The Allendale Branch Library continues its "Collectors in Conversation" series with a discussion with Carol A. Wells, an art historian, curator, and founding director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics, on Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., at 1130 S. Marengo Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91106. The discussion will be moderated by retired photojournalist Fred Glienna.
The Center for the Study of Political Graphics is a Culver City-based educational and research archive with more than 80,000 domestic and international social movement posters from the 19th century to the present. Wells has produced more than 75 poster exhibitions which have traveled to over 300 venues throughout the United States and internationally. Her articles on political graphics have appeared in numerous publications and catalogues, including Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change, which Wells co-edited as part of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time initiative.
Wells, who has been involved in social justice since her high school days, had an epiphany about the power of political graphics when a UCLA professor hired her to travel to Nicaragua in 1981 to collect posters for him after the Sandinistas had come to power. One day in Managua, Wells watched a young boy stop to read a poster from a Sandinista women's organization. The slogan on the poster, which featured the image of a woman holding a basket of coffee beans, read, "In constructing the new country, we are becoming new women." Wells said, "I watched the kid trying to figure out what this means. It made him ask the question, 'Why is someone saying that?' That's how posters work. They attract your attention when you're not expecting it and they challenge you to think about the world differently." Thus began Wells's fascination for collecting posters, which combined her two lifelong passions of art and politics, and eventually led to the formation of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in 1989.
"Collectors in Conversation" is an ongoing series of quarterly programs which showcases the wonderful world of collectors and collections, both private and institutional, and their ability to amaze, inspire, and enlighten the public.
The program is free of charge and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
For further information, contact the Allendale Branch Library at (626) 744-7260 or visit pasadenapubliclibrary.net. More details are also available at the Allendale Branch Library Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/allendalebranch.
[Photo of Carol Wells courtesy of Iris Schneider.]