Special Collections Research Center
In 1540 Antonio Lafreri, a native of Besançon transplanted to Rome and began publishing maps and other printed images depicting major monuments and antiquities in Rome. Tourists and other collectors who bought prints from Lafreri made their own selections and had them individually bound. The University of Chicago library’s copy is one of the largest known to exist. This exhibition will examine the publishing and collecting history of Lafreri’s Speculum and Lafreri’s models, competitors and imitators. Along with the history of print collecting, themes in the exhibition include: Renaissance city planning, the idea of the “picturesque in landscape,” Renaissance ideas of history, religious pilgrimage and tourism.
The Renaissance Society
The subject of British filmmaker Steve McQueen’s new short, Gravesend, is coltan, a mineral so valuable it is proving to be the new blood diamond. Used in all cell phones and computers, eighty percent of coltan comes from the Congo. In Gravesend, McQueen’s approach is unapologetically abstract; he compresses a poetic narrative of empire as told through a series of formal shots within the space of 17 minutes. Gravesend will be accompanied by Unexploded, a 54 second film the artist made using footage he took in Basra, Iraq. Both films are U.S. premieres. The opening reception will feature a talk with the Steve McQueen from 5 to 6 p.m. in Swift Hall,1025 E. 58th St., Room 310. This event is free.
Among other events, the World Music Festival will feature Dhoad Gypsies of Rajasthan at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16. The music of DHOAD brings to life the music of the traditional Rajasthan gypsies. DHOAD is composed of several talented musicians, all Rajasthani, but from different communities, religions and artistic castes. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, the festival will feature the Grammy-award winner Vishwa Mohan Bhatt on Indian slide guitar. Bhatt has attracted international attention with his successful Indian classical adaptation of the western Hawaiian guitar. Bhatt is world known for his perfect assimilation of sitar, sarod and veena techniques. He will be accompanied by his son Salil Bhatt, also on Mohan Veena, and Subrata Bhattacharya on tabla. Tickets for each concert are $10 for the general public and $5 for students with ID. Tickets only available at the door one hour prior to the concert. This event is co-sponsored by University of Chicago Presents, International House Global Voice’s Performing Arts Series and the City of Chicago.