Art at the IIAH:
As previously stated, our mission is to help the public experience our industrial and technological heritage and enjoy it as both engineering and art. We periodically schedule events by artist whose work relate to our mission. Alan Bull was our guest artist in March 2018. He is an artist, teacher and illustrator based in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Originally from Old Town, Maine, Alan received his BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art and his work is in numerous public and private collections. His paintings have appeared in the Martha Blog, Houzz, Architectural Digest, The Boston Globe, The New York Times, House Beautiful and many other publications.
Alan is well known for his painting of antique trucks and his annual truck calendar. The painting above of the Euclid truck is in the IIAH permanent collection. The figure on the left is for his 2019 calendar. (http://www.alanbull.com)
Another artist whose works relate to our mission is Anne Pelikan. Anne Pelikan (text and image art) received a BA in Art History from the University of New Hampshire ('66) and attended the Museum School. A book artist and conservator, Anne was introduced to book making while in Florence, Italy, working on the restoration of books damaged in the flood of 1966. She has studied book structure with book artists from around the country and taught and exhibited throughout New England and Canada, as well as in Florence and New York. She is the recipient of grants from the Wellspring Fellowship ('99), the Massachusetts Cultural Council ('98, '97, '96), and the Committee for the Restoration of Italian Art.
A technique Anne has developed is to take vegetable “parts”, leaves, stalks etc., and compress them using a hydraulic shop press similar to the ones found in any garage or workshop. She than either photographs or scans the item to obtain a digital image. The image above “Vegetable Papyrus Swiss Chard” is a print in our permanent collection. They are very similar to the digital scans of lantern slides and Victorian microscope slides in our collections as seen in the figure to the left. (Anne.Pelikan@tufts.edu)
The works of Anne Pelikan and Alan Bull can be purchased through our web page www.iiah-usa.org.
Another way to connect the arts with our mission are workshops in related areas. Aria Reynolds did a Fiber Arts workshop during our joint IIAH/EAIA Regional meeting in October 2018. Aria is a mechanical engineer who spends most of the day working on robots. She is based near Boston next to her alma mater, MIT, however she is originally from the Windy City. When at home, she works at Idea Studio Needle Arts in LaGrange, IL. She teaches knitting, crochet, and jewelry making classes and loves spending time with customers and seeing everyone’s projects!
Events held in conjunction with other organizations:
The IIAH is particularly interested in promoting synergy between like minded organizations. As an example, this past Fall we hosted an EAIA Regional Meeting. The Early American Industries Association (EAIA) is a group of people interested in the traditional trades and crafts of early America (http://eaiainfo.org/). A part of the meeting is a tool trade where traditional hand tools, planes, calipers, drawknives plumb bobs were for sale. The picture above is for the Short Hill Studio table hosted by Jane Butler (https://www.shorthillstudio.com/store.php).
The EAIA members are, as you might except from such an organization, a diverse group. They have catholic interest. It was exciting to see the interactions between the tools people and steam or engine or antique auto groups. We look forward to hosting more mixed events in the future.
Library and Archive:
The IIAH maintains a library and archive in addition to the working collection of industrial and scientific objects. This includes books and periodicals in areas related to our mission. We currently subscribed to over 30 periodicals. Steam related periodicals include: Smokestack, Steamboating, Vintage Spirits, Old Glory, and Funnel. Back issue over the past 20 years have been converted to PDF formats and are available for reading at the facility. Paper copies may be check out on a limited basis. We also have an extensive collection of image objects (see below), model engines, artwork (prints, paintings, sculptures), image projectors and other objects.
We maintain an archive of over 8,000 image objects. These include Magic Lantern Slides (MLS), stereo view cards, film strips, photographic negatives, and Victorian Microscope slides. We add to these objects as they become available. Most of these objects have been digitized using our high-resolution flatbed scanners, microscope scanners and periodical scanner. We are in the process of creating a web-based library of these images. High-resolution prints are available at our web shop.