Combing Columbus

Mary Jo Bole, participant in the 2013 I Found It in the Archives contest, is publishing the book, Combing Columbus, that incorporates material found in the course of her research in the OHS Archives/Library. She was commissioned by Finding Time: Public Art 2012 to make an artists book for the Columbus bicentennial. She describes the book, which consists of 52 paintings, as “… a look at Columbus without rose colored glasses and a look to the underbelly of this place I now call home.” Joe Blundo featured her book in his column in the April 7th Sunday Dispatch, Book Offers Squirrelly Trivia of City

She notes that manuscript and visual resources in the OHS archives were very valuable in helping her illustrate some concepts. For example, to flesh out four pages related to the now demolished Ohio Penitentiary Ms. Bole found early books about prison labor and photographs by Jack Rosenfeld in the Ohio Penitentiary Salvage Photograph Collection, call number AV 35, to be helpful. (Click here to see the inventory for this collection.)

Artwork from Combing Columbus inspired by images from the Ohio Penitentiary Salvage Photographs Collection.

Artwork from Combing Columbus inspired by images from the Ohio Penitentiary Salvage Photograph Collection.

Another subject fleshed out by material in the OHS archives was the Columbus business community. Ms. Bole used the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Records, call number MSS 177, in her research and describes them as “…the WONDERFUL, WACKY Chamber of Commerce manuscript boxes, , through the 60’s, just incredible… I couldn’t wait to paint what I saw!” (Click here to see the inventory for this collection.)

Artwork from Combing Columbus inspired by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Records.

Artwork from Combing Columbus inspired by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce Records.

If you want to hear more about Combing Columbus, Mary Jo Bole will be giving a talk about her book:

Date: Wednesday, April 17th

Place: Wexner Center for the Arts

Time: 4 PM

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