Sarah Burford ’08, Modern Art Curator

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

William Lieberman ’43 passed away in June 2005 after a long career at museums such as the Metropolitan and MoMA, leaving a collection of approximately six thousand items to his alma mater. Sarah Burford ’08, pictured to the right, began working on the collection last semester as a Mellon Library intern, and the exhibit that she prepared of the collection is opening in McCabe today at 4:15. Visiting Professor of Art History Graham Bader will present a short lecture introducing the collection.

Burford explains that “[Lieberman] came into contact with a lot of famous artists, and some of the works document his interactions with these prominent figures,” for example a book with a personal note from Max Ernst. The collection has mostly art books, but also prints, lithographs, and even audio recordings, one of an interview with Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s wife and an influential Abstract Expressionist in her own right.

Burford explained that “as an art history major it seemed really great to have the opportunity to work on this collection… I had summer internship with the library which culminated in this exhibit.” She encourages students to come because “we’ve been given these really amazing cultural artifacts that until this point have just been in the basement… a lot of them have never been exhibited before, and after this you may need to go to some extra effort to see them.” The library is over halfway done with processing the collection.

“Amazing” is right–the likes of Juan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Max Beckmann, Paul Klee, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, and Dorothea Tanning are only the beginning.

Burford’s favorite piece? “I’d have to say it’s part of a poem-object by Miro… it’s a map that was originally pinned to a stuffed parrot on a perch on a hat that’s been reconstructed. It’s just so eclectic.”

Stop by at 4:15 on Tuesday to enjoy a little bit of food and a lot of culture.

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