Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Curtain Number 2

Sometimes, what's behind curtain number 2 is not nearly so interesting and surprising as curtain number 2 itself.

Today, going through the last of the oversize format items in a long-standing
purgatorial pile atop the flat file in the archives, I at last opened a large box labeled: Extra drape (unlined), Physicians Reading Room, 1942. The Physicians' Reading Room is an old name for one of the second floor rooms here in the Old Library Building. We have a lovely contemporary image of the room in the Digital Resources Library, in which you can actually see the curtains in question. While the curtains certainly did give the room a comfortable, homey air back in the 1940s, the windows have since been covered with blinds. I didn't see any good reason to keep old curtains in the archives.

Until, of course, I opened that box. Inside was a small card: Handwoven drapery. Art silk boucle on cotton boucle warp. Created for the University of Oregon Medical School by the Oregon WPA Project.

That gave me a new perspective on things! Considering that the WPA murals created for the walls in Mackenzie Hall (then called the Medical Science Building) have been "misplaced," it seems all the more important to hang on to this textile work.

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