Katherine Cowan, Senior Reference Librarian at MICA has sent the following news about a publication which should be of interest to all of us in the ADSL division:

I am pleased to announce that a book published earlier this year by the Maryland Institute College of Art has been awarded the Arline Custer Memorial Award for 2011 by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC).

MICA: Making History / Making Art by Douglas L. Frost

About the Book:

On November 3, 1825, in a large assembly room on South Charles Street a group of Baltimore’s leading citizens met to organize a new educational institution they called ‘The Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts.’

Thus begins the story of present-day Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and the text of MICA: Making History / Making Art by Douglas L. Frost. The book utilizes hundreds of documents—texts and images—from sources held in the MICA Archives at the Decker Library & Media Resources Collection and in other collections in Baltimore and beyond.

From its roots as the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts, the College’s history spans the great advances in technology of the Industrial Revolution to the fast-paced, ever changing technology of the Digital Age. This resilient institution endured the upheavals of Civil, World and Cold wars, the Great Fire of Baltimore and the Great Depression, the politically tumultuous Sixties and the sobering realities of the 21st century—and not only survived but thrived. The threads of MICA’s history are interwoven with those of America itself, with links to historical and cultural icons including Noah Webster, Abraham Lincoln, Louis Kahn, Alistair Cooke, Grace Hartigan, and Robert Rauschenberg.

MICA’s nearly two-century history is told through 336 pages of flowing narrative and more than 450 images. The layers of history, from 1826 through the present and looking into the future, are written by Vice President for Development Emeritus Douglas L. Frost, who undertook this extensive research project upon his 2006 retirement after 40 years of service to the College, in the course of which he became the school’s de facto historian.

Opening essays for MICA: Making History / Making Art have been written by Baltimore Museum of Art Director Doreen Bolger, 1976 alumnus Jeff Koons, President Fred Lazarus, and Walters Art Museum Director Gary Vikan. The oversized, full-color, hard-cover, Smyth-bound book—an artwork in itself—was designed in the Baltimore office of international design firm Pentagram by MICA faculty Abbott Miller and alumnus Jeremy Hoffman (2000), and printed by Schmitz Press in Sparks, Maryland. The book’s large format provides ample space to appreciate distinctive imagery from nearly two centuries of Baltimore’s and MICA’s interwoven history.
Further information about the book, including a link to the MICA Store where the book is available for purchase, is at the following link:

About the Award:
The Arline Custer Memorial Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region – the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Works under consideration include, but are not limited to, monographs, popular narratives, reference works and exhibition catalogs using archival sources.

Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community. They also should be original and well-researched using available sources. In addition, they should be clearly presented, well-written and organized. Visual materials, if used, should be appropriate to the text.


Kathy also asked that I post the following sad news for those who may not have seen the recent posting on ARLIS-L:

It is with great sadness we share with you that our dear friend and colleague Florence Thorp died early on October 3rd at her parent’s home in Vernon Center, NY.  Florence joined MICA in July, 2001 as Director of the Media Resources Collection. She was promoted in June, 2009 to Director of the Decker Library when the Library and Media Resources were merged into a single department. Florence had previously worked in visual resources at her alma mater, Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY.


Florence courageously battled pancreatic cancer over the past year. She was one of the best of us, a consummate professional, always with a smile and a wonderfully mischievous sense of humor. She will be tremendously missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her.


A memorial gathering was held at MICA’s Decker Library on Thursday, October 6. Services for Florence were in Vernon Center, NY, also on October 6. A full obituary with details about the services can be found at the following link to the Utica Observer-Dispatch:


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