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Women’s History Month: Power & Magic in the Kitchen

Historically speaking, the kitchen is a woman’s domain. Women were chained to their stoves for hours on end. Cooking skills were right up there with other desirable traits, such as purity, appearance, and obedience to men. As Laura Schenone puts it in her book, A thousand years over a hot stove, “cooking reveals itself as a source of power and magic, and, at the same time, a source of oppression in women’s lives.”

To paraphrase Schenone, what women learned and what they knew wouldn’t be found in a book. It was passed down in the oral tradition, shared with daughters and friends. Women shared information and found support for more than just cooking. They relied on each other to learn healing remedies, to craft utensils and containers, to secure moral support, and to learn survival skills.

When times made life difficult and challenged even the most experienced cook, women found ways to feed their families with what little food was available. They would pool their resources or come to the aid of a hungry family. Women created new recipes to stretch the limited types and quantities of food.

Not unlike other American households, during World War II, Eleanor Roosevelt’s housekeeper, Ms. Henrietta Nesbitt found ways to deal with meat rationing and developed “meat-stretcher” recipes. There is one such recipe in The Husbandman, an agricultural newspaper. This newspaper was published during America’s Gilded Age, a period when the women’s suffrage movement was strengthening in the United States.

The original recipe for scrap pie is below. My adaptation follows the image.

Scrap Pie – 1886

The husbandman, v. XIII, no. 640, Wednesday, November 24, 1886

Scrap Pie Women's History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrap Pie – 2015

1 lb. ground beef

1 lb. white or red potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks

½ large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp. butter

¼ tsp. pepper

½ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare and assemble all ingredients.

Brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain and set aside. Sauté onion and set aside. Use 1 tbsp. butter to coat the inside of a 9” pie plate. Cover the inside bottom of the pie plate with ground beef. Drizzle broth over beef. Layer the sautéed onion over the beef. Boil chopped potatoes in large pot of water until potatoes are tender. Turn off burner, drain and return potatoes to pot. Mash potatoes until smooth. Add the beaten egg, 1 tbsp. butter, salt, and pepper to the mashed potatoes. Whisk by hand or use an electric hand mixer until smooth. Cover the beef with the mashed potato mixture. Use a dinner fork to create a design on the potatoes. Use remaining 2 tbsp. of butter to dot the top of the potatoes.

beefbeef onionsbeef potato

 

 

 

 

 

Bake at 375° until top is browned, about 30 – 35 minutes.

Scrap Pie done

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Makes 4-6 servings. Serve with salad or cooked vegetables.

Below are links to books, articles and blogs for your reading, watching and listening pleasure.

A thousand years over a hot stove can be requested through E-ZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan.

What we lose in losing Ladies’ Home Journal (Thanks to Laura Bang, Special Collections, for the link.)

The First Kitchen

Women’s History and Food History: New Ways of Seeing American Life

#FoodieFriday: 5 Kitchen Appliances and Food Creations that Transformed Women’s Lives in the 20th Century

Women’s History Month – Audio and Video

My thanks to Michael Foight, Special Collections, for sending me the link to our digitized copy of The Husbandman.


LuisaCywinski_headshot thumbnailMonthly food blog feature by Luisa Cywinski, writer, Communication & Service Promotion, and team leader, Access Services.


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The Curious ‘Cat: Who would be an ideal study partner?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “Who would be an ideal study partner?

Kaitlyn Barney'Kaitlyn Barney—“The ideal study partner would be The Flash, Barry Allen, because he’s smart, and he’s a scientist like me. He’d be great to study with.”

 

 

 

 

 

Santosh KothaSantosh Kotha—“My ideal study partner is Arany Levitin [PhD] from the computer science department. He’s a professor there. … The way he thinks really amazes me. … He analyzes things very well.”

 

 

 

 

Ellen MoxleyEllen Moxley—“I would choose Benjamin Franklin because he is my idol. I just love all of his thirteen virtues. … He seems to be very diligent and purposeful and successful, and I aspire to be like him.”

 

 

 

 

Sr. Oanh VoSr. Oanh Vo, ACJ—“my sister, Michelle: We don’t interrupt each other. … We take breaks together, and we respect each other’s time.”

 

 

 

 

 

Kumaresh BalajiKumaresh Balaji—“My ideal study partner would be someone who is highly intelligent and very on top of things in class.

So, for example, for the past two years I’ve been a bio major, so most of my classes were with this one student whose name is Thomas, and he’s a pre-dental student. Now he’s in Penn dental. He’s very intelligent, very bright, and so I always looked to him as motivation.

It was never any kind of hierarchy—he’s better than me—or anything like that. Whenever we were studying he was very quiet, I was very quiet. We would do things together … If I needed any kind of assistance, I would ask him, and if he needed any kind of assistance, we would work through it together. … That mutual collective spirit during studying is very helpful.

I don’t like big groups, a lot of chatter, I like quiet solitary studying with one guy who really knows his stuff … Working through problems whether it’s bio or physics … really teaches me to learn. If he asked for any kind of guidance I would explain my perspective, and that reinforces it in my mind … That’s my ideal partner: someone I can learn from and … draw inspiration from.”

Jennifer MaxwellJennifer Maxwell—“Well, right now I’m studying counseling. … I like musicians. I would like John Lennon and people like that. I feel like they always have good insight into the world.”


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Villanova University hosts The Hidden Room Theatre’s der Bestrafte Brudermord

BROD

On March 23-24, Villanova will host award-winning Texas-based theatre group The Hidden Room to stage their original-practices puppet-show production of der Bestrafte Brudermord, the mysterious slapstick Hamlet found in a German manuscript in the 18th century.  The Hidden Room’s visit to Villanova will include a talk by Zachary Lesser, PhD, of the University of Pennsylvania; two evening shows, each followed by an artist talk-back; and two workshops on theatre scholarship, dramatic practice, and arts entrepreneurship.  Events will take place in the Villanova Cinema and are free with a Villanova or Penn ID.  Seating will be first-come.  ACS Approved.  Direct questions to Alice Dailey, PhD (alice.dailey@villanova.edu).

Monday, March 23

5:00 p.m.  Workshop

“Page to Stage: Turning Theatre Scholarship into Practice”

The Hidden Room’s collaborations with scholars from Shakespeare’s Globe, the American Shakespeare Center, and, most recently, Oxford University’s Tiffany Stern have yielded theatrical events that have won multiple awards, critical acclaim, and international attention.  Using Hidden Room’s der Bestrafte Brudermord as a model, this discussion hopes to illuminate ways that theatre practitioners might build successful working relationships with scholars and use their research to infuse old plays with new life.

6:30 p.m.  Scholarly Talk

Zachary Lesser, PhD, University of Pennsylvania

“Uncanny Hamlets: The Mystery of der Bestrafte Brudermord”

7:30 p.m.  Performance of der Bestrafte Brudermord followed by artist talk-back

Tuesday, March 24

5:00 p.m.  Workshop

“The Business of Playing Professionally: Making a Living in the Theatre”

The Hidden Room’s artistic director/theatrical deviser, Beth Burns, has worked as an actor, writer, director, stage manager, teacher, lighting board operator, publicist, grant consultant, tour manager, box officer, usher, house manager, dresser, personal assistant, talent wrangler and janitor.  Burns invites you to learn from her mistakes as she details her successes, stumbling blocks and ways into the future with a focus on a creating a sustainable economic model for a theatrical company.

7:30 p.m.  Performance of der Bestrafte Brudermord followed by artist talk-back

 


This event made possible by generous support from: Villanova University College of Arts and Sciences, Department of English, 
Department of Theatre, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Honors Program
University of Pennsylvania Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing, Theatre Arts Program,
English Department Undergraduate Program, and English Department Graduate Program

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The Curious ‘Cat: Which search engine(s) do you prefer?

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks six library professionals, “Which search engine(s) (Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Bing, Ask, DuckDuckGo, etc.) do you prefer?”

JuttaJutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration

“I prefer Google mostly out of habit because I am familiar with it. I started using Google in 2000 and back then it performed superior when compared to other search engines. It was refreshingly uncluttered. I have tried other search engines on occasion, but none of them has performed as well as Google for me.”

 

2014-01-16 12.16.23-3Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre

“Google, only Google. Partly familiarity, I understand how Google works better than any of the others, which means that I can use that knowledge to produce better results through my searches. I also think Google has the best search metrics.”

 

 

 

2014-01-15 11.08.18-4Robin Bowles, nursing/life science librarian

“I personally use Google as my general-purpose search. It is fully featured with lots of search options (now hidden under the link “Search tools”) and will recommend results from other Google search products like Google Scholar when appropriate.

A few thoughts about the others: Baidu, sometimes called the “Chinese Google”, is Chinese language only so we don’t see much use of it here. Yahoo and Bing are the same search now. Although they are different websites, Yahoo Search has been “powered by” Bing since 2009 so their results will be the same. Bings results are very comparable to Google (so much so they have been accused of digitally “watching” users’ behavior on Google and using that data to adjust Bing rankings) and Bing is wildly with PC users popular due to its integration with Internet Explorer and Windows 8.

DuckDuckGo is a perennial favorite for people who are concerned about Google and Bing’s data retention policies as it promises to retain no data about you and show the same search results for any and all users. The results are generally as good as Google or Bing’s although it only searches webpages and has no image or map search functionality.”

2014-01-17 14.27.13-2Kristyna Carroll, research-support librarian for business and social sciences

“I prefer Google as my search engine. I like the way many tools that I use are integrated together through Google Chrome, and I only have to log in once (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive). I use all of these Google tools every day, and sometimes additional ones.”

 

 

 

dave-uspal white bkg2USPAL

Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications

“Mostly Google.  Its fast and thorough, and it has features (word spellings if searching for a single word, Wikipedia definitions, built-in maps) I actually use. I know other browsers have their strengths (Bing for media browsing, Ask for whole question searching) but for what I need, Google is usually the best answer.”

 

 

2014-01-15 11.11.37-2-2Rob LeBlanc—first-year experience/humanities librarian

“I’m a hardcore Google search fan. It is still the most comprehensive, fastest, and most accurate engine. I also prefer its clear and elegant layout and advanced features (like Google maps). Bing is good for hardcore Microsoft users due to its MS Office Online interface options, and DuckDuckGo is the best for privacy (it does not track you at all) but Google works best for both PC and Mac in my opinion.”


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The Highlighter: What does it take to become a librarian?

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Before earning the position of Falvey librarian, each applicant undergoes a rigorous screening process that includes the following:

1. Spell “Boolean,” “authentication,” “tertiary” and “plagiarism.”

2. Teach a class on college-level academic research while balancing Webster’s Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged on his/her head (poise counts!).

3. Simultaneously show a first-year student how to find resources for her research project, answer a Live-chat question about citing sources in APA style, and help a caller limit his search results to only peer-reviewed, full-text articles.

4. Exit his/her office; hurdle a laptop computer, a taut power cord, and a studying student; and greet the patron standing at the Information Desk within 20 seconds.

Seriously,

to become a Falvey librarian, a person must be—

– an expert both in scholarly research and in one or more academic disciplines,

– a caring person who possesses a stalwart service ethic, and

– a dedicated professional committed to your success.

Whether you are exploring possible research topics, already have a well-developed research question, need help citing sources, or have other research needs, Falvey librarians look forward to helping you accomplish your goals.



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‘Caturday: ‘Cats in the Championship, 1985

Most Villanova students weren’t yet born when the Villanova University Wildcats won the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

I remember exactly where I was on that memorable night when they won the National Championship in 1985. A group of my friends were gathered around the TV just a few miles from campus. One of them was a Georgetown alumnus. (Yes, we were fraternizing with the “enemy,” but he was happy for us when Villanova won that night.) After the game ended and we had screamed until we were hoarse, we jumped in the car and drove to the Villanova campus to witness the revelry first hand.

The next day, the campus was littered with the remnants of a celebration. I went to work at the Villanova University bookstore and waited for the first batch of championship t-shirts to arrive, hot off the presses. I folded t-shirts for weeks, handing them out as fast as we could unpack them from the huge cardboard boxes, right off the truck.

Where were you on April 1, 1985? Where will you be tonight?

1985 Big East Champions

 


LuisaCywinski_headshot thumbnail‘Caturday feature by Luisa Cywinski, writer, Communication & Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services.

 


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The Curious ‘Cat: “What brings you to the Library today?”

Curious Cat

This week, the Curious ‘Cat asks Villanova students, “It’s the first day back from spring break, and you’re working here in the Library. What brings you to the Library today?


Daniel MarquesDaniel Marques—“I thought it would be a good place to relax after finishing up my three classes that I had this afternoon. I didn’t really have any work to do, but I thought it would be a good place to come and relax … try to get myself back into the school mode. I was just reading up on the news and trying to … get back into the rhythm of everything.”

 

 

Michelle Ahn

Michelle Ahn—“It wasn’t really spring break for me, actually. I was out all last month with a concussion. I spent the past week, and now, catching up on my midterms and stuff … I’m doing a lot better. I’m going to most of my classes now. [Spring] break was not pretty, but I was off for four weeks, so I can’t really complain about that … My teachers have all been so generous … I’m so grateful; I really am  And my parents, too, didn’t plan on having me come home for a month.”

RosalineRosalina Jowers—“I have a midterm on Wednesday and I have a couple of papers due this week … a lot of professors pushed midterms and papers post-break, so I’m working on that now … I wanted to come here to get things done ‘cause this is my favorite place to do work. I love coming to the Library … This is the only place on campus—in this Holy Grounds—where I get all of my work done. This is my most productive place.”

 

Michael Clinton

Michael Clinton—“I didn’t have a spring break, first of all. I’m here studying for the LSATs … I get done work at 2:30—I’m only part-time—so I study from 2:30 until 5:00 when I go home with my mom [who works here at the University]. I go home with her at 5:00, so I just come here from 2:30 till 5:00 … It’s tough sometimes. … I take [the LSAT] in June.”

 

 

Samala ShravyaSamala Shravya—“The Library in Villanova is very pleasant and so refreshing, so I just love to spend my whole day in Villanova’s Library … It gives me back my ideas, and it gives some pleasant thoughts in my mind whenever I sit in Villanova’s Library … so I can get back to the school environment.”

 

 

 

Garcia

Manaury Garcia—“I should be doing more work right now, but … I’m filling out an application for another class. I have to write an essay for it—it has an essay component—so that’s what I’m doing right now … It’s a Faith and Learning Scholars application that’s due this Wednesday, so I’m going to be working on that.”


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Meet Lorraine Holt, New Face in our Director’s Office

LORRAINE

Lorraine Holt recently joined Falvey as a Business Processes and Administrative Services Specialist, working in the Director’s Office. She will work with hiring new student employees, managing both the student-employee and part-rime employee payrolls, coordinating Facilities Management work in the Library and performing other administrative duties. She previously worked for the Marple Newtown school district where she held various administrative positions for several years.

A native of Broomall, Holt is married and has two daughters. Before starting her family, she worked for the University of Pennsylvania Law School for 14 years. Her hobbies are fitness and reading. In the summer she likes to vacation with her family in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


imagesArticle and photograph 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

ARTOFSB

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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Last Modified: March 4, 2015