May 2013 Archives

As part of the Britten 100 celebrations taking place all over the world, this new exhibition explores the literary, political and historical inspirations behind some of Benjamin Britten’s greatest works, providing a rare opportunity to see exhibits drawn from the British Library’s world class music collections. Alongside handwritten drafts of some of Britten’s best known compositions, including The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra acquired last year by the British Library, Poetry in Sound features some of Britten’s rarely seen manuscripts and unpublished Britten recordings from the Library’s Sound Archive.

Curated by Rupert Ridgewell, Sandra Tuppen, and Jonathan Summers, curators of the British Library’s music collections, Poetry in Sound, displayed in The Folio Society Gallery, explores the poetic, literary and musical influences on Britten’s work through the composer’s handwritten manuscripts, as well as photographs, letters, first editions and unique sound recordings, showing how such literary greats as William Shakespeare, William Blake, W H Auden, Wilfred Owen and Henry James, among others, have had a direct impact on his most celebrated works.

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Setting off from Damascus in 1876, Charles Doughty travelled for 21 months across the deserts of arabia, through regions almost entirely unknown to Western eyes. He faced many hazards, from malnutrition and heat exhaustion to attack by hostile Wahabi communities. Initially he travelled with the Haj, before venturing into the desert interior alongside a Bedouin family and other nomadic groups. He reached the city of Unayzah, and finally Jeddah, in 1878.

His account of this remarkable journey is considered by many to be the finest travel book in the English language, and inspired T. E. Lawrence’s excursions 30 years later. Despite its abundant merits, it was little known until Lawrence became its most avid and practical reader — using it as a guide during his travels across arabia and admiring its descriptions of a bygone way of life. Today, it is celebrated both for its immense anthropological value and its uniquely innovative prose.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is proud to announce the five finalists for this year's MCBA Prize — the first honor to recognize book art from across the field and around the world.

For the 2013 competition, a three-member jury reviewed 192 submissions from 158 artists representing 22 nations around the world, and narrowed the field to five finalists. These five works will be judged at MCBA during Book Art Biennial 2013 (BookArtBiennial.org), a two-day academic symposium on contemporary practice in the book arts. The winner will be announced at a gala award ceremony on Saturday, July 27. The five finalists each receive a $500 cash award, plus travel stipend to attend Book Art Biennial and The MCBA Prize Gala; the winner receives an additional $2,000 cash award.

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New York—On Thursday, June 20 Swann Galleries will conduct an auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature that features fine examples of mystery and detective fiction, children’s literature and science fiction; as well as desirable editions of works by William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain and original parts issued of Charles Dickens books.

The item with the highest pre-sale estimate is a superb first edition copy of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. This groundbreaking work of private-eye fiction is in the rare first issue pictorial dust jacket (estimate: $35,000 to $50,000).

A First Edition of F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and E.M. Forster’s personal copy of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence (otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia) are among the gems that will be on sale at the 56th London International Antiquarian Book Fair.

The Fair, which will again be held in the National Hall at Olympia (London W14) from Thursday, 13th June to Saturday, 15th June, 2013 has more than 180 exhibitors, who are travelling from all corners of the globe to take part in the longest running Antiquarian Book Fair in the UK.

On 11 June 2013 the Books and Manuscripts sale at Sotheby’s New York will include a particularly important first edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald which once belonged to the critic and author Malcolm Cowley. Although the sales at the time were disappointing in comparison to the author’s first bestsellers, The Great Gatsby became Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. The book is now almost universally recognized as standing among the great achievements of 20th century American literature with the tragic story of Jay Gatsby, and more broadly, the American dream, resonating with readers for generations. This important association copy is estimated to fetch $100/150,000.


In addition to the importance of the work, the dust-jacket for Gatsby has also achieved iconic status, not only for the image but for the difficulty in obtaining an example in good condition. Wholly different in its Deco style from the earlier book jackets and designed by Xavier Cugat’s brother, Francis, the cover image has become inextricably linked to the novel’s tone and themes as few if any jacket designs have managed.

A copy of the famous photograph showing British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, welcoming the American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), on board the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales on the morning of 10 August 1941 is for sale at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in Knightsbridge London on 19 June. It is estimated at £6,000-8,000.

 

The photograph was taken by the War Office official photographer, Captain William G. Horton, and developed by him on the ship before the conference ended on 12 August.  It is signed by both Churchill and Roosevelt.

DALLAS — The Amazing Spider-Man proved himself the top hero over the three-day span of Heritage Auctions’ $4+ million May 16-18 Comics Signature® Auction as John Romita, Sr.’s The Amazing Spider-Man #85 Kingpin and the Schemer Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1970) and a CGC-certified 8.0 copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Spider-Man’s first appearance) realized identical $71,7000 prices. All prices include Buyer’s Premium.

 

“Bidding was steady, prices were solid and interest remained strong throughout the auction,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Auction Operations for the Comics category at Heritage. “Spider-Man and Batman related material, from the comics to the original art, continue to be the mainstay of collectors, with early comic strip and pre-code comic book art also proving quite popular.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—May 23, 2013—Library Company Director John Van Horne has announced that he will retire in May 2014 after almost 30 years at the helm. When he took over leadership of the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1985, special collections libraries operated pretty much the way they always had. It was just before the advent of the personal computer, and the Library Company had recently acquired a Wang word processor. Van Horne remembers the first FAX machine arriving in 1987, a clunky affair which cost several thousand dollars and used thermal paper. Since then, the digital revolution has transformed almost every aspect of the research environment, from the electronic catalog and online databases to online access to digitized images of the collections.

 

Van Horne has presided over this dramatic transformation with attentiveness to the needs of visitors, researchers, and members; a keen instinct for opportunity; and an unwavering reverence for the institution's history and mission.  "This library has been in continuous operation for 282 years.  Benjamin Franklin himself believed that it helped instill in Americans their passion for democratic citizenship. I cannot imagine a more critical task than ensuring that scholars and the public are able to have access these collections and the historical insights they make possible-and that they are preserved for future generations."

Bauman Rare Books announces an exceptional exhibit featuring a collection of rare Bibles and related works produced from the 15th through the 19th century. The exhibit, open to the public, is located within Bauman’s gallery at The Shoppes at The Palazzo in Las Vegas, NV. Entitled “In the Beginning was the Word: The Bible Through the Ages,” the collection includes extraordinarily scarce and important family, pulpit and study Bibles that are fit for a place in any major Biblical collection. According to David Bauman, proprietor and co-founder of Bauman Rare Books, Bibles are among the most popular types of books desired by collectors because they usually have immense historical and sentimental value.

On Friday May 31st, Matthew Haley will be among speakers at the Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival in Wales. He will discuss two aspects of how technology has changed the world of rare books. Within the last fifteen years, book-search web sites like Abebooks and online auctions catalogs have proved a game-changer for this previously localized and often sleepy market. More recently, the printed word appears to have been marginalized by the pixel: digitized library books, ebooks, Kindles and other e-readers seem to dominate the book world. Delving further, it has become apparent that Generation iPad is increasingly keen on antique technology. Vinyl, Polaroid, the steampunk movement and letterpress stationery suggest that the sensuality of pre-digital media still holds an allure, and that the more we read on-screen the more we cherish the feel of a book in our hands.

BOSTON, Mass. — May 22, 2013 — Skinner, Inc. will host an auction of Fine Books & Manuscripts on June 1st in its Boston gallery. The sale will feature a large group of Audubon imperial folio prints of North American quadrupeds, literary firsts, modern first editions, theological works, presidential documents, and a group of fine maps.


Presidential Documents

The auction opens with three documents signed by John Quincy Adams, including a letter written to the American consul in Russia in 1815 (lot 2, estimated between $3,000 and $5,000) that contains a large section on Robert Fulton’s steamship agreement with the Russians; a legal brief drafted early in Adams’s career (lot 1, $400 to $600); and a signed ship’s passport from 1825 (lot 3, $600 to $800).

OAK CREEK, Wisconsin (May 21, 2013) — The 33rd Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award was presented at the annual conference of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) held in Pasadena, California April 25-29, 2013. The award was established in 1980 to honor the memory of the premier New York City art book dealer and publisher George Wittenborn. The award is given each year to a North American art publication which represents the highest standards of content, documentation, layout and format in art publishing. One outstanding book published in 2012 was selected to receive the 33rd Annual George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award.

An exceptionally rare copy of the minutes of the 1792 court-martial of the Bounty mutineers is to be sold at Bonhams Books, Maps, Manuscripts and Photographs sale in Knightsbridge London on 19 June. It is estimated at £25,000-30,000.
 
The proceedings were recorded by one of the defence lawyers, Stephen Barney, and produced in a very small quantity for distribution to others closely involved in the trial.  An Appendix to the minutes is particularly important, containing “a Full Account of the Real Causes and Circumstances of that Unhappy Transaction, the Most Material of Which Have Hitherto Been Withheld from the Public.” 

New York, NY, May 21, 2013—The Morgan Library & Museum announced today that it has added nearly 100 of its treasures to the Google Art Project.


The Google Art Project allows for these works—rare books, paintings, sculptures, and manuscripts—to be viewed in exceptional detail. In addition, the Morgan’s 1906 McKim building—an architectural gem comprising Pierpont Morgan’s Library and Study—can be appreciated in exciting new ways.

(New York, May 20, 2013)—Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, today announced two appointments in its Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. Peter Barnet, who is currently the Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the department, will move into the newly created position of Senior Curator, and C. Griffith Mann, currently Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the Cleveland Museum of Art, will become the Metropolitan Museum’s Michel David-Weill Curator in Charge of the Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters. These changes will go into effect on September 1.


Thomas Campbell said, in making the announcement: “Over the past 15 years, Peter Barnet has been a strong leader of his superb staff. Together they have presented an important roster of scholarly exhibitions, made significant acquisitions, and carried out essential upgrades and reinstallations in the medieval art galleries, both in the Met’s main building and at The Cloisters. Having now led The Cloisters into its landmark 75th-anniversary year, Peter has decided to focus on his scholarship, taking on new projects in research, curating, and writing.”

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New York—On Thursday, June 13, Swann Galleries will offer more than 150 unique works of art in an auction of American Art. Highlights include a run of works by Paul Cadmus, created in his early 90s and representing the culmination of his career as a master draftsman of the human form—specifically males. The Male Nude, NM series was of his longtime lover, Jon Anderson, 32 years his junior, whom he met in Nantucket in 1965—the “NM” notation stands for “Nantucket Man.” Cadmus and Anderson’s collaboration explored all aspects of the male nude, and the two remained lovers until Cadmus’s death just days before his 95th birthday. 


The variety among these drawings is evident in color crayon drawings such as Male Nude, NM 165, toned with raw umber and white acrylic, 1981; Male Nude, NM 199, 1986 ($20,000 to $30,000 each); and Male Nude, NM 276, toned with old rose acrylic, 1996 ($18,000 to $22,000). Other Cadmus drawings include female nudes and studies for his painting David and Goliath.

May 20, 2013—Harvard University Provost Alan M. Garber announced today that Sarah Thomas of the University of Oxford has been named vice president for the Harvard Library. In this role, Thomas will have overall responsibility for the Harvard Library, and will collaborate closely with the Library Board, the Faculty Advisory Council and the Library Leadership Team.  


Garber noted, “Sarah Thomas is a leader in her field with an exceptional record of success running major academic libraries. She is uniquely capable of building on the progress we have made thus far in responding to the evolving expectations of the 21st century scholar. Working closely with Library staff, faculty, students and school and university leadership, Sarah will help Harvard continue to set the standard for academic libraries worldwide.”

May 18 2013 — English PEN and Sotheby’s are delighted to release additional details on the sale of the definitive first edition of J.K. Rowling’s first book. The freely annotated first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — with numerous comments by the author on the process of writing and and the editorial decisions involved will be offered for sale as part of the First Editions, Second Thoughts auction to be held on 21st May 2013 at Sotheby’s London.


Dr Philip W. Errington, Director of Printed Books & Manuscripts at Sotheby’s, said: “This can undoubtedly be regarded as the definitive copy of any Harry Potter book. Not only is it a fine copy of a first edition of the first book, but the author has significantly personalised it with numerous written comments and many impressive and evocative illustrations. The personality of the author leaps from these pages and we are treated to a remarkable insight into her creative genius.”

The Library of Congress today announced a summer essay contest in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region encouraging rising 5th- and 6th-grade students to reflect on books that have made a personal impact on their lives.


The "A Book That Shaped Me" Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the Library of Congress National Book Festival Sept. 21 and 22 on the National Mall.

The late Stanley J. Seeger (1930-2011) was one of the 20th century’s greatest collectors—a perfectionist, who assembled world class collections of art, books, pottery and manuscripts. He also amassed, with a single-minded passion over the course of 50 years, the greatest private collection of first editions, inscribed works, manuscripts, letters and annotated proofs by the celebrated author Joseph Conrad. Sotheby’s London is honoured to offer these rare and important works from Stanley J. Seeger’s celebrated Library in two sales—the first of which will take place on July 10th 2013.


The centrepiece of the collection is the autograph working manuscript of Typhoon, one of Conrad’s greatest stories of the sea and the most important Conrad manuscript remaining in private hands, which is estimated to realise £300,000-500,000*.

DALLAS — Rembrandt Peale’s iconic portrait of U.S. President George Washington — created in the artist’s lifelong quest to paint the most recognizable image of the “Father of the United States” — realized a new world record for a porthole portrait by the artist when it sold for $662,500 to lead Heritage Auctions’ two-day, $4.5+ million American art events in Dallas.

 

The May 10-11 events spanned American Indian art, Texas, Western and California Art and masterpieces of Fine American art. The auction sold 88 percent by lot and 93 percent by value and pushed three artists’ records past $500,000.

The British Library is delighted to present a major new exhibition examining state propaganda, from its origins in the ancient world up until the present day. With over 200 exhibits on display, ranging from chilling Nazi propaganda to modern day ephemera such as bank notes, badges and even tweets which permeate our everyday lives, Propaganda: Power and Persuasion is the first exhibition to gather such a significant range of international state propaganda in one room, looking at its rationales, methods and effectiveness.

 

Curated by Jude England and Ian Cooke, curators of Social Science at the British Library, the exhibition explores the different ways in which the state has used propaganda to influence the thoughts and feelings of a nation, whether the message it carries creates an enemy, generates feelings of national pride or promotes a healthy lifestyle, and questions how propaganda is changing in a digital age and where it will go next.

An extraordinary cast of the death mask of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, made shortly after his death on the island of St Helena on 5 May 1821,  is to be sold at Bonhams Book, Map and Manuscript sale on June 19th in Knightsbridge, London.  It is estimated at £40,000-60,000.


The  cast — known as the ‘Boys cast’ — was made for the Rev Richard Boys, Senior Chaplain of St Helena and is one of only a tiny handful with a provenance linking it directly to the island.  It is the most significant example remaining in private hands and bears an autograph note of authentication written by Boys.  All but one of the other examples are in national collections, either in France or in Corsica. It is being sold by Andrew Boys, a direct descendent of the original owner’s brother.

SAN MARINO, Calif.—The eccentric art of customizing printed books by adding illustrations is the focus of a new exhibition going on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in July. “Illuminated Palaces: Extra-Illustrated Books from The Huntington Library” runs from July 27 to Oct. 28, 2013, in the West Hall of the Library. 


The exhibition features more than 40 works dating from the late 1700s to the early 1900s, when the practice was most popular. Extra-illustration is often referred to as “Grangerizing,” after a British clergyman named James Granger, but he did not invent the practice. In fact, extra-illustration has probably been practiced since the beginning of the printed book, says Stephen Tabor, the Huntington’s curator of early printed books and co-curator of the exhibition with Lori Anne Ferrell, English and history professor at Claremont Graduate University. But the practice did not soar in popularity until Granger published his Biographical History of England, from Egbert the Great to the Revolution in 1769. Granger’s book was essentially a catalog of portrait prints of famous English people, arranged by class—from otherwise ordinary commoners “remarkable from only one circumstance in their lives” to scientists, politicians, noblemen, kings, and queens. By creating an organized list of desiderata, Granger unwittingly motivated some collectors to illustrate copies of his own book with the portraits, setting off what one later critic called “a general rummage after, and plunder of, old prints.”

San Francisco—Bonhams looks forward to offering a strong selection of pens, sure to appeal to collectors, in its Fine Writing Instruments auction to be held June 11. The leading lot of the auction is a Montegrappa "The Dragon 2010 Bruce Lee 18 Karat Yellow Gold Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen," estimated at $30,000-50,000. The pen, which honors one of the greatest icons of the 20th century, features cinnamon-veined red celluloid, a solid 18 karat yellow gold dragon overlay, ruby eyes and a Yin-Yang cap-top emblem. Its medium 18 karat gold nib is engraved with a silhouette of Bruce Lee.


Another standout pen in the auction is a Montblanc "Charlie Chaplin Skeleton Limited Edition 88 Fountain Pen," estimated at $30,000-40,000. The outstanding instrument pays tribute to one of the greatest figures of 20th century cinema, Charlie Chaplin. This pen's intricate cog-wheels in 18 karat solid white gold suggest the machines and machinations featured in Chaplin's most celebrated film, Modern Times. Each detail of the pen's design recalls a different aspect of Chaplin's persona: the barrel and cone suggest his baggy trousers, the captop is based upon his bowler hat and the solid gold clip resembles his cane. Its medium 18 karat rhodium-plated gold nib is engraved with Chaplin's iconic accouterments.

Auctioneers at Lyon & Turnbull sold a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby for £1875 on the eve of the premiere of the new film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. The book valued at £700 is from one of the most remarkable private libraries of English literature to come to auction.

 

The library, sold for a total of £226,000, belonged to the late Bruce Ritchie. Tom Stoppard, on hearing of his death, said, “I’ve known very few people as kind, as learned, as civilised as Bruce. He taught my son Oliver at Merchant Taylors’ forty years ago and many pupils remember him fondly. The world is poorer without him.”

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New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Maps & Atlases, Natural History & Historical Prints, Ephemera on Thursday, June 6 offers scarce and appealing mappings of New York and other American subjects and the Holy Land, as well as botanical and ornithological plates and books.


Among the U.S. maps is The City of New York as laid out by the Commissioners with the Surrounding Countryside, a nearly pristine final Commissioner's map of 1821 by John Randel, Jr., printed on satin, with the grid system beginning with 1st street and running northward to 155th street, streets running east to west intersected by 12 avenues running south to north, essentially the city modern day inhabitants and visitors have come to know (estimate: $10,000 to $15,000).

What is considered to be a masterpiece in the world of rare books? Is it an attractive cover, skilfully executed illustrations or foremost content that makes a book valuable and sought after? This summer one will have a chance to find out for oneself, as Shapero Rare Books are bringing examples of the finest illustrated books ever produced along with first editions of the works that shaped the history of mankind to Masterpiece, the biggest fine art, antiques and design fair in London. 


The highlights include: 

  • Fine set of the first edition of Adam Smith’s An inquiry into the nature and causes of the wealth of nations - a cornerstone work, which the author spent ten years writing and perfecting before finally publishing it in 1776. 'The book succeeded at once, and the first edition was exhausted in six months...Whether it be true or not, as Buckle said, that the ‘Wealth of Nations’ was, ‘in its ultimate results, probably the most important that had ever been written’...it is probable that no book can be mentioned which so rapidly became an authority both with statesmen and philosophers' (ODNB).

DALLAS — A portfolio of 10 screen prints from Andy Warhol’s Endangered Species, 1983, may bring $250,000 to lead Heritage Auctions' May 22 Modern and Contemporary Art Signature® Auction in Dallas. Each signed and numbered in pencil, the portfolio is presented in a single lot and is one of eight lots featuring the Master of Pop Art, to include Ads, 1985, ($200,000+), Liz, 1967, ($5,000+) and Teddy Roosevelt, from the Cowboys and Indians portfolio, ($12,000+).


“The fine Warhols are just a few of the more than 200 lots of fresh to market paintings, sculpture and photography offered in this auction," said Frank Hettig, Director of Modern & Contemporary Art at Heritage. “This is a powerful selection.”

Captain Kangaroo Goes to Auction

May 13, 2013 — LOS ANGELES, Calif. — In one of the most significant auctions of TV memorabilia, the estate of Captain Kangaroo goes to auction on May 21st in Los Angeles.  Over 500 lots can be viewed, encompassing 30 years of television history.


"Captain Kangaroo is beloved by almost the entire adult population, as the Baby Boomers and Generation X grew up watching the show in the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s. It's the longest running children's program in the history of TV," said Nate D. Sanders whose company is auctioning the estate. "The sketch format of Captain Kangaroo telling stories, goofing around with his guests and using puppets literally set the stage for all children's programming thereafter."

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller is pleased to announce Jonas Wood & Shio Kusaka: Still Life with Pots, the first two-person exhibition of this Los Angeles based couple, opening Saturday, May 25, and on view through June 22, 2013. A reception for the artists will be held on May 25, from 6-8 pm. 


Shio Kusaka’s porcelain vessels strike a graceful balance between minimalist tenets and homespun craft. Each work is elegantly patterned or engraved with delicate grids, bands, and dots that wrap their unpretentious forms with well-laid compositions.


Jonas Wood is known for painting vibrant, delightfully skewed portraits, domestic interiors, and still lifes. His compositions, based in photographic collage, animate otherwise commonplace vignettes through the use of pattern and geometry.

Hyde Park, NY — The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum announces the completion of the first renovation of the Library building since it opened in 1941. The National Archives and Records Administration will formally open the Library's new state-of-the-art permanent museum exhibits on June 30, 2013 (museum visitors can see the exhibits between 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., regular admission fees apply). An invitation-only, private Rededication Ceremony — scheduled for 11:00 a.m. on June 30 — will be webcast live at www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu.

London — On 12 June 2013, Christie’s London will offer a newly discovered, deluxe copy of Opera by Virgil (70-19 B.C.) in the sale of Valuable Printed Books & Manuscripts (estimate: £500,000 - 800,000). The Aeneid is accepted as the foundation stone of western literature, and this copy is the earliest edition a collector could ever aspire to own. 


Printed in 1470, within a year of the beginning of printing in Venice, it is the second edition, acknowledged to be textually superior. Its rarity is indicated in the fact that the last copy to come on the market was sold almost a century ago, in 1920. This newly discovered copy is complete and printed on costly vellum for a wealthy patron; the elegance of its page and the hand-painted decoration add to its resemblance to a Renaissance manuscript, and indeed, an earlier owner may have regarded it as a manuscript, perhaps contributing to its true identity not being recognised until now.

Washington, D.C.—This summer, The Phillips Collection features 44 sumptuous canvases by the great French cubist master Georges Braque (1882-1963), along with related objects, from the tumultuous years leading up to and through World War II, a time of great experimentation for the artist. The exhibition reveals insights into his creative process at a time when he used the motif of still life as a source of inspiration to synthesize cubist discoveries. In-depth technical analysis of several works uncovers details about Braque’s meticulous use of materials and his interest in creating a tactile painted surface. Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945 is on view at the Phillips from June 8 through September 1, 2013.

Several new world records for hand written works by some of the giants of British poetry were set at Bonhams yesterday (8 May) during Part II of the sale of The Roy Davids Collection Part III:  Poetry: Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets.  The sale made a total of £750,000.

 

Star of the sale was Oscar Wilde’s very early poem, ‘Heart’s Yearnings’ written when he was an undergraduate at Magdalen College Oxford in 1874.  It sold for £67,250, a world record for a poetic manuscript by the writer the previous record being £24,000 for a draft poem on Lillie Langtry).  It had been estimated at £12-15,000.

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With the upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann’s opulent new adaptation, collectors around the world are on alert for the emergence of examples of the very rare and desirable dust jacket of the first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic, The Great Gatsby.


Sometimes called the most expensive bit of paper in modern literature, the dust jacket can add more than £100,000 to the value of the book itself.


The average price for a 1925 first edition in good condition without the dust jacket is at around £5,000-£7,000 whereas with the dust jacket the book is worth over £120,000.


Renowned rare bookseller Peter Harrington is expecting some interest in an example they have in their shop on Chelsea’s Fulham Road.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—May 8, 2013—Remnants of Everyday Life: Historical Ephemera in the Workplace, Street, and Home highlights the Library Company's vast collection of ephemera from the 18th to the early 20th century. With materials ranging from throw-away items to finely printed works, Remnants of Everyday Life considers the cultural impact of advancements in mass production technologies.

 

The exhibition will address the evolution of the graphic design of ephemera; ephemera associated with women's role in the home, such as scrapbooks; the changing nature of leisure activities and consumerism over the course of the 19th century; and the life-cycle of commercial ephemera between the workplace, street, and home.

Washington, D.C.—This fall, The Phillips Collection takes a fresh look at the artistic process of Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890). While recognized for the intensity and speed with which he painted, van Gogh also could work with careful deliberation, creating more than one version of some of his most famous subjects. The first exhibition in Phillips Collection history devoted to the artist, Van Gogh Repetitions goes beneath the surface of some of his best-known paintings to examine how and why he repeated certain compositions during his ten-year career. Thirty-three paintings and works on paper are on view at The Phillips Collection from Oct. 12, 2013, through Jan. 26, 2014. 


The exhibition is the first to focus on van Gogh’s “repetitions”—a term the artist used to describe his practice of creating more than one version of a particular subject. He often began by sketching a person or landscape rapidly from nature. Back in the studio, he could repeat the subject, reworking and refining his idea on a fresh canvas, in some cases many times. In contrast to the popular perception of van Gogh wielding his brush with wild abandon before nature, Repetitions shows how the artist was also methodical and controlled.

NEW YORK CITY, NY — Bauman Rare Books announces the acquisition of two substantial collections of early and important works of exploration, featuring the gripping journeys of George Anson, James Cook, David Livingstone, Richard F. Burton, Ernest Shackleton and others.  The explorers featured in these collections  were the original globe blazers, striking out for the farthest reaches of the world, plunging into the most inhospitable climates and continually risking their lives, all in the pursuit of science,  glory, Christianity and riches, according to David Bauman, proprietor, Bauman Rare Books. “These volumes offer a remarkable perspective on exploration and the incredible journeys that mapped the world and charted the course of history,” he said.  The volumes are featured in Bauman Rare Book’s newest catalogue, “Incredible Journeys,” which is available online and contains 58 choice and rare items in excellent condition.

 

Located on Madison Avenue in New York and Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian/The Palazzo in Las Vegas, Bauman Rare Books offers valuable early editions of meaningful works, many of which have been signed by the authors.

Doyle New York's April 23, 2013 auction of Rare Books, Autographs & Illustration Art offered a wide range of material. Comprising 300 lots, the sale included Americana, items of sporting interest, travel, literature, early printing, photographic albums, color plate books, original illustrations, science and medicine, among many other subjects.


With competitive bidding from buyers in the salesroom, on the telephones and on the Internet, the sale totaled $909,406 against a pre-sale estimate of $596,800-923,450 with an exceptional 90% sold by lot and 94% sold by value.

New York — On Thursday, May 23, Swann Galleries will offer an excellent assortment of Autographs at auction. The sale features Americana, presidential material, musicians, writers, artists, and more.


There are several lots related to Ronald Reagan, dating back to a May 1946 autograph letter signed, written to a fellow member of the American Veterans Committee, on Jane Wyman stationery, that discusses the role of Communists in the organization, and expressing a decidedly liberal viewpoint (estimate: $6,000 to $9,000). There is also an autograph note signed, as President, a retained draft of a letter written to a Viet Nam veteran, containing the line, “I can understand why you think me a closet racist…” March 1983 ($3,000 to $4,000); a color photograph signed by Reagan, First Lady Nancy Reagan, and White House dog Lucky, which was the original artwork used for holiday cards, 1984-85 ($700 to $1,000); and a pair of items written to the Reagans by Mother Teresa, 1984 ($800 to $1,200).

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New York—Swann Galleries, an auction house that specializes photographs and other works on paper, has launched a social media project that reaches out to the global photography community of collectors, curators, dealers, critics, photographers and enthusiasts. The new blog, called Photophilia, is hosted on tumblr and offers a fully interactive platform for sharing your favorite photos. Swann defines Photophilia as an obsession, a love, a desire for photographs.


“Colleagues and customers are always engaging us in conversations about photography,” said Swann Photographs Senior Specialist Deborah Rogal, “and, often their first question is ‘what is your favorite image in this sale?’ So, we had the idea of opening that conversation up to a wider audience. We hope it will create new ways of experiencing, viewing and discussing photography.”

New York, NY, May 6, 2013—The Morgan Library & Museum will continue its popular Treasures from the Vault exhibition series this spring with the presentation of thirty diverse works in its iconic 1906 McKim building. The great library was commissioned by museum founder Pierpont Morgan and completed in 1906, just seven years prior to his death in 1913. To commemorate Morgan’s life as one of America’s best known financiers and philanthropists, a selection of items will be exhibited in the library’s marbled rotunda. Included in the display will be Morgan’s high school essay on Napoleon Bonaparte (he considered Bonaparte’s tragic flaw to be placing “personal ambition” ahead of “the future welfare of his country”); a stock certificate from the United States Steel Corporation—an enormous undertaking which gave Morgan control of almost half the nation’s steelmaking capacity—signed by the company’s first president, Charles Schwab; the last surviving letter from Belle da Costa Greene, Morgan’s dynamic librarian, sent to her “Big Chief” shortly before his death; and the iconic portrait of Morgan by legendary photographer Edward Steichen.

 

Additional highlights from this season’s Treasures include Colm Tóibín’s manuscript of the short novel The Testament of Mary, the basis for his play that debuted in New York in April; a mid-fifteenth-century English cookery scroll containing nearly two hundred recipes in Middle English; autograph music manuscripts by Wagner, Verdi, and Britten; the first book printed in the English language; and writings by Jane Austen and Albert Einstein. The objects will be on view May 7-October 6, 2013.

May 2, 2013 — LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Anne Revere's Best Actress Tony Award for the 1960 play, "Toys in the Attic" is available at auction through Nate D. Sanders Auctions on May 21, 2013 just in time for Tony Awards season.


"Tony Awards are quite scarce," said Nate D. Sanders, whose company is auctioning the award. "The Awards started in 1947, relatively late compared to the Oscars, and there are also fewer categories as compared to the Emmys and Grammys. Beginning in 1947 there were only 11 awards given out and today it's just 26."

Along with American comics and Japanese manga, bande dessinée ("drawn strip") is one of the great comics traditions. Th­is exhibition presents key moments in the evolution of bande dessinée volumes, from their initial standardization to contemporary explorations into the possibilities offered by the book as three-dimensional object, explorations that have led, in Europe as elsewhere, to a blurring of the distinction between comic books and artist's books.    


Featuring work by: Andreas, Nava Atlas, Lars Arrhenius, Adolpho Avril & Olivier Deprez, Rémy Pierlot & Vincent Fortemps, Jean-Jacques Oost & Gipi, Richard Bawin & ­Thierry Van Hasselt, Dominique ­Théâte & Dominique Goblet, Pome Bernos, Paz Boïra, Claire Bretécher, Julie Chen and Lois Morrison, with Elizabeth McDevitt, Frédéric Coché, David B., Martin tom Dieck, and Jens Balzer, Will Dinski, Vincent Fortemps, André Franquin,Dominique Goblet and Guy Marc Hinant, Guillermo Gomez-Peña, Enrique Chagoya, and Felicia Rice, René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, Emmanuel Guibert, Didier Lefèvre and Frédéric Lemercier, Hergé, Mamiko Ikeda, Edgar P. Jacobs, Eric Lambé, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Michael Matthys, Emily Martin, Max, Miles O'Shea and Olivier Deprez, Omar F. Olivera, OuBaPo, Philippe Petit-Roulet, Peyo, John Porcellino, Nicolas Robel, Marjane Satrapi, Francois Schuiten and Benoît Peeters, Joann Sfar and Jean-Christophe Menu, Stefan J.H. Van Dinther, Th­ierry Van Hasselt and Karine Ponties, Chris Ware, Toña Wilson, and Melinda Yale.

Washington, D.C.—This summer, The Phillips Collection presents its first exhibition of works by acclaimed American painter, sculptor, and printmaker Ellsworth Kelly (b. 1923). Panel Paintings 2004-2009 features seven works consisting of two to four canvases of solid color. Coinciding with the artist’s 90th birthday year, Ellsworth Kelly: Panel Paintings 2004-2009 is on view from June 22 through Sept. 22, 2013.  


With a prolific career spanning over 60 years, Ellsworth Kelly is internationally renowned for his explorations of form, color, and space. Created between 2004 and 2009, the multi-panel works in the exhibition were selected specifically for the Phillips by the artist in consultation with Phillips Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Vesela Sretenović. The large-scale rectilinear works that blur the boundaries between painting and sculpture seem to hover on the wall, playing with light and shadow and dramatically engaging with space.

(Amherst, MA) May 2013 — The Pigeon may not be able to drive the bus, or stay up late, or keep his own hot dog—but this June he gets to star with other familiar friends in his very own exhibition, Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art & Whimsy by Mo Willems. The retrospective will be on view from June 22 through February 23, 2014 at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Carle—and Pigeon—are each honored to be celebrating a ten-year anniversary.

 

Best-selling author and artist Mo Willems has created more than 40 books for children and won three Caldecott Honors, two Geisel Medals, and three Geisel Honors. Though it’s still early in his picture book career, Willems already has a place in children’s literary history, greatly influencing artists, writers, and publishers, and reducing an entire generation to fits of giggling. The exhibition features almost 100 works, including beloved picture book characters Knuffle Bunny, Elephant and Piggie, the Pigeon, Edwina, Leonardo, Cat the Cat, and the Duckling. Guests are invited to also enjoy The Red Elephant, a 1,500 pound steel sculpture on long-term loan to The Carle. Seriously Silly was made possible by the generous support of Disney Publishing Worldwide.

NEW YORK, May 2013—The Museum of Modern Art announces Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938, from September 28, 2013, to January 12, 2014, the first exhibition to focus exclusively on the breakthrough Surrealist years of René Magritte (Belgian, 1898-1967), creator of some of the 20th century's most extraordinary images. Bringing together around 80 paintings, collages, and objects, along with a selection of photographs, periodicals, and early commercial work, the exhibition offers fresh insight into Magritte's identity as a modern painter and Surrealist artist. In addition to works from MoMA's collection, the exhibition includes many loans from public and private collections from the U.S. and abroad. Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938 is organized by The Museum of Modern Art, The Menil Collection, and The Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition at MoMA is organized by Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Danielle Johnson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture. The exhibition travels to The Menil Collection, Houston (February 14-June 1, 2014), and The Art Institute of Chicago (June 29-October 12, 2014).

New York, NY, May 2, 2013—The Morgan Library & Museum’s collection of drawings from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century has grown dramatically over the last few years. During this period, important gifts, purchases, and bequests have both augmented and transformed the museum’s holdings. Beginning May 31, more than one hundred of these new additions will be featured in an exhibition titled Old Masters, Newly Acquired.

 

On view through August 11, the show presents major gifts from such notable collectors as former Morgan Director Charles Ryskamp, Trustees Eugene V. Thaw and Brooke Astor, and long-standing supporter Joseph McCrindle. Also exhibited will be other works that have entered the collection as gifts and bequests, and an important group of recent purchases, including a selection of those made on the Sunny Crawford von Bülow Fund.

Chicago, Illinois — Grant Wood’s artworks have always held a special place in the hearts of Midwesterners — they capture the land and the people Wood knew best, hard-working men and women of 20th century rural America. We see his visions as a memorial to the American working class and generations of collectors have established a strong market for his iconic views of rolling hills and hearty farmhands. 


The Veterans Memorial Building in Grant Wood’s hometown, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, boasts a towering landmark to his artistic achievement, a 24-foot tall stained glass window — the largest in the United States in 1929 at the time of its inception. The window features a central figure of a Lady in Mourning, modeled after the artist’s sister and sitter for the iconic painting, American Gothic, Nan Wood. The figure is flanked by life-size soldiers from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican War, the Civil War, the Spanish American War and the First World War. It is the only known stained-glass window designed by Wood.

May 2, 2013 — The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, marked by tragedy, are also known for being the first to incorporate a brand across all aspects of the games.


“The Munich games were really the first games to create a visual identity. And it was a visual and graphic identity that spoke to the new identity of West Germany,” said Matthew Gin. “This was important because it was the first games held in Germany after World War II.”


Gin, a Ph.D. candidate in architecture, was this year’s first place winner in the Philip Hofer Prize for Collecting. His collection “Between West Germany and the World: Design at the 1972 Munich Olympics” was deemed outstanding by the judges who evaluated this year’s entries.

Boston, MA, Wednesday, May 1—ANTIQUES ROADSHOW, PBS’s most-watched ongoing primetime series, is offering one lucky fan a “Golden Ticket” experience. The series, which officially closed general ticketing on April 8, is offering “Golden Ticket” Sweepstakes entrants the chance to win a VIP trip for two to this summer’s event in Richmond, VA, including a backstage tour and a chance to have their attic treasures appraised. Enter to win now through July 31, 2013 at pbs.org/roadshowsweeps.


“The lucky person who wins the special golden ticket will have the keys to the ultimate ROADSHOW experience,” says ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Executive Producer Marsha Bemko. “For the first time, we’ll be bringing a fan and his or her guest to one of our events for the chance to see the inner workings of the show, go behind the scenes to meet the appraisers, and see if their favorite yard sale find is America’s next hidden treasure.”

"Directed: The Intersection of Book, Film and Visual Narrative" explores the common territory of two engaging artistic practices: book arts and film. Historically as well as in contemporary practice, artists blur and perforate the boundaries between these two disciplines, both of which share a foundation of sequential visual narrative.

 

Work by over 70 artists will be featured, representing a diverse cross-section of contemporary work from across disciplines and around the world. The multimedia exhibition also includes many influential artists' books from the Walker Art Center's Rosemary Furtak Collection, including works by Ed Ruscha, Jim Goldberg, Marcel Broodthaers, John Baldessari, Andy Warhol, Christian Boltanski, Bruce Nauman, Michael Snow, Mason Douglas Williams, Gilbert & George, and Annette Messager. A full artist list can be found below.

The first handwritten poem by Philip Larkin ever to come to auction is to be sold on 8 May in Part II of the sale of The Roy Davids Collection Part III: Poetry: Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets at Bonhams, New Bond Street. London. It is estimated at £3,000-4,000. Handwritten poetic manuscripts by Larkin are exceedingly rare.

 

The poem, entitled, ‘Love’, was written in December 1962 and is a typically wry reflection on the compromises and demands of love.

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