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News Release

For immediate use

Aug. 3, 2006 -- No. 361

Local angles: Durham, Mebane

Photos: See end of story for availability.

Art consultant donates photographs to
library named for her grandfather

CHAPEL HILL - Works by internationally known North Carolina photographers now are on display in the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Ann Stewart, a Chapel Hill art consultant who represents the artists, donated the photos recently to the UNC Library. She is the granddaughter of House, chancellor of the university from 1945 to 1957, for whom the library is named.

"I'm thrilled that this wonderful art will have a permanent home in the House library," Stewart said.

Ten large-format black and white prints by two of the photographers - Bill Bamberger and Margaret Sartor - recently were hung in the Christopher B. Smith Instructional Lab on the library's main floor, room 124. Next month, a 40-by-50-inch color mural by Alex Harris will join them. The photos depict scenes of the American South from the early 1980s through 2002.

The photographers are well-established artists and authors, Stewart said. Their works are in the permanent collections of major museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Bamberger's work includes the photos in the 1998 book "Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory," which chronicled the final months of the White Furniture Co. in his hometown of Mebane.

Harris's most recent photography book, "The Idea of Cuba," will be published in spring 2007. Sartor wrote the just-published "Miss American Pie: A Diary of Love, Secrets, and Growing Up in the 1970s." Both live in Durham.

Since the Undergraduate Library was renovated in 2002, placing quality artwork there has been a priority of the UNC Library's public art committee, said Kate Barnhart, committee chair, also an assistant in the library of the UNC School of Information and Library Science: "We can only accomplish that through the generosity of artists and other donors."

The value of the photographs counts toward the university's Carolina First Campaign goal of $2 billion. Carolina First is a comprehensive, multi-year, private fund-raising campaign to support Carolina's vision of becoming the nation's leading public university.

Stewart assembled the photos for a show in May at the Crook's Corner restaurant in Chapel Hill. UNC Library administrators offered to have the photos framed before the show in exchange for their donation to the library afterward.

All three artists have UNC connections. Bamberger attended the university on a Morehead Scholarship, a four-year merit award, graduating in 1979. Sartor graduated in 1981. Harris has taught American studies courses.

Stewart's ties to UNC go beyond her kinship with House. She was a student in Carolina's religious studies department in the 1970s and has served on the advisory board of the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities. Her father, William S. Stewart, was a business law professor at Carolina.

Some of the photographs were taken more than two decades ago, but "these versions are brand new," Stewart said. The artists printed them using digital processes that did not exist until recently. All are in limited editions of six to 10 prints. Many can be seen on Stewart's Web site, www.annstewartfineart.com.

Stewart said she and the artists are very pleased that the photographs will be on permanent display at UNC: "To have the photography live by having it seen all the time is a wonderful thing."

Because the lab is sometimes used for classes, visitors are encouraged to call the library at 962-1355 before visiting. Now, before fall classes start on Aug. 23, is an ideal time.

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Photo URLs for two of the photos: "Leaf Burning," Bahama, N.C., 1980, by Bill Bamberger: http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/exhibit/leafburning.jpg
"Katherine in the Playhouse Built by her Father," Monroe, La., 1989, by Margaret Sartor: http://www.unc.edu/news/pics/event/exhibit/katherineintheplayhouse.jpg

UNC Library contact: Judith Panitch, (919) 962-1301, panitch@email.unc.edu
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589