Two stories to talk about this week, each one taking place on either end of the country. First, let’s start on the East Coast, where the inaugural Art on Paper show is being held at Pier 36 in New York City. Organizing the affair is Art Market productions, a Brooklyn-based firm that produces the Miami Art Project and the Seattle Art Fair. Fifty-five galleries from around the city will feature works by artists whose primary medium, whether for sculpture, painting, drawing or photography, is paper. All proceeds from opening night benefit the Brooklyn Museum.  Highlights include hand-cut cardboard sculptures by Wayne White, Meg Hitchcock’s Mundaka Upanishad, an installation showcasing letters cut from the Koran and a massive paper cloudscape by Brooklyn-based artist Mia Pearlman. Even the prolific, book-writing (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) TED-talking David Eggers is showing fifty original animal-themed drawings, all for sale, with proceeds going towards a nonprofit that helps children pay for college.  The show runs from March 5th through the 8th, and ticket prices range from $25.00 for a one day pass, to a three day pass for $150.00, which also includes access to the VIP opening night party and lounge. 
Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, s...

Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) half-length portrait, seated at desk covered with his books / World Telegram & Sun photo by Al Ravenna. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


In La Jolla, California, an unpublished manuscript by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel) was recently found in the author’s home. According the Barbara Marcus, president and publisher of Random House Children’s Books, the manuscript, entitled “What Pet Should I Get?” was originally discovered back in 1991, shortly after the author’s death. The material was boxed and forgotten about until now, when Geisel’s widow once again set to cleaning out the author’s office space. The manuscript, accompanied by photographs and illustrations, is believed to have been written in the late 1950s, since the brother and sister in this volume also appear in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which was published in 1960. “What Pet Should I Get?” will be published by Random House in July 2015 and will join the pantheon of Seuss stories beloved by millions worldwide. (Coincidentally, Seuss would have celebrated his 111st birthday on March 2, making this announcement doubly sweet.) 
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, opened today what looks like a very cool exhibit of avant-garde art inspired by science fiction, the ‘Space Race,’ and Cold War-era technology. Past Futures: Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Postwar Art of the Americas shows 60 artworks in a range of media and style that display the interconnectedness of the artistic process, such as Raquel Forner’s “Astronauta y testigos, televisados (Astronaut and witnesses, televised),” 1971, and “SEFT-1 over Metlac bridge, January 25, 2011,” a photograph by Ivan Puig taken after he and his brother, Andres Padilla Domene, built a futuristic vehicle to tour abandoned areas of their native Mexico.

Graves-moon-900x660.jpgSeen above is: “Fra Mauro Region of the Moon, 1972,” by multimedia artist Nancy Graves, whose interest in natural history, especially aerial landscapes and moon maps, fueled her work. From the series “Lithographs Based on Geologic Maps of Lunar Orbiter and Apollo Landing Sites.” Lithograph. Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Cambridge, MA. Gift of Anne MacDougall and Gil Einstein in honor of Marjorie B. Cohn. ©Nancy Graves Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA, NY, NY.

The exhibit is up through June 7. Read more about it here.
02928v.jpgMarch 4, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s celebrated second inaugural address. Lincoln delivered the 700-word speech, which touched on the obvious issues of war and slavery, only six weeks before his assassination. Although there have been 35 inaugural speeches since, this one, with its resonant closing phrase, “With malice toward none, with charity for all,” still ranks among the best.

Beginning today through Saturday, the Library of Congress will display the fragile original manuscript of Lincoln’s speech in the Great Hall of the Library’s Jefferson Building. According to the LC’s press release, visitors will not only get a rare peek at Lincoln’s smudged manuscript but also the printer’s proof, which he cut-and-pasted into 27 mini paragraphs to make it easier to read during the inauguration ceremony.

In New York, Lincoln’s oratorical skills are honored by the Morgan Library & Museum, whose current exhibition, Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation, runs through June 7.

Image: Lincoln’s second inaugural, photo by Alexander Gardner, March 4, 1865. Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

at dukes children folio.jpg

A new edition of Anthony Trollope’s novel The Duke’s Children will be published by The Folio Society this month, with an additional 65,000 words cut from the original 1880 edition.

The complete, unabridged text will be published in celebration of the bi-centenary of the author’s birth in 1815. The Duke’s Children is the sixth and final novel in Trollope’s Palliser series.  

Scholars have spent the last decade slowly reinstating the words that Trollope cut from his original version, focusing their research on Trollope’s manuscript for The Duke’s Children held at the Beinecke Library. The researchers, led by professor Steven Amarnick of Kingsborough Community College, were surprised to discover the the extent of the edits, which removed almost a quarter of the original novel.

The reason the cuts were made in the first place has been lost to history.

“It’s quite extraordinary the different cumulative effect it has, on the richness of the text and the subtlety of the characters,” said Joe Whitlock Blundell of The Folio Society of the restored edition in an interview with The Guardian. “When I first read The Duke’s Children 30 years ago, it all seemed to be focused on the Duke’s reactions. But in the restored version, the characters of the children come through far more sympathetically.”

The Folio Society’s unabridged edition of The Duke’s Children will be produced in a limited edition (1980 copies) priced at $330, however the society hopes a mass-market version of the restored edition will also be released in the near future.


Last month, the Harvard MetaLAB released Cold Storage, a mini-documentary about the Harvard Depository (HD), a 127,000-square-foot “guarded compound” 25 miles from campus where approximately 9 million of Harvard Library’s lesser-used books, pamphlets, records, etc. are stored in a space reminiscent of Home Depot.  

The 24-minute film, written and directed by Jeffrey Schnapp, provides a real sense of the vastness of the collection--this “analog server farm”--and manages to do so artfully. Its beauty does not reside, as one might assume, in images of rare books, wooden desks, and warm desk lamps. Here, mechanized forklifts buzz down gloomy aisles in search of one barcoded item or another. The stark, cement-and-metal scenery evokes (and speaks to) Alain Resnais’ 1956 Toute la memoire du monde (All the World’s Memory), which documented the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. Cold Storage impresses upon us the importance of the HD not only to the university’s scholars, but to humanity as a whole; it is a paean to preservation.           

Cold Storage
premiered on February 6 in conjunction with Icons of Knowledge: Architecture and Symbolism in National Libraries, an exhibit at Harvard’s Loeb Library through March 22.

Watch here:

National Library of Ireland and W.B. Yeats

If you’re trying to justify a trip to Ireland this March for reasons that don’t involve Guinness and little green leprechauns, consider a visit to the National Library of Ireland’s award-winning exhibit on William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). You certainly wouldn’t be alone--since it’s opening in 2006, more than a quarter of a million people have made the journey to Dublin to explore Ireland’s preeminent twentieth-century poet and playwright.

en: Portrait of young William Butler Yeats by ...

Portrait of young William Butler Yeats by his father, John Butler Yeats (Photo credit: Wikipedia).

Winner of the 1923 Noble Prize for literature, Yeats was a major force behind reviving international interest in Irish literature. In 1892, he founded the Irish Literary Society along with fellow writer T. W. Rolleston and Irish nationalist Charles Gavan Duffy. The group’s goal was to promote the intellectual and literary renaissance in Ireland, and met at Yeats’ home on Blenheim Road in London. Yeats published Celtic Twilight, in 1893,  a volume that American poet Edward Hisrch called a ‘curious hybrid of the story and essay,’ in the 1981 issue of the Journal of the Folklore Institute. In fact, Celtic Twilight was a collection of Yeats’ stories and poems that had previously appeared in newspapers throughout the UK, with a focus on Irish folk and fairy tales. The book’s title eventually became synonymous with the literary movement. Yeats’ social engagement wasn’t limited to the literary scene either: In 1922 he became a senator in the newly formed Senate of Ireland, where he served two terms. (Despite best intentions, the Senate was eventually abolished in 1936.)  

The National Library of Ireland is the world’s largest repository of Yeats’ notebooks, manuscripts and other materials, which were donated by the author’s widow. The exhibition draws on these items to create a thematically organized walk through Yeats life, work and enduring influence. (Note: while patrons must have a reader’s card or temporary pass to enter the National Library itself, this exhibit is open, free, to the visiting public.) Still can’t get to Dublin? The entire exhibit is accessible online--a fascinating multimedia experience that seamlessly wields 21st-century technology to explore the lasting and poignant significance of one of Ireland’s greatest champions. 

The exhibit of the Life and Works of William Butler Yeats at the National Library of Ireland can be accessed here: http://www.nli.ie/yeats/ 

Related articles
On March 7, Addison & Sarova Auctioneers in Macon, Georgia, will hold a grab-bag auction of 100 rare books and manuscripts that includes a Zaehnsdorf-bound set of Dibdin’s Bibliographical Decameron, a hand-colored Koberger Bible leaf, a fifteenth-century manuscript on vellum, a finely bound set of Pepys from 1825, two incunabula, early law & religion books, and some Faulkner firsts. Variety is the name of the game here, and the catalogue offers many unexpected turns. Here are few of the stand-out rarities.

Addison-2.jpgRobert Cushman’s The Sin and Danger of Self-Love (Boston, 1724). First American edition of a sermon first published in London in 1622, with its contemporary paper covers. The verso of the title page showcases the penmanship of eighteenth-century owners Elizabeth Follet and Susanna Grant. According to the auctioneer, “We find no record of this scarce edition ever appearing at auction ... The present edition has been seemingly unobtainable until now.” The estimate is $10,000-15,000.

40.jpgGerson’s Opus tripartite de praeceptis Decalogi ...(Cologne, c. 1467). A “very rare first edition of one of the earliest productions of the first press established in Cologne.” Showing fine rubrication and bound in full brown levant. The estimate is $5,000-8,000. Another incunable, Gerson’s Imitatio Christi (Brescia, 1485), is also on offer.

43327688.jpgWilliam Langland’s The Vision of Pierce Plowman (London, 1561). “Aside from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, this work is regarded as the most important of early English literature. All early editions (this being the 4th) of Piers Plowman are rare with Pforzheimer listing only this and the second edition of 1550.” This one is further distinguished by manuscript notes, underlining, and marginalia throughout (from the 18th or early 19th century?) and an engraved bookplate of American industrialist Waldo C. Bryant. The estimate is $5,000-8,000.

Images via Addison & Sarova.
Agatha_Christie for fan letter post.png
As part of a series of celebrations marking the birth of Agatha Christie 125 years ago, an online campaign is inviting fans from around the world to share stories about how the author changed their lives. In an effort to help the campaign, Christie’s grandson, Mathew Prichard, has shared several previously unseen fan letters written to the Queen of Crime.

The letters include a congratulatory note from P G Wodehouse sent to Christie after the publication of Halloween Party.  Wodehouse states he was “pleased and proud” that Christie dedicated the book to him and that “a new Agatha Christie novel is always an event.”

A fourteen year old boy in Bristol wrote Christie in 1958 about the book club he started at his school to raise funds to buy her books.  “I have bought 28 books by you and this is how I have managed it. I charge the boys 3d per book to read at school, and 6d if they wished to take them home.”

More sobering fan letters were also treasured by Christie, including one from a Polish woman who wrote how she exchanged a piece of candle for a Polish translation of Christie’s novel The Man in the Brown Suit while in a German labour camp during WWII.

“I read and reread so often that I almost knew it by heart... for seven months it was my only link with a normal world.”

A woman also wrote in 1963 after having spent a decade in a Romanian prison with no access to books. 

“During the 12 years I spent in prison I never saw a written page. My memory, however, could not be sealed up and thanks to it and to you my fellow sufferers cam to know and to love the works of Agatha Christie.”

Christie’s grandson, Prichard, said of the publication of the letters, “As we call to her fans across the globe to share their stories and experiences of Christie, I look forward to discovering how her work continues to inspire today.”

[Image from Wikipedia]
Conan_doyle for Selkirk article.jpg
An unsigned, 1,300-word Sherlock Holmes story has just been discovered in a pamphlet printed in 1903. The 48-page booklet was published during a three-day funding bazaar to raise funds for bridge restoration in Selkirk, a Scottish Borders town. It includes stories and poetry from local residents of Selkirk. Entitled “The Book o’ The Brig,” the pamphlet also announces the arrival of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle on the final day of the bazaar as a celebrity guest of honor.  

Sales from the book netted $633, which helped install the iron bridge still standing today.

Walter Elliot, a Scottish historian and poet who resides near Selkirk, found the pamphlet in his attic while searching for bridge mementos to display in a pop-up museum commemorating the bridge as it once again faces restoration work.

The story, entitled “Sherlock Holmes: Discovering the Border Burghs and, By Deduction, the Brig Bazaar” features Holmes and Watson in London discussing amongst other things Watson’s upcoming trip to Selkirk to see the bridge.

“It’s unsigned, and I’m not a specialist, but the vocabulary seems pretty close to the way Conan Doyle wrote. I’m fairly sure it was written by him,” said Elliot in an interview with the Guardian.

The implication is that Conan Doyle dashed off a quick story for publication in the pamphlet to help raise funds for the bridge restoration work, winking at his audience by leaving it unsigned. If verified, the story would be the first unknown Holmes story written by Conan Doyle to surface since the last was published 80 years ago.

The entire text of the story is online at The Daily Record.

Coming up this week at Bloomsbury Auctions in London is an incredible collection of vintage NASA photographs. Telephoto panoramic mosaics, crew portraits, and all manor of lunar views comprise this stunning set of 692 images, dating from 1945 to 1972. Some are what we have come to see as iconic space images, while others were virtually unpublished and accessible only to researchers in the archives of the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, where most of this collection is sourced, according to the sale catalogue. Here are some highlights.

2.pngClyde Holliday’s vintage gelatin silver print of the first photograph from space, October 24, 1946. Estimate: $1,230-1,540.

80.pngBuzz Aldrin’s vintage chromogenic print of the first self-portrait in space, Gemini 12, November 1966. Estimate: $923-1,230.
 
255.pngNeil Armstrong’s vintage chromogenic print of Buzz Aldrin posing beside the U.S. flag, Apollo 11, July 1969. Estimate: $923-1,230.

633.pngHarrison Schmitt’s vintage chromogenic print of the “Blue Marble,” Apollo 17, December 1972. Estimate: $1,150-1,540.
 
Images via Bloomsbury Auctions.

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