What do you get when you ask some of America's
most powerful contemporary writers to develop plays based on their
interpretations of Shakespeare?
Answer: Love's Fire, an edgy collection of
seven short plays based on the bard's love sonnets.
Love's Fire opens this week
in Yulman Theater with performances on Feb. 25 and 26, 8 p.m.; Feb. 27, 2
p.m.; March 2 through 4, 8 p.m.; and March 5, 2 p.m. Tickets, are $7 ($5
for students/seniors). Call ext. 6545.
The Acting Company, a national repertory theater,
commissioned Eric Bogosian, Ntozake Shange, Marsha Norman, Tony Kushner,
William Finn, Wendy Wasserstein and John Guare to create the short plays.
“Taking their inspiration from Shakespeare's
sonnets, the writers walk the line between the weird and the
wonderful,” said director Kelli Wondra. “All the plays are
cutting-edge as they explore man's capacity for love, compassion, and
While doing some research recently, we stumbled upon
an edition of The Chronicle from February of 1970, when the College
was celebrating 175 years.
It was interesting reading for how much — and how
little — things have changed.
Among the news:
— Schenectady Mayor
Malcolm Ellis presents Union President Harold Martin with a proclamation
naming Feb. 25 as “Union College Charter Day.”
— The Board of Trustees
elected its first woman member, Muriel Kauffman, treasurer of the Kansas
City pharmaceutical firm Marion Laboratories.
— The College approved a
“pass-fail” grade system that would permit students to take a
total of eight electives on a pass-fail basis over four years. The policy
was to be reviewed after three terms. (It was, and the College now allows
— The College had raised some $600,000 in gifts during
the first half of the 1969-70 fiscal year.
— The basketball coach
(men's team, of course) resigned after a disappointing 2-10 season.
— Wrestling (yes,
wrestling) defeated Kings Point to bring its record to 8-2.
The College's Board of Trustees has approved a
2000-2001 budget that meets the challenge of strengthening the College,
limiting increases in the cost to attend and providing fair and
competitive compensation for employees.
Among the priorities in the budget:
— A commitment to limit
increases in student costs. This is the eighth consecutive percentage
decrease. The total for tuition, room and board and other fees is $31,602,
a 3.36 percent increase over this year.
— A commitment to meet the
financial need of students. The financial aid budget is $17.5 million,
which represents about 35 percent of the budgeted tuition and fees
— A commitment to provide
fair and competitive compensation. Faculty and administrative salaries and
hourly staff wages are to increase by 3 percent. The $30.4 million salary
and wage budget includes faculty salaries, administrative salaries and
hourly wages of $13.6 million, $9.1 million and $7.7 million respectively.
Administrative and hourly compensation increases will continue to be based
on a merit system based on performance review.
Among other priorities in the budget, there was a
commitment to continue the Union Scholars program and to add resources to
maintain its quality; to fund a Campus Activity Board, which will provide
social alternatives as the College restructures social life as recommended
by the U2K committee; and to provide enhanced Web activities by adding
staff to assist in this effort.
The Trustees also learned that about 72 percent of
education and general revenues come from tuition, room and board fees.
Another 4 percent comes from graduate program revenues.
The College's endowment, as of Dec. 31, is $277
million (market value). The draw on endowment represents 15 percent of the
revenues in the $86 million operating budget.
In the first half of the current fiscal year, the
College had received more than $8.3 million in cash gifts, compared to
about $6.7 million received at this time last year, according to Thomas
Gutenberger, vice president for College Relations. The College is 53
percent toward its goal of $15.7 million.
Applications for admissions recently broke the 4,000
mark, reported Dan Lundquist, vice president for admissions and financial
The board declared tenurable and promoted to associate
professor James Adrian Jr., chemistry; Donald Rodbell, geology; and
Stephen Schmidt, economics.
Friday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m.
Yulman Theater's presentation of Love's Fire. Other
performances are: Feb. 26, 8 p.m.; Feb. 27, 2 p.m.; March 2 through 4, 8
p.m.; and March 5, 2 p.m. Tickets, at $7 ($5 for students/seniors) are
available at the Union College Box Office. Call ext. 6545.
Friday, Feb. 25, 8 p.m.
“Bridges,” the Performing Arts winter concert series, presents
“Crossings,” multi-ethnic jazz with Amy Platt, winds; Randy
Crafton, percussion; Fernando Hernandez-Moros, keyboards; and Emmanuel
Friday, Feb. 25 through Monday, Feb. 28, 8 and 10 p.m.
Film committee presents Sleepy Hollow.
Saturday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m.
“Thruway Accapella,” a concert featuring the Garnet Minstrelles,
Dutch Pipers and acapella groups from other colleges and universities.
Call ext. 5998.
Saturday, Feb. 26, 8 p.m.
Museum-College chamber series presents David Finckel, cello; and Wu Han,
piano in a program of works by Strauss, Prokofiev and Mendelssohn.
Tuesday, Feb. 29, 7 p.m.
International film series presents Brother (Bråt), a Russian film
directed by Aleksei Balabanov.
Tuesday, Feb. 29, 11:30 a.m.
“Pigments, Paint and Painters in Renaissance Venice,” a faculty
colloquium by Louisa Matthew, associate professor of art history.
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.
Sociology of Human Rights film series presents The Legacy of Nuremburg.
Thursday, March 2, 7 p.m.
“Wild Visions” a multi-media presentation by nature photographer
Carl Heilman. Fourth in the five-part series, “The Adirondacks,”
sponsored by the College's Environmental Studies program and the
Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
Through March 14.
Mandeville Gallery, Nott Memorial.
“Walter Hatke: Paintings, Drawings & Prints.” Exhibit
includes about 40 works by the artist over the last 30 years.
Through March 16.
“Vision & Discovery,” an exhibition of works by
photographers Michael Hochanadel, Gail Nadeau, Lou Snitkoff, Marie Triller
and Mark Van Wormer.
Matthew spent most of three months in Venice last fall trying to find a
From the Renaissance, that is.
It seems that pharmacists known as apothecaries in
their time served as art supply dealers for Venetian painters and
other artists, carrying everything from pigments and paint binders to
paintbrushes and turpentine.
Matthew, an associate professor of art history, spent
her sabbatical sifting through dusty archives of documents written in
archaic Italian, mostly in nearly illegible handwriting. Account books,
wills, letters, manuals with paint recipes, inventories, shipping
manifestos all would yield clues to what Matthew calls “the
business of art” in Renaissance Venice.
Matthew will discuss her research in a faculty
colloquium “Pigments, Paint and Painters in Renaissance
Venice” on Tuesday, Feb. 29, at 11:30 a.m. in the Olin
Renaissance Venice, an art capital and busy trading
emporium, has one of the most extensive document archives in Western
Europe, Matthew said. But there are a number of challenges for a
researcher like Matthew: whole sections have not been indexed, few people
used surnames (indeed, most people she is researching are anonymous), and
it is hard to know what types of documents will yield important
Luckily for Matthew, a few people adopted last names
based on profession. While she was researching notary records, one name
jumped off the page: Francesco dei Colori (Frances of the Colors), who
turned out to be an apothecary who sold pigments. Eventually, Matthew
found eight others who used the dei Colori surname including one who sold
only art supplies, not the stock of a medicinal apothecary.
“We knew that apothecaries sold art supplies,”
she said, “but we had no idea that they constituted a specialized
profession in their own right.”
She is also interested in finding out more about the
painting profession as a whole. The split between the “fine
arts” and “crafts” had its start in the Italian
Renaissance, Matthew explains. While a few well-known artists like Bellini,
Titian and Giorgione became the elite by elevating their art to a more
intellectual level, a large number of others labored in relative
obscurity, their works now largely lost or forgotten.
“We know very little about those who stayed at the
craft level, the 'blue-collar artisans,' if you will,” says
Matthew. “If you want a view of the whole profession, you have to
look at all the little guys too. For every one “figure painter”
as they were called the ones we go to see at museums there were
several 'craftsmen' or 'artisans' who painted such things as
leather, cards and furniture. Their story has yet to be told.
“I want to give my colleagues an idea of what an
art historian really does,” Matthew said of her upcoming talk.
“Aesthetics, appreciation and analysis … that stuff is not all of
art history. It's a very interdisciplinary field that delves into
economic, social and political history, chemistry, the history of science,
even environmental science (Pollution from the art industry was a problem
in Renaissance Venice.)
“It's also interesting to see how teaching and
research are completely intertwined,” she said. “For this
project, I started with a broad idea. I tend at first to go in a lot of
trajectories in all sorts of directions. As I tell my students when they
start their research, it's very confusing and you have to be very
organized. But you also have to be adaptable and curious.
“In my teaching, I've always been interested in
conveying the process of art,” Matthew says. “How did people do
these things? Of course, we're dealing with processes.”