VCU Libraries has a commitment to collecting with various Richmond communities firmly in mind. Many of these collections are in the arena of new social history--materials, interpretations and scholarship that illuminate the culture, stories and realities of sometimes hidden or ignored people.
"Migrating Archives: LGBT Delegates from Collections around the World" approaches queer history through the vantage points of some 10 individual stories. This innovative show from San Francisco's GLBT History Museum merges art and history, archives and real lives. It combines evocative materials, photos and artifacts that portray the experiences of queer individuals from the past.
One of those stories is about Richmond writer Hunter Stagg. Stagg's papers, housed at Cabell Library's Special Collections and Archives, include correspondence with poet Langston Hughes and the mother of modernism, Gertrude Stein. (Photo of Stagg, VCU Libraries)
Special Collections and Archives Head Wesley Chenault, Ph.D., organized the visit of the exhibition. "Since VCU has a top-tier arts school and because we have permanent holdings documenting Richmond's LGBTQ community, this exhibition is a perfect fit for us. We see students and faculty utilizing our collections almost daily for research and creative expression. This exhibit, then, places these activities within a broader context and history of artists interacting with archives and engaging communities."
Artist and academic, E.G. Crichton curated the exhibition, a travelling version of the original 20-panel show from the San Francisco museum. She is artist-in-residence at the GLBT History Museum. As a professor at the University of Southern California, Santa Cruz, she teaches intermedia and photography in the art department as well as project design studio in the digital arts and new media graduate program.
In her work, she makes use of a range of art strategies, mediums and technologies to explore social issues and specific histories. Archives of one kind or another serve as both starting point and infrastructure, and creative collaboration across disciplines is often a critical component.
Migrating Archives: LGBT Delegates from Collections around the World
- October 21, 2013-December 31, 2013
- First Floor
- James Branch Cabell Library
Artist and academic E.G. Crichton visited Cabell Library for the opening of her visionary exhibit and gave a talk. VCU's Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer David W. Hanson made introductory remarks.