Chinese works translated!

In the last post, I announced that our work making a collection of Chinese art available was complete. I am pleased to announce that due primarily to efforts by current students we now have more information to share about these works! This post contains individual images of the works, their translations, and details the students found on some of the artists. I will also add information to the works in the descriptions in the online Campus Art Collection.

Special thanks for providing English translations of these works go to
Dawn Mengheng Wang, Class of 2022;
Esther Siqi Yang, Class of 2023;
and Amber Ruofei Shuang, Class of 2025.

Dawn’s father, Yuhua Wang, who is a Professor of Chinese History, identified the traditional Chinese characters on the paintings.

Thanks also to Dr. Tom Lutze, IWU Professor of History, for finalizing the translations of the poetry. Dr. Lutze notes that, as with any attempt to translate poetry from one language to another, more improvements would be possible.

What follows is a gallery of six images that contain brief text about the works. Two pieces with poetry are shown individually below the gallery.
[Click on any image to enlarge.]

mountain and temple scroll

Artist: XU Shi
Date: Winter, 1987
Location: Suzhou

 

The waterfall cascades down from the rock,
the timbre of pine needles blends with the tenor of water–a chorus of nature
(万壑涛声巌下瀑)
The mountain rain gathers into clouds,
the billows envelop the house where the hermit lives
(千峰雨气屋头云)

 

 

 

 

 

 

For this last work, our students offer two possible translations.

Bamboo and Orchid

Title: Bamboo and Orchids Original ink wash artist: ZHENG Xie (commonly known as ZHENG Banqiao).             The Rongbaozhai workshop, located in Beijing, created this print.

Translation (#1) (written as the artist completed the painting):

Every day, I drink with my friend on the red bridge.
(日日红桥斗.酒)
Everywhere, peaches and plums present their beauty.
(家家桃李艳芳)
Yet only orchids and bamboo adorn my home
(闭门只是栽兰竹)
They mark my independence–I follow no trend to change my lifestyle.
(留得春光过四时)

Translation (#2):

Day after day, in the beauty of spring, I go to Hongqiao to drink with friends.
(日日红桥斗.酒卮),
House after house, everywhere I look, peach and plum trees blossom in beauty.
(家家桃李艳芳姿).
Yet in my yard I prefer to grow elegant orchids and bamboo.
(闭门只是栽兰竹).
I thereby stay true to myself, refusing to conform to the ways of the mainstream.
(留得春光过四时).

Our students also provided these additional details about the original artist and the printer of this work:

ZHENG was a significant figure in Chinese art history. Born in 1693 (Qing Dynasty), he was known for his love of bamboo, a central feature in many of his paintings. He also drew attention for his non-conformist anti-conservatism and was identified as one of the “Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou.”

This painting is an original piece of Rongbaozhai’s woodblock watermark art. Woodblock watermark art is a centuries-old copying technique that itself is a skilled art form, involving painting, carving, and printing to create extremely high-quality reproductions of traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphy, both vivid and colorful. Rongbaozhai is an art workshop with a long history in Beijing, one of whose specialties is the preservation from generation to generation of the skills of producing woodblock watermark art.

Chinese works in the Campus Art collection

In recent years, Class of 1970 alumnus Mark Sheldon donated eight works of Chinese art that he acquired  over his 40 year career, mostly in the 1980s, while teaching at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and serving as Director of the Yale-China Association. Photographs and detailed descriptions for all eight are now part of the online Campus Art Collection.
[Click on any image in this post to enlarge.]

Mark Sheldon with Bamboo and Orchid

Mark Sheldon ’70 with one of the donated works

Six were originally in scroll format but one (pictured with Mark on the left) had to be removed due to the fragility of the backing. This is a ca.1958 woodblock print that he displayed in his Hong Kong flat. This work can be seen now in the Southwest hallway of the Center for Liberal Arts.

The five images in the gallery below are all paintings mounted on scrolls. Thanks to Physical Plant staff Roy Bailey and Randy Crow, who installed a special protective mounting system purchased by The Ames Library, two of these works are now hanging outside of the Social Justice & Diversity Room and the Ford Instruction Lab on the library’s entry level. The other scrolls will alternate from their storage location and into these mounts every six months in order to lessen the affects of light damage and other environmental impacts that may result from being in a busy campus building.

Huang Shan

Pictured on the right is “Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain).” It was purchased in Changsha, Hunan, which is not far from Yellow Mountain. Mark gave this painting to his father Rev. Dr. Chester E. Sheldon, Class of 1943, and it hung over his desk in his study in Bloomington and then in Minneapolis for many years, until his death in 2015. It is on display outside of the Chaplain’s office in Evelyn Chapel.

The final work is hanging in the Center for Liberal Arts outside of room 300. Mark states that this “brush painting was a gift to me in the early 80s, by the artist, whose name I don’t recall. It was given when he painted it in bambooa master class for the International Asian Studies Program students at CUHK — and then given to me after the class. My given Chinese name is inscribed on it as ‘Tian Mao’ … as my full Chinese name is XIE Tianmao. It was displayed in my parents living room for many years, then donated to IWU.”

Harriet Stratis

Harriet Stratis, conservator, poses with five scrolls in a modified version of the traditional Japanese futomaki that was developed to roll and store the scrolls.

 

The scrolls all underwent conservation treatments (flattening and light cleaning) by Harriet Stratis and Mary Broadway of the Stratis Fine Art Conservation studio in Chicago. They removed the “Bamboo and Orchid” print from its scroll and had a special mat created for it. They also devised a safe storage system for the works when they are rolled to lessen the likelihood of damage when they are not on display.

 

A virtual walk through IWU history

ca 1940 aerial photo

IWU ca. 1940

Curious about what changes have taken place to IWU’s campus over the years? Interested in exploring locations related to campus lore? The University Archives is pleased to offer a few insights on an interactive map.

Pandemics can’t keep us down! Visit this online walk through IWU history!

 

At the bottom of each entry’s description is a line that starts with “Permalink” and contains a link to that location’s “Pin.” When you open that page there’s a comment box. Leave a memory, post a selfie, or let me know if I got something wrong!

100 year old time capsule

dedication day

(click to enlarge) The man in the light colored jacket who is facing the camera is famed local architect Arthur Pillsbury

This photo shows a large crowd gathered on November 5, 1921 to place the cornerstone in the Memorial Gymnasium. Look to the left of the man standing below the tip of the flag and you will see a small box resting on top of the stone. That time capsule will be opened Sept 30, 7PM on Kemp Commencement Plaza.*

Anyone who came to IWU after 2002 would know the building as the Hansen Student Center. The building was originally dedicated to the memory of IWU personnel who died in World War I, hence the name Memorial Gym.

This post is dedicated to honoring the efforts it took to locate that small box in a stone that’s 48″ wide x 25″ high and 17″ thick. The thickness of the cornerstone was unknown up until this week! There is a program for the event with a line that says E. Mark Evans would be “placing box in cornerstone” (pictured below).

dedication stone

The photo of the crowd (at top of this blog post) and another one from the same vantage point but without people are the only visual clues about the time capsule and stone in the University’s archives.

view with no crowd

Director of Physical Plant Jim Blumberg assigned the work of pinpointing the time capsule’s location to John Zmia, a mason with Western Specialty Contractor. After testing the thickness by removing bricks at the top of the stone on the outside of the building, Zmia determined that extensive brick removal would be needed. In consultation with our Physical Plant personnel, they concluded that the best approach was to work from the back of the stone.Memorial Gym time capsule removal

Blumberg said the effort to find the box’s location in the stone took about 12 hours over two days and then 3 hours of chiseling the cornerstone to get to it. Blumberg took this video of Zmia removing the time capsule from the stone on August 31, 2021.opening the box

This is the third time capsule we’ve recovered since 2011** and it is our tradition to pre-open the box for safety reasons and then hold a public event to remove the contents. This time the work of opening fell to Manager of Maintenance Kenton Frost (on the left) and Supervisor of Building Trades Matt Gentes.

Because the building is now a student-centered space, Student Senate is conducting the opening event. Stay tuned for an event announcement!

*Student Senate is hosting the event and we are hoping Tom Hansen will be on hand since the Gym-to-Hansen renovation is 20 years old. The event will be livestreamed as part of virtual Homecoming activities, so be sure to sign up!

**The other two were removed from Sheean Library and the Mark Evans Observatory, which was named for the person who placed the time capsule in the Memorial Gym!

“HOURS” was a codeword for WOMEN’S Curfew

Editor’s note: This story was published in the June 2021 Class of 1971 newsletter  “Remembering our College Days” and is reprinted here with the permission of the author.

Guest post by Judith Schulz, Class of 1971

In our 1967-68 student handbook they were called CLOSING HOURS. That is when the dorm entrance doors were closed, and Locked. Hours really meant “curfew.”   It was a form of in loco parentis.

I didn’t think anything about these rules when I arrived at IWU as a freshman in Sept 1967 at age 18. Those were the rules, so those were the rules.  Both the 1967 and 1968 IWU student handbooks had the same closing hours listed for Women (but not for men students!) (Men had NO closing hours.)

excerpt from1968-69 IWU student handbook

(click any image in this post to enlarge)

WOMEN STUDENTS HAD TO BE INSIDE BY 10:30 pm
On weeknights we had to be inside our residence hall/dorm by 10:30 pm, Friday & Saturday by 1 am, Sunday night by 11 pm. It didn’t matter to me anyhow during my first semester as I was tired, had homework or was working late hours in the Dug Out as a short order cook/ order taker.   Men did not have any of these rules, just we women. (hmmm.)  Obvious double standard. HOURS were an issue at many colleges around the USA at the time.

DORM BED CHECK?
I lived in Pfeiffer Hall, second floor East wing and right after 10:30 there was a “bed check” where an assigned student living in the dorm came around and checked your name against the list to make sure you were in your room.… we didn’t actually to have to be “in bed.”   Just writing this on paper, I mean on the computer, makes we wonder why we didn’t question this.

AFTER 10:30 pm
Sometimes after the bed check there would be a “house” meeting, party, holiday activity or gathering in the first-floor lounge. (I see they called it a “parlor” in the handbook, but we called it “the Lounge.”)  These after- hours gatherings helped us to make friends and become part of the residence hall “family,” but it also functioned to distract you from the fact that we were under a strict curfew, even though we were of adult age.

IF YOU WERE LATE: LATE MINUTES!
And if you were late coming into your residence hall, after hours, “late minutes” resulted in punishment.

One Saturday night I signed out for a 2 o’clock, but was late just 2 minutes getting back inside Pfeiffer Hall. This was considered very serious. (And whoever was working the desk had to wait up until you came in.)

– Pfeiffer’s House Council voted to restrict me to the dorm for the entire next weekend, only being allowed to go for a short visit to the commons to eat meals. It was called “dorm pro” for probation.  I was also required to contact the house mother regularly, proving I was in the dorm.    I thought this restriction was extreme and absurd, so I called the house mother every hour throughout the weekend and even late into the night to report in, hoping frequent calls would make a point.  (They did.)

IN THE SPRING of 1968, the idea of changing or getting rid of “hours” was a topic of discussion everywhere. Was the university really supposed to be in the role of parenting, and supervising students who were of age?  Student Senate made motions, there were “university studies” and a growing frustration among students.

May 15, 1968 handout, Q&A about hours & a protest

POSTERS were hung up around campus and talk of having an after-hours protest was everywhere.  The protest was to be at 10 pm Thursday, May 17, 1968 and last until 11:30 pm—AFTER HOURS!— We would definitely be breaking the rules!  And think of it: more than 60 LATE MINUTES?

While I agreed 100% with the cause and the protest, it made me nervous.  I knew what late minutes meant, and we would all be more than 60 minutes late if we attended the protest.

Note: I have this original handout (above) and poster (next image) 8.5×11” paper. Copies were made on an old fashion ditto duplicator machine in purple lettering. (not old fashion at the time.)

May 17 flyer

May 17, 1968 Original poster, 8.5×11” ditto

That night I heard many students encouraging others to attend saying “they can’t make the late minutes stick” which matched the posters that were also all over campus.

It was a time to think for yourself, and support what you believed in.  I was still very nervous walking over, even with so many others, to the outdoor stage of McPherson.  I recall Wenona Whitfield encouraging everyone in the group I was with while walking over to the protest.

May 17, 1968 Argus coverage

IWU ARGUS newspaper story May 17, 1968 – note both stories

 

Women's hours protest

May 17, 1968 Hours Protest, after hours- IWU Archives

Women students and men students attended the hours protest, even a few IWU staff.  There was a band, and 4 students spoke: Vicki Wentrcek, Marcelle Wilkins, Brian Spears and Connie Husson.

WERE YOU THERE? Did you stay out 1 hour past “Hours” and get any “late minutes?” Please share your stories and memories about hours in the reply box below.

~ Watch for the stories of what happened next…..
what changed and what didn’t.

~ SEE you at our 50th Class of 1971 reunion in October 2021!

The actual posters shown here, MORE artifacts and photographs from this time will be on display at our 50th IWU Class of 1971 reunion October 2021.

       ~author Judith Schulz, Pfeiffer Hall resident, IWU class of 1971(and in the crowd in the photo above) written June 2021 for the Class of 1971 Alumni newsletter

Research info from Judi Kasper Ballard, Mark Sheldon, IWU archivist Meg Miner, Vicki Wenger Warren, and Judith Schulz

Images from Judith Schulz’s collection and IWU Archives

IWU alum’s “astronaut food” discovered in time capsule

Guest post by Anthony Romanelli, Class of 2023

Illinois Wesleyan’s Founders’ Day of 1969 was a momentous occasion. Apollo astronaut Frank Borman was being hosted by the University. His entire Apollo 8 crew were presented with honorary doctorates and Borman placed a time capsule in the newest building on campus. Borman, the University, and local Bloomington-Normal businesses all contributed to an extensive list of items to place in a time capsule in the Mark Evans Observatory. Some of the notable items on the list include an audio tape recording of a Christmas message by the astronauts, an integrated circuit identical to the ones on Apollo 8 (provided by the General Electric division in Bloomington), and perhaps most noteworthy, a medallion that had joined the astronauts on the first crewed flight to reach the Moon’s orbit. [A post about the time capsule contents is available here.]

But when the capsule was opened during Homecoming of 2019, many of the perishable objects had been completely destroyed, including much of the papers. Moisture had somehow penetrated the copper box and corroded the material. Upon closer inspection, one of the culprits may have been a packet of “space food” contributed to the capsule by the local candy company Beich Industries. The food itself was gone; all that remained was a label from the company and a product description by its head researcher, one Mr. Alikonis. The man behind the space food had a story of his own, one that eventually led to his product in space.

Justin J. Alikonis was born in Johnston City in southern Illinois on December 7, 1912. When he was 18, he hitchhiked to Bloomington during the Great Depression looking for work to pay for college. He found a job at the Quality Café at 426 Main St in downtown Bloomington. There, he worked as a busboy, a waiter and a short-order cook as needed to pay his tuition. Luckily for him, in 1932 IWU president Harry McPherson had established  a “livestock for tuition” plan, where students could trade in live animals or produce from family farms as tuition payments. The controversial policy was enacted to keep young Central Illinoisans in school in the wake of the Depression, and this video shows Alikonis trading in a pig for his first semester of 1932. (While family relatives of Alikonis confirmed his appearance in the film, it is unknown why he uses the name “Isaac Rosenburg” in it.)

Justin Alikonis with lab equipment

Justin Alikonis ’35 with lab equipment

Alikonis graduated from Illinois Wesleyan in 1935 as a chemistry major, and completed graduate school at the University of Illinois. By the late 1930s, Alikonis had a lab in Bloomington and respected reputation as a preeminent chemist. Alikonis provided Bloomington with a variety of services using his homemade equipment, from manufacturing stain removers for the local laundromat to providing forensics for the McLean County Sheriff’s Department in a suspected poisoning case.

It wasn’t until World War II that Alikonis began working for the Beich Candy Company, his employer for the next 40 years. Paul F. Beich was born in Wehlen, Prussia (now part of the German town of Bernkastel-Kues), a German immigrant to New York. He moved to Bloomington to live with his aunt, and in thirty years went from not knowing a word of English to being one of the most notable businessmen in Blommington. It was Beich who convinced John Hershey to set up a factory in McLean County to be closer to the dairy supply, and Beich himself later bought the factory. Beich Co.’s then-owner, the elder Beich’s great-grandson William, employed Alikonis as a researcher and designer in his candy factory in west Bloomington (since sold to Nestle) and the young chemist began working on high-energy candy bars to feed the G.I.s in the Pacific. During the war, over 95% of sales went straight overseas to the Armed Forces. In 1951, Beich and Alikonis participated in a rations design conference hosted by the United States Army Quartermaster Corps, and Beich helped supply the candy for homesick troops.

Justin J. Alikonis (fourth from left) participates in a candy taste test at Georgia Agricultural Experiment Station with other representatives of the industry on behalf of the Quartermaster General of the United States Army, October 1952.*

Alikonis quickly realized how valuable his caloric little bars were, and as the Cold War dawned, Alikonis began making bars designed for long-term storage in bomb shelters. At the height of the Space Race, Beich rebranded its bars and sold them to NASA for consumption during space missions. During the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission, astronaut Wally Schirra ate Beich bars made with Alikonis’s patented formula, and on Apollo 8, Frank Borman shared them with his crewmates. The Beich bar recipe was also contained in the IWU time capsule, which reveals the new technologies Alikonis was working on. Determined to create an inexpensive, non-perishable candy, Alikonis was one of the first to use sorbitol, a natural sugar substitute, in his candies. Sorbitol, along with aspartame, is one of the most common natural flavorings used in diet soda today.

Alikonis was equally successful in the civilian market. He designed and patented, among other things, a marshmallow-making machine, the “Whizolater”, named after the Beich flagship candy bar, the Whiz. With no moving parts and operating solely on pressurized air, the Whizolater could make 1,400 gallons of marshmallow or nougat per hour. Curtiss Candy Company, the original makers of the Baby Ruth (then called the Kandy Kake), bought several Whizolaters for their Chicago-based plant. In the 1970s, “Beich’s Caramels”, which in reality were fruit-flavored taffy squares, became a hit once jokes (submitted to the company by children) were added to the wrappers. Beich’s Caramels became known as Laffy Taffy, a popular candy to this day.

Alikonis returned to IWU during Founders’ Day ‘69 to advertise his “space food” rations, and place a sample of his famous ration bar in the time capsule. While the bar may have rotted away, IWU will always have the story behind it, of the curious chemist-turned-candymaker who made history, on Earth and beyond.

Survival ration instructions found in the 1969 time capsule.

This informational leaflet concerning the Beich survival bar was found in the 2019 after the 1969 time capsule was opened, but was unfortunately moisture damage deteriorated it beyond preservation. Alikonis’s name can be seen towards the bottom of the decayed paper.

*Group photo credit: Quartermaster General of the Army. Activities Report of the Quartermaster Food and Container Institute for the Armed Forces. Vol. 4, No. 3, pg. 257. Research and Development Associates, Food and Container Institute, Inc., 1952. https://books.google.com/books?id=svDhVf4KeDAC&lpg=RA1-PA98&dq=beich rations&pg=RA2-PA163#v=onepage&q=beich rations&f=false.

Beat Writers Collection in Special Collections

Within The Ames Library’s 4th floor department called Tate Archives & Special Collections are thousands of unique materials and all are available to benefit people in the IWU and surrounding communities.

Click to enlarge

This image contains parts of a collection consisting of books and periodicals (24 linear feet) published by members of the avant-garde literary movement known as “Beat Writers,” whose counter cultural and non-conformist attitudes helped shape the hippie culture of the 60’s. Some of the writers represented in this collection are Diane diPrima, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, LeRoi Jones, and Jack Kerouac. There are approximately eighty others.

The items displayed in these posts are just a small portion of the kinds of materials found in Tate Archives & Special Collections. These collections are in a variety of languages and formats (artifact, book, manuscript, and media) and creation dates range from the 11th-21st centuries. Some collections are completely described and identified and some have yet to be thoroughly organized or examined.

Although many holdings do have a direct connection to the University, many are distinct and unrelated to the others such as the supporting materials for research on the people who created and collected the pottery and basketry items displayed in the entry level rotunda.

Curious minds seeking inspiration for creative works and original research are welcome to stop by and explore the possibilities!

 

More Pembroke windows (sort of)

pembroke lamp2_croppedTerry Garbe of Touch of Glass recently created a lampshade that is now available for use — or just admiring up close — in Tate Archives & Special Collections’ Reading Room.

Mr. Garbe and his staff were responsible for the restoration of the Pembroke Windows that accent the library’s 4th floor rotunda. Pieces left over from that restoration still remain, but pembroke lamponly enough for one complete shade containing many of the windows’ motifs were available.

Stop by, have a seat, enjoy the new shade and the view; and you can also ask about the other treasures hidden in Tate Archives & Special Collections!

Yet another time capsule building identified!

While looking into the history of the Alice Millar Center for the Fine Arts last week, I came across a photo taken in 1973 on the day the date stone was placed in what we now call the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building. If anyone reading this has details on what might be in it, contact the archives because all we have is a photo!

With all that have been previously reported, we now can confirm a total of eleven campus buildings with time capsules:
Hedding Hall (1870; time capsule removed in 1966)
Science Building (1910)
Memorial Gymnasium (1921)
Buck Memorial Library (1922)
Memorial Center (1946 and 1947 dedications and 1965 addition)
Shaw Hall (1954)
Dolan Hall (1955)
Sheean Library (1967; time capsule removed in 2011)
Mark Evans Observatory (1969)
Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art Building (1973)
State Farm Hall (2013)

School of Music reel-to-reel tape

Here’s an update on the time capsule post…the only item in the box that we couldn’t immediately understand/interact with was a tape of original faculty and student works from the School of Music. The tape appeared to be in good condition, but since it had been exposed to temperature fluctuations for a number of years, I decided to have it professionally transferred to digital format.

I just heard back from the vendor that the transfer went well and there was no loss of quality or damage to the tape. Hopefully, within a week or so we’ll have it back and be able to make some segments of it available. As a teaser, check out the program that was included with the tape in the time capsule. Lots of interesting musical works to look forward to…stay tuned!