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Berg Fashion Library: World fashion index

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Fashion lovers everywhere can be in-tune with fashion statements throughout history with the Berg Fashion Library.

The resource provides integrated text and image content from the 1600s to today in the form of e-books, reference works and more. It provides in-depth information on various bodies, garments and styles of fashion. The database also allows users to be matched with references and articles.

Browse through various dress, individuals and textiles throughout history. Berg Fashion Library allows users to get matched with scholarly fashion articles on everything from “Afro Hairstyle” to “The Fabric of Fabrication.” Get lost in the world of silks and calico while browsing through the site. Whether one’s interest is new world or old school, Berg has options. Discover how Tibet influences fashion in  “Archaeological Evidence: Tibet” or turn up hundreds of hits on Christian Dior.

Berg Fashion Library allows users to explore by time and place. Search for fashion from Oceania to Central America. There are articles about some of the iconic fashion items in the world from the sari to the kimono.

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By Katlyn Pierre, public relations intern. For more information about this resource or others

Image: Berg Fashion Library

Creative Catalysts: VCU Arts Librarians

VCU Arts Librarians

Nell Chenault, Emily Davis Winthrop and Carla-Mae Crookendale can help you create, teach and find inspiration. Each of them brings a love and appreciation of the arts, related educational credentials and librarian savvy to their roles in VCU’s creative community.

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Nell Chenault, Film and Performing Arts Research Librarian

Schools and Departments Served: Cinema, Dance, Music, Photo/Film, Theatre, Art Foundation, MATX and Film Studies

Expertise/education

  • BA, English, University of Virginia
  • MLIS, Catholic University of America
  • Former Media Librarian and Head, Media and Reserves, VCU Libraries

Areas of interest

  • Intellectual property for media is always an interesting puzzle.
  • My interests are shifting toward intellectual rights in the global information commons. These rights issues impact us as both media and information producers and consumers.
  • Documentaries

What do you like most about what you do?

Media artist Nam June Paik described his work as “archeology of the present” with the goal of circulating ideas, digging them up from the ruin of the past to understand the present. He characterized his work as “priviledged.” I have experienced this through witnessing the works of the VCU community and sharing my knowledge and the VCU Libraries’ resources to help faculty and students reach their vision and come to new understanding.

What currently has your attention?

At home, I have been sorting and moving my large vinyl and CD collections, revisiting old favorites and playing overlooked recordings.

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Carla-Mae Crookendale, Visual Arts Research Librarian

Schools and Departments Served: Art Education, Art History, Communication Arts, Craft/Material Studies, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Kinetic Imaging, Painting and Printmaking, Sculpture and Extended Media, Art Foundation, MATX

Expertise/education

  • BFA, Metals and Jewelry/Art History minor, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
  • MFA, Fashion, SCAD
  • MLIS, Valdosta State University
  • Costume shop manager and adjunct faculty, Theater Department, Belhaven College
  • Adjunct faculty, Metals and Jewelry Department, SCAD
  • Reference Librarian, SCAD

Areas of interest

  • Visual literacy, the ability to find, make and ethically use images and visual media.
  • User experience, helping library users have effective and enjoyable experiences in physical and virtual library spaces.
  • Design for good, how design can be used in innovative ways to make the world a better and more beautiful place.

What do you like most about what you do?
Working with creative people in a dynamic and diverse environment, constantly learning and being inspired.

What currently has your attention?
A terrific art, design and visual culture blog called Colossal http://www.thisiscolossal.com/. It’s a great way to discover new artists, and ranges from the quirky (Turn Boring Vegetables into Spaceships and Racecars with Le FabShop’s 3D-Printable ‘Open Toys’) to the whimsical (Artist JeeYoung Lee Converts Her Tiny Studio Into Absurdly Elaborate Non-Digital Dreamscapes) to the awe-inspiring (An Expansive Swirling Snow Drawing Atop a Frozen Lake by Sonja Hinrichsen).

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Emily Davis Winthrop, Arts Collection Librarian

Schools and Departments served: Collection development for the School of the Arts, with the exception of Music. Kevin Farley, PhD., Humanities Collections Librarian, handles collection development for Music.

Education and Expertise

  • BA, Art History, VCU
  • MA, Art History, VCU
  • PhD candidate, Art History (expected Spring 2015), VCU
  • Major field: 19th and early-20th century European art
  • Minor Field: Colonial Latin American art
  • Instructor, VCU Art History department and VCU Glasgow Artists and Writers Workshop

Areas of Interest

  • Epistemology. The core of being a bibliographer is to constantly examine the field of knowledge. What foundations and theoretical frameworks are necessary to make art, to understand art and to teach art?
  • Gender theory and theories of design. My own research focuses on issues of gender in art and theories of design and decorative arts circa 1900. My dissertation, “The Female Nude in Art Nouveau: Allegories of Modernity” looks at the ways in which the nude conveyed a message of modernism and how the form helped to destabilize the categories of fine and decorative art.

What do you like most about what you do? 

You become very myopic in graduate school, I enjoy the breadth and variety that comes with collection development.

What currently has your attention?
Formats. From electronic books and online catalogue raisonnés to 16mm and half-inch video reels, the arts have a variety of necessary formats all with their own issues.

Image: 

Art Browsery: VCU art book collection

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Look, learn and create: The Art Browsery, a dedicated book display on the fourth floor, James Branch Cabell Library, offers new, beautiful books that can inform your creativity.
“When you are caught up in the creative process of making art, sometimes you need to take a break and find added inspiration,” says Carla-Mae Crookendale, VCU Libraries’ visual arts librarian. She and arts collection librarian Emily Davis Winthrop identify titles that are right for The Browsery and showcase new titles there before moving them into the general collection, usually with the other oversized books on the fourth floor.
Browsery books are visually rich tomes on art, craft and design topics. They are marked with colorful bookstrap labels and they are available for checkout. There is a self-checkout station a few steps away from the display.

The Art Browsery will be refreshed as new titles arrive, so come by now and find some inspiring new materials, and come again to find more in the future.

Here is a brief list, compiled by Crookendale, of some of the new titles you’ll find in The Browsery.

Tiny Creatures: the world of microbes by Nicola Davies. Illustrated by Emily Sutton, 2014. A beautifully illustrated look at the world of the microscopic organisms, fusing art and learning for kids of all ages.

The Gay 90’s by Mark Ryden, 2013. Features the latest work by painter Mark Ryden who blends pop culture references with a painting style reminiscent of Jacques Louis David or Ingres. The results are whimsical, surreal – and just a bit twisted.
Tokyo Adorned by Thomas C. Card, 2014. Photographer Card captures the wildly over-the-top personalities and style of the kawaii Lolita street fashion subculture in Tokyo.
Dancescapes: a photographic journey by Shobha Deepak Singh, 2014. An exploration of the history of dance in modern India, this book features dreamlike vignettes of flowing bodies and costumes caught in dramatic motion.
Charles James: Beyond Fashion by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2014. A comprehensive overview of the work of Charles James, known as “America’s First Couturier.” Features photos of his intricately structured ball gowns as well as archival items about his design and production process.
Ai Weiwei: Evidence, edited by Gereon Sievernich, 2014. Illustrations and texts by and scholarly essays on the recent work of the acclaimed Chinese artist and activist featured in an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Baus museum in Berlin.
Landscape Installation Art, edited by Ifengspace, 2013. Photographs and analysis of immersive and interactive sculptural experiences created in range of media and settings.
Work of Art: Folk Artists in the 21st Century by Carmella Padilla and John Bigelow Taylor, 2013. A celebration of the richness and diversity of traditional art making all over the world, including painting, sculpture, decorative arts, clothing and jewelry.
Myths and Mysteries: Symbolism and Swiss Artists, edited by Valentina Anker & Pierre Rosenburg, 2013. Spirituality, psychology and the occult as expressed through the Symbolist movement in the arts of the 19th century.
Mariette Pathy Allen: TransCuba, by Mariela Castro, Allen Frame & Wendy Watriss, 2014. A photo-documentary exploration of the transgender community in Cuba, including interviews and analysis of its evolving role in Cuban culture.
Image: The Art Browsery, Fourth Floor, James Branch Cabell Library