Events
  • Otis College alumni in the New York/Tri-State area are invited to a reception welcoming visiting Otis College fashion students at Global Brands Group headquarters in the Empire State Building. Join fellow alumni to celebrate the culmination of the Fashion Design Department's annual trip to Manhattan. This special event - open to all alumni from both undergraduate and graduate departments - is a great chance to reconnect with friends, welcome new Fashion Design alumni from the Class of 2017, and meet Otis College leaders including Fashion Design Interim Chair Jill Higashi-Zeleznik.

  • In conjunction with the current exhibition Patterns Bigger Than Any of Us: Jesse Fleming / Pat O'Neill in Ben Maltz Gallery, May 7 - August 12, 2017.

    In Conversation: Jesse Fleming and Pat O'Neill, moderated by LA-based idependent curator and historian Ciara Moloney

     

    Jesse Fleming (b. 1977) is part of an emerging group of artists and technologists that examine the convergence of media art and mindfulness. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Five Car Garage; 356 Mission; and Night Gallery, all in Los Angeles, CA; and the University of Texas in Austin, TX.

    Pat O’Neill’s (b. 1939) artistic and filmmaking career spans over 50 years, and he is highly-regarded for his experiments with film and optical printing. Recent solo exhibitions were held at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, CA; Monitor in Rome, Italy; VeneKlasen/Werner in Berlin, Germany; Quinta do Quetzal in Vidigueira, Portugal; Mitchell-Innes & Nash in New York, NY; and Cherry and Martin in Los Angeles, CA.

    Ciara Moloney is an independent curator, editor, and writer based in Los Angeles. She was formerly Curator of Exhibitions and Projects at Modern Art Oxford where she curated exhibitions by Barbara Kruger, Josh Kline, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Christian Boltanski and Kiki Kogelnik.

  • Amelia Gray is the author of the short story collections AM/PM, Museum of the Weird, and Gutshot, as well as the novels Threats and, most recently, Isadora, published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Her fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Tin House, and VICE. She is winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, of FC2's Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize, and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. 

  • Luis J. Rodriguez was Los Angeles Poet Laureate from 2014-2016. The twenty-fifth edition of his first book, Poems Across the Pavement, won a 2015 Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement. He has written fourteen other books of poetry, children’s literature, fiction, and nonfiction, including the best-selling memoir Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. Rodriguez is also founding editor of Tia Chucha Press and co-founder of Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. In 2016 Tia Chucha Press produced the largest anthology of L.A.-area poets, Coiled Serpent: Poets Arising from the Cultural Quakes & Shifts of Los Angeles. Rodriguez’s last memoir It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award. His latest poetry collection Borrowed Bones appeared in 2016 from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press.

  • Raised in Philadelphia, with roots in South Africa and Trinidad, Zinzi Clemmons’ writing has appeared in Zoetrope: All-Story, Transition, The Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere. She has received fellowships and support from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is co-founder and former Publisher of Apogee Journal, and a Contributing Editor to LitHub. She teaches literature and creative writing at the Colburn Conservatory and Occidental College. Her debut novel, What We Lose, as well as a second title, are forthcoming from Viking.

  • Louise Sandhaus is a graphic designer and graphic design educator. She was previously Director of the Graphic Design Program at CalArts where she currently is faculty. Her recent book on California graphic design, Earthquakes, Mudslides, Fires and Riots: California and Graphic Design 1936-1986, co-published by Metropolis Books and Thames & Hudson, has received laudatory reviews from The New York Times, The Guardian, Eye, and Creative Review. The book received the Palm d’Argent for best art book at FILAF (International Festival of Art Books and Films on Art).

  • Photo Credit: Jesse Pniak

     

    F. Douglas Brown received the 2013 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (selected by Tracy K. Smith) for Zero to Three, published by the University of Georgia. He also co-authored the chapbook Begotten with Geffrey Davis as part of Upper Rubber Boot Book's Floodgate Poetry Series. Both a past Cave Canem and Kundiman Fellow, his poems have appeared in the Academy of American Poets, The Virginia Quarterly, Bat City Review, The Chicago Quarterly Review, The Southern Humanities Review, The Sugar House Review, Cura Magazine, and Muzzle Magazine. He is co-founder and curator of un::fade::able - The Requiem for Sandra Bland, a quarterly reading series examining restorative justice through poetry as a means to address racism. Brown currently teaches English at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.

O-Tube

Photo Documentary Culture

Review How to Do Research

Refresh your information literacy skills here: Information Literacy Tutorials.

Free Web vs. the Invisible or Deep Web

Although there is a great deal of good free information available on the free web, there is often better quality and more reliable information available through databases. Much of that information was first published in books and magazines, then sold and agregated into online databases. That information is not ususally free, no more than the original printed sources were free. Publishers often earn a great deal of money by selling the previously published content to information vendors who, in turn, resells the content to libraries who make it available for their patrons.

Note: Be especially cautious of Wikipedia. Read more here about why.

The following Steps will guide you in finding images and historical information for your project of analyzing an image from popular culture and its context.

Step 1: Find an Image

Pick from one on the following Library books:  

Life: 100 Events that Shook Our World   TR820 O546 2005
Century: One Hundred Years of Human Progress, Regression, Suffering and Hope    REF D26 C46
Life: Our Century in Pictures    REF CB425 L44
Photos That Changed the World   TR820 P567 2000

Step 2: Find Background Information

One very easy way to start is search in online encyclopedias or dictionaries. For instance, Britannica Online has basic information on a huge range of topics. Click on the Library Databases button.

There are books which you can browse which will be extremely helpful to you in learning about the cultural, social, and historical context of a particular time or period. 

20th Century Day by Day: 100 years of News
REF D422 C53
Headlines and front pages of newspapers from 1900 through 1999. This should be your first stop to find out what else was going on for your time period.
This Fabulous Century - 7 volumes
REF E161 T55
One volume per decade beginning with 1900-1950. Overview of the popular culture of the period. Mostly images.
Ads That Put America on Wheels
HF6161 A9 D74
Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed.
Advertising and the Motorcar
HF6161 A8 F74
Early 1900s through 1960s. Shows through actual ads how automobiles were marketed. An essay is included.
American Century: Art & Culture 1900-1950
N6512 H335
Based on a Whitney exhibition, this is an in-depth overview of art of the period.
American Decades - 4 volumes
REF E169.12 A419
One volume per decade beginning with 1950s. Organized with chapters on world events, education, politics, lifestyles, media, the arts, etc.
Fashions of a Decade - 8 volumes
REF GT596 C837
Just fashion. We have the '20s through the '90s.

Hulton Getty Picture Collection - 6 volumes
D426 Y367 1998

One volume per decade. All pictures with captions. We have the '20s through the '70s.

Websites of Interest

Ad Access Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. 
 
AdFlip Archive of classic ads from 1940 to the present.
 
American Cultural History: The Twentieth Century The purpose of these pages is to present a series of web guides on the decades of the twentieth century. The pages are prepared by the Reference Librarians. Period pictures used.
 
American Memory Thematic access to images, sound recordings, web sites, and other documents on American cultural history. Provided by the Library of Congress.
Year by Year 1900-2001

This site describes historic events of the twentieth century by year and by decade. 

Step 3: Find an Article About Your Topic

Once you've browsed and become more familiar with the cultural context of your photo, you should be able to create a list of generalized subjects that you can search for in the Library's databases. You should be able to find one or two in-depth articles in ProQuest, eLibrary, and Wilson Omni. Remember: Each databases is much smaller than the entire web. If you put in a very specific term and get no hits, you will need to broaden your search. See also: How to Clarify Your Topic.

Step 4: The Bibliography

There's an excellent guide to Citing Sources and Citing Images online. The Art History Faculty use the MLA style.

Remember:
The librarians and the library staff are available. Ask for reference/research assistance at any time. It's our job. You're not bothering us.

 

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