Road trip Saturday

Road trip Saturday with two fabulous ladies – Sloane and Louisa (my favorite niece) to southern Minnesota to visit the Minnesota Marine Art Museum. A nice museum with a good collection of Impressionists and Postimpressionists, including van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Gauguin, Cassatt, as well as a Picasso, O’Keeffe, Cole, and Wyeth. I was most interesting in seeing Washington Crossing the Delaware by Leutze. They also had a exhibit with cuttlefishes by Ryuta Nakajima.

For kids they had a museum bingo card game and as you might expect I also asked for a bingo card and got coverall. Louisa turned in her card and got a prize. Its weird to find so many famous artists in such a small town and I think thats why their security monitors are not trained very well. A rather young security monitor seemed to shadow us through one of the galleries and yelled at Louise and me for being too close to the paintings. Really? We were not that close. I also heard her yell at two other ladies and they were also not that close, but interesting a male senior citizen with a walker was just an inch or so away from a painting and no one said anything to him. Also as we were walking into another gallery that had a larger fire door they still had its keys hanging on the door. Apparently they want someone to steal the keys to the room. They also have a rather archaic and old fashion notion of photography in the museum. Allowing photos makes visitors happy. They show their friends, post on social media, etc. I guess they don’t want free PR. Also if the Smithsonian, Louvre, Art Institute of Chicago, and the Minneapolis Institute of Art can allow its visitors to take photos (and they have bigger and better collections), then I think one museum in Winona can.

We were hoping for peak color on the leaves along the river, but they were definitely past peak. We did get a chance to stop at an apple farm on the way home and purchased way too many yummy apple items. A fun, but very long day of driving.

Boreas Negotiating Basics

Today was a new Boreas workshop: ‘Negotiating Basics’ facilitated by Margaret Anderson Kelliher, President and CEO of the Minnesota High Tech Association and former speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives. It was a fantastic workshop and as one who tried two times to negotiate a higher salary (for my current library position and former library position – only to be told a very firm NO on salary negotiations both times), it was a real eye opener. The big take home lesson of the day: do your homework on salaries and benefits. You can negotiate a lot of different things, such as cars/auto allowance, vacation time, bonuses, continuing education, flex time, working from home, telecommuting, immigration, trailing spouse assistance, health care/insurance, dependent support, 401k matches/retirement, paid parental leave, supervising people, travel requirements/rules, clubs/memberships/entertainment, concierge services, review schedule and date, student debt, bringing in seniority/previous experience, gym membership/wellness benefits, child care, moving expenses, sabbatical, delaying start date, cell phone benefits, office space, transit benefits/parking, hours/start time, lunch breaks/food delivery, pets at work, title of job, severance agreement, org chart placement, tax rate support/property taxes, adoption assistance, etc. WOW! Who knew!

Negotiation is 80% research and 20% negotiation! Information is the key. Do your research on how much the job pays and its benefits. Research is based on economics and psychology. Always take at least 24 hours to think about any job offer and always speak to someone in benefits. Get offers in writing!!! Most people will leave money on the table due to their bad negotiating, especially women. Avoid the traps of leaving money on the table, settling for too little, and settling for terms that are worst than their current situation. Be very careful about listing salary ranges on job applications. BATNA (Best ALTERNATIVE TO a negotiated agreement) – your key source of power is your ability to walk away. Do not show your power, your BATNA. Negotiating is about resources (money, people, and jobs), building relationships, enhancing your reputation, getting people to trust you, and peace of mind and for organizations its about building the brand, positive press, enhancing the reputation of the organization, profitability, and value building.

Sources for more negotiating: Harvard University Program on Negotiation (PON); ‘Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In’ by Roger Fisher, William Ury and Bruce Patton; ‘Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most’ by Douglas Stone, Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen; ‘Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate’ by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro; and ‘Ask For It: How Women Can Use Negotiation to Get What They Really Want’ by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.





There was also an art exhibit “SUSTAINABLE ACTS: MOTHER EARTH’S EMBRACE” opening today at INSTITUTE ON THE ENVIRONMENT (IonE).

Heart art in the library!

The library of my employment has decided to add art exhibits. Which in theory is a good idea. In theory.

Perhaps its the fact that I have a BA and MA in Art History, as well as a BA and MS in Anthropology, and that ever helpful MLIS, and have taken many classes in conservation, archives, and museum studies over the years that I know what can happen to art left in the wild unattended. The first thing that came to mind as I saw the them arranging the art today was that facilities and their riding vacuums are going to knock things over. Tables, water fountains, power-cords, garbages, desks, chairs, walls, people, bags, and a variety of other items have not survived the vacuum wars. My second thought was that people are going to touch the art, as they are not enclosed in glass. About ten minutes later I saw the first person (an employee) touch the art and a few hours later I saw the first student touch the art. So no glass protecting the art, no procedures/guidelines for staff about the art, and the people in charge don’t live with the art, as they live in offices away from the art and the public. It will be interesting and potentially horrifying to see how this plays out.

500 Years of Andreas Vesalius

The Wangensteen Historical Library has a wonderful exhibit on Andreas Vesalius and includes his groundbreaking human anatomy book “De Humani Corporis Fabrica” from 1555 (the second printing, as the first printing was in 1543) and a new 2014 translation. Its a fun exhibit as they mix old text, modern translations, and modern technology to tell their story. “De Humani Corporis Fabrica” aka The Vesalius (as we call it in the library) is a fascinating book and the drawings are just amazing and not only amazing for 1555, but amazing for 2014 as well. Its a huge book and one that I was able to touch a few years ago (yes, I got to touch a almost 500 year old book! Libraries rock!).

Here is the blurb from the Wangensteen’s website:

Visualizing the Body: Celebrating 500 Years of Andreas Vesalius, Renaissance Art and Medical Revolution

When: August 4, 2014 – May 8, 2015
Where: Wangensteen Historical Library, 5th floor of Diehl Hall

Free and open to the public.

About the exhibit

Andreas Vesalius’ pivotal work on human anatomy, “De Humani Corporis Fabrica,” sits at the intersection of art and science. Vesalius, acknowledged as the father of modern anatomy, based his work on observations from his dissections, and this, along with detailed Renaissance images, revolutionized the study of anatomy.

This exhibit commemorates the 500th anniversary of Vesalius (1514-1564), and draws upon the Wangensteen Historical Library’s strong holdings in the history of anatomy. It explores Vesalius’ achievements, other benchmarks of anatomical illustration, and themes such as acquiring bodies, anatomy theaters, and 3-dimensional anatomical models” (

Dr Renata Holod Lecture

Tonight I braved the cold (19 degrees) was able to attend a lecture by Dr. Renata Holod on “On Regimes of Lighting: Vision & Memory in the Great Mosque of Cordoba.” She was at the UMN for The 3rd Annual Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History. It was a really interesting lecture on the Great Mosque and the use or lack there of light inside. I also ran into a few people that I have not seen in years, so it was really nice to see them. Here is the blurb on the event:

“Please join us on Thursday, November 13, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., 120 Andersen Library, for the 2014 Annual Carl Sheppard Memorial Lecture in Medieval Art History, this year presented by Renata Holod: “On Regimes of Lighting: vision & Memory in the Great Mosque of Cordoba”. Professor Holod is a professor of Art History at the University of Pennsylvania and the Near East Curator for PENN Museum.

Professor Holod will present her newest iteration in a series of studies on the interior of the Mosque of Cordoba. Utilizing digital tools for the recreation of lighting, she will suggest a fuller experience of the interior. She argues that further variation so lighting could be used to understand more fully the aesthetic impact intended by the designers of al-Hakam’s complex extension and addition of the mid-10th century CE. Only by recreating regimes of lighting in interiors can one begin to gauge aspects of historical and cultural experience in such spaces of memory.

This event is presented by the Center for Medieval Studies and co-sponsored by the James Ford Bell Library. It is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.”


Terracotta Warriors

Mom and I finally got a chance to see the China’s Terracotta Warriors: The First Emperor’s Legacy exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts today. It is a fantastic exhibit and the terracotta statues are incredible. You can still see original paint on some of the statues and the details are amazing. I kept expecting the statues to come alive (yep, I watch way too many movies).

Dead Sea Scrolls

Disappointing! That’s how I would describe seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Tonight, I met up with Susan, an old friend and fellow survivor of library school, to go and see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Omnitheater movie Arabia. Its always wonderful to see Susan (she was having a devastating week and I think getting away from the house, kids, pets, and significant other was good for her).

When I arrived at the Science Museum of Minnesota, I noticed right away there was something weird. In the parking ramp elevator there is a sign which says ‘bags would be searched.’ This is odd, as the museum has never searched bags before. So when I entered at the main doors, I was asked to open my purse. I asked the employee what was going on and did it concern the Dead Sea Scrolls and she said yes. My reply and yes I really did say this was, “Well that’s weird. You did not have bag searches at the Star Wars exhibit and most people would rather take home a Wookie than the Dead Sea Scrolls!” Then I laughed. Strangely, the employee did not laugh. Obviously not a Star Wars fan.

First up, was Arabia in the Omnitheater. It was a nice film. I did not learn anything new about Arabia and I was a bit disappointed on how they tended to gloss over some of the more controversial issues concerning Saudi Arabia. So lets just call it a politically correct family friendly film about Arabia.

Next up was the Dead Sea Scrolls. Susan and I picked up the hand held audio tour guides (which were FREEEE!) and we were told by the staff to turn off any cell phones and put away cameras. I guess the employee noticed me taking a photo of Susan. The exhibit is full of information, photos, dishes, jars, coins, fabrics, food remains, and a few ossuary’s, but they were all pretty dull. There was nothing exciting or exceptional about any of it, except for the fact that it was 2,000 years old (and in case you were wondering, there are actually a lot of artifacts still around from 2,000 years ago). The Dead Sea Scrolls on tour consisted of 5 little scrolls in a dark room and each scroll was housed in little boxes which were so dark you could not see the print.

My impression of the Dead Sea Scrolls? No Big deal. I was so excited about seeing them and in the end they were very disappointing. First, they displayed only five scrolls (out of the thousands they found) and you cannot even see the print. Then walking through the whole exhibit I kept wondering what was real and what was a forgery. I have read too many books on ancient artifacts over the past few years to know that a lot of stuff out there is just not real. But I am sure that all the artifacts in this exhibit were real.

At the very end of the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit there is a lovely exhibit of the Saint John’s Bible. It’s a beautiful bible and the best thing about the bible is that I actually got to touch a page last summer (I was at manuscript camp at St. John’s and we were all allowed to touch the very edge which had not yet been trimmed off).

So overall the evening was very fun because I got to go to the Science Museum of Minnesota, which is an awesome museum and has dinosaurs all over the place, and I got to have a nice visit with a good friend. Plus on the way home I stopped at the gourmet candy store called Candyland in St. Paul and bought some of their Chicago Mix popcorn and chocolate covered potato chips. Yummy!

Busy Monday

Today I attended a talk/discussion called “Recapturing & Reconfiguring Contemporary Islam in SE Asia: Contemporary Islam Indonesia: Cultural Reconfiguration in Performing Arts.”

I do not know that much about Islam in Indonesia, so it was an interesting discussion. Unfortunately it was only 1 1/2 hours long, so some of the speakers were not able to finish their talks and other people did not get a chance to talk at all. I think a better idea would have been to have an all day event. But still, the speakers were very interesting and I was able to say hello to Dr. Cathy Asher. Cathy was my adviser for one of my undergrad degrees, the one in art history and is a super nice lady. She teaches some great classes (I have taken both undergrad and grad classes with her) on Islamic art and has a few fantastic books out on Islamic art in India.

The speakers include:
Diyah Larasati, Assistant Professor, Dance Program, University of Minnesota
Gadis Arivia, Founder of (Asia Women’s Journal of Indonesia)
Catherine Asher, Professor of Art History, University of Minnesota
Sumarsam, Professor of Music, Wesleyan University
Soeprapto Soedjono, Professor of Fine Art, Indonesian Institute of the Arts, Yogyakarta
Giancarlo Casale, Moderator, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Minnesota

I was also able to purchase U of MN student art from a vending machine. I could not resist the skull coaster for $1.00! But sadly it got stuck and would not fall (yes, I even tried to shake the vending machine). So I ended up leaving my business card and it was given to a instructor in the art department who rescued it and kindly sent me an email. I will pick it up tomorrow.

The celebrating continues…

I arrived at work today to find a birthday gift sitting at my desk. The gift is totally me: a Frida Kahlo luggage tag and a marble sign which say “Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History”! Thank you Cece! But I am not sure when she was in the Library. I asked all the usual suspects at the various Library desks and no one remembers seeing her. That lady is very stealthy, so be aware!