A new display is currently on view at Memorial Library entitled “Defining Activism:” books by and about American Activists.
In tandem with the current exhibition up at the Dowd and Beard Galleries, the Memorial Library is highlighting activism, as exhibited in our collections and at SUNY Cortland.
The library is highlighting a selection of books by about 28 “Americans who tell the truth” as depicted in Robert Shetterly’s portrait series currently showing in the Dowd and Beard Galleries. The 28 portraits originated from a still growing collection of more than 150 activists. Inspired by events that took place after 9/11 and the apparent disingenuity of the Bush Administration, Robert Shetterly, a Maine-based artist, set out to paint portraits of American activists that “tell the truth.” Drawn from a wide-range of activism, be it criminal justice activism, environmental activism, peace activism, each activist is beautifully represented by a portrait and a quote inscribed into the painting itself. A project spanning now over ten years, Shetterly continues to paint portraits of courageous American figures that define and redefine how we as a people can stand up to injustice.
Be sure to take a trip downtown to check out the exhibition in person! In the meantime, enjoy the slideshow displayed downstairs in the lobby depicting each activist in the exhibition accompanied by the powerful and poignant quote Shetterly chose to include within the portrait.
Alongside the books showcased, we have provided a bibliography for your own research. Come by the library and pick one up!