous sculpture.
  • Not sure which of the stories behind this hyper-realistic sculpture is true, but it doesn’t matter because the piece itself is unbelievable.
  • Is Edward Hopper’s gloomy painting Nighthawks optimistic? Watch the video.



  • A decorated floor uncovered in the buried ruins of an ancient synagogue in Israel may depict a legendary meeting with Alexander the Great. Even if it’s not Alexander, the mysterious mosaic itself is great.
  • Archaeologists at Turkey’s neolithic site of Çatalhöyük have unearthed an intact complete female figurine.
  • Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Museum installed a monumental statue of Athena Parthenos from Pergamon on special loan from the collection of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Watch how they did it.



Artstor, the Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP), and the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library are now sharing an additional 10,000 images of architectural plans and sections and related materials in the Digital Library.

The collection, now totaling nearly 20,000 images, is based on GSAPP’s History of Modern Architecture curriculum and covers the history of modern buildings, focusing primarily on the 20th-century, with a few earlier and later projects spanning from 1871 to 2013. Containing over 2,000 projects from 60 countries, the bulk of the collection is comprised of built works, but also includes studies and unbuilt works. This second phase notably includes 100 projects by the master architect Le Corbusier, 100 projects in South America, and over 125 in Japan. The result of this collaboration is a rich body of visual material and related scholarship, available online for the first time.

The Avery/GSAPP Plans & Sections collection involved the efforts of Avery librarians and staff, GSAPP VRC curators, and more than 25 GSAPP students working together across many of the GSAPP programs — including M.Arch, Historic Preservation, Urban Design and Urban Planning – and contributing their diverse language, imaging and technology skills and their deep interest in the history of architecture.

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Photographer: Robert Howlett | Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern | ca. 1857-1858 | George Eastman House, eastmanhouse.org

Some stories we’ve been reading this week:

Start off the school year with more than 2 million images! Here are some links to help you get started:

American | Student Activities; students standing with bicycle | Colby College Special Collections

Students standing with bicycle. Colby College Special Collections

Register for a free Artstor account – you’ll be able to download images, log in away from campus, share image groups, and more!

* Learn how easy it is to download citations! Export to your favorite reference citation management program, or save them as a text file.

* Find out how to share images and image groups! You can use them as flashcards on your mobile phone!

* Take a look at our new LibGuides at artstor.libguides.com – they have everything librarians, instructors, and students need to know to get started or become experts!



In a hurry? Download our Quick Start Guide! Having troubles? Browse through our troubleshooting articles.


Photographer: Robert Howlett | Isambard Kingdom Brunel, builder of the Great Eastern | ca. 1857-1858 | George Eastman House, eastmanhouse.org

Some stories we’ve been reading this week:

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