The Monuments Men

One of the most anticipated movies this fall is The Monuments Men, based on the book The Monuments Men : Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history by Robert M. Edsel.

The Monuments Men, a group of men and women from thirteen nations, most of them volunteers, who were museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. These mostly middle-aged family men, walked away from successful careers into the epicenter of the war, risking—and some losing—their lives. They raced against time in order to save the world’s greatest cultural treasures from destruction at the hands of Nazi regime.

A little known fact is that one of these brave men lived among us quietly for decades - Charles Sawyer, a member of the Roberts Commission, established by President Roosevelt on June 23, 1943, charged with promoting the preservation of cultural properties in war areas, provided this mission did not interfere with military operations. Professor Sawyer was the Director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art from 1957-1972.

The Charles Sawyer Center for Museum Studies at the University of Michigan Museum of Art was founded in his honor in 2003. “Charlie” Sawyer passed away after a brief illness on February 25, 2005. Here are the Old News articles on Charles Sawyer.

Opening Night Concert at the Bandshell

Opening Night at West Park BandshellOpening Night at West Park Bandshell

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, marks the opening concert for the Ann Arbor Civic Band summer season! All performances will take place in the West Park bandshell. As you can see from this 1943 photograph of the old bandshell, lounging in the grass before this A2 landmark is a summer tradition that goes back many years. Read about the history of West Park in Oldnews, and catch some of the recent photographs we've posted detailing the construction of the original bandshell in 1938.

Tonight: Townie Trivia Night at LIVE: Show Off Your Weird Ann Arbor Knowledge!

UFO SketchUFO SketchThursday, June 13 | 7-9pm | Live, 102 S. 1st Street | Adult

Think you're an expert on all things Ann Arbor? Love trivia, but looking for something that hits a little closer to home than general pop-culture quiz nights? Join us at Live, just a few blocks from the library, for our own version of a pub quiz!

Whether you're a history buff or just think you're hot stuff at searching, AADL's Townie Trivia is your chance to show off your deep local knowledge, learn tidbits about the wild and weird parts of A2's past (complete with photos from our Old News archives), and perhaps enjoy a frosty beverage, while leaving the other trivia buffs in the dust.

The set-up for Townie Trivia is a little different than you might be used to at other trivia events. While some pub quizes make you leave your smartphone at the door, we'll actually be providing each team with a dedicated iPad for research and scoring.

Use a combination of old-timer knowledge and tech savvy to show the other teams who's boss. Show up with an already-formed group of 4-5 members, or go solo -- either is OK. Although the event is intended for adults, all ages are welcome, so if you have a sharp teen who's a potential team member, bring them along!

At the end of the night, we'll have prizes for the winning and runner-up teams!

Celebrate 30 Years Of The Summer Festival: The Premiere Of The Ann Arbor Summer Festival Online Archive

Tuesday June 4, 2013: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Delve into AADL's new Online Summer Festival Archive (available after event) which will include digitized programs from the Festival's history, as well as posters, postcards and brochures. It will also include over 1000 photographs from the Festival's history; as well as articles from the Ann Arbor News.

In addition to a demonstration of the online archive, this event will include reflections on the 30th Anniversary by current and past Summer Festival staff and board members.

Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers

Ann Arbor Observed: The Stories Behind the Ann Arbor Observer Covers contains a mini collection of paintings that have graced the cover of the Ann Arbor Observer over the years, these ones all done by artist Katherine Larson. The paintings are a glimpse into the town and covers areas such as the parks, neighborhoods, University of Michigan, special events, and daily life in Ann Arbor. Each illustration is also accompanied by a decription of the artist’s motivation for that specific piece, as well as a few insights on her work process for it.

Katherine Larson’s artwork has appeared on the front of the Ann Arbor Observer more than any other artist. She has also painted murals, book covers, magazine covers, and children’s book illustrations.

If you’ve ever taken a look at the cover of the Observer after it arrives in your mailbox and wondered how the artist came up with that specific image, here you go!

Frederick 'Bud' Stein Dies in Ann Arbor

Local Ann Arbor Kiwanis Club and U-M Alumni Association member Frederick "Bud" Stein died Wednesday at age 91 in his Ann Arbor home. He is remembered for his constant community involvement. He grew up in Ann Arbor and graduated from Ann Arbor High School in 1939. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, coming back to attend the University of Michigan. He graduated in 1944 with a degree in economics.

He lead the charge for tree-lined widened sidewalks on both sides of the street for downtown Ann Arbor in 1965. That same year, he made a presentation to the National Civic League that won Ann Arbor's first award as an "All American City". He was very involved with the combined YMCA/YWCA.

You can read more about Bud Stein's life and public service works in the AnnArbor.com website.

Interview with filmmaker David Sherman

During the Ann Arbor Film Festival's 50th anniversary last year, filmmaker David Sherman spoke with us about his fourth AAFF entry, “Assassination in Dreamland." He also touches on Ann Arbor's connection with San Francisco area filmmakers and the importance of the creative discourse fostered by Festival communities. Check out additional interviews, posters, photographs, and information about this history of the Ann Arbor Film Festival at our Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive.

AADL Talks to Kathy Kelley

Kathy Kelly moved into the Hill Street houses when she was very young, but she recalls her life there as a member of the White Panther Party as a positive, life-changing personal experience and social experiment. Kathy talks about daily life in the commune with her friends and colleagues, some of the events she participated in, including the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, as well as her apprenticeship as a graphic artist under legendary rock poster artist, Gary Grimshaw. Kathy's experience with the White Panther Party and Rainbow People's Party led to a successful career in art direction for publishing with magazines such as Chicago, Outside, CREEM, and most especially in educational publishing with Weekly Reader Corporation and Scholastic.

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AADL_Talks_To-Kathy_Kelley.mp3 26.3 MB

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

Forty-four years ago, on November 10, 1968, Neil Young (whose critically-acclaimed autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippy Dream is currently a New York Times bestseller) recorded the song "Sugar Mountain" here in Ann Arbor at the now-legendary Canterbury House, then located at the end of this alley at 330 Maynard.

Recorded between the time of Young's membership with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, this ode to lost youth written four years earlier was acknowledged by fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell (who also played the Canterbury House) as the inspiration for her similarly-themed, The Circle Game. It's one of Young's earliest and more traditional folk songs, and the sincerity evident in this live recording is underscored by its remarkable intimacy.

Check out Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House in our CD collection and some of our Oldnews articles about Ann Arbor's Canterbury House, at the time a coffee house music venue and center for outreach programs associated with St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Local writer Alan Glenn wrote a great article about the Canterbury House in a recent issue of Michigan Today.

AADL Talks to Argus Employees and Museum Curator

Do you ever wonder what it was like to work for one of the largest employers in Ann Arbor and one of the most prestigious and well-known camera manufacturers in the world?

AADL talked to Art Parker, an avowed “Townie” who spent nearly 20 years with Argus Camera. Art talked about his family’s long history with Argus and the company’s social life that included Christmas parties, teen dances, summer camp, scholarships and profit-sharing.

We also talked with Milt Campbell, Art Dersham and Elwyn Dersham about their years at Argus during its heyday in the 1940s and 50s and the challenging years of the 1960s and 70s as the company’s fortunes declined and Argus left Ann Arbor forever.

Cheryl Chidester, the Argus Museum curator shared the history of the company, its products and innovations, and its role in United States’ victory in World War II. We also learned about the founding of the Argus Museum, its missions in preserving the history and material culture of this early Ann Arbor industry significant to generations in the community.

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