Altered and Adorned

For those of you who have read through the FB&C spring issue, you'll have noticed a wonderful article by Suzanne Karr Schmidt, the Andrew W. Mellon Curatorial Fellow in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. She wrote about her experience curating the current exhibit, Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life. A 112-page exhibition catalogue with 98 illustrations (shown here at left) is now available.

For non-subscribers (shame on you!), here's a snippet from our spring article:

This exhibition--containing over one hundred printed objects and objects with printed components--focuses on how early print owners physically manipulated these ephemeral artworks. As such, it is an unusual theme for a museum show. Books are notoriously difficult to exhibit in this type of setting, and yet they are intrinsically important to the topic at hand. Altered and Adorned therefore includes eleven bound volumes and albums, while at least six of the single-sheet prints were once book illustrations, four others were intended (and in two cases, used) as bookplates, and two remain attached as frontispieces for the books that originally housed them.

As any aficionado of old books might infer, many types of evidence of hands-on treatment endure, for owners routinely annotated prints. They also cut and pasted them everywhere--onto books, boxes, furniture, and walls, and sometimes they went even further and transformed them into three-dimensional objects. ...