Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library

A genealogy of self and place at the University of Virginia's Fine Arts Library

Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library

Charlottesville, Virginia 22911, United States

Created By: Paul Kay

Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library - Information

This "tour" introduces a space in which I have spent much of my UVA academic career, the Fine Arts Library. As someone who comes from Baltimore, MD, I do not feel that I have a strong relationship with many places in Charlottesville. Yet I do have a relationship with particular built spaces like the library, so I wanted to use this project to problematize my relationship with UVA's Fine Arts Library and its relationship with local Indigenous histories. This project includes visual media in the form of pictures as well as academic research. Unfortunately, I was not able to include video, sound, or other media forms, as this is a public space which raises privacy concerns.

Due to what I feel to be a limited relationship between myself and currently accessible places within Charlottesville, this project reflects less a land-based practice and more an intellectual project aimed at uncovering how the space structures relations with and knowledge of Indigenous histories, presence, ontologies, and relationships.

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Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library - Places

I chose this space for two primary reasons. I have worked at the Fine Arts Library circulation desk since 2019, spending countless hours in the space interacting with students, faculty, and community members as well as the library’s colle... Read more
I have a complicated relationship to the Fine Arts Library. On one hand, it is a space where I have spent more time than almost any other on Grounds. Therefore, I have been in relation with the space to a much greater degree than others thr... Read more
In some ways, I consider libraries to be liberatory spaces. In the face of a capitalist consumer culture structured around privatization, commodification, and exploitation, public libraries represent one of the few spaces still designed to ... Read more
Thinking through the Indigenous history of a place like the Fine Arts Library requires an investigation of naming. Colonial institutions and municipalities like UVA and Charlottesville have historically enacted processes of settler colonial... Read more
As a part of the institution of UVA, the Fine Arts Library is inextricably wrapped up in UVA’s violent history towards Native people. This history is particularly defined by its eugenics advocacy in the early 20th century, a time when Fis... Read more
Ultimately this space exhibits the ways in which UVA remains complicit in ongoing Indigenous erasure. UVA Library boasts that its collections include nearly five million books, yet a Virgo search for “Monacan” reveals barely 1000 result... Read more


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