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Art of Spring Break: Cabinets of Curiosities: Highlights from Special Collections

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CABINETS

“Cabinets of Curiosity: Highlights from Special Collections,” a new exhibit on Falvey’s first floor, consists of six cabinets highlighting a variety of materials recently acquired by Falvey’s Special Collections. Photograph albums, a scrapbook, children’s books, adult novels, a tour book for California, a stereoscope and cards (double photographs that appear in three dimensions when viewed in a stereoscope), and a World War II Japanese portable volt-and-current meter are just some of the items in this exhibit.

METER.

Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, curated the exhibit. Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, helped Bang install the exhibit. Joanne Quinn, Communication and Service Promotion team leader and graphic designer, created the graphics for “Cabinets of Curiosities.”

Bang introduces the exhibit saying, “This ‘highlights’ exhibit features a selection of recently acquired materials. Over the past two years, we have focused out collection efforts primarily in the areas of popular culture and materials and upcoming historic anniversaries, particularly the current centennial of the First World War.”

CHILDRENS-BOOKS

“I love these ‘hodge-podge’ exhibits,” she adds, “because they give us a chance to show some of the great stuff that doesn’t fit in our regular-themed exhibits, like the stereoscope viewer.”

Two recent donations—Irish-themed books given by Patrick Moss, and a World War II collection from the family of James D. Reap, Jr.—are featured in the “Cabinets of Curiosities.”

The “Cabinets of Curiosities” will remain on display until mid to late March, followed by an Easter exhibit.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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For “Who” the Bell Tolls?

Today, March 4, is National Grammar Day.

linguo Don’t worry. I’m not one of *those* people: you know, the self-appointed grammar police. I would no sooner correct someone’s spoken grammar than I would loudly “Shush!” someone in a library.

But I do wonder whether “whom” will be used five years from now.

And for how much longer should we write, “For each prospective student: give him or her his or her application before he or she leaves”? Is it acceptable just to say “… give them their application before they leave”? I don’t expect “… give them they’re application …” to become acceptable, though.

Until each of us can borrow Linguo, the grammar robot from The Simpsons, we can search Falvey’s catalog for resources. Also, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English by Patricia T. O’Conner (available through E-ZBorrow) provides reader-friendly answers to challenging or confusing grammar questions.


Gerald info deskArticle by Gerald Dierkes, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.


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Art of Spring Break: Ruspoli and Droutzkoy Art Collections Will Be Reunited and Displayed

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KRISTEN W PAINTING

Villanova owns a number of paintings donated by Princess Eugenia Ruspoli; her adopted daughter, Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy; and her daughter’s husband, Prince Alexis Droutzkoy. Who are these donors and what did they collect? The massive painting, “Triumph of David,” by Pietro da Cortona, which is currently undergoing conservation in Falvey Hall’s Reading Room, is only one of a number of paintings donated by the two families although it is certainly the largest.

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli, donor of “The Triumph of David,” was born Jennie Enfield Berry in Alabama in either 1861 or 1869 (date varies according to the source consulted), the oldest daughter of a Confederate army colonel and plantation owner, Thomas Berry, and his wife, Frances Margaret Rhea. Before her first marriage, young Jennie Berry had traveled and studied in Europe. On May 7, 1889, Berry married a wealthy, older man, Henry Bruton, head of the American Snuff Company. Bruton died in 1892, making Jennie Berry Bruton a wealthy, childless widow who soon resumed her European travels.

eugenia_ruspoli-108x150In March 1901 Jennie Berry Bruton married the 23-year-old Prince Enrico Ruspoli whom she had met in her travels. Prince Ruspoli, with a title but little fortune, had followed Jennie to Georgia where he proposed. They were married in Washington, D.C., by the Papal Nuncio and the couple took up residence in a palazzo in Rome. After her marriage, Jennie Ruspoli changed her first name to Eugenia, derived from the Greek “eugenes,” meaning “well-born.”

Castello Ruspoli, Vignanello, Italy

Castello Ruspoli

With funds provided by Eugenia, she and Enrico Ruspoli purchased the Castle Nemi, parts of which date to the 10th century. The castle, still standing, is 20 miles south of Rome and near the papal summer palace, Castel Gandolfo. She provided the cash; he provided a title to support their aristocratic Italian lifestyle. Prince Enrico Ruspoli died in 1909 only eight years after their marriage. Despite a verbal agreement with his wife, Prince Enrico Ruspoli wrote a will in which he left the castle and most of his property to his own Ruspoli family.

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli challenged the will and, after years of litigation, she received the title to the castle and whatever personal property it contained. Presumably, this personal property included the grand “Triumph of David” donated by Princess Ruspoli to Villanova University in 1950. Were the other paintings she eventually donated to Villanova part of the contents of Nemi Castle when she and her husband purchased it, or did they, with her funds, collect additional works of art? And did she continue to collect after the prince died?

After becoming a widow for the second time, Princess Eugenia Ruspoli frequently traveled between Italy and the United States and eventually made her home in New York City. After the outbreak of World War II she shipped some of her art and furniture from the castle to the United States, a wise choice because the castle was later damaged by a bomb, leaving “The Triumph of David” exposed to the weather. After the war, Nemi Castle was inhabited by families of Italian squatters who had little respect for the historic property. This and the war-time damages led to additional litigation which continued even after Princess Eugenia Ruspoli’s death.

In 1929 Princess Ruspoli adopted her six-year-old niece, Maria Theresa, who later married Prince Alexis Droutzkoy, a white Russian from St. Petersburg. Droutzkoy came to the United States in 1926 as a journalist, attended Columbia University, became a naturalized citizen and editor of Bachelor magazine and later editor of American Helicopter magazine. He and his wife were active socially. Prince Alexis Droutzkoy died in 1976.

His wife, Maria Theresa Ruspoli was born in Norwich, England, in 1923. She became an American citizen in 1945; by this time she was married and well-traveled. Additional information about Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy is sparse except in reports of various society events in New York and elsewhere. We do know that the Droutzkoys were Princess Eugenia Ruspoli’s heirs.

Radan and Cannuli

Radan and Cannuli

Now for their art collections: from information provided by the Rev. Richard G. Cannuli, OSA, and in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide (1986) by George T. Radan and Father Cannuli, we can get a sense of their tastes as collectors. With only two exceptions, the paintings in both collections are Old Masters. These paintings are either Italian or Flemish works created from the 1500s through the 1700s.

The two exceptions are an undated work by an English artist, Samuel Prout (1783-1852), “Interior of a Cathedral Scene,” an oil painting on canvas, and an undated “Church Choir Boys,” oil on canvas, by C. De Antonio. The only C. De Antonio I discovered is Cristobal de Antonio, a Spanish artist (c.1862-after 1905). The subject of each of these paintings is the interior of a Gothic style cathedral or church, much like the paintings by the Dutch Baroque master, Saenredam. These paintings are listed in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide as gifts from the Droutzkoys, but are not in the recent inventory mentioned below.

According to the current inventory created by the University Art Gallery director, Princess Ruspoli donated seven paintings (including Cortona’s “Triumph of David”) and the Droutzkoys donated an additional seventeen paintings. The older list in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide says Princess Ruspoli donated six paintings (the Cortona included) and the Droutzkoys gave eight.

All paintings in the current inventory have been conserved with one exception. The works were brought from off-campus storage and locations on campus and briefly housed in the Reading Room last fall so that the conservators working on “The Triumph of David” could study them. I was able to visit this collection several times – a truly fascinating experience. Not all of the works are by famous masters, but they are all wonderful representations of their art historical periods. All feature religious subjects, including a “St. Thomas of Villanova Giving Alms” by Jacob Jordaens (Flemish, 1593-1678, attributed to or workshop of).

Paintings fr Ruspoli and Droutzkoy

Radan and Cannuli (Villanova University Art Collection, p. xv) say, “ …[T]he authorship supplied by the donors has been accepted by the curators of the collection.” And that leads to an interesting question: is there another painting by Pietro da Cortona in the University’s collection? Listed as a 1952 donation by Princess Alexis Droutzkoy is an oil painting, “Adoration of the Magi” by Pietro Berretini. Pietro Berretini is the birth name of Pietro da Cortona, the artist of the large painting undergoing conservation in the Reading Room.

Princess Ruspoli made her gifts in 1949 and 1950. The Droutzkoys gave the bulk of their gifts from 1952 through 1957 plus a “Resurrection” painted by an anonymous 16th century Italian which was donated by Princess Droutzkoy in 1973. Two large paintings, “Madonna of the Rosary” by Cosimo Daddi, donated by Eugenia Ruspoli, and a 1614 Nativity triptych (a three-paneled work) by an anonymous Flemish master donated by the Droutzkoys are especially impressive.

When the conservation of Cortona’s “Triumph of David” is completed, the works donated by Princess Eugenia Ruspoli and the Prince and Princess Droutzkoy will be united once more. “The Triumph of David” will be hung on the wall and the other paintings will be placed behind glass in the niches that once held books in the Reading Room. The huge windows which provide the room with wonderful daylight will be treated to filter the harmful sunlight so that all these beautiful, conserved paintings will not deteriorate as did “The Triumph of David.”

fatherfalveyAnd true to the wishes of the Rev. Daniel P. Falvey (1906-1962), the former library director for whom Falvey Memorial Library is named, the Library will once more display an art collection. “… [H]e wanted the objects of his collection to be permanently housed in the Library of Villanova College. The aesthetic pleasure of viewing the paintings would enhance any student’s visits to do research. … Not only did he himself place the objects strategically at various locations in the Old Library, but he also secured donations (such as those of the Droutzkoys) to improve the scope of his garden.” (Villanova University Art Collection, p. xiv).

How inspiring to be able to study in such a vast, high ceilinged space surrounded by Old Master paintings.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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Art of Spring Break: The Highlighter: Let Villanova’s Art Inspire and Enrich You

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Art at Falvey Memorial Library can be as ephemeral as an image on a whiteboard, enduring as a masterpiece on canvas or interactive as virtual reality in a Cave. In deference to “Art of Spring” week on our blog, this week’s Highlighter will feature artwork on Villanova University’s campus.

An exciting exhibit opens this week at the Villanova University Art Gallery (Connelly Center). Other, permanent artworks, such as abstract sculptures and other secular statues, can also be found on campus. Most permanent art on campus, though, has a religious theme. St. Mary’s Hall, for instance, offers mosaics in its foyer, statues in its courtyard and stained glass windows and shrines in its chapel. St. Rita’s Chapel holds artwork, too, as do the Corr Hall Chapel and St. Thomas of Villanova Church.

As these webpages show, several of these artworks have been created by members of Villanova’s community. Take a moment to take in the art Villanova has to offer.


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Art of Spring Break: See Rare Illustrations that Complement Cortona Painting—A Conservation Update

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What is the latest news about the conservation of “The Triumph of David,” the large painting attributed to Pietro da Cortona, located in the Reading Room of Falvey Hall (aka Old Falvey)?

Conservation is well under way. The painting has been cleaned, areas where paint is missing have been filled (these are the reddish brown areas visible), the painting has been varnished several times and the conservator,

deGhetaldi

deGhetaldi

Kristin deGhetaldi, and her interns are now in-painting (filling in with color the areas where paint was lost). This in-painting is a slow process, using very soft, fine pointed brushes to make tiny strokes. Thus, you are not likely to see dramatic changes day to day or even week to week.

However, one very obvious change to the room is the addition of a small exhibit housed in two cases, one on each side of the gated entrance to the painting. This exhibit, designed by Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, will remain on display until the conservation of “The Triumph of David” is completed.

In her introduction to the exhibit, Bang explains, “Princess Ruspoli’s adopted daughter, Maria Theresa Droutzkoy, also a princess after marrying a Russian prince in 1945, provided funds for the framing and conservation of “The Triumph of David” in the 1950s. [The painting itself was donated to Villanova University by Princess Ruspoli.] She and her husband, Prince Alexis Droutzkoy, donated some other art to the University at the same time, as well as four books that were donated to the Library’s Special Collections, on display in these cases.”

The two books in the left case are both open to show illustrations. The first book is Catalogue of Paintings Forming the Private Collection of P. A. B. Widener: Ashbourne, Near Philadelphia, written by Aliene Ivers Robinson and published in Paris in 1885. The large black and white illustration shows a man with two horses in an expansive landscape. At the time this catalog was published, it was not possible to print photographs in books, so what is shown is a black and white engraving of the painting.

P.A.B. Widener

P.A.B. Widener

P. A. B. Widener, Peter Arrell Brown Widener (1834-1915), was a wealthy Philadelphia businessman, an art collector and a former Philadelphia city treasurer. His collection included works by Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Edouard Manet and Auguste Renoir. Ashbourne, the residence named in the book’s title, still stands in Elkins Park although it is now called Lynnewood Hall. In 1940 P. A. B. Widener’s sole surviving son, Joseph, donated over 2,000 items from his father’s collection—sculptures, paintings and decorative arts—to the National Gallery of Art.

The Catalogue of Paintings itself was donated to Special Collections in 1961. It is number 17 of an edition of 250. Widener gave this signed book to Aliene Ivers Robinson. One wonders how it made its way into the possession of the Droutzkoys.

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In the same case is volume three of the 12 volume set of Cérmonies Et Coutumes Religieuses De Tous Les Peuples Du Monde: Représentées Par Des Figures Dessinées De La Main De Bernard Picart [Religious Ceremonies and Customs of All the Peoples of the World: Illustrated by Hand Drawn Pictures by Bernard Picart]. The text, in French, is by Jean Frederick Bernard of Amsterdam; the engraved illustrations, as noted in the title, are the work of Bernard Picart. This large volume was published in Paris in 1807.

Picard and Bernard intended to document the rituals and ceremonies of all the religions known at the time. Cérmonies Et Coutumes Religieuses …, volume three, discusses the Greeks and Protestants. It is opened to show text on the right and three illustrations on the left page. Two of the illustrations show ceremonies on Pentecost in The Hague (Netherlands) and Schmerhorn (Germany); the third illustration is titled “The Kings’ Star Carried (or on Parade) through Amsterdam[Netherlands].” The three Kings are likely the Magi. Falvey’s Digital Library has all 12 volumes of this edition digitized.

The series of Cérmonies Et Coutumes was first published between 1723 and 1737. Picart was a famous 18th century engraver. Cérmonies Et Coutumes is the first work undertake such a broad view of the known religions, and it was reprinted several times. Falvey’s set is a later reprint. For the significance of Cérmonies Et Coutumes, see The Book That Changed Europe.

The second case holds two additional books donated by the Droutzkoys: Shelley and Keats As They Struck Their Contemporaries: Notes Partly From Manuscript Sources by Edmund Blunden, and an untitled photograph album. Shelley and Keats … was published as an edition of 310 copies in London in 1925. Falvey’s copy is number five, and it is signed by Blunden, the editor; by the designer, Wyndham Payne; and by the publisher, binder and typographer, Cyril W. Beaumont. Payne also designed the cover, a wallpaper-like pattern, as well as the decoration of the title page. Prince Droutzkoy donated this book in 1960.

The most fascinating book in this small exhibit, for this writer, is the photograph album. Bang says, “This appears to be a photograph album containing original photographs of the city of Florence.” The album is opened to two photographs, one of the Piazza Santa Croce and the other of the cloister of the church of Santa Croce and the Pazzi Chapel designed by Brunelleschi. In the lower left margin of each photograph is “Edizione Brogi.” The photographs seem to be albumen prints.

A bit of research provided additional information: Giacomo Brogi (1822-1881), an Italian photographer, founded a company in Florence which published photographs. In the late 1800s the company employed 85 people. Brogi photographed not only Florence but also other sites in Italy, and he traveled to the Middle East in 1868. Giacomo Brogi had shops in Florence, Naples and Rome.

Carlo Brogi, retrieved from http://www.giacomobrogi.it

Carlo Brogi, http://www.giacomobrogi.it

His son, Carlo Brogi (1850-1920), continued the business after his father died. Carlo Brogi sold both his own and his father’s photographs under the label “Edizione Brogi Firenze.” This writer speculates that the photographs on display date from the 1880s and that the album may have been purchased as a souvenir of someone’s trip in a time, very unlike ours, when few people owned cameras.

One wonders where and when Prince and Princess Droutzkoy acquired these books. And did they purchase them as collector’s items, or did they enjoy them for their aesthetic appeal?

The exhibit will remain on display for the duration of the conservation of “The Triumph of David.” Small though it is, the display is fascinating and well worth a very detailed examination. And if the conservators are working on “The Triumph of David” during your visit, feel free to enter the fenced area for a closer look and to ask questions. The conservators are very gracious about sharing their knowledge.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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You are Invited to a Golden Anniversary Celebration to Honor Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD

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Falvey Memorial Library would like to cordially invite the Villanova Campus Community to a reception being held for Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination. Father Gallagher, the University’s Archivist since 1985, was ordained as an Augustinian priest in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on Jan. 30, 1965. Please join us for a light cocktail reception to give him your best wishes and to help us celebrate this landmark occasion. The reception will be held on Wednesday, March 18 in the President’s Lounge, Connelly Center, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

To learn more about Father Gallagher’s current work as University Archivist, as well as his background and interests, please see Alice Bampton’s recent blog article, “A Golden Anniversary: Rev. Dennis J. Gallaher, OSA, PhD, Celebrates 50 Years as an Augustinian Priest.”

Please note that RSVPs are not required in order to attend the reception. Questions about this event can be directed to Gina Duffy, ext. 9-3872.


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‘Caturday: Midterms in the Commons

It’s hard to believe that only three short years ago, almost to the day, the Learning Commons in Falvey was officially dedicated. University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 CLAS, presided over the event and recounted “the long process of inspiration that led to the Learning Commons project.”

Students heading into midterms can take advantage of librarians in the Research Center, homework help from Learning Support Services (LSS), a staffed lab environment in the Math Learning Resource Center (MLRC) and one-on-one writing tutorials in the Villanova Writing Center.

The Learning Commons is a great example of how ‘Cats came together to make amazing things happen for the “Greater Great!”

learning commons dedication fr. Peter

Father Donohue

 


Article by Luisa Cywinski, writer, Communication and Service Promotion Team, and team leader, Access Services Team.

Photograph by John Welsh, University Communication.


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Dig Deeper: Literary Festival Features Bruce Smith

Bruce SmithOn Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, Bruce Smith will be giving a poetry reading and talk. Smith is one of the Literary Festival’s featured speakers. Originally from Philadelphia, Bruce Smith is the author of several books of poems, including The Other Lover (2000), a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He will be reading selections from his collection entitled Devotions. Publisher’s Weekly called his poems “alternately sharp, slippery, and tender,” and in them he “finds a way to take in almost everything—’Shooter Protocol,’ Charlie Parker, high school shop class—moving seamlessly between critique and embrace.” A book sale and signing will follow the reading.

This event is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English. It is free and open to the public.

For more information on Bruce Smith and to check out some of his poetry, visit the resources below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison library for English and Theater.


Dig Deeper

Bruce Smith’s bio and some of his poetry can found on The Poetry Foundation. You can find some poems here.

Check out Smith’s National Book Award Foundation page for a video of a reading.

Bruce Smith’s Devotions andThe Other Lover are forthcoming to Falvey’s catalog.


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Dig Deeper: Megan Quigley, PhD on Modernist Fiction

Megan QuigleyA Scholarship@Villanova lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library will feature Megan Quigley, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of English. Dr. Quigley will speak about her book, entitled Modernist Fiction and Vagueness: Philosophy, Form, and Language, newly released from Cambridge University Press, which explores the intertwined history of 20th-century British fiction and philosophy. Specifically, it argues that much modernist literary experimentation connects to the linguistic turn in philosophy.

The event is  co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English and is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dr. Quigley and her work in Modernism, check out the resources below, provided by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and Theater.


Quigley BookDig Deeper

Visit Dr. Quigley’s professional website at http://meganquigley.com/. To view a list of her publications, click here.

Selected Scholarship:
Modern Novels and Vagueness.” Modernism/Modernity, 15.1 (2008) 101-129. Print.
To read the full text, click here.

 


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Dig Deeper: William Y. Arms, PhD

Arms

On Friday, Feb. 13 at 11:00 a.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, William Y. Arms, PhD, will be delivering a lecture entitled Academic Libraries in the Digital Age. William Arms is professor emeritus of computing and information science at Cornell University. Throughout his career he has been a leader in implementing innovative computing in higher education, including education computing, computer networks and digital libraries. He has been influential in shaping the National Science Foundation’s digital library programs, including the Digital Libraries Initiative and the National Science Digital Library.

This event, co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Department of Computing Sciences, is free and open to the public. j_luciaEvent organizers also expect Joseph P. Lucia, former director of Falvey Memorial Library and now dean of libraries at Temple University, to appear and offer his perspective on Arms’ work and the changing face of digital libraries.

For further information relevant to Dr. Arms and his publications, check out the resources listed below.


Dig Deeper

Digital LibrariesAuthor of Digital Libraries. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2000.

See what William Y. Arms has published by using Falvey’s Articles & More search function.

Use WorldCat.org to see what books Dr. Arms published.Professor Emeritus, Computing & Information Science

Professor Emeritus, Computing & Information Science, Cornell University

Career highlights

Publications


Resources selected by research support librarian Susan A. Ottignon.


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Last Modified: February 11, 2015