New Finding Aid! Susan Gubar papers, 1975-2011

The distinguished feminist scholar and literary critic, Susan Gubar, retired last year as Distinguished Professor Emerita of English after teaching at IU for 37 years. The Susan Gubar papers have been processed and the collection is now available for research.

Susan Gubar with a copy of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The English Tradition, 1986.

The Gubar papers cover a wide range of topics which are often interwoven: feminist theory, gender politics, literary theory and criticism, fashion studies, science fiction studies, race studies, film studies, Holocaust studies, and the importance of Judas in the history of Western civilization. Nearly all of her published work is represented in the collection, including copies of her books, articles from obscure publications to the well-known, and foreign language versions of her work.

The collection provides insight into the development of the women’s movement through the late 1970s to the present. A substantial number of clippings represent the response to Gubar’s work from a wide range of sources. The reviews and letters show changing attitudes towards the women’s movement and illustrate the impact of Gubar’s work.

Among correspondence with colleagues and friends, the Important Papers and Valuable Letters folders include letters from celebrated writers, such as Carolyn Heilbrun, Ursula Leguin, Toni Morrison, and Adrienne Rich. There are several exchanges with Sandra M. Gilbert, Gubar’s long-time collaborator and friend. One poignant letter is from Erica Jong, who described being moved to tears by the publication of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English because it would have been unthinkable for such a book to exist when she was a student. Jong wrote that the anthology “represents the triumph of the movement in a special way. It means that our collective vision now enters the academy as a presence, a force, a named thing. (It is named; therefore it exists.)”

Poem by Ursula Leguin for Susan Gubar and Sandra M. Gilbert, 1985.
Another unique item is a poem written by Ursula Leguin for Susan Gubar and Sandra M. Gilbert in 1985, upon the publication of The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: The Tradition in English. It reads:


O Gilbert and Gubar
O Gubert and Gilbar
O Sandra and Susan
O Sansan and Sudra
I chant you this mudra
I love you forilbert
for putting togubar
the Norton Antholo
or Anthony Nortolog
of literatilbert
of gubarature
by women by women
from cover to cover
I read her I love her
the trenglish addition
by women by women
by you and by me and by her and by us and by God
it is wonderful
wonderful we are
and you are O you are
O Gilbert O Gubar!

Exuberance radiates from the Gubar papers, particularly from her work as an educator. From documents concerning the organization of conference panels and lecture series it is easy to sense the excitement generated by the exchange of ideas. A number of publications in the collection include observations and notes made by Gubar in the margins. The collection makes evident the boundless scope of Gubar’s interests and also how much she considered and valued what others produced, whether they were colleagues in the field or individuals outside the academic community.

If you want to learn more about the Susan Gubar papers, please refer to the finding aid and contact the IU Archives!

Finding Aid Update! Rudy Pozzatti papers

Rudy Pozzatti. Reproduced in Arts Indiana, 1989.
Updates have been made to the papers of Rudy Pozzatti, IU Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Fine Arts. Pozzatti recently moved and the Archives has received additional correspondence, exhibition catalogs, and other publications. The two largest sections of the existing collection are dedicated to correspondence and exhibition catalogs and these files now include materials dated through 2010.

An exciting addition to the collection are the plates and woodblocks used by Pozzatti to create his work. Over 150 zinc, aluminum, and copper plates and some 50 woodblocks were deposited in the Archives, along with a number of matboards. These items represent Pozzatti’s work from the late 1950s to 2009. In addition to materials used to make artwork, there are also personal items, such as a zinc plate that Pozzatti used to create a back-splash in the kitchen of his house for his wife, Doti. There are also plates and woodblocks used to make holiday cards and the birth announcements for Pozzatti’s daughters, sent to friends and family.

Zinc plate for Pozzatti family Christmas card, 1965. Collection of University Archives.

The plates and woodblocks document Pozzatti’s creative process over the decades. His artistic career continues today and the materials map his experimentation with styles and methods.

Left: Woodblock for Darwin's Bestiary. Right: Echo Press announcement for the publication of Darwin's Bestiary, 1986. Both in the collection of University Archives.
In 1986 Pozzatti created illustrations to accompany poems written by Philip Appleman in the fine art book, Darwin’s Bestiary. The book was published in a limited edition by Echo Press, an independent print workshop founded by Pozzatti in Bloomington in 1979. The Archives has an edition of the book with the original lithographs in the Pozzatti papers.

The collection as a whole is a glimpse into Pozzatti’s artistic production. The inspiration to create work and challenges encountered during production are discussed in correspondence about projects and letters sent by Pozzatti to friends and colleagues. The results of his work are represented and analyzed in exhibition-related material and published articles. Now the physical materials used to create Pozzatti’s work are also available for study.

Left: Matboard stencil for Temple at Paestum I. Collection of University Archives. Right: Temple at Paestum I, 1991-1993 (Not held in the IU Archives collection.)

The print materials represent commissioned work, award-winning work, and some woodblocks and plates that were never editioned.

There are a number of plates from prints inspired by or made during Pozzatti’s travels and as a visiting scholar, such as the zinc plate for Belgrade I. This print was completed in Yugoslavia as part of a U.S. State Department cultural exchange in 1966. The prints Pozzatti produced during the 1966 trip were shown during the International Trade Fair and were seen by nearly half a million visitors to the fair. In addition to this print, there are many other pieces that have fascinating origins.

Belgrade I (Not held in the IU Archives collection), 1966.

If you are interested in learning more about the Rudy Pozzatti papers, please review the online finding aid and contact the Archives!

New finding aid: School of Fine Arts professor and fiber artist, Joan Sterrenburg

The finding aid for retired IU School of Fine Arts faculty member, Joan Sterrenburg, is now available! The collection offers a unique view into the teaching theories and professional development of fine arts faculty. Sterrenburg taught at IU from 1970 until 2004 and was part of an innovative group of professors who helped develop studio art into the dynamic program it is today.

In the late 1970s and early 80s IU offered one of the largest and most comprehensive textile programs, teaching traditional and non-traditional techniques, handwork, and off-loom processes. The Sterrenburg papers reflect the evolution of the program. In addition to her work as faculty in textiles, Sterrenburg founded and directed the Indiana University Handmade Paper Facility from 1979-1989. The collection contains an extensive amount of research about the history and practice of papermaking and development of dye recipes.

In a 1983 exhibition catalogue, Sterrenburg explained her artistic practice, which combined “image involvement with color interaction, modular construction, and an interplay of visual systems composed of constants and variables. I work to create energy and tension. I am totally seduced by the surface and ‘edge’ quality I can generate with hand-made paper. I have always worked to achieve a magical interaction of surface/material and structure/process.”

This philosophy of aesthetics is apparent in the large amount of 35mm slides included in the collection.¬†There are also exhibition catalogs containing images of Sterrenburg’s works such as this piece from a 1983 show at the Hillwood Art Gallery, Long Island University, New York:”

Joan Sterrenburg, Colorado Strata, 1982. Dyed handmade rag paper, 70 x 72 x 2 in.
Joan Sterrenburg, Colorado Strata, 1982. Dyed handmade rag paper, 70 x 72 x 2 in.

There are also numerous teaching slides that illustrate the perception of color, perspective, and pattern, meant to inspire students to integrate the concepts into their work. Sterrenburg maintained contact with many of her students; the collection contains letters from appreciative students describing their post-graduation accomplishments and slides of their artworks and exhibitions.

This collection demonstrates the effort that goes into developing the curriculum of a studio art program and the challenge of balancing the inspiration of students along with the maintenance of one’s own artistic development. Sterrenburg’s papers are evidence of the excellence and creative spirit of the School of Fine Arts faculty.