Conference & Fair EPHEMERA/18  March 20-22, 1998

Schedule of Speakers and Presentations

Friday, March 20 10 a.m.-Noon

Products of Intelligence and Diligence: The Shakers and Their Products
M Stephen Miller

The United Society of Believers, commonly called Shakers, is a sect whose spiritual existence is underpinned by economic activity. Beginning with the sale of garden seeds in the 1790s and continuing with the sale of herbs at the present time, Shaker products have been raised in 18 self-sustaining communities and marketed throughout the United States. One medicinal preparation, the Extract of Roots, was sold globally. This slide presentation looks at the tangible remains of the Shaker community industries-ephemera-to survey the impressive scope of their output in the 19th century.

M Stephen Miller is a practicing periodontist who has collected, researched, and written about Shaker ephemera for 20 years. He curated the first exhibit of this material in 1988 and subsequently wrote A Century of Shaker Ephemera. He sits on the boards of Hancock and Canterbury Shaker villages and chaired the Ephemera Society's board of directors from 1995 to 1998.

The Ephemera of AIDS
Edward Atwater

What are the ephemera of AIDS? Why collect them? How and where does one find them? How does one store them? What does one do with them, once collected? These are some of the questions that will be addressed. Emphasis will be on AIDS posters drawn from Dr. Atwater's collection and specifically selected to illustrate the great diversity of topics found in this format. Some are funny, some are serious. Others are scary, or outrageous, or beautiful. They all are intended to inform people how to avoid AIDS and to exhort them to use appropriate behavior. Looked at chronologically, they reflect changes in our understanding of the disease. More importantly, they show what widely different attitudes toward sex and serious dis-ease may be found in different countries and societies.

Those attending this presentation should be aware that some of the images are sexually explicit.

Edward Atwater was born, raised, and has lived most of his life in Western New York. His undergraduate major in history and a medical degree from Harvard led him into graduate work in the history of medicine at Johns Hopkins. For 37 years he practiced medicine and taught at the University of Rochester Medical School where he is presently emeritus professor of medicine. His historical publications include articles about the medical profession, medical education, and early hospitals. Long a collector, his special interest for many years has been old medical books and ephemera. He began collecting AIDS posters in 1991 after he saw one for the first time while riding on the MTA in Boston. It seemed to him that such posters would be an important part of medical history. A selection of posters from his collection was recently exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in a show titled "Graphic Alert."

Friday, March 20 1-4 p.m.

Victorian History Through the Stereoscope
Michael Hoeflich

This presentation uses stereographic images, primarily produced in the United States from the late 1850s to the early 20th century, as an historical source for under-standing Victorian and Edwardian attitudes about such issues as race, gender, marriage, temperance, and Manifest Destiny in the United States. Professor Hoeflich attempts to demonstrate how photographers moved beyond the confines of portraiture and landscape photography and into significant social narrative when they began to produce stereographs. He explores why this change happened and discusses the ways in which stereographs can provide a very significant historical resource for understanding society and culture in Victorian and Edwardian America. He includes discussion of such publishers as E. & H.T. Anthony, Barker, WH. Jackson, Underwood & Underwood, and others.

Michael Hoeflich is the Kane Professor of Law, professor of history, and dean of the Law School at the University of Kansas. He holds degrees from Haverford College, Cambridge University, and Yale Law School. He is the author of more that 50 articles and 5 books on law and legal history. His most recent book, Roman and Civil Law and the Development of Anglo-American Jurisprudence, was published last year. He has long been a collector of ephemera related to legal history and has made extensive use of printed and manuscript ephemera as a source for much of his scholarship. He has recently become interested in the his-tory of photography. His current projects include a photographic history of the law in Kansas and a book about perceptions of law and lawyers from the 18th through 20th centuries.

The Art of Security Engraving
Mark D. Tomasko

Intaglio printing for security purposes is an art brought to perfection in 19th-century America, developed to meet the needs of the banking system, which before 1865 allowed most banks to issue their own currency. While too long dismissed as only of interest to collectors of bank notes and stamps, intaglio printing for security purposes is the most difficult and expensive form of printing and produced some spectacular documents. Mr. Tomasko will review the process of engraving and intaglio printing, the history and development of the art, and of the bank note industry in the United States from the early 19th century to today. He will illustrate the design evolution of some of the documents, including bank notes, securities, and other items such as tickets, labels, and advertisements.

Mark D. Tomasko is a corporate attorney who continues to build a reference collection on security, or "bank note," engraving. He has written articles and given presentations on the subject. He curated an exhibit on security engraving at The Grolier Club in 1991 and also curated the 200th Anniversary of American Bank Note Company exhibit at the Museum of American Financial History in 1995. He is particularly interested in documenting the picture engravers, vignette artists, and bank note companies, and is one of the few people interested in collecting and researching all periods of the work.

Saturday, March 21 7:30 p.m. Banquet

Scandalous Ephemera
David Tatham

Illicit sex, religion as a profit-making business, shady politics, rumored pay offs-all these involving a national leader and reported to a sensation-seeking public by a scandal-loving media. This all-too-familiar scenario of our times had its modern beginnings with the Beecher-Tilton Scandal of the 1870s. With a cast of characters that included not only the nation's most prominent preacher (Beecher) and one of its most promising editors (Tilton), but also such luminaries of the era as Susan B. Anthony, Victoria Woodhull, and General Ben Butler, the scandal and its aftermath generated a fascinating variety of mostly satiric ephemera, from song sheets and trade cards to comic weeklies and broadside cartoons, many of which will be shown in this illustrated presentation on one of the most memorable events of the Gilded Age.

David Tatham, former dean and professor of fine arts at Syracuse University, has published widely about the popular and fine arts of l9th-century America. Among his books are The Lure of the Striped Pig: The illustration of Popular Music in America, 1820-1870; Winslow Homer and the Illustrated Book; and, most recently, Winslow Homer in the Adirondacks.

Sunday, March 229 a.m.-Noon

Home Away from Home: Motels, Tourist Cabins, and Auto Camps
John Margolies

This slide presentation brings to life the new types of roadside hostelries that evolved to serve automotive travelers, starting out with the days of camping out beside the road in the early part of this century. Auto camps were succeeded by colorful "mom-and-pop" tourist cabins, then elongated motel structures, and finally, the modem chains such as Holiday Inn, which made the creation of motel rooms an almost scientific art. These topics are brought to life by combining rare archival photographs, postcards, and other motel artifacts and documents along with Mr. Margolies's own color photographs.

John Margolies is a commentator, photographer, and lecturer on American popular culture and commercial design. For more than 20 years he has explored the highways and byways of the United States in search of unique and typical examples of roadside, main street, and resort architecture. Among his numerous books is the most recent Fun Along the Road: American Tourist Attractions. His photographs and articles have been published in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Smithsonian, and Esquire. He has delivered lectures and conducted seminars at major colleges and universities; taught at the California Institute of the Arts and Pratt Institute; and has curated exhibitions at the National Building Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hudson River Museum, and Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Paths of Promise and Trails of Team: Land Promotion in the American West
David Farmer

Printed ephemera from 19th- and 20th-century western land promotion reveals much about the way Americans approached the expansion and settlement of their country. The motifs of national identity, bounteous and productive land, opportunity for all, and the promise of success in a new locale play out in a variety of ways, all calculated to motivate people to pull up stakes, spend hard-earned money, and risk failure in ventures they may have been ill-prepared to undertake. The promotional ephemera that led people down new paths and trails also reflects a variety of design and printing techniques, some predictable, others highly imaginative. In an illustrated lecture on land promotion ephemera, Dr. David Fanner will discuss examples of the motifs found in the collections at DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

David Farmer is the director of the DeGolyer Library at Southern Methodist University, a major repository of Western Americana, Spanish Borderlands, and railroad history col-lections. He presently resides in Southlake, Texas, and is the author or editor of 11 books rang-ing in subject from D.H. Lawrence to the North American Indian. He has alto written or edit-ed exhibition catalogues, articles, and reviews; delivered lectures at conferences and meetings in the United States and abroad; and teaches in the master of liberal arts pro-gram at SMU and Fort Burgwin.

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