Home Sweet Home
Usually plastic and the environment do not go hand in hand, but artist Aki Inomata uses plastic to create an environment for her little pet hermit crabs in “Why Not Hand Over a “Shelter” to Hermit Crabs?” (2009, 2010-2013).
With the help of CT scanning to render a three-dimensional model of an empty shell, Inomata creates her base and then builds houses atop these shell renderings. These architectural wonders mimic the style of popular dwellings, from Tokyo house-style to Paris apartments.
With these plastic hermit crab habitats, Inomata wanted to explore not only the hermit crab’s adaptability to new surroundings, but how we adapt as well. Immigration, relocation, even acquiring a new identity or nationality is more or less the human version of growing out of a shell, and finding a new one to call ‘home’.
Not only is this series an amazing symbolic representation of our will to adapt, but also a fun way to learn more about the life and physiology of the hermit crab, as the dwellings are completely see-through. Have you ever wondered what a hermit crab’s body looks like inside its shell?
A video of both the hermit crabs in action and how the artist came about designing the shells can be found here.
Happy Birthday Beatrix Potter!
Today we celebrate the 148th birthday of the famous children’s author, Beatrix Potter, who is mainly known for writing The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Here at the University of Iowa, we are fortunate enough to have a copy of one of the first printings of this charming tale, which according to our acquisition papers, was previously owned by Potter’s niece!
This particular book was printed in a grouping of 250, and is widely believed to have been done so in 1901. However, the acquisition papers accompanying this copy state that the author’s records say it was privately printed in 1900, and later issued in 1901. This copy is also interesting as it contains the later omitted pages showing how Peter Rabbit’s father met his demise by way of pie.
Want to see the fully digitized version of this book? Click here!
Want to learn more about this and other Beatrix Potter books at Iowa? Click here!
-Beatrix Potter aficionado, Lindsay M.
"A telegram, which cost several pounds, was sent under the Atlantic passionately entreating the philosophic maiden to be kind to the scientific swain; and presently the electric wire received again the avowal of a requited passion. … But electricity will probably become the symbol henceforth of impatient love."
From The Philadelphia Press, Sunday, August 9, 1885, page 10.
A few pages of the paper were saved between pages [107-108] of this Catholic Augustinian Scrapbook.
I love this tale of a “philosophic maiden” and her “scientific swain.”
American, French, and English beaches and bathing costumes on the cover of The Daily Graphic, v. XIV, no. 1346, Wednesday, July 11, 1877.
So glad my bathing suit is much less cumbersome than these.