New Features on TriArte!


There have been a few upgrades to TriArte this summer that provide more information about individual objects and enable new ways for users to interact with the collections.



Provenience, Bibliography, Comparanda, and Catalogue Raisonné

1. Expanded Bibliographic Information

First, more information has been made available that expands upon the existing general information about the object itself in four new sections added to an item’s page. The history of ownership for the object leading up to its arrival at Bryn Mawr College is under Provenance History. Sources that have published about the object are included in the Bibliography List and the Catalogue Raisonné notes the authoritative publication. A Comparanda List provides references to objects that are considered similar to our examples. These new sections present some of the ongoing research to the general public that students, faculty, scholars, and staff have completed over the years.


Mapped Creation and Findspot Locations for P.93

2. Additional Map Features


Attic Black-Figure Kylix (Drinking Cup) Fragment (P.93)

Second, TriArte now maps data on both the creation and find spots for objects. On a map within the record, visitors can trace the journeys of exported vases or coins in circulation. For example, on the map above the Creation Location (Athens) and its eventual Findspot (Egypt) for the Attic Black-Figure Kylix Fragment with a Gorgoneion (P.93)  is indicated.

**It is exciting to note that these two sections are continuing to expand on a daily basis with additions and corrections.**

3. New Feature: Portfolios


A Portfolio of our favorites! Portraits of Bryn Mawr College Presidents.


Tagged: A wreath was once visible in the figure’s hand. It was likely removed during an aggressive cleaning prior to 1905.

Third, Students and Professors can now create their own “Portfolios” on TriArte. Similar to the existing portfolios under the Featured Collections tab, one can save a collection of objects that are of interest for a class or for a project. A quick email to collections ( will provide you with a username with which you can login to your own version of TriArte and start creating portfolios. Students can collect a group of objects in a portfolio to examine for a paper on Byzantine coins or Daguerreotypes. Professors can plan out visits for their classes to collections or store objects of interest together for future research. Furthermore, portfolio users can “tag” part of an object with notes, such as on P.95 here.




So check out our new features on TriArte!

Behind the Scenes: Preservation of the Collection



The summer is off to a busy start in special collections.  This week the the 19th-century Japanese screen by Kanō Seisen’in Osanobu, previously discussed in this blog ( was packed and transported via specialized art couriers Nishio Conservation Studio where it will under conservation over the next two years.

Additionally, a Scroll Painting of Birds and flowers by Motonobu Kano has just been returned after receiving conservation treatment.









This 15th century scroll was mentioned briefly before in this blog, prior to it’s conservation (



College Receives Funding to Restore Major Japanese Artwork


With its golden pigments and delicately painted detail, the 19th-century Japanese screen in Bryn Mawr’s Special Collections illustrates the moment when the “shining prince” Genji first sees his future beloved, Murasaki.

Donated by Asian art historian Helen Burwell Chapin, Class of 1915, the screen is the work of Kanō Seisen’in Osanobu, the last great master of the Kanō School of painting, a four-century-long tradition central to the visual cultural and heritage of Japan.

A significant piece of Japan’s cultural heritage—scholars believe it was part of a Shogunal dowry—the screen is in need of restoration. And Bryn Mawr is on the job.

With support from a $20,000 grant from the Sumitomo Foundation of Japan, Collection Manager for Art and Artifacts Marianne Weldon will be overseeing conservation work to be undertaken by Nishio Conservation Studios in Washington, D.C., one of the leading conservators of Asian art in the United States. Over the past year, Weldon has been working with History of Art doctoral student Anna Moblard Meier M.A. ’14 to identify and evaluate the College’s Japanese art collections.

Moblard Meier played an especially critical role in identifying the potential importance of the screen, doing background research on the work and the artist, and determining that the previously unidentified screen depicts a key moment from The Tale of Genji, a classic work of Japanese literature.

An incredibly rare example of Osanobu’s adept homage and adaptation of classical conventions, the screen tempted curators from the Philadelphia Museum of Art when they reviewed it last summer as they prepared for the exhibition Ink and Gold: Art of the Kanō. But although the pigments and painting are intact, the work had been structurally damaged over time and too fragile to be displayed.

The restoration of the screen will take about two years, and when the work is completed, the screen will be displayed in Canaday Library.

Finding Henry Joel Cadbury (1883-1974)

While I was rummaging through boxes of negatives produced long ago by Bryn Mawr’s Slide Library/Visual Resources photographers, I made a surprising discovery. Amidst hundreds of copystand images of architectural plans, sculptures, and paintings (all in 4 x 5 inch glassine protective envelopes), there was a lone interloper.

It was small, folded and faded, an Alumnae Association letter envelope, with what looked like airplane flight times scribbled on its exterior. Within the envelope was a solitary Kodak Safety film negative(6 x 6 cm , a 120 Medium format negative) pale in the office light. By squinting, I could make out trees forming a background for an open space in which a primly dressed middle-aged gentleman sat on a stone wall.  But what were those figures beside him? I blinked and then gasped as I realized I was staring at the old Deanery garden’s well-head with bronze putti figures in situ. For years, I had been interested in the history of the Deanery, one of the college’s oldest buildings (now, no longer extant), its contents, and its garden. And here, before me, was an image of someone enjoying the peace and quiet of that green space so beloved by Bryn Mawr College’s second president, M. Carey Thomas.

As a background note — During one of her European travels, Miss Thomas commissioned the Chiarazzi Foundry in Naples to produce 12 decorative bronze “cupids” for her newly established garden planned by John Olmsted and Lockwood de Forest, following the Deanery’s recent architectural expansion.  The Chiarazzi’s specialized in replicating ancient Greek and Roman art works. These bronze putti , some holding birds, others with dolphins, replicated figures from Herculaneum’s Villa dei Papiri. From perhaps 1910 until the mid 1960’s, these four (24 inch high) figures decorated the garden’s  well-head  not too far from eight other smaller (18 inch high) fountain figures surrounding the garden’s pool.

The Deanery, formerly the residence of Dean, then President, M. Carey Thomas, was later used by the Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association from 1933 until 1968 when the structure, deemed unsafe, was demolished to make way for the construction of Canaday Library. The Deanery garden area which remains, was renamed the Blanca Noel Taft Memorial Garden in 1974.

But back to the image in my hand.  I wondered who was that solitary man sitting in the garden? And why was the photograph taken? The first question was easily answered since the envelope’s front had the penciled notation “Dr. Cadbury.”   The English Quaker Cadbury’s were the ones who made  chocolate, I remembered, while the American branch was a well known Quaker family in the Philadelphia area. Dr. Cadbury ‘s grandfather, Joel Cadbury, had  immigrated from England to Philadelphia back in 1815.


Henry Joel Cadbury (1883-1974), a graduate of Haverford College (1903) and Harvard (Ph.D. 1913 or 1914), taught the classics and Biblical studies at Haverford, Bryn Mawr, and Harvard’s Divinity School for many years before becoming a member of Bryn Mawr College’s Board of Directors in 1948 and its Chairman in March 1956. Perhaps this photograph was taken that year to commemorate that event.

Dr. Cadbury, a modest man, slight in build, was passionately committed to teaching and scholarship along with Quaker pacifism and service.  In addition to his academic duties, he was a well-travelled lecturer and author of over 29 books & pamphlets, with more than 100 periodical contributions.  His final 3 books were published all in the same year, 1972, when he was 88 years old. He was one of the founders, in 1917, of the new emergency Quaker organization, the American Friends Service Committee, and in 1947 Dr. Cadbury went to Oslo to receive the Nobel Peace prize on behalf of Quakers worldwide.

I find it amazing that the photographer, whoever it was, caught Henry Cadbury in a quietly composed moment, now frozen in time. The man looks bemused. Perhaps there is a twinkle in his eye, as he enjoys the juxtaposition of staid College trustee, Quaker historian, and Biblical scholar with cavorting naked cupids.  I later found that there is a small photograph printed from this negative in the Bryn Mawr College Archives, but it is not dated. There is writing on the photograph’s back that indicates that it was to be cropped – but in what publication was it printed?  Perhaps we will never know.

As for the Transamerican Airline flight times scribbled on the envelope – they do not help date the image. That airline operated only after Henry J. Cadbury’s death, in 1974.

Most of the biographical material above was culled from Margaret Hope Bacon’s 1987 biography of Dr. Cadbury, “Let this Life Speak.”  But if you want to hear Henry Joel Cadbury speak for himself and in his own voice, his digitized lectures on Quaker thought, on Haverford and Bryn Mawr College are available through :  then search for “Cadbury”

This includes his last lecture, words spoken at the rededication of the 12th Street Meetinghouse, September 29, 1974, only 8 days before his death on October 7th.

He was truly a gentleman and a scholar.

This image was scanned from the negative for College Archives photograph PA_Cadbury_Henry_005.

Written by Nancy J. Halli 4/2015

BMC Visual Resources, Image Cataloger

Identification and Preservation of Prints

Location: Bryn Mawr College

Speaker: Samantha Sheesley, Paper Conservator, CCAHA

Date: June 2, 2015

Time: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Fee: $60

Major funding for this program was generously provided by the William Penn Foundation, with additional support from The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Independence Foundation, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

For more information:


Creative Dissent: Art of the Arab World Uprisings.

Exhibition opening at Bryn Mawr College January 22nd

The creative vitality of the continually evolving uprisings commonly referred to as the Arab Spring is captured in this immersive multimedia exhibition on loan from the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.  The exhibition’s curator, Christiane Gruber, Associate Professor of Islamic Art at the University of Michigan, will give the exhibition’s opening talk Thursday evening, January 22nd. Professor Gruber has published widely on contemporary issues in Islamic art, including a recent piece in Newsweek on the history of images of Mohammed in Islamic art

Along with the exhibition, Bryn Mawr is welcoming Ganzeer, one of the artists whose work figured prominently in the uprisings against the Mubarak and military governments in Egypt. Ganzeer will be meeting with classes and informal groups during the last week of January, and will give a public talk Monday evening, January 26, and participate in a public conversation on Tuesday, January 27th. The College has just acquired Ganzeer’s new set of silkscreen prints, “Of Course,” that recognize demonstrators who were brutalized by the military. The prints will be featured in the exhibition. Ganzeer has also just opened a new show at the Leila Heller Gallery in New York City that was featured in an article in The Nation.

See the exhibition’s website for additional information about the programs and speakers:

See an article in The Nation about Ganzeer’s current exhibition in New York:

See a recent Newsweek article on Images of Mohammed:…


Ganzeer. “Of Course, Blue Bra Lady” Silkscreen print, 2014. (2015.6.5)


Field Trip to the Cooper Hewitt Museum

Look out, New York City! A piece from our very own Bryn Mawr College’s Special Collections has already been carefully packaged and placed on a truck bound for the Cooper Hewitt Museum.


Bed. ca. 1885-1887. Designed by Lockwood De Forest. Manufactured by Ahmedabad Wood Carving Company. Chased brass over teak core, perforated copper. Gift of Mary Patterson McPherson, President of Bryn Mawr College, 1978-1997. Bryn Mawr College Collections. Photographed by Karen Mauch. (Deanery.454)

Our bronze nineteenth-century Indian headboard will be featured in one of the new exhibitions at the December 12, 2014 grand reopening of the Cooper Hewitt Museum, Passion for the Exotic: Lockwood de Forest, Frederic Church.

cooper 2

Opening Exhibitions at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in December 2014. From Accessed 23 October 2014.


The headboard is part of a set of two that were designed by American artist, Lockwood de Forest. De Forest is probably best known for his introduction of East Indian art to the American and European aesthetic in his role of a designer and importer of exotic goods. The headboard is one example of the many pieces created by the Ahmedabad Wood Carving Company in India and exported to New York for de Forest’s business. The headboard is made of chased brass and perforated copper panels decorated with East Indian floral and animal motifs over a teak wood frame.

The headboard made its way to Bryn Mawr College by way of Mary Elizabeth Garrett, who purchased the headboard from de Forest for her Baltimore home. In 1904 Garrett left Baltimore to live with her partner, M. Carey Thomas, at Bryn Mawr College. Garrett brought a large quantity of her furniture with her, including the headboard. The headboard is just one of many examples of de Forest at Bryn Mawr College, as he worked closely with Garrett and Thomas from 1894-1909 decorating and furnishing a large portion of their campus home in the College Deanery. While the College Deanery no longer stands, de Forest’s work remains part of the college’s collections and can be viewed online on TriArte, the art and artifacts database of Bryn Mawr’s special collections.


Beds in Mary E. Garrett’s Bedroom, Deanery, Bryn Mawr College. February 9, 1968. Photographed by Karl A. Dimler. (PAB_Deanery_072)

De Forest’s East Indian aesthetic designs, as well as the work of his former teacher Frederic Church, are the subject of the exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt museum. The exhibition provides an excellent opportunity to view our headboard alongside other pieces designed by de Forest. In addition, the Cooper Hewitt Museum is located in the former residence of Andrew Carnegie, who commissioned de Forest to decorate his library in his signature East Indian style, which remains part of the museum’s collection today.


Family Library in the Andrew Carnegie House, New York, 1898-1901. Designed by Lockwood De Forest. Image from the Cooper Hewitt, National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institution, New York and the Museum of the City of New York, New York. Published in Roberta A. Mayer, Lockwood de Forest: Furnishing the Gilded Age with a Passion for India (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2008) p. 168, fig. 148.

This exhibition will provide an exciting opportunity to see a piece of Bryn Mawr College history embedded in a broader narrative of international design.

The Cooper Hewitt Museum has announced December 12, 2014 as the date of their grand re-opening.

Friday Finds on Halloween–The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow - PlateHang on to your hat—and your head—for the next preview of the upcoming Halloween-themed “Friday Finds” talk!

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow has it all: romance, the supernatural, and a healthy dose of biting satire, all this from one of the pillars of the first generation of great American authors. Irving, who spent many years abroad in Europe, was deeply affected by stories and traditions of the old world. However, he brought a distinctly American flair to these stories, both in setting and wry, satirical tone.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Legend of Sleepy Hollow, where traditional European tales of headless riders and huntsmen are reinterpreted in the Hudson Valley, where the exoticism of the New York Dutch heritage met the eerie upstate wilderness of America. While the monstrous encounter between Ichabod Crane and the phantom horseman is ambivalent, what is certain is the enduring humor in the description of the calculating and manipulative, yet irrationally superstitious, schoolteacher who likely deserves his comeuppance.

Bryn Mawr’s illustrated copy of Washington Irving’s best-known and most-adapted work will be available for your perusal at “Eerie Books: A Halloween Selection from Special Collections,” on Friday, October 31st, from 3:00-4:00 pm in Room 205 of Canaday Library. Come and page through it and other spooky selections yourself—if you dare!

Sleepy Hollow - Cover trimmed Trick or treat at Special Collections! Come to the talk in costume, and you may win a gift certificate to Main Point Books. Everyone will be welcome to treats to follow the talk!

Personal Digital Archiving Day

Remember these?

Remember these?

As new technologies appear, older ones become obsolete, making it difficult to access older content. Traditional information sources such as books, photos and sculptures can easily survive for years, decades or even centuries but digital items are fragile and require special care to keep them useable.

• Digital items are fragile and require special care to preserve them and keep them usable.

• Digital items depend on technology to make them available.

• Digital content requires active management to ensure its ongoing accessibility.

• Online programs (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc.) have no guarantees to last forever.

Come to Personal Digital Archiving Day to learn how to save your digital materials long-term on October 23rd from 3-5 in Canaday 205.

Adapted from: