Exhibition Opening: Origins

Fenwick Gallery is pleased to host “Origins,” an exhibition of prints and works on paper from the Mason printmaking collective ELEMENTS. The exhibition runs from Monday, April 16, 2018 through Friday, May 18, 2018.

“Origins” examines creation myths focusing on the genesis of man, the material world, and the role of divine beings. The four participating artists and the curator, representing the classical elements of earth, air, fire, water, and æther, create a body of work in response to the role of the natural elements in the formation of the universe. Participating artists include Brigitte Caramanna (Earth); Mike Walton (Aether); Melvin Parada (Water); Emily Fussner (Fire); and Jennifer Lillis, Curator (Air).

An artists’ talk is scheduled on Wednesday, May 2 at 4:30 p.m. in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room.

About the Fenwick Gallery: Fenwick Gallery is part of the University Libraries and is located in Fenwick Library on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Gallery is dedicated to exhibiting high quality works by students, faculty, staff, and other emerging and experienced artists. The gallery is open during Library business hours; see library.gmu.edu and fenwickgallery.gmu.edu for more information about hours and exhibitions, or contact Stephanie Grimm, Art and Art History Librarian, at sgrimm4@gmu.edu.

Fenwick Fellow Lectures: April 25

Join the University Libraries on Wednesday, April 25 at 2 p.m. in the Fenwick Library Main Reading Room, when Professors Edward Rhodes and John Turner will discuss their research findings from their 2016-2017 fellowships.


Edward Rhodes, Professor, Government & International Affairs, Schar School of Policy & Government

Lecture Title:  “Normalcy”: Rediscovering the Curious Brilliance of Warren G. Harding

Abstract: Dismissed by biographers as an intellectual nullity, mocked by critics for what H.L. Mencken famously described as his “Gamalielese” prose, and remembered in history texts principally for his notably corrupt Secretary of the Interior and for his illegitimate daughter, Warren G. Harding has escaped serious academic scrutiny, living on largely as an easy target for late-night comedians. Harding’s own writings –which were generally in the form of speeches – have gone not only unread but uncollected. For the most part they are, even in this time of widespread digitization, extremely difficult to locate or to access. This is unfortunate because a close reading of Harding reveals not only a clear, sophisticated, and internally consistent vision of America but a deep understanding of the challenges facing a liberal, democratic republic in a period of rapid economic and social change. Forgotten, too, is the fact that Harding was, in his three years in office, extraordinarily successful in advancing his policy agenda, particularly in the realm of foreign policy. Even more interesting, however, is how strongly some of the key elements in Harding’s vision and strategic approach resonate in today’s world.


John Turner, Associate Professor, Religious Studies, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Lecture Title:  Plymouth Colony and the Making of American Liberty

Abstract: Over the last two centuries, Americans have celebrated “the Pilgrims” as the progenitors of democracy and liberty. At the same time, the Mayflower leaders and their successors in Plymouth Colony imprisoned, tortured, and expelled religious and political dissenters. Were the Pilgrims rank hypocrites, denying others the freedom they desired for themselves? The answer is more complicated. The Pilgrims had a very specific understanding of “Christian liberty,” which essentially meant an obligation to have church according to their understanding of the Bible. While their leaders did not favor a broader “freedom of religion,” Plymouth Colony was riven by debates over the meaning and extent of liberty over its seventy year history.


About the Fenwick Fellows: The Fenwick Fellowship is awarded annually to Mason faculty member(s) to pursue research project(s) that use and enhance the University Libraries’ resources while advancing knowledge in the faculty members’ field. Applications for the 2018-2019 fellowship are currently being accepted; the deadline is May 7, 2018.

Virginia Wine Book Launch: April 10

Join us as we launch George Mason University Press‘ new book: Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change.

No state can claim a longer history of experimenting with and promoting viticulture than Virginia—nor does any state’s history demonstrate a more astounding record of initial failure and ultimate success. Virginia Wine: Four Centuries of Change, a new book written by Andrew Painter and published by George Mason University Press, presents a comprehensive record of the Virginia wine industry, from the earliest Spanish accounts describing Native American vineyards in 1570 through its astonishing rebirth in the modern era. Grape cultivation—for agriculture, horticultural curiosity, and wine production—has absorbed ambitious Virginians since April 1607, when a few casks of European wine washed ashore onto the dunes of Cape Henry in the company of a band of travel-weary English settlers. The author chronicles the dynamic personalities, diverse places, and engrossing personal and political struggles that have established the Old Dominion as one of the nation’s preeminent wine regions. Virginia’s wine industry now accounts for nearly $1 billion in annual sales, with more than 275 wineries growing more than 30 varieties of grapes.

Join us to hear Andrew Painter discuss a multitude of wine industry trends, events, secondary industries, and jobs that have revolved around the growing of grapes and the making and promotion of wine. To that end, the book emphasizes the unique aspects of the wine industry’s role in Virginia’s history and culture—a history that continues to be made in an agricultural and industrial sector that is itself unique among world commerce and society. Refreshments courtesy of Mason Bookstore.

About the author: Andrew A. Painter is an attorney specializing in land use and zoning. A Virginia native, Andrew has spent more than eight years researching the growth of its wine industry. He is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington, the University of Virginia, and the University of Richmond.

For more information, contact John Warren, Director, George Mason University Press and Mason Publishing Group, gmupress@gmu.edu.

Music in the Lobby: April 4

Music in the Lobby returns in April with a Spring Mix of classical, jazz and vocal music – provided by the students in the Mason School of Music Strings Department. Join us in Fenwick Lobby, April 4, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.!  You could win a Fenwick Library study room to use during Spring Finals. Free refreshments courtesy of Argo Tea Cafe.

For more information, please contact Steve Gerber, sgerber@gmu.edu