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Published gems by Salvador Dali and Frank Lloyd Wright on display

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Visitors to the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library may view fine examples from the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room this spring. The library’s exhibit cases are filled with important texts from one of the greatest American architects, as well as a recently acquired performance piece by Salvador Dali.

Nine works on and by Frank Lloyd Wright are on view through May, including a 1938 exhibit catalog produced by the Museum of Modern Art, drawings from his published portfolio, and a very rare paint catalog featuring colors personally selected by Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) was one of the most important architects of the 20th century, as well as a respected author and architectural philosopher.  He began his career as a residential architect, who introduced to his unique “Prairie Style” idealism to American architecture.  His career slowed considerably after scandals involving his marriages and a mass murder that took place in his home.  This downturn encouraged him to reinvigorate his career by publishing an autobiography and other works, culminating with Testament, one of the books on display in the Jenkins Library.

Visitors may also view a book, libretto, and audio recording of Salvador Dali’s little-known opera Être Dieu: opéra-poème, audiovisuel et cathare en six parties [Being God: a Cathar Audiovisual Opera-Poem in Six Parts], libretto by Manuel Vazquez Montalban and music by Igor Wakhevitch.  Salvador Dali and his collaborators composed this performance art piece in 1974.  It is based on mystery plays and inspired by Catharism, a 12th century Gnostic revival movement.  Dali plays the role of God in this rare recording.  The William R. Jenkins Library recently purchased Être Dieu with funds from the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Book Endowment.

Welcome Edith Villasenor, Architecture & Art Library Supervisor

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I’m pleased to announce that Edith Villasenor has joined the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library staff.  Edith earned a BA in in Art History from UH and worked in the Jenkins Library as a student shelver from 2014-2016.  While a student she served as Vice President of the Blaffer Student Association and the Treasurer of the Jenkins Library Ambassadors.  Edith has worked as a docent at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and as a volunteer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Lawndale Art Center.  She interned in the Blaffer Art Museum’s Education Department and as an archival and curatorial assistant at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.  In her new role as library supervisor, Edith will supervise the student shelvers as well as the Jenkins Library Student Ambassador program.  She will also be heavily involved in outreach activities and research instruction targeted at visual arts students enrolled in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.  Edith may be reached at evillasenor@uh.edu or at 713-743-2340.  Please join me in welcoming her back to UH.