Friday, February 22, 2013

The Lamar Dodd and Richard Mallory Rock Collections

     If you love sparkling color and unusual textures that swirl as if they had been slowly stirred by an invisible hand, then you will love looking at the rock collections of Lamar Dodd and Richard Mallory.  Lamar Dodd, a well known Georgia artist, used the rocks and minerals he collected as inspiration for his paintings. The exhibit on the lower level of the Suber Archives clearly demonstrates this.  He loved to use other natural elements such as fossils and petrified wood for inspiration in his paintings and the items in the collection clearly reveal his discerning eye.

     When Richard Mallory, a long time resident of LaGrange and prominent civic leader, donated his rock collection to LaGrange College, he intended that it be used for educational purposes, but the beauty and exuberance of color and shape cannot be discounted as an important ingredient in the overall appreciation of these rocks.  One outstanding piece is the large Smoky Quartz piece with its accompanying gemstones.  However, the pi├Ęces de r├ęsistance are the two immense amethyst geodes mined from Brazil.  A recent library staff trip to the Tellus Mineral Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, served to confirm our conviction that the college has some irreplaceable treasures which have not been seen since the 1970’s.

     These stunning geodes are now on display on the main floor of the Lewis Library and there are additional rocks and minerals outside the Suber Archives on the lower level of the library as well.  Take a look to see what Nature can conjure inside what may appear to be a commonplace looking object and discover why you can’t always judge a book by its cover.
**This post authored by Pat Barrett.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Lent Journeys

     With Ash Wednesday behind us we are into our Lenten journeys with our intentions to give up various pleasures and take on additional disciplines of study and self reflection. For instance, our Sunday School class is taking the next 5 weeks to study the concepts of sin and redemption. And, as always, I find that the Library has resources to help in this study. One source I’ve found useful is the Encyclopedia of Religion A search for “sin and redemption” in this title yields 115 articles, including ones about suffering, grace, atonement, etc. in both Christianity and Judaism. What a way to get a broader perspective!

     We have many other resources: Bible Concordances (How many times is sin mentioned in the Bible?), etymological dictionaries (Where does the word sin come from? – see the Oxford English Dictionary, and various Bible translations to facilitate our learning.
    As we move toward Easter and reflect on what it means to be human, remember that the Library has tools that can help you expand your knowledge and understanding outside of your academic studies, in all aspects of your life-long learning journey.

**This post authored by Mary Lou Dabbs.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tellus Museum Trip

“These are a few of my favorite things!”

Too often, I have found, people fail to take advantage of cultural treasures right in their own backyard.  On Monday, January 28, I drove the Lewis Library Staff to Cartersville, Georgia for a day at the Tellus Science Museum.  The Tellus Museum recently celebrated its 4th anniversary as did the Lewis Library with our taking occupency in February of 2009.  In the past we have visited the Atlanta History Center; the Cyclorama; the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Center; the High Museum of Art; and the National Civil War Naval Museum.  These have been cultural outings that enrich the lives of all who work in the Frank & Laura Lewis Library at LaGrange College.
Some of my favorite museums in the Southeast include the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola; the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville; the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site near Cartersville; the Andersonville National Prisoner of War Museum near Americus; the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site near Hendersonville, North Carolina; the Vanderbilt Estate near Asheville, North Carolina; the North Carolina Arboretum also near Asheville; the Brookgreen Gardens near Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; and, lastly, the Bob Jones University Art Museum and Gallery in Greenville, South Carolina.
The Brookgreen Gardens located south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina is a real jewel that occupies over 9,000 acres.  The gardens contain “the most significant collection of figurative sculpture in an outdoor setting by American artists in the world and has the only zoo accreditted by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums on the Carolina coast.  In addition to the sculpture that is displayed in both large and small gardens, it is a pleasure to sit in this peaceful setting observing the sculpture and reading fragments of poetry etched on garden walls.  Indeed, Brookgreen Gardens is one place to feed your soul!
Another of my favorite sites is the Bob Jones University Art Museum & Gallery located in Greenville, South Carolina.  Surprisingly, this museum & gallery contains one of the finest collections of “Old Master” religious paintings in America and includes large canvases by artists like Rubens, Botticelli, Cranach, and van Dyck.  In addition to exhibiting over 400 paintings from the 14th-18th centuries the museum also includes a collection of furniture and religious icons.  A satellite location in a restored Coca Cola building at Heritage Green in Downtown Greenville features rotating exhibits.  However, the gallery on the main campus of Bob Jones University should not be missed.
Life is too short for each of us not to “stop and smell the roses!”  What a better way to do this than spending time in a museum or garden?  There are some real cultural gems all around us -- don’t miss seeing them!

**This post was authored by Loren Pinkerman.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

You can’t JUDGE a ___ by the outside appearance

Lewis Library has on display several “geodes” that are odd in size, shape, and color.  A huge log or tree stump is what comes to mind when seeing these strange objects at first glance. But when you get closer and look within its hollow opening … WOW, a different view is seen. 

The outside of one of our geodes                                                  The inside of the same geode

If I had not taken the time to look within this particular geode, I would have missed the splendor of such beauty, hidden so well in this unattractive shell.  
So we too, must look within the issues of our world in general before passing things off as unattractive, a waste of time, or a lost cause.  We must see the beauty within; the beauty that quietly waits to be found.  

 In sharing my thoughts of the "geodes", to a friend, she gave me the lyrics to a song by Carrie Newcomer entitled, “Geodes”.   Newcomer’s words speak not only of the geodes beauty,  but of our judgmental views of other matters as well. I hope you will Google this song and listen to the beautiful voice of Carrie Newcomer.   I think you too will agree… you can’t JUDGE a ____ by its outside appearance.

You can’t always tell one from another.
And its best not to judge a book by its tattered cover.
I have found when I tried or looked deeper inside
What appears unadorned might be wondrously formed.
You can’t always tell but sometimes you just know.

All these thing that we call familiar,
Are just miracles clothed in the common place.
 You’ll see it if you try in the next stranger’s eyes,
God walks around in muddy boots, sometimes rags and that’s the truth, 
You can’t always tell, but sometimes you just know.

**This post authored by Lisa Farrow.