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4 posts from August 2013


NYU’s New Events Calendar

Aug 27, 2013

Like the city around us, NYU has never lacked activities. Each week, the university provides scores (if not hundreds) of events ranging from guest lectures to art exhibits, live performances to charitable service—as well as conferences, symposia, and dance parties.

What we have lacked is a calendar that was up-to-snuff and people wanted to use. But that has changed.

Continue reading "NYU’s New Events Calendar" »


“Law & Order: NYU” or “CSI: NYU”?

Aug 23, 2013

Bones1Cropped

Bones found near the Washington Mews appear to be the remains of an equine toe. 

Viewers of the now-defunct television series “Law & Order” are undoubtedly familiar with the show’s mythical “Hudson University.” The institution offered a seemingly endless supply of victims, suspects, and witnesses—but, if memory serves, never any forensics experts.

That changed—in the real world, at least—earlier this week at NYU.

Continue reading "“Law & Order: NYU” or “CSI: NYU”?" »


NYU Exhibits the Dramatic Murals of Painter and NYU Professor Hale Woodruff

Aug 7, 2013

Underground 007_HW_DIGThe Underground Railroad

The arts have been a strong suit of NYU from its beginning. Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph and early version of the telegraphic alphabet that would come to bear his name, was appointed a professor of painting and sculpture at NYU – one of the first faculty appointments at NYU.

Now the work of another arts professor—Hale Woodruff (1900-1980), an African-American painter and muralist who was a faculty member at NYU from 1946 to 1968 at the school that evolved into the present day Steinhardt and who was a major figure in New York City’s artistic community in the years after World War II—is being exhibited at NYU’s 80WSE Galleries on the east side of Washington Square Park. The exhibition is sponsored by the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and NYU’s Faculty Resource Network.

Prior to coming to New York, Woodruff was commissioned by Talladega College, a small black college in Alabama, to paint a series of murals illustrating important moments in black American history. 

Woodruff painted six murals: huge, colorful, and bold, they dramatically depict the story of the Amistad (the slave ship Africans mutinied to gain their freedom), the underground railroad, and the founding of Talladega College by freed slaves.

Mutiny

The Mutiny on the Amistad

Woodruff was at heart an educator, and he viewed the murals as an effort to teach students at Talladega—and anyone else who viewed them—not only about important episodes in American history, but also that black men and women could be strong and heroic figures. Living and working in the segregated South, Woodruff painted the Africans on the Amistad and the freed slaves who built Talladega College as strong, confident, and intelligent men and women.

Several years after completing the Talladega murals, Woodruff moved to New York to begin teaching at NYU. In 1967, the year before he retired, he was honored with NYU’s Great Teacher Award, and the University sponsored a retrospective of his artwork.

He also immersed himself in the city’s artistic world. He joined a short-lived salon, called “Studio 35,” with artists that included Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning (Woodruff was the only black artist in the group). Later, he created an artists’ collective called “Spiral” that sponsored discussions about African-American art and the civil rights movement.

OpeningOpening Day at Talladega College

So it was only fitting that when Talladega College (which is also a participant in NYU’s Faculty Resource Network) decided to restore the Woodruff murals and send them on a national tour, they would be exhibited at NYU.

“Hale Woodruff played a leading role in one of the most important undertakings in African-American, and by extension, American art in the 20th century,” said Debra Spencer, an NYU art consultant on the exhibit. “Through his murals, he introduced powerful narratives from black history that empowered generations of black Americans and challenged white Americans about how they understood the history of the United States.”

The Woodruff exhibition runs through Oct. 13, 2013. The 80 WSE Galleries, located at 80 Washington Square East, are open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

--Philip Lentz


Setting the Record Straight

Aug 5, 2013

Last week, Provost David McLaughlin responded to a letter from the Faculty Against the Sexton Plan that had many negative things to say about NYU.

That response – an email to faculty – provided a straightforward yet compelling set of metrics about NYU’s academic improvement over the last 10 years. Understanding that momentum – the improvement in the quality of NYU’s faculty, students, scholarship, undergraduate experience, facilities, and stature that has transformed NYU over the last three decades – is the key to understanding NYU.

That upward trajectory is continuing, so I thought you might want to see what he wrote. It’s powerful.

Continue reading "Setting the Record Straight" »


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