SPEC Kit 312: Public Engagement  ·  57
The Luther W. Brady Art Gallery hosted the first-ever touring exhibition of the Demuth Museum collection, Out of
the Chateau: Works from the Demuth Museum (January 16 March 14, 2008). The Demuth Museum collection
comprises more than 30 works that span the career of modernist artist Charles Demuth (1883-1935), from
early childhood drawings to late floral works. Many of the works on view show the beginnings of the American
precisionist style that would bring Demuth fame as a modernist. Before joining the Demuth Museum’s permanent
collection, the works were long held in private hands in Lancaster, Pa., and were seldom or never publicly exhibited.
While individual works have been previously lent to exhibitions at other institutions, the collection as a whole has
never been seen outside of Lancaster. The Director of the Demuth Foundation, Anne Lampe, gave a private tour of
Out of the Chateau for 16 members of the Washington Print Club on Friday, February 8, 2008. We were also visited
by 13 students in the Early American Modernism Seminar Class for a tour of the exhibition on Wednesday, February
20, 2008. Many practicing watercolor artists who study privately attended the exhibition.
The American flag was once a graphic device used in campaigning for the presidency. During presidential
campaigns of the 19th century, the faces of Ulysses S. Grant, Grover Cleveland, and Theodore Roosevelt; a raccoon
and the moon; tall ships; a log cabin; and platform slogans could be found on the American flag. Although the
US Congress decreed in 1905 that the use of text or portraits on the official insignia of the United States would
be outlawed, the practice continued for a number of years. Stars and Stripes: The Political Flag Collection of
Mark and Rosalind Shenkman (September 10–27, 2008) featured many examples of these rare collectibles and
on Saturday, September 27, the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, in cooperation with the Office of Development and
Alumni Affairs, hosted a discussion with Jeff Bridgman, an expert on historic flag collecting and conservation; Marc
Leepson, author of Flag; Tyler Anbinder, Chair of the History Department, the George Washington University; and
Mark Shenkman, the collector. 50 people attended the discussion.
Respondent 18
In serving as a Census Information Center, the Heard Library system at Vanderbilt partners with the Census Bureau
and over 50 other higher education, national, and community-based organizations across the US to form the CIC
Program network. The library’s Geographic Information Systems Coordinator collaborates with other CIC members,
leading to GIS training at Meharry Medical College and work with the Tennessee Neighborhoods Resource
Center. The program has been under the library’s jurisdiction since January 2004 and involves two librarians, the
coordinator and his supervisor. The program has allowed us to build a strong relationship with the Census Bureau
and with community and educational organizations.
As a federal depository, our Government Documents Department is available to the public. Larry Romans is
the Head of Government Information and Media Services and is Political Science, Communication Studies, and
Leisure Reading Bibliographer. He was Chair (1999-2000) of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT)
of the American Library Association (ALA). He received the CIS/GODORT/ALA Documents to the People Award for
outstanding leadership in 1995 and the James Bennett Childs Award for lifetime contributions in 2008. He began
the GODORT Handout Exchange and is the Webmaster of the FDTF Government Information: Frequently Used Sites
Web site. Romans has served on ALA Council since 1992. He is a member of the ALA Executive Board, 2007-2010.
Larry oversees the library’s Government Information webpages which are some of the most frequently accessed
pages on campus; his Political Science subject guide is the most frequently used political science resource in the
country. The sites require Larry to evaluate public resources and recommend materials for the public.
The library has participated in the Osher Lifelong Learning Program (originally called Retirement Learning) for
over a decade. Library staff offer instruction to retirees about how to use the Web to find their Social Security
information, book flights, find current information, search for health information, and a number of other important
topics. The library’s association with the Osher program ceased in 2008 but during its operation, the program
was one of the most popular programs offered by Osher. The class was always full with a waiting list and our
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