Theatre has played a role in Saint Joseph’s University history since its earliest days in the 1850s. Students presented recitations and/or dialogues during the commencements. One of these was “Loyola’s Vigil” given in 1853 by a commercial student, Andrew Jackson. The following year students presented the period drama “Regulus” about a Roman general taken prisoner in the wars with Carthage. Unfortunately, the College Catalogues, the source of this information, are only available in the Archives from 1852-1862 before resuming in the 1890s
A reference was made in the 1897-1898 catalogue to the founding of the Saint Joseph’s College Dramatic Association with a listing of its officers and moderator, the Rev. Joseph H. Hann, S.J. The association members performed Shakespeare’s King John at the Park Theatre in Philadelphia on June 1, 1898. Not much is known about the play other than its cast of characters, which includes the names of the student actors.
At the start of the 1900s, the Dramatic Association produced a series of Shakespearian plays including Macbeth (1912), Twelfth Night (1913) and King Henry IV (1914). Gilbert and Sullivan’s satirical operetta The Mikado made it to the stage in 1915. However, the group’s most successful work was The Passion Play, about the life of Christ, performed in the spring of both 1916 and 1917 at the Metropolitan Opera House in Philadelphia. The play attracted numerous dignitaries and was seen by a reported 30,000 people.
The Cap & Bells Club formed in 1927 became the successor organization to the Dramatic Association. Its first annual production was of The Bells at the Penn A.C. Ballroom on the night of February 11, 1928. After its initial success, the players went on to perform in annual productions and enter a series of one-act play contests.
All the World’s a Stage: Theatre at Saint Joseph’s College in the Early 1900’s, a new Archives and Special Collections display is on view in the Gerard Manley Hopkins Special Collections located on the of the 3rd floor of the Post Learning Commons. It will be available through the end of the spring semester. Materials used in the exhibit are reproductions of original play programs and period photographs from the College Annual, the Crimson and Grey, the Greatonian Yearbook .
Throughout the first floor of Drexel Library are ten displays highlighting female artists. This exhibition is a collaboration between Dr. Martha Easton’s Art 107 course, Kathleen Vaccaro’s Art 133 course, SJU art librarian Jenifer Baldwin, and SJU Gallery Director, Jeanne Bracy. In order to raise awareness of the work of women artists, and provide more inclusive representation of these artists in the library’s book collection, SJU students created the book displays, accompanying essays, and portraits.
ART 107: Women, Gender, and Art
Dr. Martha Easton and Jenifer Baldwin, SJU’s librarian for art, collaborated on developing the assignment in which students selected the books and researched and wrote essays providing context for the artists’ lives and work.
ART 133: Drawing 1
To celebrate and understand the work of a variety of women artists on a deeper level, students in Kathleen Vaccaro’s Drawing I course researched the lives and work of the artists and created a portrait inspired by that artist and her artwork.
Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, Adelaide Labille-Guiard
Beating the Odds: Art Career, the Academy, and Family
Book Selections and Essay
Emma McCormick, Sarah Waro, and Gabriella Youshock
While some of the book cover images have been included above, pictured below is a sampling of the student art in “Focus on Women & Art”.
A reception for the exhibit will be held in the library on Tuesday, February 4th during Free Period. The students, faculty and art librarian will be on hand to discuss this interesting collaboration and answer questions you may have about the process and outcomes.
“Focus on Women & Art” will be up throughout the spring semester.
Recently, staff of Drexel Library have organized materials relating to Bernard R. Hubbard, S.J., affectionately known as “The Glacier Priest.” The digital exhibit contains photographs, maps and articles as well as links to fascinating information on the Arctic at that time.
Also on display in Drexel Library are photographs and ephemera relating to Hubbard and his visits to Saint Joseph’s University during the 1930’s-1950’s. The exhibit, located on the second floor at the end of the main staircase, runs September – October, 2019.
The Reverend Bernard R. Hubbard, S.J. (1888-1962), former Head of the Department of Geology at the University of Santa Clara, California, was a celebrated explorer who studied geology, volcanology, ichthyology, oceanography and paleontology. In later expeditions he shifted his focus to the study and documentation the Arctic people and their way of life.
His nickname, “Der Gletscher Pfarrer” (“the Glacier Priest”), was earned while studying theology in Austria and spending time in the Austrian Alps. From 1927 to 1962 he led over thirty scientific expeditions into regions of Alaska and the Arctic.
Father Hubbard took thousands of photographs and recorded thousands of feet of motion picture film. Father Hubbard’s writings and lectures helped popularize Alaska and Arctic regions.
Take a few minutes and acquaint yourself with this fascinating man. Come to the Open House in the Archives and Special Collections on October 24th from 11 am to 1 pm and browse the display case while you are in the building!
Cell Phone Symphony, an exhibit of student art from Graphic Design I, is currently on display on the 2nd floor of the PLC. The visual interpretations are colorful, varied, and thought-provoking. Here are some samples as well as an overview of the assignment followed by the names of the student artists.
In this project students were asked to:
- Create 4 posters from 2 number keys for “Cell Phone Symphony,” a performance by artist Golan Levin, featuring music composed via interaction among the audience’s cell phones. Create a random list of phone numbers (a dozen or so), which will be used to generate visual imagery for the poster,
- Devise a system for turning the phone numbers into visual form. For example, the digits 0-9 could each be assigned a color, size, typeface, character, or degree of transparency. The goal of each poster is to suggest auditory experience as well as ideas of social and technological interaction.
If you have been to the Special Collections on the 3rd floor of the Post Learning Commons lately, you may have noticed some pottery on display. Glancing briefly at these items, it would seem they are quite old. In fact, these objects pre-date Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas in 1492. Hence, they are classified as “pre-Columbian.”
Earthenware created by indigenous cultures inhabiting the Andean mountain region of South America, many items depict familiar things. Often found at burial sites, the pottery includes animals, people, and religious deities.
This exhibit of pre-Columbian pottery will be up through the end of the spring semester. Stop by and spend a few minutes contemplating these works.
Looking for a good reason to break away from your computer screen and stretch your legs a bit? If so, consider walking over to the Post Learning Commons.
On the 2nd floor, outside the Wachterhauser Seminar Room, is a small but moving exhibit of student photography. Dedicated to the memory of beloved teacher and mentor, Susan Fenton, the (mostly) black and white photos vary in subject and style. In addition to the photos, each of the students’ thoughts and feelings about Susan Fenton have been mounted on little plaques.
(Bethany Zaccaria “Portrait Picture”)
Ashley Frankenfield ‘19
Bethany Zaccaria ‘19
Julia Donahue ‘19
Madison Auer ‘20
Alexis Yurgin ‘19
Aedan Accardi ‘19
Paige Santiago ‘19
(Ashley Frankenfield “Boatman in New Orleans” )
If you missed coming in the Library a couple days last week, you were in for a treat by Friday’s end! Library staff and Grounds Crew were busy sorting, attaching, and decorating the various Christmas trees throughout the building. Do the lights match? Are the ornaments in the right places?
Several iterations of manger scenes appeared on Friday as well. There is one hanging at the Main Service Desk. Another is sprawled out across the top of the Atlas Case. This one has a starry backdrop and some twinkly lights.
There is a very special Christmas creche in front of the live evergreens in the Post Learning Commons Atrium. From the University Collection, it was created in the 20th century, but fashioned after the 18th century Neapolitan style. The particular figures of Mary and Joseph, the materials used to create them, as well as the coloring of their garments, is unique to this style.
Next time you are walking through the Atrium, take a few minutes to contemplate this exhibit, not only for its spiritual significance, but also for the fine craftsmanship that was employed. You will also find there a pamphlet with more information, put together by Carmen Croce, SJU Scholarly Press.
– Marian Courtney
At 14,000 feet above sea level the light is different. It is brighter, clearer, warmer, more intense yet also more welcoming then the light those of us who live closer to sea level are used to experiencing. The less atmosphere between you and the sun the more direct your connection to the light source, and with thinner air there ends up being less between you and your subject. El Alto is a wonderful place for taking photographs.
But it is not just the lack of atmosphere that shapes these photographs, rather it is the energy supplied by the students, teachers, and parents. From the kids hanging out on a bench between classes, to the instructors interacting with their students, it was abundantly clear that the school was the center of the community.
Community was central to all of the Fe y Alegria schools we visited. Rather then treat education as a way to memorize information or take tests, in the schools we saw Fe y Alegria was carrying out education for the whole student. Whether that student was a five year old learning basic math or a returning adult student learning skills to pursue a better job, the schools were structured in a way to ask, “how can we do what is best for the whole student, how can we best serve the community?” Fe y Alegria schools often take as their mission to serve the poorest parts of society, seeing education as a means to improving life chances, but also recognizing that poverty itself is a serious barrier to education that requires extra steps to overcome. Education as pursuit of social justice.
These photographs capture various moments of education at Fe y Alegria schools. From the formally structured moments like music practice, and instructors working one on one with adult learners, to the informal moments between classes, what I saw, and hope to capture in these photographs was not just the importance of education to these communities but also a way of treating education that isn’t instrumentalist, focused on just getting you to the next step in life, but one that thinks carefully about what it means to help people develop and communities to thrive.
Note: These photographs were taken as part of a University sponsored partnership through the office of Faith and Mission to visit Fe y Alegria schools throughout Bolivia. In the spring of 2019 these schools will be sending a delegation here to Philadelphia and Saint Joseph’s University.
Associate Professor, Communications
Photos pictured are but a sampling of the full display, which can be viewed on the 2nd floor of the Post Learning Commons.
Take a few moments out of your busy day and come share in David’s experience.
In Spring 2017, Saint Joseph’s University offered “Directed Projects” for the first time. It was a “trial of sorts,” according to Professor Susan Fenton, and the plan was to have students complete three independent projects. However, after the art curator of the Cynwyd Trail Café asked Professor Fenton if she would be interested in showcasing her students’ work at the café in May of 2107, the Cynwyd Trail project was added to the list.
The Cynwyd trail is a paved path where people can bike, walk, rollerblade and hike. The trail runs from Bala Cynwyd to Manayunk and was once an active train track. At the end of the path sits the Cynwyd Trail Café, which was formerly the old station house. Fenton was excited about the opportunity to exhibit her students’ work in the café, but thought why not make the theme of the exhibit about the Cynwyd Trail? Professor Fenton had her students go out to the trail the first time without their cameras to explore and just take in the scenery. The second time, they returned with project ideas and their cameras.
The students were able to choose from two types of photographic techniques. Gelatin Silver Printing, introduced in the 1870s, is the standard of all printing processes in which paper is coated with gelatin that contains light sensitive silver salts. This typically involves a photograph captured on film that is then processed and printed onto a light-sensitive emulsion paper in a darkroom. This is the more “traditional” method of fine art photography. Archival Pigment Printing, introduced in the late 20th century, is a standard of printing that involves digital technology. Typically, the image is captured with a sensor (digital camera) and then printed with an inkjet process that involves inks jettisoned onto the surface of a non-light sensitive, porous paper. This is a more recent method of fine art photography.
According to Angelynn Rodriguez, her silver gelatin print, “Westminster,” reflected her particularly “creepy” style of photography. “Westminster” highlights what she thinks to be a gate keeper’s quarters or possibly a chapel called Westminster. Angelynn found this abandoned, brick stone Victorian at the end of nature path branching off the Cynwyd trail. She found the building particularly inspiring because one wouldn’t know the building was there at first sight because “you have to actually follow the same foot path that I took in the photo.” Angelynn used a burning and dodging technique when printing to bring out the details of the trail she walked along.
Another student, Xiao Chen, contributed to the project with his archival pigment piece, “294.” “I spent time walking along the Cynwyd trail, photographing everything which could represent the Cynwyd trail. I learned to be patient, you have to look around carefully to get what you want. It was a good experience and I really enjoyed this project.” “294” was the number of the train he photographed. He explained, “I just wanted people to have their attention on the train” to focus on how the trail used to exist. Although Xiao loved the process, he struggled with achieving the correct color composition when printing. After several adjustments in Photoshop he was able to obtain a final print that mirrored the colors on the screen.
Professor Fenton believes the project, and Directed Projects in general, was a success. Although the class was intended to carry out independent projects, the “Cynwyd Trail” brought the class together, while still maintaining independent aspects.
– Samantha K. O’Connell ‘20
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant
**These two photographs are just a sampling of what is being displayed. Please allow time from your busy schedule to “walk the trail” through the photographs.**
Filmmaker Ken Burn’s recent documentary series on PBS The Vietnam War: An Intimate History brought the viewer back in time over 50 years to examine one of the most controversial periods in the United States during the 20th Century. The Vietnam War played out on the world stage, but the program made clear local connections to people from communities across America and the hamlets of the former North and South Vietnam. Saint Joseph’s College had its own links to the conflict, too. In a new three-part exhibition, the Archives and Special explores some them through the camera lens of a young graduate, newspaper articles from the campus and the efforts of two alums and students to assist Vietnamese orphans.
Vietnam in Retrospect: Photographs 1969-1970 By Richard Zanoni ‘67
United States Army sergeant Richard Zanoni ’67 used his new hobby of photography to record daily life in Can Tho on the Mekong River Delta of South Vietnam during his tour of duty. Some of his 35 mm film images captured a different side of the war, than what many Americans saw back home on television, with children at play, a barber cutting hair, a woman selling her goods in the marketplace and Buddhist monks. However, others remind you that the war was ever present. One shows a smiling Vietnamese boy carrying his younger brother, who had lost his leg and another, a little girl eating rice from a discarded beer can. What happened to the people in his photographs is something that Sergeant Zanoni has often thought about since the war.
Fifty Years On: The Vietnam War on Campus
Saint Joseph’s was not unlike many other college campuses in the country during the Vietnam War. There was early support from the student body favoring continued participation in the war. Faculty members held “scholarly discussions” on the merits of the conflict. There were peace vigils and protests. Guest speakers also appeared before student audiences.
This part of the exhibition draws heavily on articles from The Hawk student newspaper that can be found in The Hawk Digital Archive 1930-2015 . It is a sampling of materials and not intended to be a comprehensive history of the events that took place on campus during the Vietnam War. Perhaps, the Archives will hear from some of the “Golden Hawks” about their personal experiences.
Humanity in a Time of War: “Project Vietnam” Lends a Helping Hand to the
Stella Maris Orphanage
Lieutenant James L. Tobin ‘64 and Captain Edward Essl ’55 of the United States Air Force met a group of Vietnamese nuns struggling to run the Stella Maris (Star of the Sea) Orphanage near Da Nang, South Vietnam in 1966. Lt. Tobin wrote to Lieutenant Colonel Daniel J. Boyle of the Saint Joseph’s College Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) program requesting assistance from the College to aid the children. By the spring of 1967 “Project Vietnam” had been organized by the students to help solicit funds in order to build a hospital wing for the orphanage. Through car washes, collection canisters and social mixers $1,540.00 was raised and presented to Sister Angela of the orphanage.
The exhibition will be on display until the end of the Spring Semester in the Gerard Manley Hopkins Special Collections area on the 3rd floor of the John and Maryanne Hennings Post Learning Commons. A reception will be held there on Thursday, March 22nd at 3 P.M. Richard Zanoni will be there to speak about his photographs. Several other Vietnam War veterans who are part of the SJU community will also offer remarks on the topic of the war.
Thank you to the Saint Joseph’s University Office of Veterans Services for their assistance with Vietnam in Retrospect.
– Christopher Dixon, Archival Research Librarian