Any time that the university acquires a new archive or artwork, or announces new research discoveries or innovations, the Libraries take it as a responsibility to provide the resources necessary to understand and provide context for such accomplishments.
When James Turrell’s Skyspace opened at the Student Activity Center in a October 2013, his profile among the campus community was elevated, and so it was up to bibliographers at the UT Libraries to work with relevant constituencies determine what materials would be needed to support inquiry into the artist’s work and career.
One of the items that came of acquisitional considerations in the wake of Turrell’s arrival on campus is the book James Turrell / comisaria de la exposicion y del catalogo by Ana Maria Torres (IVAM, Institut Valencia d’Art Modern, 2004), a catalog of an exhibition held at IVAM, Dec. 14, 2004-Feb. 27, 2005, which includes an interview with the artist.
Given budgetary realities, librarians and bibliographers have to make strategic collection decisions, and often that requires delaying the purchase of materials that may be both desirable and essential in order to meet other resource needs. Specialized texts, especially in the field of fine arts, can often be somewhat inflated, and the cost of this volume was evidence. At $2000, the Turrell text was one that was obliged to be set aside until additional monies were present.
The Libraries development office has worked with bibliographers to target materials that similarly fall into this category, constructing a Wish List of items that would be of great purpose for Libraries users, but for which funding isn’t currently available. The Turrell book was selected to be added to the Wish List, and almost immediately found benefactor in the person of Libraries advisory council member Margery Lindsey.
Lindsey provided funding for the volume in 2013 and it was purchased and now resides in the collection at the Fine Arts Library, where students, faculty, researchers, scholars, visitors and fans of Turrell can come to learn more about about this unique artist.
Consider supporting the Libraries collections by donating to purchase one of the items on the Wish List to sustain innovation and learning at the university.