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Vice & Virtue Exhibition 1.jpg copy.jpgNew Orleans, LA — In honor of New Orleans’ tricentennial, M.S. Rau Antiques is pleased to present Vice & Virtue: An Exhibition of Sex, Saints & Sin. The new show, which will explore the universal and timeless struggle between virtue and vice, is free and open to the public beginning April 7 to June 9, 2018 and promises to delight, shock, and tempt the visitor.  There will be a private preview kick-off party at the century-old landmark business on Friday, April 6, 2018.

To celebrate the city’s 300th years, curator Rebecca Rau has put together a unique exhibit that exemplifies the rich history, diversity, cultural traditions and resilience of the city.  Vice & Virtue will feature fine art and rare objects from across history, from torture masks to Brueghel masterpieces.

The new exhibit, which features over 50 pieces of art, antiques, art and historical items valued at over $15 million, will give a nod to New Orleans’ Catholic heritage and its infamous culture of celebration, indulgence and excess and include depictions of the pious and pure, alongside voyeurs, seductresses, and misbehaving cardinals.

“Since the beginning New Orleans has been filled with piety and decadence; it is a city that thrives on extremes,” explained Rau, a fourth-generation antiques dealer.  “It is this dichotomy of differences that make this city all that it is, from the magnificent churches to the rowdiness of Mardi Gras, it is a place that both inspires and amazes.”

ABOUT WILLIAM RAU AND M.S. RAU ANTIQUES

Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on 18th- and 19th-century antiques and fine art, William Rau is President, CEO and third-generation owner of M.S. Rau Antiques of New Orleans, Louisiana. Over 105 years old, M.S. Rau Antiques is one of the largest premier fine arts and antique galleries in the world. William Rau’s extensive knowledge of the international art market has not only allowed him to help clients cultivate museum quality collections, but it has also afforded him the opportunity to amass the remarkable and important works in this comprehensive exhibition. 

Chicago—From January 27-May 28, 2018, the Art Institute of Chicago will present a collection of manuscript illuminations spanning four hundred years of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance from countries across Western Europe. These exquisite illuminations, although often tiny in scale, present a fascinating microcosm of medieval Europe, offering visitors a direct look into daily life and art from the period. Long-time Chicagoan Sandra Hindman, a noted medieval manuscript scholar and the founder of Les Enluminures, assembled this remarkable and broad-ranging collection throughout her career and has generously given approximately one third of the exhibited miniatures to the Art Institute. This special exhibition celebrates Hindman’s recent gift while also documenting her own journey in the field of medieval books.

Following on the heels of the Art Institute’s newly renovated and reimagined Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms, and Armor earlier this year, this gift exemplifies a renewed commitment to the ongoing study and presentation of Medieval and Renaissance art in the museum. Exhibition co-curator Victoria Sancho Lobis, Prince Trust Curator of Prints & Drawings, notes the significance of these additions to the Art Institute’s permanent collection: “Sandra Hindman's gifts of manuscript illuminations make a dramatic impact on our holdings in this field, and we are especially delighted that all of the works from Sandra's collection will remain on long-term loan for consultation in the study room of the Department of Prints and Drawings.”

Exhibition co-curator Martha Wolff, Eleanor Wood Prince Curator of European Painting and Sculpture Before 1750, states, “The wonderful miniatures in this collection offer visitors an exciting range of materials through which they can explore art and life from the austere and elegant spirituality of the Romanesque period to a new engagement with the natural world in the early Renaissance.” Exhibited in and among the Art Institute’s permanent collection to contextualize with paintings and sculptures of the period, the illuminations on display demonstrate a diverse range of subject matter and use, offering a variety of ways for visitors to experience and appreciate these exceptional medieval works. 

The Medieval Word at Our Fingertips: Manuscript Illuminations from the Collection of Sandra Hindman. January 27, 2018-May 28, 2018.  

 

Schembart f.43v copy.jpgNew York—Les Enluminures announces the exhibition, “Talking at the Court, on the Street, in the Bedroom: Vernacular Manuscripts of the Middle Ages.” February 23rd to March 16th, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm. Opening and Reception: Thursday, February 22nd, 6 pm to 8 pm. 

The thirty-six manuscripts included in this exhibition provide viewers unique access to the authentic, spontaneous vision of people in medieval France, Italy, Germany, the Low Countries, and Britain. As award-winning author Christopher de Hamel writes in the introduction, “There is one way in which manuscripts are different from all other works of art: they can talk … Shared language is the basis of all communication, and manuscripts can actually speak to us.”

Of course, Latin was the language of those who aspired to literacy, and it was the language of the Church. Most people today think of the Middle Ages as a time when cloistered monks wrote and read only in now-obscure languages. But, what many do not realize is that by the thirteenth and fourteenth century (and certainly well before Columbus discovered America in 1492), numerous books became available in the everyday languages spoken “at the court, on the street, and in the bedroom.” This exhibition focuses on just such manuscripts, and we find that they were written for all sorts of people at diverse levels of society, not only the privileged aristocracy, but doctors, artisans, townspeople, women, the clergy, and the lay devout. 

For example, giving advice to widows, a translator puts Saint Jerome’s famous letters into French in a unique copy probably for a high-born woman. She is pictured in the book. Toiling in the Italian metal industry in towns, metalworkers can follow instructions on minting gold and silver coins in their own language. The manuscript is on paper in simple, yet readable script. Fancifully dressed carnival revelers cavort through the streets of medieval Nuremberg throwing fireworks amidst floats and even an occasional elephant. The German text celebrates the sponsoring families of the event. The Founder and President of Les Enluminures (and medievalist), Sandra Hindman reminisces “I have worked on vernacular manuscripts all my life and they are closest to my heart. Like the experience of reading a good book today, vernacular manuscripts offer an adventure into an unknown world that brings to life people, places, and events of long ago.” 

Come join us in experiencing the Middle Ages through our manuscripts. 

LES ENLUMINURES 

23 East 73rd  Street, 7th foor Penthouse 

New York, New York 10021 

Tel. 212 717 7273 

Catalogue: “Shared Language: Vernacular Manuscripts of the Middle Ages” by Laura Light, introduction Christopher de Hamel. Available for purchase as of February 15: $35. 

Image: Carnival reveler, holding a firework, with an elephant in the margin. Schembart (“hiding beard”) Carnival Book. In German, illuminated manuscript on paper. Germany (Nuremberg), c. 1540-1550. 64 pen and ink with watercolor drawings, 22 additional pen and ink drawings. 

 

aedf.JPGIn collaboration with Gerald W. Cloud Rare Books, San Francisco, Maggs Bros Ltd is delighted to present an exhibition of work by the acclaimed contemporary book artist, Didier Mutel. The show features his most recent work, The First Atlas of the United States of Acid, from which the show takes its name, as well as earlier and rare book designs from Mutel’s 40-year plus career as an engraver, book artist, and printer.  

The First Atlas of the United States of Acid, 2017, was created in the historic tradition of lavish large format atlases. For centuries, etching and the aqua fortis (strong water - that is, acid) technique were used for the production of maps and atlases, rendering the geographical features and national boundaries that form our understanding of the world with elegantly drawn lines. Mutel’s eponymous etching studio was founded in 1793 as the Atelier Rémond; France’s oldest etching studio in continuous operation, over its notable history it printed the monumental engravings for La Description de l’Égypte (1809-29), among other such publications.

Mutel’s contemporary reimagining, The First Atlas of the United States of Acid represents the geographical borders of each U.S. State, along with each state’s Congressional members. However, correct in their proportional distribution, the members of the legislature have been reassigned by Mutel to artists, musicians, writers and philosophers from the Renaissance to now. In the plate Alabamacid, for example, the House of Representatives consists of Raphaël, Carl Andre, Merce Cunningham, Marcel Proust, François Villon, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Frederic Chopin and Edward Steichen. Meanwhile, cartoon superheroes run the Senate; in this instance, Kilowog (DC Comics).

In the technical tradition of etched atlases, and referencing the history of his own studio, the states in The Atlas are rendered in correct shape, size, and scale, but by the artist’s imagination the work is not a map based in reality as were its historic forebears, but rather a utopian version of a country characterised by hopeful reality and humorous fiction. It has taken close to three years to achieve the first copies of this ambitious work, which was printed on the historical presses of the Atelier Didier Mutel.

Also on show will be R217A (2016), a book by Mutel that reproduces the text of the United Nations Resolution 217A - the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man - made on 10 December 1948 and ratified by the UN General Assembly in Paris by 58 member states. Mutel’s book work, printed in white on white paper, reminds us that these rights can be at times nearly invisible. The work is both an elegant metaphor and a tour de force of craftsmanship and printing.

Didier has said of his work: ‘I am deeply involved with the history, the tools and the techniques of etching and engraving. But my commitment is to feed new and contemporary ways to engrave, and not to engage in a contemplative nostalgia. The artist book is for me a great research geography, which allows all manner of exploration.

‘The rediscovery of its great sensual, sharp and endless attraction, goes farther than just the domain of the artist book, it deals with the way we produce, the time required to achieve exceptional results, and the objects we want to live with—the book for instance not as the memory of an old artifact but as a powerful and living dynamic contemporary field of creation.’

On Saturday 25 November, Didier Mutel will be at Maggs’ Bedford Square premises to discuss his historic engraving atelier (founded in Paris, 1793) and the current challenges for book artists and engravers. The artist will also discuss the development of his practice as a book artist from his early work up through his most recent books.

Tickets are free but booking essential, available via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/in-conversation-with-didier-mutel-contemporary-engraving-and-book-arts-tickets-39666266872

Image: Didier Mutel, The First Atlas of the United States of Acid. Plate 8, Alabamacid. Atelier Didier Mutel: Orchamps, France, 2017

LOBEL.jpgAmherst, MA--The Caldecott Medal, an annual award bestowed upon "the most distinguished American picture book for children," is one of the most prestigious prizes in children's literature. Next month, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will celebrate the 80th anniversary of the distinguished award in the exhibition Eighty Years of Caldecott Books, on view December 12, 2017 through May 13, 2018.

First conferred in 1938, the Caldecott Medal is named in honor of nineteenth-century British illustrator Randolph Caldecott, acknowledged as the father of the modern picture book for his lively drawing style and sense of humor. Each year the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC)--a division of the American Library Association--selects the fifteen members that form the Caldecott committee. This group reads, critiques, and discusses hundreds of picture books before voting on a winner.

Eighty Years of Caldecott Books presents a chronological look at the winning titles from 1938 to the present. It also represents The Carle's first book-focused exhibition. "While we always have books available for visitors to read in our galleries, the books in this exhibition are the art objects themselves. As first editions, they are valuable historical artifacts," says Ellen Keiter, the Museum's chief curator. Keiter organized the exhibition with Barbara Elleman, former editor-in-chief of Book Links, published by the American Library Association and, Distinguished Scholar of Children's Literature at Marquette University. While these rare books cannot be handled, guests will be able to read copies available in the Museum's Reading Library.

The exhibition will change on February 12, 2018 when the ALSC announces the winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal and a new book is added to the display. In the interim, guests can cast their votes in the gallery for the book they believe should win the coveted honor. Online visitors to the Museum's website can vote too. 

"Eighty Years of Caldecott Books is a celebration of artistic achievement," says Keiter. "We have included original illustrations from several winning titles, many drawn from The Carle's permanent collection." On view are three artworks by Marcia Brown, one from each of her three Caldecott Medal books: Cinderella, or The Little Glass Slipper (1955), Once a Mouse (1962) and Shadow (1983). [Brown won an unprecedented three Caldecott Medals, a feat matched only by David Wiesner.] The other artists and artworks on display are: Ed Emberley, Drummer Hoff (1968), Uri Shulevitz, The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship (1969), Arnold Lobel, Fables (1981), Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express (1986), David Macaulay, Black and White (1991), Emily Arnold McCully, Mirette on the High Wire (1993), Paul O. Zelinsky, Rapunzel (1998), Simms Taback, Joseph Had a Little Overcoat (2000), Mordicai Gerstein, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2004), and Javaka Steptoe, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017). 

PROGRAMMING:

The Best of the Best in 2017 

December 16, 11:00am 

Free with Museum Admission 

In anticipation of the 2018 American Library Association Book & Media Awards, including the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, join Susan Bloom and Cathryn M. Mercier from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College as they share their favorite books of the past year.

Meet Javaka Steptoe 

December 16, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission

Artist and author Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his book, Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Hear Steptoe discuss his research and art for Radiant Child, and what his year has been like following a Caldecott win.

Book signing to follow program. Can't make it to the event? You may reserve signed books online or contact The Carle Bookshop at shop@carlemuseum.org.

Randolph Caldecott: The Man Who Could Not Stop Drawing

with children's book historian, author, and critic Leonard S. Marcus              

April 7, 2018, 1:00pm 

Free with Museum Admission

This illustrated talk introduces the sly, fun-loving Victorian whose kinetic drawing style and keen feeling for life culminated in the invention of an art form the world has come to embrace: the children's picture book. Celebrate this true original as the American Library Association marks the 80th anniversary of the coveted prize named for him: the Randolph Caldecott Medal.

The 8th Annual Barbara Elleman Research Library (BERL) Lecture 

Celebrating the Caldecott: The stories behind some of the great Caldecott Medal and Honor Books with editor, author, and scholar Anita Silvey

Saturday, April 28, 2:00 pm 

Free with Museum Admission

The Barbara Elleman Research Library (BERL) Lecture is an annual event featuring the country's preeminent scholars, book collectors, researchers, editors, authors, and illustrators in the field of children's literature.

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at

www.carlemuseum.org

Image: Arnold Lobel, Illustration for Fables [Harper & Row, 1980]. Gift of Adrianne and Adam Lobel (The Estate of Arnold Lobel). © 1980 Arnold Lobel.

Oxford, England—The origins of early English graphic design are explored in a new exhibition opening at the Bodleian Libraries’ Weston Library. Designing English: Graphics on the Medieval Page, open from 1 December 2017, brings together a stunning selection of manuscripts and other objects to uncover the craft and artistry of Anglo-Saxon and medieval scribes, painters and engravers.

Designing English looks at the skills and innovations of these very early specialists who worked to preserve, clarify, adorn, authorize and interpret writing in English. For almost a thousand years most texts had been written in Latin, the common European language. Beyond the traditions established for Latin, books in English were often improvisatory, even homespun, but they were just as inventive and creative. In an age when each book was made uniquely by hand, each book was an opportunity for redesigning. The introduction of the English text posed questions: How did scribes choose to arrange the words and images on the page in each manuscript? How did they preserve, clarify and illustrate writing in English? What visual guides were given to early readers of English in how to understand or use their books?

The exhibition explores all elements of design, from the materials used, such as the size and shape of animal skins used to create parchment, to the design of texts for different uses, such as for performing songs, plays or music. Medical texts and practical manuals feature alongside ornate religious texts, including rare examples of unfinished illustrations that reveal the practical processes of making pages and artefacts. The use of English is traced from illicit additions made to Latin texts, to its more general, every day use, and spread to more ephemeral formats.

The exhibition features incredible early manuscripts held in the Bodleian collections, one of the largest medieval collections in the UK, alongside loan items from the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the British Museum.

Highlights of Designing English include:

-          The Macregol Gospels, one of the treasures of the Bodleian Libraries, dating from Ireland in around 800 CE, with English translations added to the original Latin text.

-          English translations of hymns composed by Caedmon (657-680), an illiterate cowherd who lived at Whitby Abbey and is the first named English poet.

The Alfred Jewel, an ornate enamel and gold jewel on loan from the Ashmolean Museum that contains the inscription ‘Alfred ordered me to be made’. The jewel is widely believed to have been commissioned by King Alfred the Great (849-899 BCE), who championed the use of English.

-          Gravestones and other medieval objects engraved with English text, including an Anglo-Saxon sword and a gold ring found at Godstow Abbey, Oxford.

-          Medical texts such as revolving ‘volvelle’ diagrams, magical charms and colourful drawings and diagrams for doctors. 

-          Some of the earliest known works in the English language, including Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales and early drama and songs

-          Examples of intricate texts with colour coded instructions on how to read them, such as an English translation of the Bible which may have belonged to Henry VI.

Designing English is curated by Daniel Wakelin, Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography at the University of Oxford, one of the few posts in the world dedicated to the study of medieval English manuscripts.

Professor Wakelin said: ‘Medieval writers had to be graphic designers every time they wrote or carved their words. Tracing the earliest uses of English, from illicit annotations on Latin texts, to more everyday jottings in ephemeral formats, this exhibition celebrates the imagination and skill of these early writers. Their craft and inventiveness resonates today when digital media allow users to experiment with design through word processing, social media and customized products.”

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said: ‘The Bodleian Libraries holds one of the most important collections of medieval manuscripts in the world, and this exhibition celebrates all aspects of the ingenuity and craftsmanship that went into some of the most beautiful, and everyday items that still survive today. The exhibition provides an intriguing and surprising history of English literature in one room.”

To show the likeness of these medieval documents to modern craft, Designing English will, until 11 March 2018, be exhibited alongside Redesigning the Medieval Book: a display of contemporary book arts inspired by the exhibition. The exhibited contemporary artworks include calligraphy, prints, embroidery, pop-up books, videos, games and jewellery.

The exhibition will be opened by award-winning designer Jay Osgerby, who with Edward Barber, designed the new Bodleian Chair. The exhibition runs until 22 April 2018 and is accompanied by two new titles from Bodleian Library Publishing. A beautifully illustrated exhibition catalogue, Designing English: Early Literature on the Page, written by exhibition curator Daniel Wakelin is available in hardback for £30. A second title, Revolting Remedies from the Middle Ages, brings together weird and wonderful medical tips for everyday use in medieval England, some of which are displayed in the exhibition. Both titles are available to preorder from www.bodleianshop.co.uk.

An exciting programme of talks and events, including family-friendly activities, will be held over the course of the Designing English exhibition, starting with a special opening weekend celebration at the Bodleian’s Weston Library on 2 December. For more information visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson.

The Weston Library is one of the newest cultural destinations in Oxford and has welcomed more than 2 million visitors since opening to the public in March 2015. The Library has also won numerous architectural awards and was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2016.

 

loveday-artwork_600.jpgSan Marino, CA— An exhibition opening next week at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will present a fresh, vibrant group of new works by seven artists responding to research they conducted in The Huntington’s vast collections over the past year. The exhibition “Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington,” on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art from Nov. 18, 2017, through Feb. 12, 2018, is part of an initiative called “/five.” The installation features paintings, sculpture, textiles, video, and writings by artists Olivia Chumacero, Sarita Dougherty, Jheanelle Garriques, Zya S. Levy, Kiki Loveday (née kerrie welsh), Soyoung Shin, and Juliana Wisdom, who were selected in collaboration with the Los Angeles-based Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW). Objects in the exhibition include an archive of Sappho-inspired love letters on handmade paper, plaster castings of cacti, a video created in uncultivated areas of the Huntington’s grounds, and porcelain vessels and a tapestry inspired by 18th-century French masterworks.

The /five initiative is a contemporary art collaboration between The Huntington and five different organizations over five years that invites artists to respond to a range of themes drawn from The Huntington’s deep and diverse library, art, and botanical collections. The initiative is led by Catherine Hess, The Huntington’s chief curator of European art and interim director of its art collections and Jenny Watts, The Huntington’s curator of photography and visual culture. In /five’s first year (2016), The Huntington collaborated with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laborary (JPL) to present the sound sculpture “Orbit Pavilion,” which referenced The Huntington’s history of aerospace, astronomy, and Earth science collections.

For the second year of the initiative, The Huntington chose WCCW, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization that cultivates feminist creative communities and practices, to explore the theme of collecting and collections.

“Henry Huntington was a collector at heart,” said Watts. “He began with books and moved on to land, plants, and, with the guidance of his wife Arabella, British and European art. The Huntingtons—who excluded women from the professional staff—surely never anticipated the myriad challenging, provocative, and insightful ways in which these 21st-century artists would interpret the collections, living and not.”

Additional information and photographs about the /five initiative, WCCW, and the artists and their works is available at huntington.org/five.

Image: Kiki Loveday (née kerrie welsh) (b. 1987), detail of object from What You Love, 2017. Installation of collected letters, objects, and ephemera by various contributors.

Screen Shot 2017-11-01 at 9.30.14 AM.pngThe Grolier Club is heralding the Winter holiday with the exhibition Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920. More than 200 vibrantly colored children’s illustrated picture books, drawings, watercolors, and ephemera are on view from December 6, 2017 to February 3, 2018.  

The exhibition focuses on the accomplishments and technological innovations of McLoughlin Brothers, the influential late 19th century children’s book publishing firm. Rising from the gritty printing district of lower Manhattan, the McLoughlin Brothers embraced cutting edge technologies like chromolithography, creative branding techniques, and competitive business tactics.  

Based upon the impressive collections of the American Antiquarian Society (AAS), a national research library and learned society located in Worcester, MA, the exhibition documents the variety of juvenile imprints created by the McLoughlin Brothers, and surveys the broad influence and appeal of this under-studied publisher of illustrated children’s literature.

Drawn from the impressive archive of McLoughlin Brothers artwork and picture books held at the AAS, the exhibition delves into the early history of American juvenile literature publishing during the period from 1858 to 1920, using the production and merchandising practices of McLoughlin Brothers to explore the serious business of entertainment for children.

Radiant with Color & Art is co-curated by Laura Wasowicz, AAS curator of children’s literature and Lauren Hewes, AAS Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts. The exhibition is funded in part with support from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Founded by John McLoughlin, Jr. (1827-1905) and Edmund McLoughlin (1833/4-1889) the firm was one of the first to concentrate exclusively in works for children producing illustrated books as well as printed paper dolls, toy soldiers, games, and valentines. They created 1,000 titles in about 150 series between 1860 and 1890.  

The McLoughlin Brothers reached both low and middle-class customers by diversifying their stock and offering various price points for their products ranging from one penny to a dollar per book. Through strategic partnerships and collaborations they expanded their distribution nationwide. They also repurposed their imprints to cross promote and sell other items such as clothing and food and worked with D. Appleton and Company to create Spanish language imprints that were sold throughout Latin America. 

The publishing house was also an innovator in printing technology,  exploiting a new process of printing from relief etched zinc plates called chromotypography, and later mastering the intricacies of  lithographic printing in color. By 1905, they were credited with having one of the largest lithographic printing establishments in the country with a Brooklyn-based factory stretching over five acres.  The firm printed books on all subjects, drawing from both European and American sources to produce everything from fairy tales and nursery rhymes, to books on popular culture and holiday-themed titles. On exhibit is an 1889 book,  A.B.C of Objects for Home and School. Kindergarten First Book, that emphasized the importance of literacy by featuring a mother reading with a child on the cover.  It was a wordless book and was distributed to schools around the world. 

Noteworthy in the books are depictions of humor, race and social mores that provide a unique view into the cultural norms of the times in which they were created. Additionally, the McLoughlin Brothers were well known for their  portrayals of Cinderella and—appropriately for the holidays—Santa Claus.

The publishers hired cartoonist Thomas Nast in 1869 to create a picture book version of the poem The Night Before Christmas.  Recognizing the poem’s potential, the firm periodically issued updated versions featuring modern toys and style of dress and created branded products to accompany the books. On display is the original watercolor for the cover design of an 1888 edition of The Night Before Christmas,  part of the firm’s art archive used for consultation during the design and republishing process. 

Cinderella was a mainstay of the McLoughlinn Brothers.  With its simple design and appealing hand-colored illustrations, the ca. 1858 Cinderella, one of the first titles issued by the publishers after they formed their partnership, looked like countless other picture books for children issued in the 1840s and 1850s. Over forty years later, the firm was still publishing the fairytale, but Cinderella was given a new look as seen in the ca. 1912 watercolor design by New York artist Sarah Noble Ives.    

The McLoughlin Brothers had harnessed the talents of popular 19th century American illustrators, including Thomas Nast, Sarah Noble Ives, Justin H. Howard, Ida Waugh, and Richard André to herald the dawn of the fin de siècle “picture book beautiful.” 

FREE LUNCHTIME EXHIBITION TOURS:

Public tours of the exhibition will be offered by the co-curators 

Friday, January 5, noon-1 pm (Laura Wasowicz, curator of children’s literature, AAS) 

Monday, January 29, 1 pm-2 pm (Lauren Hewes, Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Graphic Arts, AAS)

CATALOG: 

A fully-illustrated 144-page color catalog of Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920, published by the American Antiquarian Society, will be available at the Grolier Club.

About the Grolier Club

Founded in 1884, the Grolier Club is America’s oldest and largest society of bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts. Named after Jean Grolier the Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his collection with his friends, the club maintains a 100,000 volume library, publishes books and presents public exhibitions, lectures and symposia to foster an appreciation of art, history, printing and production of books and works on paper.  

About the American Antiquarian Society 

The nation’s first national historical organization, the American Antiquarian Society (AAS) is both a learned society and a major independent research library devoted to pre-twentieth century American imprints.  The Society was the recipient of the 2013 National Humanities Medal, the first independent research library to be so honored.  The Society sponsors a broad range of programs - visiting research fellowships, research, education, publications, lectures, and concerts - for constituencies ranging from school children and their teachers through undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, creative and performing artists and writers, and the general public.  

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB

47 East 60th Street  

New York, NY 10022  

212-838-6690 

www.grolierclub.org  

Hours: Monday - Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm

Admission: Exhibitions are open to the public free of charge 

cadogan.pngShapero Modern in conjunction with Sladmore Contemporary is delighted to present Still Reading, an exhibition of paintings by Nancy Cadogan and sculptures by Martin Jennings. Cadogan’s oil paintings of books are shown alongside bronze maquettes and busts from Jennings's statues of literary figures. 

Cadogan’s paintings engage with ideas of time and a private dialogue with literature. The genesis for the series originates from 2011, when she made her first book paintings for the London Antiquarian Book Fair. They capture the immense potential and excitement of reading and the possibilities of language within their diminutive scale. In one sense, the works are typical of the still life genre and record a sense of time passing. In another, they reflect on the concept of stillness more widely, as a rare condition within our hyper-networked contemporary reality, and instead celebrate quiet reflection. 

As Cadogan has stated, ‘The book - the actual physical paper bound object full of words - is a treasure in this modern era. A book contains an entire universe you can only bring to life in your imagination, if you agree to give it time. It is a tribute to privacy, an honouring of the interior life.’ 

Image: Nancy Cadogan, When the Lights Go Down, 2017

drawn-dancers_486x518.pngOriginal works by women cartoonists and illustrators are featured in a new exhibition opening at the Library of Congress on Nov. 18. Spanning the late 1800s to the present, “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists” brings to light remarkable but little-known contributions made by North American women to these art forms.

In fields traditionally dominated by men, many women have long earned their livelihoods creating art intended for reproduction and wide dissemination in newspapers, periodicals and books. Women pursuing careers in the early days of the visual arts, as in nearly every other profession, encountered limitations in training, permitted subject matter and adequate work environments. A host of challenges and longstanding social restrictions in a traditionally male-controlled system impeded many from advancing in their chosen fields.

The selected works drawn from the Library’s extensive collections highlight the gradual broadening in both the private and public spheres of women’s roles and interests, addressing such themes as evolving ideals of feminine beauty, new opportunities emerging for women in society, changes in gender relations and issues of human welfare. “Drawn to Purpose” demonstrates that women, once constrained by social conditions and convention, have gained immense new opportunities for self-expression and discovery to share with growing, appreciative audiences.

The exhibition will feature nearly 70 works by 43 artists in two rotations during its run from Nov. 18, 2017, through Oct. 20, 2018, in the Graphic Arts Galleries of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are not needed.

The exhibition is made possible by the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon. An online version will be available to audiences nationwide at loc.gov on Nov. 18.

“Drawn to Purpose” is organized into seven sections: Themes and Genres; Golden Age Illustrators; Early Comics; New Voices, New Narratives; Editorial Illustrators; Magazine Covers and Cartoons; and Political Cartoonists.

Among the artists and works featured are Grace Drayton’s wide-eyed, red-cheeked Campbell Kids, who debuted in 1909; Lynn Johnston’s comic strip “For Better or For Worse”; Persian Gulf War editorial illustrations by Sue Coe and Frances Jetter; “Mixed Marriage” by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast; and work by best-selling graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier.

The Library will release a companion book, “Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists” by curator Martha H. Kennedy, in the spring of 2018. Featuring more than 240 eye-catching illustrations from Library collections, “Drawn to Purpose” provides additional insights into the personal and professional experiences of more than 80 artists. Their individual stories—shaped by their access to art training, the impact of family on their careers and experiences of gender bias in the marketplace—serve as vivid reminders of the human dimensions of social change during a period in which the roles and interests of women spread from the private to the public sphere. The hardcover volume is published in association with University of Mississippi Press and will be available for $50 in the Library of Congress shop, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. Credit card orders are taken at (888) 682-3557 or loc.gov/shop/ and bookstores nationwide.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Image: Detail, "Dancing Couples No. 1," Anne Harriet Fish (1890-1964). Cover for Vanity Fair, March 1920.

 

CONSTANTCONTACT.jpgAmherst, MA--In its short fifteen-year history, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art has welcomed into its permanent collection more than 7,300 objects ranging from vintage picture-book art to modern day illustrations. In honor of its anniversary, the Museum will present highlights from its holdings in the exhibition Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration, on view November 19, 2017 through April 1, 2018.

The exhibition features 96 artworks representing a range of time periods and media, from Harry Bingham Neilson's 1898 pen-and-ink drawing for Life's Book of Animals to Ekua Holmes's 2015 paper collage for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement. Iconic picture-book characters Peter Rabbit, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Eloise, and Shrek will delight guests young and old. Artists represented in the exhibition include Don Freeman, Trina Shart Hyman, Dorothy Lathrop, Leo Lionni, Arnold Lobel, David Macaulay, James Marshall, Petra Mathers, Wendell Minor, Jerry Pinkney, Uri Shulevitz, William Steig, Simms Taback, Tony DiTerlizzi, Chris Van Allsburg, Mo Willems, Garth Williams, Paul O. Zelinsky, and Lisbeth Zwerger, among others. 

"I am honored to care for this collection, to preserve the legacies of artists and their contributions to children's literature," said Chief Curator Ellen Keiter. "My goal with the exhibition is to be inclusive. There are no thematic categories or chronologies to follow. It is an eclectic presentation with a focus on acquisitions of the last five years."  

In addition to the variety of artwork, a selection of three-dimensional objects are also on view. A display of dummy books (handmade mock-ups of picture books) provides insight into the artistic process. As Keiter notes, "It's fascinating to study an artist's initial concepts for a picture book and see how the story and images developed and changed. Simms Taback's dummy for There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly is a near replica of the published book, but at a quarter of its size. Barbara McClintock's dummy for Heartaches of a French Cat begins as detailed drawings, but becomes sketchier as the story progresses." Reproductions of the original dummy books are available in the gallery for guests to handle and read.

A "Treasure Tower" in the center of the exhibition showcases some unique objects from the collection. These include Antonio Frasconi's hand-carved printing blocks, Arnold Lobel's sketchbook, Eric Carle's hard hat from the Museum's ground-breaking, and the inscribed pocket watch that Margaret Wise Brown presented to Leonard Weisgard when he won the Caldecott Medal for The Little Island. A selection of artist doodles--drawn over 15 years of artist visits, workshops, and book signings--are on view in the auditorium hallway.  

In Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration, visitors can learn stories about the creation and acquisition of many works of art. A "Treasure Trivia" wall offers entertaining tidbits about the collection. (What's the biggest artwork in the collection? The oldest? The first?) Guests are also invited to create storybooks in the gallery. They may choose to illustrate their own tale or, in a Mad Libs twist, contribute or change an existing story created by other guests. As Keiter said, "We've noticed how much our visitors enjoy drawing in the galleries."  

Keiter summarized, "We are thrilled to share our world-class picture-book collection with the public. Because nearly 95% of The Carle's permanent collection has come through donations, this exhibition honors the generosity of artists, families, and friends who have entrusted their beloved art to the Museum's stewardship. These gifts ensure that The Carle's mission to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books will continue for generations." 

About Picture Book Art

In the last few decades, picture book art--the illustrations created for reproductions in books--has been gaining popularity in the broader fine arts world as critics and collectors have the opportunity to view the original work. Museums around the United States and abroad are recognizing that children's book illustration, which is so beautifully crafted, can draw in a young audience of art lovers. The picture book has attracted many of the world's greatest illustrators, all drawn to its complex and rewarding interplay of art and story. The Carle's exhibitions have been shown at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, and the New-York Historical Society, among others.  

The Carle believes that picture books can inspire imagination, creativity, curiosity, and, empathy. Museum staff strive to deepen and expand guest's appreciation for picture book art through exhibitions, art-making, and other programs that introduce the creative process. Most of The Carle's permanent collection is work on paper and therefore fragile, requiring a carefully monitored environment in terms of temperature, humidity, and light. The Carle carefully preserves and exhibits its collection, making it available for study, and sending it to other museums nationally and internationally.  

A Snapshot of The Carle's Permanent Collection

The Carle collects, preserves and conserves picture book illustration from around the world.  

*    The Carle has 300 artworks from Alice Bolam Preston, who lived in Massachusetts. Preston is one of the myriad of women artists who were formally trained and prolific, yet remained unsung.

*    The Charles Collection comprises 440 artworks and features many Caldecott books and most major contemporary figures.

*    The Steig Collection includes 1,400 pieces from William Steig's picture book archive, including sketchbooks and dummy books.

*    The Lionni Family gave 78 artworks by Leo Lionni, a mentor to Eric Carle and many of his peers.  

*    The Lobel Collection comprises almost 500 works given to The Carle by the Lobel family, representing Arnold Lobel's 20 titles, including work from the beloved Frog and Toad series.

*    Susanne Suba, born in in Hungary in 1913, gifted the Museum nearly 600 artworks.  She was a regular contributor to Publisher's Weekly and illustrated five New Yorker covers beginning in the 1930's.

*    Ashley Bryan, now 93, gifted The Museum nearly 600 artworks. 

Programming:

Members Opening Reception: Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration

November 18, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join authors Angela DiTerlizzi and Heidi Stemple as they host a night of trivia fun about the Museum and its remarkable collection. Enjoy gourmet pizza and local craft beers, great prizes and abundant laughs!

Collection Highlights Tour with Chief Curator Ellen Keiter

November 19, 1:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Learn some of the fascinating stories and decisions behind the artworks selected for The Carle's 15th anniversary exhibition.

Special Sundays in the Studio: Celebrate!

November 19, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free with Museum Admission

Special Storytime with Will Hillenbrand 

November 19, 2:00 pm 

Free with Museum Admission 

The Carle is pleased to welcome back Will Hillenbrand, illustrator of more than fifty books, for a special storytime program. Hillenbrand's work is presented in the exhibition Treasures from the Collection: A 15 Year Celebration. He will read from two picture books he illustrated: Jane Yolen's This Little Piggy and Maureen Wright's Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at www.carlemuseum.org

Image: Garth Williams, Cover illustration for Stuart Little [Harper & Row]. Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel in memory of Elizabeth Shallcross Pool who respected all creatures great and small. © 1945, 1973 Garth Williams, used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers and the Estate of Garth Williams.

 

harry-potter-detail-phoenix.jpgHarry Potter: A History of Magic runs from 20 October 2017 - 28 February 2018, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  • The exhibition will combine centuries-old British Library treasures, including the oldest items in our collection, the Chinese Oracle bones, with original material from Harry Potter publisher Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling’s own archives, going on display for the first time. 
  • The exhibition includes stunning loans from national and international institutions - including broomsticks, wands and crystal balls. 
  • A 400-year-old celestial globe, enhanced with augmented reality technology, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, enabling visitors to explore the constellations in the night sky. 
  • The British Library will also be simultaneously launching a regional roll-out of Harry Potter: A History of Magic on 20 October, with specially designed panels inspired by the London exhibition going on display in 20 public libraries across the UK, highlighting each library’s local connections to magic and folklore. 

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will unveil rare books, manuscripts and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic from across the world, which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. 

Based on the subjects studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, including Potions, Herbology, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures and Defence Against the Dark Arts, this exhibition will also showcase material from J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury’s own collections, going on display for the very first time.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Annotated sketch of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by J.K. Rowling, complete with the giant squid that lives in the lake 
  • J.K. Rowling’s handwritten list of the teachers and subjects at Hogwarts 
  • Original artwork by Jim Kay for the illustrated Harry Potter editions, including paintings and sketches of Harry Potter, the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Hagrid 
  • The Ripley Scroll - a 6 metre-long alchemical manuscript that describes how to make the Philosopher’s Stone, from the 1500s 
  • Chinese Oracle bones - the oldest datable items in the British Library’s collection, one of which records a lunar eclipse that is precisely datable to 27 December 1192 BC 
  • Celestial globe dating from 1693, made by Vincent Coronelli and brought to life using augmented reality technology, in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture, which enables visitors to spin the globe virtually and explore in detail the ancient constellations, some of which share their names with familiar characters from the Harry Potter stories, such as Remus Lupin, Sirius Black, Bellatrix LeStrange and Draco Malfoy 
  • An early written record of ‘abracadabra’, used as a charm to cure malaria 
  • An Arabic illuminated manuscript showing male and female mandrakes 
  • The tombstone of Nicolas Flamel, a real historical figure who also features in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 
  • Black moon crystal ball, used by ‘Smelly Nelly’, a Paignton witch from the 20th century who had a taste for strong perfume 
  • A mermaid, allegedly caught in Japan in the 18th century 

Ahead of opening, Harry Potter: A History of Magic has already sold over 30,000 tickets - the highest amount of advance tickets ever sold for a British Library exhibition. Tickets are available to buy from the British Library website.

Julian Harrison, lead curator of Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the British Library, said:

“We’re thrilled to welcome visitors and Harry Potter fans alike to Harry Potter: A History of Magic. We’ve loved discovering the magical traditions that lie behind the Harry Potter books, and we’ve encountered so many amazing artefacts along the way. 

“The exhibition takes visitors on a fascinating journey through the history of magic - from mermaids to crystal balls, from broomsticks to garden gnomes! It’s been enormous fun choosing the exhibits.”

J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, said of the exhibition:

“The British Library has done an incredible job. Encountering objects for real that have in some shape or form figured in my books has been quite wonderful and to have several of my own items in the exhibition is a reminder of twenty amazing years since Harry was first published.”

This exhibition contains the British Library’s first foray into the world of augmented reality, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture

Amit Sood, Director of Google Arts & Culture said:

“We're excited to collaborate with the British Library on Harry Potter: A History of Magic. Being able to combine two important cultural treasures - the Harry Potter series with the Celestial Globe in the British Library - demonstrates how technology can help us experience art and culture in new and interesting ways.”

20 LIBRARIES JOIN TOGETHER FOR THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY 

On 20 October 2017, 20 public libraries from across the UK will be joining together for the first time, from Edinburgh to Exeter, to present their own interpretations of Harry Potter: A History of Magic, as part of the British Library’s Living Knowledge Network. Using stunning mobile panels inspired by the exhibition, these Living Knowledge Network partners will draw on their own collections and regional connections to magical traditions and folklore to make displays. For the full list of participating Living Knowledge Partners, please see the notes to editors section. 

The Living Knowledge Network builds on local knowledge and national convening power to develop a mutually supportive and self-sustaining network of major libraries - to create value by sharing ideas and sparking connections between libraries, collections and people across the UK.

EVENTS AND LEARNING PROGRAMMES

Harry Potter: A History of Magic will be accompanied by varied learning and events programmes, with over 11,000 free tickets made available for schoolchildren across the UK. The learning programme includes guided workshops, teacher events, a family trail, a large-scale family event on 2 December for up to 900 visitors that will include a range of activities and exhibition entry throughout the day as well as special events aimed at community partners. Adult courses will also be available, on a range of themes including Witchcraft in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, magical illustration and fantasy fiction.

The events programme gives visitors the opportunity to delve into the magical world in even more detail, with the Hogwarts Curriculum Lectures, a series of our hugely popular Late at the Library events, and events exploring illustrating Harry Potter, Medieval magic, the effect of 20 years of Harry Potter on children’s literature and much more. For the full programme, please visit our What’s On pages.

PUBLISHING

On 20 October 2017, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic will be published by Bloomsbury, and Scholastic will publish simultaneously in the US. Aimed at a family audience, this book showcases a selection of the amazing artefacts, manuscripts, original artwork, and magical objects included in the exhibition.  The eBook edition will be published by Pottermore.

Bloomsbury will also be publishing the official comprehensive companion book, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. A collaboration between the publisher and British Library curators, this lavishly produced, full-colour coffee-table book will make the exhibition experience available to everyone. Again, a digital edition will be published by Pottermore - this edition will have enhancements allowing the content to be navigated in multiple, digital-first ways and will feature additional visuals of exhibition artefacts.

EXHIBITION TRAVELLING TO NEW YORK IN AUTUMN 2018

US fans will also be able to enjoy Harry Potter: A History of Magic at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018, following its run at the British Library in London.

The exhibition’s New York opening marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US by Scholastic, following the 20th anniversary celebrations of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK. A companion book will be published by Scholastic in the US in autumn 2018.

Image: A phoenix rising from the ashes in a 13th-century bestiary (c) British Library.

sig image michelangelo.jpgMichelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art from November 13, 2017, through February 12, 2018, will present a stunning range and number of works by the artist: 128 of his drawings, 3 of his marble sculptures, his earliest painting, and his wood architectural model for a chapel vault. A substantial body of complementary works by his teachers, associates, pupils, and artists who were influenced by him or who worked in collaboration with him will also be displayed for comparison and context.

A towering genius in the history of Western art, Michelangelo was celebrated during his long life for the excellence of his disegno, the power of drawing and invention that provided the foundation for all of the arts. For his mastery of drawing, design, sculpture, painting, and architecture, he was called Il divino ("the divine one") by his contemporaries. His powerful imagery and dazzling technical virtuosity transported viewers and imbued all of his works with a staggering force that continues to enthrall us today.

"This is an exceptionally rare opportunity to experience first-hand the unique genius of Michelangelo," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. "The exhibition will display the magnificent beauty of Michelangelo's works in order to deepen our understanding of his creative process."

The exhibition is made possible by Morgan Stanley.

Additional support is provided by an anonymous donor, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, the Diane W. and James E. Burke Fund, Dinah Seiver and Thomas E. Foster, Cathrin M. Stickney and Mark P. Gorenberg, Ann M. Spruill and Daniel H. Cantwell, and the Mark Pigott KBE Family.

It is supported by an Indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Selected from 50 public and private collections in the United States and Europe, the exhibition will bring together the largest group of original drawings by Michelangelo ever assembled for public display. Many of the drawings rank among the greatest works of draftsmanship produced. Extraordinary and rare international loans will include the complete series of masterpiece drawings he created for his friend Tommaso de'Cavalieri and a monumental cartoon for his last fresco in the Vatican Palace.

Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, curator of the exhibition, commented: "This selection of more than 200 works will show that Michelangelo's imagery and drawings still speak with an arresting power today. Five hundred years seem to melt away in looking at his art." 

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer will widen the conversation about the artist and present an extraordinary opportunity to see many works that are never displayed together. Drawing was the first thing Michelangelo turned to, whether he was creating a painting, a sculpture, or architecture, and it is what unified his career. He is a forceful draftsman and brings a sculptor's understanding and eye. We can see him thinking—almost having a conversation on the sheet of paper—and there is a sense of intimacy and immediacy, as if looking over his shoulder. The exhibition will give visitors an unmatched opportunity to enter the world of this absolute visionary in the history of art.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was born on March 6, 1475 in Caprese (southeast of Florence), and died a wealthy and famous man, on February 18, 1564, in Rome. Although he spent the last 30 years of his life in Rome, his love was always for Florence, his patria (homeland), and all things Florentine. His art, his training, his methods, and his poetry were, to the last, rooted in Florentine culture. Michelangelo's longevity was extraordinary for a person of his time. Also exceptional for an artist of his era, five major biographies were written during his lifetime or soon after his death.

The exhibition will trace Michelangelo's life and career, beginning with his training as a teenager in the workshop of Ghirlandaio and his earliest painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony (1487-88), and first known sculpture, Young Archer (ca. 1490). It will move on to the commission of his colossal marble sculpture David in 1501, the early planning of the Tomb of Pope Julius II, and the monumental project of painting The Last Judgment on the Sistine Ceiling. An entire gallery will be devoted to the Sistine Ceiling and will include Michelangelo's original studies for the project. 

Other sections will explore his portraiture and the beautiful finished drawings he created for close friends; his collaboration and friendship with Venetian artist Sebastiano del Piombo (1485/86-1547); and the drawings and poetry he created for the young nobleman Tommaso de'Cavalieri, whom he met in 1532 and who became a life-long friend. The artist's last decades in Rome are reflected in the last part of the exhibition and will include, in addition to architectural drawings, the enormous cartoon (full-scale drawing) he prepared for the Crucifixion of Saint Peter fresco in the Vatican Palace, as well as a rare three-dimensional model for the vault of a chapel. 

Said Dr. Bambach: "His creativity continued to be phenomenal until the end when he died at 88."

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is indebted to the public and private collections that have graciously lent their treasured holdings to the exhibition, including The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Royal Collection and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor; the Gallerie degli Uffizi and Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe degli Uffizi, Florence; the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence; the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Casa Buonarroti, Florence; the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples; the Albertina, Vienna; the British Museum, London; and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana and Fabbrica di San Pietro in Vaticano, Vatican City.

Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer is organized by Dr. Carmen C. Bambach, Curator in The Met's Department of Drawings and Prints.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue written by Dr. Bambach that will include essays by a team of leading Michelangelo scholars. It will be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

The catalogue is made possible by the Drue E. Heinz Fund.

Additional support for the catalogue is provided by the Wolfgang Ratjen Stiftung, Liechtenstein.

A variety of Education programs will accompany the exhibition, including Met Live Arts performances of La Dolce Morte, based on Michelangelo's love poetry, and Shostakovich, Michelangelo, and The Artistic Conscience.

La Dolce Morte is made possible by The Howard & Sarah D. Solomon Foundation.

A Sunday at The Met program on January 7, 2018 will explore the ideas and influences of Michelangelo's major works. Speakers will include Dr. Bambach and professors of art history Maria Ruvoldt, David Ekserdjian, and James Saslow.

An audio tour, part of the Museum's Audio Guide program, is available for rental ($7, $6 for Members, $5 for children under 12).

The Audio Guide is sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The exhibition will be featured on www.metmuseum.org/Michelangelo, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter via #MetMichelangelo.

Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475-1564). Studies for the Three Labors of Hercules, ca. 1530. Red chalk, 10 11/16 x 16 5/8 in. (27.2 x 42.2 cm). Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017, www.royalcollection.org.uk

Getty Jerome copy.jpgLOS ANGELES—Artists, intellectuals, and pious members of society in Renaissance Europe looked to nature for inspiration and guidance in their contemplation of divine order. The elements of the natural world—including rocks, trees, flowers, waterways, mountains, and even atmosphere—were combined in paintings, drawings, and manuscript illuminations to create expansive landscapes and vistas, which often formed the settings for secular and religious texts. Sacred Landscapes: Nature in Renaissance Manuscripts, on view October 10, 2017-January 14, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, explores the genre of landscape painting in works of art created for personal or communal devotion.

“This exhibition draws heavily on the Museum’s outstanding manuscripts collection, showcasing the exceptional artistic achievement of some of the most important illuminators in Renaissance Europe,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Shown alongside drawings and paintings from the Getty’s collection, and displayed adjacent to the special exhibition of the work of Giovanni Bellini, visitors will be able to appreciate these objects not just as books of faith, but as the exceptional examples of landscape painting that they are.”

The Garden and Cultivated Earth

In Renaissance devotional manuscripts, the greenery of gardens and farmlands provided stunning settings for a range of narratives centered on the theme of salvation or sanctity. Accomplished illuminators such as Simon Bening and Lieven van Lathem utilized the spaces of gardens, from fenced plantings to flower beds or groves, to separate moments in narrative scenes.

“The art of verdancy, or greenery, presents an idealized view of nature in perfect harmony, a metaphor that premodern Christians equated with paradise in heaven but which also aligned with renewed interests in classical philosophy and developments in science at the time,” explains Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition.

The Wilderness and Land Beyond the City

People looked to stark terrains or woodland spaces to heighten their religious experiences during the Renaissance. Some individuals chose to pursue life as hermits, living apart from civilization and relinquishing worldly goods and pleasures of the body. By journeying out into the wilderness, some Christians hoped to achieve a more authentic and pure relationship with God, free from all distraction. Artists often depicted harsh rocky terrains or woodland spaces in religious artworks to both highlight humankind’s inability to master the wilds of nature and to express the wondrous richness of God’s creation.

"The wilderness and desert were seen as pure or untouched environments, spaces that could test the religious conviction of those who entered there,” said Alexandra Kaczenski, former graduate intern at the Getty and co-curator of the exhibition.

Elements and Symbols of the Natural World

Nature flourishes with meaning and metaphor. Wind, rain, thunderstorms, and snowfall are used to evoke a range of moods and engage the spectator in the experience of the landscape. There are many meanings behind individual aspects of a landscape composition, and the tiniest insect or the most threatening mountain held deep significance for Christian devotees. Each actively participated in the narrative and contributed to the prayers, songs, or meditations of devotees.

Sacred Landscapes: Nature in Renaissance Manuscripts is curated by Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department, and Alexandra Kaczenski, former graduate intern in the Manuscripts Department. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from October 10, 2017 through January 14, 2018. A richly illustrated catalogue, Sacred Landscapes: Nature in Renaissance Manuscripts, will be published by Getty Publications to complement the exhibition.

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Giovanni Bellini: Landscapes of Faith in Renaissance Venice (October 10, 2017 -January 14, 2018) at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Image: Saint Jerome, ca.1528 to 1530. Master of the Getty Epistles (French, active about 1520 - about 1549), French. Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment.16.5 × 10.3 cm (6 1/2 × 4 1/16 in.). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig I 15, fol. 1v. Permanent Collection

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass.—Tufts University will be the only institution in Massachusetts to host “Robert Frank: Books and Films, 1947-2017,” a bold exhibition of the life’s work of one of the preeminent figures in 20th century photography. The exhibit will be held at the Tisch Library on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus, 35 Professors Row, Medford, from Oct. 6 to Nov. 5. The exhibit show is free and open to the public.

Despite Frank’s significant influence on photographers of his own and subsequent generations, there are only few exhibitions of his work. This traveling exhibition to be chiefly shown at universities and schools, seeks to remedy that. Frank’s original silver gelatin prints are today fragile objects, and most are not on public display. Galleries, museums and investors lend Frank originals only under limited conditions of display with exorbitant insurance costs, which makes organizing traditional exhibitions very difficult.

Conceived by Robert Frank and Gerhard Steidl, this exhibition shows Frank’s work in photos, books and films in a direct accessible manner. Frank’s images are printed on sheets of newsprint and hung on the walls or from the ceiling. Frank’s films and videos, which are so often overshadowed by his photographic work are shown on small portable “beamers”, projecting them directly onto the walls. Each exhibition is to be disposed of after display, thus circumventing the normal cycle of speculation and consumption in the art market. When the idea for this pop-up show first reached Frank in his small, crooked house in the Canadian village of Mabou, he said: “Cheap, quick, and dirty, that’s how I like it!”

“We are honored to bring this installation of Robert Frank’s extraordinary work - in photos, books and film - not only to the Tufts community, but also to the rest of New England to experience,” said Dorothy Meaney, interim director of Tisch Library.

The exhibition at Tufts University is made possible by the generous support of Tufts alumnus Steve Tisch, and the Steve Tisch Foundation, Steidl, and the Richard Ehrlich Family Foundation.

The exhibition hours are 10a.m. to 11:30p.m. The installation is located in Tisch Library on the main level; the Tower Café; the level 1 main stairwell; and the level 2 & 3 stairwells.

The exhibition’s next venues will be the Houston Center for Photography (December 9, 2017-January 5, 2018) and Blue Sky Gallery, Portland (January 5-February 25, 2018), before continuing to visit about 30 further cities around the globe. Previous venues include the Art Institute of Chicago (12.5.-26.5.17), the Tokyo University of the Arts (10.11.-24.11.16), Kunsthalle Ziegelhütte, Appenzell, Switzerland (15.5.-30.10.16), and NYU/Tisch School of the Arts (29.1.-11.2.16).

 

Chicago--The American Writers Museum (AWM) will open two new special exhibits this fall in its changing galleries: Captured Stories: American Writers Through the Lens of Art Shay showcasing Shay’s landmark images of Nelson Algren and other notable writers, and Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page focusing on Wilder’s lifelong relationship with language and writing that shaped her Little House series.

Featured in the Meijer Gallery October 27, 2017 - March 31, 2018, Captured Stories is a collection of American writer portraits by award-winning photojournalist Art Shay, the author of nearly 70 books. For more than 50 years, Shay’s photographs recorded the bombast and energy of postwar America, finding unique angles on the moments and personalities for magazines such as Life, Time, Ebony and Sports Illustrated. But Shay started out as a reporter and he shot with a writer’s eye; his images are stories just waiting to be told. It’s not surprising that he captured the literary world with such unusual sensitivity and insight, from the clarity in the eyes of Gwendolyn Brooks and the weary look of an aging Ernest Hemingway, to Allen Ginsberg teaching a rapt crowd in Grant Park during the 1968 Democratic Convention. A world-class street photographer, Shay wandered countless miles throughout the 1950s exploring Chicago with author and close friend Nelson Algren. On October 29, 2017, Shay will join Gordon Parks, Henri Cartier-Bresson and William Klein as winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Lucie Foundation.

Special programs offered in conjunction with Captured Stories are gallery talks about the writers featured in the exhibit; Gwendolyn Brooks by Quraysh Ali Lansana of Our Miss Brooks 100 & Revise the Psalm on Saturday, November 18, Ernest Hemingway by Nancy Sindelar of The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park on Saturday, December 9, and Nelson Algren by Sue Rutsen of the Nelson Algren Museum of Miller Beach on Saturday, January 13. Gallery talks are from noon to 12:30 p.m. and are free with museum admission.

Featured in the Roberta Rubin Writer’s Room November 18, 2017 - February 1, 2018, Laura Ingalls Wilder: From Prairie to Page details Wilder’s lifetime of writing and explores various themes including Educated on the Move, which shows how the formal and informal education young Laura Ingalls received shaped the style of her writing, subject matter, and the values embedded in the Little House series. The popularity of the novels shaped American understanding of the time period, but often obscured the real woman behind the books. The first book in the Little House series was published when Wilder was 65 years old, but she had been writing since her adolescence. The exhibit will display the longhand manuscript of The Long Winter from the Detroit Public Library, reproduced typed Long Winter pages with handwritten notes by Laura Ingalls Wilder, merchandise, and memorabilia contributed by AWM Affiliates, Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum, Walnut Grove in Walnut Grove, Minnesota and Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum in Mansfield, Missouri.

Museum admission includes special exhibits and programs. For tickets and more information, please visit americanwritersmuseum.org/visit.

Dickens-portrait-by-Jeremiah-Gurney 2.jpgNew York, NY—It has been said that no single person is more responsible for Christmas as we know it than Charles Dickens (1812-1870). In 1843 he published A Christmas Carol, and the story and cast of characters—from Ebenezer Scrooge to Tiny Tim—immediately became part of holiday lore. Even today, almost 175 years after the debut of the book, it is unusual for a year to go by without a new stage or screen adaptation.

Beginning November 3, the Morgan Library & Museum explores the genesis, composition, publication, and contemporary reception of this beloved classic in a new exhibition entitled Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas. On view through January 14, 2018, the show demonstrates how the enormous popularity of A Christmas Carol catapulted Dickens out of his study into international stardom, launching a career of public dramatic readings that the author heartily embraced.  The exhibition gathers together for the first time the Morgan’s treasured, original manuscript of A Christmas Carol and the manuscripts of the four other Christmas books Dickens wrote in the years following. Complementing these works are a selection of illustrations by Dickens’s artistic collaborators, photographs, letters, tickets and printed announcements for his public performances, and even the writing desk used by the author.

“For many years now the Morgan has exhibited the manuscript of A Christmas Carol every December,” said museum director Colin B. Bailey.  “Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas is our most comprehensive look at the creation of this masterpiece and Dickens’s personal motivations. The success of A Christmas Carol was a turning point in the author’s career as he found himself in wide demand not only as a writer, but as a performer capable of captivating audiences with his public readings. Dickens himself, it could be said, was the most unforgettable of the countless actors who have brought the cast of A Christmas Carol to the stage.” 

The Exhibition

Christmas was Charles Dickens’s favorite holiday. Each year he celebrated exuberantly, entertaining family and friends with theatrical performances, dinners, dances, and games. For him, Christmas was a time for storytelling—particularly ghost stories—and each of his tales is based on an implicit belief in the supernatural and emphasizes the moral benefits of imagination and memory. As the author moved from his writing desk to the stage for public readings, A Christmas Carol became the most popular story in his repertoire and strongly influenced his decision to devote a considerable amount of his prodigious energy to theatrical performance up until his death in 1870. The exhibition brings together important holdings from the Morgan's permanent collection, the Charles Dickens Museum in London, the New York Public Library, and the Victoria & Albert Museum.

Why Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol

What inspired Dickens to write one of the most famous, enduring, and widely adapted stories in all of literature? First, he was in urgent need of money. His novel, Martin Chuzzlewit, brought out in monthly installments, was not selling well. The author had recently moved into a spacious London house to accommodate his growing family and his personal expenses were rising. Moreover, members of his extended family repeatedly sought him out for financial assistance. 

Coupled with these personal imperatives, Dickens was conscience-stricken at the appalling condition of the urban poor. Britain’s economic depression of the early 1840s—the so-called “hungry forties”—was a time of rising unemployment and widespread malnutrition. Following his September 1843 visit to Samuel Starey’s “Ragged School” for severely deprived children living in London’s slums, Dickens contemplated writing an article that would deliver a “sledge-hammer blow” for social justice.

Instant Bestseller, Enduring Classic

A Christmas Carol appeared in bookshops on December 19, 1843 and by Christmas Eve every one of the six thousand copies of the first print run had completely sold out. Dickens declared it “a most prodigious success—the greatest, I think, I have ever achieved.” Most reviews were laudatory. In Fraser’s Magazine William Thackeray proclaimed the book “a National Benefit,” while the Sunday Times called it “sublime.” One American industrialist, after reading the story, gave his employees an extra day’s holiday. In early 1844, second and third editions of three thousand copies were printed and, as its popularity continued to grow, a total of fifteen thousand had been sold by the end of the year. Because of a plethora of pirated editions, which infuriated Dickens, he earned considerably less in the short term from his instant bestseller than he had anticipated. Nevertheless, the book would endure—it has never been out of print to this day—and has been described as the most perfect of Dickens’s work. 

The Later Christmas Books

The popular and critical success of A Christmas Carol initiated the lucrative series of Christmas books that Dickens published over the next several years: The Chimes (1844), The Cricket on the Hearth (1845), The Battle of Life (1846), and The Haunted Man (1848). Each of these was written largely in response to public demand for a Christmas book unleashed by the success of A Christmas Carol, and also created the market for the later Christmas stories that Dickens wrote and published in his magazines Household Words and All the Year Round. In 1883 Vincent van Gogh wrote to his friend and fellow painter Anthon van Rappard: “This week I bought a new 6-penny edition of Christmas carol and Haunted man by Dickens . . . I find all of Dickens beautiful, but those two tales—I’ve read them almost every year since I was a boy, and they always seem new to me.” 

The Public Readings—A Second Career

Starting in 1853 Dickens gave public readings of A Christmas Carol in provincial English cities to raise money for local charities. The reaction of audiences was so rapturous that in 1858, he embarked upon a series of weekly paid readings in London. He went on to tour other cities in Britain and expanded his repertoire to include scenes from The Pickwick Papers, Martin Chuzzlewit and Oliver Twist. Dickens rehearsed intensively, memorizing his texts so that he could perform rather than read them, and improvise according to his enthralled audience’s reaction. In 1866 he gave a series of thirty readings in London and elsewhere, receiving a fee of fifty pounds per night. Prior to his reading tour of the United States Dickens embarked on another tour of England and Ireland between January and May 1867, and a so-called “Farewell Tour” in 1870, by which time his fee had risen to eighty pounds. At the end of his last reading, in March 1870, he said: “From these garish lights I vanish now for evermore with a heartfelt, grateful, respectful and affectionate farewell.” 

American Reading Tour, 1867-68

Dickens visited the United States twice, first traveling extensively in 1842. His experience of those travels is recorded in American Notes for General Circulation (1842) and his novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-44). Twenty-five years later, in 1867, he returned to the United States for an extensive—and exhausting—and exhausting reading tour. During both visits, he received an enthusiastic and extravagant welcome, as befitted the world’s first literary superstar. 

He began his reading tour in Boston in December 1867 and ended in New York on April 1868 and was lionized in every city he visited. In seventy-six public readings, he performed his work for more than one hundred thousand people and earned $95,000, equivalent to approximately $1.5 million in today’s money. The tour was a critical and financial success, but it accelerated the decline of the author’s health and he died two years later. 

Image: Jeremiah Gurney (1812­-1895), Charles Dickens, 1867, black and white photograph, The Morgan Library & Museum, MA 7793. Purchased for The Dannie and Hettie Heineman Collection as a gift of the Heineman Foundation, 2011.

_exhibition LeonardotoMatisse_PressReleaseImage_Email_584x380_081117_v1.jpgLeonardo to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Robert Lehman Collection, on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art beginning October 4, presents 60 masterpieces of European drawing spanning the Renaissance to the Modern age. It is the first presentation to highlight the full range of Robert Lehman's vast and distinguished drawings collection------ numbering over 700 sheets------ and to explore his significant activity as a 20th-century collector. The exhibition will trace the development of European drawing across five centuries through works by such celebrated masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer, Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Ingres, Seurat, and Matisse.

The exhibition is made possible by the Robert Lehman Foundation.
Drawn from the Museum's acclaimed Robert Lehman Collection, the exhibition will present a dynamic array of styles, techniques, and genres—from compositional studies for mythological and biblical narratives to panoramic landscapes and arresting studies of the human form. The selection will also illustrate the different facets of the artists' creative processes—from Leonardo's keen anatomical observation in his Study of a Bear Walking, to Dürer's awakening artistic self-consciousness in his Self-Portrait study, to Rembrandt's re-interpretation of Leonardo's painted masterpiece, The Last Supper.

The selection of drawings on view in Leonardo to Matisse will reflect significant developments in the medium between the 15th and 20th centuries, as styles, techniques, and genres evolved, evoking illuminating comparisons across regions and eras. The portraits, figure studies,landscapes, mythological and biblical narratives included in the exhibition will represent diverse sacred and secular subjects in media ranging from metalpoint, pen and ink, and chalk to graphite, pastel, and charcoal.

The role of drawing as the foundation of all the visual arts will be illustrated by numerous preparatory studies for painting, sculpture, textiles, engraving, and stained glass, including rare 15th century Netherlandish designs for a carved capital and tapestry. Elucidating the varying stages of the design process, the works on view will include rapid preliminary sketches, detailed studies of motifs, expansive compositional designs, and finished drawings intended for patrons.

The Robert Lehman Collection

Robert Lehman bought his first drawings in the 1920s, adding works on paper to his father's distinguished painting collection. He began with rare sheets by Italian masters and continued to acquire drawings for the next half century, principally in the field of Italian art, but more expansively through examples from England, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United States.

By his death in 1969, the drawings collection numbered more than 700 sheets. While a few examples found their way into other public institutions in his lifetime, the remaining sheets form part of the Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. Together with the holdings in the Department of Drawings and Prints, it has granted the Museum an outstanding collection of works on paper.

The Robert Lehman Collection is one of the most distinguished privately assembled art collections in the United States. Robert Lehman's bequest to The Met, a collection of extraordinary quality and breadth acquired over the course of 60 years, is a remarkable example of 20th-century American collecting. Spanning 700 years of western European art, from the 14th to the 20th century, the 2,600 works include paintings, drawings, manuscript illumination, sculpture, glass, textiles, antique frames, maiolica, enamels, and precious jeweled objects.

Leonardo to Matisse is organized by Dita Amory, Curator in Charge, and Alison Nogueira, Associate Curator, both of the Robert Lehman Collection at The Met.

"Conversation: Collecting Drawing," an Education program to accompany the exhibition on October 29, will consider the legacy of Robert Lehman.

Image: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, 1780-1867). Study for "Raphael and the Fornarina" (detail), ca. 1814. Graphite on white wove paper, 10 x 7 3/4 in. (25.4 x 19.7 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection, 1975 (1975.1.646)

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 8.24.11 AM.pngLOS ANGELES - The Getty Museum will exhibit a rare drawing by one of history’s most admired artists, Michelangelo, for a limited time from September 20 through October 29, 2017. The drawing was part of a landmark group of 16 drawings and one painting acquired by the Getty Museum in July of this year.

Study of a Mourning Woman, ca. 1500-05, by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564) made headlines after it was rediscovered in the collection at Castle Howard in 1995. Before then, it had been hidden among other treasures in the family collection, unknown to scholars for hundreds of years. This is the first time the drawing has been exhibited in a museum since its rediscovery. 

“Michelangelo’s drawing is the supernova among a collection of some 16 extraordinarily rare and important drawings recently acquired by the Getty,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Michelangelo is rightly regarded as one of the very greatest painters, sculptors, architects, and draftsmen in history, and it was important to me that the people of Los Angeles and other visitors to the Getty have the opportunity to view this exquisite addition to our collection before it is shown elsewhere.”

Following its presentation at the Getty, the drawing will be loaned to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York for the exhibition Michelangelo: Divine Draftsmen and Designer opening November 13.

Michelangelo’s powerful pen and ink study of a mourning woman exemplifies his extraordinary talent for monumental figural conceptions. It is characterized by dense hatching and crosshatching in brown ink, with highlights of white lead. The figure is seen in profile and dressed in a full-length robe worn by women of antiquity as depicted in Renaissance painting. Her pose and attitude reflect the mourning figures often found in paintings of Christ’s deposition from the cross or a lamentation. 

“With a sculptor’s three-dimensional conception of space, Michelangelo here depicts a solidly monumental single figure of a type for which he became famous,” said Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the Getty Museum. “This immensely powerful work is a new linchpin in our Italian Renaissance collections and a superb example of the artist’s talent and creativity.”

The drawing represents the pinnacle of a group of pen and ink drawings made early in Michelangelo’s career, at a pivotal moment when his fame as a sculptor was also spreading to dramatic painted compositions. While there is no known Michelangelo project that includes this figure, the design was nevertheless known to a number of the artist’s contemporaries. Examples of figures directly inspired by Study of a Mourning Woman can be found in a manuscript page in the Farnese Hours by Giulio Clovio (1498-1578), and drawings by Lorenzo Sabatini (c. 1530-1576) and Francesco Salviati (1510-1563).

For this special presentation, the drawing will be displayed in the Getty Museum’s North Pavilion, on the second floor gallery devoted to Italian Renaissance paintings. It will go on view again at the Getty in January 2018, when it returns from the Michelangelo exhibition at the Met, alongside the other recently acquired drawings and Jean Antoine Watteau’s painting La Surprise, 1721.

Amherst, MA--Eric Carle is famous for his representations of cheerful suns and soulful moons. While he traditionally leaves his daytime skies the white of the paper, he evocatively paints his nighttime scenes in deep blues and indigos. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present "The Art of Eric Carle: Night," on view from September 12, 2017 through March 18, 2018. The exhibition features original artwork from more than 20 Carle books, including Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me, Dream Snow, and The Very Quiet Cricket. Several pieces from Draw Me a Star are also included to mark the 25th anniversary of the book's publication.

Carle often sprinkles his nighttime images with twinkling stars, fireflies, and other creatures of the night. The moon--in all its phases--always displays a gentle face. "The calm moon is a source of comfort in the night," says Carle. 

Visitors to "The Art of Eric Carle: Night" will recognize familiar nocturnal images from some of the artist's classic picture books. Ellen Keiter, the Museum's chief curator, says the idea for the exhibition occurred to her while she was looking through Carle's art; she found herself repeatedly lingering over his arresting nighttime scenes. "I was very taken with them. The blues really appealed to me. I wondered if there was enough nighttime imagery to assemble a show. I thought it could be a beautiful installation," said Keiter.  

What she found will delight visitors--33 original collages. The selection on display--ranging in date from 1972 to 2015--provides a broad representation of Eric Carle's distinguished picture-book career. The exhibition includes collages from some of his most popular books like The Very Lonely Firefly and The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse to lesser known titles such as The Honey Bee and the Robber and The Secret Birthday Message.

"It was rewarding to do this research," said Keiter. "I found stunning sunsets and vast night skies. I hope visitors enjoy seeing Eric's work from this unique perspective."

Keiter encourages people to visit the Museum to see Carle's art firsthand: "The original collages are incredibly vibrant; their colors and textures really sing. Art always appears 'flatter' on the printed page," she said.  

In addition to the art, guests to "The Art of Eric Carle: Night" are invited to make fun "moon shadows" on a heat-sensitive painted wall and to explore colors and patterns at two Starry Night light tables. A specially-constructed Night Walk creates a magical experience for visitors of all ages.  

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Hsin-Yi Foundation.  

About The Carle

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy. Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 13,000 objects, including 6,600 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at

www.carlemuseum.org

The British Library is delighted to announce that Harry Potter: A History of Magic will open at the New-York Historical Society in October 2018, following its run at the British Library in London from 20 October 2017 -- 28 February 2018.

The exhibition’s New York opening marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US by Scholastic, following the 20th anniversary celebrations of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK in 2017.

Ahead of the UK opening in London, Harry Potter: A History of Magic has already sold over 25,000 tickets - the highest amount of advance tickets ever sold for a British Library exhibition. Tickets are available to buy from the British Library website.

The exhibition unveils rare books, manuscripts, and magical objects from the British Library’s collection, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. Exploring the subjects studied at Hogwarts, the exhibition includes original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay, going on display for the first time. 

As it travels from London to New York, the exhibition will evolve to include US-specific artefacts from New-York Historical’s collection and items from US Harry Potter publisher Scholastic’s collection.

Jamie Andrews, Head of Culture and Learning at the British Library, said:

“We are so excited to be taking a major exhibition to New York for the very first time. Harry Potter: A History of Magic promises to be a stunning exhibition, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic across the world, which are at the heart of the Harry Potter stories. We’re delighted to be able to share this exhibition with fans across the pond following its run here in London, especially as we have the opportunity to develop the exhibition for a US audience in collaboration with the New-York Historical Society and US publisher Scholastic.”

Louise Mirrer, President and CEO of the New-York Historical Society, said: 

“As the oldest museum in New York, the New-York Historical Society is honoured to present Harry Potter: A History of Magic in 2018 and bring these incredible treasures from the British Library to a whole new audience. The Harry Potter series has turned a generation into avid readers, and they’re sure to be enchanted by this fascinating exploration of magical traditions and myths from across the world, which make the Harry Potter series so rich and exciting.”

US fans will also get a sneak peek of what to expect in the exhibition. On 20 October 2017, marking the day the exhibition opens in London, Scholastic will publish one of the two accompanying titles, Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic. Aimed at a family audience, this book showcases a selection of the amazing artefacts, manuscripts, original artwork, and magical objects included in the exhibition. Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic will be published by Scholastic simultaneously with UK print publishers Bloomsbury on 20 October alongside the eBook edition, which will be published in both markets by Pottermore.

In autumn 2018, to accompany the exhibition in New York, Scholastic will also publish an official comprehensive companion book, Harry Potter: A History of Magic. A collaboration between the publishers and British Library curators, this lavishly produced, full-colour coffee-table book will make the exhibition experience available to everyone. Again, a digital edition will be published by Pottermore - this edition will have enhancements allowing the content to be navigated in multiple, digital-first ways and will feature additional visuals of exhibition artefacts.

BL-Lamb.jpgIn Mu Xin’s Words: Treasures of the British Library will take place at the Mu Xin Art Museum in Wuzhen, from 15 October 2017 to 14 January 2018. Mu Xin (1927-2011) was an ardent admirer of English poetry, drama and fiction and the exhibition features original manuscripts - loaned by the British Library - of four of his favourite writers: Lord Byron, Charles Lamb, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf.

These rare and valuable manuscripts are visiting China for the first time, as part of a wider three-year programme of cultural exchange, The British Library in China: connecting through culture and learning. This has already seen a hugely successful exhibition of literary treasures at the National Library of China in Beijing, and the launch of a Chinese language website - www.britishlibrary.cn - that features over 200 digitised items and more than 70 interpretive essays, including the items and authors featured at the Wuzhen exhibition and themed articles on Mu Xin and English literature.

The exhibition at Mu Xin Art Museum will coincide with the 2017 Wuzhen Theatre Festival and includes:

  • The original 1923-24 manuscript of The Hours by Virginia Woolf (published subsequently in 1925 as Mrs Dalloway
  • Handwritten manuscript of Lord Byron’s poem Love and Gold
  • Typewritten and extensively corrected manuscript for act one of Oscar Wilde’s play Lady Windermere’s Fan
  • Original letters from Charles Lamb, co-author of Tales From Shakespeare, a book which was instrumental in popularising Shakespeare’s works in China

Mu Xin was a passionate reader of all these authors and wrote at length on them and their works. He described Byron as “the strongest voice in human civilisation […] against authority and for freedom, absolute freedom of the individual.” 

Of Charles Lamb’s impact on him as an adolescent he wrote: “it was love at first sight.” Writing about Irish author Oscar Wilde he could be more ambivalent: “Wilde was indeed a wit, sharp and eloquent. At times, however, I want to say to him: ‘Do not say too much. The more you say, the more mistakes you make.’” 

Recalling a lifetime’s reading of Virginia Woolf, Mu Xin commented: “Age really matters. I read her when I was in my thirties, forties, even fifties. In my sixties I understood. I understood where she had been right, and where she had been wrong.”

The Director of Mu Xin Art Museum Chen Danqing said: “It is a pleasure and an honour for the Mu Xin Art Museum to host a display from the British Library, featuring a selection of manuscripts by iconic writers including Lord Byron, Charles Lamb, Oscar Wilde and Virginia Woolf. When Mr Mu Xin was referencing these great authors in his lectures, the idea that their manuscripts would one day find their way to Wuzhen would have been unimaginable. Generations of Chinese readers have admired English literature in its translated form. Now, seeing these original manuscripts in person makes that reading experience much more real and rich. I’m sure these great writers would have loved to meet their Chinese readers.”

Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “We are delighted to bring these treasures of English and Irish literature to Wuzhen, so that people in China can see for themselves original drafts bearing the very marks of their creation. Through his long career, Mu Xin himself exemplified the breadth and depth of cultural exchange between Britain and China, so it’s doubly appropriate that we are displaying works by four of his favourite authors in the spectacular Mu Xin Art Museum dedicated to his life and art.”

The curator of In Mu Xin’s Words: Treasures of the British Library, Alexandra Ault said: “The manuscripts selected highlight the act of writing and the creative processes of each author. Byron’s Love and Gold shows the poet working intensively on a single sheet of paper, continually turning it to make use of all the available space while crossing out sections before rewriting. The second draft for Lady Windermere's Fan is typewritten and both stage directions and actor’s lines are extensively corrected by Wilde in pencil. It bears the stamp of Mrs Marshall's typewriting office on the Strand, London, showing how often a number of people could be involved in the production of a manuscript. These four exciting items bring to life the production of literature and place famous plays, stories and poems into three-dimensional creative spaces.”

Image: Letters from Charles Lamb to the poet Bernard Barton, 1822-1831. © British Library Board.

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-05 at 10.15.27 AM.png“Le manuscrit franciscain retrouvé,” Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, MS n.a.l. 3245 (formerly our manuscript TM 686) was without question the most important Franciscan manuscript ever offered for sale by Les Enluminures (indeed, it would not be an exaggeration to state simply that it was one of our most important manuscripts ever). The publication in 2015 by Jacques Dalarun of the new, very early life of St. Francis found uniquely in this manuscript caused a worldwide sensation. Its complete contents and historical context will be explored at a colloquium sponsored by Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Institut de recherche et d’histoire des textes (CNRS) on September 20-22, 2017. 

In honor of this manuscript, we present a small group of manuscripts that illuminate the place of books in Franciscan life in the Middle Ages. Franciscans turned to books daily, to guide their public and private prayers, as sources of spiritual renewal, as aids to preaching and confession, and for study. The Franciscans were an international order, and these manuscripts were copied across Europe, with examples from Italy, France, England, the Low Countries, Germany, and Spain; they range in date from the thirteenth to the fteenth century. Some of the manuscripts were copied by Franciscans, others were used by them, still others include texts by Franciscan authors. Highlights include: a delightfully illustrated fourteenth-century Mammotrectus, a Franciscan educational text, signed by the scribe who was the leader of a Franciscan convent in Umbria; a tiny thirteenth-century portable Bible from Spain with evidence that it was used by Franciscans; and a collection of sermons by an important Franciscan preacher, copied in Paris during the author’s lifetime. 

IRHT colloquium program here 

ENLIGHTEN THE DARKNESS: An Exhibition in Honor of “Le manuscrit franciscain retrouvé” 

Opening and Reception: Wednesday, September 20th 2017, 7 PM to 9 PM 

Exhibition: September 21st through September 29th Monday through Friday, 11 AM to 7 PM 

Vallard-Atlas_500.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.— A sweeping international loan exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens opens on Sept. 16, 2017 to explore how the depiction of Latin American nature contributed to art and science from the late 1400s to the mid-1800s. “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin,” presented in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery through Jan. 8, 2018, features more than 150 paintings, rare books, illustrated manuscripts, prints, and drawings from The Huntington’s holdings as well as from dozens of other collections. Many of these works will be on view for the first time in the United States. It is complemented by a richly illustrated book, along with an array of other programs and exhibitions, including an installation created by Mexican experimental composer Guillermo Galindo. The exhibition is a part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, an exploration of Latin American and Latino art that involves more than 70 arts institutions across Southern California.

“Despite notorious depredation of people and resources during the period, the brilliant work of a number of Latin Americans and Europeans helped to illuminate our understanding of the natural world,” said Catherine Hess, chief curator of European art at The Huntington and co-curator of “Visual Voyages.” “We aim to shed light on this relatively unexamined piece of the story—to show how beautiful, surprising, and deeply captivating depictions of nature in Latin America reshaped our understanding of the region and, indeed, the world—essentially linking art and the natural sciences.”

“Visual Voyages” looks at how indigenous peoples, Europeans, Spanish Americans, and individuals of mixed-race descent depicted natural phenomena for a range of purposes and from a variety of perspectives: artistic, cultural, religious, commercial, medical, and scientific. The exhibition examines the period that falls roughly between Christopher Columbus's first voyage in 1492 and Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, a work based largely on Darwin’s own voyage to the region in the 1830s.

“Information and materials circulated at an unprecedented rate as people transformed their relationship to the natural world and to each other,” said Daniela Bleichmar, associate professor of art history and history at the University of Southern California (USC) and co-curator of the exhibition. “Images served not only as artistic objects of great beauty but also as a means of experiencing, understanding, and possessing the natural world. These depictions circulated widely and allowed viewers—then and now—to embark on their own ‘visual voyages’.”

Bleichmar, who was born in Argentina and raised in Mexico, is an expert on the history of science, art, and cultural contact in the early modern period. Her publications include the prize-winning book Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

The Huntington’s three collection areas—library, art, and botanical—all contribute to “Visual Voyages.” Its Library is one of the world’s greatest research institutions in the fields of British and American history, art, and the history of science, stretching from the 11th century to the present, and includes such treasures as the first European depiction of a pineapple and a rare 16th-century manuscript atlas that includes three stunning maps of the Americas. From The Huntington’s art holdings, Frederic Edwin Church’s monumental painting Chimborazo (1864) will be on display, depicting a Latin American landscape both real and imaginary. The Huntington’s 120 acres of gardens include several thousand plant species from Latin America, including pineapple, cacao, various orchids including vanilla, and succulents.

Visitor Experience

Designed by Chu+Gooding Architects of Los Angeles, “Visual Voyages” engages visitors through an evocative installation that includes interactive media, display cases of specimens and rare materials, and visually arresting depictions of botanical specimens and still lifes.

The exhibition opens with a display of taxidermy mounts to make vivid the rare animals that captured the imagination of Europeans and were avidly collected during the period.

“Visual Voyages” then begins with a section on “Rewriting the Book of Nature,” in which manuscripts, maps, and publications show how nature came to be reconsidered in the first century of contact. This section includes a copy of the 1493 letter Christopher Columbus wrote to the King and Queen of Spain while on the return leg of his first voyage to the New World. He writes that the region is “so fertile that, even if I could describe it, one would have difficulty believing in its existence.” This section highlights the many works by indigenous peoples to the exploration of New World nature, among them two large-scale maps painted by indigenous artists in Mexico and Guatemala; a volume from the Florentine Codex, a 16th-century Mexican manuscript on loan from the Laurentian Library, Florence; and a spectacular feather cape created by the Tupinambá of Brazil in the 17th century.

Next, a gallery called “The Value of Nature” explores the intertwining of economic and spiritual approaches to Latin American nature. Commercial interests resulted in the investigation, depiction, and commodification of such natural resources as tobacco and chocolate. Indigenous religions considered the natural world to be infused with the divine, while Christian perspectives led observers to envision Latin American nature as both rich in signs of godliness as well as marked with signs of the devil—and needing eradication. Various depictions of the passion flower, a New World plant, show how the flower’s form recalled to missionaries the instruments of Christ’s Passion.

A third section, “Collecting: From Wonder to Order,” shows how the “wonder” that European collectors held for the astonishing material coming from the New World became a desire to possess and, later, to “order” this material, following systems of taxonomy and classification. On view will be a set of large and impressive paintings depicting Brazilian fruits and vegetables by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout (ca.1610-1665) as well as 20 artful, vivid, and detailed drawings of botanical specimens painted by artists from New Granada (present-day Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Peru, northern Brazil, and western Guyana), never before seen in the United States.

The final section of the exhibition, called “New Landscapes,” examines scientific and artistic perspectives on Latin America created in the 19th century, a period when a new wave of voyagers explored the region and wars of independence resulted in the emergence of new nations. The Romantic and imperial visions of artists and scientists from Europe and the U.S. are juxtaposed with the patriotic and modernizing visions of artists and scientists from Latin America, who envisioned nature as an integral part of national identity. This juxtaposition can be seen visually in the pairing of The Huntington’s monumental Chimborazo by Church with the equally monumental Valley of Mexico (1877) by Mexican painter José María Velasco, on loan from the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City.

Gallery text is in Spanish and English.

Exhibition Catalog

“Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin” is accompanied by a hardcover book of the same title written by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition. In a narrative addressed to general audiences as well as students and scholars, Bleichmar reveals the fascinating story of the interrelationship of art and science in Latin America and Europe during the period. Published by Yale University Press in association with The Huntington, the 240-page book contains 153 color illustrations. $50.00. Available beginning in September 2017 at the Huntington Store and online.

Related Exhibitions and Programs

“Human Nature: Sonic Botany”

Sept 16, 2017-Jan 8, 2018

Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art

A mix of audio and visuals created by experimental composer, sonic architect, and performance artist Guillermo Galindo, this installation features a series of graphic representations of musical scores inspired by the “Visual Voyages” exhibition. The installation is part of USC Annenberg’s Musical Interventions, a series of public events organized for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA by Josh Kun, historian of popular music and recently named MacArthur Fellow.

“Visual Voyages in the Gardens”

Sept 16, 2017-Jan 8, 2018

Throughout the Botanical Gardens

Visitors can enrich their experience of “Visual Voyages” by strolling the botanical gardens in search of the real-life specimens of plants they have seen depicted in the gallery. Keep your eyes peeled for two dozen “Visual Voyages” signs, pointing to cacao, pineapple, tobacco, and other plants indigenous to Latin America.

“Nuestro Mundo”

Sept. 16, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018, weekends only

Floralegium gallery, Brody Botanical Center

The two dozen paintings in this installation are the work of young adults ages 18 to 26 who are mentored by Art Division, a nonprofit organization that provides training and support for Los Angeles youth from underserved communities pursuing careers in the visual arts. The students used “Visual Voyages” as inspiration.

“In Pursuit of Flora: 18th-Century: Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections”

Oct. 28, 2017-Feb. 19, 2018

Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper Room

European exploration of other lands during the so-called Age of Discovery revealed a vast new world of plant life that required description, cataloging, and recording. By the 18th century, the practice of botanical illustration had become an essential tool in the study of natural history. From lusciously detailed drawings of fruit and flowers by Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708-1770), a collaborator of Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, to depictions of more exotic examples by Matilda Conyers (1753-1803), “In Pursuit of Flora” reveals 18th-century European appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

Taste of Art: Visual Voyages through Latin America

Sept. 30 or Oct. 7 (Saturday)

9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Explore connections among art, science, and the environment in the exhibition, then head to the kitchen to prepare a Latin American-inspired meal. Maite Gomez-Rejón of ArtBites leads the workshop. Members: $85. Non-Members: $100. Register online.

Talk and Book Signing: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World

Oct. 15 (Sunday) 2:30 p.m.

Rothenberg Hall

Join best-selling author Andrea Wulf for a talk about the life of explorer, scientist, and early environmentalist Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859), the subject of her most recent book, The Invention of Nature. Her talk will focus on Humboldt’s explorations of Latin America. Free; no reservations required.

Wark Lecture

Seeing and Knowing: Visions of Latin American Nature, ca.1492-1859

Oct. 16 (Monday) 7:30 p.m.

Rothenberg Hall

Historian Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition, discusses the surprising and little-known story of the pivotal role that Latin America played in the pursuit of science and art during the first global era. A book signing and coffee reception will follow the talk. Free; no reservations required.

Curator Tour: Visual Voyages

Oct. 18 (Wednesday) 5-6 p.m.

Join exhibition co-curator Daniela Bleichmar for a private tour of “Visual Voyages.” Members: $15. Non-Members: $20. Register online.

Guillermo Galindo Performance

Human Nature: Sonic Botany

Nov. 4 (Saturday), noon - 1 p.m.

Rose Hills Garden Court

Experimental composer, sonic architect, and performance artist Guillermo Galindo presents a work inspired by “Visual Voyages.” The program is part of USC Annenberg’s Musical Interventions, a series of public events organized for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA by Josh Kun, historian of popular music and recently named a MacArthur Fellow. Free with admission.

Conference at the Getty Center

Indigenous Knowledge and the Making of Colonial Latin America

Dec. 8-10, 2017

This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the role of indigenous knowledge in the making of colonial Latin America. Curator-led visits to two related exhibitions—“Visual Voyages” at The Huntington and “Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas” at The Getty—will allow participants to view examples of work by indigenous artists and authors, including several rare pictorial manuscripts (codices). The symposium is organized by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of “Visual Voyages” and Kim Richter, co-curator of “Golden Kingdoms” and senior research specialist at the Getty Research Institute, with funding from the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, the Seaver Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. For registration and more information, visit getty.edu.

Lecture
Cochineal in the History of Art and Global Trade

Dec. 10 (Sunday) 2:30 p.m.

Rothenberg Hall

Alejandro de Ávila Blomberg of the Oaxaca Ethnobotanical Garden and Oaxaca Textile Museum will explore the historical and cultural significance of this natural crimson dye. Used from antiquity, cochineal became Mexico’s second-most valued export after silver during the Spanish colonial period. Free; no reservations required.

Image: Le vrais Bresil es province du Quito (The true Brazil, a province of Quito), in Vallard Atlas, Dieppe (France), 1547, tempera, gold paint, gold leaf, and black ink on parchment, 14 ½ × 18 ¾ in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.

 

The Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Interns yesterday presented more than150 rare and unique items from 15 Library divisions. “Display Day” was open to the public for the first time since the program’s inauguration in 1991.

The display provides the opportunity for fellows to discuss the historic significance of the collection items they have researched and processed during their 10-week internships. Examples included:

  • An early draft and a stage manager’s copy of playwright Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie” from approximately 1944
  • Blueprints for the Statue of Liberty’s pedestal
  • A letter handwritten by Abraham Lincoln on the subject of Shakespeare
  • Undergraduate lab drawings and Boy Scout and Eagle Scout membership cards that belonged to Pulitzer Prize-winning entomologist E. O. Wilson
  • Preliminary drawings of the Louvre Pyramid and presentation drawings of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art created by architect I. M. Pei
  • A postcard from Jackie Kennedy Onassis to I. M. Pei, sent in 1989
  • Paper samples cut from books of various ages to demonstrate paper deterioration
  • A Theobald Boehm and Rudolph Greve flute in C, created in Munich between 1839 and 1846
  • Spanish legal documents, including a will and a land receipt from the 1500s and trial proceedings from the 1850s
  • Cassette tapes with audio of Chilean poet and Nobel laureate Gabriela Mistral and Argentine poet Jorge Luis Borges, recorded in the 1950s
  • Images of bald eagles from the Library’s digital collections used in a new educational activity booklet for student visitors to the Library
  • Letters, artwork, and papers sent by prominent writers, including Ted Berrigan and Charles Bukowski, to the St. Mark’s Poetry Project
  • Illustrated children’s books translated into Yiddish, including fairytales by the Brothers Grimm and “The Elephant’s Child” by Rudyard Kipling, from the 1910s and 1920s

To view the complete list of display items, visit this Library link.

Working under the direction of Library curators and specialists in various divisions, 37 Junior Fellows—selected from more than 900 applicants across the country—explored the institution’s unparalleled collections and resources. They were exposed to a broad spectrum of library work: research, copyright, preservation, reference, access, standards, information management and digital initiatives.

Through the Junior Fellows Program, the Library of Congress furthers its mission to provide access to a universal record of knowledge, culture and creativity as exemplified by its collections, while supporting current and future generations of students and scholars.

The Junior Fellows Program is made possible through the generosity of the late Mrs. Jefferson Patterson and the Knowledge Navigators Trust Fund. A lead gift from H. F. (Gerry) Lenfest, former chairman of the Library’s James Madison Council private-sector advisory group, established the Knowledge Navigators Trust Fund with major support provided by members of the council. For more information about the Junior Fellows Program, visit loc.gov/hr/jrfellows/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

 

Hippie sex commune007 copy.jpgCambridge, MA (July 2017) -- The search for something beyond the limits of ordinary experience—for transcendence—has preoccupied humankind for millennia. Religion, the occult, philosophy, music, endorphins, sex, Ecstasy: various paths have been taken in the hope of achieving it. In Altered States: Sex, Drugs, and Transcendence in the Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library, on view at Houghton Library 5 September-16 December, one collector’s quest to document the history of this search through rare books, manuscripts, photographs, posters, prints, comics, and ephemera is celebrated. 

Investment advisor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Jr. (1957-2009) assembled the world’s largest private collection documenting psychoactive drugs and their physical and social effects. His interest was broad, from cultivation and synthesis to the many cultural and counter-cultural products such altered states of mind have inspired and influenced. Rich in scientific, medical, legal, and literary works, the Ludlow-Santo Domingo (LSD) Library documents in depth both the benefits of controlled use and the horrors of addiction. 

The exhibition, curated by Leslie A. Morris, Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Houghton Library with the assistance of colleagues throughout the Harvard Library system, focuses on eight major topics represented in the LSD Library: opium, cocaine, hallucinogens, marijuana, sex, social protest, underground comix, and ephemera. “The incredible variety of material in the LSD Library has transformed our collection,” said Morris. “The Library can now support innovative new research on 20th-century culture and counterculture. And it’s very cool stuff!” 

Highlights include illustrations of poppies in a 16th-century doctor’s manual; an album of delicate 19th-century Chinese paintings showing stages of opium production; a binding with mirror and Amex card for cutting cocaine by artist Damien Hirst; self-portraits drawn under the influence of LSD; and posters from the Black Panthers and the May 1968 student protests in Paris. A selection of classic literature, including work by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Thomas De Quincy, Charles Baudelaire, William S. Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg; and association copies such as Adolf Hitler’s annotated Kokain by Pitigrilli and Timothy Leary’s notes on Aleister Crowley’s Diary of a Drug Fiend, rub shoulders with pulp fiction such as Marijuana Girl, and underground comix illustrated by R. Crumb and Trina Robbins. Medical works on therapeutic drug use, and true-life tales of crime and addiction, provide a sobering reminder of the danger of excess. 

Sex, another path towards transcendence, is explored through poet Pierre Louÿs’s sex diary; erotica by Rachilde, Guy de Maupassant, and Pauline Réage; the first X-rated comic, Barbarella; and Jeffrey magazine. Works on birth control, AIDS prevention, and the Illustrated Presidential Report of the Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, and a female condom, show the individual and social consequences such exploration may provoke. 

The LSD Library came to Harvard in 2012. The collection is shared between various libraries at the University; this exhibition includes material from the Botany Library, Countway Medical Library, Fine Arts Library, Harvard Film Archive, Houghton Library, Law Library, Schlesinger Library, and Widener Library. “Since its arrival at Harvard in 2012, the Ludlow-Santo Domingo Library has been one of our most heavily used collections for research and for teaching,” said Thomas Hyry, Florence Fearrington Librarian of Houghton Library. “With this exhibition, we now look forward to presenting selections from this remarkable collection and to welcoming a broad audience of visitors who can engage with and learn from it.” 

Programs 

Complementary events include:
o Lectures by Don Lattin, author of the Harvard Psychedelic Club, and Laurence Bergreen, author of Casanova: The World of a Seductive Genius
o A film series at the Harvard Film Archive
o Social protest inspired poetry readings and other events hosted by Houghton 

Library’s Woodberry Poetry Room
o Altered Gazes: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll at Schlesinger Library, an exhibition at Harvard University’s Schlesinger Library 

Houghton Library 

Houghton Library is Harvard University’s principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library’s holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room, and through exhibitions, lectures, seminars, publications and courses. 

Houghton Library is located in Harvard Yard, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. It is open Monday, Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm, and Tuesday through Thursday 9am-7pm. Houghton Library is closed on Sundays. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. 

Image: Ronald Jamer. Hippie Sex Communes. Los Angeles: Echelon Book Publishers, 1970. SD Library Pulp Fiction Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Constant Contact Image.jpgOrganized to commemorate the centennial of World War I, this exhibition will focus on the impact of the war on the visual arts. Moving chronologically from its outbreak to the decade after the armistice, World War I and the Visual Arts will highlight the diverse ways in which artists both reacted to and represented the horrors of modern warfare. The works on view will reflect a variety of responses, ranging from nationalist enthusiasm to more somber reflections on the carnage and mass devastation that resulted from the war. 

The exhibition is made possible by The Schiff Foundation. 

Drawn mainly from the collection of The Met and supplemented with select loans, the exhibition will include prints, drawings, photographs, illustrated books, posters, periodicals, trading cards from the Museum's celebrated Jefferson R. Burdick Collection, and other materials such as medals, examples of trench art, and helmets designed in the Department of Arms and Armor. World War I and the Visual Arts will reveal how artists-including Otto Dix, Fernand Léger, George Grosz, Käthe Kollwitz, C.R.W. Nevinson, Gino Severini, and Edward Steichen-reflected a myriad of styles, approaches, ideologies, and mediums in response to the war. Among the styles represented are Cubism, Dada, Futurism, Expressionism, Neue Sachlichkeit ("New Objectivity"), and Vorticism.

Like their countrymen, many artists, writers, and intellectuals initially welcomed the war for a range of reasons—some because of nationalist sentiments, others due to a naïve desire to experience an adventure they assumed would be over in a few months, and still others because of a mistaken belief that, after this final conflict, a more peaceful, spiritual, and anti—materialist era would begin. Numerous artists experienced combat firsthand, either as soldiers, medics, or war artists documenting life at the front; many suffered severe injuries and some even death. As the reality of the war became apparent, several figures changed their positions to express fierce condemnation, mournful regret, or pacifist sentiments. 

Artists had various responses to the inconceivable carnage and destruction that had occurred. While some proposed rebuilding, others reflected on the trauma that befell both individuals and societies. Artists who served in the war, such as Barlach, Beckmann, Dix, Grosz, and Marinetti, used a variety of methods and techniques to express their conflicting reactions. Barlach and Kollwitz, the latter of whom lost her youngest son, created elegiac works about the devastation experienced by families and communities. By contrast, the work of Beckmann, Dix, and Grosz expressed a profound rage at the societies, institutions, and individuals who promoted and profited from war. 

Because they could be distributed more widely than unique works, prints were especially effective at influencing public opinion and could be made available to large audiences. These works could also be reproduced in publications and as posters, thus reaching even more people. Many artists developed portfolios that commemorated the war, several of which were released on the 10th anniversary of its beginning or end, thus reflecting the enduring trauma caused by the conflict.

An armistice was declared on November 11, 1918, and, after the Paris Peace Conference, World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. By that time, over 9 million soldiers had died in combat, with over 21 million injured; civilian deaths from combat, illness, and starvation also numbered in the millions. Called "The War to End All Wars," World War I had a devastating impact on all participants and forever changed the societies to which the soldiers returned.

World War I and the Visual Arts is organized by Jennifer Farrell, Associate Curator in The Met's Department of Drawings and Prints, with contributions from Donald LaRocca, Curator, Department of Arms and Armor, and Allison Rudnick, Assistant Curator, also of the Department of Drawings and Prints. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a Bulletin to be published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in November.

Education programs will include a Sunday at The Met event on December 10 and exhibition tours.

The exhibition is featured on the Museum's website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Exhibition Dates

 July 31, 2017-January 7, 2018

Exhibition Location

 The Met Fifth Avenue, Galleries 691-693,

 The Charles Z. Offin Gallery,

Karen B. Cohen Gallery,

Harriette and Noel Levine Gallery

Image: Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson (British, 1889-1946). Returning to the Trenches (detail), 1916. Drypoint, plate: 6 x 8 1/16 in. (15.2 x 20.4 cm); sheet: 8 3/8 x 11 in. (21.3 x 28 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Rogers Fund, 1968 (68.510.3)

 

 

 

The Library of Congress and The Royal Archives today announced plans for a landmark joint exhibition in 2021 that will explore the overlapping yet distinct worlds of two globally significant figures of the late 18th century: the two Georges - King George III (1738-1820) of England and George Washington (1732-1799).

The joint project will draw on the considerable collections held by the Library of Congress in the United States and The Royal Archives in the United Kingdom. It builds on a memorandum of understanding among the two organizations and King's College London, signed at the British Embassy in Washington last autumn.

The exhibition will be seen first at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and subsequently at a major venue in the U.K.  It will explore both commonalities and contrasts between the two men and also the global political, cultural and social contexts for their lives and leadership. Linked and then ultimately separated by empire, the two Georges offer a distinctive perspective on this vital historical period.

The exhibition marks a significant milestone in public engagement with the Georgian Papers Program (GPP), which aims to digitize and publish online, by 2020, a remarkable collection of 350,000 Royal Archive papers from the Georgian period, only 15 percent of which have ever been published before.

The GPP is a partnership among the Royal Collection Trust, lead academic partner King's College London and international participants, including primary U.S. partners the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, William & Mary, and other key U.S. institutions including the Library of Congress, Mount Vernon and the Sons of the American Revolution. 

The Library of Congress holds the papers of 23 U.S. presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. The George Washington Papers - some 65,000 items - are available online at loc.gov/collections/george-washington-papers/.

The Georgian Papers global online portal, royalcollection.org.uk/georgianpapers/, since January has enabled academics, students and history lovers worldwide to see George III,  other Hanoverian monarchs and the 18th century from new perspectives.  The GPP has brought together academic researchers, students, archivists and digital scholars to create new ways of exploring the world of these Georgians and new ways of approaching the materials that reveal that world. Crucially, this work will inform the exhibition.

“The entire world was changed, forever, because of the relationship between England and its colonies, as personified by these two leaders,” said Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. “Because of the GPP and the fully digitized George Washington papers at the Library, we will now be able to present a joint exhibition that shows the two Georges’ similarities, their differences and the subtle details, made meaningful by comparison, that have never before emerged from these collections that are now being researched extensively.”

“This exhibition partnership with the Library of Congress is an incredibly important and exciting step for the Royal Archives and our GPP colleagues,” said Oliver Urquhart Irvine, The Librarian and Assistant Keeper of The Queen's Archives. “It will bring the story of two extraordinary men and their influence on the world today to a much wider public and is part of our long-term ambition to make the Royal Archives as open and accessible as possible through groundbreaking digitization technology, research and events."

“The exhibition will provide the ideal platform not only to display a quite remarkable array of documents and objects from world-class collections in a unique conjunction, but will also enable us to see these in a rich new context thanks to a wealth of new scholarship, cataloging and interpretation,” said Professor Arthur Burns, who teaches Modern British History at King's College London. “It will thus reflect the excitement and insights of the scholars, students and archivists working with the GPP across the world. 

“It will reveal how the individual lives of these two notable but also exceptionally privileged men reflected in all kinds of unexpected ways the complex and changing societies in which they lived, and the economic, cultural and political globalization that was as much a feature of their lives as our own, and as much a source of challenge and controversy then as now.”

By 2020, it is expected that the GPP portal royalcollection.org.uk/georgianpapers/ will enable users to enter a remarkable collection of 350,000 papers from the Georgian period, enabling academics, students and history lovers worldwide to see George III, Britain's longest-reigning king, from 1760 to 1820, from new perspectives.

In January 2017, the first tranche of GPP papers was published online, allowing the public and scholars alike a unique window into the life, reign and times of King George III, his impact then and his continuing influence on today's world. This marked a major milestone in a five-year project to enable anyone with an interest in George III and his world to discover the intricacies of his life, reign and the contemporary times. Already scholars and students are making use of this new resource and developing new insights, perspectives and projects as a result of the access now possible.

The papers include intimate letters between George III and Queen Charlotte, household bills, menus, copious letters between the king and his government, his many essays - including on despotism - meticulous, detailed notes about the war in America, and lucid, calm letters to family members during his bouts of illness.

With Her Majesty The Queen's full authority, the project is part of Royal Collection Trust's objective to increase public access to and understanding of primary-source material held in the collection.  It follows the success of the digitization of Queen Victoria's journals in 2012, which has encouraged wide public appreciation. 

The Royal Archives is a private archive offering public access to historical papers for educational purposes and academic study. Its work in Great Britain on the Georgian Papers Program is in partnership with the Royal Library and King’s College London.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

 

SAN MARINO, Calif.— The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will present new work and related programming this fall by seven artists who conducted research in The Huntington’s collections during the second year of a five-year initiative called /five, which this year is based on the theme of “collecting” and “collections.” The exhibition “Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington,” on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art from Nov. 18, 2017, through Feb. 12, 2018, will feature an installation of paintings, sculpture, textiles, video, writings, and other new works along with performances, talks, and tours by the artists, all of whom are women. They include Olivia Chumacero, Sarita Dougherty, Jheanelle Garriques, Zya S. Levy, Soyoung Shin, kerrie welsh, and Juliana Wisdom, who were selected in collaboration with the Los Angeles-based Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW).

Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington” comes out of /five, a contemporary arts collaboration between The Huntington and five different organizations over five years. /five invites artists to respond to a range of themes drawn from The Huntington’s deep and diverse library, art, and botanical collections. The initiative is led by Jenny Watts, The Huntington’s curator of photography and visual culture, and Catherine Hess, The Huntington’s chief curator of European art and acting director of its art collections. In /five’s first year (2016), The Huntington collaborated with JPL/NASA to present the JPL sound sculpture “Orbit Pavilion,” which referenced The Huntington’s history of aerospace, astronomy, and earth science collections.

For the second year of the initiative, The Huntington chose WCCW, a nonprofit organization that cultivates feminist creative communities and practices, to explore the theme of collecting and collections. The resulting projects for “Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington” are described below. The seven artists will engage with The Huntington’s three collecting areas, with two projects each exploring the library, art, and botanical collections. As they become available, details about related events will be posted at huntington.org.

The Library Collections

Jheanelle Garriques

Garriques is the founder and executive director of Naked Narratives, a writing program that encourages its participants to confidently express themselves while resolving past traumas. Her project for “Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington” is called “Storytelling, Solidarity, and the Blue Stockings Society,” and uses The Huntington’s Elizabeth Montagu archive as inspiration for a mixed-media spoken word performance. Montagu (1718-1800) was a founder of the Blue Stockings Society, a British movement that encouraged intellectualism among women through literary discussions—or, as Garriques defines it: “one of the world’s first feminist writing salons.” The archive contains some 7,000 letters written to or by Montagu. Garriques’ project will juxtapose a handful of letters with new writing produced by a local writing salon of eight participants. Her performance piece will involve the participants and dance choreographed by Rissi Zimmermann.

kerrie welsh

Welsh’s work pushes the boundaries between personal and cultural memory and between social and artistic conventions. A Ph.D. candidate at UC Santa Cruz focusing on female authorship, LGBT desires, and the birth of cinema, she also co-founded the Women in the Director’s Chair Oral History Project at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. Her project, “What You Love,” collects LGBT letters, testimonies, and diaries to create an archive of contemporary love stories. Inspired by The Huntington’s rare book and theatre holdings relating to the ancient Greek poet Sappho, the project investigates the story of Olga Nethersole (1863-1951), a controversial and popular British actress who portrayed Sappho on stages across Europe and the United States. It will include correspondence with the local LGBT community and collected ephemera evidencing LGBT lives and loves, and the vulnerability of these kinds of materials to destruction, due to secrecy, shame, and fear.

The Art Collections

Soyoung Shin

Shin is a multidisciplinary Korean-American artist working in textiles, performance, zines, and new media. Her project for the exhibition, “Picture Elements,” is drawn from the word “pixel,” which is an abbreviation of “picture element.” Centered on The Huntington’s historic carpet Astrology (on view in the Huntington Art Gallery’s large library), one of 93 carpets commissioned around 1665 by King Louis XIV to line the Grand Gallery of the Louvre, Shin’s project investigates the anonymity of women who engaged in the creation of textiles without receiving credit, in the same way contemporary women rarely receive credit for their roles in emerging technologies. “Picture Elements” will take the form of textiles, including fragments of a Savonnerie carpet currently in storage, a computer program, a book, and a series of lectures.

Juliana Wisdom

A sculptor and porcelain production assistant, Wisdom is developing new work in response to The Huntington’s 18th-century French porcelain collection. Emulating the Sèvres Porcelain Manufactory’s techniques with both traditional and new materials, four new works will seek to broaden the historical narrative of the Sèvres Manufactory by including the often-uncredited women who were both makers and benefactors of Sèvres.

The Botanical Gardens

Olivia Chumacero

Chumacero studied film at UC Santa Cruz and is the founder of Everything Is Medicine, a project that involves workshops, hikes, and other initiatives to raise awareness of native California flora, sustainable water use, and the respectful use of lands belonging to indigenous groups. Working in conjunction with Sarita Dougherty, her contribution to “Collection/s: WCCW/five at The Huntington,” will be a video, “When Light Married Water,” in which the relationship of light and water gives birth to native California flora in both the manicured and the uncultivated areas of The Huntington’s grounds. Chumacero is working with Sarita Dougherty on a collaborative project.

Sarita Dougherty

Dougherty generates and paints habitats from found plants and cultural ephemera. With an MFA from UCLA, she is currently researching the Inca fertility goddess Pachamama in connection with aesthetics, ecology, and education. Her project for the exhibition, “Domestic Flora Familiars,” consists of four paintings relating to plants on The Huntington’s grounds along with a printed cloth screen, of the type used in home décor, inspired by Chumacero’s video.

Zya S. Levy

Levy is the co-founder of “We the Weeds,” a collaborative botanical arts project based in Philadelphia that highlights the presence of the natural world within the manmade landscape. Her project, “Green-Gold,” explores the desert garden collection at The Huntington to draw links between early plant collectors, botanical origins, migration stories, a sense of place, and the future of biological diversity. “Green-Gold” will consist of a visual catalogue of cacti diversity in The Huntington’s Desert Garden, a short audio collage, and sculpture, as well as a series of offsite urban plant tours.

 

durer_st-jerome_400.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation with an exhibition that explores the power of the written word as a mechanism for radical change. The exhibition will include about 50 rare manuscripts, books, and prints made between the 1400s and 1648 (the end of the Thirty Years' War). “The Reformation: From the Word to the World” will be on view in the West Hall of the Library from Oct. 28, 2017-Feb. 26, 2018.

On Oct. 31, 1517, German priest Martin Luther, who believed church doctrines created an ever-growing gap between believers and God, is said to have posted a document of what today are called the “95 theses”—his specific disputes—to the door of a church in Wittenberg to contest recent practices of the Catholic Church. Luther was looking to stimulate thoughtful debate that would clear away corruption and pomp, and reform the Church. What followed was a flurry of written arguments and ideas put forward by scholars, clerics, statesmen, and lay believers to fuel a movement called the Reformation.

“This was an act of protest, yet it was also an act of faith,” said Vanessa Wilkie, the William A. Moffett Curator of Medieval Manuscripts and British History at The Huntington, and the curator of the exhibition. “Luther was closely tied into larger debates taking place across Europe. It’s important to note that he was not the only cleric in the early 16th century to publish theological justifications for his beliefs and actions. Luther’s reformation was just one part of the Reformation. And none of it would have been possible without manuscripts and printed books.”

The spark of the Reformation spread through reading, writing, and printing practices of the period. Reformers and counter-reformers would often reinterpret older images and ideas to fit the current moment. Differing ideas and theological beliefs, however, soon gave way to popular violence, warfare, and ultimately colonial conquest. While The Huntington’s exhibition will focus on Europe and address important historical figures, religious wars of the period, the Catholic Church’s response to the emergence of Protestant groups, and the political ideologies of countries with state religions, the main focus will be on the power of the written word to effect radical change. Scholars, clerics, statesmen, and lay believers disseminated texts to articulate their faiths, ignite reforms, and attack adversaries. European governments and religious councils banned books to minimize the spread of works they deemed to be dangerous, regain control, and combat people and ideas they believed to be radical. Words, texts, images, and prints blurred the divisions between thinkers, heroes, and martyrs, said Wilkie. “The Reformation did not just play out in pulpits and on battlefields—it lived on the page.”

The exhibition draws almost exclusively from The Huntington’s celebrated collections of manuscripts, rare books, and prints. Items on display will include a 1514 papal indulgence (a remission of the punishment of sin), an incunable (a book printed before 1501) annotated by Martin Luther, early 16th-century prints by Albrecht Dürer, the 1573 original manuscript proclamation issued and signed by Queen Elizabeth I requiring the use of the Book of Common Prayer, and a 15th-century manuscript of the Brut Chronicles in which a later reformer “erased” the word “Pope” from the text.

While the exhibition will address the power of the written word and the relationship between it and radical change within a specific historical moment and geographical region, the themes and larger questions posed in the exhibition will resonate across time in different ways.

The exhibition does not directly address contemporary debates about religion, war, and radical movements, Wilkie said, but “it will undoubtedly stimulate conversations about how we encounter these themes in our own lives by asking the question: What is so important to you that you’d nail a statement about it in a public place for all to see? It’s an opportunity to think deeply about how we select and reinterpret the words and images of the past to engage in contemporary debates.”

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Robert F. Erburu Exhibition Endowment.

Image: Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528), St. Jerome in His Study, 1514, engraving. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Edward W. and Julia B. Bodman Collection.

 

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 9.26.01 AM.pngKansas City, MO. June 7, 2017- A new exhibition featuring works by some of the most well-known American photographers of the 1930s will be on display at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. Dignity vs. Despair: Dorothea Lange and Depression-Era Photographers, 1933-1941 opens June 23 and includes iconic images by five photographers: Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, Arthur Rothstein, Marion Post Wolcott, and Peter Sekaer. It is the first Depression-era exhibition at the Nelson-Atkins.

The Farm Security Administration, created in response to the Great Depression, provided loans to farmers, facilitated the removal of families from economically challenged cities for resettlement in rural communities, and formed camps for migrant workers.

“The themes of adversity and resilience in these photographs are some of the same themes running through contemporary life,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “With the downturn of the economy in 2008, many people found themselves facing increased hardship. These photographs help us better understand not only the strength of the human spirit in times of suffering, but also the remarkable power of social and documentary photography to shape public opinion and influence government decisions.”

In 1935, Roy Stryker, an economist from Colombia University, was given the difficult task of determining how to prepare pictorial documentation of rural areas and problems and present them to the American government and people. He assembled an initial team of five photographers, including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein. Marion Post Wolcott and Peter Sekaer worked for other government agencies.

“Many people dismiss these images as sad photographs, but I’ve never seen them that way,” said Jane L. Aspinwall, Associate Curator, Photography. “Roy Stryker didn’t see them that way either. He recognized in the photos a quiet human dignity, something that, as he described it, ‘transcends misery’ and reflects our ‘ability to endure.’”

The exhibition of 64 photographs is arranged thematically and geographically into three sections. The first section includes Lange’s images of urban hardship in San Francisco in 1933-38. The next section focuses on the South, an area hard hit by the Depression. The final section documents the plight of the migrant worker, most often located in California.

“It was an important watershed moment in the history of photography when the American government dispatched photographers to record the plight of the poor and the successes of federal programs,” said Aspinwall. “These photographs were meant to ‘show America to Americans’—to demonstrate that the government recognized their hardships and was working to relieve them.”

The exhibition draws heavily upon the photographers’ own words about their work, found in captions on the backs of the photos, artists’ field notes, and excerpts from interviews. These materials expand the exhibition beyond the subject matter and allow viewers a greater understanding of each photographer’s point of view.

To highlight the museum’s extensive holding of Dorothea Lange’s work, her photographs—including the highly recognizable Migrant Mother—make up more than half of the photos in the exhibition. Migrant Mother, one of the most requested photos by visitors, was featured on the PBS program Antiques Roadshow in 2013. Dignity vs. Despair will be on view until November 26.

Image: Arthur Rothstein, American (1915-1985). Farmer and sons in dust storm, Cimarron County, Oklahoma, April 1936. Gelatin silver print, 21 7/8 x 17 7/8 inches. Gift of Hallmark Cards, Inc., 2005.27.4330.

 

poussin.jpgNew York, NY—The French refer to the seventeenth century as the Grand Siècle, or the Great Century. Under the rule of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, the period saw a dramatic increase in French political and military power, the maturation of French courtly life at Versailles, and an unparalleled flourishing of the arts.

Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age, a new exhibition opening at the Morgan Library & Museum on June 16, explores the work of some of the most celebrated artists of the time. More than fifty drawings largely from the Morgan’s collections—including works by Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, Jacques Callot, and Charles Le Brun—will be on view. Together they demonstrate the era’s distinctive approach to composition and subject matter, informed by principles of rationalism, respect for the art of classical antiquity, and by a belief in a natural world governed by divine order. The exhibition runs through October 15.  

“The Grand Siècle saw artistic development unlike any before it in France,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “The visual arts, literature, music, drama, and architecture all prospered.  Poussin, Claude, and French Drawing in the Classical Age explores the extraordinary advances in the field of drawing by some of the true masters of the period, advances that provided the foundation for all French art that followed."

THE EXHIBITION 

I. Courtly Style from Fontainebleau to Nancy 

The Renaissance style in France resulted from a combination of native artistic talent and artists and styles imported from the Italian courts. With the return of French artists trained in Italy, Paris became a locus for artistic activity by the 1630s. The generation of artists working there, Simon Vouet (1590-1649) foremost among them, ushered in a new era for French art. Having established a successful career in Rome, Vouet was recalled to Paris by Louis XIII in 1627 and named first painter to the king, who also engaged him to be his drawing tutor. Vouet and the king developed an intimate relationship, as Portrait of Louis XIII (ca. 1632-35), an informal, frankly executed sheet indicates. Although few drawings from Vouet’s Italian period survive, this portrait of the king made not long after the artist’s return to France reveals the naturalism he learned in Italy and heralds the impact that style would have on French art more generally. 

The printmaker Jacques Callot (1592-1635) spent most of his career at Cosimo de’ Medici’s court in Florence before returning to France in 1621 to work at the court at Nancy. The Miracle of St. Mansuetus (ca. 1621), produced after the artist’s return, is devoted to a local saint, Mansuetus (d. 375), who was the first Bishop of Toul, in Lorraine (where Callot was born). It shows the saint resuscitating King Leucorus’ son, who had drowned in the river Meuse, and is one of a series of exploratory studies on the theme in preparation for the artist’s 1621 etching.

II. Picturing the French Court

Courts were centers where philosophy, music, literature, and the fine arts flourished under the patronage of the royal family and wealthy nobles. The drawn portrait was a particularly vibrant tradition of the French court, beginning in the Renaissance and extending through the seventeenth century. These works were collected, assembled into albums, and exchanged as gifts. Portraiture was popular at the courts of Louis XIII and Louis XIV, and many members of the court are recognizable even today through their drawn and printed likenesses. Such depictions reached their apogee in the hands of masters such as Daniel Dumonstier (1574-1646), who was renowned for entertaining his sitters and producing flattering colored chalk portraits. Portrait of a Gentleman of the French Court (1628) is carefully annotated by the artist with the exact date, August 31. However, Dumonstier did not identify the sitter. A possibly contemporary inscription suggests that it depicts a M. de Porchere, but there were at least two poets active at the court with the surname Porchere. It is Dumonstier’s facility with combining colored chalks for a meticulous, lifelike effect in such large scale sheets that sets him apart as a portraitist. 

III. Poussin and the Classical Ideal 

Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665) received his early training in France but spent nearly his entire career in Rome, where he embraced classical subject matter. He soon counted princes, cardinals, and a future pope among his patrons, and his fame reached Paris. He reluctantly returned there in 1640 when summoned by the king, although he was overwhelmed by the flurry of commissions and the demands of royal service and returned to Rome in 1642. 

As a painter, Poussin worked slowly and deliberately. Drawings were an essential element of his thoughtful, preparatory method. His concern for form and lighting yielded a drawing style that is bold and at times abstract, revealing his interest in overall effect and coherence over detail. This style would prove influential on his contemporaries in Rome, including his fellow Frenchmen Charles Mellin (1597-1649) and Gaspard Dughet (1615-1675). 

The Holy Family on the Steps (1646-48) is the quintessential compositional study by Poussin for his painting by the same name, which is in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art. The drawing, which is featured in the exhibition, reveals his particular working method, which is known from a written account of his studio practice. Poussin posed small wax figures with linen drapery inside a box with apertures to admit light selectively, allowing him to rigorously study the way lighting defined form. The pyramidal structure of the figural group and architectural setting reveal both Poussin’s debt to Renaissance models and his careful ordering of elements to focus the composition. 

IV. Claude and the Natural World 

As did Poussin, Claude Gellée, better known as Claude Lorrain (1600-1682), would go sketching in the Roman countryside, drawing directly from nature. He believed that the natural world was a manifestation of the divine, and thus ordered his finished landscapes according to ideal principles, lending them an air of arcadian perfection. Claude’s drawings capture a range of approaches to the natural world—from stark, unadorned observations to highly finished works of art that would appeal to courtly tastes. 

Claude at least partially executed A Hilly Landscape, with Bare Trees (1639-41) while he explored the area around Tivoli. With stark hills and barren trees, it is a striking contrast to his highly finished, idealized landscapes. Yet, it is signed on the verso with an inscription that can be interpreted as “Claude Roma in Urbe” (“Claude in the city of Rome”): for all the drawing’s observation of nature, that is, the artist seems to have finished the work in his Roman studio. 

V. Classicism and Naturalism in Paris

Parisian interest in classical antiquity reached a peak during the middle of the seventeenth century, and a strain of rigorous classicism became the latest fashion in the works of artists such as Jacques Stella (1596-1657). Subjects were chosen from antiquity and executed in a severe style reminiscent of the formal purity of ancient art. These scenes employ the tenets of classicism: symmetry, balance, proportion, and a seriousness of subject. The association of the early reign of Louis XIV with the golden age of ancient Greece also marked a respect for rational thought and philosophy. In the 1640s, Stella produced a celebrated series of drawings illustrating the Life of the Virgin. These compositions reveal the qualities for which Stella was revered in his day, and which he had imbibed from Poussin: a balanced composition, acute attention to expression, gesture, and details of objects and costumes, and a sense of intimate interaction among the figures. 

VI. The Rise of Print Culture

During the seventeenth century, the market for prints flourished in France. The collecting of prints and the emergence of print dealers, the increased publication of books, and the trend to produce large-scale thesis prints, all made printmaking a lucrative business. A Protestant artist at a time of religious persecution, Sébastien Bourdon (1616-1671) fled Montpellier in 1622 after it was besieged by royal forces, journeying to Paris and then Rome to seek his fortune. There, in the mid-1630s, he associated with other foreigners, including the Dutch artist Pieter van Laer and his followers, who were known for their scenes of peasants and beggars. Group of Peasants and a Boy Drinking from a Bowl (ca. 1636) served as the basis for one of Bourdon’s earliest etchings The Young Boy Drinks (ca. 1636-7). Similar quotidian scenes are also found in Bourdon’s paintings from this period in Rome. 

VII. Le Brun and the Academic Model 

Charles Le Brun (1619-1690) enjoyed court patronage from a young age. He briefly assisted Vouet, and then accompanied Poussin to Rome in 1642. Upon his return in 1646 he was made first painter to the king and quickly adapted his Italianate style to Parisian taste. By 1655, Le Brun became the leading painter in Paris, receiving the most distinguished aristocratic commissions. Within ten years, he was in charge of the royal collection of paintings and drawings and was the leader of the large team that realized Louis XIV’s greatest decorative ambitions at Versailles. 

With Bourdon, Laurent de la Hyre (1606-1656), Eustache le Sueur (1617-1655), and Philippe de Champaigne (1602-1674), among others, Le Brun was a founding member of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648. The Academy was a formal institution under the king’s protection, and one of its primary functions was the education of artists. Le Brun and his busy atelier played a critical role in training the next generation of French artists and ensuring that the practice of drawing was central to their work. Before the young Le Brun left for Rome with Poussin in 1642, he executed A Caryatid (1641), a design for a decorative print adorning the theological thesis of Jean Ruzé d’Effiat, who would be appointed the abbot of Mont-Saint-Michel that year. The grand format necessitated several sheets of paper joined together; this exhibition marks the first time the upper portion in the Morgan and the lower portions in the Metropolitan Museum of Art have been reunited. 

Image: Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), The Holy Family on the Steps, pen and brown ink, brown wash, with touches of gray wash, over black chalk, on paper. The Morgan Library & Museum; Purchased by Pierpont Morgan in 1909, III,71. 

NEW YORK—The Museum of Modern Art announces Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, a major exhibition on Frank Lloyd Wright (American, 1867-1959) that critically engages his multifaceted practice, on view from June 12 to October 1, 2017. Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, the exhibition will comprise approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited. Structured as an anthology rather than a comprehensive, monographic presentation of Wright’s work, the exhibition is divided into 12 sections, each of which investigates a key object or cluster of objects from the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives, interpreting and contextualizing it, as well as juxtaposing it with other works from the Archives, from MoMA, or from outside collections. The exhibition seeks to open up Wright’s work to critical inquiry and debate, and to introduce experts and general audiences alike to new angles and interpretations of this extraordinary architect. Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive is organized by MoMA in collaboration with the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, New York, and organized by Barry Bergdoll, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, MoMA, and the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University; with Jennifer Gray, Project Research Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, The Museum of Modern Art.

The transfer of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives in 2012 to MoMA and to Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library at Columbia University presented an unprecedented occasion to reveal the extent to which the Archives still has new perspectives, themes, and connections to offer on Wright’s work and legacy. Often construed as a regional architect, Wright in fact moved among international networks, traveling extensively in Europe, the Soviet Union, Japan, and South America. He designed over 1000 projects throughout the United States and the world, including countries such as Japan and Iraq. His design practice encompassed all scales and building types, from light fixtures, rug patterns, and furniture, to residences, museums, and skyscrapers, as well as landscape designs, and community and regional plans. This is in addition to the hundreds of articles and numerous books that he published during his lifetime. Wright also established an architectural school that functioned as a laboratory of innovative design, progressive educational practices, and collective living. His politics and architectural philosophies challenged existing social and economic structures, even as he pioneered radical engineering solutions and prefabricated construction systems that challenged the building industry. 

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150 is organized around a central chronological spine highlighting the major events in Wright’s life and career, which will be illustrated with some of his finest drawings and include key works such as Unity Temple (1905-08), the Robie House (1908-10), Fallingwater (1934-37), the Johnson Wax Administration Building (1936-39), and Beth Sholom Synagogue (1953-59). Unfolding from this orienting spine are 12 subsections, covering themes both familiar and little explored, that highlight for visitors the process of discovery undertaken by invited scholars, historians, architects, and art conservators. These include Wright’s proposed design for a Rosenwald School for African American children, as well as his engagement with the imagery and form of Native American design in his quest for an original American architecture of the future. A section exploring Wright’s design for a model farm—preserved in a rarely seen model from the archive—is juxtaposed with a section that explores his lifelong interest in projecting an urbanism appropriate to an era of new technologies of transportation and communication. 

Wright’s ongoing preoccupation with ornament is the subject of another section, together with sections that investigate Wright’s understanding of the relationships between nature, landscape, and architecture at the scale of the individual organism, the garden, and the community, and his fascination with circular geometries that likewise range in scale from ornamental forms, to the building, to site planning. Wright was not only a builder for others, but a master of self-construction. To this end, a section centered on Wright’s attempt to democratize his vision through DIY building systems dialogues with another that argues Frank Lloyd Wright was one the first celebrity architects, a savvy manipulator of mass media such as television, radio, and magazines, who used these outlets to advance his ambitions. His celebrity status is illustrated through print media, including the Time magazine election of Wright as Man of the Year, and television broadcasts of his famous interview with Mike Wallace and an episode of What’s My Line? in which Wright is described as “world famous architect.” The last thematic section considers the archive itself as an object of study and will include the painstakingly conserved model of St. Mark’s, a radical but ultimately unbuilt design for a skyscraper residence for New York, the model of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, an analysis of Wright’s drawings as they evolved over time, and a data-visualization project illustrating Wright’s global network of clients, professional relationships, and buildings.

MoMA will publish an exhibition catalogue reflecting the scholarship generated in the process of unpacking the Wright Archives, to be illustrated with new photography of his drawings, models, and buildings that will offer the public high-quality images of materials in the Archives. The publication mirrors the exhibition in that it will be an anthology of essays authored by the guest scholars and MoMA curators.

The contributors include:

-Barry Bergdoll (MoMA and Columbia University)

-Michael Desmond (Louisiana State University)

-Carole Ann Fabian (Avery Library, Columbia University)

-Jennifer Gray (MoMA)

-Elizabeth Hawley (CUNY Graduate Center and MoMA)

-Juliet Kinchin (MoMA)

-Neil Levine (Harvard University)

-Ellen Moody (MoMA)

-Therese O’Malley (National Gallery, Washington, D.C.)

-Ken Oshima (University of Washington)

-Michael Osman (University of California, Los Angeles)

-Spyros Papapetros (Princeton University)

-Janet Parks (Avery Drawings & Archives, Columbia University)

-Matthew Skjonsberg (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

-David Smiley (Columbia University)

-Mabel Wilson (Columbia University)

SPONSORSHIP:

The exhibition is made possible by Hyundai Card.

Generous funding is provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III and by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

RELATED EXHIBITION:

Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem and Modern Housing

September 8 - December 17, 2017

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University

In fall 2017, to celebrate the joint acquisition of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives by The Museum of Modern Art and Columbia University’s Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, the Wallach Art Gallery is partnering with Columbia’s Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture to present Living in America: Frank Lloyd Wright, Harlem and Modern Housing, which will consider Wright’s well-known designs for Broadacre City and other largely suburban housing projects in dialogue with important housing projects in Harlem, designed simultaneously. The Wallach Art Gallery’s exhibition will overlap and be presented in correlation with Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive.

Mayne-May-17-Web.jpgRoger Mayne - London & Paris brings together for the first time recently discovered vintage prints from the archive of the acclaimed post-war British photographer Roger Mayne.

The exhibition displays photographs that capture the vibrancy of 1950s and 1960s London. As well as prints from Roger Mayne’s acclaimed Southam Street series, the exhibition highlights those from the wider Notting Hill and North Kensington areas. These fascinatingly intimate images, with children playing and women chatting in doorways, record a London street life that has since disappeared. 

The Paris series features scenes which even those familiar with Roger Mayne’s work will not have seen and exhibit the strongest characteristics of his oeuvre in a new setting. 1950s schoolchildren in Montmartre and a concierge standing in slippers at a doorway are reminiscent of the subjects which Mayne had captured in London. They also nod to the French photographers whose work he so admired. 

These rare vintage prints, new to the market, were printed by Roger Mayne himself soon after the negatives were made. They are increasingly scarce as Mayne did not print in large numbers or numbered editions as is usual today.

Roger Mayne - London & Paris is the first photography exhibition held by Bernard Quaritch Ltd at 40 South Audley Street and offers a rare opportunity to visit on a Saturday, when the shop is usually closed. The photographs are exhibited alongside the antiquarian books which line the firm’s elegant front room.
 
Roger Mayne’s photographs are framed by the social issues of his time and regularly appeared on the covers of Penguin paperbacks. Titles include Children under Stress, Poverty: The Forgotten Englishmen, Because They’re Black and Anatomy of Prison. Copies of these books, and many others, accompany the exhibition.
 
In the present day, Roger Mayne’s photographs encourage us to reflect on the sea change childhood has undergone in the past sixty years. The post-war generation’s games and interactions are a far cry from the modern experience.
 
All photographs in the exhibition come directly from the Roger Mayne Archive and are for sale.

a-worker-sweeping-criminals-out-of-the-soviet-land-from-russian-placards-1917-22-copyright-british-library-board copy.jpgAs part of the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths, will shine new light on the unprecedented and world-changing events of the period, focusing on the experiences of ordinary Russians living through extraordinary times.

28 April 2017 - 29 August 2017

                                                                  The exhibition will tell the incredible story of the Revolution through posters, letters, photographs, banners, weapons, items of uniform, recordings and film: from a luxury souvenir album of the Tsar’s coronation to propaganda wallpaper hand-painted by women factory workers.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • 1st edition of Communist Manifesto, published in London in 1848
  • Nicholas II Coronation Album from 1896
  • Russo-Japanese War cartoon posters
  • Photographic images and caricatures of Rasputin 
  • Leg irons from a Siberian prison camp 
  • Items of Red Army uniforms
  • White Russian counter-revolutionary propaganda posters
  • Lenin’s Memorial Book
  • Banner gifted to the Shipley Young Communist League
  • A letter, dated 1922, from Scotland Yard to the British Museum Library requesting that a selection of Bolshevik literature is not made public due to its incendiary nature

The exhibition will begin in the reign of the last Tsar and explore the growth of revolutionary movements and colossal social and political change, showing the transformation of Russia’s traditional monarchy into the world’s first Communist state. Key figures such as Nicholas II and revolutionary leaders including Vladimir Lenin will be examined along with the political events of the period.

Items going on display for the first time include material from the Library’s extensive collection of Bolshevik and anti-Bolshevik propaganda, as well as a letter written by Lenin in April 1902, applying to become a Reader at the British Museum Library, now part of the British Library. The letter is signed with his pseudonym, Jacob Richter, which he was using in order to evade the Tsarist police of the time.

Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths will unite the personal and the political, bringing to life the hope, the tragedy, and the myths at the heart of this seismic Revolution.

Katya Rogatchevskaia, lead curator of Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths, said:

“It is impossible to understand the world today without an understanding of the Russian Revolution, and we will be taking visitors on a journey to explore how the events of Revolution changed the world forever.”

“As well as giving an overview of momentous events all the way from the last days of the Russian Empire and the downfall of the last Tsar Nicholas II until the rise of the first communist state under Lenin’s leadership, we will also be focusing on the lives of those who lived through the period for the first time, using letters, diaries, photographs, posters and film. We will be showing some very rarely seen items from our world-leading Russian Revolution collection, alongside loans from a range of national and international institutions.”

The exhibition is accompanied by a varied season of events exploring how the Russian Revolution changed the world forever, exploring the impact on Russian literature, architecture, music and artistic expression, as well as examining the life and times of key figures, such as Lenin and the Romanovs. 

Highlights include:

Shadows of Days: An Evening of Russian Émigré Fiction - At this exciting event, readings by actors Geraldine James and Brian Cox are interspersed with discussion with literary experts Maria Rubins and Peter Pomerantsev, together with Bryan Karetnyk, editor of the new collection Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky (Penguin Classics 2017).  

Late at the Library: Sounds of the Revolution - Join us for a night of radical sound and silent film directed by Gabriel Prokofiev with the superb musicians of the Renegade Orchestra. Echoes of Russian classical music greats are cut with sonic experimentation and electronica, reflecting the remarkable avant-garde experimentation of a century ago, alongside a screening of the 1927 film The End of St Petersburg and DJs from Nonclassical. 

Tariq Ali on the Dilemmas of Lenin - Tariq Ali examines the innumerable dilemmas faced by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of the October 1917 uprising and today a widely misunderstood figure. A political and intellectual colossus, Lenin emerged from the turbulent history of Tsarist Russia and the birth of the international labour movement with great certainty in his aims. 

Late at the Library: The Storming of the Library - This thrilling event is inspired by the extraordinary agit-prop Revolutionary Festivals staged in Petrograd in 1918-20. With designs by avant-garde artists and huge casts, the original re-stagings attempted to celebrate and even out do the original events, and were a great inspiration to film makers such as Eisenstein. Join us for an evening of performance, music, film and spectacle accompanied by the turbo-punk energy of our musical comrades The Destroyers and DJ Penny Metal. 

Design and the Russian Revolution: Alice Rawsthorn - Alice Rawsthorn discusses the initial impact and enduring influence of the Russian Revolution on design, architecture and fashion: from the role of the Constructivist artist and designer László Moholy-Nagy in revitalising the Bauhaus in the mid-1920s to the recent emergence of a new wave of social and humanitarian designers.  

To view the full programme of Russian Revolution events, please visit our What’s On pages.

Image: 'A worker Sweeping Criminals out of the Soviet Land' from Russian Placards 1917-22 (c) British Library Board.

Morgan-James copy.jpgNew York, NY, May 3, 2017 — In 1884, Henry James (1843-1916) wrote in The Art of Fiction:  

The analogy between the art of the painter and the art of the novelist is, so far as I am able to see, complete. Their inspiration is the same, their process (allowing for the different quality of the vehicle), is the same, their success is the same. They may learn from each other, they may explain and sustain each other. Their cause is the same, and the honour of one is the honour of another.

Henry James and American Painting, opening at the Morgan Library & Museum on June 9, is the first exhibition to explore the author’s deep and lasting interest in the visual arts and their profound impact on the literature he produced.  Offering a fresh perspective on the master novelist, the show reveals the importance of James’s friendships with American artists such as John La Farge, John Singer Sargent, and James McNeill Whistler. While the author decided early on that the pictorial arts were not to be the arena in which he would work, the painterly quality of  his writing has enthralled readers for over a century.

Co-curated by author Colm Tóibín, whose latest novel House of Names is published this month, and Declan Kiely, head of the museum’s Department of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, the exhibition includes a rich and eclectic selection of more than fifty paintings, drawings, watercolors, sculptures, photographs, manuscripts, letters, and printed books from two dozen museums and private collections in the United States, Great Britain, and Ireland. Together they weave an evocative story of fascinating artistic intersections.        

"With its acclaimed collections of art and literature, the Morgan is the perfect place for this exhibition,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The visual arts were part of the bedrock on which Henry James built his house of fiction.  He composed the most dramatic moments in his work as though they were framed, as though his characters were placed in light and shade as a painter might pose figures on a canvas.”  

THE EXHIBITION 

Portraits of Henry James

Henry James was fiercely protective of his privacy and, despite achieving preeminence as a novelist by the end of the nineteenth century, gave only four interviews over the course of his career. He expressed a “dread of the assault of the interviewer.” Nevertheless, he sat for numerous portraits, and was photographed by some of the leading photographers of his day. In less than a decade James used the word “portrait” in three book titles—The Portrait of a Lady (1881), his first literary masterpiece; Portraits of Places (1883), a collection of travel essays; and Partial Portraits (1888), a collection of essays on writers that argued for the inclusion of narrative fiction among the fine arts. 

In 1862, at age nineteen, James sat for John La Farge, a painter eight years his senior, in Newport, Rhode Island. At the time, Henry James was attending Harvard Law School, after which he redirected his focus to essays and fiction. His relationship with La Farge set the tone for his early novel, Roderick Hudson (1875), a coming-of-age story of a young law student from Northampton, Massachusetts, who aspires to be a great sculptor in the classical tradition. 

It was La Farge who helped James to gain “the dawning perception that the arts were after all essentially one and that even with canvas and brush whisked out of my grasp I still needn’t feel disinherited. That was the luxury of the friend and senior with a literary side.” The exhibition includes the original typescript of Notes of a Son and Brother, in which James wrote extensively about La Farge’s important early aesthetic influence. 

The 1913 portrait of James by John Singer Sargent—a treasure on loan from the National Portrait Gallery, London— is perhaps the most famous painted image of the author. Sargent was the natural choice when a group of James’s friends commissioned an oil portrait to mark the writer’s seventieth birthday. James described the finished work, which captured his reserve and sensuous intelligence, as “Sargent at his very best and poor old H. J. not at his worst; in short a living breathing likeness and a masterpiece of painting.” 

Other portraits of James in the exhibition include Abbott Handerson Thayer’s 1881 crayon on paper drawing from the Collection of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York City; Ellen Gertrude Emmet Rand’s 1900 portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.; Alice Boughton’s 1905 and 1906 photographs; William James’s 1910 portrait from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; and E. O. Hoppé’s 1911 photograph from the National Portrait Gallery, London. 

Frank Duveneck and Elizabeth Boott Duveneck 

The relationship between the American painters Frank Duveneck (1848-1919) and his wife Elizabeth Boott Duveneck (1846-1888), and Elizabeth’s father, the composer Francis Boott (1813-1904), offered James inspiration for three of his most important novels—Washington Square (1880), The Portrait of a Lady (1881) and The Golden Bowl (1904). There are clear parallels between Elizabeth Boott and James’s characters: Catherine Sloper in Washington Square, Pansy Osmond in The Portrait of a Lady, and Maggie Verver in The Golden Bowl. 

Francis and his only child Elizabeth were wealthy New Englanders who moved between Boston, where James first met them in 1865, and Europe. James, a regular visitor to their apartment in Villa Castellani at Bellosguardo, overlooking Florence, transformed it into the residence of his characters Gilbert Osmond and his daughter Pansy in The Portrait of a Lady. Frank Duveneck came to the attention of James and the Bootts when he showed his paintings at the Boston Art Club in 1875. James wrote: “In the rooms of the Boston Art Club hang some five remarkable portraits by Mr. Frank Duveneck of Cincinnati . . . The good people of Boston have recently been flattering themselves that they have discovered an American Velázquez.” James added that “the analogy of Mr. Duveneck’s talent with that of the great Spaniard is a natural, instinctive one.” Elizabeth Boott purchased a painting from the exhibition, and, in March 1888, a portrait of her by Duveneck was accepted by the jury of the Salon in Paris. 

The tensions that arose when Elizabeth fell in love with Duveneck, who, as her art teacher, was considered by her father to be an unsuitable match, intrigued James. After Elizabeth finally married Duveneck, James came to vist them at Bellosguardo, writing letters to his family and friends about the family dynamics of their household. Elements of his time with the Bootts made their way into his late masterpiece The Golden Bowl (1904), a novel that explores the drama of father-daughter bonds complicating husband-wife romance. This exhibition contextualizes James’s friendship with the Bootts and Duveneck, and shows the artists’ work together in illuminating conjunction. Highlights include Duveneck’s portraits of Elizabeth and Francis Boott, and the tomb effigy that he designed to mark his wife’s burial place. 

John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler 

The connections between Henry James and John Singer Sargent make the latter essential to any consideration of James and painting, as they are also fascinating in any consideration of James’s own life in all its rich complexity and ambiguity. James and Sargent were both Americans in Europe who had spent much of their childhood abroad. They were bachelor expatriates, reserved, industrious, careful about their private lives. Both liked society and took an interest in fashionable women. Both, in their work, were interested in surface and psychology. In 1886, one critic noted the connections between them: “He [Sargent] is the Henry James of portraiture, and I can’t help wishing he were not—as I can’t help wishing Henry James were not the Sargent of the novel.” The British painter W. Graham Robertson, who knew both, described them as “real friends, they understood each other perfectly and their points of view were in many ways identical.” 

More than a year before James and Sargent were introduced, the writer noted a Venetian genre scene by the artist that was part of an 1882 exhibition at London’s Grosvenor Gallery. Both James and Sargent were enthralled by Venice. “The Aspern Papers” (1888) is set in Venice, and the city also features in The Wings of the Dove (1902), a novel that features a palace that is clearly reminiscent of the Palazzo Barbaro, home of the Curtis family, where both Sargent and James spent considerable time. On special loan from the Royal Academy of Arts, London, Sargent’s 1889 painting, An Interior In Venice (The Curtis Family), which was intended as a gift to the family, is displayed. The painting features the couple, Daniel and Ariana Curtis, as well as their son Ralph and his wife Lisa in their opulent Palazzo. Though rejected by the Curtises, (Ariana found her portrayal unflattering), Sargent’s distinguished work is celebrated for its aesthetic depiction of the grand Venetian salon. 

In 1884, James declared Sargent to be the “only Franco-American product of importance,” who had, moreover, “high talent, a charming nature, artistic and personal, and is civilized to his finger-tips. . . . I like him extremely; and the best of his work seems to me to have in it something exquisite.” Conversely, James sometimes critiqued Sargent’s tendency to paint pretty portraits, rather than to remain true to his subject’s natural likeness. As James opined, “His Mrs. Boit is admirable for life & impudence & talent, but seems to me a supreme example of his great vice—a want of respect for the face.” In the context of fiction writing, James had more creative license to create a less-than-flattering portrait with his pen than did Sargent. 

Whistler, like Sargent, became known for creating vivid, iconic, and mysterious images of women—as evidenced in his Arrangement in Black and Brown: The Fur Jacket (1876)—much as James became known for the subtlety and sympathy with which he treated his female characters. James and Whistler became friends in the 1880s. James sent him an inscribed copy of The Spoils of Poynton  (1897) and, upon hearing of Whistler’s appreciation, wrote that he was delighted “to have pleased you, to have touched you ... for the arts are one, and with the artist the artist communicates.” James was a regular visitor to Whistler’s home at 110 Rue du Bac in the 1890s, and The Ambassadors (1903) drew upon his impressions to describe the house and garden of the sculptor Gloriani, who is based on Whistler. 

Hendrik Christian Andersen and Lilla Cabot Perry

Sculptor Hendrik Andersen appears almost as a character out of James’s fiction. James met him in the spring of 1899 in Rome. James was fifty-six, Andersen almost thirty years his junior. Andersen was born in Norway but raised in Newport, Rhode Island, where the James family had also lived between sojourns in Europe. He studied in Paris and then Naples, and moved to Rome in 1897. Between 1899 and 1915, the year before his death, James wrote seventy-eight letters to the handsome young Norwegian-American. Anderson’s 1899 painted terra-cotta bust of Count Alberto Bevilacqua, on loan from the National Trust--was placed by the mantelpiece in a corner in the small dining room at Lamb House, Rye, where James moved in 1897. In his letters, James advised the young sculptor to produce work on a more domestic scale in order to make it more saleable. The bust bore a resemblance to Andersen, and James wrote, “I shall have him constantly before me as a loved companion and friend. He is so living, so human, so sympathetic and sociable and curious, that I foresee it will be a lifelong attachment.” James later told a friend that the sculpture was “the first object that greets my eyes in the morning, and the last at night.” 

Henry James was also close to a number of female artists, in addition to Elizabeth Boott Duveneck. These include Ellen Gertrude Emmet Rand, his cousin who painted portraits of him; Alice Boughton, who took several photographs of James, creating images of character that have shaped the mental pictures of generations of readers and enthusiasts; and Lilla Cabot Perry, who was pivotal in connecting James with the French Impressionists, a movement thathe broadly rejected. The daughter of wealthy Bostonians, Lilla Cabot married Thomas Sergeant Perry, literary critic and close friend of Henry James, in 1874. She became the sister-in-law of John La Farge. Perry had no formal artistic training until the age of thirty-six when she studied at the Académie Julian and at the Académie Colarossi. In 1889, the Perrys traveled to Giverny, France, joining the community of artists gathered around Claude Monet. Upon her return to the United States, Perry became an influential proponent of Monet’s work, publishing Reminiscences of Claude Monet from 1889 to 1909, a biographical account of her twenty summers at Giverny. 

James visited the second Impressionist exhibition of 1876, held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, and he dismissed “the young contributors of whom I speak” as “absolute foes to arrangement, embellishment, selection. . . . None of its members show signs of possessing first-rate talent.” He failed to recognize the significance of Impressionism, and he did not know the main French artists of the age, even though he knew most of the Frenchnovelists. The work that interested him most was Anglo-American, or pre-Impressionist. What mattered to him was the atmosphere that visual artists created and the world they inhabited more than any new systems or innovations. Ostensibly rooted in academic convention, The Green Hat, Perry’s 1913 portrait of her daughter, Edith, manifests her adherence to impressionism through the dynamic brushstrokes of its background, the monochromatic palette and the play of light. What interested James most was not the impression, but the expression. 

Selection of Highlights on View 

Hendrik Christian Andersen (1872-1940), Count Alberto Bevilacqua, 1899, painted terra-cotta. Lamb House (The National Trust). 

Cecilia Beaux (1855-1942), Henry James, 1911, charcoal on paper. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. 

Alice Boughton (1865-1943), Henry James, 1905, platinum print. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C. 

Alice Boughton (1865-1943), Henry James, 1906, gelatin silver print. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.; gift of Allan M. Price. 

Elizabeth Boott Duveneck (1846-1888), Villa Castellani, Bellosguardo, 1886, watercolor on paper. National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D. C. 

Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, 1888, oil on canvas. Cincinnati Art Museum; Gift of the artist, 1915. 

Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), Portrait of Francis Boott, 1881, oil on canvas. Cincinnati Art Museum; The Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial. 

Frank Duveneck (1848-1919), Tomb Effigy of Elizabeth Boott Duveneck, 1891, bronze and gold leaf. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rogers Fund, 1927. 

William Morris Hunt (1824-1879), Girl at the Fountain, 1852-54, oil on canvas. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Bequest of Jane Hunt, 1907. 

Henry James (1843-1916), Autograph letter to Hendrik Christian Andersen, November 25, 1906. Henry James Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia. 

Henry James (1843-1916), Project of a Novel (ninety-page outline for The Ambassadors), September 1, 1900. The Morgan Library & Museum; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. A. Hyatt Mayor, 1974.

Henry James (1843-1916), Notes of a Son and Brother, typed manuscript, signed, 1914. The Morgan Library & Museum; Bequest of Gordon N. Ray, 1987. 

John La Farge (1835-1910), Portrait of Henry James, 1862, oil on canvas. The Century Association, New York City. 

J.P. Morgan et Amicorum (Guest book logging visitors to the Morgan, including Henry James),1908-1996. The Morgan Library & Museum. 

Lilla Cabot Perry (1848-1933), The Green Hat, 1913, oil on canvas. Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection. 

Ellen Gertrude (“Bay”) Emmet Rand (1875-1919), Portrait of Henry James, 1900, oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Marjorie Edel in memory of Leon Edel. NPG 98.74 

Ellen Gertrude (“Bay”) Emmet Rand (1875-1919), Portrait of Henry James, 1900, oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Marjorie Edel in memory of Leon Edel. NPG 98.75 

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), An Interior In Venice (The Curtis Family), 1898, oil on canvas. Royal Academy of Arts, London; Diploma Work given by John Singer Sargent, R. A., accepted 1900. 

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Portrait of Henry James, 1913, oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, London; Bequethed by Henry James, 1916. 

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, 1885, oil on canvas. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. 

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Venetian Women in the Palazzo Rezzonico, ca. 1889 Private collection, courtesy of David Nisinson. 

Publication 

Published to coincide with the exhibition at the Morgan, in Henry James and American Painting novelist and critic Colm Tóibín, author of the 2004 Man Booker short-listed novel The Master, joins art historian Marc Simpson and Declan Kiely of the Morgan Library & Museum to reveal how essential the language and imagery of the arts— and friendships with artists—were to James’s writing. A refreshing new perspective on a master novelist who was greatly nourished by his friendships with artists, this edifying volume reveals a James whose literary imagination, in Tóibín’s words, “seemed most at ease with the image” and the work of creating fully realized portraits of his characters. 

Authors: Colm Tóibín, Marc Simpson, Declan Kiely 

Publishers: Penn State University Press, The Morgan Library & Museum 192 pages, 70 color illustrations. 

Image: John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), Henry James, 1913, Oil on canvas. National Portrait Gallery, London; Bequeathed by Henry James, 1916. NPG 1767.

 

MIAMI BEACH (April 27, 2017) — Starting this fall, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University calls attention to the transformative designs of one of history’s leading graphic artists in Julius Klinger: Posters for a Modern Age (Oc­tober 6, 2017-April 1, 2018). The exhibition will outline the development of the Austrian designer’s career through over 100 posters, prints, drawings, and book illustrations from The Wolfsonian’s collection and beyond—commissions that reveal Klinger’s knack for infusing beautiful imagery with wit and an astute marketing sensibility. Their display in Miami Beach will mark the first U.S. solo exhibition devoted to the designer, and a unique opportunity for visitors outside of Europe to experience so much of his work in one place.

“Julius Klinger was a designer whose work resonates today for its charm, flair, humor, and variety,” said Jeremy Aynsley, exhibition curator and professor of design history at the University of Brighton. “He was an outstanding draughtsman who captured the elegance of the times in his posters, yet also made strongly satirical images that engaged with the issues of the day.”

Klinger (1876-1942) was born near Vienna to a Jewish family and established his reputation as a prominent graphic artist, illustrator, typographer, and prolific writer closely associated with the Vienna Secession art movement and Jugendstil, the German derivation of Art Nouveau. Working in Austria, Germany, and briefly the United States, Klinger helped create or modernize the image and identities of countless clients ranging from theaters and cabarets, art manufacturers, and commercial companies to public agencies over the course of three decades. He died at an extermination camp near Minsk after the Nazis’ annexation of Austria during the Second World War.

Central to Julius Klinger will be the strong, striking graphic elements that became his signature style and reflect his direct approach to communication: bold color; minimalist, clear visuals stripped of unnecessary detail; and linear compositions influenced by Japanese prints and calligraphy. Klinger distinguished commercial art, serving a client’s goals and messages, from fine art, which he argued prioritized self-expression—a trajectory that paved the way for the emergence of graphic design, or “Reklamekunst” (advertising art), as a specialized field.

Designs on view at The Wolfsonian include:

  • A poster for Die Lustige Blätter [The Funny Pages], a leading satirical magazine, that features fishing centaurs in a fantasy scene (1909);
  • A poster for Hollerbaum und Schmidt (1910), in which Klinger amusingly advertised the Berlin printer’s services through his own self-portrait;
  • A poster for Münchener Faschings-Redoute [Munich Carnival Ball], designed for the city’s carnival season (1914);
  • A poster for TABU (1919) that showcases Klinger’s skill in using graphic line to define the identity for the cigarette-paper company; 
  • A poster for RAVAG, Austria’s first radio network, which Klinger promotes through the motif of abstracted radio masts (1924);
  • Intricate illustrations for Die Aegyptische Helene [The Egyptian Helena], a book based on Richard Strauss’ opera (c. 1928); and
  • An announcement for a ten-week course on advanced poster design led by Klinger at The New School, New York, proudly proclaiming him “Europe’s most prominent poster artist” (1932).

“The art of persuasion is a key interest of The Wolfsonian, and Klinger was a master,” said Wolfsonian director Tim Rodgers. “Through his instrumental graphic work, our visitors will consider the power of design in affecting change, often by using tactics still employed by advertisers, corporations, and brand influencers today.”

In tandem with Julius Klinger, The Wolfsonian will publish a companion book with an essay by Aynsley and translated extracts from Klinger’s writings.

EL.2016.11.73 PS.jpgAmherst, MA (April 27, 2017) Flying frogs, cloud-sized cabbages, and an underwater living room occupied by octopuses--David Wiesner's wordless picture books are marvels of visual and narrative invention. He presents magical possibilities and time-bending experiences, enticing readers to return again and again. Wiesner's technical virtuosity, exquisitely-nuanced colors, and dynamic compositions are on full display in David Wiesner & the Art of Wordless Storytelling, on view from June 18 through November 5, 2017. 

This first-ever retrospective devoted to Wiesner's art features 80 original watercolors from some of his most famous books, including three for which he won the prestigious Caldecott Medal: Tuesday (1992), The Three Pigs (2002), and Flotsam (2007). Also on view is work from Wiesner's earliest artistic successes while still a student at the Rhode Island School of Design to his most recent project--his first graphic novel, Fish Girl, published just this year.  

Wiesner has captivated readers for three decades. "More than creating the singular object--a painting or sculpture," Wiesner explains, "I am enthralled by the idea of a collection of images that work together toward a larger whole." Because Wiesner is so proficient at his craft, the reader becomes a vital participant in his books. "By removing the text," states Wiesner, "I am removing the author's voice. This lets the reader tell the story in their own voice. It puts the reader in the position of collaborating in the story-telling process, asking them to use their imagination along with mine." 

Many strands of influence are evident in Wiesner's visual approach to storytelling. As Katherine Roeder writes in her catalogue essay, "David Wiesner's work is intricate and complex; his paintings are informed by a host of cultural sources, both high and low, and the books generously reward viewers who look, and look, and look again." The artist draws inspiration from such disparate sources as Surrealism, early American Modernism, and the popular arenas of cartoons, graphic novels, comic books, and film. Moreover, Wiesner's work is a collaboration of creativity and creative minds. As Roeder explains, "the liberating qualities of the imagination are Wiesner's most pervasive and consistent motif."

This exhibition has been organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Its presentation at The Carle is supported by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Educational Interactives

According to Roeder, Wiesner "expects the viewer to actively engage with his work, to make connections and create meaning at every juncture." Therefore, it is apropos that David Wiesner & the Art of Wordless Storytelling includes the artist's popular app Spot, made available on iPads in the gallery, and a special reading area devoted to Wiesner's picture books. A video interview with the artist and a touchscreen allowing visitors to digitally color Wiesner's compositions are also available. In this way, the process of engaging and interacting with Wiesner's art within the exhibit continues to perpetuate creativity. 

Catalogue

The exhibition is accompanied by a 112-page catalogue, distributed by Yale University Press and authored by Katherine Roeder, Adjunct Faculty, George Mason University and the University of Maryland, University College, with a Q&A with the artist, David Wiesner, by SBMA Assistant Director and Chief Curator, Eik Kahng, and Chief Curator at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Ellen Keiter. The catalogue is available for purchase in The Carle Bookshop.

Image: Bugs, 2009. Collection of Zora and Les Charles. © 2009 David Wiesner

PITTSBURGH (April 26, 2017)--Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art are proud to announce a new partnership to co-organize The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit, inspired by the art and characters of beloved children's book author and illustrator Mo Willems.  

The exhibit, debuting February 2018 at the Children's Museum, will invite visitors into the imagination, whimsy, and humor of Mo Willems. Many familiar characters will be featured, including best friend duo Elephant and Piggie, faithful companion Knuffle Bunny, and The Pigeon, the wily city bird best known for his antics in Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Activities will give children the opportunity to make art that is inspired by Mo Willems and to learn about the rich social and emotional lives of the author's characters. The exhibit will also feature prints of illustrations, including works in progress, by Mo Willems.

In Summer 2018, the exhibit will begin its tour to museums and libraries in cities across the country.

"We're so excited to reconnect with The Eric Carle Museum," said Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. "Its commitment to preserving and growing the art forms of illustration and storytelling are so important in this fast-paced day and age."

The two institutions first joined forces in 2015 to produce Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit based on the five-book series about insects by Eric Carle. The exhibit is breaking attendance records at museums as it tours across North America through 2021.

"Mo's work came to the top of our list when we talked about the next exhibition we wanted to mount," adds The Carle's Executive Director Alexandra Kennedy. "His style appears so simple but there is so much contained within that distillation--outrageous comedy, a child's eye view, and important revelations about kindness and acceptance."

The Pigeon Comes to Pittsburgh: A Mo Willems Exhibit will premiere at Children's Museum of Pittsburgh February 17 through May 2018, and be available for rent immediately thereafter. For information on renting this and other Children's Museum's traveling exhibits, please contact the Museum's Exhibits department at (412) 322-5058, ext. 229, or exhibits@pittsburghkids.org.

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 9.19.20 AM.pngLes Enluminures is pleased to announce its participation in the 2017 Madison Avenue Gallery Walk on April 29. The event, which takes place on the Saturday preceding the TEFAF, Art New York, and Frieze New York fairs, will open our New York gallery’s spring exhibition Collecting Medieval Masters Now. The works presented here - manuscripts, miniatures, drawings, and rings - offer a meaningful counterpoint to more recent artistic productions and celebrate the legacy of thoughtful collecting from generations past and present. 

Highlights of the exhibition include a majestic two volume illustrated manuscript made in the court of King Charles V (reigned 1364-1380), a masterpiece of French Gothic manuscript illumination known as the “Soisson Missal”, a miniature attributed to a follower of Giovanni di Paolo from the collection of Lord Clark of Saltwood, and a Roman ring with a message of friendship hidden in its intricate open-work. 

Keegan Goepfert, Vice-President and Director of Les Enluminures (New York & Chicago), will deliver two accompanying talks entitled “Medieval Art for the Modern Collector” and “Collecting Rings: Then and Now” during the Madison Avenue Gallery Walk. The talks are free, but registration at www.artnews.com/MadAveGalleryWalk is required. 

COLLECTING MEDIEVAL MASTERS NOW 

April 29 through June 10, 2017; Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 6pm 

Opening: Madison Avenue Gallery Walk Saturday, April 29, 2017 10am to 7pm 

Les Enluminures, 23 East 73rd Street, 7th Floor, Penthouse, New York, NY 10021

Image: FOLLOWER OF GIOVANNI DI PAOLO, The Creation of the World, Italy, Siena, c. 1450, $55,000

 

 

gorky copy.jpgBrunswick, Maine, April 2017—The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) will present the first-ever survey of the Museum’s extensive collection of drawings, widely considered the oldest public collection of works on paper on the continent, illuminating the foundational and evolving role of drawing within Western artistic practice. Titled Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolors at Bowdoin College, the exhibition will be on view from May 3 through September 3, 2017, and includes more than 150 works by American and European artists across cultures, genres, and time periods, such as Peter Paul Rubens, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Henri Matisse, Eva Hesse, and Roy Lichtenstein, among many others. Why Draw? will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that features original texts from renowned scholars and contemporary artists, all considering what compels artists to draw through close study of specific works in the exhibition. These insights, from contributors including David Driskell, Richard Tuttle, James Siena, and Yvonne Jacquette form the touchstones of both the exhibition and the catalogue, guiding viewers through an examination of the traditional functions of drawings in artistic education, studio practice, and the formal; and poetic reasons artists have been driven to drawing throughout history. The Museum will also host several public programs throughout the summer in conjunction with the exhibition, including artist talks, scholarly lectures, and artist-led workshops.

Curated by Joachim Homann, Curator at BCMA, the exhibition builds on the foundation of Bowdoin’s strong history of collecting works on paper, stemming back to the initial gift of 141 historic European drawings to the college by James Bowdoin III in 1811.  Since then the drawings collection has evolved to include nearly 2,000 unique works on paper, encompassing acquisitions and gifts from alumni, artists, and patrons. Many recent additions to the collection will be on view for the first time. Spanning from a drawing from the workshop of Raphael, to the first-ever watercolor by Winslow Homer to enter a museum collection, to works produced in the past five years by Natalie Frank, William Kentridge, and Titus Kaphar, the exhibition offers a diverse selection of masterworks from artists across a wide range of history.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to present a comprehensive survey of our renowned collection of drawings, which, through its distinct breadth and depth, provides rewarding insights into the evolving role of drawing over the past 500 years of Western artistic practice,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. “Museums are as much collections of people as they are of artworks, and Why Draw? is indebted to the artists, art historians, and art patrons who contributed to this exhibition, and truly helped shape the BCMA as an institution, through their generous gifts over time that would be near-impossible to acquire today,” continued  Anne Goodyear, co-director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. “As a museum at an institution of higher learning, the strength of our drawing collection provides tremendous opportunities to mount exhibitions such as this one, which allow students, scholars, and visitors to enter into the thoughts and practice of artists and examine new ways of seeing.”

The exhibition considers drawing in Europe and the United States throughout time, observing how artists advanced the role of drawing in artist’s creative processes—from a primary tool to record the visual world, to a medium distinguished for its expressive qualities and immediacy in the advent of photography and subsequent technological advances in the digital age, ultimately underscoring what makes drawing different from other forms of notation.

Upon entering the exhibition, visitors will be greeted by Pharrell, 2014, Alex Katz’s seven-foot-tall portrait of the American singer and songwriter Pharrell Williams. A preparatory drawing that employs a Renaissance technique, this work demonstrates just one practical use of drawing within the artistic process. From this starting point, the exhibition illustrates many applications of drawing in the studio, from invention to observation, to composition and recording of a finished work. At the same time this survey highlights traditions specific to Italy, France, the Low Countries, Great Britain, and the United States, and demonstrates how over 500 years, drawings became increasingly appreciated as artworks in their own right, since they allow for unparalleled freedom to experiment. Recent acquisitions of works by Pieter Withoos, Hyacinthe Rigaud, Jean Michel Moreau the Younger, and Edward Lear expand the narrative of the exhibition by adding a focus on changing attitudes towards the natural world. New significant gifts strengthen the representation of trends in mid-20th-century American art, and include accomplished drawings by Joseph Stella, Romare Bearden, and Norman Lewis, as well as preparatory sketches by sculptors from Gaston Lachaise to Henry Moore to David Smith.

As curator Joachim Homann describes: “Rather than aiming for a coherent and systematically ordered set of reasons that compel artists to draw—a goal that seems elusive, given the widespread practice of drawing—we introduce a broad selection of works of art, and each is probed for being a record of a directed artistic intervention. Each models a different way of embedding information in a work of art and adds a new facet to our understanding of drawing, offering insights into the creative process as it shaped work in artists’ studios of the past 500 years and continues to evolve today.”

Highlights of the exhibition include:

-A double-sided drawing after Donatello’s “Miracle of Miser’s Heart,” (1505-1520) from the workshop of Raphael, reproduces figurative groups from Donatello’s bronze reliefs for the high altar of Sant’Antonio, Padua.

-A rapid sketch by Peter Paul Rubens, The Death of Dido (1600-1603), depicts the first Queen of Carthage, in despair over Aeneas’ departure, falling on a sword.

 -The End of the Hunt (1892) was the first Winslow Homer watercolor to enter a museum collection, capturing the untamed nature of the Adirondacks. 

-Alberto Giacometti’s portrait of his friend James Lord, sketched on the last page of a political review by French intellectual and literary figure Georges Bataille from 1948.

-Michelle Stuart’s record of the ground outside her home, entitled Little Moray Hill (1973), produced by placing the paper directly on the dirt and rubbing on it with graphite to transfer the most minute topographical distinctions.

 -Ed Ruscha’s Fix (1972), which completely obliterated the traces of the artist’s hand in a drawing with gunpowder on paper, only to evoke verbally the medium’s ability to record movement in permanence.

-The Jerome Project (2015) by Titus Kaphar combines the portraits of three young black men whose tragic deaths prompted a national conversation around racial profiling, policing, and gun violence: Trayvon Martin (died February 26, 2012), Michael Brown (died August 9, 2014), and Tamir Rice (died November 22, 2014), which outlines the subjects’ faces in white chalk on asphalt-coated roofing paper.

The fully illustrated, 192-page catalogue that accompanies the exhibition is published by Del Monico-Prestel. In a departure from traditional scholarly catalogues, Why Draw? foregrounds artistic processes and personal perceptions of the impact and significance of drawing on artistic practice through time.

The Museum is pleased to announce a series of exhibition related public programs throughout the summer, with events ranging from a group discussion on the history and impetus behind collecting, talks on notable artists, the Museum’s historic holdings, and the importance of drawing to an artist’s practice. Highlights include:

-Why Draw? artist Natalie Frank, creator of widely exhibited and critically acclaimed illustrations of the “unsanitized” fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, will visit the Museum to discuss the implications of her works for women, their bodies, desires, and fears on May 2.

- Museum Co-Director Frank Goodyear will lead a discussion on the drawings of Winslow Homer and their historic importance in the Museum on July 18. 

-George Keyes, former curator at the Detroit Institute of Art, will host a workshop on the practice of collecting Old Master works and the history of studying European prints and drawings on July 27.

-Joachim Homann, the exhibition curator, will analyze the use of the figure in the European avant-garde, focusing on master works by Egon Schiele, Pablo Picasso, and Henry Moore on August 22.

-Artist Andrea Sulzer will lead a workshop called Tracing the Artist’s Hand, including both hands-on activities and a discussion on the changing approaches to mark-making on paper on August 24.

-An evening dedicated to changing artistic and cultural attitudes toward paper with Caroline O. Fowler, Department of Art History, Yale University; Ruth Fine, former curator, National Gallery of Art; Marjorie Shelley, Conservator in Charge, Works on Paper, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, on August 31.

About the Bowdoin College Museum of Art

The collections of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art are among the most comprehensive of any college museum in the United States. Collecting commenced over 200 years ago with a major gift from the College’s founder, James Bowdoin III, and his family that included Gilbert Stuart’s magnificent portraits of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

The Museum is housed in the landmark Walker Art Building, designed in 1894 by Charles Follen McKim. Located on the historic quadrangle of Bowdoin College, the building is graced by murals by John La Farge, Kenyon Cox, Elihu Vedder, and Abbott Thayer. A $20.8-million renovation and expansion in 2007 provided a stunning setting for objects as diverse as monumental Assyrian reliefs from Nimrud, Iraq; European Old Master paintings; and works by American Modernists. The Museum is the centerpiece of Bowdoin’s vibrant arts and culture community and offers a wealth of academic and educational programs. The Museum is also a prominent summer venue for major exhibitions such as Edward Hopper’s Maine (2011); William Wegman: Hello Nature (2012); Maurice Prendergast: By the Sea (2013); Richard Tuttle: A Print Retrospective (2014); Night Vision: Nocturnes in American Art, 1860-1960 (2015); and This Is a Portrait If I Say So: Identity in American Art, 1912 to Today (2016). 

Fully accessible, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art is open to the public free of charge from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday; 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday.

Image: Untitled Drawing, 1943 graphite and colored crayon, by Arshile Gorky, American, 1904-1948. Gift of Walter K. Gutman, Class of 1924. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

LivingBook.jpgPhiladelphia, PA--April 24, 2017--The Library Company of Philadelphia is excited to announce the opening of a new exhibition, The Living Book: New Perspectives on Form and Function. The exhibition will open Thursday, May 9, 2017 and run through Friday, January 5, 2018. The Library Company's exhibition gallery is free and open to the public Mondays through Fridays from 9:00am - 4:45pm. Curated by the Library Company's McLean Conservation Department, The Living Book will provide a new perspective on the material culture of the book.

As we spend more and more time reading off of screens and digital devices, the days of the paper book are widely believed to be numbered. However, books have been a constant in our lives for centuries. Books of all shapes and sizes are common objects used for education, reflection, work, and fun. This multi-media exhibition showcases the incredible versatility and variety of forms of books, both as a way of illustrating their importance to human culture, but also the remarkable adaptability that will ensure their permanence.

The exhibition will explore details such as homemade repairs, handwritten notes, and sentimental tokens that bring the book to life. These details, which are often overlooked, convey a sense of each book's unique story. According to Chief of Conservation Jennifer Rosner and Conservators Alice Austin and Andrea Krupp, "...we searched for and enjoyed finding unusual books in our collection, and we're excited to share them... [and], for the first time we'll be able to show books in motion on a video screen. We hope that visitors will leave the exhibit with a new appreciation for the book and its role in everyday life."

Also included are various materials and ephemera, including prints, photographs, broadsides, and advertisements. Books help us remember the past, record the present, and imagine the future. The Living Book will inspire you to think about how we use books in our daily life, and the value of its preservation for discovery and exploration in the future.

On May 9th, the Library Company will host an Exhibition Opening featuring remarks from Edwin Wolf 2nd Director, Dr. Michael J. Barsanti, and the curators of the exhibition. The highlight of the evening will be a collector's discussion held by renowned book collector, Michael Zinman. 

Michael Zinman, Trustee Emeritus of the Library Company, is a collector of American imprints and American trade bindings. Through gifts and purchases, Mr. Zinman has contributed over 14,000 books, pamphlets, and broadsides to the Michael Zinman Collection of Early American Imprints, acquired by the Library Company in 2000. It is the largest such collection assembled in the 20th  century and larger than all but a handful of institutional collections. 

Several spring programs and events will be held in conjunction with the exhibition. All events will be held at the Library Company of Philadelphia, unless otherwise specified. Details and links to registration can be found at  www.librarycompany.org/events.

What: Medical History Collection and The Living Book Tour

Ticket Price: Free for Members/ $10 for Non- Members

When: Tuesday, May 16 at 2:30pm

This two-part tour includes a collections review with the Library Company co-Director of the Visual Culture Program and Associate Curator of Prints & Photographs, Erika Piola and exclusive The Living Book tour with exhibition curators.

What: The Living Book Symposium

Ticket Price: Free for Members/ $15 for Non- Members

When: Thursday, May 18 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm/ Reception to follow

This half-day symposium, will bring together three experts to share their unique perspectives on the book. Speakers include Mark Dimunation, Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress; Alice Austin, Library Company Conservator; and Russell Maret, a type designer and private press printer in New York City. 

What: Book Club: On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Looks

Ticket Price: Free for Members/ $10 for Non- Members

When: Thursday, June 1 at 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Conservator Alice Austin will lead the discussion on select chapters from On the Map. Join us for an interesting conversation and a pop-up exhibition featuring some of the Library Company's most fascinating maps.

About The Library Company of Philadelphia

Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library and educational institution specializing in American and global history from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. Claiming one of the world's largest holdings of early American imprints, the Library Company also has internationally-renowned collections in early African American history, economic history, women's history, the history of medicine, and visual culture. The Library Company promotes access to these collections through fellowships, exhibitions, programs, and online resources. To find out more, please visit www.librarycompany.org 

sahagun_500.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.— A sweeping international loan exhibition at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens will explore how the depiction of Latin American nature contributed to art and science during the colonial era, at the time of contact with Europeans from the late 1400s to the mid-1800s. “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin,” on view in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery from Sept. 16, 2017 to Jan. 8, 2018, will feature more than 150 paintings, rare books, illustrated manuscripts, prints, and drawings from The Huntington’s holdings as well as from dozens of other collections. Many of these works will be on view for the first time in the United States.

“Visual Voyages” will be complemented by a richly illustrated book, along with an array of other programs and exhibitions, including a sound installation by Mexican experimental composer Guillermo Galindo. The exhibition is a part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA initiative, an exploration of Latin American and Latino art that involves more than 70 arts institutions across Southern California.

“Despite notorious depredation of people and resources during the period, the brilliant work of a number of Latin Americans and Europeans helped to illuminate our understanding of the natural world,” said Catherine Hess, chief curator of European art at The Huntington and co-curator of “Visual Voyages.” “We aim to shed light on this relatively unexamined piece of the story—to show how beautiful, surprising, and deeply captivating depictions of nature in Latin America reshaped our understanding of the region and, indeed, the world—essentially linking art and the natural sciences.”

“Visual Voyages” looks at how indigenous peoples, Europeans, Spanish Americans, and individuals of mixed-race descent depicted natural phenomena for a range of purposes and from a variety of perspectives: artistic, cultural, religious, commercial, medical, and scientific. The exhibition examines the period that falls roughly between Christopher Columbus's first voyage in 1492 and Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859, a work based largely on Darwin’s own voyage to the region in the 1830s.

“Information and materials circulated at an unprecedented rate as people transformed their relationship to the natural world and to each other,” said Daniela Bleichmar, associate professor of art history and history at the University of Southern California (USC) and co-curator of the exhibition. “Images served not only as artistic objects of great beauty but also as a means of experiencing, understanding, and possessing the natural world. These depictions circulated widely and allowed viewers—then and now—to embark on their own ‘visual voyages’.”

Bleichmar, who was born in Argentina and raised in Mexico, is an expert on the history of science, art, and cultural contact in the early modern period. Her publications include the prize-winning book Visible Empire: Botanical Expeditions and Visual Culture in the Hispanic Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press, 2012).

The Huntington’s three collection areas—library, art, and botanical—all contribute to “Visual Voyages.” Its Library is one of the world’s greatest research institutions in the fields of British and American history, art, and the history of science, stretching from the 11th century to the present, and includes such riches as the first European depiction of a pineapple and a rare 16th-century manuscript atlas that includes three stunning maps of the Americas. From The Huntington’s art holdings, Frederic Edwin Church’s monumental painting Chimborazo (1864) will be on display, depicting a Latin American landscape both real and imaginary. The Huntington’s 120 acres of gardens include several thousand plant species from Latin America, including pineapple, vanilla, cacao, and various orchids and succulents.

Visitor Experience

Designed by Chu+Gooding Architects of Los Angeles, “Visual Voyages” engages visitors through an evocative installation that includes interactive media, display cases of specimens and rare materials, and two walls almost completely covered with grids of visually arresting depictions of botanical specimens and still lifes.

The exhibition opens with a playful display of taxidermy mounts to make vivid the rare animals that captured the imagination of Europeans and were avidly collected during the period.

“Visual Voyages” then begins with a section on “Rewriting the Book of Nature,” in which manuscripts, maps, and publications show how nature came to be reconsidered in the first century of contact. This section includes a copy of the 1493 letter Christopher Columbus wrote to the King and Queen of Spain while on the return leg of his first voyage to the New World. He writes that the region is “so fertile that, even if I could describe it, one would have difficulty believing in its existence.” This section highlights the many contributions of indigenous Americans to the exploration of New World nature, among them two large-scale maps painted by indigenous artists in Mexico and Guatemala; a volume from the Florentine Codex, a 16th-century Mexican manuscript on loan from the Laurentian Library, Florence; and a spectacular feather cape created by the Tupinambá of Brazil.

Next, a gallery called “The Value of Nature” explores the intertwining of economic and spiritual approaches to Latin American nature. Commercial interests resulted in the investigation, depiction, and commercialization of such natural commodities as tobacco and chocolate. Indigenous religions considered the natural world to be infused with the divine, while Christian perspectives led observers to envision Latin American nature as both rich in signs of godliness as well as marked with signs of the devil—and needing eradication. Various depictions of the passion flower, a New World plant, show how the flower’s form recalled to missionaries the instruments of Christ’s Passion.

A third section, “Collecting: From Wonder to Order,” shows how the “wonder” that European collectors held for the astonishing material coming from the New World became a desire to possess and, later, to “order” this material, following systems of taxonomy and classification. On view will be a spectacular set of large paintings depicting Brazilian fruits and vegetables by the Dutch painter Albert Eckhout (ca.1610-1665) as well as 30 artful, vivid, and detailed drawings of botanical specimens painted by artists from New Granada (present-day Columbia, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Peru, northern Brazil, and western Guyana), never before seen in the United States.

The final section of the exhibition, called “New Landscapes,” examines scientific and artistic perspectives on Latin America created in the 19th century, a period when a new wave of voyagers explored the region and independence wars resulted in the emergence of new nations. The Romantic and imperial visions of artists and scientists from Europe and the U.S. are juxtaposed with the patriotic and modernizing visions of artists and scientists from Latin America, who envisioned nature as an integral part of national identity. This juxtaposition can be seen visually in the pairing of The Huntington’s monumental Chimborazo by Church with the equally monumental Valley of Mexico (1877) by Mexican painter José María Velasco, on loan from the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico City.

Gallery text is in Spanish and English.

Exhibition Catalog

“Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin” is accompanied by a hardcover book of the same title written by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of the exhibition. In a narrative addressed to general audiences as well as students and scholars, Bleichmar reveals the fascinating story of the interrelationship of art and science in Latin America and Europe during the period. Published by Yale University Press in association with The Huntington, the 256-page book contains 153 color illustrations. $50.00. Available beginning in September 2017 at the Huntington Store and online at thehuntingtonstore.org

Related exhibitions and programs

The Huntington will present an array of public programs to complement “Visual Voyages,” including a lecture, a curator tour, and focused exhibitions. Updated information about related programs is available at huntington.org

Guillermo Galindo Installation and Performance

Experimental composer, sonic architect, and performance artist Guillermo Galindo will create an outdoor sound installation and performance at The Huntington during the run of the exhibition. The program is part of USC Annenberg’s Musical Interventions, a series of public events organized for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA by Josh Kun, historian of popular music and recently named a MacArthur Fellow.

Nuestro Mundo

Sept. 16, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018

Flora-Legium Gallery, Brody Botanical Center, weekends only

About two dozen paintings by students of Art Division make up this installation of works inspired by “Visual Voyages.” Art Division is a non-profit organization dedicated to training and supporting underserved Los Angeles youth who are committed to studying the visual arts.

In Pursuit of Flora: Eighteenth-Century Botanical Drawings from The Huntington’s Art Collections

Oct. 28, 2017-Feb. 19, 2018

Huntington Art Gallery, Works on Paper room

European exploration of other lands during the so-called Age of Discovery revealed a vast new world of plant life that required description, cataloging, and recording. By the 18th century, the practice of botanical illustration had become an essential tool of natural history, and botanical illustrators had developed strategies for presenting accurate information through exquisitely rendered images. From lusciously detailed drawings of fruit and flowers by Georg Dionysius Ehret (1708-1770), a collaborator of Linnaeus, to stunning depictions of more exotic examples by the talented amateur Matilda Conyers (1753-1803), In Pursuit of Flora reveals the 18th-century appreciation for the beauty of the natural world.

Conference at The Getty Center
Indigenous Knowledge and the Making of Colonial Latin America

Dec. 8-10, 2017

This symposium will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to explore the ways in which indigenous knowledge contributed to the making of colonial Latin America. A dozen talks will examine practices related to art, architecture, science, medicine, governance, and the study of the past, among other topics. Curator-led visits to two related exhibitions—“Visual Voyages” at The Huntington and “Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas” at The J. Paul Getty Museum—will allow participants to view magnificent examples of work by indigenous artists and authors, including more than half a dozen rare pictorial manuscripts (codices).

The symposium is organized by Daniela Bleichmar, co-curator of Visual Voyages and Kim Richter, co-curator of “Golden Kingdoms” and senior research specialist at the Getty Research Institute, with funding from the USC-Huntington Early Modern Studies Institute, the Seaver Institute, and the Getty Research Institute. For registration and more information, visit getty.edu.

Image: Bernardino de Sahagún (1499-1590) and indigenous artists and scribes, impersonator of Huitzilopochtli and celebrants adorned with flowers in the Historia General de las Cosas de la Nueva España, (General History of the Things of New Spain), also known as the Florentine Codex, ca. 1577, ink and color on paper, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence Ms. Med. Laur. Palat. 220. Reproduced with permission of MiBACT.

 

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 9.03.04 AM.pngLOS ANGELES - For centuries, Italy has fascinated travelers and artists alike. From the crumbling ruins of ancient Rome to the crystal-clear light of Venice, artists have found inspiration not only in the cities but also in the countryside and in Italy’s rich history and culture. The Lure of Italy: Artists’ Views, on view May 9 through July 30, 2017, explores the numerous ways Italy’s topography, history, and culture have motivated artists to create works of extraordinary beauty and resonance. The exhibition, selected from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection of drawings and watercolors, includes several important recent acquisitions, including works by Francesco Guardi and Richard Parkes Bonington.

“For many, Italy represented - and still represents today - a stunningly lush treasure of scenic wonder, with picturesque ancient sculptures, historic buildings, and dramatic landscapes,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This exhibition bears witness to the long-standing love affair that artists have had with the country of Italy.”

Italy - a collection of city-states until unification in the 1800s - has captured the imagination of artists for centuries, yet interest in the country peaked in the 1700s, when the region became a prime destination for wealthy travelers embarking on the Grand Tour from England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, and beyond. Artists journeying with them or working for them used pencil, ink, and watercolor to capture celebrated views and preserve vivid memories, creating works that encapsulate the essence and spirit of Italy.

Italian natives such as Guardi, Canaletto, and Giovanni Battista Lusieri responded to the tourist demand for souvenirs by crafting their own masterpieces. Guardi’s A Regatta on the Grand Canal (about 1778), a recent acquisition for the Getty, conveys with freshness and spontaneity the lively atmosphere of the annual gondola race (regatta) in Venice. The finish line is at left and spectators crowd the balconies of the nearby Palazzo Balbi, while the water bustles with decorated gondolas.

Further south, the Bay of Naples was another favorite destination of Grand Tourists. Lusieri’s huge, nearly nine-foot wide panorama, A View of the Bay of Naples (about 1791) is meticulously executed in tiny detail with watercolor. It was painted over a period of two years from the residence of Sir William Hamilton, the British envoy to the court of Naples, who commissioned it for his London home. The view looks towards the Capo di Posillipo and the so-called grotto there, a feat of ancient-Roman engineering.

Other highlights include sketches of enchanting sites with plunging perspectives through the rich Italian countryside, capriccio scenes caught between fantasy and reality, studies of ancient ruins, Roman landmarks and lauded works of art, and views of the most picturesque and awe-inspiring sights that Italy has to offer.

During his only visit to Venice, two years prior to his death at age 25 from tuberculosis, Richard Parkes Bonington made numerous pencil sketches and a handful of oil and watercolor studies of the city. The jewel-like Riva degli Schiavoni, from near San Biagio, Venice (1826) emphasizes his renowned ability to capture the effects of calm water and dramatic cloud formations in watercolor. This match of subject and media helped to make the magical atmosphere of the city the real subject of his work. "The extraordinary character of Italian cityscapes and landscapes pushed artists to the limits of their potential,” says Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings and curator of the exhibition. “To render them effectively, the choices of media and technique became crucial.”

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with Eyewitness Views: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe (May 9 -July 30, 2017) on view in the Special Exhibitions Pavilion at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

The Lure of Italy: Artists’ Views is curated by Julian Brooks, senior curator of drawings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, with the assistance of Annie Correll, graduate intern in the Department of Drawings. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from May 9 through July 30, 2017. A richly illustrated gift book, The Lure of Italy: Artists’ Views, published by the Getty complements the exhibition.

Thoreau 3.jpgNew York, NY, April 17, 2017 — Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) occupies a lofty place in American cultural history. He spent two years in a cabin by Walden Pond and a single night in jail, and out of those experiences grew two of this country’s most influential works: his book Walden and the essay known as “Civil Disobedience.” But his lifelong journal—more voluminous by far than his published writings—reveals a fuller, more intimate picture of a man of wide-ranging interests and a profound commitment to living responsibly and passionately.

Now, in a major new exhibition entitled This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal opening June 2 at the Morgan Library & Museum, nearly one hundred items have been brought together in the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the author. Marking the 200th anniversary of his birth and organized in partnership with the Concord Museum in Thoreau’s hometown of Concord, Massachusetts, the show centers on the journal he kept throughout his life and its importance in understanding the essential Thoreau. More than twenty of Thoreau’s journal notebooks are shown along with letters and manuscripts, books from his library, pressed plants from his herbarium, and important personal artifacts. Also featured are the only two photographs for which he sat during his lifetime, shown together for the first time. The exhibition runs through September 10.

“Henry David Thoreau has variously been cast as naturalist, hermit philosopher, and political activist,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “However, none of these labels do justice to the breadth of his interests and his enormous impact on American culture and letters. It is perhaps only in his journal that one finds Thoreau in full voice, commenting thoughtfully on a range of topics, from the seemingly mundane to the historic events of his day.  The Morgan is pleased to partner with the Concord Museum in bringing this extraordinary exhibition to the public.”

“For the first time, the surviving personal artifacts—from Thoreau’s simple green desk to his beloved flute— will temporarily be on view outside of his hometown of Concord,” explained Margaret Burke, Executive Director of the Concord Museum. “Two centuries after his birth, we believe that much can be learned from Thoreau and his perception of the world. Throughout 2017, the Concord Museum is celebrating his Bicentennial with programs, events, gallery talks, and special exhibitions. We are particularly proud of our collaboration with the Morgan Library and that the exhibition will also be on view at the Concord Museum beginning September 29.”

THE EXHIBITION 

Give me the old familiar walk, post office & all - with this ever new self - with this infinite expectation and faith. . . . -Thoreau’s journal, November 1, 1858

Thoreau’s journal 

The Morgan holds almost all of Thoreau’s surviving journal—forty simple volumes filled with the observations and reflections of a lifetime. Throughout the exhibition, his notebooks are paired with resonant objects—his flute with a journal entry about the importance of listening, his spyglass with an observation about birds he saw while peering through it, a bundle of nails from his cabin by Walden Pond alongside a notebook he used while living there. At the center of the gallery stands the simple green desk on which he wrote the thousands of pages of his journal over the course of a quarter century, convinced that a closely examined life would yield infinite riches. 

Neighbor

Thoreau’s journal begins and ends in Concord—the Massachusetts town where he spent most of his forty-four years. It was there that he opened his first notebook in 1837 and closed his final one in 1861, as he began to grow weary with tuberculosis. One of the most frequently quoted lines from Thoreau’s journal, dated December 5, 1856, reflects his profound connection with his native place: “I have never got over my surprise that I should have been born into the most estimable place in all the world - & in the very nick of time, too.” 

Concord—less than twenty miles from Boston—was an intellectually vibrant place. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thoreau’s dynamic neighbor, led discussions about the future of American society. Antislavery activists Wendell Phillips and Frederick Douglass passed through town (and through the Thoreau family house) with urgent calls for reform. The exhibition features intimate records of Thoreau’s relationships with many of his Concord contemporaries, from a diary of fellow author Nathaniel Hawthorne to a heartbreaking letter from Louisa May Alcott describing how friends laid Thoreau’s body to rest beneath a wreath of flowers in 1862. She predicted that “though his life seemed too short, it would blossom & bear fruit for as long after he was gone.”

Student and Worker 

Thoreau entered Harvard College in 1833 at age sixteen and followed a traditional course of study based on rote memorization, recitation, and repetition. Though he is said to have complained that Harvard taught “all the branches” of learning but “none of the roots,” college was a transformative experience for him. His immersion in classical and modern languages, literature, and natural history set the course for a lifetime of self-directed reading and study. The exhibition features playful correspondence from Thoreau’s college classmates as well as student essays that contain hints of the big ideas that would continue to engage him, from the importance of simplicity to the value of independent thought. 

It was just after graduation that Thoreau began to keep a journal of his observations and reflections. His earliest surviving journal is on view, open to an entry that served as a guiding principle for his lifelong practice: “My desire is to know what I have lived, that I may know how to live henceforth.” 

Throughout his life Thoreau found various ways to, in his words, “get a living”—working as a teacher, schoolmaster, handyman, lecturer, writer, pencil maker, and, most regularly, as a surveyor. At the same time, he aimed to reverse the usual balance. How could he work less and live more? Shortly after he turned forty, he wrote a journal entry, dated October 29, 1857, concluding that he had chosen the professions best suited to his temperament. “I have aspired to practice in succession all the honest arts of life,” he wrote, “that I may gather all their fruits.” 

Reader and Thinker 

Thoreau read voraciously and in several languages, often with pen in hand, copying extracts into the same type of notebook in which he kept his journal. The exhibition includes a blank book he began using in college to copy selections from his reading. He devoted sixteen full pages to The Laws of Manu, an English translation of a classical Hindu text that influenced him profoundly. It is shown alongside Thoreau’s own copy of the Bhagavad-Gítá, another of his most cherished texts. Also on view are selections from Thoreau’s extensive self-directed study of indigenous North American cultures—a project that comprised some three thousand handwritten pages in a dozen notebooks. 

For Thoreau and many of his Concord contemporaries, a journal was the perfect venue in which to cultivate a dynamic, direct relationship with nature rather than relying only on books, teachers, elders, and religious authorities. He also famously committed himself to living responsibly and focused his thinking and writing on consumerism, materialism, individualism, spirituality, and what we now call environmentalism. 

Thoreau was a passionate abolitionist and sometimes provided assistance to African Americans who had escaped from slavery as they made their way to Canada via the Underground Railroad. He wrote almost nothing about these illegal activities in his journal. What he did express—at length—was his fury with a government that sanctioned an institution as heinous as slavery. 

In 1846, Thoreau spent a night in jail for failure to pay a tax in protest against state-sanctioned slavery. Out of that experience he developed his most influential essay, “Resistance to Civil Government” (later published as “Civil Disobedience”), which is shown in its first printed appearance alongside the lock salvaged from Thoreau’s jail cell. 

In the years that followed, Thoreau became the most outspoken public apologist for the militant abolitionist John Brown and turned again to his journal to rail against a government “that pretends to be Christian & crucifies a million Christs every day.” Many of these journal entries made their way, in revised form, into his fiery public speeches and published essays. 

Writer and Observer

As a young man, Thoreau wrote poetry, but he found his voice in prose. He published two books during his lifetime: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, which did not cause much of a stir, and Walden, which most certainly did. Both of these works and others had their beginnings in his journal. In lectures and published works, Thoreau developed a first-person public voice designed to provoke, tease, stimulate, challenge, and, sometimes, entertain. In his private writings, he let his words flow more naturally, expressing surprise, anger, frustration, awe, joy, and even ecstasy. In his early notebooks, he often extracted pages and repurposed the text. Later, though, he left the volumes intact. Over time, the journal became his most essential work of art. 

Walden, published in 1854, would make Thoreau an American legend—a first edition copy is on view. The title page illustration is based on Sophia Thoreau’s drawing of the cabin where her brother Henry lived for two years, two months, and two days on the shores of Concord’s Walden Pond. In writing the book he pulled heavily from his journal entries. It was toward the end of his composition process that he added the iconic first paragraph, a draft of which is on view: 

When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only. I lived there two years and two months. At present I am a sojourner in civilized life again. 

Thoreau walked for hours every day and in all seasons and used his journal to record, in great detail, what he observed. As he grew older, his engagement with the natural world intensified and he spent years logging descriptions of natural phenomena. The exhibition features pressed plants from his herbarium and examples of the detailed phenological tables he drew up late in his life, pulling extensive data on plant flowering from past journal entries. “I have the habit of attention to such excess that my senses get no rest,” he wrote in 1852. But he reminded himself that observation was not all about effort: “Go not to the object, let it come to you.” 

Epilogue

Did Thoreau intend his journal to be read by the public? He repurposed and revised many passages during his lifetime and shared them in lectures and published writings. At the same time, the enterprise was deeply personal. “Says I to my-self should be the motto of my Journal,” he wrote in 1851. 

On view in the exhibition is his final entry, made in November 1861 after a violent rainstorm. He was paying attention, as he had done all his life, to ordinary details and seeing what conclusions he could draw. The second half of the notebook is empty. He died six months later.  

Organization and Sponsorship 

This Ever New Self: Thoreau and his Journal is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the Concord Museum, Concord, Massachusetts. The curator of the exhibition at the Morgan is Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, the Morgan Library & Museum. The curator of the exhibition at the Concord Museum is David Wood, Curator, the Concord Museum. The exhibition will travel to the Concord Museum, September 29, 2017-January 21, 2018. 

The exhibition is made possible with lead funding from an anonymous donor, generous support from the Gilder Foundation, and assistance from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. 

The programs of the Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

Image: Benjamin D. Maxham (1821-1889), Henry D. Thoreau, Daguerreotype, Worcester, Massachusetts, June 18, 1856. Berg Collection, New York Public Library.

500_goyaprintsimage5-1955-62-13-pma2016-cr.jpgThe Philadelphia Museum of Art will present an exhibition of works by Francisco Goya, featuring selections from the artist’s most ambitious series of prints, made between 1797 and 1825. As a court painter to four successive rulers of Spain, Goya was witness to decades of political turmoil and social change. Witness: Reality and Imagination in the Prints of Francisco Goya includes examples from the Museum’s complete first editions of Los Caprichos (The Caprices), Los Desastres de la Guerra (The Disasters of War), La Tauromaquia (Bullfighting) and Los Disparates (The Follies). These prints address a broad variety of themes, from the spectacle of bullfighting to the chaos and brutality of life in Spain during the Napoleonic wars, and reflect how Goya often blurred the boundaries between documentary realism and expressive invention.

Beginning in the 1790s, Goya turned to printmaking as a means of addressing the dramatic changes then occurring in Spanish society and to convey his complex, personal vision of contemporary life. The exhibition begins with his first major series of etchings, Los Caprichos (1799), in which Goya explored provocative subjects such as superstition, anticlerical satire, and prostitution, that would have been deemed unsuitable for his commissioned paintings. Many prints in this series, such as the celebrated etching, “The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters,” reveal the influence of the Enlightenment, the intellectual movement which championed reason in guiding human thought and social behavior. In this work, often interpreted as a self-portrait, an artist sleeps at his drawing table surrounded by birds and animals that symbolize the forces that haunt his dreams and challenge a rational view of the world.

In his series Los Desastres de la Guerra (1810-1820), Goya provides an intimate view of the many brutal events that occurred during the Napoleonic occupation of Spain and their repercussions. With their unflinching portrayal of violence and despair, these prints illustrate the hardships endured during the war and attest to Goya’s ability to imbue imagined scenes with captivating realism.

Juxtaposed with grim scenes of the war and its devastation are Goya’s thrilling depictions of bullfighting. The etchings from La Tauromaquia (1816) chronicle Goya’s view of the history of the sport, from ancient Spaniards hunting wild beasts to professional matadors in the bullring. While the prints are widely admired for their dynamic portrayal of the quintessentially Spanish practice, Goya was undoubtedly aware of the irony of celebrating such spectacles of violence in the aftermath of war. He revisited the subject a decade later in a magnificent suite of large lithographs known as the Bulls of Bordeaux (1825), which are also on view in the exhibition.

The final section of the exhibition highlights Goya’s most enigmatic series, Los Disparates, (c. 1815-1823). The prints display Goya’s interest in technical innovation as he combined etched lines and gradations of aquatint tone to create surreal compositions that continue to fascinate viewers and scholars.

Danielle Canter, the Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow in the Prints, Drawings, and Photographs department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “Goya was a remarkably perceptive witness to his time. His graphic works allowed him to grapple with the impact of shifting cultural values, civil unrest, and the war around him. While the prints are intrinsically tied to his experience, Goya’s insightful representations of the human condition and his expressive vision continue to resonate with viewers today.”

Curators
Danielle Canter, The Margaret R. Mainwaring Curatorial Fellow
Shelley Langdale, Associate Curator of Prints and Drawings

Location
Korman Galleries 120-123

Image: A Way of Flying, c. 1815 1823 (published 1864). Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes, Spanish, 1746 1828. Etching and aquatint, Plate: 9 5/8 x 13 3/4 inches (24.4 x 34.9 cm) Sheet: 13 3/16 × 18 7/8 inches (33.5 × 48 cm). Philadelphia Museum of Art, Gift of Marion B. F. Ingersoll, 1955.

The word calligraphy comes from the Greek for “beautiful” (calli) and “writing” (graphy).  It is an art with a long and noble history, going back many centuries and spanning cultures.  Exhibitions and collections of Asian art, Persian art, and even Medieval Western art have always included examples of beautiful writing, yet modern Western calligraphy has not been recognized as an art form. This exhibition, The Calligraphy Revival 1906-2016, on view at the Grolier Club from May 17 through July 29, 2017, aims to correct that oversight.  Curator Jerry Kelly, an award-winning book designer, type designer, typographer, and calligrapher, is presenting major examples of calligraphic art by more than 80 Western artists spanning the years 1906 to 2016, demonstrating how alive - even thriving - the art has remained in the West, even in the computer age.  

CALLIGRAPHY AS A FINE ART

“Surely the alphabet is one of the major accomplishments of mankind,” notes Mr. Kelly.  “The expression of this utilitarian creation can rise to the level of fine art, just as architecture, photography, and other ‘useful’ expressions of the human mind are appreciated as art.  It is an unfortunate distinction of beautiful writing that, while these other arts have been exhibited at major museums throughout the world, calligraphy remains under-appreciated.  We hope this selection will help to expose more people to the beauty and expression of the handwritten letter arts.” 

THE CALLIGRAPHY REVIVAL

The art of calligraphy has enjoyed a remarkable revival over the past century or more, spurred on in large part by the teaching of the British scribe Edward Johnston (1872-1944).  Johnston’s students, such as Graily Hewitt and Irene Wellington, spread his principles through succeeding generations of calligraphers.  His manual, Writing & Illuminating, & Lettering, originally published in 1906, has been the calligrapher’s bible ever since. 

Another important influence from around the same time is Rudolf Koch of Germany, who also trained a remarkable group of students, as well as publishing several instruction books.  The same year that Johnston’s manual was published, 1906, a piece of Koch’s calligraphy was first reproduced in Vienna, in Künstlerischer Schrift.  That year is seen as the starting point of the modern revival of calligraphy. 

Most of the artists in this exhibition can trace their roots back to these two seminal calligraphers.  For example, Alfred Fairbank was a student of Graily Hewitt.  Karlgeorg Hoefer studied at the Technische Lehranstalt in Offenbach, Germany, where Koch had established a calligraphy program; and Hermann Zapf was self-taught from the manuals of both Johnston and Koch.  All are represented by work in the show.

THE SCOPE OF THE EXHIBITION

The show is representative of the variety of calligraphic work done over the past 110 years, a most fruitful period in the history of the art.  In addition to the best-known artists of this period, some not-so-well-known scribes have also been included in the mix.  Only one work per calligrapher is presented, no matter how important or prolific the artist may be. 

The selections were made in consultation with several calligraphers: Christopher Calderhead (editor, Letter Arts Review, Charlottesville, NC), Anna Pinto (board member, The Society of Scribes, New York, NY), Rob Saunders (founder and curator, Letterform Archive, San Francisco, CA), and Julian Waters (award-winning lettering artist, Washington, DC). In some instances, the scribes themselves were asked to select a piece for inclusion.  

Examples of the letter arts focus primarily on works in the Latin alphabet, with two exceptions: a few lines in Hebrew culminating in the word “Shalom,” in Ismar David’s silkscreen print (the rest of the lettering in that broadside is in the Latin alphabet), and some Arabic, Japanese, and Tibetan scripts are incorporated into the artwork by Brody Neuenschwander of Belgium.  In addition to original, one-of-a-kind works, there are a few limited-edition prints by silkscreen, letterpress from hand-cut blocks, and even high-quality offset on special papers, as well as three- dimensional objects: letters hand-cut on slate, hand-glazed on ceramics, hand-cut on wood, and etched on glass. 

Lenders to the exhibition include the Harrison Collection at the San Francisco Public Library, one of the finest repositories of modern calligraphy; Letterform Archive; and various artists from around the world.

ABOUT THE CURATOR

Jerry Kelly’s book design work has been selected more than 30 times for inclusion in the AIGA “Fifty Best Designed Books of the Year” show, and in 2015 he was presented with the Goudy Prize from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  He has written several books and numerous articles on the subjects of calligraphy, book design, and typography.

CATALOGUE:

Accompanying the exhibition is a hardcover catalogue fully illustrated in color. It is available for purchase at the Grolier Club and from Oak Knoll Books. 

PUBLIC EVENTS:

Free Lunchtime Exhibition Tours: June 7 and 21, 1 to 2 PM, led by curator Jerry Kelly.  No reservations required.

Panel Discussion:  May 18, 6 to 7:30 PM.  “Calligraphy as a Fine Art.”  Moderator: Christopher Calderhead, editor, Letter Arts Review.  Speakers: Femke Speelberg, Associate Curator of Prints & Drawings, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Rob Saunders, founder and curator, Letterform Archive; Michael Sull, Certified Master Penman.  Free, but reservations required.  Email Maev Brennan, mbrennan@grolierclub.org.

burning-books.jpgThe Office of Public Works is delighted to announce the official launch today, 5 April 2017, of ‘Burning Books’ - an exhibition detailing the reproduction of 14 volumes of the Irish Parliamentary Journals dating from the 1700’s which were destroyed during the Irish Civil War in 1922.

In the last decade of the 19th century the book collector and amateur book binder Sir Edward Sullivan was shown a collection of 149 large volumes in exquisite bindings that had been stored, unnoticed, over many years in the Public Records Office in Dublin.  They were in fact the Journals of the Houses of Lords and Commons of the old Irish Parliament, that ceased to exist after the 1800 Act of Union.

Sullivan made rubbings of all 149 volumes and photographed 20, intending to publish a large monograph on the subject.  He did not receive enough financial support for this, but did succeed in publishing a small volume, Decorative Book-Binding in Ireland, which was published in 1914 by the Sette of Odd Volumes in London.

We are very fortunate that the National Library of Ireland had Sir Edward’s rubbings, as in 1922, the Public Records Office was destroyed by an explosion and all of the magnificent 149 bindings housed there perished in the flames that engulfed the building.  In 1990 Philip Maddock, a book collector, inspired by images displayed in Maurice Craig’s work ‘Irish Book Bindings 1600-1800’ started to build up a visual database of Irish hand tools used in the book binding process with a view to making a digital reproduction of one of the lost Irish Parliamentary Journals.  This digital reproduction of Commons Journal 1757 was produced in 2006. 

Edward Bayntun-Coward, who carried out a review of this digital reproduction, introduced Maddock to Trevor Lloyd, a renowned bookbinder and restorer.  Subsequently, Lloyd made copies of books in Maddock’s collection to gain experience and knowledge as to how to reproduce accurate copies of the Irish Parliamentary Bindings.

Fourteen volumes of the 149 bindings were reproduced and are on display in Dublin Castle from April 3 to September 1, 2017. Also on display are the tools used in the process, as well as examples of 18th century Irish bindings and some of the printed editions of the Lords and Commons Journals in presentation bindings. 

It is particularly apt that this fascinating exhibition is being facilitated by the OPW at Dublin Castle where six of the volumes are - through an exceptionally generous gesture on the part of Philip Maddock and the Georgian Society - to remain indefinitely.  It is also noteworthy that the OPW was responsible for the construction of the Public Record Office behind the Four Courts, where the original Parliamentary Bindings rested for so many years.

 

image.pngBoston, MA—April 4, 2017—The Boston Athenæum announced today that its spring exhibition will be New England on Paper: Contemporary Art in the Boston Athenæum’s Prints & Photographs Collection. The exhibition, which will run from April 6 to September 3, 2017, is curated by Catharina Slautterback, Curator of Prints & Photographs at the Boston Athenæum. A public gallery opening will take place on April 5.

New England on Paper features a diverse selection of contemporary prints, drawings, and photographs by New England artists purchased by the Athenæum since the year 2000. These objects demonstrate a variety of artistic responses to the region’s urban and rural society and culture. A broad range of media will be represented in the exhibition, from linocuts, lithographs, and white-line woodcuts to hand-toned silver gelatin prints and digital photographs. Artists’ statements will accompany their own works, providing a glimpse into the artistic philosophy of some of New England’s finest artists and artisans.

Curator Catharina Slautterback views the exhibition as a continuation of a longstanding Athenæum tradition: “New England on Paper reflects the Athenæum’s practice of collecting works of art on paper that document New England and the work of regional artists.” As for her approach to collecting for the Athenæum in the 21st century, Slautterback expresses delight in discovering new regional talent. She is committed to curating a highly diverse collection of contemporary works and enthusiastic to have the opportunity: “It is wonderful to emerge from our historic 19th-century collections and work with current artists, whose integrity and dedication never fail to astound.”

Every work in the exhibition was acquired with support from the Francis Hovey Howe Print Fund, established in 2000 in honor of its namesake—a Trustee emerita (1917-2000), early childhood education specialist, and contemporary art collector—through generous gifts from Trustees and members. Established to support regional artists, the fund has facilitated the creation of a sizeable repository of works on paper by contemporary New England artists, a 21st collection that complements and relates to the Athenæum’s historic graphic materials documenting New England society and culture.

Image: Elizabeth A. Goddard, A Playful Sea II, 2006. Monotype. Purchase, Frances Hovey Howe Print Fund, 2012.

April 4—The Library of Congress today opens a major exhibition to commemorate the centennial of World War I.  “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I” tells the stories of Americans in the war, through correspondence, music, film, recorded sound, diaries, posters, photographs, scrapbooks, medals, maps and materials from the Veterans History Project.

The exhibition is located in the Southwest Gallery on the second floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  It is free and open to the public through January 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.  Tickets are not needed.

“Echoes of the Great War” marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into the conflict, on April 6, 1917, when Congress formally declared war on the German Empire.  The fighting ended on Nov. 11, 1918, with the armistice agreement.

Two hundred items are featured in the initial installation, but during the exhibition’s 21-month run, hundreds more will be rotated into the display.

The exhibition is organized into four sections:

“Arguing Over War” features debates about whether Americans should enter the war or remain neutral and examines early efforts at international humanitarian aid by the United States.

“Over Here” explores mobilization for war by the U.S. government and citizens, including enlistment, training, war gardens, Liberty Bond drives, censorship and the significant contributions of women, immigrants and African-Americans to the war effort.

“Over There” highlights the overseas experiences of American soldiers and medical volunteers as they experienced industrialized warfare with its new deadly technologies.

“World Overturned” touches on the war’s effects, as national borders were redrawn, returning soldiers reintegrated into America, and jazz spread across Europe. 

In addition to the exhibition, the Library of Congress has scheduled an array of programming to commemorate the centennial of World War I.  The events and initiatives include lectures, symposia, blogs, publications, digitized collections, War Gardens, veterans’ stories, educational tools, film programs and research guides.  For more information, please visit loc.gov/wwi.

The Library is uniquely prepared to tell the story of U.S. participation in World War I, because it holds the largest multi-format collection of materials on the American experience in the Great War. 

The exhibition is made possible, in part, by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund and developed with the support of the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. Additional support is provided from HISTORY for related educational materials.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

 

2015-0029%20overall%20view%20BT_zpsu3sl7j3o copy.jpgWINTERTHUR, DELAWARE -- Grab your detective hat. Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is opening Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes, a major exhibition offering visitors a Sherlock Holmes-style investigation of some of the most notorious fakes and forgeries of our time, April 1, 2017 - January 7, 2018. Revealing new insights from conservation science, Treasures on Trial includes 40 examples of fakes and forgeries associated with masters such as Henry Matisse, Coco Chanel, Paul Revere, Antonio Stradivari, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and others, drawn from the Winterthur Collection and public and private sources.

Treasures on Trial presents a broad range of works that provide a rather startling view of the scope and sophistication of the counterfeiting market, from fine art to sports memorabilia, couture clothing, wine, antique furniture, and more,” said Linda Eaton, John L. and Marjorie P. McGraw Director of Collections and Senior Curator of Textiles at Winterthur. “Visitors will be able to see a fake Mark Rothko painting that was part of the Knoedler Gallery scandal; sports memorabilia fraudulently associated with Babe Ruth; counterfeit fashion and accessories masquerading as Chanel, Hermès, and Dior; wine purported to have belonged to Thomas Jefferson, as featured in the book Billionaire’s Vinegar; and fake antiques associated with Paul Revere and George Washington, among other fascinating works.”

Eaton co-curated Treasures on Trial with Colette Loll, Founder and Director of Art Fraud Insights, LLC, a Washington, DC, based consultancy dedicated to issues of art fraud.

Some of the fakes and forgeries are exhibited alongside authentic objects and are accompanied by new and rarely seen scientific insights from Winterthur’s own Scientific Research and Analysis Lab. Winterthur’s conservators and scientists are leaders in the field of scientific analysis of fine art and antiques, with a curatorial team renowned for their expert knowledge and historical detective work. The exhibition shows how a combination of provenance, research, connoisseurship skills, and scientific analysis are used to expose a broad range of fakes and forgeries that have fooled collectors and experts alike and reveals fascinating stories about the forgers themselves.

“In my work with law enforcement nationally and internationally, the time-tested tools of meticulous investigative work together with scientific analyses and connoisseurship help solve even the toughest cases involving fakes and forgeries,” said Loll. “Treasures on Trial goes a step beyond traditional exhibits on this topic by uniquely presenting analyses performed at Winterthur’s and other leading labs.”

Eaton said the exhibition is designed to both inform and entertain visitors and even provides them with the opportunity to judge for themselves whether some objects are fake or genuine.

“We’re particularly interested in showing the connection between art and science. Even though these disciplines are often considered separately, they’re both firmly at the center of all efforts to determine authenticity,” Eaton said.

Treasures on Trial features four sections -  Intent, Evidence, Proof?, and You Be the Judge. It features film and video clips plus interactive opportunities.

EXHIBITION HIGHLIGHTS

Intent.  The first section of the exhibition explores the motivation of makers and sellers of fakes with examples of some of the most outrageous scandals of our time.

Highlights:

  • Rothko painting that Glafira Rosales, a Long Island art dealer, sold to the Knoedler Gallery, one of the oldest and most reputable galleries in New York.
  • Forgery created by Han van Meegeren which has only recently been confirmed. Van Meegeren was found guilty of forging old master paintings and selling them to the Nazis during World War II.
  • Watercolor purported to have been painted by Andrew Wyeth, which had been circulating on the art market for many years.
  • Violin with a label claiming that it was made by Antonio Stradivari (1644-1738), whose instruments are considered to be the best ever made. Visitors can listen to recordings made by world-renowned Xiang Gao, the Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Delaware and Founding Director of the Master Players Concert Series, to hear the difference between a fake and a genuine Strad.
  • Silver purported to be by Myer Myers, the first Jewish silversmith in America.
  • Examples of work by Mark Landis, whose career creating fake works of art and donating them to many museums was featured in the Emmy-nominated documentary Art and Craft.
  • Baseball memorabilia purported to have been autographed by sports legend Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle.

Evidence - Using a wide variety of types of objects from postage stamps to weathervanes, this section hones in on the combination of provenance, connoisseurship, and scientific analysis used to determine whether something is fake or real.

Highlights:

  • Materials analysis that proved that a painting could not have been done by Jackson Pollock, whose genuine work is highly valued and widely collected.
  • Postage stamps that were not originally intended to deceive but which have been modified over time to fool collectors.
  • Recent analysis that will help identify the work of Elmyr de Hory, who created thousands of fake works of art, many of which have yet to be discovered.
  • Porcelain purported to have belonged to George Washington showing how one creative forger added decoration featuring the insignia of the Society of the Cincinnati to genuine 18th century Chinese export porcelain to fraudulently increase its value.
  • A collection of silver collected by Arthur Lenssen, a collector who was targeted by two dealers who sold him fakes attributed to Paul Revere and other important early American silversmiths.
  • Folk art by Robert Lawrence Trotter, a struggling artist in Kennett Square who resorted to forgery as a way to make a living.

Proof? - This section of the exhibition discusses some of the difficulties associated with proving whether something is fake or genuine.

Highlights:

  • English ceramics which were clearly proved to be fake but whose maker was acquitted.
  • Windsor chair that was examined by three “experts” who provided differing opinions in court.
  • Painting bought online which is thought to be an early example of the work of Willem de Kooning that shows how it can be equally difficult to prove something is genuine as it is to prove it is fake...
  • “Genuine fakes” created by John Myatt, the painter who made a large number of fake paintings associated with a major scandal in Britain whose work today is widely collected.

You Be the Judge - This final section invites visitors to evaluate works whose authenticity is unresolved and to determine for themselves whether the works are real or fake.

Highlights:

  • Painting purported to be by master forger Elmyr de Hory (whose fakes have themselves become highly collectible).
  • Oil painting whose owner has been trying for many years to prove it a genuine work by Winslow Homer.
  • Vampire killing kit brought to Winterthur for authentication by the Mercer Museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

“We hope this exhibition will inspire everyone to ask the question: ‘Is it real?', and provide them with the methodology to get an answer,’” Eaton said.

The public is invited to attend the variety of public programs organized in conjunction with Treasures on Trial: The Art and Science of Detecting Fakes and to schedule a tour of the house, where objects with “issues” are being highlighted in conjunction with the exhibition.

Treasures on Trial is presented by DuPont. Funded in part by Freeman's.

Visit winterthur.org for more information.

TREASURES ON TRIAL PROGRAMMING

Hands on History Cart 

Saturdays, April 1, 2017-January 2018, 1:00-3:00 pm

Explore the theme of our exhibition Treasures on Trial through hands-on activities. Galleries Reception Atrium. Members free. Included with admission.

Treasures on Trial Documentary Film Series
Art and Craft
May 19, 1:00 pm, Copeland Lecture Hall

The story behind one of the most prolific art forgers in U.S. history, Mark Landis.

Followed by a Q & A with Mark Landis and Colette Loll, Treasures on Trial co-curator. $10 per Member. $15 per nonmember. Reservations suggested.

Treasures on Trial Lecture Series
Evening Lecture: "A Silver Lining: How Fraud in the Fine Art Photography Market Catalyzed Groundbreaking Research and Scholarship"

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
6:00 pm, Copeland Lecture Hall

Paul Messier, Pritzker Director, Lens Media Lab, Yale University Institute for Preservation of Cultural Heritage, will discuss issues of fraud and authenticity in the fine art photography market. $10 per Member.  $15 nonmember.

Evening Lecture: "The Hermès Birkin Bag in a Counterfeit World"
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
6:00 pm, Copeland Lecture Hall

For more than 20 years, the Hermès Birkin bag has been the iconic symbol of fashion, luxury, and wealth. Michael Tonello chronicles the unusual ventures that took him to nearly every continent—and from eBay to Paris auction houses and into the lives of celebrities and poseurs alike—on the road to becoming a successful entrepreneur and Robin Hood to thousands of desperate rich women. Along the ride, we'll learn the secrets to authenticating designer handbags. $10 per Member. $15 per nonmember.

Image: Fake bookplate; Artist unknown; before 2005; Gift of Don Olson 2015.29. Courtesy of Winterthur Museum.

 

Jane+Austen+Volume+the+First_cover copy.jpgOXFORD—To mark 200 years since the death of Jane Austen, a major new exhibition at Oxford University’s Bodleian Libraries will challenge the current public perception of one of England’s greatest literary heroes. 

Which Jane Austen? presents Austen as an ambitious and risk-taking businesswoman and a wartime writer who was informed and inspired by the surprising international adventures of her family and relations. Through a spectacular selection of Austen materials displayed together for the first time, the Bodleian Libraries delve into the myriad influences on this great writer’s work. 

Britain was at war with Revolutionary and Napoleonic France during most of Austen’s adult life and three of her brothers served in the military. This exhibition examines Austen as England’s novelist of the home front and war as the context for the quiet domestic lives of her characters. Novels like Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Persuasion are interpreted in the exhibition as wartime texts and set alongside other war writings including military treatises (of which Austen was an appreciative reader) and political cartoons.

The global journeys of Austen’s well-travelled family to India, Scandinavia, Africa, China, Canada and the West Indies provided her with a rich international outlook. Austen also read many books that dealt with the far corners of the British Empire. This exhibition illustrates the influence of these international links on Austen’s writing, through diaries, letters, naval logbooks and artefacts.  

Also explored is Austen’s success as a professional writer. The exhibition charts her frequent visits to London to oversee the publication process of her books and to relish the cultural and commercial life of the capital. It traces in rich detail her relationship with John Murray II, the most glamorous publisher in London. Lord Byron and Walter Scott, the best-selling authors of the day, were on Murray’s list. 

The Bodleian Libraries have extraordinarily rich Austen holdings and house one of the world’s three most significant collections of Austen materials. The exhibition will also feature items on loan from Oxford college collections, King’s College, Cambridge, Chawton House Library, Jane Austen’s House Museum, the British Library, the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, and the John Murray Archive, National Library of Scotland. 

Professor Kathryn Sutherland, curator of the exhibition and world-leading Austen expert at Oxford University, said: ‘Contrary to popular belief, Jane Austen was no retiring country mouse. And while it is assumed that, as an 18th century female, her context was local and her outlook parochial, Austen was always very much a writer of the world. 

‘To mark the bicentenary of the death of one of our greatest literary heroes, this exhibition presents a 200-year journey ranging from Hampshire to the distant fringes of the British Empire, providing us with glimpses into the many lives of Jane Austen.’

Highlights of the exhibition will include:

  • The Watsons, the earliest surviving manuscript of a novel by Jane Austen in process of development
  • A copy of Volume the First, a collection of short stories, mini-plays, verses and moral fragments that Austen wrote between the ages of 12 and 18.
  • Sanditon, the manuscript-novel left unfinished in the final months of her life, on loan from King’s College, Cambridge
  • The logbook kept by Frank Austen as Post-Captain of HMS Canopus, open at his entry describing the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Nelson 
  • A ticket of admission to the trial of Warren Hastings, impeached in 1787 on charges of corruption
  • First-edition copies of Austen novels Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park and Persuasion open at passages relating to war
  • Evidence of her professional dealings with her famous publisher, including a royalty cheque made out to ‘Miss Jane Austin’, which she counter-signed with the same spelling, showing how important her writing income was to her
  • The household recipe book used in Chawton Cottage by the Austen women
  • Austen’s writing desk and her hand-copied music books
  • A wealth of family and professional letters that reveal Jane Austen in her own words 
  • A series of edited clips from the earliest to the most recent film and TV adaptations of the novels (presented in collaboration with the BBC)

A range of other national events will take place throughout 2017 to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of Jane Austen (18 July), including ‘The Mysterious Miss Austen’, an exhibition at the Discovery Centre, Winchester (13 May-24 July), and events at Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton, Hampshire. 

Which Jane Austen? 

The Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

23 June - 29 October 2017

Free admission, no booking required

Image: Front cover of the unique manuscript Volume the First, a collection of short stories, mini-plays, verses and moral fragments that Austen wrote between the ages of 12 and 18. In this volume, Austen transcribed some of her earliest fiction. She used a ready-made bound blank stationer’s notebook and, according to a final inscription, completed the transcription on 3 June 1793. Credit: Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford 

 

2D20F25D-0B4D-495E-BD4E-117B8872FF3F copy.jpgShapero Modern is delighted to present a solo exhibition of new works by the Scottish artist and musician Lilias Buchanan. The show is directly inspired by American writer Richard Brautigan’s 1976 cult classic, Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel, and is comprised of nine small scale paintings exquisitely rendered in pencil, watercolour and collage. 

The assembled works, which have been created over a two year period, channel the book’s two parallel narrative threads. The first focuses on a heartbroken American writer who has recently been left by his Japanese lover. His obsessive thoughts about her prevent him from concentrating on a story he is writing, in which a sombrero falls from the sky in a sleepy town in the American southwest. Eventually, and despairingly, the author throws what he has written into the wastepaper basket, but the discarded story continues to write itself, so beginning the second narrative, which recounts a bizarre tale in which the sombrero becomes an object of fascination, attracting enormous crowds and fierce debate before ultimately provoking a civil war. 

Buchanan’s intention with the paintings riffs on the duality of the book that inspired them, in that each work reflects both the subtlety of Brautigan’s writing and the merged use of graphite and watercolour at the heart of her practice, which sees her juxtapose the saturated, stark monochrome of the writer sitting alone in his apartment with the psychedelic palette of the sombrero in the wastepaper basket. 

The artist admits the creation of this body of work and her interest in Brautigan’s novel has bordered on the obsessional, leading her to approach strangers in the street who bore a resemblance to Brautigan’s characters, and asking them to pose for her. She even bought up all the sombrero postcards she could find on eBay to fuel her passion. 

For Buchanan the exhibition is both a celebration of Brautigan - Jarvis Cocker has described him as the Hemingway of the 1960’s - and a campaign to introduce his writing to new audiences. To this end, the exhibition will include a first edition of Sombrero Fallout: A Japanese Novel and other historical artefacts courtesy of Dr. John F. Barber, founder, curator and archivist of the Richard Brautigan Archives. The exhibition will also house the launch of ‘Seeing Richard’ for the first time in the UK, a book of previously unpublished and rare images of Richard Brautigan taken by the photographer Erik Weber and published by Tangerine Press. There will be a limited number of signed, limited edition books on sale, which include a foreword by Jarvis Cocker and introduction by William Hjortsberg (author of Falling Angel and Jubilee Hitchhiker). 

Says gallery director Tabitha Philpotte Kent: ‘Lilias Buchanan is a refreshing new talent, and It is a great honour to be showing this compelling series of work at Shapero Modern. We are also delighted that Lilias has chosen to curate within her exhibition a presentation of Richard Brautigan’s work, adding a further dimension to an already compelling show.’ 

 

OXFORD, 16 March 2017 - The creative genius of JRR Tolkien will be the focus of a major new exhibition opening at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Libraries in 2018. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will explore the full breadth of Tolkien’s unique literary imagination from his creation of Middle-earth, the imagined world where The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and his other works are set, to his life and work as an artist, poet, medievalist and scholar of languages.

For the first time since the 1950s, an unprecedented array of Tolkien materials from the UK and the USA will be reunited in Oxford and displayed together in this seminal exhibition. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth will feature manuscripts, artwork, maps, letters and artefacts from the Bodleian’s extensive Tolkien Archive, the Tolkien Collection at Marquette University in the USA and from private collections.

The exhibition will take visitors beyond what they may already know about this extraordinary author and will delight both Tolkien fans as well as scholars, families and visitors of all ages. It will examine the scholarly, literary, creative and domestic worlds that influenced Tolkien as an author and artist, allowing visitors to engage with his works as never before. Tolkien may be best known today as the author of The Lord of the Rings but during his lifetime he was chiefly known as a scholar of Old and Middle English and a philologist intimately concerned with the creation of language. He was also a devoted husband and father of four children for whom he created stories for pleasure. 

Visitors will also be introduced to the vast spectrum of Tolkien’s creative and scholarly output ranging from his early abstract paintings in The Book of Ishness to the metrical brilliance of his poem Errantry and the touching tales he wrote for his children. The spectacular range of objects on display will include original manuscripts of his popular classics as well as lesser-known and posthumous works and materials, some of which will be on public display for the very first time.

Exhibition highlights include:

Draft manuscripts of The Hobbit showing the evolution of the story displayed alongside striking watercolours, dust jacket designs, line drawings and maps drawn for the publication

Original manuscripts of The Lord of The Rings along with dust jacket designs and beautiful watercolours

Original manuscripts of The Silmarillion, Tolkien’s very earliest work on the legends of the elves, which was unfinished during his lifetime and was published posthumously by his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien

Photos and letters from Tolkien’s childhood and student days exploring themes of love, loss and war

Letters of appreciation from a wide range of admirers including poet WH Auden, singer Joni Mitchell and author Iris Murdoch

Personal objects that belonged to Tolkien including his art materials (boxes of paints, coloured pencils and sealing wax) and his personal library

A selection of Middle-earth maps including a rare map annotated by Tolkien, which was acquired by the Bodleian in 2016

A specially-commissioned 3-D map of Middle-earth 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated book, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth to be published by Bodleian Library Publishing on 25 May 2018. This new publication will celebrate Tolkien as a scholar, artist and author, using his own words, drawings and designs to introduce readers to the huge creative endeavour which lies behind his enduring success. Featuring stunning images of his manuscripts, drawings, maps and letters, the book will trace the creative process behind Tolkien’s well-known literary works while also exploring the surprising range of his creative imagination.

The Bodleian Libraries houses the largest collection of original Tolkien manuscripts and drawings in the world. The Tolkien Archive has been kept at the Bodleian since 1979. The latest addition to the archive is a rare map of Middle-earth annotated by JRR Tolkien, which was acquired in May 2016. Tolkien spent almost the whole of his adult life in Oxford and it is the city where studied, taught, researched and wrote his most famous works.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

The Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

1 June - 28 October 2018

Free admission

 

BOSTON - March 09, 2017 - Boston Public Library honors William Shakespeare’s lasting legacy with its Shakespeare Unauthorized exhibition, on view through the end of the month in the McKim Exhibition Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. The exhibition, with 54,735 visitors to date, is presented in conjunction with the ongoing BPL citywide initiative All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library, commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death in 2016 and connecting audiences to theater and the dramatic arts with programs throughout the library system.  Shakespeare programming continues through June, with upcoming performances by Seven Times Salt, “Sonnets and Soliloquies” by Carey and Gibson, a Lowell Lecture Series talk by Marjorie Garber, Shakespeare to Hip Hop, and more.

Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive publicly-held collections of Shakespeare, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more. Visit www.bpl.org/shakespeare to view the complete offerings of the initiative.

Shakespeare Unauthorized: Experience the original works of “The Bard”

Shakespeare Unauthorized, a major gallery exhibition on view from October 14, 2016 through March 31, 2017, includes extraordinarily rare first and early editions of familiar and beloved plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as all four Shakespearean folios, most notably the BPL’s own copy of the world-famous First Folio. Through the pages of these precious books, visitors can experience Shakespeare in his original language and spelling, just as he would have been read by book lovers and theater-goers hundreds of years ago.

Shakespeare Unauthorized is made possible through the financial support of Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), the global leader in storage and information management services. Based in Boston, Iron Mountain provides charitable grants of funding and in-kind services to cultural and historical preservation projects like Shakespeare Unauthorized through its Living Legacy Initiative.

Shakespeare Unauthorized contains far more than just books of plays: this exhibition features surprising rarities and mysterious objects; scandalous forgeries made by con men and accomplished scholars; books from the luxurious private libraries of early English aristocrats; and memorabilia from four centuries of acting and stagecraft.

C&G Partners created the engaging exhibition design that showcases the extraordinary historic material on display in Shakespeare Unauthorized.

d70911ea-b2e5-4b8b-b20c-72836bf3918e.jpgAmerican photographer Todd Webb (1905-2000) was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After losing all his money in the Stock Market Crash of 1929, he embarked on a seven-year adventure prospecting for gold and working as a fire ranger but had little success. After returning to Detroit in 1938, Webb bought his first camera and joined the Chrysler Camera Club where he met photographer Harry Callahan. In 1940 he and Callahan completed a 10-day workshop with Ansel Adams and Webb's fascination with the medium flourished. 

After honing his skills as a Navy photographer in the South Pacific during World War II, Webb moved to New York in 1946 where he dedicated himself to photographing the everyday life and architecture of a city that captivated him. He enjoyed significant support from the New York photo community including luminaries Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Walker Evans and Berenice Abbott, to name a few.  Stieglitz introduced him to Beaumont Newhall who helped arrange his first major solo exhibition of his New York City photographs curated by Grace Mayer. I See A City opened at the Museum of the City of New York in September 1946 to glowing notices.

This spring, over seventy years later, the Museum of the City of New York will present its second solo exhibition with Webb entitled A City Seen: Todd Webb's Postwar New York, 1945-1960 which will open on Thursday, April 20 and remain on view through September 4, 2017. Curated by Sean Corcoran, Curator of Prints and Photography at the Museum, the show features more than 100 vintage prints as well as excerpts from Webb's journal writings. 

On Thursday, April 20, an exhibition curated by former LIFE magazine editor-in-chief Bill Shapiro, entitled Down Any Street: Todd Webb's NYC Photographs 1946-1960 will open at The Curator Gallery, a commercial gallery space located in the heart of New York's Chelsea art district. The gallery show will include vintage prints as well as modern prints made by John Hill who printed some of Walker Evans' negatives. 

Both shows reveal Todd Webb's intimate and wonderfully rich exploration of New York while providing an expansive document of the city in the years following World War II. Armed with a large format camera and tripod, Webb walked around New York engaging with the people and the landscape surrounding him. He captured in his candid and inimitable way a city of contrasts -- Midtown skyscrapers, the elevated tracks along Third Avenue, signs and storefronts, food vendors and open air markets, and the bustling street life in the Bowery, Harlem near 125th Street, and old ethnic enclaves in Lower Manhattan. The museum show also features Webb's portraits of his intimate circle of friends, including Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Helen Levitt, and Lisette Model.  

In the press release for the 1946 exhibition, Newhall wrote: "[Todd Webb] has seen our city not as a glittering megalopolis, but as a community. He has chosen to focus mainly upon Third Avenue and those blocks where the shops are small and living quarters crowded. He works with swift precision, directly and honestly recording what he sees. His straightforward, un-manipulated contact prints convey a maximum sense of authenticity and are historical records of obvious documentary value. More than this, they are personal interpretations, through which he has imparted to us warmth of appreciation and the excitement of visual discovery. He brings out the human quality even when the people are absence."

About the Artist: 

Todd Webb is best known for his photographs of New York, Paris and the American West. His Paris series earned him comparisons to the French photographer Eugene Atget. In the 1940s and 50s, Webb worked for Roy Stryker and Standard Oil and Fortune magazine while simultaneously pursuing his personal projects. In 1955 and 1956, he was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship to document the emigrant trails that the early settlers followed to Oregon and California. He spent these years walking across the country not unlike his contemporary, Robert Frank. From 1961-1971, Webb and his wife Lucille lived in New Mexico where they became an integral part of the local arts community and Webb made a series of portraits of Georgia O'Keeffe at her home there. In 1970, Webb moved to the South of France where he continued to photograph regularly, and in 1975 he retired in Maine where he would live until his passing at age 94.

Over a period of more than fifty years, Todd Webb produced a unique body of work which attained an important place in the annals of American photographic history. Webb's humanistic approach to documentary photography infuses his images with a sense of intimacy and a curiosity in the relationship between history, place, and people. His life was like his photographs; at first they seem very simple, without obvious tricks or manipulation, but on closer examination, they are increasingly complex and marvelously subtle. For more information about the artist, visit www.toddwebbarchive.com.

A comprehensive monograph of Webb's New York photographs will be published by Thames & Hudson in the early fall of 2017. (Details coming soon.) Webb's portraits of O'Keeffe taken in New Mexico between 1961-1971 are currently on view in George O'Keeffe: Living Modern at the Brooklyn Museum through July 23, 2017. 

Image: "LaSalle at Amsterdam" 1946 / © Todd Webb Archive

Asemic writing is a wordless semantic form that often has the appearance of abstract calligraphy. It allows writers to present visual narratives that move beyond language and are open to interpretation, relying on the viewer for context and meaning. Beyond works on paper, asemic writing enjoys a growing presence online and continues to evolve with new performance-based explorations and animated films.

Asemic Writing: Offline & In the Gallery, curated by Michael Jacobson, is the first large-scale exhibition of asemic art in the United States, featuring the work of over 50 international artists who together create an eclectic assemblage of inventing, designing, and dreaming.  Artists on display include Luigi Serafini, Brion Gysin, Henri Michaux, Xu Bing, Max Ernst, Raymond Queneau, Jose Parlá, and Nuno De Matos.

Join us on March 25 from 7-9pm for a special reading by various asemic artists and scholars, and music by Ghostband. This event is sponsored by Rain Taxi, and is free and open to the public. 

Opening reception: Friday, March 10; 6-9pm; Free and open to the public.

For more information, visit mnbookarts.org/asemic

butler_working-draft.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.—A new exhibition opening this spring at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens examines the life and work of celebrated author Octavia E. Butler (1947-2006), the first science fiction writer to receive a prestigious MacArthur “genius” award and the first African-American woman to win widespread recognition writing in that genre. “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” opens April 8, 2017, in the West Hall of the Library and continues through Aug. 7. Butler’s literary archive resides at The Huntington.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” On view April 8-Aug. 7, 2017
Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Library, West Hall

“She was a pioneer—a master storyteller who brought her voice, the voice of a woman of color, to science fiction,” said Natalie Russell, assistant curator of literary manuscripts at The Huntington and curator of the exhibition. “Tired of stories featuring white, male heroes, she developed an alternative narrative from a very personal point of view.”

A Pasadena, Calif., native, Butler told the New York Times in a 2000 interview: "When I began writing science fiction, when I began reading, heck, I wasn't in any of this stuff I read. The only black people you found were occasional characters or characters who were so feeble-witted that they couldn't manage anything, anyway. I wrote myself in, since I'm me and I'm here and I'm writing."

Butler would have been 70 in 2017; she died an untimely death at age 58, apparently of a stroke at her home in Seattle.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” follows a roughly chronological thread and includes approximately 100 items that reveal the writer’s early years and influences, as well as highlight specific themes that repeatedly commanded her attention.

After Butler’s death, The Huntington became the recipient of her papers, which arrived in 2008 in two four-drawer file cabinets and 35 large cartons. “She kept nearly everything,” said Russell, “from her very first short stories, written at age 12, to book contracts and programs from speaking engagements. The body of materials includes 8,000 individual items and more than 80 boxes of additional items: extensive drafts, notes, and research materials for more than a dozen novels, numerous shorts stories and essays, as well as correspondence and other materials. By the time the collection had been processed and catalogued, more than 40 scholars were asking to get access to it. In the past two years, it has been used nearly 1,300 times—or roughly 15 times per week, said Russell, making it one of the most actively researched archives at The Huntington.

Butler was born June 22, 1947, to a maid and a shoeshine man. Her father died when she was quite young; an only child, she was raised primarily by her mother. “She discovered writing very early, in large part because, she said, it suited her shy nature, and it was permitted in her strict Baptist household,” said Russell. The exhibition will feature samples of her first stories.

But, says Russell, it was a 1954 science fiction film called Devil Girl from Mars that inspired Butler to take on science fiction. “She was convinced she could write a better story than the one unfolding on the screen,” Russell said.

Butler enrolled in every creative writing course she could find and was active in the Afro-relations club at Pasadena City College, an early indication of her interest in current events and Civil Rights issues. In the early 1970s, at a workshop for minority writers, she met the science fiction author Harlan Ellison, who introduced her to the Clarion Science Fiction Workshop, where Butler learned to hone her craft among other like-minded writers; it was then that she sold her first story. Following Clarion, she took odd jobs to support herself—even trying to establish her own laminating business, documents show; she wrote in the early morning hours before work.

But the road to success was long and slow. "In fact,” she once said, “I had five more years of rejection slips and horrible little jobs ahead of me before I sold another word.”

On display in the exhibition will be a page of motivational notes in which she writes, “I am a Bestselling Writer. I write Bestselling Books . . . . Every day in every way I am researching and writing my award winning Bestselling Books and short stories . . . . Every one of my books reaches and remains for two or more months at the top of the bestseller lists . . . So Be It! See To It.”

In 1975, she sold her first novel, Patternmaster, to Doubleday, quickly followed by Mind of My Mind and Survivor; the trio comprise part of her “Patternist” series, depicting the evolution of humanity into three distinct genetic groups. A review on display in the exhibition lauds Patternmaster for its especially well-constructed plot and progressive heroine, who is “a refreshing change of pace from the old days.”

And her following continued to grow.

By the late 1970s, Butler was able to make a living on her writing alone. She won her first Hugo award in 1985 for the short story “Speech Sounds,” followed by other awards, including a Locus and Nebula.

“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories” will include examples of journal entries, photographs, and first editions of her books, including Kindred, arguably her best-known work. The book is less science fiction and more fantasy, involving an African-American woman who travels back in time to the horrors of plantation life in pre-Civil War Maryland. “I wanted to reach people emotionally in a way that history tends not to,” Butler said about the book. Published in 1979, Kindred continues to command widespread appeal and is regularly taught in high schools and at the university level, as well as chosen for community-wide reading programs and book clubs.

Beyond race, Butler explored tensions between the sexes and worked to develop strong female characters, a hallmark of her writing. “Being a woman in a male-dominated genre lent Butler’s stories a unique voice,” said Russell. “She would, for instance, depict women as resolving their problems through means other than violence—using flexibility, nurturing, and sensitivity instead.”

Butler once remarked, “Girls become women by giving life, and boys become men by taking it.” But she also challenged traditional gender identity, said Russell. Bloodchild, for example, is a story about a pregnant man, and in Wild Seed, the plot develops around two shape-shifting—and sex-changing—characters, Doro and Anyanwu. The exhibition will include notes Butler made about the two characters as she worked to develop them.

Butler sought to meticulously research the science in her fiction, traveling to the Amazon to get a firsthand look at extreme biological diversity in an effort to better incorporate biology, genetics, and medicine in her work. On display will be photographs from that research trip, as well as a small notebook of plant sketches. Climate change concerned her, as did politics, the pharmaceutical industry, and a variety of social issues, and as a result, she wove them all into her writing. “What’s striking,” said Russell, “is her ability to tease out and focus on issues that have had and likely will have currency for decades. She was amazingly prescient and given that, her stories resonate in very powerful ways today. Perhaps even more so than when they were first published.”

Related Programs

To complement “Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories,” The Huntington will present curator tours as well as “Octavia E. Butler Studies: Convergence of an Expanding Field,” a conference on June 23 with scholars Ayana Jamieson and Moya Bailey.

Image: Octavia E. Butler, working draft of Kindred (formerly titled To Keep thee in All Thy Ways) with handwritten notes by Butler, ca. 1977. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

 

Screen Shot 2017-02-13 at 8.38.25 AM.pngThe Van Gogh Museum is devoting itself this spring to Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street - a major exhibition of work from its own fin-de-siècle print collection, which is one of the finest of its kind in the world. Over 250 prints of the highest quality, including colourful works by Bonnard, Chéret, Steinlen and Toulouse-Lautrec will be on show, among them world-famous posters like Le Chat Noir and Le Moulin Rouge. The prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects, and will take visitors on a sensual journey through the cosmopolitan life of the French fin-de-siècle (1890-1905). The exhibition has been designed by Maarten Spruyt.

The Van Gogh Museum manages one of the finest collections of fin-de-siècle printmaking in the world. As a centre of knowledge and expertise, the museum has been collecting prints intensively for sixteen years and has also carried out five years of in-depth research so that it can now present its print collection in magnificent fashion. Prints that, because of their sensitivity to light, are kept in storage and only displayed sporadically and on a small scale can now be seen in all their glory and in large numbers in the museum’s exhibition wing.

The most beautiful of all the graphic work produced by artists like Henri de Toulouse- Lautrec (1864-1901), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen (1859-1923), Edgar Degas (1834-1917) and Jules Chéret (1836-1832) will be on show at the exhibition, which will feature the finest print series and the rarest impressions. Over 250 prints will be shown alongside paintings, historical photographs, furniture for collectors and decorative objects. There are little jewels like the dark lithographs of Odilon Redon (1840-1916), evoking nightmarish fantasies, and the still series of woodcuts by Félix Vallotton (1865-1925), showing musicians playing in shadowy interiors.

The overarching story of the world of printmaking in Paris - from elite (the private collector) to the street (the mass of the people) - has never previously been told in an exhibition. Prints in Paris 1900 takes visitors on a journey beginning with prints from fashionable art circles, which were kept and viewed in the intimacy of richly decorated interiors. They will see the imposing Bibliothèque - rarely loaned for exhibitions - designed by François-Rupert Carabin (1890, Musée d’Orsay), an exuberantly decorated bookcase several metres tall with carvings of nude women, in which costly books and prints were stored by a private collector.

We then enter an entirely different world - that of popular prints for the masses. Here we find the fleeting impressions of the visual spectacle of modern life in the public sphere, full of colour, light and pleasure. Artistic posters, sheet music and magazine illustrations with their bright colours, large letters and powerful silhouettes, vie for attention. The highlight is Steinlen’s poster The Street, which, with an area of no less than 7.5 m2, is a genuine ‘fresco for the masses’. The prints also tempt visitors into the magical world of Parisian nightlife.

We then see how the elite took public printmaking and pulled it back into their interiors, where posters were now also hung on the walls as decorations. The exhibition concludes by showing a variety of printing techniques, with the original lithography press of the printer Auguste Clot (1858-1936) as the main attraction. A selection of trial proofs and videos explains the techniques of etching, woodcuts and lithography.

Parisian fin-de-siècle

The fin-de-siècle (1890-1905) was the heyday of French printmaking. It was the time where avant-garde art blended with everyday life in cosmopolitan Paris. Artists no longer put their talent to work exclusively on the creation of ‘high’ art, but also threw themselves into what were considered ‘lower’ art forms, such as decorative designs, prints, posters and magazine illustrations, with the common theme of modern cosmopolitan life in Paris. Artists experimented intensively with different print techniques and decorated the whole of Paris with their provocative artworks.

Catalogue

The exhibition Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street is accompanied by a richly illustrated, large-format catalogue written by curator Fleur Roos Rosa de Carvalho and based on years of intensive research into the worlds of printmaking during the French fin-de-siècle: the closed circles of decadent print collectors, the sparkling poster art of the street and magazines on news-stands, and large prints as colourful decoration for the interiors of the beau monde. 194 pages, hardcover. Publisher: Mercatorfonds, Brussels. The book is available in Dutch, English, French and German editions, and will be distributed worldwide.

Prints in Paris 1900: From Elite to the Street

3 March - 11 June 2017

AUSTIN, Texas — Stories of inspiration, adaptation, innovation, confrontation, collaboration and even frustration can be found within the Harry Ransom Center’s extensive cultural collections.

From Feb. 6 to July 16, the exhibition “Stories to Tell: Selections from the Harry Ransom Center” features more than 250 items from the collections. Exclusively drawn from the Center’s holdings, the exhibition provides insight into the creative process while also establishing meaningful, personal connections between the past and the present.

“The Ransom Center’s rich holdings highlight the struggles, the complexity and the rewards of creative work in literature, art, photography, film and the performing arts,” said Cathy Henderson, associate director for education and exhibitions at the Ransom Center. “Through telling these stories, this exhibition unlocks and illuminates the profoundly human reach of archives.”

Visitors will discover:

What ties Homer’s “The Odyssey” to James Joyce’s “Ulysses”?

What made Nigerian author Amos Tutuola finally start writing books in his native language?

What forced famed painter and sculptor Henri Matisse to turn to collage for his art book “Jazz”?

Why was a “sugar coffin” sent to one of Hollywood’s biggest stars of the early 20th century?

What can a dance costume from the Ballets Russes production of “Narcisse” reveal?

How did Robert De Niro prepare for his performance in “Taxi Driver”?

What made the 1968 Democratic and Republican national conventions such great subjects for photographer David Douglas Duncan?

How did staffers from The Washington Post humanize figures involved in the Watergate scandal?

What social issues concerned artist Elizabeth Olds, the first woman to receive a Guggenheim fellowship?

How did author David Foster Wallace approach drafting and editing his work?

What did Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle think about the afterlife?

The exhibition makes clear the interconnections between seemingly unrelated collections and illuminates how the Ransom Center acquires, preserves and makes these resources available to all. It also documents the creative process across different mediums and divulges the steps and efforts of artistic works, reminding us how the humanities enrich us.

“Stories to Tell” will be on view in the University of Texas at Austin’s Ransom Center Galleries on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Daily docent-led tours are offered at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

A charming exhibit of animals pictured in law books opens February 1, courtesy of the Yale Law Library's Rare Book Collection. Titled "Woof, Moo & Grr: A Carnival of Animals in Law Books," the exhibit is narrated from the perspective of the animals themselves and is aimed at animal lovers of all ages.

Twenty books from around the world will be on display, more than half of them printed before the nineteenth century and the earliest published in 1529. They feature illustrations of a wide variety of animals that visitors may be surprised to find in the pages of serious legal literature.

The exhibition is curated by Mark S. Weiner, a writer, filmmaker, and professor on leave from Rutgers Law School. Weiner holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Yale University.

"Law is a serious business," said Weiner, "which is why it's important to find a chance to laugh. The exhibit looks at the different roles that animals play in legal literature, and it quietly explores the relation between law and the imagination."

"Woof, Moo & Grr" is on display from February 1 through May 31, 2017, in the Rare Book Exhibition Gallery, Level L2, in the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, at 127 Wall Street in New Haven. It is open to the general public 10am-6pm, seven days a week, and open to Yale affiliates until 10pm.

The images and text from the exhibit are also available online, in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr site, at  <https://www.flickr.com/photos/yalelawlibrary/albums/72157676683194536>.

The Rare Book Collection at Yale Law Library is one of the outstanding collections of historical law books and manuscripts in North America. The growing collection stands at more than 50,000 volumes and hosts an active exhibition program.

55a Foringer Abundan#8724A3 copy.jpgThe paper money we handle every day depicts familiar portraits of presidents and statesmen, but how many people know that a woman's portrait was once a standard likeness on federal currency?  Or that a notorious showgirl's portrait was engraved for bond coupons?  Or that a portrait of one of Queen Victoria's daughters was turned into "Young America" for use on stock certificates?  The exhibition Images of Value: The Artwork Behind U.S. Security Engraving 1830s-1980s, on public view at the Grolier Club from February 22 to April 29, 2017, presents a rare look behind the images that appeared on bank notes and securities produced in the United States for over 150 years. 

For the first time visitors can see a remarkable range of original wash drawings and paintings, period photographs and prints used to engrave the images on documents of value for the United States and countries ranging from Argentina to China to Spain, along with the documents on which the resulting engravings appeared.  The exhibition is primarily from the holdings of Mark D. Tomasko, a private collector, scholar, and researcher who documents the engravers, artists, designers, and bank note firms.  

Much news has been made in recent months about portraits of women coming to U.S. federal paper money, but in reality it’s a case of women coming back to federal paper money. Martha Washington’s portrait was a constant presence on US Silver Certificates from 1886 to the turn-of-the-century, and possible sources for the image used are on display along with the Silver Certificates on which she appeared.

Before the Civil War banks were chartered by the states, and most local banks issued their own bank notes. This created a large demand for quality paper money and gave rise to a thriving group of bank note engraving firms, effectively making the U.S. the world leader in security engraving by the late 1850s.  

Exquisite miniature drawings by Asher B. Durand, George W. Hatch, Henry Inman, and Thomas Birch illustrate the era when artwork needed to be drawn in a very small size to be engraved.  Photography later liberated the artwork from the miniature size (the art could be photo-reduced to the size to be engraved).  The result was the golden age of wash drawings, 1850s-1870s, with marvelous allegorical and genre drawings by American artists including the outstanding F. O. C. Darley, whose drawings of the American scene set a high standard.  Featured in the exhibition are Darley's drawings of Union Civil War soldiers, and some of his genre subjects.  Other noted artists shown for this era include James D. Smillie and Walter Shirlaw. 

American and European prints of the mid- and late-nineteenth century include several remarkable mid-century French chromolithographs of female heads, an art engraving of one of Queen Victoria’s daughters (turned into a security engraving entitled “Young America”!), a large theater poster, and a large print of Rosa Bonheur’s Horse Fair (one of the largest paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at 8’ x 16’).  Horse Fair became an engraving 1 ½” x 3 ½” and was used on documents as diverse as an 1870s Bolivian bank note and an 1880s New York City street railway bond.

By the twentieth century photographs became more commonly used as the artwork source for bank note picture engravings.  On view are photographs of Chinese subjects turned into engravings on bank notes for China but produced by American bank note firms.  Other period photos used for engravings include a large panorama of Lower Manhattan in 1904 and a portrait of Evelyn Nesbit, the “girl in the red velvet swing” who became a decorative engraving for coupon bonds.

Alonzo E. Foringer, a muralist who had worked for Edwin Blashfield, is a star of the show, with his large oil paintings of allegorical females produced from the 1910s to the 1940s.  The finest picture engravers created the best allegorical engravings of the twentieth century from Foringer’s work, a marriage of engraving and art that has never been equaled.  Known today primarily for a World War I Red Cross poster, Foringer’s real achievement is his bank note art, which graced the stocks and bonds of hundreds of U.S. companies and at least 50 bank notes of foreign banks and governments. 

Robert Lavin followed Foringer and became the second greatest security engraving artist of the twentieth century, working in the 1960s-1980s.  His allegorical paintings, and paintings of working people (perhaps best described as “Capitalist Realism”), became the leading picture engravings for stocks and bonds in the later twentieth century.  Some examples of other artists’ work of the 1950s and 1960s are also shown in the exhibition.

CATALOGUE:

The exhibition Images of Value: the Artwork Behind U.S. Security Engraving 1830s-1980s, sponsored by the Grolier Club’s Committee on Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, is accompanied by a full-color catalogue with a preface by William H. Gerdts. 

PUBLIC EVENTS:

Free Lunchtime Exhibition Tours led by curator Mark Tomasko: February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm. 

Illustrated Talk by the curator followed by a Panel Discussion on the Artwork Behind U.S. Security Engraving: Tuesday, March 7, 2017, 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm. 

ABOUT THE GROLIER CLUB: 

Founded in 1884, the Grolier Club of New York is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts.  Named for Jean Grolier, the Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends, the Grolier Club’s objective is to foster the study, collecting, and appreciation of books and works on paper.

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB: 

47 E. 60th Street, New York, NY  10022

212-838-6690

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM

Admission: Open to the public free of charge

www.grolierclub.org 

Image: Alonzo E. Foringer. [Standing female with wheat and scythe]. Oil on canvas, 30 x 30.” For American Bank Note Company, 1927. Collection of Mark D. Tomasko.

f98fcc62-8473-4ad2-9939-84c2007dfd15.jpgTaking as its focus one of The Met's most captivating masterpieces, this thematic exhibition affords a unique context for appreciating the heritage and allure of Circus Sideshow (Parade de cirque), painted in 1887-88, by Georges Seurat (1859-91). Anchored by a remarkable group of related works by Seurat that fully illuminates the lineage of the motif in his inimitable conté crayon drawings, the presentation explores the fascination the sideshow subject held for other artists in the 19th century, ranging from the great caricaturist Honoré Daumier at mid-century to the young Pablo Picasso at the fin de siècle. This rich visual narrative unfolds in a provocative display of more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints, period posters, and illustrated journals, supplemented by musical instruments and an array of documentary material intended to give a vivid sense of the seasonal fairs and traveling circuses of the day. Among the highlights is Fernand Pelez's epic Grimaces and Misery—The Saltimbanques (Petit Palais, Paris), of exactly the same date as Seurat's magisterial work and, with its life-size performers aligned in friezelike formation across a 20-foot stage, a match for his ambition. Seurat's Circus Sideshow will be on view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from February 17 to May 29, 2017.

The exhibition is made possible by the Janice H. Levin Fund, the Gail and Parker Gilbert Fund, and an Anonymous Foundation.

Circus Sideshow is one of only a half-dozen major figure compositions that date to Seurat's short career. More compact in scale and more evocative in expression than his other scenes of modern life—which he regarded as "toiles de lutte" (canvases of combat)—the painting effectively announced the Neo-Impressionist's next line of attack on old guard turf, signaling a shift in focus away from the sunlit banks of the Seine to the heart of urban Paris. Circus Sideshow initiated a final trio of works devoted to popular entertainment and led the fray as the first to tackle a nighttime setting with the benefit of his innovative technique, alternatively called pointillism or divisionism (the former term emphasizing the dotted brushwork, the latter, the theory behind separating, or dividing, color into discrete touches that would retain their integrity and brilliance). It was his singular experiment in painting outdoor, artificial illumination. The result is disarming. In relying on his finely tuned approach to evoke the effects of ethereal, penumbral light in this evening fairground scene of the Corvi Circus troupe and their public at the Gingerbread Fair in Paris, Seurat produced his most mysterious painting. From the time it debuted at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1888, it has unfailingly intrigued, perplexed, and mesmerized its viewers. Seurat's closest associates, seemingly dumbstruck, largely confined their spare remarks to its novelty as a "nocturnal effect." The laconic artist never mentioned the picture.

Circus Sideshow depicts the free, teaser entertainment set up outside the circus tent to entice passersby to purchase tickets—known in French as a parade and loosely translated as the "come-on" or sideshow. At far right, customers queue up on the stairs to the box office. On the makeshift stage, under the misty glow of nine twinkling gaslights, five musicians, a ringmaster, and clown play to the assembled crowd of onlookers whose assorted hats add a wry and rhythmic note to the foreground of this austere and rigorously geometric composition. As viewers, we observe the show—as if from the rear of the audience, a part of the crowd. 

Seurat took a raucous spectacle that depended on direct appeal, the banter of barkers and rousing music, jostling crowds, and makeshift structures, and he silenced the noise, rendered the staging taut and ordered, hieratic and symmetrical, exquisitely measured and classically calm. Enveloped by the hazy gloom of night, the players and public are presented with the solemnity of an ancient ritual.

For all its uncommon beauty and striking invention, Circus Sideshow courts conventions and associations that were commonplace in representations of the parade. Throughout the 19th century it had been a stock motif in popular print culture, notably for social and political caricature, where it became an acute device for parodying politicians, who like saltimbanques, are trying to sell something. During the 1880s, the parade subject gained ground: it was given a contemporary edge by popular illustrators; it was painted with riveting descriptive detail by artists who sought success at the annual Paris Salon with works that had broad appeal; and it was mined, with spirited stylistic rivalry, by artists who jockeyed for position in the avant-garde. In the 1890s, the great era of the poster, the subject attracted a new wave of creative talents eager to establish their reputations through success in the commercial world. The poster was modern printing technology's extension of the time-honored parade; both functioned to pull the public into the show. The presentation brings this rich illustrated history to bear on Seurat's Circus Sideshow in a context designed to elucidate the genesis of his composition and to puzzle out the sources and parallels for his haunting and enigmatic work.

The exhibition is organized chronologically, with Circus Sideshow at center stage. It will be displayed in tandem with 17 works by Seurat that exceptionally reunite the painting with the conté crayon drawings most closely related to his conception, including preparatory studies, independent sheets that trace his exploration of the motif, and the glorious café-concert drawings that were shown alongside the picture at the Salon des Indépendants in 1888. The same venue featured Seurat's Models (Poseuses), now in The Barnes Foundation (and precluded from travel), which will be represented in the exhibition by the gemlike small version (private collection). This core group of works is seen with relation to contemporaneous images of the Corvi Circus and the Gingerbread Fair, offering a keen sense of time and place.

As the exhibition will highlight, through loans from nearly 50 public and private collections, Seurat's choice of subject attracted a steady stream of artists in the 19th century—from caricaturists, popular illustrators, and poster designers to painters of like ambition—determined to make their mark on the Paris art scene. Daumier, who set a powerful precedent at mid-century, is handsomely represented by satirical lithographs, as well as pithy paintings and watercolors that chart the saga of itinerant circus performers dependent on the fickle whims of the public. His pace-setting imagery and initiatives find a recurrent echo throughout the exhibition, which is punctuated by a veritable encore performance in the cast of players showcased in graphic works by Henri-Gabriel Ibels dating to the early 1890s. 

The appeal the parade motif held for Seurat's Parisian contemporaries will be seen to great effect.In addition to works by other vanguard artists, such as Louis Anquetin, Emile Bernard, Pierre Bonnard, Jules Chéret, Louis Hayet, Lucien Pissarro, and Paul Signac, or those on the cusp, such as Jean-Louis Forain and Jean-François Raffaëlli, the presentation features recently rediscovered pictures shown in the Paris Salons of 1884 and 1885, long lost from sight by artists little-known today, as well as the unprecedented showing in the United States of Fernand Pelez's monumental Grimaces and Misery—The Saltimbanques (Petit Palais, Paris), which was on view at the Salon of 1888, the same spring as Seurat's brooding masterpiece debuted at the Salon des Indépendants.

As a reminder that the "show goes on," the exhibition ends with early works by two artists who continued to explore the parade and its timeless portrayal of the pathos of comic spectacle well into the 20th century: Picasso's moody nighttime scene, Fairground Stall (Museu Picasso, Barcelona), painted on his first visit to Paris in 1900, and Georges Rouault's bravura Sideshow (Parade) of ca. 1907-10 (Centre Pompidou, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris).

Seurat's Circus Sideshow may be seen as the natural successor to exhibitions that have had as their focus other great paintings by the Neo-Impressionist artist: Seurat and The Bathers in 1997 at the National Gallery, London, and Seurat and the Making of La Grande Jatte at The Art Institute of Chicago in 2004. The scale and scope of The Met's presentation have been tailored to vivify a painting that is smaller in size and highly evocative in subject. The current one-venue show may also be appreciated with relation to other recent projects, such as Cézanne's Card Players (2011), Madame Cézanne (2014-15), and Van Gogh: Irises and Roses (2015) that have likewise furnished a fresh context for appreciating the heritage of best-known and loved 19th-century paintings in The Met's collection. 

Image: Georges Seurat (French, 1859-1891). Circus Sideshow (Parade de cirque), 1887-88. Oil on canvas. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960.

1 ambrotype copy.jpgCONCORD, MA--(January 2017) -The Concord Museum today announced a year-long celebration of the Bicentennial of Henry David Thoreau’s birth. One of the world’s most original writers and thinkers (1817-1862), Thoreau is best remembered for living in a 10 x 15 foot house near Walden Pond, where he wrote Walden. In addition to being a great American author, Thoreau is renowned as a Transcendentalist, an abolitionist, a naturalist, a pioneer of ecological awareness and climate change, and an innovator of civil disobedience.

While the Bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth will be recognized world-wide and in his hometown of Concord, it is of special significance to the Concord Museum, which holds the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of artifacts related to Henry Thoreau, including the simple green desk on which he wrote Walden.

David F. Wood, Concord Museum’s Curator and author of An Observant Eye: The Thoreau Collection at the Concord Museum, stated, “Thoreau’s Bicentennial is something of a family affair for the Concord Museum. Henry David Thoreau knew the Museum’s founder, and called the collection he had formed ‘our museum’. Thoreau should perhaps be considered the most sophisticated material cultural historian at work in the mid-nineteenth century.”

Margaret Burke, Executive Director of the Concord Museum, explained, “Two centuries after his birth, we believe that much can be learned from Thoreau and his perception of the world. Thoreau’s insistence on thinking, observing, and living deliberately continues to suggest frameworks for both understanding the past and navigating the present.”

To celebrate the Thoreau Bicentennial year, the Concord Museum has created a year-long initiative titled “BE THOREAU”, which includes a series of special exhibitions and public programming such as workshops, gallery talks, and children’s activities. Margaret Burke explained, “The series encourages us to explore Thoreau’s writings from historical and contemporary perspectives and we sincerely hope will inspire new generations.”

Beginning on February 10, 2017, the Concord Museum will launch the Thoreau Bicentennial celebration with a deeply personal exhibition by photographer Abelardo Morell. Walden: Four Views | Abelardo Morell will be on exhibit in the Concord Museum’s Wallace Kane Gallery through August 20, 2017. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a broad range of special programs. 

In collaboration with The Morgan Library & Museum, New York, and the Concord Museum, on September 29, 2017, This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal, the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the life of one of America’s most influential writers and thinkers, will open at the Concord Museum.

The newly-created exhibition, This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal brings the remarkable holdings from the world’s two most significant Thoreau collections: journals, manuscripts, letters, and books, and field notes from The Morgan Library & Museum; and from the Concord Museum, unique personal items that have never before left Thoreau’s hometown, including the very desk on which he wrote his journal.

Every private journal tells the story of self. For his entire adult life, Thoreau filled notebook after notebook with his observations and reflections, strong in the belief that a closely examined life would yield infinite riches. His journal was his everyday companion, an essential tool for a mindful existence, and grist for Walden, one of the world’s most influential books. The exhibition takes Thoreau’s manuscript journal as a point of departure to introduce the many facets of this extraordinary man - the student, reader, writer, worker, thinker, Concord neighbor, and, above all, keen observer of the inner and outer world. It reveals how Thoreau used his journal as a place to cultivate - and constantly renew - his very own self. 

The Morgan Library & Museum, June 2- September 10, 2017

Concord Museum, September 29, 2017 - January 21, 2018           

About the Concord Museum: The Concord Museum is where all of Concord’s remarkable past is brought to life through an inspiring collection of historical, literary, and decorative arts treasures. Renowned for the 1775 Revere lantern and Henry Thoreau’s Walden desk, the Concord Museum is home to a nationally significant collection of American decorative arts, including clocks, furniture, and silver. Founded in 1886, the Museum is a gateway to historic Concord for visitors from around the world and a vital cultural resource for the town and region. www.concordmuseum.org

Image: 

Henry D. Thoreau, 1862

Edward Sidney (E.S.) Dunshee (1823-1907), New Bedford, Massachusetts

Ambrotype, leather, glass, velvet

3¾ x 3¼ x ¾, closed case; 2¾ x 2¼, oval image

Gift of Mr. Walton Ricketson and Miss Anna Ricketson (1929) Th33b

Objects from the Concord Museum Thoreau Collection

Photographs by David Bohl, courtesy Concord Museum

Kansas City, MO. Jan 26, 2017-Contemporary English photographer Richard Learoyd, using a large camera obscura in his East London studio, creates figure studies, portraits and still lifes that are neither glamorous nor retouched, yet they exude serene power along with mesmerizing detail. Richard Learoyd: In the Studio, an exhibition organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and curated by Arpad Kovacs, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the Getty, opens at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Feb. 10. Learoyd will be in Kansas City and in conversation with Photography Curator April M. Watson in Atkins Auditorium on Friday, Feb. 17 at 6 p.m., sponsored by The Photography Society. Tickets are free and can be reserved at www.nelson-atkins.org.

The exhibition includes 18 large-scale color photographs and two artist’s books.

“Richard Learoyd is internationally recognized as one of the most compelling contemporary photographers of our time,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “His images convey both a psychological depth and a physical weight. We find in them the timeless qualities that make us human: strength, vulnerability, boredom, determination, confidence and shame.”

Learoyd’s process is as singular as the artist himself. Using a room-sized camera obscura, which is a dark chamber fitted with a lens, he creates an upside-down image and exposes it on a large sheet of light-sensitive paper. He then feeds the paper into a color-processing machine attached to the camera. Since the resulting print is not enlarged from a negative, each photograph is unique and exceptionally sharp. He admits his process is restrictive and labor-intensive.

“Learoyd creates visually seductive images that invite viewers to slow down and engage with the art,” said Watson. “His works inspire thoughtful consideration of the many beautiful complexities that make us human.”

Richards’s still lifes are unconventional. In one piece, two cuttlefish have been trussed in thread as ink dribbles down the silvery flesh, hanging in midair. Recalling the still life paintings of Francis Bacon, the photograph becomes an abstract study in the tension between organic and geometric forms. Another photograph, both beautiful and disturbing, features the lifeless, contorted body of a flamingo perched on a piece of glass against a plain studio backdrop.

Richard Learoyd: In the Studio runs through June 11.

This exhibition has been organized by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles and curated by Arpad Kovacs, Assistant Curator in the Department of Photographs at the Getty. In Kansas City, the show is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of nearly 40,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. The institution-wide transformation of the Nelson-Atkins has included the 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building expansion and renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.

__Shiftlab_CatalogCover.jpgSeager Gray Gallery, in Mill Valley, California, presents Trace, an exhibition of works by Shift-Lab, a collaborative group of artists working in the print and artist book media.  The artists include Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Sarah Bryant, Macy Chadwisk and Tricia Treacy. Trace is a set of maps: a large collaborative map and five smaller maps by each individual artist, that fold into single sheet books. A series of framed prints, printed ephemera, a digitally printed newspaper, and sound file accompany the work. Trace utilizes a range of media including embroidery, letterpress, risograph, processing software, screenprint, and video/audio capture. The exhibition will run from February 1 to February 28 with a reception for the artists on Saturday, February 4 from 5:30 to 7:30. 

The exhibition comes as a celebration of Codex, the Biennial fair beginning the following day at the Craneway Pavilion celebrating the book as a medium for art with exhibitors from around the globe.

A full color catalog of the exhibition is available through the gallery and at Codex: http://bit.ly/Shift_Lab_TraceCatalog.

GERMAN SCHOOL_Adoration of the Magi_Germany, Swabia or Franconia, c. 1465-70.jpgSince 1991 Les Enluminures has sold important examples of early drawings both to major public institutions and to private collectors. Today, opportunities to purchase drawings before 1500 are extremely limited, and even drawings before 1600 have become scarce on the art market. Les Enluminures is pleased to present a selling exhibition of 13 exceptional drawings. The drawings presented here include a wide variety of media, and they show notable shifts in technique over two centuries. They fit into three basic categories: copy drawings, sketches for eventual compositions, and fully worked out compositions.

January 20th to 28th, 2017 at Les Enluminures

23 East 73rd Street • 7th Floor

Penthouse • New York, NY 10021

Tel +1 212 717 7273

newyork@lesenluminures.com

www.lesenluminures.com

Click here for PDF version of the catalogue

“There remains much to be learned from early drawings, and because of their increasing rarity, as well as intrinsic artistic interest, every example merits close attention and further study. Here is an uncommon opportunity for private collectors and institutions alike to acquire an Old Master drawing that documents an early moment in the history of drawing.” -----Dr. Sandra Hindman

“My fascination with the history of collecting illuminated manuscript leaves and cuttings in part fueled my interest in early drawings. I noted that many collectors of Old Master drawings often included fragments of illuminated manuscripts - both leaves and cuttings - in their collections. It is worth noting that many museums worldwide house miniatures with drawings in their departments of prints and drawings (this is the practice at the Art Institute of the Chicago and the Musée du Louvre, among many others).” -----Dr. Sandra Hindman

Image: GERMAN SCHOOL. Adoration of the Magi, Germany, Swabia or Franconia, c. 1465-70. 

1483544578873.jpgWashington, DC—Before venturing west to capture America's frontier in paintings and photographs, 19th-century artists explored the eastern landscape, which served as a powerful source of mythmaking for a nation finding its identity in the nineteenth century. However, with the exception of images from the Civil War, photography of the East during the period has never before been the exclusive focus of an exhibition or catalog. As the first of its kind, East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography will explore this fundamental chapter in America's photographic history through 175 photographs, including daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, albumen prints, stereo cards, and albums. On view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, West Building from March 12 through July 16, 2017, the exhibition showcases photographers who documented the nation's transition over the course of the century, exploring the untouched wilderness, the devastation of the Civil War, and the dramatic transformations of industrialization.

"We are delighted to present the first exhibition devoted to this foundational period in both the history of photography and of our nation," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "The assembling of such an extraordinary selection of photographs, many of which are rarely displayed, could not have been undertaken without the generous support of the Trellis Fund and Kate and Wes Mitchell."

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art in association with the New Orleans Museum of Art, where it will be on view from October 5, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Trellis Fund. Additional funding is kindly provided by Kate and Wes Mitchell.

Exhibition Highlights

Organized chronologically and thematically, East of the Mississippi begins with some of the earliest American photographs, created shortly after news of the Frenchman Jacques-Louis-Mandé Daguerre's invention reached eastern cities in late 1839. While Niagara Falls was already a favorite subject for paintings and prints, the first extant daguerreotypes of the natural wonder were made by British scientist Hugh Lee Pattinson in April of 1840. Soon after, dentist Samuel Bemis captured New England's White Mountains in an extraordinary series of daguerreotypes.

As areas of the East Coast's picturesque terrain became a popular destination for urban dwellers of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, photography became a means of marketing sites to tourists. In July of 1845 the Langenheim Brothers adopted the panorama format popular in the nineteenth century by making five daguerreotypes of Niagara Falls and mounting them side-by-side in a single frame. Photographers James Wallace Black and Franklin White journeyed to the White Mountains, making some of the earliest series of salted paper prints of the area, while others such as James McClees, Frederick DeBourg Richards, and Jay Dearborn Edwards trained their cameras on the built environment as urban centers experienced growth and transformation. George Kendall Warren, a pioneer of the college yearbook, photographed landscapes around college campuses including West Point.

The exhibition continues with photographs and paintings from the late 1850s and early 1860s, demonstrating the close ties between the two media as photographers sought to make landscapes more deeply attuned to contemporary aesthetic concern. Influenced by the ideas of painter Thomas Cole, art critic John Ruskin, and transcendentalist philosophers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, these photographers worked in close collaboration with painters or were even painters themselves. Photographer John Moran and his brother, the painter Thomas Moran, worked side by side in the environs of Philadelphia and the mountains of Pennsylvania. Samuel Masury photographed the Loring Estate on the coast of Beverly, Massachusetts as John Frederick Kensett painted the same landscape for Coastal Scene (c. 1860-1870). Further north, Charles and Edward Bierstadt collaborated with their brother Albert on a series of albumen prints of the White Mountains before Albert painted a similar scene in 1863, Mountain Brook.

The following section presents a range of photographs that document the impact of the Civil War on the eastern American landscape, showing selections from two of the most significant photographic publications of the 19th century—Alexander Gardner's Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War (1866) and George Barnard's Photographic Views of Sherman's Campaign (1866), both of which revealed the modification and devastation of the land from the war. Also featured are Andrew J. Russell's photographs of the building of military infrastructure in northern Virginia.

Two sections focus on the many ways in which photographers approached landscapes altered by industrialization. Thomas H. Johnson captured the coal mines expanding across northeastern Pennsylvania, while James F. Ryder and William H. Rau were hired by railroad companies, in 1862 and the 1890s respectively, to record newly laid train routes and showcase the scenic views made possible by the new infrastructure. Included are seven of Henry Peter Bosse's cyanotypes created while on a mapmaking survey of the upper Mississippi River. Undertaken to plan improvements to the river aimed at facilitating commerce and industry, the series illustrate photography's role in shaping development.

Finally, the exhibition presents photographers in the last decades of the century who made a living marketing the East's natural beauty while also advocating for its preservation. George Barker produced striking mammoth-plate albumen prints of Niagara Falls and Florida resorts. After finding success selling scenes of the Adirondacks to tourists and industrialists, Seneca Ray Stoddard made photographs such as Drowned Lands (c. 1888) which captured the forest ravaged by the timber industry. Stoddard used his photographs to advocate for the passing of a law to create Adirondack Park. In Wisconsin, Henry Hamilton Bennett began by selling stereographic prints of the Dells to the growing number of the river's steamboat tourists. He later protested plans for a dam that would submerge the sandstone formations he had so beautifully photographed. Finally, works by Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen conclude the exhibition, hinting at the future of American landscape photography in the 20th century.

Curator, Catalog, and Related Activities

The exhibition is organized by Diane Waggoner, curator of nineteenth-century photographs, National Gallery of Art.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog copublished by Yale University Press and written by Diane Waggoner; with additional essays by Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs, New Orleans Museum of Art and Jennifer Raab, assistant professor in the history of art, Yale University. Featuring 220 color illustrations, the 288-page hardcover catalog will be available at shop.nga.gov/, or by calling (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; faxing (202) 789-3047; or e-mailing mailorder@nga.gov.

Image: Henry Peter Bosse, Construction of Rock and Brush Dam, L.W., 1891, cyanotype, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mary and Dan Solomon

delitium.jpgNew York, NY, December 22, 2016 — Delirium: The Art of the Symbolist Book, opening January 20 at the Morgan Library & Museum, explores creative encounters between Symbolist authors and the artists in their circles.  The movement coalesced during the second half of the nineteenth century as writers in France and Belgium sought a new form of art—one that referenced the visible world as symbols that correlate to ideas and states of mind. The Symbolists celebrated subjectivity, expressed through a nuanced language of reverie, delirium, mysticism, and ecstasy. For these writers, literature suggests meaning rather than defines it.

The Symbolist movement was a revolt against naturalism, with an emphasis on allusion and self-expression that resonated with contemporary painters, who were in turn inspired to translate these ideas to visual art. Collaborations in print with Symbolist writers presented artists with a paradox: to create illustrations for words deliberately detached from explicit meaning or concrete reality. Divergent attempts to meet this challenge helped to liberate illustration from its purely representational role, introducing an unchartered dialogue between text and image. These developments informed the emergence of the concept of the book-as-art, a tradition that continues today. 

“With its renowned collections of printed books, manuscripts, and drawings, the Morgan Library & Museum is an ideal venue for this exhibition,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the museum. “The works in Delirium, which are drawn primarily from our own holdings, reveal the innovations and all-encompassing aspirations of the Symbolist aesthetic. The movement would have a profound effect on avant-garde literature, artists’ books, and modern theories of art.” 

The exhibition, on through May 14, features works by more than thirty leading figures, including Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), Stephane Mallarmé (1842-1898), Paul Verlaine (1844-1896), Alfred Jarry (1873-1907), Maurice Maeterlinck (1862-1949), Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Maurice Denis (1870-1943), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904), Henry van de Velde (1863-1957), and Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921). 

THE EXHIBITION

Delirium opens with an introduction to some of the movement’s literary and artistic precursors: works by Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) and the painters Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) and Puvis de Chavannes (1824-1898). Baudelaire’s writings on Delacroix helped shape the foundation of Symbolist poetics. A manuscript of an early poem about Delacroix’s Tasso in the Madhouse (1839) is juxtaposed with a study for one of the many works championed by the poet: The Struggle of Jacob with the Angel (1850). What moved Baudelaire was the painter’s ability to convey his interior life through the suggestive use of color, contour, and movement. These effects provoked memories, involuntary associations, and reverie in each viewer. Baudelaire adapted these ideas to poetry in his ground-breaking works: Fleurs du mal (1857) and Les épaves (1866), illustrated by the Belgian artist Félicien Rops (1833-1898).

There is not a uniform or guiding artistic style connected with the Symbolist movement, which is immediately apparent among the illustrations in the books on view. The writers counted among their friends visual artists associated with many avant-garde groups: Impressionists (Manet), the Decadents (Rops), the Nabis (Vallotton, Rippl-Ronai), post-Impressionists (Denis, Bonnard), Les XX (Khnopff, Minne), and Art nouveau (van de Velde, Rysselberghe). Each artist brought their individual aesthetic styles to the challenge of illustrating Symbolism— a literary movement, which itself lacked coherence.

At the center of the gallery, the first and last artist’s book associated with the movement are presented: Stéphane Mallarmé’s L’après-midi d’un faune (1876), illustrated by Édouard Manet; and Paul Verlaine’s Parallèlement (1900), illustrated by Pierre Bonnard. With its delicate imagery, oscillating typography, and Japanese-inspired book design, L’après-midi d’un faune beautifully conveys Mallarmé’s alternating states of reality, dream, and memory. Like several poets and novelists in the exhibition, Mallarmé expressed ambivalence toward illustration, believing that poetry needed no elaboration. Nevertheless, Mallarmé solicited illustrations from his friends throughout his career.

The variations in Bonnard’s intimate designs for the deluxe edition of Verlaine’s Parallèlement present an entirely different aesthetic. This is the result of the artist’s personal responses to each poem. His visual plays of association are depictions not necessarily of the subject matter but of whatever thoughts and visions emerged as he was reading. Bonnard’s asymmetric and erotic imagery skirts the margins or transgresses the linear order of the book’s classic typography. The artist kept pace with his spontaneous impressions of Verlaine’s text by sketching some designs directly onto typeset pages.

The artwork within the Symbolist books may be understood as a single artist’s interpretation of and reaction to the words on the page. Other artist collaborations on view that exemplify such individual responses to literature include George Minne’s melancholy imagery for Maurice Maeterlinck’s Serres chaudes, Redon’s haunting frontispieces for the poet Iwan Gilkin, and Maurice Denis’s evocative designs for André Gide’s Le voyage d’Urien.

While much of the artwork that corresponds with the Symbolist movement is anti-naturalistic, the legacies of some writers associated with the movement are tied to their public image and well-known portraits that were disseminated in print. Félix Vallotton (1865-1925), ubiquitous in periodicals of the 1890s, is known for his many thumbnail portraits of Symbolist writers. One of his first artistic woodcuts, a portrait of Paul Verlaine, is on view, along with images of Arthur Rimbaud by Fantin-Latour and Carjat, Manet’s engraved portrait of Baudelaire, and Nadar’s photograph of Mallarmé.

Delirium culminates with an examination of cover and title designs. Symbolist publishers, particularly in Belgium, were at the forefront of using cover designs as visual preludes to the literature within. The Pre-Raphaelite influence on Symbolist imagery is apparent in Carlos Schwabe’s (1866-1926) aspirant figure on the cover of Dreams by Olive Schreiner—a rare example of a Symbolist artist illustrating work by a female author. Also represented are the Belgian artists Théo van Rysselberghe and Henry van de Velde, whose book decorations heralded a new form of non-representational ornament. Their works encompass the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement, Seurat’s ideas about the affective qualities of line, and the emergent Art Nouveau. The experimental typography of author and artist Alfred Jarry, whose illegible title design is itself a Symbolist work of art, is also on view.

Translation Feature

Selected translations of poetry associated with objects on view will be made available on a hand-held card in the gallery. For this special feature, the Morgan collaborated with the contemporary poets Ariana Reines, Mark Polizzotti, Barry Schwabsky, Luc Sante, Marcella Durand, and John Godfrey to enrich the public’s experience by providing works by Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Rimbaud, and others in English.

Image: Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Centaure lisant, 19th century, Charcoal on light brown paper. The Morgan Library & Museum, Thaw Collection.

A new selection of 28 posters, prints, drawings and photographs is now on display in the ongoing Library of Congress exhibition “World War I: American Artists View the Great War.” 

The exhibition opened in May 2016 and is on view through Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017 in the Graphic Arts Galleries on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C.  It is free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  Tickets are not needed.

In the new rotation of art, notable themes include the vilification of the German enemy; trench warfare and the use of poison gas; the service of Red Cross nurses and volunteers; and the aftermath of the war and recovery.  Artists represented include George Bellows, Kerr Eby, Charles Dana Gibson, Gordon Grant, Edwin Howland Blashfield and Samuel J. Woolf; poster artists Frances Adams Halsted, James Montgomery Flagg and John Norton; cartoonists McKee Barclay and Otakar Valasek; and photographer Lewis Hine. 

The works of art are drawn from the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division collections.  In addition to the 28 new items on display, a monitor slideshow highlights another 60 items.

The exhibition examines the use of wartime art for patriotic and propaganda messages—by government-supported as well as independent and commercial artists.  Many of the artists worked for the federal government’s Division of Pictorial Publicity, a unit of the Committee on Public Information.  Led by Charles Dana Gibson, a pre-eminent illustrator, the division focused on promoting recruitment, bond drives, home-front service, troop support and camp libraries.  In less than two years, the division’s 300 artists produced more than 1,400 designs, including some 700 posters.

Heeding the call from Gibson to “Draw ‘til it hurts,” hundreds of leading American artists created works about the Great War (1914-1918).  Although the United States participated as a direct combatant in World War I from 1917 to 1918, the riveting posters, cartoons, fine art prints and drawings on display chronicle this massive international conflict from its onset through its aftermath.

“World War I: American Artists View the Great War” is made possible by the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, and is one in a series of events the Library is planning in connection with the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I.  An online version of the exhibition is available at loc.gov/exhibits/american-artists-view-the-great-war/.  Katherine Blood and Sara Duke from the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress led the division’s curatorial team.  Betsy Nahum-Miller from the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office is the exhibition director. 

The art exhibition complements the upcoming major exhibition “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I,” which will open Tuesday, April 4, 2017.  “Echoes” will feature more than 200 items and will draw from a wide array of original materials from the Library of Congress, which has the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation.  In combination, these exhibitions reveal the extraordinary stories of this turbulent time in our nation’s history and the powerful global forces that war unleashed.

Now through April 2017, the Library of Congress is featuring twice-monthly blogs about World War I, written by Library curators who highlight stories and collection materials they think are most revealing about the war.  The blogs can be viewed at loc.gov/blogs/.  In 2017 and 2018, the Library will offer lectures, symposia and other programming on World War I, produce educational materials, publish a book about the war, and plant Victory Gardens in the front beds at its Jefferson and Adams buildings. 

The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division holds nearly 16 million photographs, drawings and prints from the 15th century to the present day.  International in scope, these visual collections represent a uniquely rich array of human experience, knowledge, creativity and achievement, touching on almost every realm of endeavor: science, art, invention, government and political struggle, and the recording of history.  For more information, visit loc.gov/rr/print/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Signature Image.jpgNew York, NY, December 2016 — One of the most popular and enigmatic American writers of the nineteenth century, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) wrote almost 1,800 poems. Nevertheless, her work was essentially unknown to contemporary readers since only a handful of poems were published during her lifetime and a vast trove of her manuscripts was not discovered until after her death in 1886.  

Often typecast as a recluse who rarely left her Amherst home, Dickinson was, in fact, socially active as a young woman and maintained a broad network of friends and correspondents even as she grew older and retreated into seclusion. Bringing together nearly one hundred rarely seen items, including manuscripts and letters, I’m Nobody: Who are you?—a title taken from her popular poem—is the most ambitious exhibition on Dickinson to date. It explores a side of her life that is seldom acknowledged: one filled with rich friendships and long-lasting relationships with mentors and editors.  

The exhibition closely examines twenty-four poems in various draft states, with corresponding audio stops.  In addition to her writings, the show also features an array of visual material, including hand-cut silhouettes, photographs and daguerreotypes, contemporary illustrations, and other items that speak to the rich intellectual and cultural environment in which Dickinson lived and worked. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with Amherst College. 

“Emily Dickinson’s work—and life—remain endlessly compelling to literary scholars and to the larger artistic community,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “With its experimental poetics and vivid language, her verse continues to be a source of critical inquiry, while her quiet, unassuming years in Amherst are celebrated in music, theatre, and the cinema. The Morgan’s exhibition explores a less well-known aspect of her life—her personal and professional friendships—that will surely delight and surprise exhibition-goers.”

THE EXHIBITION

I. Childhood Years

“I attend singing school.”

Born in 1830, Emily Dickinson was part of a tight-knit family at the social center of Amherst, a small college town in western Massachusetts. She lived almost her entire life in the shadow of Amherst College, which was cofounded by her grandfather and where her father served as treasurer between 1835 and 1873. Life in such an environment brought a steady stream of visitors from far and wide, and Dickinson lived within an intellectually stimulating community that would later be reflected in her letters and poetry. Her father was protective, yet encouraged his children to pursue educational opportunities. Primary schooling for young women was not uncommon in Dickinson’s time, and she formed many strong attachments to her schoolmates and instructors at Amherst Academy, where she was part of a close group of friends known as the circle of five. Her exposure to poetry and keen use of language dates to her youth, as does her interest in the natural world and aesthetic presentation, evident in the books from her library, early letters, and her herbarium, an album of carefully pressed botanical specimens.

II. A Year at Mount Holyoke

"Everything is pleasant & happy here.”

At the age of sixteen, Dickinson left home to study at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, a women’s college, in nearby South Hadley, Massachusetts. She tested into the first of three academic levels but was promoted to the second by midyear and took courses in chemistry, botany, history, and languages. She was roommates with her cousin Emily Norcross and her time there is well documented in the surviving letters she sent to her brother, Austin, and friend Abiah Root, one of the circle of five friends from Amherst Academy. It was not unusual for women to attend only a single year of higher education, and Dickinson returned to Amherst at the end of the academic year.

III. Companions and Correspondents

“Stay! My heart votes for you.”

Dickinson was not a student at Amherst College—which was established in 1821 with the explicit goal of educating, in Noah Webster’s phrase, “indigent young men of promising talents and hopeful piety” for the Christian ministry—but, as the daughter of the college treasurer, she was expected to attend public events such as commencement and to assist with the annual trustee’s reception hosted at her father’s house. After the Civil War, the college drifted away from its focus on missionary training, but during Dickinson’s lifetime it was a hotbed for religious revivals. She led a socially active life when she was young, attending performances, concerts, and lectures and remaining close to friends she had made as a child at Amherst Academy. She also formed new relationships, often through her brother, Austin. He introduced her to his social circle and Dickinson would have a brief flirtation with one member. Later, Austin’s wife, Susan, would become one of the poet’s dearest friends. Even as she became more reclusive, and increasingly withdrew from society in the 1860s, Dickinson maintained an active correspondence, composing more than one thousand letters in her lifetime.

IV. Literary Influences and Connections

“After long disuse of her eyes she read Shakespeare & thought why is any other book needed?”

One benefit of life in a college town was access to books, newspapers, and magazines that might not otherwise be readily available. The Dickinson family kept a respectable library in their home, and Dickinson also borrowed books from friends. In addition to her wide-ranging reading habits, she was acquainted with some major figures in the worlds of publishing and literature, chief among them the editors Samuel Bowles, Thomas Wentworth Higginson, and Thomas Niles, as well as the writer and activist Helen Hunt Jackson. Although Bowles and Higginson both championed women writers, their views were far from universal. Helen Hunt Jackson forged her own career as an author and urged Dickinson to publish her poetry, with one small success.

V. Civil War Years

“I heard a Fly buzz-when I died-” 

Massachusetts played an important role in the Civil War, politically and militarily. For a brief time, the state’s Springfield Armory, not far from Amherst, was the sole government manufacturer of muskets and other arms. Hundreds of local residents, both white and African American, joined the Union army, although Dickinson’s brother Austin avoided service. Students and faculty from the college also joined the conflict. Charity events related to the war became a regular feature of daily life. Dickinson began collecting her rapidly increasing output of poems into hand-sewn manuscript booklets, known as fascicles, as early as 1858, but the war years saw a sharp increase in her productivity. Thirty out of forty fascicles and at least five unsewn sets of poems—each of which could include more than twenty drafts—date from the years 1861-65. Most of Dickinson’s poems that were published during her lifetime also appeared during this period.

VI. Lifetime Publications

“I had told you I did not print.”

Closely examining Dickinson’s unique manuscript practices provides a partial answer to the question of why she did not pursue publication. While Dickinson’s social network included supporters of her writing and the work of women writers in general, there were equally strong voices arguing the opposite position. She regularly exchanged letters with influential editors,including Bowles, Niles, and Higginson. But, for all of their progressive views—Bowles, for instance, hired Fidelia Hayward Cooke as literary editor at The Springfield Republican in 1860—Dickinson was constrained by the disapproval of her father and of other figures she admired. Only ten of Dickinson’s 1,789 poems were published during her lifetime but always with added titles and altered punctuation. With one exception, the poems appeared in newspapers and periodicals on densely printed pages and surrounded by articles and advertisements, as was typical for the period. Dickinson is never credited—her poems all were published anonymously—and it is probable they were printed without her consent. At the same time, she did not shun publication altogether. She submitted several poems to Niles who never printed them while Dickinson was alive, but would later publish the first three posthumous editions of her work to great success.

VII. Posthumous Publications and Legacy

“It was not death for I stood up.”

Emily Dickinson died at her home on May 15, 1886, possibly of kidney disease. Of her trove of poems, hundreds had been shared with her network of friends and correspondents, but Dickinsonhad kept sets and fascicles entirely private. These poems were only discovered by her sister, Lavinia, after her death.

Lavinia looked to Susan Dickinson, her sister-in-law and one of the poet’s closest friends, to publish them. But work proceeded slowly, and Lavinia eventually turned the manuscripts over to Mabel Loomis Todd, Austin’s mistress. Todd dedicated much of the rest of her life to editing and publishing Dickinson’s poetry. The first two books—in 1890 and 1891—were coedited by Higginson, the poet’s old literary mentor. Todd and Higginson faced many difficulties when interpreting Dickinson’s challenging manuscripts and were further hindered by technology (Todd’s typewriter did not have lowercase letterforms). They worked to regularize Dickinson’s lines and alter her punctuation in order to make the verse “look” more like conventional poetry. Nevertheless, more than four hundred poems were brought out within ten years of Dickinson’s death, and her indisputably strong literary reputation was quickly established.

Today, Dickinson is widely recognized as one of the most important poets of the nineteenth century and her work is acknowledged as a precursor to modernism. She profoundly influenced later generations of poets, writers, musicians, and visual artists, including Hart Crane, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, Adrienne Rich, Charles Wright, and Susan Howe; Aaron Copland and Dawn Upshaw; Joseph Cornell and Jen Bervin.

Image: The only authenticated image of Emily Dickinson, Daguerreotype, ca. 1847. The Emily Dickinson Collection, Amherst College Archives & Special Collections. Gift of Millicent Todd Bingham, 1956, 1956.002.

 

9. Hunt IX, 2016 © Hugo Wilson, Courtesy Shapero Modern    small.jpgShapero Modern is delighted to present Chroma hunt, an exhibition of hand-coloured etchings by the celebrated British artist, Hugo Wilson.

The images in this portfolio of nine etchings are closely related to Wilson’s recent series of paintings which portray the most primal of all rituals, the hunt. Hunting scenes were popular with wealthy collectors in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They represented a kind of ‘trophyism’ and a way of displaying mastery over nature. Wilson’s etchings are based on, or inspired by, famous paintings by old masters such as Rubens and Stubbs and show bizarre events where great beasts such as lions and crocodiles have been trained to hunt other animals. These images of writhing, snarling forms, some recognisable, others indistinct, portray immense animal strength - but the hunter remains unseen. Suggestive of mythic battle scenes, Wilson’s paintings shake the foundation of the context that they appear to mimic.

Wilson’s classical training is evident in his extraordinary technical facility - he studied at the renowned Charles H. Cecil Studio in Florence, Italy - as well as in his reverence for the masters of the Western artistic canon. His work suggests both a devotion to and subversion of this tradition. Wilson’s interest in mutability and instability is manifested in these works that take elements from European old master paintings and classical sculpture, and subjects them to a process of transformation. In the finished works reconfigured elements from the originals hover at the edge of legibility whilst new possibilities for meaning emerge.

The art historian Alison Bracker has written: ‘As his stunning new work confirms, Wilson translates the aesthetics of past centuries and cultures into an oeuvre that continually wrestles with one question in particular: why has man persisted in creating and sustaining ideological structures throughout time? The question invigorates the artist’s ‘Hunt’ paintings, which re- imagine the hunting rituals and mythologies enacted within works by Rubens, Stubbs and Venetian painter Jacopo de’ Barbari.’ †

Wilson works across a range of media including painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. His use of etching in these works also recalls eighteenth and nineteenth century natural history illustrations, particularly John James Audubon’s ornithological masterpiece, The Birds of America, 1827. Wilson’s interests are wide-ranging and encompass science, religion and culture, systems of classification, history and memory. Addressing such diverse subjects, his work enacts an investigative process in which the outcome is by no means certain. The work forms a series of open-ended questions and correspondingly provisional answers.

† Alison Bracker, from ‘Never a Single Approach,’ in Hugo Wilson, Parafin, London, 2015

Shapero Modern
14th December 2016 - 10th January 2017
Private View: Tuesday 13th December, 6—8.30 pm

Image: Hunt IX, 2016 © Hugo Wilson, Courtesy Shapero Modern.

Screen Shot 2016-12-05 at 9.13.47 AM.pngLos Angeles, CA — Depart Foundation announced that it will present a comprehensive exhibition of rare and important historical works by one of the most influential photographers of the American West, Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952). Curated by Bruce Kapson, Rediscovering Genius: The Works Of Edward S. Curtis will mark the premier institutional showing of Curtis’s masterwork body of Copper Photogravure Printing Plates used in the production of his epic publishing venture The North American Indian, and will include examples from every photographic medium in which the artist worked.

The Copper Photogravure Printing Plates are the source of origin for every vintage photogravure print extant and produced in The North American Indian. The exhibition's compilation of 30 individual Plates, presented in their original copper and inked state, is being shown for the first time in the 110-year history of this rediscovered body of the artist’s work. Each Plate is a unique work and a primary document of one of the most significant publishing ventures of the 20th century. Curtis spent more time refining and perfecting the imagery in these Plates than in any other medium. “Their three-dimensionality offers a wholly new material and aesthetic experience that is distinct from Curtis’s more widely exhibited gravures, photographic prints, and orotones. The immediacy of the copper Plates is unlike any other vehicle for these iconic images; it is as though they allow the viewer to be transmitted through the frame to the very moment the image was captured,” said Kapson.

In addition to these unique Copper Photogravure Printing Plates, Rediscovering Genius will showcase rare and notable examples drawn from every other photographic medium with which Curtis worked to help contextualize their significance. Among them, a very rare Hand-Colored Glass Lantern Slide from Curtis's "Musicale" lecture series, in which he displayed photographic images alongside his early recordings of Native American music and languages to illustrate their rituals and traditions.

A pioneer in many respects, Curtis in 1904, only a few years after field motion picture cameras were available, was using them to document Navajo, Hopi and Cheyenne rituals. As part of the exhibition, Curtis’s pioneering 1914 feature film, In the Land of the Head-Hunters (War Canoes) will run continuously and Anne Makepeace's biographical documentary on Curtis, Coming to Light, Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians, will be screened as a separate event at Depart Foundation in Los Angeles on Friday, December 9, 2016. Kapson says, "Believing that motion pictures were increasingly the medium to reach the masses - and that this first film might lead to other motion pictures based on Indian subjects - Curtis founded his own film company in Seattle and created a full-length film on Kwakiutl Indian life in 1914. Curtis lived and worked with the Kwakiutl for three years, and as Makepeace's documentary Coming to Light reveals, Curtis and his work are still cherished and honored by the descendants of those who participated."

Edward S. Curtis's work had the duality of being an incredible artistic creation and a document of a people. He was the first photographer to portray American Indians as anything other than objects of curiosity, and the first photographer to involve them as both active participants and contributing collaborators in the making of their own image.

Curtis created a vision of the American Indian that had never existed and never been surpassed. He produced images that not only record real daily activity, but also convey a dignity, universal humanity and majesty.

Bruce Kapson

Bruce Kapson is a respected expert on Edward S. Curtis and is widely regarded as the leading research authority on the Master Exhibition Prints of Curtis. As a Curtis curator and independent research scholar, he is responsible for several groundbreaking discoveries in the field and he has appraised major institutional and private collections. The consulting expert and a partner in the world’s largest archive of Original Copper Photogravure Plates from Curtis’s The North American Indian, Kapson’s gallery is considered the expert source for original works.

DEPART Foundation
DEPART Foundation provides an alternative platform for creative experimentation and exploration, set within a global context, that thrives outside of conventional, cultural structures. The impact of its work can best be understood as the charting of new artistic destinations with every project and program it undertakes.

Since its founding in 2008, DEPART Foundation has served as a catalyst for the Italian art and cultural community, strengthening the dialogue between Italy and the international art world. Like multiple outposts in Europe and U.S., DEPART Foundation has actively encouraged artistic production through sponsorship of young and established artists and the provision of spaces and resources conducive to the research, production and exhibition of new work, and to the presentation of educational and public programs.

Some of the most interesting and dynamic artists of our time, from around the world, have been presented for the first time in Rome by DEPART Foundation. They include Cory Arcangel, Joe Bradley, Nate Lowman, Ryan McGinley, Tauba Auerbach, Darren Bader, Louis Eisner, Roe Ethridge, Sam Falls, Mark Flood, Elias Hansen, Brendan Lynch, Oscar Murillo, Sarah Braman, Seth Price, Jon Rafman, Stephen G. Rhodes, Amanda Ross-Ho, Sterling Ruby, Lucien Smith, Valerie Snobeck and Frances Stark.

NOVEMBER 18, 2016-JANUARY 7, 2017

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Lyn Winter, +1 213 446 0788, lyn@lynwinter.com Livia Mandoul, +1 407 919 93924, livia@lynwinter.com

DEPART FOUNDATION

Damiana Leoni and Lorena Stamo, roma@departfoundation.org

Image: Edward S. Curtis, Pulini and Koyame - Walpi, Volume 12, 1921, Copper Photogravure Printing Plate, 9 x 6 inches.

image003.pngOxford, November 2016 - From fire-belching mountains to blood-red waves of lava, volcanoes have captured the attention of scientists, artists and members of the public for centuries. A new exhibition at the Bodleian Libraries uses a spectacular selection of eye witness accounts, scientific observations and artwork to chart how our understanding of volcanoes has evolved over the past two millennia.

The exhibition examines some of the world’s most spectacular volcanoes including the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius, one of the most catastrophic eruptions in European history, and the 19th century eruptions of Krakatoa and Santorini, two of the first volcanic eruptions to be intensely studied by modern scientists.

Today, satellites monitor volcanic activity and anyone with internet access can watch volcanic eruptions live in real time. In the past, volcanic eruptions were described in letters, manuscript accounts and early printed books, and illustrated through sketches, woodcuts and engravings. Many of these fascinating accounts are preserved in the Bodleian’s historic collections and will be on display in Volcanoes at the Weston Library.

The human encounters with volcanoes that are traced in the exhibition range from Pliny the Younger’s account of the dramatic eruption of Vesuvius in 79 CE to early Renaissance explorers who reported strange sightings of mountains that spewed fire and stones. Also explored is how scientific understanding of volcanoes and the Earth’s interior have developed over time, from classical mythology and early concepts of subterranean fires to the emergence of modern volcano science, or volcanology, in the 19th century. The exhibition brings together science and society, art and history and will delight visitors of all ages.  

The exhibition is curated by David Pyle, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, whose research uses historical sources to improve our knowledge of past volcanic activity and to shed light on what might happen in the future at young or active volcanoes.

It will feature treasures from the Bodleian Libraries, some of which have never been on public display before. In addition, the exhibition will feature items on loan from the Natural History Museum in London and from the University of Oxford’s Museum of Natural History, the Museum of the History of Science and Magdalen College. 

Highlights of Volcanoes include:

·         Fragments of ‘burnt’ papyrus scrolls from the ancient Roman town of Herculaneum, which were buried during the 79 AD eruption of Vesuvius

·         The earliest known manuscript illustration of a volcano, found in the margin of a 14th century account of the voyage of St Brendan, an Irish monk who travelled across the north Atlantic in the 6th century

·         A stunning illustration of the Earth’s subterranean fires from Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneus, an influential 17th century work which proposed that volcanoes were created where the Earth’s internal fires escaped at the surface

·         Spectacular 18th century studies of Vesuvius, by Scottish diplomat and early volcanologist William Hamilton who wrote one of the first descriptive monographs of an active volcano

·         18th and 19th century weather diaries and paintings, that capture the distant effects and freak weather conditions caused by major volcanic eruptions in Iceland and Indonesia

·         ‘Infographics’ from 19th century natural historians Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Daubeny whose work has contributed greatly to our current understanding of volcanoes

·         Lava and rock samples, maps, lecture notes and scientific equipment from 19th century volcanologists and explorers

The exhibition curator David Pyle said: ‘Humans have lived with volcanoes for millions of years yet scientists are still grappling with questions about how they work. This exhibition features historical representations and ideas about volcanoes that are captivating and dramatic but most importantly these works provide scientists today with valuable insights into how these enigmatic phenomena behave. Looking back at history can help us learn valuable lessons about how best to reduce the effects of future volcanic disasters.’ 

Richard Ovenden, Bodley’s Librarian said: ‘Volcanoes are one of the most extraordinary marvels of the natural world and have fascinated us for millennia. This exhibition draws on both the rich collections held at the Bodleian and cutting edge scientific research to demonstrate the power and fascination of volcanoes through time.’

Volcanoes at the Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, Oxford

Friday 10 Feb - Sunday 21 May 2017

Free admission, no booking required

An exciting programme of talks and events, including family-friendly activities, will be held over the course of the Volcanoes exhibition, which will be held at the Bodleian’s Weston Library. For more information visit www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/whatson.

The Weston Library is one of the newest cultural destinations in Oxford and has welcomed more than 1.1 million visitors since opening to the public in March 2015. The Library has also won a string of architectural awards and was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2016.

An accompanying publication to the exhibition, Volcanoes: Encounters through the Ages, will be released by Bodleian Library Publishing on 10 February 2017, and is available for pre-order at £20.00 from www.bodleianshop.co.uk.

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 9.01.01 AM.pngOn November 11, 2016, the Library Company of Philadelphia opened its new exhibition Together We Win: The Philadelphia Homefront During the First World War. Co-curated by Reference Librarian Linda August and Curator of Prints and Photographs Sarah Weatherwax, this exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of America's entrance into the war and the sacrifices and contributions Philadelphians made to the Allied cause. More specifically, the exhibition explores the role that the Library Company, its staff, and its shareholders played in supporting the war effort. Visitors will experience the sights and sounds of Philadelphia during this time period through the exhibition's incorporation of music, flags, colorful posters, photographs, books, maps, scrapbooks, and many other kinds of ephemera.

During the war, the American Library Association, of which the Library Company was a founding member, collected millions of books and magazines to send to the troops. In keeping with that tradition, the Library Company is collecting new or gently-used paperback books to donate to Operation Paperback, an organization that sends books to members of the military. A dollar bill tucked inside each donated book would be greatly appreciated to help defray the cost of shipping the books overseas.

Together We Win will run from November 11 until April 21, 2017. The gallery is open Monday-Friday 9:00am-4:45pm and admission to the exhibition is free. Programming related to the exhibition will include:

PAFA Performances: The Music of World War I

Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Co-sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Citizen Artists: World War I and the Creative Economy Symposium, Saturday, March 11 -Sunday, March 12, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at 2 p.m.

Curated tour of Together We Win at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Gallery tour for Library Company members of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts' exhibition World War I and American Art, Saturday, March 25, 2017 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts at 2 p.m.

Additional ticket information will be available closer to the date of each event. Please register for Library Company events and programs in advance at www.librarycompany.org/events  or call Clarissa Lowry at 215-546-318. Check our website for more updates on upcoming events at www.togetherwewin.librarycompany.org 

Images: From left to right: August William Hutaf, Treat 'Em Rough! Join the Tanks, 1917. Color lithograph. / Charles Buckles Falls, Books Wanted for Our Men, 1918. Color lithograph. / Lloyd Harrison, Corn, The Food of the Nation, 1918. Color lithograph. Library Company of Philadelphia.

About The Library Company of Philadelphia

Founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, the Library Company of Philadelphia is an independent research library and educational institution specializing in American and global history from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. Claiming one of the world's largest holdings of early American imprints, the Library Company also has internationally-renowned collections in early African American history, economic history, women's history, the history of medicine, and visual culture. The Library Company promotes access to these collections through fellowships, exhibitions, programs, and online resources. To find out more, please visit www.librarycompany.org.

F209B4D3-E8DD-4A99-9067-A1C82330D1E8.pngMaestro Arts in collaboration with Shapero Modern are delighted to present Jan Hendrix’s first UK solo exhibition, featuring works from The Aeneid Book VI, his most recent collaboration with Seamus Heaney.

Shortly before his death in August 2013, Heaney had completed his translation of the Aeneid Book VI and had started working on a collector's publication with Jan Hendrix and Hans van Eijk (Bonnefant Press). It was the proofs from this draft that enabled the Heaney family/estate and Faber & Faber (official publisher of Heaney’s work) to decide on the ‘final’ edition, published earlier this year to international acclaim.

Hendrix and Heaney had formed a friendship collaborating on two previous occasions. In 1992 Hendrix had illustrated The Golden Bough, Heaney’s earlier translation of a part of Aeneid Book VI. A second book, The Light of the Leaves, followed in 1999: poems mostly dedicated to his friends, all poets, Hughes, Brodsky, Herbert. It also carried images of the landscape of Yagul, this time printed in stark black and white on Nepalese paper.

For this latest collaboration, Hendrix has chosen to portray the landscape in a Dantesque setting in accordance with Book VI. Says Hendrix: “...As a farewell to a dear friend and a dear place, I have vowed never to return to Yagul again. The images are made in a panoramic fashion, as if standing on the great rock watching over the surrounding valleys. Strangely enough the cactuses that I portrayed in 1992 and 1999 and the years in between are now dying and disappearing.”

The exhibition and book launch on 24th January have the full support of the Heaney family and will be introduced by Seamus Heaney's daughter, Catherine Heaney.

Related Events:

In conversation with Jan Hendrix:

Saturday 28 January, 11am - 12pm Shapero Modern,
32 St George St,
London

The art of the bookplate is alive and well among Grolier Club members—just as it has been for 130 years.

The functional purpose of the bookplate is simple: collectors paste the small pieces of paper or leather into their volumes to identify ownership and establish a trail of provenance. Yet for centuries, bookplates have also served as visual testaments to book collectors’ personalities, passions, and legacies. The ex libris is a relatively obscure art form. Its heyday lasted from roughly 1880 to 1950, but bookplate design, printing, and use remain central to many book collectors’ activities. The plates of past Grolier Club members rank as some of the finest examples of the art form, and many current Club members continue to commission and use bookplates. This exhibition links historic and contemporary bookplates to celebrate the continued vitality of the art form, both within and beyond the Grolier Club.

Bookplates are more than decorative embellishments. In many cases, thoughtful collectors work closely with artists and printers to design fitting testaments to their individual interests. Knowing that their bookplates will likely remain pasted into their treasured volumes for years to come, collectors use the art form to establish their legacy among future owners and readers. Each plate on exhibit exudes the character of its owner and the design savvy of its maker. 

The show is replete with hundreds of examples of the ex libris art form, each imbued with special meaning for maker, user, and viewer alike. “Grolier Club Bookplates, Past and Present” emphasizes the meaning behind the symbolism in the plates on display, and the artistic legacy of the artists who bring patrons’ dreams to fruition.

Drawn almost entirely from the Grolier Club's own collection, the exhibition begins with one of the Grolier Club’s own bookplates, then moves to parallel bookplates of past members from the 1880s through the 1990s with the bookplates of nearly sixty current members. Notable designers include such famous artists as Walter Crane, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Lucien Pizarro, Eric Gill, Rockwell Kent, and Leonard Baskin, whose works are shown alongside that of the two most famous American masters of the bookplate genre in the early twentieth century, Edwin Davis French and Sidney Lawton Smith. There are bookplates printed by William Morris's Kelmscott Press, the Merrymount Press of Daniel Berkeley Updike, and the Spiral Press of Joseph Blumenthal. More recent typographers and calligraphers represented include Leo Wyatt, Will and Sebastian Carter, Reynolds Stone, Sheila Waters, Jerry Kelly, and Russell Maret, among others. A highlight is the original drawing—unpublished and never before exhibited—by Maurice Sendak for the bookplate of bookseller and collector Justin C. Schiller.

GALLERY HOURS: The exhibition is open to the public, free of charge, Monday-Saturday 10 am-5 pm through January 14, 2017. We will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 24-25, for the Thanksgiving Holiday, and December 24-31 for the Winter Holidays.

NCSML Lowry Travel Posters .jpgCEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The original exhibition, Czech Travel Posters from the Lowry Collection opens Saturday November 5, 2016. Both George and Nicholas Lowry, the father-son collectors, will attend the opening reception on Sunday, November 6, discussing the tradition and importance of travel posters within the Czech lands.

Viewers of PBS’s Antiques Roadshow will recognize Nicholas Lowry as a regularly appearing expert. George Lowry was born in Czechoslovakia, escaping on the eve of World War II and Hitler’s occupation of the country. George and Nicholas Lowry own Swann Auction Galleries in New York. Founded in 1941, Swann is the largest auctioneer of Works on Paper in the world, dealing with items ranging from books to photographs to posters. At over 1,000 works, the family owns the largest collection of Czech posters in the world outside the Czech Republic. The collection grew over the last 25 years out of the family’s Czech origins and George and Nicholas’s mutual passion for the images. Carefully curated by Nicholas Lowry, the exhibit Czech Travel Posters from the Lowry Collection showcases 43 travel posters that span several decades, many of them being exhibited for the first time.

For a small country, Czechoslovakia produced a large number of posters, owing to a combination of the country’s rich artistic legacy and strong economic climate. The travel posters are a unique form of advertising showcasing the beauty, intrigue, and architecture of the Czech lands, sometimes urging tourists (in German, English or French) to visit such wonders in Czechoslovakia as Brno or Kutna Hora. Other posters extol the sporting opportunities in Czechoslovakia, such as golf or skiing. A few are in Czech, printed to promote internal tourism and travel.

Details about the opening reception at http://www.ncsml.org/event/opening-reception-travel-posters-lowry-collection/ Please RSVP online.

Opening Reception Schedule, Sunday November 6, 2016:

1:00 - 2:00pm: Presentation by Nicholas Lowry in WFLA/ZCBJ Heritage Hall
2:00 - 3:00pm: Nicholas and George Lowry will be available in Petrik Gallery to discuss the artwork and their collection. Light refreshment provided

Regular admission is required to enter the museum’s galleries. NCSML Members receive free admission to all galleries. The portion of the event held in WFLA/ZCBJ Heritage Hall is completely free. Please note: while Nicholas Lowry is a favorite expert on Antiques Roadshow, he will not be available to appraise items during this visit to the NCSML. The public is asked to please not bring items for this purpose.

Additionally, NCSML members and volunteers are invited to a special shopping event in the Museum Store. Members and volunteers receive 25% off their purchases between 12:00pm and 5:00pm on Sunday, November 6 only, plus receive a free glass of wine at the cash bar. The public is also welcome to shop during the Museum Store event, but will not receive the exclusive member and volunteer discount. Memberships will be available for purchase on the day of the event. Details at http://www.ncsml.org/event/member-volunteer-appreciation-day-museum-store/

Bernard Shapero of Shapero Rare Books and Sandra Hindman of Les Enluminures are delighted to present 2000 Years of Jewish Culture: an exhibition of books, manuscripts, art, and jewellery.

A selling show, it is the first of its kind ever staged in the UK in a private space, and, accordingly, it will be marked by the publication of a fully illustrated catalogue. It encompasses every aspect of Jewish life, including philosophy, religion, literature, photography, fine art and jewellery. 

Says curator Bela Goldenberg Taieb: Each of the assembled artifacts - the oldest of which is a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls -  is representative of a particular field of endeavour, and as such they collectively offer a truly compelling picture of the Jewish contribution to world culture.'

The exhibition, which features over 100 objects, will be arranged over the basement, ground and first floor of Shapero’s Mayfair premises. It presents several important rare books, the subjects of which span the tenth to the twentieth centuries, including first editions of some important examples of Anglo-Judaica. 

Books and Manuscripts:

  • A group of 5 fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • A 13th century Hebrew manuscript of The Book of Genesis on vellum, originating in Germany; a 12th-13th century manuscript of The Book of Psalms and a 14th -15th century Byzantine manuscript of the Passover Haggadah.
  • The first English translation of the Haggadah. The book was issued in two editions and represents the only known appearance of Ladino in Hebrew letters in a London imprint. The present edition is in fact so rare that it is not found in either the British Library nor the Bodleian Library. Its translator, Alexander ben Judah Leib, was one of the pioneers of the Hebrew printing in London, and was responsible for establishing the Hebrew Press in London in 1770. This Haggadah was the second book published by him, following an earlier bilingual Common-Prayer-Book, also featured in this exhibition, along with his first edition of the Pentateuch.
  • The first book by Ka-Tzetnik. Entitled Tzveiuntzvantzik - Lider (Twenty-Two Poems), the book is possibly the most complete copy currently in existence of Ka-Tzetnik’s first book of Yiddish poetry, published in 1931.  Born Yehiel Feiner, he is one of the most important Israeli authors. During WWII, Feiner spent two years (1943-1944) as a prisoner in Auschwitz concentration camp, and was the sole survivor out of his entire family. While being led out of the camp to be shot, he managed to escape and in 1945 arrived in Palestine and became a famous Holocaust novelist. His nom de plume, Ka-Tzetnik 135633, refers to the words ‘Concentration Camper’ in Yiddish slang, and his prisoner number. Ka-Tzetnik famously hunted down his only pre-war book in public libraries and has creatively destroyed most of them.
  • A collection of Zionist books and artifacts, including Herzl’s portrait by Hermann Struck, signed by Herzl himself; first editions of Herzl’s seminal work Der Iudenstaat, photographs and letters. 

Photographs of and by distinguished twentieth century Jews:

  • Autographed photographs of Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud. The latter portrait is inscribed with a note of remembrance from Sigmund Freud to Dr. Smiley Branton, an intimate friend and a former patient, who underwent psychoanalysis in 1929. Blanton was the author of the best-selling self-help guide, Love or Perish, 1956, a speech pathologist and psychoanalyst in New York for many years.
  • A seminal photograph by Alfred Stieglitz. The Steerage is Stieglitz’s most iconic photograph, and was proclaimed by the artist and illustrated in histories of the medium as his first Modernist photograph. Taken in 1907 aboard the SS Kaiser Wilhelm II, the work marks Stieglitz’s transition away from painterly prints of Symbolist subjects to a more straightforward depiction of life.

Depictions of the Holy Land:

  • One of the most impressive engraved panoramic views of Jerusalem by Wencelaus Hollar (Ierusalem, 1660). Its representation of the First Jewish Temple at Jerusalem (aka Solomon's Temple) is based on earlier engravings that were published in Rome in 1604. Inside the city’s walls, Solomon’s Temple and the Palace of King David are figured prominently on the Temple Mount. Hollar was a prominent Bohemian etcher in the 17th century. In a career of some 50 years, he produced almost 3,000 etchings on a variety of subjects, with the direct, realist style that makes them very valuable historical documents. The British Museum, the print room at Windsor Castle and the National Gallery in Prague all hold near complete collections of Hollar’s work.
  • A spectacular early photograph of the old city of Jerusalem and its surrounding hills by the renowned British photographer, Francis Frith. From his perspective on the Mount of Olives, Frith captured the walls of the ancient city with houses and buildings indistinguishable within. Some early photographs of Jerusalem by Felix Bonfils will also be exhibited.
  • A coloured woodcut map of the Holy Land by Claudius Ptolemaeus is a fine example with rich original colour. Printed in 1482, it provided the basic image of the Holy Land until the 18th century.

Jewellery:

  • A collection of Jewish wedding rings. Dating from between the 16th and 19th centuries, the rings feature miniature palaces, castles and temples in the place of gemstones, the roofs of which often open like a locket to reveal a Hebrew inscription.

Cuisine:

  • Jewish cuisine is represented by Lady Judith (Cohen) Montefiore’s Jewish Cookery by a Lady. When this book was first published in 1846, the identity of ‘the Lady’ to whom the work is accredited was unknown. Only after later scholarship did the identity become apparent. The Montefiores observed the Mosaic dietary laws and kept a strictly kosher kitchen. This required that their meat be ritually slaughtered and that they observe the biblical injunctions on mixing dairy with meat, and avoid eating pork, shell-fish, hares, rabbits and swans.
  • A seminal 16th century Hebrew manuscript on vellum listing the rules and laws of Kosher slaughter and food preparation -  Sefer Shechitot U’Bedikot by Rabbi Ya’akov Weil. 

Art:

  • Colour lithographic limited edition artist books by Mark Chagall, including Drawings for the Bible (1960), Vitraux pour Jérusalem (1962) and Psaumes de David (1979).
  • Folio of lithographic portraits by Oscar Kokoschka, entitled Jerusalem Faces (1973), which includes a portrait of Golda Meir.
  • Folio of woodcut prints by Reuven Rubin entitled The God Seekers (1923). Rubin was a Romanian-born Israeli painter and Israel's first ambassador to Romania. He is considered one of the founders of the Eretz-Yisrael style in painting.
  • Magnificently illustrated limited edition Passover Haggadah, on vellum, with illustrations by Arthur Szyk, signed by both Szyk and Cecil Roth (the editor) produced in 1939. Arthur Szyk was a Polish-Jewish artist, illustrator and caricaturist, who produced works characterised in their material content by social and political commitment, and in their formal aspect by the rejection of Modernism and the influence of the traditions of Medieval and Renaissance painting, especially illuminated manuscripts from those periods. Unlike most caricaturists, Szyk always showed great attention to the colour effects and details in his works.
  • The first illustrative drawings of Lucian Freud. These appeared in a collection of poems by Nicholas Moore. Published in 1944, the same year as Freud's first solo exhibition, the illustrations include a number of motifs that Freud would revisit, making this an interesting record of his early work. Additionally, an early Lucian Freud drawing from c.1942 will be shown. 

 

Exhibition dates: 4th November - 19th November, 2016

Shapero Rare Books

32 St. George Street

London W1S 2EA

A number of events have been planned to complement the exhibition. These include the following:

Gallery Talks (to take place at Shapero Rare Books):

Speaker: Sharon Liberman Mintz, the Curator of Jewish Art, The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary

Subject:  ‘Hebrew Manuscripts and Jewish Culture’

Date: Tuesday November 1st, 7 pm (opening night)

Speaker: Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, Jewelry historian, curator and author 

Subject: ‘Jewish Wedding Rings’

Date: Thursday November 3rd, 7 pm

 

Although the Marquis de Lafayette is popularly known as “America’s Favorite Fighting Frenchman” in the current Broadway musical Hamilton, his role as an ardent abolitionist has not received the same kind of attention as his contributions to the American Revolution.  The groundbreaking exhibition A True Friend of the Cause: Lafayette and the Antislavery Movement, on view at the Grolier Club from December 7, 2016 to February 4, 2017, is designed to offer a more comprehensive look at the man who was a “hero of two worlds”.  While Lafayette’s contributions in the areas of politics, diplomacy, and the military have received renewed scholarly and public recognition, his abolitionist activities are not widely known, nor have they been adequately explored in any major exhibition or publication in the last twenty-five years.  This exhibition brings into focus Lafayette’s sustained efforts in France, the United States, and South America on behalf of the abolition of slavery.

Co-curators Olga Anna Duhl, Oliver Edwin Williams Professor of Languages, and Diane Windham Shaw, Director of Special Collections and College Archivist, Skillman Library, Lafayette College, offer a comprehensive view of Lafayette’s activities.  Drawn from Lafayette College’s rich collections of 18th and 19th century rare books, manuscripts, paintings, prints, and objects, some of which are on public view for the first time, the approximately 130 works in the exhibition also include loans from Cornell University and the New-York Historical Society. 

The Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) fought in the American War of Independence; was a friend to the Native Americans; defended the rights of French Protestants and Jews during the French Revolution; supported the national emancipation movements of the people of Poland, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and South America; and promoted the ideas and causes of women.  Most significantly, he remained throughout his life a fervent advocate of the abolition of slavery and the African slave trade, earning the recognition of prominent British abolitionist, Thomas Clarkson, as “a true friend of the cause.”

Early on, Lafayette learned that the ideals of liberty and equality during the revolutionary era hardly benefitted all members of society. In fact, one of the most daunting paradoxes of that era, which became a source of reflection and action for him, was the incompatibility between the national independence of the newly formed United States and the practice of slavery and slave trade.  

The exhibition traces Lafayette’s first encounters with slaves on the South Carolina coast upon his arrival in America in 1777.  Highlights of his role in service with the Continental Army are revealed in his letters to his mentor, George Washington, written from Valley Forge, Newport, and Virginia during the Yorktown Campaign, where Lafayette writes of the intelligence gathered by one of his spies, James, an enslaved African American.  On view is a highly significant letter written by Lafayette to Washington requesting his partnership in a venture to free slaves.  Stunning French prints of the American Revolution are included, as is an influential portrait, Lafayette at Yorktown, by Jean-Baptiste Le Paon.

The impact of abolitionist ideas on Lafayette is represented by the Marquis de Condorcet’s seminal work of 1781, Réflexions sur l’esclavage des nègres, and writings of British abolitionists Thomas Clarkson and Granville Sharp.  Lafayette’s decision to move forward on his own by purchasing property in French Guiana to carry out his experiment in gradual emancipation is documented by an extraordinary group of documents on loan from the Cornell University Library.  Included among them is a list of the enslaved who were selected to work on the property.  Maps, prints, and early travel volumes recreate the image of this South American colony.

Lafayette’s complicated story during the French Revolution includes his membership in the French Society of the Friends of Blacks. Publications of the Society are on view, as are printed versions of landmark French documents—the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789), the French Constitution (1791), and the decree abolishing slavery in the French colonies (1794).  Lafayette’s hasty departure from France in 1792 to avoid the guillotine is documented by the beautiful sword that was taken from him when he was arrested and imprisoned by the Austrians, which stands as a symbol of his personal experience with captivity.  Lafayette’s return to a quiet life in France in 1800 found him still passionately committed to the antislavery movement, rejoicing when England outlawed the slave trade in 1807.  Commemorative volumes and prints celebrate that milestone.

Lafayette’s last visit to America in 1824-25 was an extravagant moment in the nation’s history.  The exhibition includes some of the spectacular souvenirs that were made to commemorate his visit—china, textiles, and even a clothes brush with the bristles dyed to spell “Lafayette 1825.”  Lafayette’s emphasis on greeting all Americans is highlighted, including his visit to the African Free School in New York City, where he received a welcome address by an eleven-year-old student.  Calligraphed and delivered by the student himself, James McCune Smith, who went on to become one of America’s first black physicians and a noted abolitionist, this text is a loan from the New-York Historical Society Library.  The Farewell Tour section also documents Lafayette’s friendship with fellow antislavery advocate, Frances Wright, and his support of her gradual emancipation project “Nashoba” near Memphis, Tennessee.

Also included are letters from James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and John Marshall, and letters from Lafayette to Albert Gallatin, William H. Crawford, Joel Poincett, and others.  Even after his death in 1834, his influence continued, particularly in America, where abolitionists, both black and white, continued to cite his example.  Finally, the exhibit includes special items chosen to remind us of the human face of slavery—manumission papers of a woman and a man freed by their Quaker owners; the pension records of an African American Revolutionary soldier from Connecticut; and the first American printing of the Brooks engraving of slaves tightly packed on board a slave ship.

Despite the changing fortunes and conflicting reviews of his career, Lafayette has remained a compelling figure in world history, and the interest in his contributions shows no sign of diminishing.  

CATALOGUE:

The 75 page full-color catalogue includes and introduction and four essays on the themes of the exhibition.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS:

Lunchtime Guided Tours by the curators: 

December 7 and 14, January 18, and February 1

Roundtable Discussion: 

January 24, 2-3:30 pm.  Reception to follow.

“Lafayette and the Antislavery Movement” with co-curators and moderators Ms. Duhl and Ms. Shaw and featuring panelists Laura Auricchio (The New School), François Furstenberg (Johns Hopkins University), and John Stauffer (Harvard University).

About the Grolier Club

The Grolier Club of New York is America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts in the graphic arts.  Founded in 1884, the Club is named for Jean Grolier, the Renaissance collector renowned for sharing his library with friends.  The Club’s objective is to foster the literary study and promotion of arts pertaining to the production of books.

VISITING THE GROLIER CLUB: 

47 E. 60th Street, 

New York, NY  10022

212-838-6690

Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM

Admission: Open to the public free of charge

www.grolierclub.org

New York, October 24, 2016—The exhibition The Shape of Things: Photographs from Robert B. Menschel presents a compact history of photography, from its inception to the early 21st century, in 100 images. On view from October 29, 2016, through May 7, 2017, the exhibition is drawn entirely from the 504 photographs that have entered The Museum of Modern Art’s collection over the past 40 years with the support of longtime Museum trustee Robert B. Menschel. It includes a notable selection of works from his personal collection that were given in 2016 and are being shown here for the first time. The Shape of Things is organized by Quentin Bajac, the Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, with Katerina Stathopoulou, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Photography, MoMA.

Borrowing its title from the eponymous work by Carrie Mae Weems (American, b. 1953), the exhibition presents the history of the medium in three parts, emphasizing the strengths of Menschel’s collection and mirroring his equal interest in historical, modern, and contemporary photography. Each section focuses on a moment in photography’s history and the conceptions of the medium that were dominant then: informational and documentary in the 19th and early 20th centuries, more formal and subjective in the immediate postwar era, and questioning and self-referential from the 1970s onward. The installation occasionally diverges from a strict chronological progression, fueled by the conviction that works from different periods, rather than being antagonistic, correspond with and enrich each other.

Historical

From 1840 to 1900, in photography’s infancy as a medium, artists principally sought to depict truthful representations of their surrounding environments. This primal stage is distinguished by a debate on the artistic-versus-scientific nature of the invention. Photographers engaged with the aesthetic and technical qualities of the medium, experimenting with tone, texture, and printing processes.

The exhibition begins with seminal photographs such as William Henry Talbot Fox’s (British, 1800-1877) 1843 picture Rue Basse des Remparts, Paris, taken from the windows of the Hôtel de Douvres. Also on view is the astronomer Jules Janssen’s (French, 1824-1907) masterpiece L’ Atlas de photographies solaires (Atlas of solar photographs), published in 1903. Summing up a quarter-century of daily photography at Janssen’s observatory in Meudon, France the volume on view contains 30 images of the photosphere, demonstrating photography’s instrumental role in advancing the study of science. Other artists included in this section are Louis-August and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson (Bisson brothers), Eugène Cuvelier, Roger Fenton, Hugh W. Diamond, Charles Marville, and Henri Le Secq

Modern

As photographers grappled with war and its aftermath, they began to turn their focus away from documenting the world around them and toward capturing their own personal experiences in a more formal, subjective way. A selection of works from 1940 to 1960 explores this theme, including works by two artists whose images Menschel collected extensively: Harry Callahan (American, 1912-1999) and Aaron Siskind (American,1903-1991).

A selection from Callahan’s quintessential photographs of urban environments—from Chicago and New York to Aix-en Provence and Cuzco, Peru—double exposures of city views, and portraits of his wife Eleanor and daughter Barbara, underscore the breadth of his oeuvre. In the summer of 1951, while teaching alongside Callahan at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, Siskind began the series of pictures of the surfaces of walls for which he is best known. One of the early works in the series on view, North Carolina 30 (1951), shows the bare legs of a woman framed by the words “IN” and “AND” amid layers of peeling layers of posters. In their planarity and graphic quality, these pictures also have a kinship with paintings by the Abstract Expressionists, alongside whom Siskind began exhibiting in the late 1940s. Other artists in this section include Berenice Abbott, Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, John Gossage, André Kertész, Clarence John Laughlin, and Dora Maar.

Contemporary

From the 1970s onward, photographers began working in what A.D. Coleman defined as “The Directorial Mode,” wherein the photographer consciously creates events for the sole purpose of making images. John Coplans (British, 1920-2003) took his own body, naked and with the head invisible, as the subject of his work—both carrying on and contradicting the tradition of the self-portrait centered on the face—as seen in Self-Portrait (Back with Arms Above) (1984).

Joan Fontcuberta’s (Spanish, b. 1955) series Herbarium appears at first glance to be a collection of botanical studies, depicting plants with new and distinctive contours and rigorously scientific names. However, as revealed by his fictional character Dr. Hortensio Verdeprado (“green pasture” in Spanish), the “plants” are actually carefully composed by the photographer using scrap picked up in industrial areas around Barcelona. Made of bits of paper and plastic, small animal bones, and other detritus, these forms are not only non-vegetal—there is almost nothing natural about them at all. Fontcuberta is interested in the way data assumes meaning through its presentation and in the acceptance of the photographic image as evidence of truth. Other artistsn this section include Jan Groover, David Levinthal, An-My Lê, Michael Spano, JoAnn Verburg, and William Wegman.

About Robert B. Menschel

Robert B. Menschel started collecting photographs in the 1970s, acquiring over the years hundreds of prints ranging from early to contemporary photography. He joined The Museum of Modern Art’s Committee on Photography in 1977, immersing himself not only in photography, its history, and its present, but also in the Museum’s culture. In 1989, he was elected to the Board of Trustees, becoming its President in 2002 and Chairman of the Board in 2005. In 2007, he was elected Chairman Emeritus and a Life Trustee of the Museum. From 1998 to 2002 he was Chair of the Committee on Photography.

SPONSORSHIP:

The exhibition is supported by the Annual Exhibition Fund.

PUBLICATION:

The exhibition is accompanied by a publication that explores 60 remarkable photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, all acquired with the support of Robert B. Menschel and selected for the book by the Museum’s Chief Curator of Photography, Quentin Bajac. Ranging from the contemporary artist Andreas Gursky to William Henry Fox Talbot, one of the medium’s founding figures, these works collectively tell the story of photography from its beginnings, but upend and newly illuminate that story through their arrangement in reverse chronological order. Each image is the subject of a brief, elegant text. 152 pages, 65 color and duotone illustrations. Hardcover, $50. ISBN: 978-1-63345-022-6. Published by The Museum of Modern Art and available at MoMA stores and online at momastore.org. Distributed to the trade through ARTBOOK|D.A.P. in the United States and Canada. Distributed outside the United States and Canada by Thames & Hudson.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 9.30.37 AM.pngAccompanied by a publication by Drs. Sandra Hindman and Beatriz Chadour-Sampson “Rings Around the World” explores the eternal forms, inspirations, and aesthetics of finger rings across many cultures throughout history, with over forty rings deriving from China, the Middle East, Europe, and America. Covering over four millennia, from the Bronze Age to the present day, the exhibition will also feature pieces by celebrated contemporary jewelry artists Wallace Chan and Giovanni Corvaja.

Organized chronologically, the catalogue will include scholarly descriptions of each ring. It will also call attention to links between forms, periods, and cultures. For example:

*Renaissance Posy Rings from England inscribed with sentimental expressions find their parallel in a Chinese jade philosopher’s ring with an inscription “Quit Alcohol.”

*Included are rings of many periods and different origins that adapt forms from monumental media (sculpture in an Art Nouveau Ring and architecture in an Arts and Crafts ring and a Jewish Wedding Ring).

*Magic and belief in superior beings is reflected in Egyptian faience rings (which also resemble repousse rings of the early European Renaissance) and a Sumatran astrological ring.

These are just a few examples of some of the fascinating associations the exhibition and catalogue evoke between objects.

This all-encompassing exhibition will open in London (hosted by Sam Fogg, 15D Clifford Street) from 2nd to 11th November and travel to Les Enluminures New York (23 East 73rd Street, NYC 10021), from 17th November to 3rd December 2016.

States-of-MindFull-Exhibition-Image2-1.jpgPasadena, CA—The Norton Simon Museum presents States of Mind: Picasso Lithographs 1945-1960, a revelatory exhibition exploring Pablo Picasso’s prolific work in the medium of lithography. Drawing from the Norton Simon Museum’s holdings of more than 700 Picasso prints—among the deepest collections of its kind anywhere in the world—States of Mind traces the evolution of the artist’s individual compositions from the 1940s and 1950s through multiple states, subtle adjustments and radical revisions. The 86 prints on view, many presented for the first time in 40 years, give viewers a rare chance to encounter this groundbreaking body of work by one of history’s most celebrated artists.

By the end of the Second World War, Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973) had reached what he called “the moment... when the movement of my thought interests me more than the thought itself.” This new interest in “movement” found its most remarkable expression in Picasso’s practice as a printmaker. Whereas oil paintings inevitably covered their tracks, concealing the process of their making under layers of opaque color, prints—especially lithographs—promised to record their own development through sequential stages, charting the movement of their maker’s thoughts from state to state. Picasso could work up a design, print it (in a first state), rework it and print it again (in a second state), repeating the process two or 10 or 20 times to chart the metamorphoses of a particular compositional idea.

On Nov. 2, 1945, with France still under a provisional government and groceries still rationed in Paris, Picasso walked into the Mourlot Frères print shop in the rue de Chabrol. “He arrived as though he were going to battle,” the firm’s director, Fernand Mourlot, later recalled, and indeed the demands Picasso would place on Mourlot’s master printers were without precedent. He had produced only a few dozen lithographs in the 1910s and 1920s—all more or less conventional in their approach—but the designs he brought to Mourlot’s shop were far more daring, incorporating grattage, collage and mixed media. “How could anyone possibly print from that?” demanded Gaston Tutin, one of Mourlot’s master printers, calling the artist’s disregard for proper lithographic technique “a monstrosity.” But, cajoling his reluctant collaborators, Picasso swiftly and decisively transformed the practice of lithography, producing 185 plates over the next three years and more than 400 by the end of the 1960s.

The subjects of Picasso’s early lithographs are often ordinary: a dish of fruit, a cup of tea, a boy in a striped shirt. There are experiments with lithographic ink and doodles of animals. The face of a beautiful woman, one eyebrow slightly cocked, gazing calmly back at the observer, appears again and again. The young painter Françoise , Picasso’s companion from 1946 to 1953, provided the inspiration for many of these compositions; through two or four or 10 printed states, her features metamorphose past likeness into abstraction in a process the artist also applied to various other motifs. Perhaps the most famous example is that of The Bull, which treats a subject close to the Spanish painter’s heart. From a simple brush and ink drawing to a glowering behemoth, to a schematic portrayal reminiscent of a butcher’s chart, to a playful outline, concise as a cave painting, Picasso transformed this creature over 11 states from Dec. 5, 1945, to Jan. 17, 1946. As for several of the artist’s most iconic lithographs of the 1940s, the exhibition includes all the editioned states of The Bull as well as a unique working proof of an unnumbered state.

Picasso at the Norton Simon Museum

Over the course of his collecting career, Norton Simon purchased 885 works by Picasso, more than by any other artist except Goya. These comprised some 20 paintings in oil and pastel, nine bronzes, six drawings and 850 prints (some of which were sold at a later date). His largest single acquisition of Picasso artworks occurred in 1977 with the purchase of 228 lithographs, dated from the 1940s and 1950s and originating from the collection of Fernand Mourlot himself. The group included trial proofs (sometimes printed just once or twice), artist’s proofs (printed in private editions of 18, often years before the larger commercial editions of 50) and 168 final proofs marked Bon à tirer (“O.K. to print”) in Picasso’s brisk, confident hand. Opening up this rare trove, the exhibition presents 86 prints that chart Picasso’s discovery of lithography and his continuing reliance upon the medium to record the movement of his thoughts.

Picasso and Lithography

Unlike intaglio printmaking techniques like engraving and etching, lithography is essentially a planographic (flat) process. It relies on the repulsion of grease and water to transfer a hand-drawn image from a smooth surface (originally a piece of limestone) onto a sheet of paper. In its most rudimentary form, the lithograph requires an artist to draw or paint with a greasy crayon or greasy ink (the tusche) directly on the stone, which is then chemically fixed, wet, inked and printed, producing an exact, reversed copy of the tusche drawing. Since the development of transfer papers in the 19th century, an artist has been able to work up his or her design in the studio and send it off to the printer’s shop for chemical transfer, reversal and production. The result is an exactly reproducible image that captures all the tonal subtleties of even a pencil drawing, but requires no specialized printmaking skills on the artist’s part.

As a printmaker, Picasso was most closely associated with intaglio techniques, particularly etching and aquatint, but lithography presented him with a new challenge and a new set of tools. What may have interested him most about the process seems to have been its flexibility: tusche applied in a liquid wash one day might be scraped off the next, mimicking the effect of a wood engraving, a child’s drawing or a graffito. A paper cutout design, inked in various colors, might be printed on its own or layered with a crayon drawing, adding new dimension to each. A figure worked up in black on a white background could be incised, covered and drawn anew as a white figure on a black background. The possibilities were endless.

The 1950s and the Women of Algiers

By 1955 (10 years after his arrival at Mourlot’s studio), Picasso was unquestionably the most celebrated living artist, for Henri Matisse, his only real rival, had died in 1954. The story of Picasso’s lithographs is entwined from the beginning with that of his relationship to Matisse, for two designs of the first three Picasso brought to Mourlot’s shop—white heads scraped into black tusche grounds—seem to have been inspired by white-on-black book illustrations Matisse had published the previous year. The older artist, moreover, shared Picasso’s frustration with the “disappearance” in painting of earlier stages and had attempted to solve the problem as early as 1940 by having photographs taken of his work in progress. The display at a Parisian gallery in 1945 of a finished picture by Matisse surrounded by sequential photographs taken as it was painted may have inspired Picasso’s most ambitious attempts at recording the “movement” of his own thoughts through lithography—The Bull and Two Nude Women, printed in 11 and 18 states, respectively, between November 1945 and February 1946. Both works are represented in the exhibition, which includes a precious proof with The Bull on one side and Two Nudes on the other.

After the death of Matisse, Picasso plunged into a project still more explicitly inspired by the older artist’s work, remarking, “When Matisse died, he left his odalisques to me.” Picasso here referred to his own most-sustained experiment in seriality to date: the Women of Algiers, a series of 15 paintings (designated by the letters “A” to “O”), numerous drawings and intaglio prints, and two lithographs (one of them printed in four states) executed from late December 1954 through February 1955. With this project, Picasso measured himself not only against Matisse, the modern master of such imaginary harem scenes, but also against Eugène Delacroix, the 19th-century Romantic painter who had more or less invented the genre. When challenged for turning to an ostensibly old-fashioned subject, Picasso offered a second explanation for the series, citing the dark features and graceful profile of Jacqueline Roque, the artist’s muse and companion from 1954 until the end of his life: “Besides, Delacroix had already met Jacqueline.”

The exhibition concludes with Picasso’s monumental lithographic portraits of Roque—most often captured in profile, in paired states (one light, the other dark)—and with the Women of Algiers, represented not only by the complete lithographic output, but by a large, brightly-colored canvas, letter “I” in the series, a painted trace of thought in motion.

States of Mind is organized by Emily A. Beeny, associate curator at the Norton Simon Museum. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Museum is organizing an extensive series of related events that will be publicized later this year. 

Image: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), Long-Haired Young Girl, November 9, 1945, Lithograph, 3rd state; 1 of 18 artist reserved proofs plate, plate: 15 x 12-1/2 in. (38.1 x 31.8 cm); sheet: 17-1/2 x 12-3/4 in. (44.5 x 32.4 cm), Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Jennifer Jones Simon, M.2001.1.43.G © 2016 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

BOSTON - October 14, 2016 - 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and Boston Public Library honors the Bard’s lasting legacy with its Shakespeare Unauthorized exhibition, opening today in the McKim Exhibition Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. The exhibition is presented in conjunction with the BPL citywide initiative All the City’s a Stage: A Season of Shakespeare at the Boston Public Library, connecting audiences to theater and the dramatic arts with programs throughout the library system. Boston Public Library holds one of the largest and most comprehensive publicly-held collections of Shakespeare, including the first four folios of his collected works, 45 early quarto editions of individual plays, and thousands of volumes of early source material, commentaries, translations, manuscripts, and more. Visit www.bpl.org/shakespeare to view the complete offerings of the initiative.

“At some point in life, everyone has experienced the work of Shakespeare," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "These opportunities at the Boston Public Library give all the chance to learn more about the creative genius of Shakespeare and how his legacy lives on today." 

“Shakespeare Unauthorized is sure to engage and inspire people of all ages, and we hope visitors leave with a better understanding of not only Shakespeare’s works, but an appreciation for the world-class Shakespeare holdings of one of Boston’s finest cultural institutions,” said Julie Burros, Chief of Arts & Culture for the City of Boston. “We applaud the Boston Public Library for ensuring these works are accessible to everyone.” 

Shakespeare Unauthorized: Experience the original works of “The Bard”

Shakespeare Unauthorized, a major gallery exhibition on view from October 14, 2016 through March 31, 2017, includes extraordinarily rare first and early editions of familiar and beloved plays like A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, and The Merchant of Venice, as well as all four Shakespearean folios, most notably the BPL’s own copy of the world-famous First Folio. Through the pages of these precious books, visitors can experience Shakespeare in his original language and spelling, just as he would have been read by book lovers and theater-goers hundreds of years ago. 

Shakespeare Unauthorized is made possible through the financial support of Iron Mountain Incorporated (NYSE: IRM), the global leader in storage and information management services. Based in Boston, Iron Mountain provides charitable grants of funding and in-kind services to cultural and historical preservation projects like Shakespeare Unauthorized through its Living Legacy Initiative.

“We’re proud to help bring this exhibition to life in our home city of Boston,” said Ty Ondatje, senior vice president, Corporate Responsibility and Chief Diversity Officer at Iron Mountain. “Our philanthropic mission is to preserve and create access to our world’s cultural and historical treasures, those ideas and artifacts that make up the human experience, so that they can be shared and enjoyed by everyone. The works and legacy of Shakespeare are the very definition of iconic and timeless treasures, and we’re honored to help present the Library’s impressive collection to the world.”

Shakespeare Unauthorized contains far more than just books of plays: this exhibition features surprising rarities and mysterious objects; scandalous forgeries made by con men and accomplished scholars; books from the luxurious private libraries of early English aristocrats; and memorabilia from four centuries of acting and stagecraft.

“We are indebted to Iron Mountain for their leadership grant to the Boston Public Library Foundation, and for partnering with the BPL to display our extensive collection of Shakespeare materials,” said Boston Public Library President David Leonard. “This exhibition of rare and valuable items promises to provide an inspiring adventure for all who visit. We are also very grateful for the critical funding provided by The Boston Foundation, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library, for curatorial and conservation work that supported this project.”

C&G Partners created the engaging exhibition design that showcases the extraordinary historic material on display in Shakespeare Unauthorized

“Many know the name Shakespeare, but might not know how to experience something like a rare book, however precious it may be,” said Jonathan Alger, Co-founder of C&G Partners. “So it was very important to us to help that process along for modern visitors. We designed a space that is itself theatrical, intriguing and deliberately ambiguous, veiling what’s to come as any good playwright would.”

Shakespeare’s Here and Everywhere

The Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, an independent, non-profit institution, features a complementary exhibition, Shakespeare’s Here and Everywhere, which opened on September 3 and runs through February 2017, with associated programming offered. William Shakespeare’s comedies, tragedies, and histories take place in a number of fascinating and often picturesque locations throughout Europe, Asia and Africa, in eras from classical times to the Renaissance.  In this exhibition of forty maps, images and three-dimensional objects, visitors view these locales by seeing items from Shakespeare’s lifetime, learning about the world in the time of Shakespeare, and understanding the symbolic role that geography held to the dramas.

Kronborg Castle in Denmark, known as Elsinore in Hamlet, is highlighted in the exhibition. A 1629 Dutch map depicting the Danish Kingdom, along with a vignette illustrating “Elsenor,” is on display. Complementing this map is an original print of “Cronenburg” from Samuel von Pufendorf’s 1696 historical atlas. Geographically-significant quotes from the dramas set the stage for the visitors, such as Marcellus’ line from Hamlet, “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” (Act 1, scene 4). Visitors also see Heinrich Bünting’s famous “Clover leaf map” from 1581 and Abraham Ortelius’ 1570 edition of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum.

“This is an opportunity for visitors to appreciate Shakespeare in a whole new way, through viewing the cartographic treasures from the collections of the Boston Public Library and our founder Norman B. Leventhal,” said Connie Chin, President of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center.

Amherst, MA (October 13, 2016) - When Michael Droller received a framed reproduction of a Maxfield Parrish painting as a graduation present from medical school, it ignited a passion for illustration—a passion that has long sustained him outside a career in medicine. It led Michael and his wife Esther to amass an enviable collection of picture book art rich in history and artistic achievement. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to bring this private collection to light in the exhibition The Golden Age to the Modern Era: The Michael and Esther Droller Collection, on view from November 6, 2016 through January 29, 2017. Curated by H. Nichols B. Clark, The Carle’s founding director and chief curator emeritus, the exhibition features art by both legendary names and contemporary geniuses from the world of children’s literature.  

On view are artists from the Golden Age of Illustration—a period of extraordinary creative ferment from 1875 to World War I—such as Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane, and Kate Greenaway, as well as later but accomplished practitioners Frank Adams, L. Leslie Brooke, and W. Heath Robinson. The Drollers’ modern holdings, spanning the last quarter of the 20th century, comprise such luminaries as Barbra Cooney, Alice and Martin Provensen, and Maurice Sendak. Thematic subjects bridge both epochs, allowing for artistic comparisons between Arthur Rackham’s and Jerry Pinkney’s versions of Aesop’s Fables to Charles Robinson’s and Michael Hague’s interpretations of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

“Here at The Carle, we are fortunate to befriend many picture-book art collectors—individuals and couples of great passion and determination,” says Alix Kennedy, Executive Director. “This exhibition represents only a fraction of the books and illustrations Michael and Esther Droller have collected over more than 40 years.”

The Beginning of a Collection:

It was while in residency in California that Michael Droller learned the Parrish picture he was gifted at his medical school graduation was from Eugene Field’s Poems of Childhood (1904). He began to search everywhere for the book; Esther, not yet his wife at the time, found it at a flea market. “Through this search,” says Droller, “I was introduced to the world of children’s books from what is known as the Golden Age of Illustration. Unknowingly, Esther’s purchase started me on a hobby that I would pursue obsessively in the years to come. This path would provide me with priceless experiences and enjoyment far beyond my work in medicine.”

Together the Drollers discovered the imaginative art of others from the Golden Age, highlighted by the illustrations of Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac in their portrayals of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and folk legends. During a research fellowship to Stockholm, Droller encountered the equally magical illustrations of John Bauer and Gustaf Tenggren. “What struck me,” he said, “was that these paintings not only added a sense of fantasy and mystery to the stories they portrayed, but actually seemed to extend the imaginative thoughts, concepts, and atmosphere created by the texts. The books themselves were veritable works of art....”

In addition to collecting antiquarian children’s books, Michael and Esther also began acquiring original art by the illustrators. A busy academic physician, Droller devoted increasing attention to the pursuit of their collection. He attended book shows, library fairs, and met with numerous dealers in search of first editions; he scoured thrift shops, flea markets, and later the Internet for the original illustrations. When he traveled for medical conferences, he explored used bookstores in various cities—often returning with a suitcase full of new items for the collection.

“Although, my primary attention focused on my medical work, I also developed a routine in which I was able to pursue my children’s book activities,” says Droller. “Ironically, as my emotions were drawing me increasingly towards the children’s book world, I began to perceive that this developing passion was actually providing a welcome distraction from the challenges and sometime stresses I experienced in my everyday academic and clinical activities. My hobby seemed to become a valuable counterpoint to and to reinvigorate me in my professional activities, each in effect enhancing my appreciation and enjoyment of the other.”

Collecting Leads to Friendships

Michael Droller didn’t anticipate the extent to which his collection would soon expand. In the 1980s he chanced upon a children’s bookshop to find Arnold Lobel reading stories from the latest book in his Frog and Toad series. He described how he created his characters; then he signed and sketched in the books. Droller was entranced by the idea of a contemporary children’s book artist actually personalizing his books. Another time, he met Chris Van Allsburg at a signing and was able to talk to him at length about his concept and artwork for his new book, Jumanji.

“I felt a wonderful sense of satisfaction not only in having met another gifted and creative artist, but also in acquiring this contemporary children’s book with its imaginative illustrations, now personalized by the artist with an inscription and original sketch, and made special because of this.”

The Drollers’ focus shifted from an initial interest in antiquarian children’s books and art to incorporating an appreciation for contemporary children’s book illustrations. “I was able to expand my collection in new directions and extend my interactions beyond a simple book signing and brief conversations,” Droller said. In addition to their collection, Michael and Esther developed special friendships with many of the artists whose work they collect, including Maurice Sendak, Jan Brett, Etienne Delessert, and Lisbeth Zwerger. In fact, the Drollers’ children served as models for two of Brett’s books.

“This personal involvement superseded the abstract process of simply seeking and acquiring objects for a collection. It became a profound privilege to interact on a personal level with these highly creative individuals and allowed me to enter the imagination of the artists,” Droller said.

Of special interest in the Exhibition:

Frank Adams (British, 1871-1944)

“Said the Pye-man to Simon Show me now your penny”
The Story of Simple Simon [Dodge Publishing Company, ca. early 1900s]
Ink and gouache on illustration board

Maginel Wright Enright Barney
(American, 1881-1966)

“Pied Piper”
[unpublished]
Pen and ink with coloring on paper 

Jan Brett (American, b. 1949)
“How pleased Goldilocks was . . . ”
Goldilocks and the Three Bears [Dodd, Mead & Company, 1987]
Watercolor on paper

Randolph Caldecott (British, 1846-1886)
“Babes with Huntsman”
Babes in the Woods, Toy Book Series [Routledge, 1879]
Pen and ink on paper

Barbara Cooney (American, 1917-2000)
“And he carved a new yoke”
Oxcart Man by Donald Hall [The Viking Press, 1979]
Acrylic on paper

Walter Crane (British, 1845-1915)
“Finding the Babes”
Babes in the Woods, Toy Book Series [Routledge, n. d.]
Pen and ink on illustration board

Charles James Folkard
(British, 1878-1963)
“Pinocchio’s Nose Growing”
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (Carlo Lorenzini) [Dutton, 1911]
Ink and watercolor on paper

Kate Greenaway (British, 1846-1901)
“Deaf Martha”
Little Ann and Other Poems by Ann and Jane Taylor [George Routledge & Sons, ca. 1883]
Watercolor and ink on paper

Arthur Rackham (British, 1867-1939)
“Gnome [Rackham caricature], Crow, Rabbit, and Boy in Horse-Drawn Wagon”  [unpublished]
Watercolor and ink on paper

Maurice Bernard Sendak (American, 1928-2012)
“One took off his shoes, one his stockings” from “The Poor Miller’s Boy and the Little Cat,” 1973, The Juniper Tree and Other Tales from Grimm, translated by Lore Segal [Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1973]
Lithograph on paper, Ed. 85/125

EXHIBITION PROGRAMMING

Gallery Talk: A Passion for Collecting

November 6, 2016
1:00 pm
Free with Museum Admission

Collector Michael Droller joins Guest Curator Nick Clark for a gallery talk on The Golden Age to the Modern Era: The Michael and Esther Droller Collection. Dr. Droller will share insights and inspirations of building a world-class illustration collection over the past 40 years, and reflect on the many artist friendships he formed along the way.

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 9.29.01 AM.pngBoston, MA - October 1, 2016 - The Boston Athenæum is pleased to present Daniel Chester French: The Female Form Revealed. The exhibition will run from October 7, 2016-February 19, 2017 with a public gallery preview on October 6 featuring illustrated remarks by the exhibition’s co-curator, David Dearinger, and a reception.

Daniel Chester French (1850-1931) was one of America’s foremost sculptors of public monuments, best known for his heroic bronze The Minute Man (1875) at Concord, MA and his colossal marble Abraham Lincoln (1922) at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. French’s reputation for these images of men is merited; but as curator David Dearinger notes, “as a classically-trained artist of the American Renaissance, French was naturally fascinated with the female form.” In fact, “he was probably more inspired by the women he knew—his wife and daughter, his female apprentices, and the professional models he employed—than anything or anyone else.” Indeed, feminine beauty in its idealized form was often at the forefront of French’s work.

This aspect of French’s oeuvre, which has previously received little scholarly attention, is the focus of this ambitious exhibition, described by Elizabeth E. Barker, the Athenæum’s Stanford Calderwood Director, as a “feat not only of ideas but also of art-shipping logistics.” The exhibition features important loans from Chesterwood, the artist’s country home and studio in Stockbridge, MA, of over forty preliminary models and studies for some of French’s most famous works, including Mourning Victory, Maquette (1906; opposite) and Spirit of the Waters, Maquette (1913; below). The objects on display range in size from 5 inches to 50 inches and over 200 pounds. The exhibition will mark the public debut of French’s Wisdom (1898), a recent acquisition by the Boston Athenæum.

Daniel Chester French: The Female Form Revealed is a collaboration between Chesterwood and the Boston Athenæum. Curators David B. Dearinger, PhD, Director of Exhibitions and Susan Morse Hilles Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Boston Athenæum, and Donna Hassler, Executive Director of Chesterwood and Administrator at the Historic Artists’ Homes and Studios Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, are eager to foster a “fresh, scholarly investigation” of French’s work and to expose a previously “neglected part of French’s career” to the public by exhibiting rarely-displayed works.

The exhibition will be enhanced by a series of related programs including lectures, gallery talks, a mobile application, and an online version of the installation. A full-color catalogue of the exhibition is available for purchase.

About the Boston Athenæum:

The Boston Athenæum, a membership library and fine art museum, first opened its doors in 1807 as a sanctuary of arts and letters for Boston intellectuals. Today, it offers a distinguished circulating and research collection, rich archival collections specializing in Boston and New England history, extensive electronic resources, handsome reading spaces, and a dynamic programming schedule. The Norma Jean Calderwood Exhibition Gallery and many events are open to the public. Membership is open to all. For more information, visit bostonathenaeum.org.

Image: Daniel Chester French, The Melvin Memorial: Mourning Victory (detail), 1906-1908, marble. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Massachusetts. Photograph © Richard Cheek.

2014-31-19_Henner-StaphorstAmmunitionDepot_recto_email copy.jpgKansas City, MO, September 2016--Surveillance cameras in the 21st century are practically everywhere-on street corners, in shops, in public buildings, silently recording our every movement. Yet this is not a construct of modern times. As soon as cameras were introduced in the 1880s, anyone could be unknowingly photographed at any time. It was an unfortunate fact of life. The exhibition Surveillance opened at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City September 16, examining the role of surreptitious photography from the mid-19th century to the present day.

“This body of work represents a sign of our times,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Cameras have been recording our movements, many times secretly, since photography began. But it was the tragedy of 9/11 that increased our awareness of this constant presence and brought a new and chilling meaning to the art, and the intention, of surveillance.”

Dating from 1864-2014, the works in Surveillance fall under these categories: spying or hidden cameras, photography of the forbidden, military surveillance, areas of heavy surveillance and mapping satellites and drones. There are also examples of counter-surveillance that either prevent watching or surveille the watchers.

“Twenty-first century technology—like Google Earth View and drone photography—have provided photographers with a treasure trove of surveillance images,” said Jane L. Aspinwall, Associate Curator, Photography. “This work provokes uneasy questions about who is looking at whom and the limits of artistic expression.”

Photographer Roger Schall, formerly a French news reporter, secretly recorded the Nazi occupation of Paris beginning in June 1940. His photographs document his daily routine and illustrate how completely the Nazis permeated every facet of Parisian life.

British photographer Mishka Henner, in his series Dutch Landscapes, uses Google satellite views of locations that have been censored by the Dutch government because of concerns about the visibility of political, economic and military locations. Many countries blur, pixilate or whiten sensitive sites. The Dutch method, however, employs bold, multi-colored polygons. The resulting photograph is an artistic, visual contrast between secret sites and the surrounding rural environment, providing an unsettling reflection on surveillance and the contemporary landscape.

Other photographers employ techniques to circumvent surveillance. Adam Harvey creates “looks” that block online facial recognition software. The contours of the face are manipulated in such a way that a computer is not able to identify a person, which can be a useful tool for social media sites like Facebook, in which users can search an entire archive for one particular face.

A series of critically acclaimed films will be shown in Atkins Auditorium in October in conjunction with this exhibition. Belgian photographer Tomas van Houtryve will discuss his work as it relates to contemporary warfare on Thursday, Oct. 6. For more information about programming, go to nelson-atkins.orgSurveillance closes on Jan. 29, 2016.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access and insight into its renowned collection of nearly 40,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and new American Indian and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. The institution-wide transformation of the Nelson-Atkins has included the 165,000-square-foot Bloch Building expansion and renovation of the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.

The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are Wednesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thursday/Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.

Image: Image caption: Mishka Henner, Belgian (b. 1976). Staphorst Ammunition Depot, 2011. Inkjet print, 31 1/4 × 35 1/8 inches. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 2014.31.19.

From works inspired by campy B movies to those addressing contemporary psychological fear, It’s Alive! explores the many approaches that book, paper, and print artists use to express horror. Works include: artists’ book in their many derivations; visual narratives; installations; traditional and digital printmaking and other works on paper; sculptural book works; independent publications; mixed media; assemblage; and interactive art.

This exhibition is presented as part of the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. This global celebration encompasses a wide variety of public programs, exhibits, art projects, and learning opportunities exploring the novel’s colossal scientific, artistic, cultural and social impacts.

It’s Alive! will be on display in MCBA’s Main Gallery through October 31, 2016. The show will conclude with a Frankenstein Read-a-Thon at 6pm to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as community members read chapters aloud throughout the evening.

MCBA's Main Gallery

On display through October 31, 2016

Free and open to the public

www.mnbookarts.org/itsalive

About Minnesota Center for Book Arts

A respected and dedicated champion of the field, Minnesota Center for Book Arts is the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind. We celebrate the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. Our mission is clear: to lead the advancement of the book as an evolving art form.

MCBA is committed to book art, artists and appreciators. Our mission is achieved through quality programs that support a broad continuum of creators, learners and admirers. We lead the field by promoting innovation, sustaining traditions, educating new enthusiasts, inspiring creative expression and honoring artistic excellence. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding to new methods of art-making and communication, MCBA supports the limitless creative development of book arts.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts at Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave S, First Floor, Minneapolis MN 55415

Phone 612.215.2520 . Fax 612.215.2545 . mcba@mnbookarts.org

Screen Shot 2016-09-21 at 9.35.31 AM.pngPHILADELPHIA, September 7, 2016—The Rosenbach of the Free Library of Philadelphia presents The Art of Ownership: Bookplates and Book Collectors from 1480 to the Present, on view September 21, 2016 - January 17, 2017. The primary function of a bookplate is simply to indicate the owner of a book, yet book collectors across the centuries have commissioned ornate and evocative designs that do more than designate property. From coats of arms and etched portraits to scenes of libraries and fantastical creatures, these miniature artworks may reveal a great deal about the ancestry, occupation, artistic taste, or philosophy of the men and women who used and circulated them.

The Art of Ownership features beautiful and curious specimens from five centuries of books in the Rosenbach's collection, along with examples from the Rare Book Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia, the University of Delaware’s William Augustus Brewer Bookplate Collection, and other regional repositories. Notable bookplates include the oldest known printed bookplate, a hand-colored woodcut circa 1480; bookplates from the personal libraries of King George III and Eleanor and Franklin D. Roosevelt; an Irish landscape designed by Jack Butler Yeats; and prints by Art Nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley. Some bookplates offer whimsical portraits of the book collectors: William Keeney Bixby's bookplate depicts the owner as an octopus grasping books with all eight tentacles, and a lithographic print belonging to E. Norman Sabel depicts an attentive reader who has not noticed that his coattails are on fire. Several remarkable examples belonged to Philadelphian collectors, such as Harry Elkins Widener and Lucy Wharton Drexel.

The Art of Ownership was made possible by a grant from the Pine Tree Foundation of New York and endowment grants from the Marilyn M. Simpson Trust and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

To learn more about the Art of Ownership exhibition, visit rosenbach.org.

Image Credit: Edwin Davis French (1851-1906), bookplate of William Keeney Bixby. Engraved print and black printing ink on paper. New York, 1906. In Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), The scarlet letter: a romance ...Boston: Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, 1850. [AL1 .H399s]

BOSTON - September 16, 2016 - Boston Public Library is loaning 36 medieval and early Renaissance manuscripts and printed books from its collections to three area cultural institutions, part of an ambitious collaborative project entitled Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections. The largest ever exhibition of medieval and Renaissance books held in North America, the BPL items date from the 10th century to the early 16th century, part of the Library’s Medieval and Early Renaissance Manuscripts Collection of Distinction. The materials will be featured at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the McMullen Museum at Boston College, and Houghton Library at Harvard University from September 2016 to January 2017. For more information about the exhibitions, visit www.beyondwords2016.org.

“These illuminated manuscripts and bound books represent a crucial period in the Western evolution of writing and reading,” said David Leonard, President of the Boston Public Library. “This first of its kind collaborative exhibition is an exciting opportunity for the Boston Public Library to put our collection on display, and make these objects viewable and easily accessible to the public.” 

“The Boston Public Library’s early manuscripts collection is astounding in its breadth and overall quality. Scholars come to Boston from around the world in order to study these artifacts,” said Jay Moschella, Curator of Rare Books at the Boston Public Library and one of the facilitators of the exhibition for the library.

In preparation for the exhibition all of the BPL’s 36 items have been appraised, cataloged, and in some cases conserved and/or digitized. This work has been made possible with funding support from The Associates of the Boston Public Library, an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the Boston Public Library's special collections of rare books, manuscripts, prints, and other items of historic interest. 

“The Associates of the Boston Public Library is honored to have helped make this extraordinary exhibition a reality,” said Vivian Spiro, Board Chairman of the Associates of the Boston Public Library. “The collaboration among area institutions, as well as the manuscripts themselves, show that Boston is still a major cultural center, relative to the rest of the country. “

These unique and ancient manuscripts are some of the best sources for understanding the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Revealing many elements of the artistic, intellectual, and spiritual life of the period, they date from the 10th through early 16th centuries and cover a wide range of subjects. They also represent a wide variety of schools of both script and illumination in France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, and England.

Many of the exhibited items from the BPL’s collection are superbly illuminated with exquisite miniatures. Some noteworthy volumes include a 10th-century lectionary from the Benedictine Abbey of St. Allyre in Clermont, one of the earliest codices in New England; the so-called Rosary Joan the Mad, an extraordinarily beautiful Psalter prepared for Joan, Queen of Castile by the master Flemish miniaturist Simon Bening; the Chronique Anonyme Universelle, a 34' 15th-century genealogical scroll detailing the history of the world from creation through the 1440s; an early 15th-century copy of Christine de Pisan's Le Livre de Trois Vertus, considered by scholars to be among the earliest and truest versions of her text; and the only surviving Dutch illuminated manuscript of Saint Augustine's City of God, written in the late 15th century.

The very nature of these texts renders them unique and rare. Executed in European monasteries or later in scriptoria, these manuscripts document the history of human thought from the 10th through early 16th centuries.

Totaling 260 objects, Beyond Words: Illuminated Manuscripts in Boston Collections features materials from 19 Boston-area institutions, including the BPL, Museum of Fine Arts, and Wellesley College, among many others. The manuscripts assembled are included in a single catalog with contributions from 85 international scholars, edited by co-curators Jeffrey Hamburger, William P. Stoneman, Anne-Marie Eze, Lisa Fagin Davis and Nancy Netzer and published by the McMullen Museum.

About BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY

Boston Public Library has a Central Library, twenty-four branches, map center, business library, and a website filled with digital content and services. Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room. Each year, the Boston Public Library hosts thousands of programs and serves millions of people. All of its programs and exhibitions are free and open to the public. At the Boston Public Library, books are just the beginning. To learn more, visit bpl.org.

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 9.24.55 AM.pngNew York, NY, September 9, 2016 — Five hundred years ago a monk in a backwater town at the edge of Germany took on the most powerful men in Europe—the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope—and he won.
 
Martin Luther’s Reformation ranks among the most successful religious movements in history, altering western society and culture forever, and was a testament to his creative use of communications, notably rapidly evolving print technology, to promote his views. To mark the historic anniversary of Luther posting the Ninety-Five Theses to the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, Word and Image: Martin Luther’s Reformation, a new exhibition opening at the Morgan Library & Museum on October 7, explores the evolution of his movement and its triumphant propagation in text and art. The exhibition will remain on view through January 22.
 
Word and Image includes more than ninety objects, highlighted by one of the six existing printed copies of the Ninety-Five Theses, and nearly forty paintings, prints, and drawings by the celebrated German Renaissance artist Lucas Cranach the Elder. Also on view will be Luther’s manuscript draft of his famous Old Testament translation, sculptor Conrad Meit’s exquisite statues of Adam and Eve, and over thirty of Luther’s most important publications. The majority of the works in the show are loans from German museums and have never before been exhibited in the United States.  
 
“The Morgan is internationally recognized for its outstanding collections of early printed books and Northern European prints and drawings, so an exhibition on Martin Luther’s deft use of such material to spread his views is an important and exciting opportunity for us,” said Colin B. Bailey, the museum’s director. “Luther understood that his ideas and public image required textual and visual support on a large scale to engage a mass audience. He took advantage of new developments in printing and befriended accomplished artists such as Cranach the Elder to help him in this effort.  The result was a sophisticated melding of word and image, that helped launch a religious and cultural revolution.”

THE EXHIBITION

I. Young Martin 

Martin Luther (1483-1546) was raised in Eiselben, Saxony. His father Hans Luder (later changed by Martin) came from a wealthy farming family, and Margaretha Lindemann, his mother, was from a middle-class background. Hans was a respected and influential mining operator in Mansfeld. The family was quite prosperous judging from the size of their home and the material found there through archaeological digs. Martin was sent to the best schools and brought up in a world structured by Christianity. Devotion was expressed through daily prayers and performing a set of prescribed rituals or good works (attending Mass, going to confession and on pilgrimage, buying indulgences). Artworks, books, and all manner of visual material focused piety on the active presence of the divine in daily lives. The fear of sin was real. There was a constant need to seek the aid of Christ and the saints to save you from the fires of Hell. This was the world Martin was born into.

II. Indulgences and the Ninety-Five Theses

Martin Luther was not the first to speak out against the sale of indulgences, which were customarily prayers or fasts undertaken to reduce punishment and seek forgiveness for sins, but in time evolved into the payment of fixed sums of money attached to various offences. Many at the time thought that the practice of purchasing salvation was an abuse of faith and merely a way to fill papal coffers. Through his groundbreaking lectures on the Bible at the University of Wittenberg, Luther came to doubt the validity of indulgences and other Church practices that were not explicitly supported by Scripture.

In 1517, Luther summarized his views on how to reform the church in his landmark Ninety-Five Theses, which he boldly nailed to the church door at Wittenberg Castle, as would be done for any other university announcement. The heading of Luther’s Theses states that they were a series of points for a university debate on the scriptural validity of the practice of selling and buying indulgences. Luther’s criticisms partly reacted to a popular notion that buying an indulgence was akin to a ‘get out of jail for free’ card. The disputation never happened, however, as news of Luther’s criticisms reached his ecclesiastical superiors, both through Luther’s own actions and the fact that the theses were printed and distributed in single-sheet broadside and pamphlet editions. In addition to two broadside editions, the Theses also appeared in quarto (pamphlet) format from a press in Basel, nearly 450 miles away. The printing press helped Luther’s words spread far beyond Wittenberg, which turned a local university debate into an international event. In this case, it is both Luther’s words and their method of distribution that are important to understanding how the Reformation happened. We do not know how many copies of the Ninety-Five Theses were originally printed—perhaps 100 or less for each edition—but today only 6 copies of the broadsides exist and 15 of the quarto.

III. Luther Goes to Trial

Luther willingly submitted his Theses and other writings to his superiors. However, arguing against centuries of Church tradition, even when claiming the Bible as primary source material, was dangerous. Ultimately, Luther was called before Emperor Charles V and the full assembly of imperial nobles at the Diet of Worms in 1521 to defend himself and his publications against the charge of heresy. Both in his trial and his dealings with the pope and emperor, Luther stood firm in his conviction that all religious doctrine and practice should be based upon Scripture and that everyone wa s entitled to share in the grace of God.

While his famous statement, “Here I stand. I cannot do otherwise,” is a later interpolation, it nonetheless perfectly encapsulates his conviction that what he wrote was based on Scripture, and Luther could not recant what he wrote without denying Scripture, which was ideologically impossible.

IV. Luther’s Translation of The Bible

After leaving Worms, Luther was ‘kidnapped’ by his friends and taken to Wartburg Castle to protect him from the emperor. Artist Albrecht Dürer, a strong adherent to the Lutheran movement, feared that Luther was dead. Removed from the demands and dangers of the outside world, however, Luther now had uninterrupted time to focus on his most important endeavor: translating the Bible into German. Scripture held ultimate authority for Luther, and he recognized that the doctrine lay in the original Hebrew text of the Old Testament and Greek of the New Testament rather than in the Latin Vulgate or existing German versions. To this end, he wanted a clear and accurate translation of the Bible available in the popular tongue, so that it could be easily understood by the common man. Luther thought that the printing press was God’s greatest gift for the spreading of the Gospel, and he employed the relatively new technology to print and disseminate his Bible in German.

V. Art of the Reformation

Contrary to popular opinion, Luther was not against art. He thought that religious imagery was of the utmost importance when it supported Scripture. Fortunately for Luther, he lived down the street from Lucas Cranach the Elder, the court painter of the electors of Saxony. The two men developed a very close personal relationship, and Cranach was instrumental in crafting Luther’s public image. Due to his rapid and prolific production, Cranach was known as pictor celerrimus, the fastest painter. In addition to creating the famous images of Luther, the artist also produced portraits of his Reformation colleagues as well as Protestant and Catholic dignitaries, works on religious and secular-themed subjects, and designs for hundreds of woodcuts for book illustration. Art in Northern Europe in the early 1500s stood at the bridge between medieval and modern conceptions of the individual and religion, and this imagery conveyed Protestant ideas to a wide public in tandem with Luther’s own words.

VI. Spreading the Word

The printing press revolutionized mass communication, and Luther’s message likely would have fallen flat had it not been for the new technology. From the dissemination of his Ninety-Five Theses to the intended promotion of specific sermons and theological arguments, the Reformation was as much a product of the printing press as it was Luther himself. Every aspect of the Reformation came out in print. The two sides unleashed scathing polemical texts on each other, both in short pamphlet format and single-leaf broadsides with eye-grabbing illustrations that clearly conveyed their message. Luther had to put the Reformation into words, from his composition of key theological points, such as the Augsburg Confession, to guides on how to perform a church service and appropriate church music. The Reformation is not only a reflection of Luther’s message, but also the medium that communicated that message.

VII. Luther Archeology

A series of archeological digs in 2003-2008 at locations connected with Martin Luther uncovered a treasure trove of material related to the reformer and his family. Never before had Luther’s material culture been so well documented, and the finds radically altered some perceptions about his life. Coins, jewelry, tablewares, and toys recovered from his parents’ house prove that—unlike Luther’s claimed later in life—his family was actually rather affluent. Digs at the Luther House, Cranach’s workshop, and other sites around Wittenberg uncovered early sixteenth-century home décor that reveal how Luther and his colleagues lived. The finds from the Luther House include a vast array of decorative tiles, common local as well as imported housewares and glasses, and, not surprisingly, a large amount of writing and book paraphernalia, all of which help us to understand the home life of Martin Luther.

Image: Martin Luther, Biblia: das ist die gantze heilige Schrift, Deutsch (Bible, That Is the Complete Holy Scripture, in German), Wittenberg: Hans Lufft, 1541. Evangelische Marktkirchengemeinde, Marienbibliothek, Halle, Cat. No. 215.

Philadelphia, PA—In its first-ever photography exhibition, the Barnes Foundation is presenting over 170 vintage photographs that capture the spirit of France in the late 19th- to mid-20th century, a period of rapid transformation in every aspect of daily life. Nearly a third of these prints have never before been exhibited. Live and Life Will Give You Pictures: Masterworks of French Photography, 1890-1950 features work by a range of photographers who experimented in their documentation of modern French life, including such masters as Berenice Abbott, Eugène Atget, Ilse Bing, Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edgar Degas, André Kertész, Jacques-Henri Lartigue, Dora Maar, and Man Ray. Titled after a remark by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Live and Life Will Give You Pictures will be on view in the Roberts Gallery from October 8, 2016, through January 9, 2017.

Live and Life Will Give You Pictures at the Barnes Foundation is sponsored by Comcast NBCUniversal; U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management; the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund; the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund; The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation; and the Rittenhouse Hotel.

In the second half of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th, photographers and painters traded aesthetic ideas and were interested in many of the same features of contemporary experience, particularly as it touched Paris. Sometimes referred to as the “capital of modernity,” the city’s cultural fabric was radically transformed by industrialization, urbanization, and class stratification. Like other visual artists, progressive photographers responded to the spectacular aspects of developments that were shaping modern cities across the globe.

“This exhibition provides a fascinating counterpoint to the core holdings of the Barnes collection. The invention of photography in France produced a generation of innovative practitioners who were contemporaries of the impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modern artists embraced by Albert C. Barnes,” said Thom Collins, Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation. “By examining the shared social and historical context that produced these photographs along with many paintings from our collection, audiences can gain insight into the breadth of creative reactions to societal change at this time.”

Drawn from the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judy Hochberg, Live and Life Will Give You Pictures will be hung salon-style and organized thematically. Subjects include Paris and Environs, Life on the Street, Labor and Leisure, Commerce, Personality and Publicity, Reportage, and Art for Art’s Sake.

Among the highlights are the earliest known print of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, a celebrated example of his ability to capture life in motion, which made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment.” André Kertész’s Chez Mondrian is the only known vintage matte-surface enlargement print of this iconic image. Man Ray’s Kiki de Montparnasse features the flamboyantly bohemian cabaret singer and actress who became May Ray’s lover soon after he arrived in Paris. Kiki de Montparnasse also modeled for Modigliani and Pascin, who are among the many artists represented in the Barnes collection who lived and worked in the Montparnasse section of Paris. Edgar Degas’s Stéphane Mallarmé and August Renoir also functions as a mirror-reflected self-portrait of this painter, who immersed himself in photography for a one-year period; the Barnes collection includes 11 works by Degas and 181 by Renoir.

Never-before exhibited pictures from the collection include Brassai’s The Riviera from 1936 and Jacques-Henri Lartigue’s Bob race with neighbor Louis Ferrand and cousin Jean Haguet, Château de Rouzat, Puy-de-dome from 1911. Man Ray’s Rayograph with Swan and Starfish, from 1928, is a unique photogram with a provenance that can be traced directly back to the artist.

Live and Life Will Give You Pictures was organized by the Barnes Foundation in conjunction with Art2Art Circulating Exhibitions.

The exhibition is also made possible by the generosity of individual contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund. Additional support is provided by the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, and the Rittenhouse Hotel.

As part of the Art in our Communities® program, a display of sixteen photographs from the Bank of America Collection, which complement the works included in Live and Life Will Give You Pictures, will be on view on the Barnes Foundation’s Lower Level.

NEW YORK, NY, September 1, 2016―In remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 that changed New York and the United States’ history forever, the New-York Historical Society presents a special installation featuring the time-lapse photography of National Humanities Medal honoree  Camilo José Vergara. On view until late September, World Trade Center Four Decades: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara documents the ever-evolving landscape of lower Manhattan and the powerful role the World Trade Center has played in New York City’s identity.

This unique special installation of 30 time-lapse photographs examines the World Trade Center from every point of the compass, chronicling its changes over time―from the early days of the Twin Towers’ construction in the 1970s, to their dominance of the skyline in the 1980s and 1990s, to the emptiness of the city’s horizon in the aftermath of the events of 2001, to the slow rebuilding process that followed. Employing a method he developed of photographing the same site over a period of time, Vergara captures the transformation of an urban space, giving visitors the opportunity to reflect on their own memories of the World Trade Center.

Within days of the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the New-York Historical Society started collecting artifacts related to the Center’s creation, the events of September 11th, and the rescue effort and public mourning that followed. Over the years, New-York Historical has presented a wide array of exhibitions and public programs offering diverse commentary on the meaning of the World Trade Center, the September 11th tragedy, and its aftermath.

Camilo José Vergara was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2002 and received a Berlin Prize Fellowship in 2010. In 2013, he became the first photographer to be awarded the National Humanities Medal. He is the author of numerous books, including Silent Cities: The Evolution of the American Cemetery, The New American Ghetto, and Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto. Later this year, University of Michigan Press will publish Vergara’s newest book Detroit Is No Dry Bones: The Eternal City of the Industrial Age, a photographic record of almost three decades of Detroit’s changing urban fabric. Vergara’s time sequences of the transformation of the World Trade Center site are being presented simultaneously in an exhibition at the National Building Museum, online at the Library of Congress, and as a slideshow at the New-York Historical Society.

About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural, and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. For more information, visit: www.nyhistory.org.

September 1, 2016--The Library of Congress today opens "Mapping a Growing Nation: From Independence to Statehood," which replaces the three-year-old exhibition "Mapping a New Nation: Abel Buell’s Map of the United States, 1784." The rare Abel Buell map remains on display, joined by seven state maps and a railroad map.

"Mapping a Growing Nation" is on view until December 2020 in the Ceremonial Gallery on the first floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition is free and open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the Buell Map, which is the first map of the newly independent United States that was compiled, printed and published in America by an American. It is the first map to be copyrighted in the United States. Seven copies of the map are known to exist, and this copy is considered the best preserved and, therefore, the most frequently chosen for illustration of Buell’s work.

Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, purchased the Buell Map through an auction at Christie’s in Manhattan in December 2010. Rubenstein, a longtime supporter of the Library of Congress, has generously placed the map at the Library so it can be publicly displayed and, by digital technology, made available for research purposes. He also funded construction of the map’s state-of-the-art display case.

The seven state maps on display in "Mapping a Growing Nation" feature Massachusetts, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The railroad map, published in 1856, shows the railroad networks in the Eastern United States. Over the next four years, maps of all the states will be rotated into the exhibition. They will be early maps of each state—often the very first map—printed in the United Sates after each state achieved statehood.

The Library of Congress has the largest and most comprehensive collection of maps and atlases in the world, some 5.4 million cartographic items that date from the 14th century to the present time. The cartographic collections cover every country and subject, in formats ranging from early manuscripts to the most up-to-date digital geospatial data and software. The collections include the works of some of the most important surveyors and mapmakers in America, such as George Washington, Meriwether Lewis, and Richard Edes Harrison, along with archives relating to the history of geography in the United States. For more information, visit loc.gov/rr/geogmap/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Amherst, MA (August 24, 2016) - The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art celebrates the 50th anniversary of the beloved story that launched Eric Carle’s picture-book career—Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr—with the exhibition Brown Bear Turns 50. The exhibition, on view from September 13, 2016 through March 19, 2017, kicks off a year of special events honoring the children’s classic, one of the best-selling picture books of all time. Support for the exhibition and programs has been generously provided by Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Published in 1967, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? had an immediate appeal to children and adults alike. Martin’s rhythmic call-and-response text builds anticipation at each turn of the page, while Carle’s bold graphics and colorful parade of animals encourage learning and imagination. Brown Bear has been translated into 31 languages—from Arabic to Vietnamese—and has sold more than 16 million copies. In addition to the original 1967 book, Carle re-illustrated editions in 1970, 1984, and 1992.

In Brown Bear Turns 50 artwork from every page of the famous book will be on display. One of only two surviving collages from the 1967 edition—Brown Bear himself—has been faithfully restored and is on view for the first time. The exhibition also includes a medley of Carle’s collages from the three additional “bear books” he worked on with Martin: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? (1991), Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? (2003), and Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do You See? (2007). “We’re excited that Eric Carle’s original artwork from 1967 is on view,” says Chief Curator Ellen Keiter. “By displaying his collages from various editions of the book—for example, the goldfish from 1967, 1984, and 1992—visitors to the exhibition can trace the changes in Carle’s compositions and materials over the years.” Keiter adds, “We also have a large selection of foreign language books on display, signifying the world-wide impact Brown Bear has had.” In a separate endeavor, The Carle has also sent the book’s famous characters to the main streets and outdoor spaces of its hometown in Amherst with a special outdoor public exhibition, Brown Bear Everywhere, on view through October 9, 2016. Fourteen high-quality reproductions of Carle’s original collage illustrations are currently on display at some of Amherst’s popular restaurants, schools, and recreational sites.

Carle’s History with Brown Bear

Carle never planned on a career in children’s books. He graduated from art school and, for over a decade, worked in New York City as an art director and a freelance graphic designer. Everything changed in the late 1960s when Martin, a respected educator and author, noticed one of Carle’s collage advertisements featuring a red lobster. “The art was so striking,” said Martin, “that I knew instantly I had found the artist to illustrate my next book.” That book was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? and it transformed Carle’s life—today he is one of the most acclaimed and beloved illustrators of our time.

 

JWilliams1 copy.jpg(Minneapolis, MN) - Form+Content Gallery presents Shadows and Dust, a solo exhibition of recent work by gallery member Jody Williams. Featuring mixed media prints, drawings, artist's books, and not-empty boxes, the show will focus on the ephemeral aspects of dust and shadows as material, cosmic and metaphorical presences. Poetic references to shadows and dust date back to Horace's "We are dust and shadow," from Ode IV.7, and continue through T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland to the present. Inspired by these, and informed by other reading and research, many of the pieces in Shadows and Dust will include Williams' own writing.

Most of the works address either dust or shadows, rather than a combination of the two themes. Drawings of intensely lit natural objects depict intriguing shadows. Two digitally-produced artists' books include Williams' photographs of shadows taken over the past 30 years. A series of etchings combine thousands of dusty specks printed over layers of digital dots, atmospheric photographs and written phrases. Mixed media boxes, resembling miniature cabinets of curiosity, include containers of dust samples from near and far.

"For the past twelve years, I have been including actual specimens and artifacts in my work as a means to document with physical evidence the process of collecting and ordering specific moments in specific places. Containers of dust and other small particles will be included in this exhibition. Shadows, lacking substance (but not essence) are more difficult to collect, and have been captured with photographs and drawings. The fugitive qualities of both shadows and dust evoke the present, past, and future, and offer me many directions to take this body of work in both form  and content."

Artist Biography

Jody Williams lives in Minneapolis, where she publishes artist’s books under the name Flying Paper Press and teaches at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. She received a BA from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and an MFA in printmaking from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. Her work is in the collections of the Walker Art Center, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Historical Society, and many other museums and libraries in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She has exhibited widely in the US and abroad.

Honors include fellowships, grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota Craft Council, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has held residencies at the Frans Masereel Printmaking Center (Kasterlee, Belgium), ArtPark (Lewiston, New York), Women’s Studio Workshop (Rosendale, New York), and the Carleton College Library (Northfield, Minnesota). In 2008 she was the inaugural recipient of the Minnesota Book Artist Award, and she received Artist's Initiative Grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in 2013 and 2016.

Williams' website: www.flyingpaperpress.com

Jody Williams is a fiscal year 2016 recipient of an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 7.21.20 PM.pngLes Enluminures is pleased to present Visions of Jerusalem: Medieval Christendom Imagines the City on a Hill. The exhibition explores the representation of the Holy City in the images and imaginations of the Latin West and the rich diversity of its representation in both word and picture. It is conceived to coincide with the major international exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jerusalem 1000-1400, Every People Under Heaven, which scrutinizes through a much broader lens the impact Jerusalem had on the many cultural traditions that hold it dear: Eastern, Western, African, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, each with multiple identities and denominations.

Far from inspiring a consistent Christian conception of the Holy City, we show how Jerusalem prompted a vast range of depictions by Western authors and artists. In a time before cameras, images of Jerusalem were less concerned with veracity than with the power of their associations. The versatility of the Holy Land allowed it to act not only as the mise en scène for the Church’s rich biblical-mystical tradition, but also as a virtual destination for spiritual pilgrims and a touchstone in medieval apocalyptic traditions, among others. These varying visions of Jerusalem exemplify the fascinating complexity of the city. In the medieval mind, Jerusalem was both heavenly and earthly. It was a physical location and a mental construction that offered a link to the past and a harbinger of the future.

Highlights of the exhibition include a miniature depicting the Agony in the Garden from the Holy Land Choir Book, the long lost first volume of the Bible of Louis de Harcourt, Patriarch of Jerusalem and Bishop of Bayeux, a beautifully illustrated early gothic copy of Peter of Poitiers’ geneaological scroll, and a deluxe book of hours with miniatures attributed to the Workshop of the Master François.

Place:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  LES ENLUMINURES
23 East 73rd Street, 7th Floor, Penthouse, New York, NY 10021                                                                                                                                             
Dates:
September16th through November 12th, 2016
Hours:
Tuesday to Saturday, 10am - 6pm
Contact information:
Adrienne Albright / +1 212 717 7273 / newyork@lesenluminures.com

 

weston_plantation_500.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif. - An exhibition opening this fall at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens considers a rich dialogue between two iconic figures in American culture: the renowned photographer Edward Weston (1886-1958) and poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). “Real American Places: Edward Weston and Leaves of Grass” opens Oct. 22 in the Chandler Wing of the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art and continues through March 20, 2017. The exhibition is curated by Jennifer Watts, The Huntington’s curator of photography, and James Glisson, Bradford and Christine Mishler Assistant Curator of American Art.

The 25 photographs included in the exhibition illuminate an understudied chapter of the celebrated photographer’s career. In 1941, the Limited Editions Book Club approached Weston to collaborate on a deluxe edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which Whitman published in five ever-larger editions during his lifetime. The publisher’s ambition was to capture “the real American faces and the real American places” that defined Whitman’s epic work. Weston eagerly accepted the assignment, and, from 1941-42—on the eve of the United States’ involvement in World War II—he set out with his wife, Charis Wilson, on a cross-country trip that yielded a group of negatives marking the culmination of an extraordinarily creative and prolific period in his career. Most of the images were made with a large, 8 × 10 camera and captured a wide-ranging landscape and set of experiences across 24,000 miles, from California through the Southwest and South, up to New England and Maine. The announcement of Pearl Harbor’s bombing in Dec. 1941 caused Weston and Wilson to abort their trip and hurriedly retrace their route to California.

While Weston believed the photographs to be some of his best, the resulting Limited Editions publication, which is on view in the exhibition, proved a failure on many fronts. The pages were tinted a sickly green, said Watts, and, likewise, “Weston’s elegant black and white pictures were surrounded by a mint green border, much to the photographer’s disgust. The final indignity came with the pairing of Weston’s pictures with specific lines in Whitman’s text, a decision Weston rightly felt undermined his own vision of America.” As a result, the photographs from the Leaves of Grass project have been relegated to footnote status in Weston’s oeuvre.

But, said Watts, “this is an important body of work that has been unjustly overlooked and clearly deserves its due. There are masterpieces in the mix, every bit the equal of Weston’s best work. How could it be otherwise? The Whitman effort came after a lifetime of honing a prodigious talent. The challenges of the project notwithstanding, Weston’s mastery shines brilliantly through.”

Among the pristine prints to be featured are White Sands, New Mexico (1941); Woodlawn Plantation House, Louisiana (1941), and Gulf Oil, Port Arthur, Texas (1941), each 7 ½ by 9 ½ inches. The group builds on subjects that Weston already knew and loved: the industrial sites of Middletown steel; the broad expanse of desert with its confounding sense of scale; New Orleans’ aboveground graves that he flattens out like a Point Lobos tide pool.

Though Weston deemed the book a failure, he considered the photographs an unqualified success. In 1944, he selected and printed 500 photographs for The Huntington as a gift to establish the most significant institutional legacy of his lifetime. Of this remarkable group, 90—almost one-fifth the total—are pictures he took for the Whitman project.

In 2003, The Huntington acquired Charis Wilson’s typescript diary recounting every aspect of the journey, which is on view in The Huntington’s Library Main Exhibition Hall, as well as documentation detailing the contentious creative wrangling between Weston and the Limited Editions publishers, both of which significantly informed the research for this exhibition. The Library’s manuscript and rare book holdings also include a number of original Whitman items, including a sampling of Whitman’s draft pages and his handwritten corrections on printed proofs for Leaves of Grass. Some of those pages will be on display in the exhibition.

Image: Woodlawn Plantation House, Louisiana, 1941
Gelatin silver print
Photograph by Edward Weston
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
©1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 10.25.14 copy.jpgDr. Jörn Günther Rare Books is delighted to announce their attendance at TEFAF New York’s debut fair 21st-26th October 2016. There will be a selection of important illuminated manuscripts and early printed books that have been carefully guarded throughout the centuries and are rare offerings to the international market. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books has enjoyed more than twenty successful years with the fair in Europe and greatly looks forward to expanding with TEFAF into New York. To mark the event the gallery will highlight themes of exploration, voyage mapping, and the medieval discovery of new lands.

A notable example is the Compendium (Castile, c. 1425), a unique and completely unknown manuscript containing a combination of educational texts made for the young King of Castile and Leon, Juan II (1405-1454). There are seven full-page illuminated leaves included in the manuscript, most notably a thought-provoking map, the image of which is dominated by a deep- set, inky blue, indicating the surrounding ocean and the world yet to be explored. A physical relic from the very heart of the Age of Discovery, this manuscript is likely to have been seen and handled by some of the most central figures of the age, like Juan II’s daughter, Isabella, who, with her husband Ferdinand, succeeded Juan on the Spanish throne and launched Columbus’ famous expedition across the Atlantic. This codex is the only example of its kind and within a generation of its production, the image of the world it depicts was altered almost beyond recognition. It is poised, as it were, on a precipice between the medieval and modern worlds.

A poignant counterpart to the Compendium is the historic edition of Christopher Columbus’ letter to Isabella and Ferdinand recounting his discovery of the Americas (Basel, 1494). The text is illustrated with six remarkable printed woodcuts that show a stylized view of the Bahamas, the Caribbean Islands, and their inhabitants. This may be a once in a lifetime chance to acquire such a monument to American history.

Significantly, Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will also feature the first ‘modern’ atlas. Along with Classical Ptolemaic maps, the atlas includes large parts of the American Atlantic coast and the West Indian Islands, which are depicted here for the first time. It also boasts a world map that reveals some of South America and the first color printed maps. Columbus’ discovery of the new world by mandate of the Spanish rulers is noted in one map. This edition of Ptolemy’s Geographia (Strasbourg, 1513, first edition) integrates information from Amerigo Vespucci and the recently returned Portuguese explorers.

Image: Unpublished Compendium in Latin, made for Juan II, King of Castile and Leon, c. 1425

Grand_Canyon_600.jpgSAN MARINO, Calif.—The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens continues to celebrate the centennial of the U.S. National Park Service in the second of two consecutive exhibitions that focus on the critical role that national parks have played in the history of the United States. “Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea, 1933-2016” depicts the unceasing public enthusiasm for national park spaces, as well as the steady pace of change in the concept of a “national park” that grew to include national lakeshores and seashores, wild and scenic rivers, battlefields, industrial sites, parkways, and trails.

The exhibition—on view in the West Hall of the Library from Oct. 22, 2016, to Feb. 13, 2017—will illuminate the great paradox established by the National Park Service’s founding legislation: how to make the lands under its management available for public enjoyment, while at the same time ensuring the preservation of those lands for the use of future generations.

Drawing on nearly 100 items gathered from The Huntington’s library holdings, as well as from various private collections, “Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea” will include maps, advertisements, illustrated guide books, travel narratives, promotional brochures, scientific surveys, reports, and correspondence that will highlight the experiences of visitors to the parks and the many—sometimes conflicting—visions of national parks that have taken shape over the past 80 years.

Among the most indelible images in the exhibition is a view of the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River from its southern rim, as depicted in 1911 by William R. Leigh for the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Co., which promoted tourist travel throughout the Southwest. Leigh’s image, used by the Santa Fe Railway for various promotional purposes, aptly captures the canyon’s scenic magnificence, which many Americans equated with a unique national identity. In subsequent decades, however, popular understanding of the park’s significance has shifted as Americans have gained a deeper understanding of the intricate ecologies of the natural world. The presence on the Colorado River of structures such as Glen Canyon Dam have changed the river by altering the temperature of the water, its peak flows, and the flora and fauna that can survive along its banks.

“The example of the Grand Canyon reminds us of one of the most challenging aspects of the National Park Service’s existence,” said Peter Blodgett, H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts at The Huntington, and exhibition curator. “At the heart of the 1916 Organic Act that created the service is the stipulation that the Park Service must manage resources to provide for their use by current visitors, while also ensuring the conservation of those resources unimpaired for future generations. Implications of this conundrum—how to make the parks available for public use while preserving them—run throughout the exhibition.”

The attraction of the Grand Canyon, which combined scenic wonder with the allure of the indigenous peoples of the region, has continued unabated for more than a century, drawing travelers from all over the country and around the globe, said Blodgett. Among the exhibition items are early examples of publicity efforts by the Park Service, railroads, and concessionaires to capitalize on this interest. In a 1931 brochure titled “Trails and Automobile Drives,” a contrast is drawn between the traditional mule-back tours of the canyon’s Bright Angel Trail and a sleek automobile visiting pueblos of people living near the park. The juxtaposition of new and old technologies, as well as of modern and ancient cultures, is a common theme throughout materials promoting travel to the national parks. Examples include a 1938 brochure for the Burlington Route, depicting ultramodern, streamlined railroad trains under the rubric of “the National Park Line,” and a 1947 Union Pacific Railroad advertisement boosting the parks in southern Utah, such as Bryce and Zion, as well as the northern rim of the Grand Canyon. And there is a 1947 advertisement for Western Air Lines that encourages vacationers to fly to national park destinations in the American West, maximizing their time at sites of natural wonder through the speed and convenience of air travel.

Even as such promotional campaigns for existing parks moved into high gear, the national park system itself continued to expand. California’s Death Valley, once seen by many Euro-Americans as a horrifying and desolate location, entered the system in 1933 as a National Monument, and Joshua Tree was likewise designated in 1936. In hopes of preserving substantial portions of “primeval America,” groups such as the Sierra Club advocated for the creation of parks in settings such as King’s River Canyon in California, as depicted by a 1939 brochure that emphasizes the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada as scenic wilderness. With the success of such campaigns, more wilderness areas were added to the system in the decades that followed, reflecting the growing enthusiasm for unspoiled landscapes that culminated with the passage of the Wilderness Act in 1964.

Other changes followed quickly in the 1960s as the Park Service extended protection to seashores, lakeshores, wild and scenic rivers, and historic trails to serve the needs and interests of an ever-more urbanized population. By the late 1970s and 1980s, “national recreation” areas were designated adjacent to major cities, such as Gateway in New York City and Golden Gate in San Francisco. This impulse extends to the Santa Monica Mountains in the Los Angeles area, designated a National Recreation Area in 1978, and the current proposal for the adjacent “Rim of the Valley,” which would significantly expand its boundaries.

Managing Conservation and Use

Throughout this period, however, the Park Service’s other mandate, as established in its founding legislation of 1916, was to ensure conservation of the parks unimpaired for future generations. Harried Park Service professionals and alarmed conservationists struggled to strike a balance between these two imperatives as the annual number of visitors spiraled ever upward, from 21 million in 1941 to 100 million in 1964, 200 million in 1976, and 292 million in 2014. Such staggering growth put ever greater pressure on natural habitats, as well as Park Service and concessioner facilities, at many of the nation’s best-loved parks.

Moreover, as scientific knowledge grew more sophisticated during the 20th century, with a greater emphasis on ecology, it became clear that many parks faced significant environmental problems from economic developments outside of their borders, such as increasing air pollution at the Grand Canyon and elsewhere, generated by power plants in the Southwest.

“In various instances, scientists have concluded that preserving wildlife and watersheds would require the expansion of park boundaries,” said Blodgett. “But this is hard to do—not only because of the increase in populations adjacent to many parks, but because many of the communities built near parks surround those parks with privately owned land and burgeoning economic enterprises. Buying lands to allow park expansion in many instances would be ruinously expensive. A basic tension arises: How do you preserve parks unimpaired for future generations when there is not enough space for native species to flourish?”

With such challenging issues connected to the parks, one of the key goals of the exhibition, according to Blodgett, is to provide viewers with a deeper understanding of the innate complexity of the national park idea as it has developed over time. “I hope visitors will be inspired to consider how national parks should evolve through the 21st century and beyond,” he said.

Image: William R. Leigh, Grand Canyon (1911), as adapted for Fred Harvey Service dining car menu, 1950. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Reprinted with permission of the BNSF Railway Company.

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