Chapter History: The First 25 Years

ART LIBRARIES SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA
SOUTHEAST CHAPTER

A TALE OF TWO DECADES
A 25th Anniversary Timeline of Chapter Events from 1974-1999

Compiled by Stephen Allan Patrick, SE Chapter Historian/Archivist, from Chapter files and personal experience.

1974-75 (ARLIS/GEORGIA)

That first year included two preliminary meetings one in Athens GA in April and one in Atlanta on September 10, 1975. In June that year Ray Abell of the Tampa Public Library requested the formation of an ARLIS/Georgia-Florida Chapter. On December 6, 1975 in Atlanta, Leslie Friedman of the University of Georgia was elected Chair, Ray Abell of the Tampa Public Library was elected Vice-Chair, and Sarah Daniels of the Atlanta College of Art was elected Secretary and served as head of the Project Committee working on architectural records.

1975-76

The 2nd annual meeting was held in Sarasota FL on December 11, 1976. Ray Abell served as Chair, Mary Ellen “Mel” LoPresti of the Architecture Library at Georgia Tech was elected Vice-Chair, and Leslie Saunders of the Tampa-Hillsborough Public Library was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1976-77

The 3rd annual meeting was held in Atlanta on December 8-10, 1977 as ARLIS/Southeast. Earlier that year Ray Abell left his position at Tampa Public Library and Mel LoPresti took over as Chair. That same year Mel also took a new position at the North Carolina State University Design Library. Mel continued to serve as Chair the following year and Leslie Saunders continued as Secretary-Treasurer. Marcia Duncan of UNC-Charlotte was elected Vice-Chair. The meeting consisted of a tour of the Omni Complex and the Fox Theatre. 1977 was also the first year that yours truly attended a Southeast Chapter meeting.

1977-78

Early in 1978 Leslie Saunders left her position at Tampa Public Library. Mel LoPresti phoned me to see if I (Stephen) was interested in taking over as Secretary-Treasurer for the Chapter; I agreed. At the ARLIS/NA Conference in New York in February Marcia Duncan was elected Eastern Regional Representative. The 4th annual meeting was held in Charlotte NC on November 10-11, 1978. Mel LoPresti presided and Marcia hosted the meeting which included a visit to Charlotte’s newly formed arts center, Spirit Square. Elsie Straight of the Ringling School of Art Library was elected Vice-Chair. To improve the chapter image Stephen designed a chapter logo which was used on all official correspondence.

1978-79

The 5th annual meeting was hosted by Elsie in Sarasota FL on November 9-10, 1979. That was the year Marcia developed car trouble on the way to the meeting and was stranded near her family’s home in Ocala. The meeting included tours of the Ringling Museum of Art, and the Ringling School of Art. Stephen Patrick of the Greenville County (SC) Library was elected Vice-Chair and Jill Leech of UNC-Charlotte was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1979-80

In January 1980 the Southeast Chapter was host to the ARLIS/NA national conference in New Orleans. Marcia Duncan and Darla Rushing did most of the planning and organization for the conference. The 6th annual chapter meeting was hosted by Stephen in Greenville, South Carolina, on November 7-9, 1980. The program consisted of tours of the Greenville Museum of Art and their newly acquired Andrew Wyeth Collection and the Bob Jones University Art Museum. An added treat was a trip to Asheville to visit Biltmore House. 1980 was also memorable for the lengthy business following our first chapter catered dinner at the home of Alice White and Priscilla Adair. The historic home on Pettigrew Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Darla Rushing of Loyola University was elected Vice-Chair.

1980-81

Our 7th annual meeting was hosted by Darla in New Orleans on November 6-7, 1981. The meeting included our first real program sessions, instead of all tours. As side attractions we toured the New Orleans Museum of Art, the French Quarter, and the Garden District. Our treat consisted of a homemade jambalya dinner at the apartment of Jeanette Dixon Downing’s parents in the Pontalba overlooking historic Jackson Square. Of course, there was a lot of good food at the meeting. Margaret Knoerr of Duke University was elected Vice-Chair and Julie Compton of the Atlanta Public Library was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1981-82

Our 8th annual chapter meeting was hosted by Margaret and was held jointly with the ARLIS/DC-Maryland-Virginia Chapter at the Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill NC from November 5-7, 1982. Caroline Backland, ARLIS/NA Chair, and Janis Ekdahl, Eastern Regional Representative, was in attendance. The meeting included several sessions at the UNC-Chapel Hill Ackland Art Museum, the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park and other sites. This was our largest meeting with 36 attendees. Jill Leech Sloop was elected Vice-Chair.

1982-83

Following the 1982 meeting Julie resigned and Louise Creed of Western Carolina University in Cullowhee was appointed Secretary-Treasurer. Our 9th annual meeting with the theme “Library Support of the Arts” was held in Charlotte on November 4-6, 1983 and was hosted by Jill. The meeting consisted of a panel discussion held at UNCC and other locations. Our special treat was dinner hosted by Marcia Duncan where everyone raved about her special dip, called Duncan’s Delight. Leslie Abrams of the College of Charleston was elected Vice-Chair.

1983-84

Our 10th annual meeting was hosted by Leslie in Charleston SC (although she had moved to the Architecture Library at Clemson University) on November 2-4, 1984 with the theme “Restoration and Preservation in Charleston, SC: a Living, Historic City in the 20th Century.” Meeting sessions were held at the Frances Marion Hotel, the Gibbs Art Museum, among other sites. Side features included a walking tour of homes in the historic district. Mary Ashe, ARLIS/NA Chair was in attendance. This meeting also contained our first Rizzoli Raffle which has now become an annual event. The membership also approved a southeast publications award. Yvonne Morse of the Ringling School of Art Library in Sarasota was elected Vice-Chair.

1984-85

While we were saddened by the death of Mary Ellen LoPresti, her death gave birth to the LoPresti Publication Awards for outstanding art publishing in the Southeast. The chair of the 1st LoPresti Awards was Luz Aveleyra of UNC- Charlotte. Our 11th annual meeting was hosted by Yvonne in Sarasota on November 1-3, 1985 under the theme of “Sarasota Potpourri: Artists and Museums.” Meetings were held at the Ringling Museum of Art, and the Ringling School of Art. We were treated with dinner on floating restaurant. Sarasota saw our one commemorative t-shirt. Edward Teague of the University of Florida in Gainesville was elected Vice-Chair and Phyllis Pivorum of Clemson University was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1985-86

Our 12th annual meeting was hosted by Ed in St. Augustine, Florida, on October 31 – November 2, 1986. Meetings were held at the 16th century Llambias House with tours of the San Agustin Historic Dictrict, Gonzalez-Alvarez House, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument (the fort), Flagler College (former Ponce de Leon Hotel), and the Lightner Museum. Eileen Markson, Eastern Regional Representative, was in attendance. Yvonne Morse was chair of the 2nd LoPresti Awards. Phil Rees of UNC-Chapel Hill was elected Vice-Chair.

1986-87

Phil hosted the 13th annual meeting in Chapel Hill on October 30 – November 1, 1987. Meetings were held at the UNC-CH Ackland Art Museum. The group toured the new UNC-CH art library facility, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, and had a reception at home of Margaret Knoerr. A special treat was dinner at the home of Phil and Peg Rees. Terry Fraver of the Atlanta College of Art Library was chair of the 3rd LoPresti Awards. William Clayton of the University of Georgia was elected Vice-Chair.

1987-88

The 14th annual meeting was hosted by Bill in Atlanta GA on November 4-6, 1988. Meetings were held at the newly completed High Museum of Art by architect Richard Meier, the Atlanta College of Art and Georgia Tech Architectural Library. Jack Miller of the High Museum of Art was chair of the 4th LoPresti Awards. Floyd Zula of Tulane University was elected Vice-President.

1988-89

Floyd hosted the 15th annual meeting in New Orleans LA from November 3-5, 1989. This meeting also brought forth another milestone. The membership voted to donate $100 to the ARLIS/NA Research Fund, as well as, go international and extend our chapter boundaries to include Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Meeting was held at the the Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) with a reception in the Counting Room Courtyard following, and other tours in and around the historic French Quarter. Tours included the New Orleans Museum of Art, Julia Street, the Hermann-Grima House and the Gallier House. Sara Wolf of the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte was chair of the 5th LoPresti Awards. Our own Ed Teague, Eastern Regional Representative, was in attendance. Sara Wolf was elected Vice-President and Emma Zell of the Art Institute of Atlanta was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1989-90

Our 16th annual meeting was hosted by Sara in Charlotte from November 2-4, 1990. Many of our meetings were held at the Mint Museum. We also visited the new Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Public Library and the new UNC-Charlotte School of Architecture facility. Ed Teague, Eastern Regional Representative, was in attendance. Stephen Patrick of East Tennessee State University was chair of the 6th LoPresti Awards. Anne Ross of the Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library was elected Vice-President.

1990-91

A week following the 1990 meeting Wilma Wierwill, our oldest member, died on November 12th. She and her husband, Hal, had been coming to our meetings when her health permitted since 1983. Anne hosted the 17th annual chapter meeting in Tampa on November 8-9, 1991. Meetings were held at the Tampa Public Library with tours of the Fine Arts Center, the Tampa Museum of Art, Ybor City, as well as other sites in and around Tampa. Lynell Morr of the Ringling Museum of Art Library was chair of the 7th LoPresti Awards. The Ringling School of Art and Design Library was named repository for the winning LoPresti entries. Our own Phil Rees, newly elected Southern Regional Representative, was in attendance. Lee Sorensen of Duke University was elected Vice-President and Marilyn Halkovic of the University of Georgia was elected Secretary-Treasurer.

1991-92

Lee hosted the 18th annual meeting in Chapel Hill & Durham on November 13-15, 1992 with the theme of “Electronic Art Imaging for Libraries.” Outstanding meetings were held at Duke University with tours to the UNC-CH Ackland Art Museum and Art Library, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. Ed Teague was chair of the 8th LoPresti Awards. Our own Phil Rees, Southern Regional Representative, was in attendance. Dessert was hosted at the home of Anna Dvorak. Melissa McDonald of the Savannah College of Art and Design was elected Vice-President.

1992-93

Melissa hosted the 19th annual chapter meeting in Savannah GA on November 12-14, 1993. Meetings were held at the Planter’s Inn Hotel with other sessions at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Double-decker bus tour of historic Savannah. Carl Penny was chair of the 9th LoPresti Awards. 1993 was the 10th year of the chapter raffle. Elizabeth Rich of the Columbia (SC) Museum of Art was elected Vice-President and Stephen Majure of the Savannah College of Art and Design was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Jane McRae of Birmingham volunteered to host the 20th annual meeting in Birmingham.

1993-94

The 20th annual meeting hosted by Jane McRae in Birmingham on November 11-13, 1994 and was held in part at the historic Tutwiler Hotel with other sessions held at the Birmingham Museum of Art. This was an eventful meeting where the Local Arrangements Chair, Jim Findlay, and Program Chair, Stephen Patrick, for the 1996 ARLIS/NA Conference highlighted their plans and introduced their committees for the Chapter to host the meeting in Miami Beach. We were also honored to have Ed Teague, ARLIS/NA Vice-President/President-Elect, as one of our own members representing us on the Executive Board. Joan Stahl, ARLIS/NA Eastern Regional Representative was also in attendance and spoke on the conference planning. Deborah Barlow of Clemson University was elected Vice-President, and Stephen Patrick of East Tennessee State University was elected Newsletter Editor. Libby Rich was chair of the 10th LoPresti Awards. The group celebrated this milestone event in grand style and with one of the largest numbers in attendance.

1994-95

The 21st annual chapter meeting was hosted by Deborah Barlow in Clemson on October 19-21, 1995 with most of the meetings being held at the Madren Center on the Clemson University campus. The focus of this event also centered on our hosting the 1996 ARLIS/NA conference in Miami Beach which was rapidly approaching. Conference co-chairs Anne Ross and Stephen Patrick updated the membership about the Conference Planning Advisory Committee meeting held in Miami Beach the previous July. Other events included a presentation by Anne Lally, and tours of the Hanover House, South Carolina Botanical Gardens, the Strom Thurmond Institute and the Gunnin Architectural Library. LeAnne Brown of the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta GA was elected Vice-President and Emma Zell of Jacksonville FL was elected Secretary-Treasurer. The 11th annual LoPresti Awards were announced.

1995-96

The chapter survived the 24th ARLIS/NA Conference held in Miami Beach on April 25 – May 2, 1996 at the Doral Ocean Beach Hotel. The theme was “ARLIS and the New World / ARLIS Y El Nuevo Mundo”. We pulled out the stops and hosted one of the most memorable events of the organization’s history. The sessions, the tours, the food, and the fun left a lasting memory on the minds of all who attended. However, a toll was taken on the chapter membership and one of the smallest group of members attended the 22nd annual chapter meeting in Augusta GA, hosted by LeAnne Brown on October 17-19, 1996. Members stayed at the historic Partridge Inn. We had a fabulous guided tour of Historic Augusta that began in a heavy fog that lifted somewhere along the way. This was followed by a delightful docent tour of the Morris Museum of Art. The real treat was a lecture by local author and editor, Starkey Flythe, Jr. LeAnne Brown did double duty as host and chapter chair, due to the resignation of Deborah Barlow and her move to the Corcoran School of Art Library in DC. Emma Zell also had to resign as Secretary-Treasurer due to a change in her job. Donna Smith of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel MS volunteered to serve out Emma’s term as Secretary-Treasurer. Marilyn Healey was chair of the 12th annual LoPresti Awards.

1996-97

A mid-year meeting was held at the 25th ARLIS/NA Conference in San Antonio with Lee Sorenson, ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative presiding. The chapter was grateful for Stephen Patrick and his hard work in designing the ARLIS/SE website. Ann Lindell was thanked for setting up the ARLISSE-L discussion list. Other minor chapter business was discussed. Carl Penney became the Vice-President of the Chapter and hosted the 23rd annual chapter meeting in New Orleans on October 31 – November 2, 1997. Members stayed at the new Hampton Inn / Garden District on St. Charles Avenue on the streetcar line. A variety of events were planned. Members were invited to attend the opening of the Heriard-Cimini Gallery on Julia Street. Bob Heriard is one of the Southeast Chapter’s long-standing members. Other sessions and tours included the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Old Mint (part of the Louisiana State Museum) and the new research facilities of the Historic New Orleans Collection. A few brave souls ventured to the Destrehan and San Francisco plantations along River Road. Linda McKee of the Ringling Museum of Art was elected Vice-President. Donna Smith continued as Secretary-Treasurer. Carl Penney chaired the 13th annual LoPresti Awards.

1997-98

A mid-year meeting was scheduled for the 26th ARLIS/NA Conference in Philadelphia with Lee Sorenson and Linda McKee presiding. Once again the chapter members in attendance were able to discuss various chapter issues and get together for some fun. The glorious 24th annual chapter meeting was hosted by Linda McKee in Sarasota FL on October 15-18, 1998 with many members staying at the Radisson Lido Beach Resort. Another full schedule of events occupied the members on their two-day stay in the sun. Sessions and tours included the Ringling School of Art and Design, and Computer Animation Lab. A special tour of the new Selby Library (Sarasota Public Library) was a real treat. All day Saturday was spent at the Ringling Museum of Art with visits to its many venues. Kim Collins of the High Museum of Art was elected Vice-President; Ann Lindell of the University of Florida, Gainesville, took over the duties of Newsletter Editor. The 14th annual LoPresti Awards were presented.

1998-99

The 1999 mid-year chapter meeting was held at the 27th ARLIS/NA Conference in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia on March 29, 1999 at the Hotel Vancouver. Kim Collins presided over the meeting as a prelude to the 25th annual ARLIS/Southeast Chapter meeting. Pat Lynagh was introduced at the new ARLIS/NA South Regional Representative. A lively discussion on lifetime chapter membership was continued from the Sarasota meeting. Roberto Ferrari was asked by Collins to develop a website for the 25th chapter meeting. A membership drive was initiated to assist in the anniversary initiative. The group then adjourned to a fabulous restaurant several blocks away. During the conference, Kim Collins invited the ARLIS/NA membership to join with the Southeast Chapter in celebrating its 25th Anniversary in Atlanta on November 4-7, 1999.