Australia is about as far from New York as one can travel. However, the three NYARC libraries have a small but important collection of materials about Australian art that brings the country from down under to the United States. In May and June 2011, the Frick Art Reference Library acquired 150 Australian exhibition catalogs. The majority of these catalogs are not widely available, with the Frick being the only library in the United States to own copies of some of the titles. Added to works about Aboriginal and post-WWII Australian art at the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Frick’s recent acquisition helps to form a high-quality consortial collection related to art in Australia.
My colleague Lauren Adelman stopped by the reference desk a while back. What do you have on murals, she asked. I knew this would be interesting. Lauren works with MoMA’s Community and Access Programs, partnering with organizations involved with the criminal justice system. This is part of her broader work as New York Director of Artistic Noise. I was right: she was working with young men at the Bronx Residential Center to create a mural for their main entryway.