1. Mail in the time of COVID

    The formal contours of ‘mail art’ developed in the 1960s through the work of pop collagist Ray Johnson and the New York Correspondence School. Autumn Wetli, undergraduate collections librarian at U-M's Shapiro Library, and Mariah Cherem, production librarian at the Ann Arbor District Library, have added a contemporary spin. They are asking ‘mail artists’ to create and send postcards to their future selves, expressing the emotions and experiences of these challenging times. The art (sampled here) will be compiled into a book as part of the Artists’ Books Collection in the Book Arts Studio at the U-M Library. (Click on each image to enlarge.) Submit your mail art by Sept. 30.  
    • Mail Art 3
    • Mail Art 1
    • Mail Art 2
    • Mail Art 4
    • Mail Art 5
    • Mail Art 6
  2. Eye in the sky

    Enjoy Ann Arbor from the rare vantage point of an autonomous drone as the team in Michigan Photography fires up its little flier to capture these unusual shots. (Captions sourced by Claudia Larochelle.)
    • Unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, are an integral part of a variety of research, educational, and operational activities at the University of Michigan. Although The Cube is enormous (it weighs 2,400 pounds), it will rotate on its axis with just a gentle push. Image credit: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography
    • The number of small hobbyist drones registered in the United States totaled 1.1 million units in 2019, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Begob by Alexander Liberman was completed by the artist in 1989 and came to the Robert H. Lurie Engineering Center on the North Campus from a private sculpture park in New York where it had been on display since its completion. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography
    • An outdoor fly lab for testing autonomous aerial vehicles is at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering since fall of 2017. According to Michigan campus legend, any couple that kisses under the West Hall Engineering Arch at midnight is destined to marry. Image credit: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography
    • The number of commercial drones is expected to double by 2024 according to the FAA. Campus legend has it that if you step on the Block M you will flunk your first blue book exam, hence why many students diligently avoid trodding on the marker. Image credit: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography
    • The U.S. is currently the world's largest drone market. Two female statues in flowing classical dress watch over Ingalls Mall from their perch atop the Michigan League in a way reminiscent of how goddesses would peer down from the tops of Greek temples. Designed by Irving Pond and sculpted out of limestone by Nellie Verne Walker, these two women bear the names of Friendship and Character. Image credit: Roger Hart, Michigan Photography
    • In terms of constitutional rights, using drone footage is not a violation. The police have the right to use footage from a crime scene if it was done by a drone unless it was in a restricted area. Indexer II by Kenneth Snelson is located on North Campus on the South end of Reflecting Pool. It was a gift of the Engineering Class of 1950. Image credit: Eric Bronson, Michigan Photography
  3. Spray it loud

    The streets of Ann Arbor are mostly deserted of late, but East Liberty’s Graffiti Alley is bursting with life. This ever-changing canvas offers a real-time record of our collective experience – in vibrant, vivid color. Black Lives Matter is summer 2020’s dominant theme. (Images: Deborah Holdship; captions sourced by Angelina Brede.)
    • All you need is love
    • The wall of names
    • BLM in red
    • BLM with bright green
  4. Eyes wide open

    Every Wolverine has a story about meeting a fellow grad in some far-flung location, all because of the iconic Block M on a cap, a shirt, or a bag. But even here at home, one  might be surprised to learn how many Block Ms are hiding in plain sight. (All images by Michigan Photography.)
    • Eyeball with block M
    • umbrella
    • chalk M
    • Mcity
    • In a tree
    • Watermelon sculpture
  5. Commencement under quarantine

    COVID-19 may have forced 2020 graduation ceremonies to go virtual but proud Michigan Wolverines, their families, and loved ones still celebrated this milestone in resilient “Go Blue!” style. These jubilant images were posted at #mgograd on Instagram. They are reposted with permission.
    • Couple in Michigan car with megaphone
    • MPH grad in PPE
    • Flying the flag
    • Happy dad in maize and blue
    • Grad with mask at bush
    • Dad presents diploma to grad
  6. Social distortion

    The streets of downtown Ann Arbor are mostly deserted these days. But signs of life, resilience, and hope can be found wherever you look. (All images were taken by a masked D. Holdship on Saturday, 4/11/20.)
    • The Michigan Theater
    • The rock, spring 2020
    • Barber Shop
    • Bivouac
    • Amers
    • Zingerman's with masks
  7. Postcards from the edge

    Never have we ever needed to escape the harsh realities of modern life more than now. The Bentley Historical Library holds a vast postcard collection spanning the centuries. We pulled these sweet missives to "Papa," "the Boss," and "Aunt Gertrude" from a bygone era in U-M history. Hugs.
    • Old U-M Library, postcard
    • Waterman gym
    • U-M Stadium, postcard, historic
    • U-M Library, 1931
    • Squirrel, postcard, 1910
  8. Give Earth a chance

    The Environmental Action for Survival (ENACT) Teach-in on the U-M campus in March 1970 predated the first national Earth Day demonstration in Washington, D.C., on April 22, 1970. Undergraduate researchers working with the U-M History Labs Project produced an online exhibit titled 'Give Earth a Chance.' The project explores the burgeoning environmental movement on the U-M campus, in Ann Arbor, and across the nation some 50 years ago. U-M's 2020 Teach-In for the Environment runs March 9-14; several of the original organizers will speak on the history and legacy of the movement. (Images courtesy of U-M's Bentley Historical Library.)    
    • National Earth Day team
    • Dave Allan
    • Day one schedule for teach-in, 1970
    • Earth Day protesters with signs, 1970
    • Doug Scott, Teach-in, 1970
  9. More than meets the eye

    Sitting Bull. Geronimo. Red Cloud. These are some of the famous historical Native American figures featured in a newly acquired collection of photographs at the William L. Clements Library. Images in the Richard Pohrt Jr. collection date between 1860 and 1920. The vintage prints -- many of which come from original negatives — feature more than 70 different First Nations. This video dives much deeper into the collection. Fascinating stuff. Click on any image to enlarge.
    • Oglala Chiefs
    • Sitting Bull
    • Standing Holy, Sitting Bull's Daughter
    • Man at Wounded Knee camp
    • Great Hostile Camp
    • Geronimo