On Tuesday March 22, 2016 Special Collections welcomed 28 students from Norwalk High School, Norwalk, IA. The students were those of art teacher Maggie Harlow-Vogt. They had traveled all the way from Norwalk to Iowa City seeking inspiration from Special Collections and the 2016 featured manuscript, a 1699 Spanish will, for their next art projects!
The Norwalk students have been tasked with using their experiences and insights from the Special Collections visit to think more profoundly about what makes a book a book. Their conversations and interactions with the Spanish will and other books will be used to inspire pottery, metal-smithing and 3D design projects. The group of 28 split into two smaller groups so that while one was was visiting the Conservation Lab, the other was able to learn about and experience an array of rare books, manuscripts and artists’ books from the twelfth to twenty-first century, with particular attention paid to the 1699 Spanish will, the manuscript at the heart of this collaboration.
The art students from Norwalk High School are interacting with the Spanish will in a variety of ways that both fit their class curriculum and simultaneously generate enthusiasm and creativity. Each student’s final project will be published on this website!
From Harlow-Vogt’s perspective, Tuesday’s visit sparked amazing conversations in the bus on the way home. The following day in their art classes, Harlow-Vogt noted that “The students who did not go to the University of Iowa were a bit overwhelmed by the passion and excitement that the other students brought back with them. Those that could not go felt that they had really missed out on a great adventure!”