Deborah Boardman Gift

During spring semester 2019, the Godine Library received a gift of four hand-painted artist’s books by Deborah Boardman (MassArt BFA 1981). Boardman passed away in 2016 and her husband, Joe Ferguson, was eager to have some of her work return to the institution where Boardman first began exploring her artistic voice. Boardman received her MFA from Tufts in 1987 and promptly moved to Chicago, where she taught painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and created work that was exhibited around the world. Her artist’s books are in the collections of Brooklyn Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Harvard University, Boston Public Library, and now the MassArt Library.

The four books added to the Godine Library collection are: Book of Faults, Girlsongs, Magnetism, and Remedies. Images can be found on her website:

Book of Faults, Girlsongs, and Magnetism will be on exhibit in the Godine Library through September 2019. All works are available by request for viewing. They are most powerful when you get to turn their pages.

Book of Faults
(Some of Yours, Some of Mine), unique painted book, gouache and collage, 2010, 23.5” x 34” (open)

As a part of the installation A Porous Project II at the gallery at DuPage University, Book of Faults is a deeply personal and relatable investigation of insecurities. In it she paints what seem to be confessional flagellations on index cards. Paired with colorful starbursts or dream catchers the effect of the text isn’t really sad but rather affirming. They remind us that we all share similar struggles and it is these insecurities that make us human. Of the Porous Project II, Boardman writes: “in humans, it is through our weaknesses that we connect with each other and create community.”


1997, Unique Painted Book, Gouache on Paper, and monoprint, 27” x 39” (open)
Girlsongs, like Boardman’s Dream Book which is in the collection of the Illinois State Museum, has a more refined production technique and as such represents another facet of Deborah‘s bookmaking practice. They are less notebook-like and more narrative in nature.



With its ethereal text overlays and massive size, Girlsongs feels like a precious object.

2013, Unique Painted Book, Gouache on Paper, 16” x 23” (open)

Magnetism is the most abstract and decorative of the four books. It’s bold and messy and beautiful. It will likely be the hardest to teach with, as I have not yet developed a narrative to connect it to MassArt curriculum or the Godine Library collection, but aesthetically it was the book that I was immediately drawn to.




2009, Unique Painted Book, Gouache on Paper, 16.5” x 27.5” (open)

Remedies is almost a cross between an artist book and an artist’s journal. Or perhaps it is an artist book about artist’s journals.
Either way it is delightful look at the artistic process.



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Bread and Puppet Residency at MassArt February 2016

If you haven’t seen a Bread and Puppet show before, there are still several left!

Wednesday through Saturday, February 17th-20th: 7:30 pm; Sunday, February 21st: 3:00 pm

The Seditious Conspiracy Theater Presents: A Monument to the Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera

Tower Auditorium, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

And check out their artwork, installations  and of course, bread!

Art Exhibit:
Friday, February 12 – Sunday February 21 
7 am-7 pm

North East Kingdom Weapons and Tools for Decapitalization

political art installation created by Peter Schumann

Hours: 7am-7pm, and after all performances

And if you don’t know who they are, please check out their website.


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Catalog from the David Bowie Is... exhibition at the Victoria Albert Museum in London, 2013

Catalog from the David Bowie Is… exhibition at the Victoria Albert Museum in London, 2013 (click the image to see the library catalog record)

David Bowie, Bill Clinton

David Bowie, Bill Clinton

We can all agree he was the coolest, right? Like so cool he released a weird new album, knowing it would be his last, just last week. Anyway, people will memorialize David Bowie much better than I can (Tilda Swinton’s speech at the V&A is amazing), but just know that this image was in the heroes section of my MySpace page back when MySpace was a thing and I was a young art kid myself. My heart is aching today.

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Vacation Reading

Hoorary for classes and crits getting wrapped up!
If you’re looking for suggestions for your newly found free-time, consider some vacation reading.

Here are a few of the enriching, entertaining, and eclectic titles we added to the library collection in 2015.


Crochet coral reef : a project / Margaret Wertheim + Christine Wertheim.
Los Angeles : Institute for Figuring, ©2015.
N6512.5.F48 C58

On Kawarasilence / Jeffrey Weiss with Anne Wheeler.
New York : Guggenheim Museum Publications, 2015.
N7359.K38 A4 2015

Brick / edited by William Hall ; essay by Dan Cruickshank.
London : Phaidon, 2015.
NA4120 .B73 2015

Civil rights and the promise of equality : photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Washington, D.C. : National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution ; London : D Giles Limited, 2015.
E185.615 .C582 2015

50 knots you need to know : learn 50 knots for sailing, climbing, camping and more.
New York : Dog & Bone, 2015.
VM533 .A44 2015

Fire in Cairo / Matthew Connors.
London : SPBH Editions [Self Publish, Be Happy], 2015.
TR647 .C654 2015

Funk & soul covers.
Köln : Taschen, 2015.
NC1882.7.F86 P38 2015

Secret language of flowers : notes on the hidden meanings of flowers in art.
Boston : Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum ; Arles : Actes Sud, ©2015.
N7680 .O58 2015


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Paul Dobbs Retires After 37 Years at MassArt

Paul Dobbs as Walter Smith's Art Education

Paul Dobbs as Walter Smith’s Art Education

Paul Dobbs started working at MassArt in 1978 as an assistant in Continuing Education. He was just 25. He came to the position with several years of experience in journalism, having written for the Salem News, and in communications freelance work. Notably in the 70s he wrote a press release marking the gift of a miniature model radio to an Iranian general to thank the general for his order of American-made radios to operate Iranian air-force jets. That general was killed in the Iranian revolution shortly thereafter.


While working in Continuing Education, Paul was able to make both administrative and curricular improvements. After completing a course with Professor Emeritus John Holland he wrote a program for an Apple2e that the CE office used to automate registration. All transactions had previously been on paper. He employed The Graphic Workshop activists Felice Regan and John Hayes as faculty members. He created a course to take advantage of the tall ships coming to Boston Harbor. Maritime painting at the time was not in style so it was a hard fought course offering.


Marjorie Hellerstein

Marjorie Hellerstein

Meg Hickey

Meg Hickey

Paul quickly moved up the ranks. By the time he moved over to become the Registrar of the College in 1985, he had been promoted to Associate Dean of Continuing Education. Paul was eager to face new challenges posed by becoming Registrar. On applying for the position he secured references from Marjorie Hellerstein (Liberal Arts), Meg Hickey (Architecture), and Morton R. Godine (Vice President of Administration and Finance). Paul held the position of Registrar for only four years and used much of that time to clean up data and processes in the department. While in the Registrar’s office he worked with then Graphic Designer Professor Bernie LaCasse to design a more attractive, informative, and professional-looking transcript. This transcript design was used for years. After pulling several all-nighters to get grades out on time (and they always were!), Paul was ready to explore a new area of the College.

Bill O'Neill

Bill O’Neill

In 1989 President Bill O’Neil asked Paul what he would like to do next, and Paul responded that in meeting with other Registrars he had learned about Records Management and thought MassArt should be more proactively managing its own records. Bill agreed to let Paul found a Records Management program for the college on the condition that he would also establish an Archive for the college, for which Diana Korzenik (Chair of Education) had been agitating.

So in 1989 Paul founded the college’s Archives/Records Management Program. During his time as archivist/records manager, he twice served as Circulation Manager of the library. In 1989 during his second stint as Circulation Manager, Paul helped the library migrate away from the physical card catalog and adopt a consortium-wide automated library system.

Al Gowan

Al Gowan

In 2001 Paul was appointed interim Library Director and in 2005 permanent Library Director. As Library Director, among other accomplishments, Paul initiated library instruction in color theory and intellectual property ethics and curated two very successful exhibitions about the history of the college Gaining Perspective: A Visual History of MassArt and Rebellion and Grace: The Graphic Workshop, 1970-1992. He has served on the boards of Fenway Library Consortium, Fenway Libraries Online, and Massachusetts Council of Chief Librarians of Public Higher Education. At FLO he was board vice president and president during a crucial transition from one director to the next. Paul is leaving the College a significant gift in the form of the TJ Lyons type collection, the second largest collection of type in the United States. Together Professor Emeritus Al Gowan and Paul secured this generous donation for the College, which will be ready for its public unveiling early 2016.

Fundraiser with student Rob Foley, President Kay Sloan, Bernice Godine, and Robert Pinsky

Fundraiser with student Ryan Foley, President Kay Sloan, Bernice Godine, and Robert Pinsky


The library staff is extremely grateful to Paul who has been the warmest and most generous Director one could hope for. But we’re pleased to think his retirement will allow him more time to grow organic produce, stop crude oil pipelines, bird watch, hike, and rabble rouse.

Gems from the Archives:

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Graffiti in other countries – Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel in the Azores

I recently returned from a trip to the largest of the nine islands in the Azores, which are located  in the North Atlantic, not far from the coast of Portugal. I noticed immediately that there was an abundance of beautiful graffiti all around the capital city of Ponta Delgada. Some examples:

White flower FacesSeahorseSea facesDeer tentaclePineapple shipSquidGirl with dogKid in carriageMonkeyguyOld womanPufferfish

For more information on the history, politics and art of street graffiti , please check out some of these books from our stacks:

The art of getting over : graffiti at the millennium

The history of American graffiti

Crimes of style : urban graffiti and the politics of criminality

Getting up : subway graffiti in New York

Graffiti women : street art from five continents

Stencil graffiti

Street art : the graffiti revolution

RackGaki : Japanese graffiti

The world atlas of street art and graffiti

…And many more!

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