Recently in Exhibit Category

Depicting_Venice_1 Bordon.jpgBoston—The Boston Athenæum announced today a pair of complementary pop-up exhibitions open to the public on its first floor: Stampato a Venezia/Printed in Venice and Ecco Venezia/Behold Venice. Both will remain on view through February 16, 2019.

Stampato a Venezia/Printed in Venice celebrates Venetian printers’ artistry and craftsmanship as the powerful republic rapidly built its dominance in an emerging book trade. The technology of printing on a press using moveable metal type arrived in Venice in 1469, less than two decades after Johann Gutenberg started printing his first Bible in Germany. The items on display at the Athenæum, printed in the prosperous maritime center between 1471-1551, are drawn from the library’s special collections and offer visitors a rare opportunity to see historic and beautiful printed objects. On display are master printers’ editions of works by Aristotle,  Dante Alighieri, Marco Polo, Saint Catherine of Siena, Sebastiano Serlio, and Baldassarre Castiglione, among others, as well as 16th-century depictions of the city and exemplars of typographic and design innovations.

Ecco Venezia/Behold Venice! brings together rare and finely printed items that express visitors’ fascination with the legendary city: lyrical travel narratives, grand architecture, romantic scenery, and, of course, gondolas and canals. Highlights include writings by Joseph Brodsky and Jan Morris (along with a corrected typescript revealing Morris’ working methods) as well as depictions of Venice from a first-edition John Ruskin (1851) alongside evocative modern-day illustrations. The Athenæum takes pride in offering curatorial experiences to young professionals; this show was curated by Rare Books and Manuscripts Research Assistant Adriene Galindo with the advice of John Buchtel, Curator of Rare Books and Special Collections.

“For our first Athenæum exhibitions, Adriene and I chose rare holdings from and about Venice,” said Buchtel. “They tell compelling stories about technology and art, manifest their makers’ love of beauty and learning, and open a portal to an extraordinary time and place. They also evoke the grand passions and adventures of avid Boston book collectors from the 1840s to the present.”

ABOUT THE BOSTON ATHENÆUM

The Boston Athenæum, a leading membership library and cultural center, first opened its doors in 1807 as a reading room, with readers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Amy Lowell. Today, the Athenæum remains a vibrant hybrid institution that serves members and other curious minds. Encompassing an expansive circulating library, rich collections of paintings and rare materials for research and enjoyment, quiet spaces for reading and reflection, and serving as a forum for lively discourse, the Athenæum is a distinct cultural treasure in the heart of Boston.

Public Hours

Tuesdays 12noon-8pm

Wednesdays through Saturdays 10am-4pm

General Admission

Adults (ages 13 and up) $10

Students and Military $8

EBT Card to Culture $2

Children (ages 12 and under) Free

Boston Athenæum Members Free

Image: Benedetto Bordon (1450-1530), Isolario. Venice: Nicolò d’Aristotile, detto Zoppino, 1534. Gift of Charles Butler Brooks in memory of his father Francis Augustus Brooks, 1920. Call Number: $XB .B64 .1534. Photo credit: Boston Athenaeum

New York — The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will host a public display from October 23 through November 10 of its newly-acquired, never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, and unpublished chapter from The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 

The limited-time display will be open to the public for viewing at the Schomburg Center near the main entrance, and will feature selections of Malcolm X’s autobiographical writing with editor Alex Haley including:

  • The partial, yet-extensive manuscript of The Autobiography, illustrating the influential text as a work-in-progress, with back-and-forth written dialogue between Malcolm X and Haley on everything from diction to timing and tone
     
  • Written fragments showing Malcolm X’s reworking of key passages from the final pages of his autobiography
     
  • The never-before-seen “lost” unpublished chapter from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, titled “The Negro,” which was removed from the manuscript during the editing process and unpublished and unavailable until now

New manuscript pages will be displayed and turned weekly through November 10.  After November 13, researchers will be able to access the manuscripts by appointment at the Schomburg Center with a New York Public Library card.

On July 27, the Schomburg Center announced acquisition of the Malcolm X Manuscripts, previously held by a private collector, who acquired them at a sale of Alex Haley’s estate in 1992. The acquisition is a critical addition to over 16 linear feet of Malcolm X manuscript material, available at the Schomburg Center, including a diary, letters, speeches, journals, and photographs.

“These materials are extremely significant, as they can provide researchers with extensive new insights into the writing process and thoughts of one of the most important and influential figures and books of the 20th Century,” said Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young on the acquisition. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a monumental work; to actually see how that book took shape through Malcolm X’s handwritten corrections and notes is very powerful. Additionally, the omitted chapter, believed to be removed after Malcolm X’s death, places the work in a new context, and provide an understanding as to why it was excluded from the book in the first place. The possibilities for new revelations are nearly endless, and we are so proud that the Schomburg Center can bring this material to light for the first time.”

Media requests for interviews and coverage of the display and the Malcolm X manuscripts can be made to ayofemikirby@nypl.org.

 

Austin, TX — A detailed look at the history of the Arts and Crafts movement is the focus of a new exhibition at The University of Texas at Austin.

Displayed at the Harry Ransom Center from Feb. 9 through July 14, 2019, “The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America” examines how the ideas of Arts and Crafts reformers, influential to this day, transformed the homes and lives of ordinary people in the 19th and 20th centuries.

With more than 250 books, drawings, furniture pieces, decorative arts objects, photographs and advertising ephemera, the exhibition appeals to anyone with an interest in architecture and design, including professionals, enthusiasts and those interested in the antecedents of lifestyle branding and today’s maker movement.

It is organized into three main sections. “The Birth of the Arts and Crafts Idea” considers the founding ideals of designers and theorists in Britain, “The Arts and Crafts in America” shows how the principles of the movement crossed the Atlantic Ocean, and “The Postwar Legacy” explores the persistence of the American Arts and Crafts movement beyond World War II. This narrative highlights the contributions of Alice and Elbert Hubbard and The Roycrofters, William Morris and The Kelmscott Press, John Ruskin, Gustav Stickley, Frank Lloyd Wright, bungalow culture and a burgeoning do-it-yourself craft movement.

Visitors will learn how the movement’s theorists and makers spread their ideas through books, retail showrooms and world's fairs. Concerned with the daily realities of the Industrial Age, they used design to envision and promote a new and improved way of living.

The movement was transformed as its tenets of simple design, honest use of materials and social value of handmade goods were widely adopted and commodified by large companies. The exhibition explores how these objects, originally handmade and costly, came to be manufactured and sold to the everyday consumer.

Christopher Long, professor of history and theory in UT’s School of Architecture, and Monica Penick, associate professor in the Department of Design in the School of Design and Creative Technologies, curated the exhibition.

“The exhibition's distinction is its emphasis on the Arts and Crafts' transformation from a movement that made handcrafted objects for the well-to-do to a popular phenomenon of mass- manufactured, inexpensive pieces sold through retail outlets like Sears, Roebuck & Co.," Penick said. "The Arts and Crafts idea persisted long after it is usually said to have expired, well into the 1950s and 1960s. The Ransom Center, with its wide-ranging collections of both British and American art, architecture and design, is ideally suited to tell this story.”

Items from the Center's collections include hand-drawn designs and sketches by Ruskin and Morris, books and marketing materials of the Kelmscott and Roycroft presses, stained glass designs by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones and plates from Wright's Wasmuth portfolio. These are complemented by photographs, furniture and decorative arts objects from the university's Alexander Architectural Archives; the Dallas Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and private collections.

“Viewers will see many objects that are seldom shown, including unique documents and rare sales catalogs and brochures,” Long said.

The exhibition “The Rise of Everyday Design: The Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America” is accompanied by a catalog of the same title. Published by Yale University Press in association with the Ransom Center and edited by Penick and Long, it features essays such as “The Kelmscott Press and the Modern Popular Book,” “The Arts and Crafts Knock-Off and U.S. Intellectual Property Law” and “The Sears Modern Home.”

Visitors can view the free exhibition 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. Free docent-led tours are offered daily at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

 

Benn.pngMiami - HistoryMiami Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate and a premier Miami cultural institution, presents A Peculiar Paradise: Florida Photographs by Nathan Benn. The photography exhibition will open November 9, 2018, and run through April 14, 2019, and feature nearly 100 photographs taken at the dawn of the 1980s across the State of Florida, as well as artifacts, from photographer Nathan Benn. In conjunction with the exhibition, powerHouse Books will release a 200-page volume of Benn’s Florida photographs in November 2018. HistoryMiami Museum will host a cocktail reception on November 8, 2018 from 6-8 p.m. to celebrate the opening of this new exhibition and release Benn’s new book. 

"These Florida pictures are the finest and most personal work from my twenty-year career as a National Geographic photographer,” said Nathan Benn. “They reveal the duality of a place that is vibrantly dynamic while at the same time an imagined paradise.”  A Peculiar Paradise exhibits many never-before-seen photos and artifacts related to Benn’s Florida work for National Geographic.  Benn shot most of these photographs in 1981, a time when Miami became famous for its narcotics-related crime wave and influx of newcomers from the Caribbean. His pictures explore, among other topics, Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, extreme affluence, nightlife, immigration, work cultures, tourist attractions, remarkable Floridians, Dundee’s 5th Street Gym, and the narcotics war. Benn shows a state that is vibrant and marvelously unconventional during a time of over-the-top prosperity for some Floridians while others just tried to survive. The photographs, often exploring political and social issues, take full advantage of Kodachrome films distinctive color palette. 

"For those who live in Florida, this exhibition is certainly a walk down memory lane and offers an unusual look into what shaped Florida into the eclectic makeup we enjoy today," said Jorge Zamanillo, Executive Director of HistoryMiami Museum. "If you are not from Florida, you are sure to be fascinated by the stories of our past that have molded this peculiar paradise that we call home. Through these carefully curated images, you will be intrigued by the issues that were tackled here 37 years ago and those that remain hot button issues today."

A former Director of Magnum Photos, Benn was born and raised in Miami, graduated from the University of Miami, and currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City. 

Daily admission to HistoryMiami Museum to see A Peculiar Paradise: Florida Photographs by Nathan Benn is $10 for adults, $8 for students (with valid ID), $5 for children 6-12, and free for HistoryMiami members and children under 6. Exhibition hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. HistoryMiami Museum is located at 101 West Flagler Street in downtown Miami. Parking is available at the Cultural Center Parking Garage located at 50 NW 2nd Avenue.

Benn will be present at the opening of A Peculiar Paradise on November 8, 2018, and will be available for press interviews and book signing upon request. For more information, high-res images, or to schedule an interview with Nathan Benn, please contact Cynthia Demos at cynthia@thedanaagency.com or 305-758-1110.

Images courtesy of Nathan Benn

 

Froissart_Lyon Flood.jpgParis - Iconic images by the earliest masters of photography—as well as contemporary artists who are reinterpreting the processes and subjects of the pioneers—will be exhibited by Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs at Paris Photo at the Grand Palais from 8-11 November 2018. 

Spanning facets of the history of photography from 1839 to 2009, Masters of Photography: 19th Century and Now, will feature the work of William Henry Fox Talbot, Julia Margaret Cameron, Louis-Antoine Froissart, Gustave Le Gray, Hugo van Werden, and contemporary artists Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Adam Fuss, among others. 

Louis-Antoine Froissart (1815-1860) was the official photographer for the city of Lyon, photographing scenes and events of municipal interest. In May 1856, Lyon was inundated by one of the worst floods in French history. Froissart recorded the devastation with eloquent exactitude and poetic beauty. His eerily serene landscape of the postdiluvian city, Lyon Flood, records the disaster without depicting the human suffering left in its wake. This fine, rare salt print was presented by the photographer as a gift to the Mayor of Lyon at the time of the flood and remained in the Mayor’s family. Froissart’s photographs of the catastrophe precede the more widely known photographs by Edouard Baldus who was sent to Lyon by the French government in June of 1856.

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879) sought to record, through the faces of her family and friends, the qualities of innocence, wisdom, piety, or passion ascribed to great biblical, historical, and legendary figures. In Greek mythology, Circe is a goddess of magic, the daughter of Helios, the sun god, and Perse, an Oceanid nymph. Renowned for her vast knowledge of potions and herbs, Circe is exiled to the solitary island of Aeaea by her father for killing her husband. Once there she lures sailors to the island, including the crew of Odysseus, transforming them into swine. For Circe, Cameron used a long exposure and shallow depth of field to give a slight sense of animation that merges the angelic looking Kate Keown with her mythic character, seemingly bringing her into the viewer's presence in the fine 1865 albumen print.

Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884) trained as a painter in the studio of Paul Delaroche and exhibited in the Paris Salon. Le Gray’s unique vision is reflected in his seascapes, the work for which he is most celebrated. A striking ocean view in Normandy, Effet de soleil dans les nuages-Océan (Effect of the sun in the clouds over the Ocean), 1856-57, is one in a series of poetic and meditative seascapes that brought Le Gray international acclaim for their technical and artistic achievement. The albumen print demonstrates his mastery of the medium with a tour de force combination of clouds, sea, and sun and is on display alongside two enigmatic seascapes, from 1994 and 1997, by Hiroshi Sugimoto (Japanese, b. 1948).

In addition to his seascapes, Sugimoto’s Lightning Fields 119, part of his 2009 series will be on view. These dynamic camera-less photographs depict electrical charges, influenced in part by Fox Talbot’s research into static electricity. The images were made using a Van de Graaff 400,000 volt generator. The “lightning field” is formed by the resulting spark. If the charge is powerful enough it creates the capillary effect of electric light dramatically captured in this gelatin silver print from a photogram.

German industrialist and armaments manufacturer Alfred Krupp hired Hugo van Werden (1836-1911) as a trainee in his firm’s engineering workshop in 1854. Three years later, he was working as a draughtsman in the technical office. Early in 1861, van Werden was sent to Hanover to learn photography. Upon his return to Essen, he set up the Krupp works’ photography studio. As Alfred Krupp’s first full-time photographer and distant relation, van Werden’s family connection facilitated his access to the private grounds as he documented all aspects of Krupp’s operation, including the business plant, new technical developments and trials of materials. Van Werden’s 1877 albumen print Krupp firing range at Bredelar. Armor shooting trial is the first in a series of six photographs on view showing the progressive effects of cannon fire on the target’s armor plate. Van Werden’s strikingly proto-modernist photographs unite Krupp’s pioneering conception of photography’s role in advertising and entrepreneurship with his own artistic vision of the medium to show the complex interrelationships of steel—or more broadly, industry—and society.

Masters of Photography: 19th Century and Now will be on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs at Paris Photo, Stand C17, at the Grand Palais, Paris, from 8-11 November 2018. The telephone number at the stand is +1 917-273-4609.

Image: Louis-Antoine Froissart (French, 1815-1860), Lyon Flood, 1856. Salt print from a collodion negative, 22.6 x 32.0 cm

 

 

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition, MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Series XIV. On view from November 3, 2018 - January 27, 2019 in MCBA’s Main Gallery, this exhibition features exciting new work from this year’s MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship recipients: printmaker and book artist Cathy Ryan; artist Ioana Stoian; paper maker and social practice artist Peng Wu; and installation artist Jammo Xu. The opening reception for MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowships Series XIV will take place on Friday, November 9 from 6-8pm. Both the exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

With generous funding from the Jerome Foundation and technical guidance from MCBA, the Fellowship recipients developed their independent projects throughout the previous year. Since 1985 the Jerome Foundation has helped emerging artists push the boundaries of contemporary book arts by supporting the creation of new book works. Under the previous thirteen series of fellowships and six series of mentorships, Minnesota artists of diverse disciplines—including printers, papermakers, binders, painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, choreographers, filmmakers and others—have created projects ranging from exquisitely crafted fine press volumes to documented performances to one-of-a-kind installations that “break the bindings” and redefine conventional notions of book form and content.

Cathy Ryan is a book artist and printmaker based in Minneapolis, MN. For the Fellowship, she produced Connections, a mixed media printed book installed as an abstract landscape, drawing on themes of nature, perspective, and connection. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art from San Francisco State University, and a post baccalaureate certificate in Print, Paper, Book from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Her work is included in the 2012 Quarry publication 1000 Artist Books, and, in 2014, she was an artist-in-residence at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing, MN. She is a past recipient of the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Fellowship in 2011-2012.

Ioana Stoian is a self-taught, British-born artist with a passion for paper. For her Fellowship project, she has created The A-Z of Motherhood, an edition of hand bound books containing 28 pages of custom-dyed handmade paper, juxtaposing specific words and colors to create an energetic harmony. Since 2006 Ioana has been experimenting with two of her main interests—paper folding and papermaking. Her works focus on the harmony between color, structure, and form. Ioana is the author of Origami for All and The Origami Garden, and she participated in the MCBA/Jerome Book Arts Mentorship program in 2014-2015.

Peng Wu and Jammo Xu’s installation, "Arriving Ashore", advocates for global awareness of the refugee crisis. The artists have been in close collaboration with UNITED for Intercultural Action—a European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of migrants and refugees, which has worked in the past 15 years to document the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe. The artists use handmade paper and other sculptural materials to create an installation to commemorate the refugees who lost their lives in the forceful migration. Peng Wu is a sculptor and papermaker working in social practice and public art. Originally from China, he has been based in Minneapolis since 2011. Peng is a collaborating artist with the One World Many Papers project and has had two Northern Spark projects. He received his MFA in visual studies from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He also has an MFA in product design and a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric physics. Minneapolis-based Jammo Xu is a visual storyteller who works with installation and public art. Also a native of China, Jammo received her MFA in visual studies from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She also has a bachelor’s degree in animation.

Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

Screen Shot 2018-10-10 at 8.25.09 AM.pngKansas City, Missouri-Ralston Crawford, who celebrated the modern American industrial landscape in a precisionist style and captured the vitality of New Orleans jazz culture, is the subject of a photography exhibition opening at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Oct. 26 through April 7, 2019. Structured Vision: The Photographs of Ralston Crawford, showcases the museum’s deep holdings of his work.

“Ralston Crawford’s photographs have a profound energy,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “Throughout his career he juxtaposed creation and destruction, form and chaos. His body of work is wonderfully varied and reflects how complicated and rich one artistic sensibility can be.”

George Ralston Crawford (1906-1978) was born in Canada but grew up in Buffalo, New York, where his interest in docks, shipyards, bridges, and grain elevators blossomed. He was a sailor as a young adult and began studying art in the late 1920s, painting characteristically American subjects such as highways, bridges, and machines. His work was precise and geometric, emphasizing bold, simple forms.

“Ralston Crawford is an important artist in the Nelson-Atkins collection because he applied a painter’s eye to the challenge of making interesting photographs,” said Keith F. Davis, Senior Curator, Photography. “There is enormous variety in his work, from industrial subjects to street life and cemeteries of New Orleans. Some of his pictures are about pure geometry; others celebrate the improvisational vitality of everyday life. Ultimately, all of Crawford’s work is about the interrelationship of structure and change.”

Crawford worked actively from the 1930s through the 1970s. He absorbed and expressed the basic energies of the mid-twentieth century, from the era’s industrial might to the destructive power of war and the atomic bomb. He celebrated the most basic of forces: creation, decay, time, and change. He traveled extensively throughout his life to paint, produce lithographs, take photographs, and teach. In addition to key gifts from the Hall Family Foundation, the artist’s son, Neelon Crawford, was instrumental in increasing the Nelson-Atkins’s holdings of his father’s photographs.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new book, The Photographs of Ralston Crawford, written by Davis, providing a fresh, comprehensive look at Crawford’s photographs from 1938 through the mid-1970s, including both well-known works and previously unpublished images. This volume, published by Yale University Press, is distributed for the Hall Family Foundation in association with the Nelson-Atkins.

This exhibition is supported by the Hall Family Foundation.

Image: Ralston Crawford, American (1906-1978). Dancer and Meyer Kennedy at the Caravan Club, New Orleans, 1953. Gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 × 7 9/16 inches. Gift of Neelon Crawford, 2015.49.123.

sallymann31_low.jpgLos Angeles - For more than 40 years, Sally Mann (b. 1951) has made experimental, intimate, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore themes of memory, desire, death, the bonds of family, and nature's indifference to human endeavor. Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, on view November 16, 2018-February 10, 2019 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, is the first major survey of this celebrated artist to travel internationally, and the first to investigate how Mann's relationship with her native land, the American South—a place rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history—has shaped her work. The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts. The Getty is the only West Coast venue for this international tour, which brings together 110 photographs, many exhibited for the first time.

Mann’s work—photographs of people, places, and things—is united by its focus on the American South. Drawing from her deep love of her homeland and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, Mann asks powerful, provocative questions—about history, identity, race, and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.

“Sally Mann’s distinctive approach to photographing the South has earned her a special place in the history of a genre that includes many of the greatest names in American photography,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Her complex, evocative landscapes and intimate images of her family are reminiscent of classic work from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but she manages always to give her photographs an individual pictorial and emotive quality that makes them intangibly of our time. The work has a power - all the more impactful for its quiet and ethereal mood - that I am sure will leave visitors deeply moved.”

The exhibition is organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. It opens with works from the 1980s, when Mann began to photograph her three children at the family's remote summer cabin on the Maury River near Lexington, Virginia. Taken with an 8 x 10 inch view camera, the family pictures refute sentimental stereotypes of childhood, instead offering unsettling visions of its complexity. Rooted in the experience of a particular natural environment—Arcadian woodlands, rocky cliffs, and languid rivers—these works convey the inextricable link between the family and the landscape, and the sanctuary and freedom that it provided them.

The second section of the exhibition - The Land - continues with photographs of the fields and ruined estates Mann encountered as she traveled across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s. Hoping to capture what she called the "radical light of the American South," Mann made pictures in Virginia that glow with a tremulous radiance, while those made in Georgia and Mississippi often appear bleaker. In these photographs, Mann also experimented with antique lenses and the 19th-century collodion wet-plate process for making negatives. Mann used similar techniques for her photographs of Civil War battlefields in the exhibition's third section, Last Measure. Cultivating the flaws she could achieve with this method for making negatives—streaks, scratches, spots and pits—she created metaphors for the South as the site of memory. These brooding and elusive pictures depict the land as history's graveyard, silently absorbing the blood and bones of the many thousands who perished in battles in Antietam, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, and Manassas.

The fourth section, Abide with Me, merges four series of photographs to explore how race and history shaped the landscape of Virginia as well as Mann's own childhood and adolescence. Expanding her understanding of the land as not only a vessel for memory but also a site of struggle and survival, Mann made a series of starkly beautiful tintypes between 2008 and 2012 in the Great Dismal Swamp—home to many fugitive slaves in the years before the Civil War—and along nearby rivers in southeastern Virginia. Mann's use of the tintype process— a collodion negative on a sheet of darkened metal that yields a rich, liquid-like surface with deep blacks - mirrors these bracken swamp and rivers. In these murky pictures, she conveyed the region’s entwined histories of sanctuary and oppression.

Mann also photographed numerous 19th-century African American churches near her home in Lexington. Founded in the decades immediately after the Civil War, when African Americans in Virginia could worship without the presence of a white minister for the first time, these humble but richly resonant churches seem alive with the spirit that inspired their creation and the memories of those who prayed there.

Also included in Abide with Me are photographs of Virginia "Gee-Gee" Carter, the African American woman who worked for Mann’s parents. A defining and beloved presence in Mann's life, Carter taught Mann the profoundly complicated and charged nature of race relations in the South. The final component of this section is a group of pictures of African American men rendered as large prints (50 x 40 inches) made from collodion negatives. Representing Mann's desire to reach across "the seemingly untraversable chasm of race in the American South," the series was inspired in part by the work of the choreographer Bill T. Jones. Lamenting the racism that has subjected African Americans to stereotyping, exploitation, and violence, Jones noted that “the body is the thing that . . . connects us, the body is bought and sold, and the body is definitely the thing that will divide us.” Mann sought to make photographs that address this paradox.

The final section of the exhibition, What Remains, explores themes of time and transformation through photographs of Mann and her family. Her enduring fascination with decay and the body's vulnerability to the ravages of time is evident in a series of spectral portraits of her children's faces and intimate photographs detailing the changing body of her husband Larry, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The exhibition closes with several riveting self-portraits Mann made in the wake of a serious riding accident. Here, her links to southern literature and her preoccupation with deterioration are evident: the pitted, scratched, ravaged, and cloudy surfaces of the photographs function as analogues for the body's decay. The impression of the series as a whole is of an artist confronting her own mortality with composure and conviction.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, presenting an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art, and two short films that illuminate the artist’s experimental and inquisitive approach to making images.

“Because the legacy of the South so profoundly continues to influence life throughout the United States, we are pleased to have the chance to bring this exhibition to Southern California. The artist’s meditative and meticulously crafted photographs encourage us to look more carefully at the places in which we live and the people in our lives,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Her pictures encourage us to attend to the ways in which our sense of family, place, and history inform our perspective on the world.”

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Sarah Kennel, The Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum.

Generously supported at the J. Paul Getty Museum by Gagosian.

Exhibition Tour

·         National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 4-May 28, 2018

·         Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 30-September 23, 2018

·         The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 16, 2018-February 10, 2019

·         Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 3-May 27, 2019

·         Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 17 -September 22, 2019

·         High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 19, 2019 -January 12, 2020

Image: The Turn, 2005. Sally Mann (American, born 1951). Gelatin silver print. 94.9 × 117.2 cm (37 3/8 × 46 1/8 in.). Private collection. Image © Sally Mann

 

Jacket image.jpegNew York--This fall, the Grolier Club presents an exhibition of the books, printed ephemera, and toys relating to military life and wartime experience that were published or produced for children and teens during two consecutive but dramatically different periods: first, the era from the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 until the outbreak of the Great War in 1914; and second, the 51 months of fighting that comprised “the war to end all wars.”  The exhibition is on view in the second-floor gallery through October 27, 2018.

During the years leading up to the war, there was an arms buildup among the nations who were anxious to protect their borders from predatory neighbors or to defend their colonies against attacks from within or without. As a consequence, these countries felt compelled to prepare their youth for a future armed conflict, utilizing whatever literary and leisure-time means were at hand.

Curated by collector Richard Cheek, “The Books and Toys that Prepared Children for War” will demonstrate how these publications and products were used to persuade boys to admire and wish to become soldiers and sailors, and to accept war as an inevitable form of human behavior that offered them a swift path to manhood requiring acts of exceptional bravery, selfless service, and patriotic devotion.

To encourage boys to follow this path by first “playing soldier,” traditional forms of literature were used. ABCs and picture books familiarized young readers with the types, ranks, and routines of the men in the armed forces, and, less often, of the women in the medical corps. Story collections and novels highlighted daring wartime adventures, scientific studies revealed the “wonder” of military inventions, and history books and ballads emphasized the great battles that had solidified each nation. Fairy tales created heroes or heroines who could withstand or triumph over evil forces, and anthropomorphic tales sent animals out to trick or frighten the enemy.

Toys were also part of this recruiting campaign because uniform sets, faux guns and swords, and rocking horses helped boys to act out their military fantasies, while toy soldiers and board games provided them with the vicarious thrill of leading a regiment to victory or of capturing the enemy’s stronghold with the right move.

Once the Great War broke out on August 4, 1914, and rapidly expanded, old forms of literature had to be adapted and new genres developed to help children and teens adjust to the new realities of a relentless worldwide conflict. These publications will comprise the second part of the exhibition, along with the toys that reinforced wartime play. From satirical attacks against the enemy in picture books and stories of atrocities in propaganda pamphlets to reassuring accounts of young heroes and guides for home front involvement in the war effort, “the books issued for ‘the duration’ are among the most creatively and movingly illustrated titles in the entire spectrum of military publications for children,” comments Cheek.

All of the items to be displayed in the exhibit were produced by the four nations that would become the main protagonists on the Western Front: Britain, France (and its ally Belgium), Germany (and its ally Austria), and the United States. Because of distinct national differences in the design, text, and illustration of the publications, the show and the catalogue will be divided into four sections according to country.

CATALOGUE:

Accompanying the exhibition is an illustrated catalogue, available at the Grolier Club or online through Oak Knoll Books, www.oakknoll.com. 

FREE LUNCHTIME EXHIBITION TOURS:

Curator Richard Cheek will lead public tours of the exhibition from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the following dates, no reservations required: 

Thursday, September 13; Wednesday, September 19; Thursday, October 4; Friday, October 26. 

Image: Marie Flatscher and Ludwig Morgenstern. Heil und Sieg! Munich: J.F. Schreiber, c. 1916. Collection of Richard Cheek

 

pano-2.jpgTo coincide with start of a new school year, Panopticon Gallery presents Bibliophile, a studious exhibition for lovers of photography and the printed page. This show features works by Thomas Allen, Carolyn Hampton, Sean Kernan, Aline Smithson, Mark Douglas, Fawn Potash, and Thomas Marr. These photographers turn their cameras toward their libraries, bringing unique perspectives and photographic processes to the book as subject.

Included among the contemporary images of books are Thomas Marr’s historic photographs of Boston’s buildings that house them. In his photographs of the Boston Athenæum at the turn of the last century, Marr shows us the stacks and reading rooms of one of the country’s oldest private libraries. These images are exhibited next to anonymous photographs of the Boston Public Library’s long-forgotten basement bindery in the 1920s and views of the library’s famous exterior from Copley Square.

Personal libraries are seen in Aline Smithson’s retro bookshelf arrangements and Fawn Potash’s carefully stacked piles of stolen library books. Thomas Allen uses mid-century books and pulp fiction paperbacks to transform still life into theatrical tableaus. The figures literally leap off of the pages to enact the dramatic scenes. In Carolyn Hampton’s photograph “The Lonely Bookkeeper,” a flurry of pages swirl magically around an archivist’s desk. Interested in the material qualities of paper and ink, Mark Douglas creates beautifully delicate abstract lith photographs of the rippled pages of water-damaged books. Whether you love books historic or contemporary, or admire them for their form or function, this exhibition contains something for every bibliophile’s library walls.

Bibliophile is on view from September 4 through October 28, 2018, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 6, from 6 to 8pm. The gallery is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Gallery staff is available Monday through Saturday, 10am to 6pm. For additional information, please visit our website www.panopticongallery.com, or contact Gallery Director Kat Kiernan by email at info@panopticongallery.com or by phone at 617.396.7803.

Image: Thomas Marr, Boston Athenaeum Stacks, c. 1901, archival pigment print, 7.75x9.75 inches.

 

RayCharles.jpgAmherst, MA --An exhibition depicting African American life, history, and culture by some of the most notable picture-book artists in the field is coming to The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Featuring more than 30 illustrators, Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards opens October 21, 2018 and remains on view through January 27, 2019. The touring exhibition helps kick off a national celebration of the Coretta Scott King Awards in 2019, celebrating 50 years as a champion of books about the African American experience. The awards commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honor his wife, Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace. 

The Illustrator Award, which is given each year by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association (ALA), is one of the most prestigious citations in children's literature. It recognizes outstanding African American artists of children's books who demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. 

Our Voice is the largest and most comprehensive presentation of Coretta Scott King illustrator winners and honorees ever assembled since the award was established in 1974. The exhibition, organized by the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) in Abilene, Texas, presents art from 100 of the 108 winning books. Honoring the struggles and triumphs of African Americans, the exhibition features historic events and figures including Josephine Baker, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman. The art is as varied as the stories themselves, including collage, oils, watercolors, photography, quilts, and ceramics.

Artist George Ford, the first award recipient, said it was "totally unexpected" when he won for his painted acrylic illustrations in Ray Charles (1973). "Although the award was a recognition of artistic excellence, I was most proud of the fact that it was a reward specifically intended as a source of inspiration and encouragement to African American children." 

The scale and variety of artwork is remarkable. One of Faith Ringgold's vibrant painted quilts from Tar Beach, winner of the 1992 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, is on view. Tar Beach, Ringgold's first children's book, was also awarded a Caldecott Honor Medal. Baba Wagué Diakité illustrated his 1998 Coretta Scott King Honor book, The Hunterman and the Crocodile, on ceramic tiles painted with West African motifs. In his four winning books, artist Floyd Cooper used a technique he calls "oil erasure," in which he paints oil on illustration board and then erases the paint to make his pictures. A beautiful example is on view from Cooper's 2009 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award-winning book, The Blacker the Berry: Poems

Javaka Steptoe won the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. Steptoe used bits of New York City--discarded wood he found in the dumpsters of Brooklyn brownstones and on the streets of Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side--to create his richly textured assemblages. "For me," says Steptoe, "'collage is a means of survival. It is how Black folks survived four hundred years of oppression, taking the scraps of life and transforming them into art forms. I want my audience, no matter what their background, to be able to enter into my world and make connections with comparable experiences in their own lives." One of the few photographs in the exhibition is a black-and-white portrait by South African photographer Peter Magubane from his book Black Child. Winner of 1983 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, Black Child was banned in the artist's home country by the Apartheid government. Magubane recalls, "I wanted the world to see what is going on in South Africa. The only way to show the world was through pictures."  

Several artists are multiple-time winners and have numerous artworks on view. Illustrator and author Jerry Pinkney, winner of ten Coretta Scott King awards, has a pencil drawing from his 1981 Honor book Count Your Fingers African Style and a watercolor from his recent 2017 Honor citation for In Plain Sight. "I am a storyteller at heart," says Pinkney. "Each project begins with the question, 'is this story worth telling? Is it surprising and challenging?' My intent and hope is to lead the viewer into a world that only exists because of that picture. Many of these speak to my culture, while other works are based on my experience of being Black in America."  

Ashley Bryan, the recipient of nine Coretta Scott King awards, is represented by, among others, a cut paper collage from Beautiful Blackbird (2003) and a tempera painting from Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life (2016). At 95 years old, Bryan is renowned for his extraordinary range and depth as an artist, writer, storyteller, and scholar. He received the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. Bryan Collier, another nine-time winner, won the 2001 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Uptown, his first authored book and one that took him seven years to get published. Collier is also represented by an enormous collage from his 2011 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award book Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave

Kadir Nelson, a seven-time Coretta Scott King recipient, painted powerful imagery for We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, his 2009 Coretta Scott King honor book about the unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and meager wages to play ball. Also on display are oil paintings from Nelson's other historical picture books including Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (2007 Honor), I Have a Dream: Martin Luther King Jr. (2013 Honor) and Nelson Mandela (2014 Honor). 

"The Coretta Scott King Book Awards has enlarged the prominence of children's literature about the Black experience and heightened the work of our winning African American authors and illustrators," says Dr. Claudette S. McLinn, Chair, Coretta King Book Awards Committee, 2017-2019. "On behalf of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the American Library Association's Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), it is with great pleasure to partner with The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in presenting this extraordinary exhibition, Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards." 

Additional features in the exhibition are iPads where guests can listen to audio clips of many artists speaking about their work. "We are pleased to highlight these award-winning illustrations and the books that feature them," says chief curator Ellen Keiter. "Hearing the artists' voices adds another layer of interest in the exhibition. Guests not only see the richly narrative art, they can hear the stories behind it too." Also in the gallery, visitors can enjoy custom-designed reading nooks that provide comfortable spaces to peruse the over 100 books represented in the exhibition. In hopes that visitors will leave inspired to think more about the exhibition and its themes, small cards with quotations by Coretta Scott King will be free for guests to take home.

Illustrators participating in this exhibition include:

Benny Andrews, Colin Bootman, Ashley Bryan, R. Gregory Christie, Bryan Collier, Floyd Cooper, Pat Cummings, Nancy Devard, Baba Diakité, Leo & Diane Dillon, Shane Evans, Tom Feelings, George Ford, Jan Spivey Gilchrist,  Ekua Holmes, Gordon C. James, E. B. Lewis, Peter Magubane , Christopher Myers, Kadir Nelson, Brian Pinkney, Jerry Pinkney, James Ransome, Synthia St. James, Joe Sam, Charles R. Smith, Daniel Minter, Frank Morrison, Sean Qualls, Faith Ringgold, Christian Robinson, Reynolds Ruffins, Javaka Steptoe, John Steptoe, Michele Wood, and Kathleen Atkins Wilson.

Image: George Ford, Illustration for Ray Charles by Sharon Bell Mathis (Lee & Low Books). Courtesy of NCCIL. © 1973 George Ford.

 

vromans_700.jpgSan Marino, CA—Documenting one of the most creative and influential periods in Southern California architecture, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens this fall presents “Architects of a Golden Age: Highlights from The Huntington’s Southern California Architecture Collection.” The exhibition will be on view in the West Hall of the Library from Oct. 6, 2018 to Jan. 21, 2019.

About 20 carefully selected original drawings and plans depicting elegant, powerful, whimsical, and iconic buildings will tease out the story of a place and time (1920 to 1940) that was ripe for architectural innovation—with rapid growth and the arrival of new talent from other parts of the U.S. “Architects of a Golden Age” highlights renderings that helped bring into existence some of the most extraordinary buildings in the greater Los Angeles area, including Downtown L.A.’s Union Station, Mayan Theater, Stock Exchange building, and Chinatown structures, as well as seminal examples of the California Bungalow. 

The Huntington’s focus on collecting architectural documentation coincided with the inception of Los Angeles’s preservation movement, which sprang into action around 1978. “For curators at The Huntington, that was the time to actively seek out and salvage as much of the architectural record as possible, as dozens of significant buildings fell to the wrecking ball and the downtown skyline was forever changed,” said Erin Chase, assistant curator of architecture and photography at The Huntington. “This show is an opportunity to showcase our collection, which has become invaluable in the study of the history of the region’s built environment.”

There was a dire need to rescue the records of local architects in the late 1970s, as archives were being destroyed and buildings demolished to make way for redevelopment. The Huntington, with an existing strong foundation of rare architecture book holdings and Californiana, joined in the cause and committed to collecting these records with a concentration on projects in most jeopardy of being lost: those created in Southern California between 1920 and 1940. In the last 40 years, the collection has grown to a trove of thousands of plans, renderings, photographs, and project records that cover not only work created between World Wars I and II, but also before and after that period—representing the evolution of architects’ work over time.

Highlights of “Architects of a Golden Age” include a charcoal presentation rendering of the façade of L.A.’s Union Station, designed by Edward Warren Hoak, that illustrates his blend of Spanish, Mission Revival, Southwest, and Art Deco styles; and, from the massive collection of the Morgan, Walls & Clements firm’s papers, a highly detailed drawing of the Mayan Theater on Hill Street. The incredibly detailed sketch maps out the ornate 1927 building’s façade, with its stylized pre-Columbian reliefs by Mexican sculptor Francisco Cornejo (1892-1963).

Another highlight is a look at the imposing 12-story granite Stock Exchange building by Samuel Lunden (along with John and Donald Parkinson), which is captured in two striking gouache renderings by artist Roger Hayward—one of the towering exterior, and the other of the vast trading floor, designed by Julian Ellsworth Garnsey with ancient Near East and Native American influences. Completed in 1931, which happened to be at the start of the Great Depression, the grand edifice was designed to impart a sense of financial stability. It was declared a Los Angeles Cultural Monument in 1979 and remains preserved, presently serving as a popular nightclub. “Though Lunden’s is not a household name, The Huntington is privileged to have his papers,” said Chase. “He left his mark across Los Angeles, not only with the Stock Exchange building but also with USC’s Doheny Library and the 1928 wing of the Biltmore Hotel.”

Other important collections featured in the exhibition include the papers of Wallace Neff, one of the most sought-after residential architects from the 1920s through the 1960s. Neff practiced chiefly in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, creating both residential and commercial buildings in a mostly Spanish and Mediterranean vernacular style that is still widely emulated in the region. The exhibition includes an elevation drawing for Neff’s 1923 Libbey Stables, which was designed for Edward Drummond Libbey, the original owner of the Ojai Valley Inn, along with renderings for an Airform house, Neff’s solution to the mass-housing shortage during and after World War II.

Another group of records in the collection are those of Roger S. Hong, a Los Angeles architect who, along with his father You Chung Hong, was involved in efforts to develop a new Chinatown in the 1930s when the original was relocated to make way for Union Station. Y.C. Hong hired Erle Webster and Adrian Wilson to design several of the buildings that form the core of Chinatown as it is known today. Two of their renderings in colored pencil, as well as a neon light study, will be on view.

Visitors familiar with the California Bungalow will enjoy the Foss Building and Design Collection works in the exhibition that document the company’s residential structures in the Pasadena area in the first half of the 20th century. The firm was one of the most prominent bungalow-style builders in the region, and the exhibition features three original ink drawings of archetypical homes in the Bungalow Heaven neighborhood. “The Foss drawings illustrate all the practical and aesthetic traits we tend to associate with Craftsman architecture in Pasadena,” said Chase. “These early designs took full advantage of Southern California’s weather at various times of the day. There’s a welcoming covered front porch, a screened porch for comfortable indoor/outdoor living, and even a sleeping porch for hot summer nights.”

The recently acquired archive of landscape architects Florence Yoch and Lucile Council is represented in the exhibition by two plans, including one for movie director George Cukor’s 1936 garden at his West Hollywood home. Yoch and Council, who were active from the 1920s to the early 1970s, were well versed in botany, horticulture, and design, and they traveled the world to source ideas. They worked on a range of projects, from the Vroman’s Bookstore courtyard in Pasadena to huge estates, and survived the Great Depression by designing sets for “Gone with the Wind,” among other films.

Demonstrating a precursor to the golden age of architecture in Southern California, the earliest work on view will likely stop visitors in their tracks: a remarkable six-foot long gouache rendering of Arthur Lett’s Holmby Park residence, made in 1908. Letts, founder of the Broadway department store in Los Angeles, purchased 60 acres in what is now known as Los Feliz, where he built a Tudor mansion and hired William Adolph Peschelt to landscape it with an unrivaled selection of carefully sourced trees, succulents, and other plants. The botanical specimens eventually were dispersed and sold to nurseries and private collectors, including Henry E. Huntington, founder of The Huntington.

As a sort of epilogue to the exhibition, visitors can feast their eyes on a large rendering of a luxurious living room of the post-World War II era. Designed by architect A. Quincy Jones and interior designer William Haines in 1952, the Sidney and Frances Brody residence (in the Holmby Hills area of Los Angeles) brings the exhibition narrative to the edge of the next aesthetic that was influenced by the Southern California lifestyle—mid-century modern. “William Haines’s simply gorgeous interior for the Brody living room is the pinnacle of what can be achieved with California innovation as it enters the modernist period,” said Chase. “It beautifully brings the pre-war history of architecture in the region to an uplifting sendoff.”

Image: Katherine Bashford (1885-1953), 17th Century Spanish Garden, Vroman’s Bookstore, Pasadena, 1921, Florence Yoch, Landscape Architect, Ink and wash on vellum, 12 1/8 x 12 inches. © Courtesy of James J. and Nancy Yoch, 2018. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens

3024ae8d9cff167f256cd5b8_1220x922.jpgNew York — A classic of world literature, a masterpiece of horror, and a forerunner of science fiction, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is the subject of a new exhibition at the Morgan. Organized in collaboration with the New York Public Library, It’s Alive! Frankenstein at 200 traces the origins and impact of the novel whose monster has become both a meme and a metaphor for forbidden science, unintended consequences, and ghastly combinations of the human and the inhuman. Portions of the original manuscript will be on display along with historic scientific instruments and iconic artwork such as Henry Fuseli’s Nightmare and the definitive portrait of Mary Shelley. The story’s astonishingly versatile role in art and culture over the course of two hundred years helps explain why the monster permeates the popular imagination to this day. 

Co-curated by John Bidwell, the Astor Curator and Department Head of the Morgan’s Printed Books and Bindings Department, and Elizabeth Denlinger, Curator of the Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and His Circle at The New York Public Library, this exhibition presents a diverse array of books, manuscripts, posters, prints, and paintings illustrating the long cultural tradition that shaped and was shaped by Mary Shelley’s myth. A large number of these works come from both the Morgan and the New York Public Library’s collections.

Only eighteen years old when she embarked on the novel, Shelley invented the archetype of the mad scientist who dares to flout the laws of nature. She created an iconic monster who spoke out against injustice and begged for sympathy while performing acts of shocking violence.The monster’s fame can be attributed to the novel’s theatrical and film adaptations. Comic books, film posters, publicity stills, and movie memorabilia reveal a different side to the story of Frankenstein, as reinterpreted in spinoffs, sequels, mashups, and parodies.

“The Morgan is in an excellent position to tell the rich story of Mary Shelley’s life and of Frankenstein’s evolution in popular culture,” said director of the museum, Colin B. Bailey. “Pierpont Morgan was fascinated by the creative process, and one of the artifacts he acquired was a first edition Frankenstein annotated by the author. The collection of works by the Shelleys, both at the Morgan and the New York Public Library, has only grown since then. We are very pleased to collaborate with the NYPL in presenting the full version of this extraordinary tale and how it lives on in the most resilient and timely of ways.”

A copiously illustrated companion volume, It’s Alive! A Visual History of Frankenstein, provides a vivid account of the artistic and literary legacy of the novel along with detailed descriptions of the highlights in the exhibition, while a new online curriculum offers high school teachers resources for the classroom.

The Exhibition

The exhibition occupies two galleries: one documenting the life of Mary Shelley and the composition of her book, the other showing how the story evolved in the theater, cinema, and popular culture. 

The Influence of the Gothic Style and Enlightenment Science

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus sprang from both a passion for Gothic style that pervaded British culture long before the author’s birth in 1797 and the influence of the discoveries of European Enlightenment science. Audiences loved the supernatural in all its formulations—ghosts, graveyards, mysterious strangers, secret warnings, lost wills, hidden pictures, and more. While novels were the primary vehicle for the Gothic, it was also popular with artists of paintings and prints, which were sometimes satirical —the Gothic was parodied as soon as it was taken seriously. The exhibition opens with the greatest horror painting of the eighteenth century, The Nightmare, painted in 1781by the Swiss immigrant artist Henry Fuseli. Mary Shelley knew about this iconic image and may have used it in writing the climactic scene in Frankenstein.

Shelleywas also influenced by the scientific endeavors of the time. She had been born into an age of scientific and technological discovery in Britain, when institutions like the Royal Society began fostering exploration and experimentation. Across Britain spread a thriving circuit of lectures and science demonstrations for the public. A few of these experiments have become part of the Frankenstein legend. While writing the novel, Shelley had been reading Humphry Davy’s Elements of Chemical Philosophy, and she knew about anatomical dissections, contemporary debates about the origins of life, and electrical experiments on corpses. She lends this fascination to Victor Frankenstein, who makes a monster from corpses in his “workshop of filthy creation.”

Mary Shelley’s Life and Conception of Frankenstein 

Mary Shelley grew up in a radical and intellectual milieu, the daughter of writers famous in their own time, the feminist theorist Mary Wollstonecraft and the novelist and philosopher William Godwin. After her mother died in childbirth, her father married Mary Jane Clairmont, who had children of her own, and the teenaged Mary Godwin escaped a tense family atmosphere by making long visit to friends in Scotland. When she returned in 1814, she met the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, already married and a father. They soon fell in love and eloped to Europe, the most decisive act of all their lives.

It was on a trip to Lake Geneva in 1816 accompanied by P.B. Shelley, Lord Byron, and her step-sister Claire Clairmont that Mary Godwin found the inspiration to write Frankenstein. During their stay, the party entertained themselves by reading aloud from a volume of Gothic tales. Byron suggested a contest to write ghost stories, and Shelley joined in energetically, looking for something “to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart.” After days of frustrated effort, the idea came to her one night after hearing P.B. Shelley and Lord Byron discuss the origins of life and the possibility of animating a corpse by galvanic action. “I saw -with shut eyes, but acute mental vision -I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together.” She returned to England with the beginnings of a novel

By 1817, she had finished a draft titled Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. The book appeared in three volumes on January 1, 1818, after P. B. Shelley offered revisions and found a publisher. Luckily for posterity, most of the Frankenstein manuscript has survived, making it possible to see the author’s original ideas, her second thoughts, and her husband’s suggestions. Portions of the manuscript containing key passages in the novel will be on display at the Morgan.

Mary Shelley’s personal life was punctuated by tragedy in ways strangely similar to incidents in the novel. After settling in Italy in the spring of 1818 with her husband, their children William and Clara, step-sister Claire and her daughter Allegra, the family experienced constant sorrow as first William and Clara, and then Allegra died. Their grief was only partly assuaged by the birth of another child, Percy Florence. Through their mourning and marital difficulties, Mary Shelley and her husband maintained a strenuous routine of writing and study and friendships in the English and Italian communities. In July 1822, Shelley suffered a final devastating loss: P. B. Shelley sailed with his friend Edward Williams and their cabin boy to meet their friend Leigh Hunt’s family in Leghorn; on their return their boat met a sudden squall and they drowned. 

Frankenstein on Stage and on Screen 

When Mary Shelley returned to England in August 1823, one of the few bright spots was Richard Brinsley Peake’s melodrama Presumption! or, the Fate of Frankenstein: a theatrical hit, the play had made her famous. The actor Thomas Potter Cooke’s performance was the key factor: over six feet tall, clad in a gray-blue leotard, his exposed skin painted the same color, with a toga on top, he moved with lyrical athleticism and made the creature both frightening and pathetic. Mary Shelley saw one of Cooke’s performances and enjoyed it greatly. Other adaptations followed: at least fifteen dramas based on the novel were produced between 1823 and 1826. 

A large portion of the exhibition is dedicated to the movies, which have played an essential role in popularizing the story and shaping our pop culture image of the monster. The earliest film of Frankenstein was made by the Edison Studios in 1910, but it is James Whale’s 1931 version that has taken such a prominent place in the popular psyche that it is now better known than the novel. The 1931 Frankenstein and 1935 Bride of Frankenstein gave us a radically reimagined version of the narrative, particularly the creation scene and Boris Karloff’s performance as the monster. James Whale and his special effects technicians introduced the high-voltage lab equipment and set the scene amidst the thunder and lightning now obligatory in horror movies. The creature’s violence was induced by his being tortured with fire. Karloff later said, “Over the years thousands of children wrote, expressing compassion for the great, weird creature who was so abused by its sadistic keeper that it could only respond to violence with violence. Those children saw beyond the make-up and really understood.” The 1935 sequel, with Elsa Lanchester playing both Mary Shelley and the creature’s bride, has also aged well. Both films create sympathy for the creature through his encounters with stupid and sadistic people, and both Karloff and Elsa Lanchester portray their characters with dignity and depth of emotion.

From the creation of the monster, to the creature’s killing of a small child, to violence committed against women, adaptations of Frankenstein again and again have returned to some of the most disturbing but recurring scenes of human experience. Mary Shelley’s unique contribution to culture is the creation of the monster. Her genius was to imagine a way to make life out of death; James Whale’s genius was to imagine a way to depict it in moving images and sound.

Whale’s Frankenstein films sparked a mass of cinematic energy. Other directors drew from it for years after with imitations and derivative films, a few just as frightening, some quite funny, none as haunting. The Morgan has borrowed a series of B-movie posters from a private collector and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to show some of the more faithful, comic, lurid, and execrable treatments of this theme

Makeup artists, perhaps, have come closer than anyone to bringing Victor Frankenstein’s story to life. Jack Pierce’s makeup gave the creature a new face in the 1931 film. Some highlights in the section include the sketches and photographs of this iconic appearance along with a gruesome torso model of Robert De Niro in Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein, provided by the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin.

The Creature’s Afterlife: Comic Books and Prints

The comic book as a separate slim magazine first appeared in 1933 as a promotional insert in newspapers, and Frankenstein has been part of this medium’s history from nearly the beginning. The exhibition includes some of the most interesting examples of the story, some aimed at children and some at adults. 

Surprisingly few illustrators have taken on the novel’s challenge, but we present four of the best: Lynd Ward (remembered first of all as a wood engraver), Bernie Wrightson (a renowned comic book artist), Barry Moser (a celebrated book illustrator), and Pierre-Alain Bertola (a polymath Swiss artist who worked on a theatrical version of Frankenstein). All of them are working after, and against James Whale. All pay exquisite attention to Mary Shelley’s text and its ethical implications. 

The exhibition closes with Barry Moser’s illustration of the Frankenstein family tomb, leaving us solidly in the tradition of Gothic art with which the show begins. Mary Shelley’s creature is a Gothic nightmare, but one who takes responsibility for himself. Even as his blood boils at the injustices committed against him, he is also “torn by the bitterest remorse.” Seeking quiet in death, he leaps onto his raft and is soon lost to human eyes. As mysterious and volatile in death as in life, Frankenstein’s monster leaves us with more questions than answers—perhaps the decisive reason why artists have been drawn to him for the past two hundred years.

Publication

It’s Alive! A Visual History of Frankenstein delves into the artistic and literary legacy of the novel and provides detailed descriptions of the highlights in the exhibition. It introduces readers to portrayals of the creature--from his early days dancing across a stage, to Boris Karloff's lurching pathos, to the wide variety of modern-day comic book versions--and of Victor Frankenstein, from brainy college kid to bad scientist, and grounds them in historical context. In addition, it provides full introductions to Mary Shelley's life before and after the novel and to the pioneering scientific work of her day. A full chapter displays the Gothic paintings and graphic art that inspired Shelley's work. The contextual chapters will make it useful to the student and the general reader.

Author: Elizabeth Campbell Denlinger

Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; D Giles Limited, London. 

333 pages. 

Image: Image: Barry Moser, No Father Had Watched My Infant Days, illustration in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein, West Hatfield, Mass.: Pennyroyal Press, 1983. The Morgan Library & Museum, PML 127245.6. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2017. © Pennyroyal Press.

Stefano Rogino.jpgNew York— An exhibition of Italian postwar photography will be on view at Howard Greenberg Gallery from September 12 through November 10, 2018. Through the lens of neorealism, The New Beginning for Italian Photography: 1945-1965 explores how photographers documented daily realities during the two decades after World War II. The exhibition at Howard Greenberg is in conjunction with NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932-1960, which opens in September in two exhibitions at New York University. Also in September, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is featuring a selection of postwar images from their permanent collection. In addition, a new book, NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-1960 (Prestel) by Enrica Viganò, with a foreword by Martin Scorsese will be published in September. An opening reception at Howard Greenberg Gallery will be held on Wednesday, September 12, from 6-8 p.m. 

Associated with cinematic and literary depictions of postwar conditions, photography’s embrace of neorealism illuminated the here and now of a country emerging from ruins, alive with vitality and hope. With print media outlets on the rise, photographers and their reportage played an integral role in picturing the postwar period when 1945, later termed “year zero,” was time for a new beginning. In graphic compositions that master line and shape, the images on view capture fleeting moments that become the seeds of longer imagined narratives. Humanist in nature, the beautifully printed images in the exhibition convey a concern with finding unusual stories in quotidian scenes. 

Among the photographers in the exhibition are Carlo Bavagnoli, who photographed in working-class neighborhoods in Rome, and later contributed to Life magazine; Mario de Biasi, who began taking pictures in 1944 with a camera found in the rubble of Nuremberg; Sante Vittorio Malli, who dedicated himself to portraits and landscapes, and established the photo group, Il Naviglio, in 1956; Franco Pinna, who took his first photographs in Rome in 1944, during the  arrival of the Allied troops; and Stefano Robino, an artist and designer known for his cultured and elegant style.

Independent curator and journalist Enrica Viganò has spent over a decade researching the phenomenon of Italian neorealism in photography and identifying important works and artists of the period. As she writes in an essay in the new book NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-1960, “This period of the country’s rebirth was characterized by an attempt at collective identification, a venture in which photography could play an essential role. The vision of the photographers dealt with genuine people, real landscapes, collective stories that vibrated with skin and soul.”

Image:  Stefano Robino, Paolo e Fernando Gavi, 1958 © Archivio Stefano Robino, courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Screen Shot 2018-09-06 at 8.31.33 AM.pngKansas City, MO- Napoleon: Power and Splendor marks the first examination of the majesty and the artistic, political and ideological significance of Napoleon’s imperial court, from Napoleon’s coronation in 1804 to his final exile in 1815. The exhibition opens at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City Oct. 26 and aims to capture the spirit that prevailed in the French imperial court and to recreate the sumptuous ambiance of Napoleon’s reign.

A selection of more than 200 works, most of which have never before been exhibited in North America before this tour, will reveal the power and splendor of the Imperial Household and its role in fashioning a monarchic identity for the new emperor, his family and loyal entourage. The exhibition is organized and circulated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) with the participation of the Nelson-Atkins, the Musée national du château de Fontainebleau, and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It was curated by Sylvain Cordier, Curator of Early Decorative Arts at MMFA.

“I find it extraordinary that 200 years after his demise, the geopolitics of our world bear so much of Napoleon’s legacy,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “He emerged from the French Revolution and fought to impose his order on the rest of the word until his bitter end. The fact that his story resonates and fascinates today reflects his talent in harnessing the arts and the power of images.”

The Imperial Household was a key institution during Napoleon’s reign. It included 3,500 members in its retinue who were responsible for managing the daily lives of the imperial family and the day-to-day existence of former general Bonaparte, who became Emperor Napoleon in 1804. They also helped craft Napoleon’s image as Emperor and modern hero.

Napoleon’s household relied on complex everyday functions in which the Emperor himself played an integral part. The exhibition installation will follow the six departments that made up the Imperial Household including the grand equerry, grand master of the hunt, grand chaplain, grand marshal of the palace, grand master of ceremonies, and the grand chamberlain.

Interpretive elements throughout will unpack for visitors the socio-historical significance of the household’s functions. Innovative scenography re-creates the splendor of palace life. The integration of immersive projection technologies will further enhance the spectacle and provide salient historical, cultural, and personal context that is immersive and engaging.

“The rich collection of objects that form this exhibition highlights the degree to which Napoleon harnessed the arts not only to strengthen his image, but also to bolster the French economy,” said Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, the Louis L. and Adelaide C. Ward Senior Curator of European Arts. “More than anything, this exhibition provides a portal into the exquisite breadth and level of skill of the artists and artisans in Napoleon’s employ.”

Napoleon: Power and Splendor brings together nearly 200 works of art. They are featured thanks to more than 40 distinguished lenders, including such institutions as the Louvre, the Château de Fontainebleau, the Mobilier national de France, the Musée national des châteaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Préau, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Napoleon: Power and Splendor offers a unique opportunity to discover paintings, sculptures, furniture, silver and porcelain, tapestries, silk hangings, and court dress illustrating the opulence characteristic of the Empire in service of Napoleon’s spectacle of power.

The exhibition closes at the Nelson-Atkins March 10, 2019. It can be seen at Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau in France from April 13-July 15, 2019.

Image: Andrea Appiani, Italian (17541817). Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, in the Uniform of a General in the Army of Italy, 1801. Oil on canvas, 39 x 31 4/5 inches. Montreal, private collection. Photo MMFA, Christine Guest.

20180829094534.jpgMontreal - The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA) is presenting, for the first time, remarkable Books of Hours conserved in seven Quebec collections. The result of extensive research, the exhibition Resplendent Illuminations is a unique opportunity to admire some fifty works primarily from illuminated manuscripts - in this priceless legacy of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance in Europe. 

Books of Hours were works of private devotion that first appeared in the thirteenth century. They were the most popular prayer books made for the laity and were used as primers for learning to read. Often given as wedding gifts, they were “bestsellers” until the sixteenth century. Over time, they evolved in a variety of ways both textually and iconographically, adapting to the regional differences in devotions, languages and artistic styles of European Christianity.

The 59 artefacts presented here for the first time belong to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, McGill University, the arts library of the Université du Québec à Montréal, the Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice, the Archives of the Jesuits in Canada, to Concordia University and the Musée de l’Amérique francophone in Quebec City. 

Three curators present new findings

“My hope is that the public can appreciate the singular beauty of these artefacts, which come from across medieval and Renaissance Europe and enrich our collective heritage. Perhaps they will be spurred to delve deeper into the past by leafing through the new Catalogue raisonné des livres d’Heures conservés au Québec,” said Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, associate professor, department of literary studies, UQAM, who edited the scholarly work. 

“One of the remarkable aspects of this exhibition is that we have assembled entirely from publicly accessible collections in Quebec such a breathtaking range of Books of Hours, some independent leaves but most of them still bound, with exquisitely beautiful illuminations.  These works bring vividly to life both the evolving internal religious experiences and their outward expressions over the course of four centuries. Our evocative installation is intended to permit the visitor to appreciate each work intimately,” added Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator - Collections, and Curator of Old Masters, MMFA.

“The most surprising discovery in this exhibition is how many Books of Hours have been in Quebec for more than two hundred years. Unlike most collections of Books of Hours in North America, which have been assembled in the late 19th and 20th centuries, here there are books that are truly part of Quebec's religious and cultural heritage. The other remarkable feature of this exhibition is the successful identification of artists and schools that link these manuscripts to others held around the world,” concluded Richard Virr, chief curator (retired), Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University. 

Priceless treasures from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance

The works on display show the exquisite elegance of some Gothic and Renaissance illuminations from France, the Southern Netherlands, Italy and Southern Germany, as well as other contemporaneous expressions of popular piety. These small images, carved into wood or hastily painted, were probably produced for clients of more modest means and feature decorations similar to decorative folk art. Seven books come from the early days of printing, an innovation that made it possible to reach a much wider readership than did manuscripts. These books illustrate the development of woodcuts and metal cuts that gradually replaced the art of illumination.

Little-known contribution by women

Contrary to popular belief, women were more than just pious readers of Books of Hours. As the works in the exhibition eloquently demonstrate, women contributed their expertise at various stages of production. Thus, in the Rhodes Hours, the patron is painted kneeling right in the middle of the Annunciation, combining the sacred and the profane. The Heures de Nostre Dame of Pierre Gringore, published in 1525, were dedicated to Renée de Bourbon, Duchess of Lorraine, who commissioned the French translation. Lastly, a pocket-sized manuscript Book of Hours, was illuminated around 1500 to 1510 by Cornelia van Wulfscherchke, a Carmelite nun in Bruges.

An outstanding heritage conserved in Quebec

In comparison with other collections of early books in North America, what is special about the Books of Hours held in Quebec is the fact that they were first and foremost devotional works of New France. This is evidenced in the Jesuit Relations as of 1653 and in requests made by the Hospitalières (nursing sisters in Quebec) between 1664 and 1668 to their benefactors in France. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these devotional books found a new vocation, becoming collectible artefacts. Whether complete or fragmentary, Books of Hours came into Quebec by way of inheritances or purchases in Europe.

Over time, a number of Books of Hours entered public institutions following private donations and also thanks to purchasing policies that encouraged public education. Thus, in the 1920s and 1930s Gerhard R. Lomer, one of McGill University’s earliest librarians, launched an original project, creating a small Museum of Books inside the university library open to the general public. In his purchasing trips, especially to London, Lomer was helped by F. Cleveland Morgan, the great patron who also acquired works for the Art Association, later to become the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The detached folios in Quebec collections are among the most representative specimens of the early history of both manuscripts and printed books down through the centuries.

Credits and curatorial 

The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, in collaboration avec Université du Québec à Montréal and McGill University. Its curators are Brenda Dunn-Lardeau, associate professor, department of literary studies, UQAM, Hilliard T. Goldfarb, Senior Curator - Collections and Curator of Old masters, MMFA, and Richard Virr, chief curator (retired), Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University.

Publication

The exhibition is accompanied by the Catalogue raisonné des livres d’Heures conservés au Québec, published by Presses de l’Université du Québec and edited by Brenda Dunn-Lardeau. The Books of Hours, manuscripts for the most part, are remarkable for their textual and iconographic diversity. The catalogue presents this priceless European heritage from 1225 to 1583 and conserved in North America. Special attention was paid to their complex history and to identifying the artists who created them, since these miniatures elevate Books of Hours to the ranks of unique, high-quality works of art. 

Available at the Museum Boutique and Bookstore. In French.

Softcover $48, ISBN: 978-2-7605-4975-3; hardcover, $55, ISBN: 978-2-7605-4978-4.

Activities in connection with the exhibition 

September 27, 2 to 5 p.m.

Workshop-masterclass: 

Le nombre d’or et la recherche des harmoniques du sens caché du texte with Jean-Luc Leguay

Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace, Studio 11, 2075 Bishop St.

 One of the last master illuminators, Jean-Luc Leguay spent 10 years under the tutelage of an Italian Franciscan. For this workshop, participants will need to bring a set square, compass, paper and pencil to apply the teachings, which are based on the study of geometry, and prepare a parchment for illumination. Space is limited. 

September 28, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Symposium: Discovering Books of Hours held in Quebec Collections

Maxwell Cummings Auditorium, 1379-A Sherbrooke Street West

The aim of this symposium is to present diverse facets of Books of Hours - pigments, decorated manuscripts and prints, original bindings and unique elements of particular works (e.g. sheet music inserts) - to gain an appreciation of the production and aesthetics underlying Books of Hours from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century in Europe. The experts at the symposium, organized by the MMFA, in collaboration with the Groupe multidisciplinaire de Montréal sur les livres anciens (XVe-XVIIIe siècles), include Geneviève Bazinet (University of Ottawa), Sarah Cameron-Pesant (Université de Montréal), Brenda Dunn-Lardeau (UQAM), Madeleine Jeay (McMaster University), Helena Kogen (Université du Québec à Montréal), Sylvie Poirier (Université de Sherbrooke), Geneviève Samson (Library and Archives Canada and Richard Virr (McGill University).

Information and reservations: mbam.qc.ca/calendrier

Acknowledgements 

The Museum acknowledges the vital contribution of Air Canada to the presentation of this exhibition and extends its thanks to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Conseil des arts de Montréal for their ongoing support. Research for the preparation of the exhibition was made possible with financial support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Images (from left to right): Workshop of the Master of the Échevinage of Rouen, The Annunciation to the Shepherds, Hours of Pellegrin de Remicourt and Madeleine Symier, about 1470-1475, Rouen. Université du Québec à Montréal, arts library, special collections, Montreal School of Fine Arts Bequest, 1969. Photo Gilles Saint-Pierre. | Simon Bening (1483-1561), Saint Sebald of Nuremberg, about 1515-1525, Flanders, Southern Netherlands, manuscript leaf from a Book of Hours, a prayer book or a breviary. MMFA, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest. | A late follower of Robert Boyvin, The Adoration of the Magi, about 1500 (1495-1505), Rouen, leaf from a manuscript Book of Hours in Latin for the use of Rouen. McGill University Library, Rare Books and Special Collections, Catherine Rhodes Tudor-Hart Bequest, 1972. Photo Gregory Houston.

AllthatGlitters.jpgLos Angeles—Courtiers feasting at elaborately set tables, knights in gleaming armor, a richly clad monarch presiding over elegant festivities—these are the images often associated with the medieval and Renaissance courts of Europe. For rulers and members of the nobility at the center of these privileged spaces, the visual arts—illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, enamels, and textiles—were central aspects of their political and cultural identities. All that Glitters: Life at the Renaissance Court, on view from August 28 to December 2, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, focuses on court culture during the transition between “late medieval” and “Renaissance” (or “early modern”) Europe.

“During this critical period, the court was often a place of leisure, entertainment, and display, where members of the aristocracy engaged in tournaments, hunting, feasting, and games such as chess,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The settings for these pursuits were designed to impress—sumptuous and spectacular displays of art and pageantry that reaffirmed their status and prestige. The manuscripts that recorded such courtly pastimes were themselves valued as luxury goods and much sought after by the nobility.”

The objects featured in All that Glitters include a selection of luxury textiles and clothing, a drawing, a hand-colored print, and glass that complement the wide variety of lavishly illuminated manuscripts that found an enthusiastic audience in the palaces and châteaux of late medieval and Renaissance Europe.

In aristocratic households all over continental Europe, even expressions of religious faith took a luxurious material form. Court artists produced small illuminated prayer books that could be worn as fashionable accessories, decorated with elegant fabrics, precious metals, and glittering jewels that adorned the residences of Europe’s elite.

The adherence to chivalric code and the way it governed both belief and behavior at the Renaissance courts was established in the Middle Ages but emerged with renewed vigor during the late medieval period. A number of dazzling and complex objects including manuscripts and stained glass explore the display of heraldry at court, where rank and systems of social hierarchy were incredibly important. Objects produced for kings, queens, and courtiers enshrined ideals of chivalry, especially in the form of jousting that continued to guide official conduct into the sixteenth century.

“The incredible material luxury of the objects in the exhibition shows how ostentatious life at court could be, but when you dig a little deeper, the same objects can also be evidence of how courtiers were expected to behave and how they built their social hierarchies and identities,” says Larisa Grollemond, assistant curator of manuscripts and curator of the exhibition.

The exhibition concludes with a display of illuminated manuscript leaves from the court of King Louis XIV at Versailles, where the splendor of European court life reached its apex in the seventeenth-century. The display of heraldry, personal emblems, fine textiles, and luxury books continued to affirm social standing and good taste. Ultimately, the very trappings of magnificence that once cemented the king’s authority would also be what helped spark a revolution.

Related programming includes a performance of music from the period by the group Cappella Pratensis and An American Court: A Conversation with Former White House Curator William Allman, a discussion that will reveal the history of the White House collection and how various presidents have used art to help define their administrations and deliver cultural messages. Additional information can be found at getty.edu/360.

Image: A Tournament Contest, Augsburg (probably), Germany (Place created), about 1560-1570. Tempera colors and gold and silver paint on paper bound between original pasteboard covered with original brown calf. Leaf: 43 × 28.9 cm (16 15/16 × 11 3/8 in.). Ms. Ludwig XV 14, fol. 27v

16 Kajioka.pngThe Center for Book Arts is pleased to announce its Fall Exhibitions. The Main Exhibition, titled Inside/ Out: Self, Family, Memory, Loss, Displacement, Catastrophe, is organized by Carole Naggar, poet, artist, curator, educator, and photography historian. 

Self-published photobooks first made their appearance in Europe right after World War II. At that time photographers mainly published in magazines, and the form of the photobook was still somewhat exotic, used infrequently by photographers. Today, self-published photobooks are also well represented in collections such as the New York MoMA’s library, The Indie Photo Library at the Beinecke (Yale), which inspired the creation of other independent photobook archives, like The Asia-Pacific Photobook Archive, as well as private collections.

This exhibition features thirty-four self-published photobooks, varying in sizes and aspect, usually printed in small editions. Their form varies from the classic, traditionally printed book to the zine, the folio, the leporello book, the panoramic shape, the I-phone… Also including selected photographs, Inside/Out shows a range of media from gelatin prints to C-prints, collotype, inkjet and Xerox.

The photographers and artists in this exhibition see the self-published photobook as a place of independence, a place where they can experiment freely with form, but, more importantly, as a testing ground for reflection, self-examination, meditation and ideas that the main market does little to accommodate. The quick turnaround from concept to creation also allows them to react to national and international news, making the books not only an aesthetic endeavor but also a political one.

The chosen books illustrate very personal subjects such as family, memory, loss and identity as well as larger topics such as immigration, displacement and exile and catastrophic events such as World War II, the AIDS epidemic, September 11 and Fukushima. A few are historical and most contemporary. They originate from twenty countries: Argentina, Azerbadjian, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Great Britain, Mexico, The Netherlands,The Philippines, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and Vietnam.

It had been predicted that the rise of the Internet would mean the end of the book on paper. However, it had an opposite effect, creating “digital fatigue” because ephemeral images are everywhere. Readers still crave a hands-on experience and the concrete sensations associated with reading and looking.

While some deplore the rise of self-publishing because it tramples the gates and gatekeepers who once decided what should be published, the trend gave artists new freedom. Self-published photobooks provide the experience of looking at work the way the artist envisioned it. Most self-published photobooks are issued in limited editions, hand-numbered or signed, which makes them works of arts themselves. They become places for debating ideas, articulating insights and experience, and testing out new forms. And many are objects of beauty.

Artists include: Olivia Arthur, Barbara Bash, Doug Beube, Julia Borissova, Machiel Botman, Chien Chi Chang, Cristina De Middel, Giovanni del Brenna, Michel Delsol, Eamonn Doyle, Carolyn Drake, Tina Enghoff, Veronica Fieiras, Claire Fouquet and Patty Smith, Lee Friedlander, Ralph Gibson, Hiroshi Hamaya, Simone Hoang, Ilkin Huseynov, Fumiko Imano, Miho Kajioka, Kent Klich, Anouk Kruithof, Susan Meiselas, Editha Mesina, Kazuma Obara, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Sophie Ristelhueber, Alec Soth, Jordan Sullivan, Peter Van Agtmael, Todd Walker, Mo Yi, and Ksenia Yurkova

Roundtable Discussion: Friday, October 19, 2018, 6:30 pm

The roundtable will include Barbara Bash, Michel Delsol, Editha Mesina and Patty Smith. and will be moderated by Carole Naggar.

For inquiries please contact the Center at eahern@centerforbookarts.org.

When: October 5 - December 15, 2018

Where: 28 W 27th St., 3rd Floor, NY, NY

Subway: N/R to 28th St, or F to 23rd St

Exhibition URL: https://centerforbookarts.org/events/category/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/

Gallery Hours: M-F, 11a-6p; Sat, 10a-5p

Admission: Free

ALSO ON VIEW: FALL 2018 FEATURED ARTIST PROJECTS

 In addition to Inside/Out, The Center presents Cultivating Book and Land by Sally Alatolo and Celestial Bodies by Monica Ong, both organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director & Curator for The Center for Book Arts. All three shows are on view through December 15.

Cultivating Book and Land by Master Faculty Fellow Sally Alatolo is a project that originated in the rehabilitation of an orchard and woodlands in rural SW Michigan. Alatolo is eager to bridge her interests in language and its dissemination with the discourses of rural economies.

Monica Ong is a visual artist and poet whose hybrid image-poems juxtapose diagram and diary, bearing witness to silenced histories of the body. Her Featured Artist Project is presented as a series of art installations. The poems are as much visual journeys as they are lyrical haunts of medicine and memory.                                                               

Visit our website for up-to-date details on all events and programs:  www.centerforbookarts.org

Image: Miho Kajioka, And Where Did the Peacocks Go?, 2018, Courtesy of the Artist

l2017146_119v_low.jpgLos Angeles - The J. Paul Getty Museum recently announced the acquisition of the Rothschild Pentateuch, a manuscript of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, known as the Torah. Its acquisition, coupled with works already in the Museum’s manuscripts collection, allows the Getty to represent the medieval art of illumination in sacred texts from the three Abrahamic religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Art of Three Faiths: A Torah, a Bible, and a Qur’an, on view August 7, 2018 through February 3, 2019, showcases three spectacular examples of each of these three: a Christian Bible and a Qur’an will be shown alongside the newly acquired Torah.  

“This landmark acquisition fulfills one of the Museum’s longstanding goals of adding to our collection a Hebrew manuscript that can stand comparison in quality and importance to our finest illuminated manuscripts of other languages and faiths,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “It has taken 35 years, but the Rothschild Pentateuch fills this gap more brilliantly than we could ever have imagined. An amazingly rare and beautiful object, richly illuminated with all manner of real and imaginary animals, it also broadens greatly the narratives we are able to tell about life, culture and religion in the Middle Ages. The acquisition will be a highlight of an upcoming exhibition that brings together - for the first time at the Getty - the sacred texts of the three Abrahamic religions, something that I am sure will deepen the experience of these works for many of our visitors, and be a rich subject of study for scholars.”

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam trace their belief in the singular God to a common patriarch, the figure of Abraham. The practitioners of all three religions have been called “people of the book” for their shared belief in the importance of the divine word, rendered in medieval manuscripts in glowing gold and luminous colors on parchment. 

The Torah is the central sacred text of Judaism. In the strictest sense, the word refers to the Pentateuch, which contains the books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Illuminated copies of the Hebrew Bible in codex form, rather than Torah scrolls, began to appear in the mid-thirteenth century. In northern Europe, these manuscripts served the needs of members of the Ashkenazi Jewish community who had settled in the area along the Rhine River. Lavishly illustrated Hebrew manuscripts are exceedingly rare, since Jewish artisans were forbidden by law to join painting guilds. Hebrew manuscripts were often written by itinerant Jewish scribes and illuminated by local, sometimes Christian, artists. Illumination of the Hebrew Bible centers on the calligraphic forms of the letters, such as initials, word panels, or decorative frames around blocks of text.

“The three objects on display are exceptionally beautiful artworks that we hope will spark meaningful dialogue among various audiences,” said Elizabeth Morrison, senior curator of Manuscripts at the Getty Museum. “Museums offer more than simply an aesthetic experience. Through exhibitions such as this one, they foster a deeper understanding of history that helps us to reflect on our own shared experiences.”

Among the earliest bound and illuminated codices from the Mediterranean world are copies of the Christian Bible written in Greek, Latin, Syriac, Ge’ez, Armenian, and other languages. The first part of the Christian Bible consists of texts from the Hebrew Bible, referred to since the second century by Christian writers as the Old Testament. Medieval Christians understood it not only as a historical document but also as a body of prophecy that specifically foretold the coming of Christ. The New Testament comprises accounts of Christ’s life, the Gospels, letters to churches or individuals from his disciples, such as apostles Peter and Paul, and a text about the end of time known as Apocalypse or Revelation. Illuminated Bibles—handwritten and printed alike—are among the most enduring forms of Christian book art produced during the Middle Ages.

The words that the angel Jibril (Gabriel) recited to the prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah, about 560-632, formed the sacred text of the Qur’an. The opening line, “In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful,” a central tenet of Islam that expresses submission to the will of Allah, is repeated in almost every surah or chapter. Muslims transmitted scripture through oral tradition for the first few centuries, and later recorded it through beautiful and ornate calligraphy. Artists incorporated Quranic verses into books, textiles, coins, ceramics, and architecture, demonstrating reverence for the written word. Throughout the Middle Ages, the Islamic word spanned a vast territory, from the Iberian Peninsula to northern and coastal Africa, across the Mediterranean basin, and as far as Central and Eastern Asia.

Art of Three Faiths: A Torah, a Bible, and a Qur’an is curated by Kristen Collins, Bryan Keene, and Elizabeth Morrison, of the department of Manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition will be on view August 7, 2018 through February 3, 2019. 

Image: Decorated Text Page (Book of Exodus) from the Rothschild Pentateuch, France and/or Germany, 1296. Leaf: 10 7/8 x 8 1/4 in. (27.5 x 21 cm). Ms. 116 (2018.43), fol. 119v

 

North Adams, Massachusetts—The Artist Book Foundation (TABF) will celebrate the Hyperrealist sculptor Carole Feuerman at TABF’s Louis and Susan Meisel Gallery in Building 13 on the campus of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA). 

The exhibition: Swimmers: Recent Works by Carole Feuerman, runs from June 15 through September 29, 2018. Featured are five of Feuerman’s sculptures, both monumental and smaller works in bronze, resin, and marble, and 10 prints of diamond dust and mixed media. The exhibition features several exclusive works created specifically for The Artist Book Foundation. 

On Thursday July 26, there will be a reception and book signing with the artist from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. 

Feuerman’s hyperrealistic human-figure sculptures express a refreshing perspective on the mundane but intensely personal activities of modern life. Her powers of observation and versatility find unique expression through various materials that include marble, bronze, and painted resins, while she incorporates both ancient and contemporary methods in the creation of her works. These sculptures offer the viewer a gorgeous and shimmering glimpse at transitory, contemplative moments in time, often captured in a veil of clear resin that replicates tumbling water droplets. 

Feuerman has had solo museum retrospectives at the The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation in Florence, Italy; the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Museum of Art, El Paso, TX; the Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach, FL., and Art-St-Urban, St. Urban, Switzerland and the Teatro Romano e Museo Civico in Fiesole, the Venice Biennale, the Musei di Rimini, and Huan Tai Hu Museum in the Jiangsu Province among others. Her work was featured at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC; The State Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia, Grounds for Sculpture, Trenton, NJ. She also had a solo show in Hong Kong, in the Olympic Fine Arts exhibition at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing, Palazzo Grazie in the Piazza della Repubblica in Florence. In China, she has exhibited in Hong Kong, the National Museum of China, Beijing. She has exhibited in Korea at the Clayarch Gimhae Museum, Daejeon Museum, and Suwon Museum. In Germany, she has exhibited at the Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, the Contemporary Art Museum in Aachen, and in Kassel during Documenta 14 (2017). In Spain, she exhibited at Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao and the Academia de Bellas Artes de Madrid. In Mexico, she has exhibited at Marco Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, and Denmark at the Arken Museum of Modern Art. 

Carole Feuerman’s selected collectors include the Emperor of Japan, President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Norman Brahman, the Caldic Collection, Mark Parker, Nike, Ariela Wertheimer, Robert Hurst, and Malcolm Forbes. 

The Artist Book Foundation, a 501c3 organization, believes that artist books, like the artwork that inspires them, serve as a vital source of knowledge and cultural insight for current and future generations. For more information, visit our website at artistbkfoundation.org

 

When: July 11 - September 22, 2018

Where: 28 W. 27th St., 3rd Floor, NY, NY

Gallery Hours: M-F, 11a-6p; Sat, 10a-5p

Admission: Free

Organized by Elisabeth Lortic, independent curator and co-founder of Les Trois Ourses (Paris)

BASIC-SPACE-fanny-millard-04OPT.jpgThis exhibition brings to the forefront ideas and concepts articulated by the early 20th century Futurist-informed artist Bruno Munari. It is a thoughtful and dynamic exploration of play, invention, movement, and color. It brings together a body of artworks which are child friendly, and, more importantly vehicles to engage children in creative learning processes. Like children, artists explore alternate materials, and take them to the limit of their possibilities.

Artists include: Ianna Andreadis, Marion Bataille, Mauro Bellei, John Cage & Lois Long, Remy Charlip, Ivan & Jane Chermayeff, Paul Cox, Louise-Marie Cumont, Sophie Curtil, Milos Cvach, Sylvia de Swaan, Sonia Delaunay, Olafur Eliasson, Marco Ferreri, Barbara Henry, Keith Godard, Wennie Huang, Coline Irwin, Katsumi Komagata, Kumi Korf, Warja Lavater, El Lissitzky, Richard Long, Iela & Enzo Mari, Piet Marée, Barbara Mauriello, Scott McCarney, Fanette Mellier, Fanny Millard, Bruno Munari, Thomas Ockerse, Eugenia & Vladimir Radunsky, Kurt Schwitters/Kate Steinitz/Theo Van Doesburg, Alma Siedhoff-Buscher, Claire Van Vliet, and Laurence Weiner 

Opening: Wednesday, July 11th, 6:00 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Wednesday, July 18th, 6:30 pm

Roundtable Discussion: Tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, September 19th, 6:30 pm

ALSO ON VIEW: SUMMER 2018 ARTIST MEMBERS EXHIBITION

In addition to Look, Look, Look, The Center presents this summer’s Artist Members Exhibition Opulence: Not Everything that Glitters is Gold on view through September 20, organized by Alexander Campos, Executive Director & Curator, The Center for Book Arts.

Opulence is the Center’s 2018 Artist Members Exhibition, featuring artist members as well as invited artists, focusing on artworks that look behind the velvet curtain, in particular at our current economic, social, political, ecological, and cultural issues/concerns. Oxymoron, contradiction, and irony are key to these playful works that have multiple layers of meaning and interpretations. 

Artists Include: Lynne Avadenka, Doug Beube, Rosemarie Chiarlone, Béatrice Coron, Kaleta Doolin, Bonnie C. Epstein, Eileen Ferara, Anne Gilman, Iris Grimm, Lyall Harris & Patricia Silva, Aaron Krach, Carole Kunstadt, Marlene MacCallum, China Marks, Norma Marquez, Peter O’Brien, Lisa Occhipinti, Iviva Olenick, Rocco Scary, Richard Reitz Smith, Gail Smuda, Mary Ting, Sally Totsi, Harvey Tulcensky, and Karen Viola

Roundtable Discussion, Wednesday, July 25, 2018, 6:30 pm

Roundtable Discussion, Wednesday, September 12, 2018, 6:30 pm 

Visit our website for up-to-date details on all events and programs:  www.centerforbookarts.org

Image: Fanny Millard, Basic Space, 2015, Courtesy of the Artist

Tripe_301257-113_GreatBell.jpgNew York - Woodland Views, an exhibition of work by photography’s early masters, is on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs through July 27, 2018. The exhibition presents primarily 19th century landscapes beginning in 1844 by William Henry Fox Talbot, John Dillwyn Llewelyn, Benjamin Brecknell Turner, Henri Le Secq, Roger Fenton, Gustave Le Gray, Joseph, vicomte Vigier, and Captain Linnaeus Tripe, among others. 

Guided by Sir Walter Scott’s prose, William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877), the inventor of photography on paper, travelled to Scotland in October 1844 to photograph scenes from the life of Scott. Four converging triangles of alternating tones in Loch Katrine, a surprisingly modern 1844 salt print from a calotype negative, evokes a mood appropriate to Scott’s influential 1810 poem “Lady of the Lake.”

Pheasant and Ferns, an 1850s albumen print from a glass negative by the Welshman John Dillwyn Llewelyn (1810-1882), is a carefully observed tableau of a stuffed pheasant in a densely embroidered setting of ferns and ground cover and is a fine example of Llewelyn’s high regard for the medium.

Benjamin Brecknell Turner (1815-1894) first took up photography in 1849. Like many of the early practitioners he was a “gentleman amateur” for whom photography was a passion, not a profession. In the early 1850s he photographed picturesque, quintessentially English scenes: ruined abbeys and castles, thatched barns and half-timbered houses, crumbling cottages, ancient oak trees and woodland paths, such as the albumen print from a waxed calotype negative, In Loseley Park, from 1852-1854. Turner’s poetic images reveal the beauty of vernacular subjects and the moral worth of tradition, nature, and rural life.

Gustave Le Gray (1820-1884) trained as a painter in the studio of Paul Delaroche and exhibited in the Paris Salon. By the late 1840s Le Gray had become an innovator of photographic processes, developing the waxed paper negative around 1848. Saturating the paper with beeswax and light-sensitive chemicals made the image sharper than that resulting from the calotype process devised by Fox Talbot in the 1830s and 1840s. The waxed paper of Le Gray’s process could be prepared in advance and developed days after exposure allowing photographers to minimize the quantity of equipment in the field. Le Gray influenced a generation of 19th century photographers including J. B. Greene, vicomte Vigier, Henri Le Secq, and Roger Fenton.

Le Gray’s own exceptional vision is reflected in his landscapes and seascapes. His poetic photographs taken in the forest of Fontainebleau are masterpieces of light and shadow. The exhibition includes Le Hêtre, Fontainebleau, an albumen or coated salt print from a waxed paper negative, dating from the early 1850s. 

A student of Le Gray, Joseph, vicomte Vigier (1821-1894) produced a series of work from paper negatives in the Pyrenees in the summer of 1853. Bagnères de Luchon. Chemin trace par l’avalanche dans la forêt de Saint-Just, a fine salt print, evokes the sublime by depicting a mountain slope devastated by an avalanche. Vigier’s ambitious views of the Pyrenees earned unanimous praise from his contemporaries as proof of the universal and timeless language of photography.

Rangoon. The Great Bell at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Burma an albumenized salt print from a waxed paper negative of 1855 by Captain Linnaeus Tripe (1822-1902), features a majestic tamarind tree towering over a pagoda which it nearly obscures, the Great Bell just visible beneath the tamarind’s overspread branches and leaves. Tripe was the official photographer attached to a British diplomatic mission to Burma in 1855, instructed to gather information regarding the country and its people. Tripe’s architectural and topographical views are of great documentary importance as they are among the earliest surviving photographs of Burma.

Attributed to the Circle of the sculptor Charles Simart, two 1850s salt prints from enlarged collodion negatives, Branch of apples and Apple blossoms, are charged with the same energy as quick pencil sketches in an artist’s sketchbook. Made by an unidentified photographer with barely a nod to conventional practice, these prints are filled with a great sense of purpose. The apple tree details were photographed from life and feature the sharp resolution associated with prints made from collodion negatives. Appearing at first glance to be enlargements from smaller negatives these contact prints from enlarged copy negatives, make the familiar strange.

Image: Image caption: Captain Linnaeus Tripe, Rangoon. The Great Bell at the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, Burma, 1855. Albumenized salt print from a waxed paper negative, 27.2 x 35.0 cm

Stefan_Gunnesch_The_Uncanny_4.jpgFreud on the Couch: Psyche in the Book, a new exhibition featuring book works inspired by the psychoanalytical concepts of Sigmund Freud, will travel to Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) from July 20-September 30, 2018. Freud on the Couch features works by nearly 30 international artists that either directly or indirectly draw from Freudian concepts, theories, and themes. This provocative exhibition asks viewers to find parallels between the ways that visual art and psychoanalysis act as frameworks for the collective unconscious. MCBA will host an opening reception on Thursday, July 26 from 6-8 pm in the Open Book Cowles Literary Commons.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Thorsten Baensch, Sarah Bryant, Crystal Cawley, Ken Campbell, Maureen Cummins, Anne Deguelle, Gerhild Ebel, Stefan Gunnesch, Karen Hanmer, Anna Helm, Susan Johanknecht, M. M. Lum, Jule Claudia Mahn, Patrizia Meinert, Simon + Christine Morris, Didier Mutel, Susanne Nickel, Yasutomo Ota, Waltraud Palme, Veronika Schäpers, Robbin Ami Silverberg, Herbert Stattler, Marian St. Laurent, Ines von Ketelhodt, Carola Willbrand, and Sam Winston. Through various forms of book art, they explore Freudian concepts such as the dream state, consciousness, memory, multiple personalities, fixation, and ego/id, combined with analytic techniques such as hypnosis and free association.

Freud on the Couch was organized by Susanne Padberg of Vienna’s Galerie Druck & Buch, which is located next door to the famous Berggasse 19, the house where Freud founded psychoanalysis. The traveling exhibition comes to Minnesota Center for Book Arts from the Center for Book Arts in New York, where it made its U.S. debut. Following its showing at MCBA, the exhibition will continue on to the San Francisco Center for the Book.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

ImageThe Uncanny by Stefan Gunnesch

fahrner_r665043_94_b18918_003_2000x2000_low.jpgLos Angeles -  For most of us, books are a central part of daily life, but for artists they are also an essential medium for contemporary art - both as a tradition to be challenged and a form for experimentation—as much as sculpture, painting, and other classic forms of artmaking.  On view at the Getty Research Institute from June 26 through October 28, 2018, Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists presents more than 40 of the liveliest and most unexpected examples of artists’ books from the GRI’s Special Collections.

“Books are at the heart of the Getty Research Institute’s collections, from fifteenth and sixteenth-century illustrated editions to the avant-garde experiments of the early 20th century to our large and varied collection of more than 6,000 books made by artists from the 1950s to today,” said Andrew Perchuk, acting director of the Getty Research Institute. “These striking works often make their way into the GRI’s collections through our relationships with contemporary artists or they come as part of artists’ archives, which we collect in depth. Artists’ books resonate with the GRI’s interest in exploring creative processes and are a fundamental and often understudied element of art history. I am certain our visitors will find these extraordinary examples evocative and compelling.”

Artists' books occupy a creative space between traditional books and contemporary works of art, often questioning what a book can be. This highly visual and experiential exhibition focuses on artists' books that can be unpacked, unfolded, or read in alternative ways. Some are made to be shown on the wall or displayed as sculptures or installations. The exhibition highlights the myriad incarnations and innovative roles for books in contemporary culture.

“When artists make or design books, they delve into the possibilities of this distinctive cultural object in ways that expand our notions of what a book can be,” said Marcia Reed, chief curator of the Getty Research Institute and one of the curators of the exhibition. “The book holds a special status in contemporary art practice, and we look forward to sharing examples from this critical collecting area of the GRI with wider audiences. Because the GRI’s collections of artists’ books are not well known, for several years we have been working on a publication that shares selected works from postwar and contemporary collection of artists’ books. This exhibition and the related catalogue is born of that research. Together this stunningly designed volume and the exhibition of selected artists’ books—slightly different from the book—show the breadth of our collection of artists’ books as well as illustrating how books designed and made by artists extend the boundaries of the GRI’s rare book collections.”

Some of the artists in the exhibition, such as Tauba Auerbach and Dieter Roth specialize in making art in the form of books, or have established small presses, like Sam Francis’ Lapis Press in Santa Monica and Venice and Felicia Rice’s Moving Parts Press in Santa Cruz. Many others who are primarily known as sculptors, painters, or performance artists have also experimented in artists’ books, including Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Barbara T. Smith and Wei Tan. 

“Many of the works in this exhibition might not look like a book at all, but they all play with the idea of what a book is and how to engage with it,” said Glenn Phillips, exhibition co-curator and head of modern and contemporary art collections the GRI. “It is interesting to note that while many artists have devoted their practices to making books, there are so many more artists working in other media who have made books at some point in their careers. Although they may be challenging to display and even collect, books seem to have the same appeal to artists as they do to other readers - the objects themselves can be just as compelling as the content within.

The books, multiples, and unique objects included in the exhibition take different shapes, some made with surprising materials, while being made to be looked at or interacted with in different ways. For example, The Philosopher’s Stone, 1992, a unique book-object by Barbara Fahrner and Daniel E. Kelm, is a geometric paper egg that holds nuggets of wisdom to be revealed as corners are turned down and intricately drawn panels filled with handwritten text are unfurled. Once fully taken apart, it is no easy feat to put the angular ‘pages’ of this book-inspired paper sculpture back together.

One of the more recent works in the exhibition is DOC/UNDOC (2017) by Felicia Rice and Guillermo Gómez-Peña. Riffing on earlier boxes assembled by Marcel Duchamp, this is a high-tech aluminum case that holds an altar, a cabinet of curiosities, and a Mexican wrestling mask.  Opening the case triggers lights and music, the sound art created for the piece by Zachary Watkins. Installation of this work will include a multimedia component giving visitors the opportunity to experience these interactive elements.

One of the earliest pieces in the exhibition stands out for its confrontational style - and smell. Dieter Roth’s work Poetrie, 1967, is a book made of 21 clear vinyl envelopes for pages, on which the texts of poems are printed. The envelopes contain urine, now desiccated and yellow green, retaining its distinctive odor, which may be getting stronger over time. The artist produced this book in an edition of 30; fifty years after their publication the see-through pages have wrinkled and changed color but still make a strong impression.

This summer sees the release of the Getty publication Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists, which inspired the exhibition. Edited by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips, this volume includes over one hundred important examples selected from the Getty Research Institute’s Special Collections. 

The publication also presents precursors to the artist’s book, such as Joris Hoefnagel’s sixteenth-century calligraphy masterpiece; early illustrated scientific works; and avant-garde publications. Mid twentieth-century works in the publication reveal the impact of Pop Art, Fluxus, Conceptualism, feminist art, and postmodernism on artists’ books. The selection of books by an international range of artists who have chosen to work with texts and images on paper provokes new inquiry into the long-term fertile relationship of art and books in contemporary culture. 

A full list of artists included in the exhibition Artists and Their Books / Books and Their Artists is below. The public can find more information about the exhibition, including a schedule of tours and public programs at www.getty.edu/research/exhibitions_events/exhibitions/artists_books/index.html.

The artists included in Artists and Their Book / Books and Their Artists are:

Anne Auerbach

Tauba Auerbach

Raffaele de Bernardi

Sandow Birk

Andrea Bowers

Chris Burden

Jan Činčera

Johanna Drucker

Dave Eggers

Felipe Ehrenberg

Olafur Eliasson

Timothy C. Ely

Barbara Fahrner

Guillermo Gómez-Peña

Jennifer A. González

Katharina Grosse

Robert Heinecken

Leandro Katz

Ellsworth Kelly

Daniel E. Kelm

Monika Kulicka

Sol Lewitt

Russell Maret

Didier Mutel

Katherine Ng

Clemente Padín

Felicia Rice

Dieter Roth

Ed Ruscha

Christopher Russell

Barbara T. Smith

Keith A. Smith

Buzz Spector

Beth Thielen

Gustavo Vazquez

Cecilia Vicuña

Ines von Ketelhodt

Zachary James Watkins

William Wegman

Wei Tian

Image: Barbara Fahrner (German, b. 1940) and Daniel E. Kelm (American, b. 1951). The Philosopher’s Stone, 1992. Museum board, paper, stainless steel wires, tubing, colored ink, pencil, watercolor. Unique. Los Angeles, Getty Research Institute, 94-B18918. © Barbara Fahrner and Daniel E. Kelm

 

 

edruscha_pool2_72dpi.jpgAustin, TX — The Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin presents the exhibition “Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” from Aug. 11, 2018, through Jan. 6, 2019. One of today’s most influential artists, Ruscha (b. 1937) is renowned for his category-defying synthesis of words and images, and for his deadpan renderings of the roadside landscapes, commercial signs and vernacular architecture of Los Angeles and the American West. Featuring more than 150 objects, this exhibition presents Ruscha’s celebrated books, photographs, drawings and prints alongside unpublished archival production materials, layout sketches and studio notebooks, providing visitors an unprecedented look into Ruscha’s creative process.

At the core of “Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” are Ruscha’s groundbreaking artist’s books, first appearing with the publication of “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” (1963) and quickly following with books such as “Various Small Fires and Milk” (1964), “Thirtyfour Parking Lots in Los Angeles” (1967), and “Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass” (1968). The exhibition gathers the 16 books Ruscha produced between 1963 and 1978, including scarce copies of “Business Cards” (1968), “Babycakes with Weights” (1970), “Dutch Details” (1971) and “Hard Light” (1978). In a special presentation of Ruscha’s elaborate 1966 publication “Every Building on the Sunset Strip, the accordion-fold book is displayed completely extended in a viewing case more than 20 feet long.

The exhibition draws extensively from archival materials to examine eight of Ruscha’s books in depth. Opening with a group of vintage snapshots of gasoline stations taken by Ruscha in 1962, the exhibition features notes and sketches, handwritten lists of ideas for potential book titles, preliminary printing and binding specifications, paste-up layout materials and business records tracing the growth of Ruscha’s spirited, independent publishing enterprise. A section of the exhibition featuring Ruscha’s 1971 book “A Few Palm Trees” tracks the development of that project over four years, starting with a page of notes testing the title “Seventeen Hollywood Palm Trees and Their Locations” in 1968.

“Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” is the first major exhibition drawn from the Edward Ruscha Papers and Art Collection, a body of archival materials—selected by the artist and acquired by the Ransom Center in 2013—that pertain especially to his artist’s books. “These materials open up entirely new paths to understanding the conception, design and production of Ed Ruscha’s books,” says Jessica S. McDonald, the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography and curator of the exhibition. “A single page of jotted notes can reveal the initial flow and immediate refinement of ideas for several of these projects coming together at once.”

In addition to examining the process leading up to Ruscha’s landmark publications, the exhibition explores the ways in which the motifs introduced in those books—motifs such as the gasoline station, the apartment building, the palm tree and the swimming pool—have inspired later works in other media. Early examples include sketches and screenprints based on Ruscha’s photograph “Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas” (1962), as well as rare drawings after his photographs for “Some Los Angeles Apartments” (1965). Evident throughout the exhibition is Ruscha’s persistent engagement with the artifacts of American popular culture, the iconography of the road and the manufactured romance of Hollywood.

“Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” also explores the ways in which Ruscha has returned to the photographs initially made to populate the pages of his early books to produce new print portfolios. Some, such as “Gasoline Stations 1962” (1989), bring well-known photographs into new viewing contexts, while others offer surprising new images. The exhibition presents “Vacant Lots” (2003), a portfolio of four “outtakes” originally photographed for the book “Real Estate Opportunities” (1970); and “Three Palm Trees” (2009), a portfolio of three photographs printed without the masking that eliminated the sidewalks and buildings surrounding each of the palm trees pictured in the book “A Few Palm Trees” (1971).

Principally drawn from the Ransom Center’s Edward Ruscha Papers and Art Collection, “Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” includes additional loans from the artist’s collection, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Gagosian Gallery and private collections. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Ransom Center will host Ed Ruscha in conversation with curator Jessica S. McDonald on Thursday, Sept. 6 in Jessen Auditorium at UT Austin. This event and the exhibition are free and open to the public.

“Ed Ruscha: Archaeology and Romance” will be on view in the 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. Daily free docent-led tours are offered at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.

Image: Ed Ruscha (American, b. 1937), Pool #2, from the portfolio Pools, 1968; printed 1997. Chromogenic color print, 40.4 x 40.7 cm (image). Edward Ruscha Papers and Art Collection, 2013.16.2 © Ed Ruscha. Courtesy Harry Ransom Center.

McCloskeyArt_0143.jpgCincinnati, OH — The Cincinnati Art Museum is proud to celebrate Hamilton, Ohio’s own Robert McCloskey (1914-2003) with the special exhibition Make Way for Ducklings: The Art of Robert McCloskey, on view July 20-September 9, 2018. The exhibition delves into the life and legacy of the writer and illustrator of numerous classic children’s books that have captivated readers of all ages for generations. The recipient of two Caldecott Medals and three Caldecott Honors, McCloskey was a major force in twentieth century children’s literature.

Organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts, Make Way for Ducklings consists of over 100 original artworks, ephemera and rare preliminary book materials. While emphasis centers on the classic picture book Make Way for Ducklings (1941), the exhibition considers McCloskey’s entire body of work.

Cincinnati Art Museum Director of Learning & Interpretation Emily Holtrop is curator of the exhibition. “In line with the museum’s mission and strategic plan, the Cincinnati Art Museum is thrilled to welcome a collection of artworks that engage and delight visitors of all ages and generations,” says Holtrop. “McCloskey’s illustrations do more than visually captivate readers—they capture the essence of life’s simple pleasures, reminding viewers to enjoy the little things and savor each day.”

Robert McCloskey was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1914. He spent his childhood years in Hamilton and later attended Vesper George Art School in Boston in the early 1930s. McCloskey’s initial artistic attempts were unsuccessful; it wasn’t until he received encouragement from The Viking Press children’s book editor May Masse that his career began to take off. Three years after their initial meeting, McCloskey shared an early draft of his first book, Lentil, with Masse and was met with approval. McCloskey knew he had found his calling.

McCloskey’s books Lentil (1940), Homer Price (1943), and Centerburg Tales (1951) recall the artist’s boyhood in Hamilton, Ohio. In Blueberries for Sal (1948), One Morning in Maine (1952) and Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man (1963), the artist tells family-based stories set in his adopted state of Maine.

Also on view will be McCloskey’s illustrations for books by other authors, including Journey Cake, Ho! (1953) and Henry Reed, Inc. (1958). The exhibition culminates with a selection of independent work—watercolors and paintings—that connect McCloskey to such prominent twentieth-century American painters as Thomas Hart Benton and Edward Hopper.

The exhibition includes a family-friendly drawing activity and related programs will be held at the museum throughout the summer. They include: Connect: A program for adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers on July 28, Gallery Experience: Robert McCloskey with Emily Holtrop on July 29, Moving Images: Robert McCloskey’s Homer Price Stories on August 2, Artist Workshop: Animal Illustrations on August 18, and Family First Saturday: Make Way for Ducklings on September 1. To learn more, please visit www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org/mccloskey

Make Way for Ducklings will be on view in the Schiff Gallery and Balcony, Galleries 234 and 235. Admission is free. 

Image: Robert McCloskey (1914-2003), United States ‘“Look out!” squawked Mrs. Mallard, all of a dither. “You’ll get run over!”’, 1941, Make Way for Ducklings [The Viking Press 1941], graphite on tracing paper, Courtesy of The May Massee Collection, Emporia State University Special Collections and Archives, Emporia State University

HomerWithGulfStream copy.jpgBrunswick, Maine — This summer the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) will present Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting, the first exhibition to look at the role of photography in Homer’s artistic practice. On view June 23 through October 28, 2018, Winslow Homer and the Camera brings together over 130 objects by the artist across all mediums, ranging from master paintings to oil studies, drawings, prints, and photographs created in the United States and during his travels to Europe and the Caribbean. This comprehensive survey was inspired by the BCMA’s 2013 acquisition of a camera once owned by Homer and presents new research drawn in part from the museum’s extensive collection of works by the artist.   

Curated by co-director Frank H. Goodyear III and Bowdoin art history professor Dana E. Byrd, the exhibition will present a full picture of the artist’s working methods and will include noteworthy archival objects, such as three wooden mannequins, his palette and watercolor brushes, his walking stick and fishing net, and two of the three cameras he owned in his lifetime. Homer acquired his first cameras during a two-year sojourn abroad in England, a trip he took in his mid-forties seeking a new direction in his art. Upon his return in 1882, scholars noted a demonstrable change in his style of painting and choice of subjects. Taking this shift and the artist’s penchant for experimentation across mediums as a point of departure, Winslow Homer and the Camera questions how new visual technology impacted the artist’s production and engagement with subjects and unveils how photography became increasingly a part of Homer’s visual investigation and broader creative practice.  

“We are thrilled to present Winslow Homer and the Camera this June,” said Frank Goodyear, co-director and organizer of the exhibition, “Since the generous gift of Homer’s camera, my colleague Dana Byrd and I have been engaged in understanding how Homer’s interest in photography influenced his own artistic identity. This exhibition allows us to consider how Homer’s experimentation with photography solidifies the artist as a proto-modern figure, anticipating many of the trends and concerns of American and European artists who followed.”  

“The opportunity to examine Homer, a well-loved and well researched figure of American art, anew, has been so rewarding,” says Dana E. Byrd, “Utilizing the museum’s extensive collection of the artist’s work, Frank and I have uncovered a new facet of Homer, and we hope this pioneering framework will lead to continued revelations of how the iconic painter engaged with the modern world.” 

While Winslow Homer and the Camera: Photography and the Art of Painting draws principally from the BCMA’s Winslow Homer Collection, the exhibition will also feature works on loan from twenty-five institutions and collectors from across the United States. Following its presentation at the BCMA, the exhibition will travel to the Brandywine River Museum of Art in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. Museum Director Thomas Padon noted, “Homer defined the look of America in the second half of the 19th century and is central to key artists in our collection, which gives the exhibition particular resonance here at Brandywine.”

An illustrated catalogue of the same title authored by Byrd and Goodyear and published by Yale University Press will accompany the exhibition. The catalogue will serve as a significant contribution to the study of Winslow Homer and the cross-disciplinary study of painters and photography in American art.  

The Museum is also pleased to announce a series of exhibition related public programs throughout the summer and fall, featuring an array of perspectives on Homer, from art historians to fly fishermen. Highlights include: 

·      A keynote program led by exhibition co-curators Frank H. Goodyear III and Dana E. Byrd, providing an orientation to the exhibition’s themes in conjunction with the exhibition’s opening;

·      Gallery talks by art historians Susan Danly and Linda Docherty

·      Music performances by faculty from the Bowdoin International Music Festival inspired by the exhibition

The exhibition was made possible in part by Bank of America.  This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

ImageWinslow Homer with “The Gulf Stream” in his Studio, ca. 1900, gelatin silver print, by an unidentified photographer. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.

 

Collins.pngNew York - The Center for Book Arts will feature Bethany Collins as a part of the Feature Artist Project series through a series of seven works. The medium of book arts serves as the vessel for Collins exploration of evolving ideals held by the American People as well as observation of the isolation of manipulated language.

As a part of the Feature Artist Project, Collins has gathered 100 verses of Rev. Samuel E. Smith’s My Country ‘Tis of Thee, all of which were written over a two century period. Each lyric erases a previous and highlights a newfound cause passionately held by the American People. Alongside America: A Hymnal are works from her Contronym series, altered dictionaries and encyclopedias, each refusing in its own way a singularity of meaning. With seven total works in the exhibition, Collins showcases herself as a bold addition to the Featured Artist Project Series.

Bethany Collins is a multidisciplinary artist whose conceptually driven work is fueled by a critical exploration of how race and language interact. Her works have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions nationwide. Collins has been recognized as an Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the MacDowell Colony, the Bemis Center and the Hyde Park Art Center among others. In 2015, she was awarded the Hudgens Prize.

Occasional Verse will be on display at The Center for Book Arts in New York until June 30, 2018 and an artist talk and reception will be held June 8, 6:30 pm.

Freud.pngNew York—The Center for Book Arts along with Susanne Padberg will feature a collection of works based around concepts and theories of psychoanalysis developed by Sigmund Freud through the medium of contemporary  book art. Curated by Padberg, her beliefs that the many psychoanalytic techniques Freud developed are aspects in the analytic process as well as potent inspirations for artistic throughout each of the works within the exhibition.

In a group exhibition, Freud on the Couch - Psyche in the Book, organized by Susanne Padberg, 30 artists’ works have been chosen to exhibit some of the psychoanalytic concepts by Freud through direct or indirect reference. With source material ranging from much of his cultural work, like the ego, memory, the unconscious and so on, each work proves to be another example of Freud’s many concepts and techniques being held important to the analytic process that serves as inspiration to the forces shaping artistic work. Padberg believes “We are surrounded by the issues Freud named and analyzed, and we are also moved by them.”

Artists Include: Thorsten Baensch, Sarah Bryant, Ken Campbell, Crystal Cawley, Maureen Cummins, Anne Deguelle, Gerhild Ebel, Stefan Gunnesch, Karen Hanmer, Anna Helm, Susan Johanknecht, Kurt Johannessen, Janosch Kaden, Burgi Kühnemann, M. M. Lum, Jule Claudia Mahn, Patrizia Meinert, Simon & Christine Morris, Didier Mutel, Susanne Nickel, Yasutomo Ota, Waltraud Palme, Marian St. Laurent, Veronika Schäpers, Robbin Ami Silverberg, Herbert Stattler, Ines von Ketelhodt, Carola Willbrand & Mark Met, and Sam Winston.

Since 1994 Susanne Padberg has been proprietor of Galerie Druck & Buch, Vienna, which specializes in international contemporary book art. As curator she has organized numerous exhibitions, and conferences at galleries, museums, libraries, and art spaces in Frankfurt, Vienna, Seoul, Berlin, and Aix-en-Provence. 

Freud on the Couch - Psyche in the Book will be on display at The Center for Book Arts in New York until June 30, 2018

moore-mask_500.jpgSan Marino, CA— An exhibition focused on the surprising diversity of styles and subject matter found in the graphic art made by Henry Moore (1898-1986), the most prominent British sculptor of the 20th-century, will go on view at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens on June 16. “Spirit and Essence, Line and Form: The Graphic Work of Henry Moore” celebrates the Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation’s gift to The Huntington of 337 of Moore’s works on paper with a display of 28 prints selected to highlight the range of intricate, often delicate works that explore the same universal themes found in Moore’s sculpture: the roots of creation, the body, life, and death. The exhibition runs through Oct. 1, 2018.

“One of the most exciting things about the Berman Collection is the great variety of work it represents,” said Melinda McCurdy, associate curator of British art and curator of the exhibition. “This exhibition gives visitors a chance to see how Moore’s exploration of the interrelationship of shape and mass we know from his sculptural work is put to work on paper—with subjects ranging from massive rocks at Stonehenge to the angles and depths of an elephant skull, then on to the complexity of a mother-child relationship. The Berman gift really allows us to represent one of the most influential British modernists in the broadest possible way.”

Famous for his monumental biomorphic sculptures, which are enjoyed by millions in museums and public spaces worldwide, Moore is less well known for his work as a graphic artist who produced drawings as well as prints—more than 700 over his career. Moore used prints to explore universal themes, but also to express topics that were deeply personal, reacting to the political and social climate of his time and to his own preoccupations.

The exhibition is organized along thematic lines. 

Stonehenge
Moore experienced Stonehenge for the first time in 1921, at age 23. He took the train from London and arrived at a nearby hotel late in the evening. Impatient to see the prehistoric monument, he visited the site alone by moonlight and never forgot the impression it made on him. Decades later, when discussing his 1973 series of 18 lithographs, he recalled the moment. “Moonlight, as you know, enlarges everything,” he said, “and the mysterious depths and distances made [Stonehenge] seem enormous.”

“Many of Moore’s Stonehenge lithographs reinforce this sense of enormity,” said McCurdy. “A number of his prints offer close-up, partial views of the monoliths, as if it were impossible for him to capture them completely. This enhances their sublimity, creating a sense of vastness that provokes feelings of vulnerability, or of agelessness that reminds us of our own impermanence.”

Elephant Skull
Juxtaposing the study of Stonehenge’s enormity with one that focuses on the minute details of an individual object, the next section in the installation explores Moore’s interest in a single elephant skull. Naturalist Sir Julian Huxley gave Moore the object in the late 1960s. It became the subject of the artist’s near obsession with its angles, depths, and forms. Moore’s studies of the object developed into the Elephant Skull album, a portfolio of 45 etchings produced between 1969 and 1970. The prints explore the skull from a distance and extremely close up. Moore’s captions for the etchings indicate that he regarded the skull as an adaptable metaphor, one that recalled his own sculptural work, architectural elements, or features of the landscape.

Also part of this section of the exhibition is a later lithograph that reveals Moore’s continuing fascination with the elephant. “Unlike in his more abstract work, in this image it seems as though he revels in the living animal’s distinctive appearance, rendering the texture of its wrinkled skin in almost photographic detail,” said McCurdy.

While these two sections concentrate on particular portfolios of work, two other sections present individual prints with a broad range of themes.

Balancing Classical and Romantic sensibilities
Moore wrote, “When it’s all classic, it’s too obvious and cold and deadly perfect; when it’s all romantic, it’s too loose, uncontrolled, wildly chaotic, and shapeless.” He described his art as a balance of the Classical—rational, symmetrical, static, and geometric—and the Romantic—emotional, asymmetric, dynamic, and organic—and he responded to works of art that he believed exhibited these characteristics. Mesoamerican sculpture, for example, had what he felt was a “largeness of scale and a grim, sublime, austerity,” qualities that appear in his lithograph Mexican Mask (1974). He also admired the work of 18th-century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi, whose series of engraved Imaginary Prisons, showing strange labyrinthine subterranean vaults, inspired the setting for Reclining Figure Piranesi Background II (1979). Even when depicting architectural elements, Moore imbues the geometric structures with a sense of mystery by skewing their angles or enhancing their shadows.

An Artist’s Obsessions

While a number of works in the exhibition may seem uncharacteristic of Moore’s well-known style, several objects on view are more readily recognizable. For example, the softly rounded bodies in Five Reclining Figures (1979) are reminiscent of his large-scale bronze pieces, but in graphic form, utilizing two dimensions to explore the relationship between mass and volume at play in the artist’s sculptural work. “And they make you wonder, are these primordial icons, suggesting fertility, creation, or life itself?” said McCurdy. “Or do they represent the anxieties of the modern world, evoking such themes as sexuality, repression, and isolation?”

Another of Moore’s most repeated subjects, the mother and child, reveals the complexity of that relationship. One lithograph of a mother and child in “Spirit and Essence” recalls the sober image of a Renaissance Madonna and Child, while another shows a sculpture-like figure reaching tenderly for her baby. 

“Moore was quite aware of his tendency for ‘obsession,’ and that attribute is part of what makes his graphic work so fascinating,” said McCurdy. “In print after print we are able to see the deep exploration of single subjects that occupied Moore over the course of his career and across media.” 

Support for this exhibition is provided by Heather and Paul Haaga and the Susan and Stephen Chandler Exhibition Endowment.

Image: Henry Moore, Mexican Mask, 1974, lithograph, 26 x 19 in. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Gift of Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation. © The Henry Moore Foundation. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2017 / henry-moore.org

 

Hours_Spitz_MasterofPetrarchsTriumphs_Tours_c1490-1500_f8r_JohnPatmos copy.jpgComplementing Art Basel 2018, Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will open its doors for a public exhibition. An exceptional selection of manuscripts, miniatures, and early printed books will be on display at the Dr. Jörn Günther Antiquariat in the heart of Basel from the 11th to the 15th of June, 2018. Under the motto “Medieval/Modern”, this year’s exhibition enters artworks from the past into a dialogue with those of the present, exploring medieval and Renaissance art as an important point of reference for contemporary artists. With a special focus on the theme “Black & White vs. Bursts of Colour”, the artworks on view represent the artistic power in the juxtaposition of vibrant colour choices and a more muted, mysterious grisaille palette that has inspired artists for centuries. 

Artists have always been drawn to a world in black and white - ranging from medieval grisaille paintings to Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings up to contemporary works by Gerhard Richter. Representing the muted, elegant palette, Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will present an exceptionally fine Book of Hours whose miniatures show the exquisite refinement of a great artist. This sophisticated prayer book is attributed to the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs, a distinctive artist whose earlier work is localized in Tours. The varied gradients of grey combined with small touches of few other pigments emanate a degree of translucency and purity. The manuscript includes 38 small miniatures with gold and red frames, as well as 4 full-page miniatures surrounded by borders of gilt scrolls containing the repeated motto “Parce Michi Domine”, meaning “Spare me, O Lord”, which may possibly indicate a yet unidentified patron’s device. While rooted in spiritual aspiration, this opulent manuscript nonetheless provides the owner with a luxury object that expresses his or her social status.

On the other end of the spectrum, Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books will present a vividly coloured Book of Hours, illuminated by the Masters of the Grandes Heures de Rohan, whose expressive colour choices offer a brilliant precursor to exquisitely colourful works by Vincent van Gogh, expressionist painters like Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, or Jean-Michel Basquiat. The Rohan Masters’ striking and dramatic style shows clamorous colours, distorted perspectives, and impulsive gestures used for emotional effect. Characteristic motifs include long limbs, golden clouds drifting across vividly coloured skies, and fascinatingly layered patterns. The miniatures in this Book of Hours, including the fine figures of St. John Baptist, the Archangel Michael, or the Burial scene, anticipate the impressive, monumental compositions of the Grandes Heures de Rohan, created about fifteen years after this Book of Hours. 

Image: Book of Hours, use of Rome. Manuscript on vellum, illuminated by the Master of Petrarch’s Triumphs. France, Tours, c. 1490-1500. Dr. Jörn Günther Rare Books AG.

 

Morgan-taming-the-tarrasque copy.jpgNew York — From dragons, unicorns, and other fabled beasts to inventive hybrid creations, artists in the Middle Ages filled the world around them with marvels of imagination. Their creations reflected a society and culture at once captivated and repelled by the idea of the monstrous. Drawing on the Morgan Library & Museum's superb medieval collection as well as loans from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders—on view beginning June 8—examines the complex social role of monsters in medieval Europe. It brings together approximately seventy works spanning the ninth to sixteenth centuries, and ranging from illuminated manuscripts and tapestry to metalwork and ivory. 

The show explores three key themes: “Terrors” demonstrates how monsters enhanced the aura of those in power, whether rulers, knights, or saints. “Aliens” reveals how marginalized groups in European societies—such as Jews, Muslims, women, the poor, and the disabled—were further alienated by being depicted as monstrous. The final section on “wonders” considers the strange beauties and frightful anomalies such as dragons, unicorns, or giants that populated the medieval world.

“In the medieval world the idea of the monstrous permeated every level of society,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum, “from rulers, and the nobility and the clergy, to agrarian and urban dwellers alike. Artists of the Middle Ages captured this phenomenon in images of beings at once familiar and foreign to today’s viewer. We are grateful to our guest curators Asa Simon Mittman and Sherry Lindquist for helping us bring this engrossing subject to the public.” 

The EXHIBITION

I. Terrors

Throughout the Middle Ages, rulers capitalized on the mystique of monsters to enhance their own aura of power. In medieval art, they often depicted themselves—or figures with whom they could identify—as righteous heroes demonstrating their worthiness by slaying the most frightful creatures imaginable. By embellishing all manner of luxury objects with monstrous imagery, the nobility and clergy could also reinforce and dramatize their own authority. Such fear some motifs were often thought to have not only a symbolic potency but also actual power in warding off evil. 

Because of their ability both to terrify and to inspire awe, monsters could even be used to evoke the divine. From headless saints to three-headed trinities, these “sacred terrors” vividly bring to life the power of monsters to bridge the gap between the natural and the supernatural. Ultimately, the monsters in this section offer us a glimpse into how people in the Middle Ages perceived relationships of power, whether earthly or divine. 

II. Aliens

In the modern world, the term alien is most strongly associated with extraterrestrials. In the Middle Ages, however, aliens were very much inhabitants of our world. Deriving from the Latin word for “foreign” or “exotic,” an alien was simply a person or thing from somewhere else. For medieval men and women, the various peoples thought to live on the other side of the world were just as unreachable, and therefore unknowable, as Martians would be to us. At times, these aliens were the subject of titillating speculation; other times they were sources of fear or objects of derision. 

As in other eras, monstrous imagery could be used to stigmatize those perceived to deviate from the norm. This held true not only for “strangers” to medieval Christian societies—most notably, Jews and Muslims—but also for those who were marginalized within their own communities. Women, the poor, the mentally ill or physically impaired could all be made monstrous by medieval artists. Such representations helped define the difference between those who were accepted and those who were cast aside. Confronting these at times difficult images reminds us of the ability of the visual arts to shape our perceptions of others.

III. Wonders

For medieval viewers, monsters could also inspire a sense of wonder and marvel as a transformative response to strange, surprising, or mysterious phenomena. During the Middle Ages, wonders were only as significant as their authenticity, which could be confirmed either by eye-witness accounts or by the authority of venerable authors. The difficulty of disentangling truth from fiction became a common theme, giving rise to entire genres of text that claimed to catalogue the various phenomena of the world: from herbals and bestiaries to travel accounts. 

Capable of shifting expectations and perceptions, monsters inspired viewers to reconsider their place in the world. These fantastical creatures were often so unpredictable and prevalent in the cultural imagination that it is often hard to judge whether they reinforce or disrupt the norms of the time. This exhibition invites visitors to consider what medieval monsters can teach us about the cultures that created them.

Publication

The accompanying catalogue, Medieval Monsters: Terrors, Aliens, Wonders, features full-page reproductions of 61 works in the exhibition, a Director’s Foreword by Colin B. Bailey, a preface by China Miéville, and essays by Sherry C. M. Lindquist and Asa Simon Mittman.

Author: Sherry C. M. Lindquist, Asa Simon Mittman

Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum, in association with D Giles Limited.

175 pages.

Image: The Taming the Tarasque, from Hours of Henry VIII, France, Tours, ca. 1500. The Morgan Library & Museum, MS H.8, fol. 191v, detail. Photography by Graham S. Haber, 2013.

Getty India.jpgLos Angeles - Thousands of miles, harsh terrains, and diverse waterways separate India and Europe, and yet people and materials in these vast regions moved with great frequency during the medieval period. The pages of illuminated manuscripts reveal a dynamically interconnected world filled with real and imagined ideas about life on this earth and in spiritual states beyond.

Drawn primarily from the Getty’s permanent collection, with important loans from local institutions and private collections, Pathways to Paradise: Medieval India and Europe on view now through August 5 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, explores the ways decorated books and portable luxury objects reflected their owners’ knowledge of and ideas about the greater world, as well as their spiritual quests for sacred groves, providential gems, and guides to enlightenment.

“This exhibition expands on themes we explored at the Getty in last year’s exhibition Traversing the Globe through Illuminated Manuscripts and currently in Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India: that the people of early modern Europe were not isolated, but interacted dynamically with other cultures,” explains Timothy Pott, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “With particular focus on how artists in India and Europe conceptualized the idea of paradise, the exhibition explores the diverse religious traditions of these widely separated culture spheres, how each produced wondrous manuscripts and other works of art evoking otherworldly celestial domains.”

The word “paradise” often describes an idyllic place of unmatched beauty, but it can also refer to a mindset of harmony and bliss. Several world religions share these conceptions of paradise—including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam—but the path to reaching such a place or achieving this state of mind varied greatly. Whether a physical environment; a metaphysical realm, like heaven; or a state of transcendence, paradise was a potential reality for people of the premodern era, many of whom journeyed from their homelands to destinations across Asia, Africa, and Europe in pursuit of precious materials and sites believed to have great spiritual significance.

"Peoples in Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent have long-interacted with peoples in Europe and Africa, and these relationships are recorded and visualized in hand-written and decorated book arts,” says Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and curator of the exhibition. “During the long medieval period—from about 500-1500—actual contact increased between geographically distant regions, as seen through the exchange of materials and ideas in this exhibition.”

Book arts were vehicles for the transmission of philosophy, religion, cosmology, and the study of the natural world, and when displayed alongside coins, gems, and other portable objects, they present a picture of a premodern world that was dynamically interconnected and culturally aware.

Coins are among the most portable luxury objects. Necessary for commerce and trade, they also communicate messages of power and faith. Portraits of rulers often adorn one side while divinities or symbols of paradise sometimes decorate the other. At times, coins were beaten into thin sheets and applied as metallic leaf to adorn the pages of books.

Precious goods such as jewelry, amulets, and reliquaries could be carried over great distances. Other objects, including crowns, oil lamps, and votive statues were used to serve local audiences at court, in temples, or in shrines and each of these had the potential to connect owners with metaphysical worlds. Raw materials—such as stones, gems, bronze, and silver—were also highly prized. Many cultures and religions ascribe magical or healing properties to gems and metals, associations often based on ideas about the divine and the afterlife.

Manuscripts often communicated complex beliefs about otherworldly domains or beings, inviting readers to connect with spiritual realms or to envision the afterlife—states of paradise or infernal damnation beyond the earth. Several of the books and pages presented in this exhibition concern theological beliefs about angels and the spiritual cosmos.

Pathways to Paradise: Medieval India & Europe is curated by Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The exhibition will be on view at the Getty Center from now through August 5, 2018. Through June 24, 2018, the exhibition Rembrandt and the Inspiration of India presents a stunning array of drawings and paintings that reveal how art and ideas traveled across time and oceans. Related programming includes India and the World: A History in Nine Stories, in which Naman Ahuja, curator of Indian art at Jawaharla Nehru University, discusses his recent exhibition India and the World, a presentation of extraordinary masterpieces that situates Indian history in a global context. Additional information can be found at getty.edu/360.

Image: The Angel of Paradise with a Sword, about 1475. Tempera colors, gold leaf, and gold paint on parchment. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. Ludwig XIII 5, v1, fol. 54v

 

image005.pngLos Angeles—From Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, to Edvard Munch’s The Scream, to Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother, the human face has been a crucial, if often enigmatic, element of portraiture. Featuring 45 works drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, In Focus: Expressions, on view May 22 to October 7, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, addresses the enduring fascination with the human face and the range of countenances that photographers have captured from the birth of the medium to the present day.

The exhibition begins with the most universal and ubiquitous expression: the smile. Although today it is taken for granted that we should smile when posing for the camera, smiling was not the standard photographic expression until the 1880s with the availability of faster film and hand-held cameras. Smiling subjects began to appear more frequently as the advertising industry also reinforced the image of happy customers to an ever-widening audience who would purchase the products of a growing industrial economy. The smile became “the face of the brand,” gracing magazines, billboards, and today, digital and social platforms.

As is evident in the exhibition, the smile comes in all variations—the genuine, the smirk, the polite, the ironic—expressing a full spectrum of emotions that include benevolence, sarcasm, joy, malice, and sometimes even an intersection of two or more of these. In Milton Rogovin’s (American, 1909-2011) Storefront Churches, Buffalo (1958-1961), the expression of the preacher does not immediately register as a smile because the camera has captured a moment where his features—the opened mouth, exposed teeth, and raised face—could represent a number of activities: he could be in the middle of a song, preaching, or immersed in prayer. His corporeal gestures convey the message of his spirit, imbuing the black-and-white photograph with emotional color. Like the other works included in this exhibition, this image posits the notion that facial expressions can elicit a myriad of sentiments and denote a range of inner emotions that transcend the capacity of words.

In Focus: Expressions also probes the role of the camera in capturing un-posed moments and expressions that would otherwise go unnoticed. In Alec Soth’s (American, born 1969) Mary, Milwaukee, WI (2014), a fleeting expression of laughter is materialized in such a way—head leaning back, mouth open—that could perhaps be misconstrued as a scream. The photograph provides a frank moment, one that confronts the viewer with its candidness and calls to mind today’s proliferation and brevity of memes, a contemporary, Internet-sustained visual phenomena in which images are deliberately parodied and altered at the same rate as they are spread.

Perhaps equally radical as the introduction of candid photography is the problematic association of photography with facial expression and its adoption of physiognomy, a concept that was introduced in the 19th century. Physiognomy, the study of the link between the face and human psyche, resulted in the belief that different types of people could be classified by their visage. The exhibition includes some of the earliest uses of photography to record facial expression, as in Duchenne de Boulogne’s (French, 1806-1875) Figure 44: The Muscle of Sadness (negative, 1850s). This also resonates in the 20th-century photographs by Walker Evans (American, 1903-1975) of Allie Mae Burroughs, Hale County Alabama (negative 1936) in that the subject’s expression could be deemed as suggestive of the current state of her mind. In this frame (in others she is viewed as smiling) she stares intently at the camera slightly biting her lip, perhaps alluding to uncertainty of what is to come for her and her family.

The subject of facial expression is also resonant with current developments in facial recognition technology. Nancy Burson (American, born 1948) created works such as Androgyny (6 Men + 6 Women) (1982), in which portraits of six men and six women were morphed together to convey the work’s title. Experimental and illustrative of the medium’s technological advancement, Burson’s photograph is pertinent to several features of today’s social media platforms, including the example in which a phone’s front camera scans a user’s face and facial filters are applied upon detection. Today, mobile phones and social media applications even support portrait mode options, offering an apprehension of the human face and highlighting its countenances with exceptional quality. 

In addition to photography’s engagement with human expression, In Focus: Expressions examines the literal and figurative concept of the mask. Contrary to a candid photograph, the mask is the face we choose to present to the world. Weegee’s (Arthur Fellig’s) (American, born Austria, 1899-1968) Emmett Kelly, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus (about 1950) demonstrates this concept, projecting the character of a sad clown in place of his real identity as Emmett Kelly.

The mask also suggests guises, obscurity, and the freedom to pick and create a separate identity. W. Canfield Ave., Detroit (1982) by Nicholas Nixon (American, born 1947) demonstrates this redirection. Aware that he is being photographed, the subject seizes the opportunity to create a hardened expression that conveys him as distant, challenging, and fortified, highlighted by the opposing sentiments of the men who flank him. In return, the audience could be led to believe that this devised pose is a façade behind which a concealed and genuine identity exists. 

In Focus: Expressions is on view from May 22 to October 7, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. This exhibition is curated by Karen Hellman, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Image: L to R: Storefront Churches, Buffalo, 1958 - 1961, Milton Rogovin (American, 1909 - 2011). Gelatin silver print. Image: 11 × 10.5 cm (4 5/16 × 4 1/8 in.). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Dr. John V. and Laura M. Knaus. © Milton Rogovin; Mary, Milwaukee, WI, 2014, Alec Soth (American, born 1969). Inkjet print. Image: 40.1 × 53.5 cm (15 13/16 × 21 1/16 in.). The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Richard Lovett. © Alec Soth/Magnum Photos; W. Canfield Ave., Detroit, 1982, Nicholas Nixon (American, born 1947). Gelatin silver print. Image (irregular): 19.7 × 24.6 cm (7 3/4 × 9 11/16 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. © Nicholas Nixon

 

DeniseCarbone_01 copy.jpgFormation: A Juried Exhibition of the Guild of Book Workers, featuring 51 works from 46 Guild members, is set to begin its U.S. tour at Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) this June. The jury-selected artists were asked to consider how the act of formation, defined by Merriam-Webster as “an act of giving form or shape to something,” informs their artistic process. The resulting exhibition both honors the Guild’s legacy and celebrates contemporary forms of book art. Works presented in the exhibition include artist’s books, fine bindings, fine press printing, calligraphy, and sculptural books. Formation will run from June 15-October 21 in MCBA’s main gallery, with an opening reception on June 22 from 6-8 pm.

A printed exhibition catalog will accompany Formation, which doubles as the Guild’s triennial members’ exhibition. The catalog, published as a special edition of the Guild of Book Workers’ Journal, includes color photographs and descriptions of each piece, information about the artists, remarks from Guild president Bexx Caswell, and more. Formation’s jury is comprised of book artists and Guild members Coleen Curry, Graham Patten, and Sarah Smith. It was curated by Jackie Scott, who also serves as the Guild’s Exhibitions Chair.

Formation’s tour at MCBA coincides with the Guild of Book Workers’ Standards of Excellence Seminar, which will take place in Minneapolis in October 2018. Following the seminar’s conclusion, the exhibition will then embark on a nationwide tour. Among other institutions, it will stop at the Robert C. Williams Papermaking Museum in Atlanta, GA; UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library; the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA, and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. A complete schedule is available online at guildofbookworkers.org.

The Guild of Book Workers was founded in 1906 with the hopes of fostering a community of book artists and craftspeople. Some of its founding members include Edith Diehl, W.A. Dwiggins, and Frederic W. Goudy. Today, the Guild has over 900 members, ranging from amateur to professional book artists, conservators, printers, papermakers, librarians, and collectors. It continues to work toward its initial goal of preserving and sustaining the craft of bookmaking through sponsoring exhibitions, organizing educational opportunities, and cultivating a roster of talented artists and craftspeople to carry on the tradition.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit mnbookarts.org.

ImageIn-Between by Denise Carbone (Stratford, NJ). This book is the formation of a variety of ground plant and insect liquors soaked for weeks and their reaction to one another. Lard coats the pages, and images are created with needle piercings and some ink stone rubbing. The pages are Tableau wet strength paper. This unique binding is an accordion fold of handmade paper; the chemise is of Iowa paper.  Photographer: Tim Gurczak

 

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 9.07.24 AM.pngNew York — Handwriting works magic: it transports us back to defining moments in history, creativity, and everyday life and connects us intimately with the people who marked the page. For nearly half a century, Brazilian author and publisher Pedro Corrêa do Lago has been assembling one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind, acquiring thousands of handwritten letters, manuscripts, and musical compositions as well as inscribed photographs, drawings, and documents.

Opening on June 1, The Magic of Handwriting: The Pedro Corrêa do Lago Collection features 140 items from his important holdings, few of which have ever been publicly exhibited. Among the items on view will be letters by Lucrezia Borgia, Vincent van Gogh, and Emily Dickinson; annotated sketches by Michelangelo, Jean Cocteau, and Charlie Chaplin; and manuscripts by Giacomo Puccini, Jorge Luis Borges, and Marcel Proust. The show runs through September 16.

From an 1153 document signed by four medieval popes to a 2006 thumbprint signature of physicist Stephen Hawking, the items on view convey the power of handwriting to connect us with writers, artists, composers, political figures, performers, scientists, philosophers, rebels, and others whose actions and creations have made them legends. 

“In this digital age there is a remarkable pleasure in engaging with works that were penned by hand,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Pedro Corrêa do Lago shares the passion of the Morgan’s founder, John Pierpont Morgan, for collecting letters and manuscripts that bear the handwriting of some of the most influential figures in Western history and culture. The Morgan is grateful for his generosity in sharing some of the finest pieces fromhis extraordinary collection.”

"From the time I was very young, I have derived enormous pleasure from collecting autographs, which serve as tangible links that defy the passage of time," said Mr. Corrêa do Lago. "I am thrilled to be able to share some of the manuscripts and letters that have brought me such joy—and to do so within the library formed by one of the greatest of American autograph collectors."

THE EXHIBITION

Introduction

The exhibition’s title is drawn from a letter of the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig, one of the notable autograph collectors of the twentieth century, who once begged Rainer Maria Rilke for a precious gift: the manuscript of one of Rilke’s own poems. “I realize it is a lot to ask,” Zweig told his friend, “for I know the magic of handwriting well, and I know that the gift of a manuscript is also the gift of a secret—a secret that unveils itself only for love.”

Pedro Corrêa do Lago is an autograph collector very much in the tradition of John Pierpont Morgan and Stefan Zweig. The son of a Brazilian diplomat, he started collecting at the age of twelve, when he began sending letters to prominent people to solicit their autographs. Over time, his ambitions grew. Rather than focusing on a single figure, era, or subject, he made the unusual decision to seek significant examples in six broad areas of human endeavor—art, history, literature, science, music, and entertainment—spanning several centuries. This is the first major exhibition drawn from his collection.

Every item in the exhibition bears the handwriting of its illustrious author or subject. Many are personal letters sent to friends, collaborators, or associates, touching on everything from private matters to events of international consequence. Some are manuscripts of works in progress, providing hints of the authors’ creative process. Others are photographs or sketches inscribed to friends or admirers, often with messages that convey important personal or professional ties.

Art

The items on view span more than four centuries and include examples of the handwriting of some of the leading artists in modern Western history, including Benvenuto Cellini, Peter Paul Rubens, J. M. W. Turner, Auguste Rodin, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, and Frida Kahlo. The earliest work on view in this section is a small, hitherto unpublished block drawing with notes by Michelangelo, dated ca. 1518, ordering marble for his first major architectural commission, the facade of San Lorenzo in Florence. More than four hundred years later, in 1949, Henri Matisse wrote a note to his friend Albert Skira, the Swiss art publisher, filling more than half the page with a crayon sketch, thus turning a personal letter into an intimate work of art.

One of the most revealing items is an 1889 letter from Paul Gauguin (which has never been published in its entirety) about one of the most tragic personal moments in the history of art: the severe breakdown his friend van Gogh suffered in December 1888, during which he famously mutilated his left ear. “I was supposed to spend a year in the south working with a painter friend,” Gauguin writes. “Unfortunately that friend went stark raving mad and for a month I had to endure all sorts of fears of a fatal and tragic accident...” Like the Gauguin letter, many items illuminate important artistic relationships—for example, those of Edgar Degas and Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso and Sergei Diaghilev, and Frank Lloyd Wright and Lewis Mumford. Together these letters and documents provide strikingly personal insights into artists’ lives, creations, and personal and professional connections. 

History

From the accession of England’s Elizabeth I in 1558 to the rise of Fidel Castro in Cuba in 1959, the items on view also highlight key historical moments and memorable figures such as Mary, Queen of Scots,Simón Bolívar, Benjamin Franklin, Sun Yat-sen, and Leon Trotsky. Signed and inscribed photographs capture some of history’s famous faces, including Sitting Bull, Abraham Lincoln, Rasputin, and Emiliano Zapata.

Early letters document the personal and political relationships of Western Europe’s monarchs and scions. In 1502, Lucrezia Borgia, the legendary Renaissance noblewoman, writes a letter to her new brother-in-law during her lavish wedding procession from Rome to Ferrara. A few decades later, Henry VIII communicates with Francis I, King of France, about negotiations for peace with Emperor Charles V. In 1788, Marie Antoinette sends a graceful letter to congratulate her sister and brother-in-law on the birth of their latest child; within a year her life would be upended with the storming of the Bastille and the dawn of the French Revolution.

Twentieth-century historical letters bring to life moments and relationships of great poignancy and drama. In 1917, the Dutch-born dancer known as Mata Hari writes a desperate plea from prison after being arrested on charges of espionage. In 1947—less than a year before he was murdered—Gandhi declares that he must remain focused on prayer and reconciliation even though “The odds are so great that the fire may quench me, instead of my quenching it.” At the age of eighty, his handwriting shaky after a recent stroke, Winston Churchill sends a letter to Pamela, Lady Lytton, his first great love, saying, “I am getting older now the trappings of power & responsibility have fallen away, and I totter along in the shades of retirement.”

The most recent historical document on view is a typewritten page of a draft of Alex Haley’s powerful interview with Malcolm X, published in a 1963 issue of Playboy. Malcolm X compares the United States to South Africa, saying “The only difference is over there they preach and practice apartheid. America preaches freedom and practices slavery. America preaches integration and practices segregation.” His bold signature at the bottom of the page indicates his approval of the interview transcript.

Literature

Whether through manuscripts, letters, or handwritten notes and other ephemera, this section features such celebrated authors as Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Lewis Carroll, Machado de Assis, and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A highlight is an important handwritten draft of the opening paragraph of one of literature’s greatest masterpieces: Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time (À la recherche du temps perdu). With significant differences from the text that was ultimately published in 1913, it reveals key decisions Proust made as he was revising what went on to become one of the most enduring works of the modern era.

The exhibition also displays the only surviving manuscript of a twentieth-century cult classic—“The Library of Babel” (La Biblioteca de Babel), a story by the Argentinean author Jorge Luis Borges—and a forty-page manuscript of a play by Lope de Vega, the great Spanish dramatist of the so-called Golden Century, written in 1619 but unpublished until 1985, when it surfaced in a Brazilian private collection.

Extraordinary personal communications in the show include one of only two known surviving letters from Oscar Wilde, author of The Picture of Dorian Gray, to Bram Stoker, author of Dracula; an extravagantly complimentary letter from Gustave Flaubert to Victor Hugo, his “dear master”; and a charming letter from twelve-year-old Ernest Hemingway asking his father if they might go see the Chicago Cubs play that weekend (“it will be a dandy game”). In 1871, Emily Dickinson writes to a friend in her unusual rhythmic script: “To be remembered is next to being loved, and to be loved is Heaven, and is this quite Earth? I have never found it so.” Her letter is a reminder that handwritten letters provide a powerful means of remembrance of those living and dead.

Science and Philosophy

Three of history’s most brilliant physicists—Sir Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking—stand side by side in this section: Newton (who famously claimed to have conceived his universal law of gravitation while watching an apple drop) draws and annotates his own family tree; Einstein works out mathematical equations as he seeks a “theory of everything”; and Hawking signs a copy of his bestselling 1993 book A Brief History of Time by marking it with his thumbprint—now the symbol of the foundation that bears his name and supports people living with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Other items that suggest scientists are always in dialogue with one another include, for instance, an 1845 letter in which the computer science pioneer Ada Lovelace comments on two of the scientific blockbusters of her age decade: Alexander von Humboldt’s Cosmos and the anonymously published Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation. In 1871, Charles Darwin, writing to a colleague with whom he had significant scientific disagreements about his Theory of Evolution, says, “I always console myself with thinking that I have done my best.” 

From a 1516 letter of Niccolò Machiavelli to a 1951 letter from Ludwig Wittgenstein (likely the last one he wrote before his death at the age of sixty-two), the exhibition features examples of the handwriting of key figures in Western philosophy, including Immanuel Kant, Adam Smith, and Karl Marx. An intriguing item from the French Enlightenment is a handwritten page from Louise Dupin’s unfinished treatise on the history of women from classical to modern times. She addresses an enduring sexual double standard: how can society reconcile its expectations that men seduce multiple women (and take pride in their conquest) and that women resist all but a single lover? The sheet is written in the hand of her research assistant, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who had yet to write his own celebrated works.

Music and Performing Arts

Representing a remarkable variety of major figures in the history of music and entertainment, the items on view range from examples of the handwriting of Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig von Beethoven to a signed sketch of dancer Vaslav Nijinsky by Jean Cocteau. In a spirited letter from twenty-two-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to his father, Leopold (signed warmly “I kiss your hands a thousand times and hug my sister with all my heart”), the young composer ventures to make his own decisions regarding his musical career rather than following his father’s strict instructions.

An extremely messy draft page for The Girl of the Golden West (La Fanciulla del West) reveals the energy with which Giacomo Puccini composed, and a manuscript of “No More Blues” (Chega de saudade) by the Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim is a delightful record of the song that launched the bossa nova sound during the 1950s.

Finally, inscribed photographs of some of the greatest of twentieth-century entertainers—Josephine Baker, Billie Holiday, the Marx Brothers, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and the Beatles—are reminders of our pervasive desire to capture and retain a physical trace of the people whose work we value. Their handwriting and signatures serve as echoes of their presence.

Publication

The accompanying catalogue, The Magic of Handwriting: The Pedro Corrêa do Lago Collection, published by TASCHEN, is authored by Christine Nelson, the Morgan’s Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts. It includes more than 150 illustrations of the items in the exhibition and contains a foreword by Colin B. Bailey, preface by the artist Vik Muniz, and essays by Christine Nelson, Declan Kiely, and Pedro Corrêa do Lago.

Public Programs

DISCUSSION

Handwriting Is Not Dead: A Conversation with Collector Pedro Corrêa do Lago Pedro Corrêa do Lago has built one of the world’s most compelling collections of letters and manuscripts. What draws him—and us—to a personal letter from Emily Dickinson, a psychoanalysis bill penned by Freud, or an inscrutable note from Rasputin? Corrêa do Lago joins Christine Nelson, the Morgan’s Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts, for a lively discussion about the lure of handwriting and the joy of collecting.

Thursday, May 31, 6:30 pm*

Tickets: $15; free for members and students with a valid ID. 

* The exhibition The Magic of Handwriting: The Pedro Corrêa do Lago Collection will be open at 5:30 pm for program attendees.

GALLERY TALKS 

The Magic of Handwriting: The Pedro Corrêa do Lago Collection

Christine Nelson, Drue Heinz Curator of Literary and Historical Manuscripts

Friday, June 8, 6 pm

Friday, July 6, 1 pm

Tickets: All gallery talks and tours are free with museum admission; no tickets or reservations necessary. Please note that tours are subject to cancellation or change without notice.

a-view-endeavour-watering-place-alexander-buchan copy.jpgMarking 250 years since James Cook’s ship Endeavour set sail from Plymouth, James Cook: The Voyages (27 April to 28 August 2018) explores Cook’s three world-changing voyages through stunning artworks, original maps and handwritten journals.

From iconic depictions of people and landscapes by expedition artists Sydney Parkinson, John Webber and William Hodges to an evocative collection of drawings by Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, which are going on display together for the first time, James Cook: The Voyages will take visitors on a journey of discovery, from the Pacific Ocean to the Antarctic.

The exhibition will chart Cook’s three voyages, from the Endeavour setting sail from Plymouth in 1768 to the Resolution and Discovery returning to Britain in 1780 after Cook’s death in Hawaii. It will explore different perspectives on the voyages, from those on board the ships to those who saw them arrive on their shores, and will consider their legacy and relevance today.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Paintings depicting Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia by the Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, which are going on display as a group for the first time
  • The first chart of New Zealand by James Cook
  • The first artworks depicting the Antarctic by William Hodges on loan from the State Library of New South Wales, which will be reunited with James Cook’s handwritten journal entry describing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, for the first time in 100 years
  • Specimens from the first voyage, including the mouth parts of a squid, on loan from the Royal College of Surgeons
  • Expedition artist John Webber’s watercolour landscapes, including the first European illustrations of Hawai’i
  • Jewellery and musical instruments, including a necklace from Tierra del Fuego, ceremonial rattle from Nootka Sound (Vancouver Island) and bamboo flute from Tahiti, on loan from Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge 
  • Natural history drawings, including the first European depiction of a kangaroo by Sydney Parkinson on loan from the Natural History Museum

The British Library holds pre-eminent collections from the voyages, including many original maps, artwork and journals produced on board ship, which will be displayed alongside films exploring contemporary views on Cook’s legacy in Australia, New Zealand and other places visited by the expeditions. Contemporary perspectives on the voyages, including people from the Pacific communities Cook visited, will also be explored through the Library’s accompanying web space (www.bl.uk/the-voyages-of-captain-james-cook) and public events programme.  

William Frame, co-curator of James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library, said:

‘The British Library holds many iconic artworks, charts and handwritten journals from James Cook’s voyages and the exhibition displays the most famous of these together, alongside key loans, for the first time in a generation. Through the exhibition and accompanying public programme visitors will be able to consider different perspectives on the voyages and to reflect on their meaning today.’ 

Laura Walker, co-curator of James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library, said:

‘In the exhibition, visitors will be able to follow the course of each voyage through eyewitness accounts, hand-drawn charts and stunning artwork created on board ship. Alongside these sources, recently commissioned films allow visitors to consider contemporary perspectives on the voyages and to examine their legacy, much of which remains highly contested today.’

The accompanying web space, which will be added to throughout the exhibition run, hosts a range of newly digitised collection items, audio-visual content and articles by academics, artists, journalists and community historians who present their views and responses to the Library’s exhibition and collections.

The British Library will also be hosting a series of photographs by Crystal Te Moananui-Squares, which present a contemporary encounter with Pacific communities in the United Kingdom as a creative response to the exhibition. The free display, entitled Tūhuratanga - Voyages of Discovery, will be located in the Library’s Second Floor Gallery from 6 July to 23 September 2018.

There will be a full programme of events, including talks, discussions and film screenings, inspired by the exhibition. April to June events can be found on the British Library’s What’s On pages, with a full programme of events available on request. Highlights include:

James Cook: The Voyages is supported by PONANT Yacht Cruises & Expeditions and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Image: 'A View of the Endeavour’s Watering Place in the Bay of Good Success’ by Alexander Buchan, 1769 (c) British Library Board.

 

Amherst, MA — Together, Leo and Diane Dillon created illustrations of extraordinary beauty and cultural resonance, illuminating global stories of diverse subjects--from the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears to the paperback covers of classic children's literature. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon, on view from May 26, 2018 through November 25, 2018 in the Central Gallery.

Born 11 days apart on opposite sides of the country, Leo Dillon (1933-2012) and Diane Sorber (b. 1933) met as students at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where they became instant rivals and steadfast partners in life and art. They worked in concert for 50 years, demonstrating remarkable versatility and a mastery of media. No single style defines their art; they skillfully adopted different modes of expression to best illustrate each narrative. 

The Dillons are the only artists ever to win the Caldecott Medal in back-to-back years, and the exhibition features original art from those two distinguished books: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (1976) and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977). They produced art together in their Brooklyn brownstone, collaborating on every piece until Leo's passing in 2012. In a 2015 interview, Diane said, "We came to the concept of the 'third artist,' which was the combination of the two of us doing something that neither one of us could do separately. We would look at a piece after we finished it, and it'd be impossible for us to figure out who did what." The family collaboration extended to their son Lee, who sculpted several customized frames for his parents work, including the 50th edition cover art for C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the exhibition, a drawing activity emphasizes the art of collaboration by inviting visitors to work together on a shared picture.

Twenty-three titles are represented in A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon, three of which Leo and Diane authored. Diane's first solo effort, I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't (2018), is also featured. The Dillon's extraordinary amalgamation of imagery illustrates African, Japanese, Inuit, and West Indian folklore, mythologies, and Biblical stories. Many of their books address African and African-American history. They dedicated themselves to portraying children of color so young readers could see themselves reflected in stories. As Leo noted in a 2002 interview, "We're an interracial couple, and we decided early in our career that we wanted to represent all races and show people that were rarely seen in children's books at the time." They illustrated the words of dozens of authors, including notable Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton, and fastidiously researched the cultures they portrayed.

"There is an astonishing range of emotions and artistic styles presented in the exhibition," says Ellen Keiter, the Museum's chief curator. "Some stories, like Jazz on a Saturday Night (2007), provide a joyful dance through history while others, such as The People Could Fly (2004) and Never Forgotten (2011), depict the haunting horrors of slavery." The Dillon's used acrylic, oil, watercolor, collage, pastel, gold leaf, and other media to create their imagery. Whatever the format or varied subject matter, their illustration is proof of their ability to master visual storytelling.

Gallery Talk:

A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon

Thursday, May 31, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Join Chief Curator Ellen Keiter for a guided gallery talk. A book signing with Diane Dillon and a light reception in the Great Hall will follow.  Free with Museum Admission, reservations suggested; call 413-559-6336.

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.

america-4-1920x1000-hero.jpgLos Angeles — The Annenberg Space for Photography, a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography, announced its next exhibition - Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library

The exhibition, running from April 21 through September 9, 2018, is a collection of nearly 500 images - discovered within a collection of more than 14 million pictures - permanently housed in the world's largest library at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Put together by the distinguished photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, the exhibition features the image entitled "Not an Ostrich" and a large selection of rare and handpicked works from the vaults of the library, many never widely available to the public. Each picture documents a special moment in America's culture and history. Tucker, named "America's Best Curator" by TIME, was granted special access to the photographic archives at the Library of Congress.

The images selected for Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library span three centuries of photography (1800s, 1900s, 2000s), simultaneously telling America's story through evocative imagery, while revealing the evolution of photography itself - from daguerreotypes, the first publicly available photographic process, to contemporary digital images. The exhibition's name, Not an Ostrich, refers to an actual image included in the collection - a photo of actress Isla Bevan holding a "Floradora Goose" at the 41st Annual Poultry Show at Madison Square Garden - and hints at the unexpected and unusual artifacts collected at the Library of Congress over its 218-year history, some of which will be on display inside the Annenberg Space for Photography.

Other pictures among the hundreds on display: The Wright brothers' first flight, the earliest known portrait of Harriet Tubman, Harry Houdini bound in chains for a magic trick, action scenes from Vietnam War protests, Ku Klux Klan demonstrations, and an image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. 

Not an Ostrich marks the first time an exhibition of this scale, featuring a selection of photographs from the Library of Congress, has been displayed on the West Coast, and represents a fraction of the Library's full collection as a way for visitors to rediscover one of America's most important cultural institutions. The full exhibition will include over 440 photographs from 1839 to the present, by 148 photographers - displayed both physically and digitally - including the works of Sharon Farmer, Donna Ferrato, Carol M. Highsmith, Danny Lyon, Camilo José Vergara, and Will Wilson, who will also be featured in the exhibit's original documentary produced by the Annenberg Foundation in partnership with Arclight Productions.

"The exhibit Anne Tucker has put together is one that truly reflects America in images. Each photograph exposes us to just a fraction of the millions of American stories held in the Library of Congress, from the iconic to the absurd," said Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg. "Though cameras and technology have changed over the years, this exhibition shows us that nothing captures a moment, a time, or a story like a photograph."

"What a pleasure and an honor it was to work with the Library of Congress selecting these photographs. Glamour, worship, invention, bravery, humor, cruelty and love - this collection of photographs preserves all examples of our humanity as well as chronicling America's history in extraordinary photographs. The Library is an inexhaustible trove available for anyone to explore," said Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator Emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

"The Library of Congress not only collects and preserves America's cultural heritage but also works to make those comprehensive collections accessible to as many people as possible. I am so thrilled about this opportunity to present the Library's rich photography collection at the Annenberg Space for Photography," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "I hope photography and history enthusiasts around Los Angeles and beyond who visit this unprecedented exhibition will have their curiosity piqued about all that is available to them at their national library."

Not an Ostrich will remain on display from April 21 through September 9, 2018. Visitors can access the exhibition with free admission Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM, at the Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067). For more information about Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library visit: https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/not-an-ostrich

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.27.05 AM.pngNew York—Renowned for his portraiture and depictions of rural landscapes, the eighteenth-century British artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is best known as a painter. However, he was also a draftsman of rare ability who extended the traditional boundaries of drawing technique, inspiring an entire generation of British artists such as John Constable (1776-1837) and J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851). 

Beginning May 11, the Morgan Library & Museum presents an exhibition solely focused on Gainsborough’s works on paper, bringing together twenty-two outstanding examples in graphite, chalk, oil paint, and other media. Included in the show, which runs through August 19, are preparatory studies, finished works, and exercises made for the artist’s own enjoyment.

“As with many artists, Thomas Gainsborough used the medium of drawing to experiment and explore,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Famous in his day for his paintings of members of the British aristocracy and gentry, he eagerly turned to drawing as a respite from his portrait work. It allowed him the freedom to pursue his passion for rendering nature and scenes of country life utilizing new stylistic effects in color, line, and material. The Morgan is pleased to present its first exhibition on this important aspect of Gainsborough’s art.”

THE EXHIBITION

The Career of a Portrait Painter

Thomas Gainsborough trained in London, where he displayed an innate talent for drawing and painting. The artist’s earliest figure drawing, A Boy with a Book and a Spade (1748), served as a study for the signboard of a village school. Minor commissions such as this were a primary source of income for a novice painter like Gainsborough as he tried to establish his career. 

In Bath, where he moved in 1759, Gainsborough emerged as the era’s most fashionable and successful portraitist. There he became fascinated with the effects of light on fabric, often using black chalk to explore different tonal solutions. His renderings of sitters’ expressions and the rich texture of their clothing led to his reputation as the Anthony van Dyck of his time.

Gainsborough would later create figure studies with models in different poses, using inventive techniques intended to capture the viewers’ eye in an instant. In Lady Walking in a Garden (ca. 1785, see page 1), the woman’s translucent silk dress is a technical tour de force: the artist superimposed fine veils of white and yellow chalk, applied both wet and dry, imitating the feathery brushstrokes that characterize his paintings.

Despite his commercial success as a figure painter, later in life Gainsborough wanted to escape from what had become for him the routine of portraiture and business life. “I am sick of Portraits” he complained in a letter to a friend, “and I wish very much to. . . walk off to some sweet village where I can . . . enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness and ease.” 

A Passion for Creating Landscapes 

Gainsborough would come to devote much of his time to creating landscapes of his own invention on paper. Laying out stones, branches, leaves, and soil of various colors on his worktable, he assembled and drew landscapes in his studio.

In his quest for original effects, the artist often looked to rugged terrain, contrasts of light and shade, and the nuances of shadow resulting from the changing seasons. He explored the rolling topography of natural settings and gothic, shadowy atmospheres in his early years. They offered him almost limitless compositional possibilities as he simultaneously conducted his technical experiments: for instance, he immersed his paper in milk and varnished it to give his landscape drawings a transparent tint. 

In the mid-1770s, Gainsborough increasingly experimented with drawing by mixing different media and applying varnish to surfaces to produce landscapes that mimicked the visual effects of oil paintings. In the following decade, he would go on to produce variations of similar compositions drawn mainly in black and white chalk: serpentine, asymmetrical landscapes with moving skies, windswept trees, solitary animals, and scenes of agrarian life.

Gainsborough also embraced printmaking. By combining different etching techniques, he produced prints in imitation of his drawings, replicating on the surface of the copper plate the same variety of textural and tonal effects that characterize his chalk drawings. He turned to aquatint to evoke the transparency of the sky and water, as seen in Wooded Landscape with Cows beside a Pool (1755-1780), a rare print from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Toward the end of his career, he began favoring concepts rather than depicting a realistic view. In Figures in a Wooded Landscape, (1785-88), trees, animals and rocks lose their shape, and parts of the landscape veer toward pure abstraction.

Gainsborough’s experiments subverted the academic conventions of drawing—by combining techniques and materials, he called into question the distinction between drawing and painting. His technical achievements became a paradigm for British art for the whole of the eighteenth century, and his later works in particular influenced the near abstract compositions of the next generation of British artists. Always in fierce pursuit of the “new” in drawing, Gainsborough lamented on his deathbed that he was “to leave life just as he was beginning to do something with his art.” 

Publication

The accompanying catalogue, Thomas Gainsborough: Experiments in Drawing, features full-page reproductions of seventeen works in the exhibition, a foreword by director Colin B. Bailey, and essays by Moore Curatorial Fellow Marco Simone Bolzoni and conservator Reba F. Snyder. 

Author: Marco Simone Bolzoni; Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing; 84 pages 

 

Hyde-Print_Beowulf copy.jpgGlens Falls, NY—Rockwell Kent was a polarizing figure: An acclaimed artist and printmaker, a household name as traveler and author, his private mores scandalized family and friends, his social activism his political adversaries. His politics garnered him a certain degree of notoriety, while his art earned him critical acclaim. On Sunday, April 8, The Hyde Collection will open two exhibitions of the artist's works in three mediums.

Rockwell Kent: Prints from the Ralf C. Nemec Collection includes fifty-two prints and a selection of ceramics by Kent; A Life and Art of His Own: Paintings from North Country Collections features thirty-seven paintings drawn from Plattsburgh State University's Art Museum and private collectors throughout the North Country

"Kent was a Renaissance man in a century of specialists," said Caroline Welsh, director emerita of Adirondack Experience. The Adirondack art expert is guest curator of A Life and Art of His Own. "Over his lifetime, he created in almost every medium."

Kent (1882 - 1971) traveled extensively to Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, Newfoundland, Alaska, and other remote locations, transporting viewers to the rugged extremes of wilderness. His distinctive style emerged in the early 1900s and seemed inspired by the grand landscapes of the cold, bleak climes he found among the faraway mountains to which he traveled.

Many of his works were centered on the inherent good of man and nature, and the relationship between them. "Americans were simultaneously in awe of nature's power and confident of their ability to harness it to build a better future," said Jonathan Canning, director of curatorial affairs and programming at The Hyde Collection.

Kent's Modernism appealed to a large following, allowing him a successful career in major metropolitan areas despite living in rural Au Sable Forks (Clinton and Essex counties) for forty-three years. Drawn by what he deemed "humanist wilderness," he moved to the Adirondacks in 1928, building Asgaard Farm with views of Whiteface Mountain and the surrounding High Peaks. 

Among those to whom Kent's work speaks is collector Ralf C. Nemec of Deer Park, Long Island. Nemec owns the largest collection of Kent prints in the world. "The catalogue raisonne has approximately 155 prints and I'm about nine shy of that," he said.

Organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, California, the exhibition at The Hyde will be the most extensive drawn from Nemec's still-growing collection. 

Kent was an author, illustrator, painter, printmaker, and ceramicist. He studied architecture at Columbia University, painted under William Merritt Chase at Shinnecock Hills School, and studied painting with Robert Henri at the New York School of Art with classmates that included George Bellows and Edward Hopper (both of whom are represented in The Hyde's permanent collection).

Kent's painting, woodcuts, and prints fascinated viewers with portrayals of some of the earth's remotest places. Later in his career, he illustrated books, including such classic literature as Moby Dick and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

Kent's political views, however, put him at odds with many in his adopted home of the Adirondacks during the McCarthy era. "He was a great patriot and very vocal about his strong belief in social rights," Canning said. "That led to Kent being labeled a socialist, making him a controversial figure."

His career survived, though, and he had great success commercially from his home in Au Sable Forks. A Life and Art of His Own includes several paintings that are rarely exhibited, some of which are drawn from collectors in the Adirondacks. 

"There is such optimism and confidence in Rockwell Kent's imagery of man and nature," Canning said. "The clarity of his Modernist vision, evident in Mr. Nemec's superlative collection, will resonate with contemporary North Country residents."

Image: Rockwell Kent (American, 1882-1971), Beowulf: Hand Holding Sword, 1931, lithograph, 7 9/32 x 7 3/16 in., Collection of Ralf C. Nemec. By Permission of Plattsburgh State Art Museum, State University of New York.

The New York Public Library will join the City University of New York Graduate Center and the Morgan Library & Museum to present a series of simultaneous exhibitions, titled Shared Sacred Sites. The displays at each institution will highlight historic material representing holy places and holy figures of mutual significance to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The series has been curated by Karen Barkey, the Haas Distinguished Chair of Religious Diversity and Professor of Sociology at University of California, Berkeley, Dionigi Albera, Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research, and Manoël Pénicaud Anthropologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research. 

Opening March 27 in the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building’s Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery, the Library’s exhibition examines the history and association between the three Abrahamic faiths through important religious texts held at the 42nd Street Library. The prominent subjects of Jerusalem, Abraham, Moses, Mary, Elijah—who is identified with St. George and Khidr—and others are portrayed by 50 items that communicate religious experiences from different perspectives.

The exhibition will feature manuscripts, books, drawings, photographs, including a hand-colored foldout panorama of 15th-century Jerusalem in what is  considered the first illustrated travel guide, an exquisite Renaissance Book of Hours with images of Mary, a series of prints by Tiepolo, two illuminated manuscript editions of the Islamic Stories of the Prophets, and 19th-century archaeological photographs by Francis Frith and Félix Bonfils.

At the CUNY Graduate Center’s Amie and Tony James Gallery, Shared Sacred Sites focuses on the contemporary practices of Jews, Christians or Muslims who choose to worship in the same holy places with documentaries, photography, ethnographic material and contemporary art. Visitors to the exhibition will discover contemporary situations in several locations, like the cities of Bethlehem, Ephesus, Haifa, Hebron, and Istanbul, the Mount Carmel, the island of Djerba.

The Morgan Library & Museum will exhibit the renowned Morgan Picture Bible. The 13th-century illustrated Old Testament was originally designed in France without text. But, as the book was circulated across civilizations, explanatory captions in Latin, Persian and Judeo-Persian were added by members of the three Abrahamic faiths, creating a manuscript that is not only beautiful but a testament to exchanges between cultures. The multilingual commentary on shared Biblical stories reveals how they were popularized as they became part of the Christian Bible and the Qur’an.

Throughout the world, our discourse on civility and inclusion has been shattered by divisive rhetoric. The Shared Sacred Sites Project puts forward a powerful story of tolerance and cross-faith, cross-cultural co-existence. The project strives to be a critical exhibition on cross cultural coexistence where we explore the possibility of sharing sacred sites between Jews, Christians and Muslims. This project aims to bring an alternative narrative to this contemporary public discourse of estrangement, separation and religious hatred of the other.

In celebration of the Shared Sacred Sites project, the Library will host a conversation with Cheik Khaled Bentounès, Rabbi Rolando Matalon and Minister and Theologian Cláudio Carvalhaes, moderated by Anisa Mehdi, acclaimed journalist and filmmaker and director of the Abraham’s Path Initiative. The three faith leaders will discuss the relationship between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, exploring notions of mutual tolerance and how each religion can promote “living together in peace.”

Before New York, different versions of Shared Sacred Sites were presented at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations (Mucem) in Marseille (2015), at the Bardo Museum in Tunis (2016), and in Thessaloniki (2017), Paris (2017), and Marrakesh (2018). These exhibits share a common core, yet they also are new as interpretations of the local context and the treasures of the institutions involved.

Screen Shot 2018-03-21 at 8.22.17 AM.pngKansas City, MO-The Big Picture: A Transformative Gift from the Hall Family Foundation opens April 28 at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. The exhibition coincides with the 75th anniversary of the Hall Family Foundation and features nearly 100 newly acquired photographs purchased with a special $10 million grant given to the Nelson-Atkins by the Foundation. More than 800 photographs were purchased with the gift from 2015-2017.

“This exhibition is the first opportunity for our visitors to discover the great works we acquired over the past three years, thanks to the incredible gift from the Hall Family Foundation,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “With this gift, the Nelson-Atkins has significantly enhanced its stature as one of the greatest repositories of the history of photography. Scholars will be able to study the depth of our collection, and art lovers will enjoy this collection for many years to come.”

The acquisition process and the selection of works in The Big Picture were a collaborative effort by the photography department’s Keith F. Davis, senior curator; April M. Watson, curator; and Jane L. Aspinwall, associate curator. Davis has overseen the Hallmark Photographic Collection for nearly 40 years. He arrived in Kansas City after interning at the George Eastman House in 1979 to begin a six-month stint as cataloguer of the collection; he never left.

“This gift has allowed us to take a nationally-renowned collection and bring it up a full notch,” said Davis. “We built up our holding of 19th and 20th century American and European work, and made major strides with international contemporary pieces. We were  really able to acquire great things across the board.”

The Hall Family Foundation has supported a great variety of programs and initiatives that effect positive change in the greater Kansas City community. The Foundation’s president, William A. Hall, said, “The Foundation began in 1943, and has made significant contributions to the Kansas City area for 75 years. Donald J. Hall has been consistent in his support of excellence over the years, and the photography collection at the Nelson-Atkins is excellent.”

The special $10 million gift allowed the curators to build on the collection’s existing strengths—primarily its broad holding of American daguerreotypes and paper photographs—and to enhance its representation of 19th-and 20th-century European and contemporary international works. These new acquisitions span the entire history of the medium, from an 1826 print by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography, to a 2016 work by legendary musician and artist Patti Smith. Many of history’s most famous names are represented, including Nadar, Gustave Le Gray, Edward Steichen, Jaromir Funke, Claude Cahun, Alfred Eisenstadt, Dorothea Lange, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Frank, and Diane Arbus. Also represented are leading contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman, Paul Graham, Ellsworth Kelly, Carrie Mae Weems, Dayanita Singh, Ilit Azoulay, Thomas Struth, Candida Hofer, and Thomas Demand. This three-year initiative has resulted in the addition of more than 800 objects, made over a span of 190 years, by artists from more than a dozen countries.

In December 2005, Hallmark transferred its entire photographic collection of 6,500 works to the Nelson-Atkins. The museum’s photographic holdings immediately expanded from 1,000 to 7,500 works and now numbers about 15,000. Since 2006, the Hall Family Foundation has provided vital support for this department.

The Big Picture, April 28-Oct. 7, 2018, highlights about 100 of the most significant of these acquisitions and will be presented in all 3,000 sq. ft. of the museum’s dedicated photography galleries. The exhibition will be accompanied by a small publication authored by Davis on the history of photography at the museum, at Hallmark, and in the Kansas City community.

Image: Albert Sands Southworth (1811-1894) and Josiah Johnson Hawes (1808-1901). Portrait of a young girl, ca. 1850. Daguerreotype, 8 1/2 × 6 1/2 inches. Gift of the Hall Family Foundation, 56.2017.2.

Amherst, MA -- In 1970, Eric Carle published The Tiny Seed, which chronicles the life cycle of a plant across the four seasons. It was the first of many stories he would illustrate about the wonders of nature at all times of year. The Art of Eric Carle: Seasons celebrates five decades of Carle's seasonal imagery, from hibernating bears in winter and hatching chicks in spring to colorful flowers in summer and apple trees ripe for picking in fall. The exhibition, on view April 3 through August 26, 2018, features Carle's iconic collage art from 15 picture books as well as several never-before seen watercolors. It also includes a special display, Eric Loves Bobbie, of personal artwork Carle dedicated to his late wife throughout their 42-year marriage. 

The Art of Eric Carle: Seasons features original art from Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too?, Draw Me a Star, Little Cloud, 10 Little Rubber Ducks, Animals, Animals, and I See a Song, among other titles. Carle's work for other authors, such as Norma B. Green's The Hole in the Dyke, Arnold Sundgaard's The Lamb and the Butterfly, and Alice McLerran's The Mountain that Loved a Bird are also on display. Linoleum prints, which Carle created in 1965 for the cookbook Red-Flannel Hash and Shoo-Fly Pie, are showcased. Also included are several never-before-seen watercolors and unpublished drawings and collages, all providing glimpses into Carle's working method and personal interests.  

There are several activities for guests to enjoy in the gallery. A custom-designed "book garden"--which grows both felted vegetables and real books!--encourages visitors to harvest a story. There are flip-and-find character surprises among the exhibition graphics (including the Very Hungry Caterpillar!). In keeping with the theme of seasons, guests can manipulate felted tree forms to mirror the season they love most. 

Love is a central theme in the mini-exhibition Eric Loves Bobbie. Carle often presented Bobbie with gifts of art to celebrate their anniversary or to mark other special occasions. He shares some of these pieces, including a Christmas portrait of their dog Tock and a sweet Valentine of a cat licking its paw. 

Chief curator Ellen Keiter says the idea for The Art of Eric Carle: Seasons developed while planning for Bobbie's Meadow, a two-year project that will debut in June and honor the Museum's late co-founder. The new outdoor space, in which visitors can experience every season of the year, inspired Keiter to think about the cycles of nature, growth, and renewal--all themes present in the exhibition. "Once I landed on the subject, it was fun to research Eric's artwork of the various animals, plants, and activities associated with the different seasons," says Keiter. "I was particularly excited to discover early floral watercolor paintings and a garden plan Eric sketched for his former home in nearby Hawley." Keiter adds, "I'm eagerly anticipating springtime and the exciting new exhibitions and programs it will bring."

Bobbie's Meadow: A Celebration and Dedication

June 23, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm

Join Eric Carle and Museum staff for a ribbon-cutting and grand opening of Bobbie's Meadow, a new outdoor space in the Museum's orchard. Visit www.carlemuseum.org for more information. 

Wenner scroll (cropped) copy.jpgThe Manuscripts Meet the World: Handwriting from Around the World is the culmination of a months-long partnership between Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) and the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML). This exhibition—which complements HMML’s ongoing lecture series at MCBA exploring the history of the book—showcases manuscript samples from HMML’s extensive collections. The manuscripts in the exhibition hail from around the globe and throughout history, but their purpose is the same: to highlight the universality of handwriting as an inextricable part of human life and creativity. The manuscripts on display will include codices, scrolls, and other book styles from European, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African cultures.

The exhibition runs from March 22 to July 8 in Open Book’s Cowles Literary Commons located at MCBA. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Open Book’s regular hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 am to 8 pm, and Sunday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Founded in 1965 as the Monastic Microfilm Library, HMML initially focused on preserving works from Benedictine monastic libraries in Austria in reaction to Cold War-era tensions. After decades of successful work throughout Europe, it eventually broadened its cultural focus. Because of HMML’s early preservation work with Christian manuscripts, scholars around the world have access to manuscripts that document Western Europe’s history and culture from the early modern period. In 2003, HMML broadened its focus and began digitizing Islamic manuscript collections and secular documents with themes ranging from science and medicine to music. The Manuscripts Meet the World exemplifies this inclusivity and recognizes HMML and MCBA’s shared appreciation of the written word.

Located at Saint John’s University in Collegeville, HMML is a non-profit organization whose mission is to identify, digitally photograph, catalog and archive endangered manuscripts belonging to threatened communities around the world. Having formed partnerships with over 540 libraries and archives, HMML has photographically preserved over 250,000 manuscripts from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and India.

HMML is currently preserving manuscript collections in many global sites, including Croatia, India, Lebanon, Iraq, Jerusalem, Egypt, Mali, Malta, Montenegro, Ukraine and Yemen. These resources are available online through the vHMML, (Virtual HMML), HMML’s online resource for manuscript research.  

HMML is also the home of The Saint John’s Bible, a handwritten, hand-illuminated Bible commissioned by Saint John’s Abbey and University commissioned in 1998. Other rare manuscripts and books in HMML’s collections include early prints of the Bible and Qur’an, liturgical texts, book art, and medieval manuscript fragments. Local, national, and international news outlets including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, CBS’ 60 Minutes, and BBC World News Service have recognized HMML’s work to preserve and make accessible the world’s manuscript collections.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

Neff_125 copy.jpgThe Bibliophile as Bookbinder:  The Angling Bindings of S.A. Neff, Jr., a new exhibit exploring one man’s passion for the natural world and the world of books, will open with a reception on Friday, February 23 from 6-9pm at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.  The show will continue for two months, and a comprehensive retrospective catalogue and forty-seven minute documentary will accompany the exhibition.

Over five decades ago, Mr. Neff began a serious pursuit of trout fishing and collecting books on the art of angling.  His travels took him to some of the most picturesque and challenging trout rivers in this country and abroad.  His collection of angling books grew into a proper library of three thousand volumes—the oldest dating from 1554—with a focus on fly-fishing for trout and salmon.

In the early 1980s, Mr. Neff transitioned from a career in graphic design to fine bookbinding.  An autodidact by nature, he began his training with occasional workshops and seminars sponsored by the Guild of Book Workers.  Since 1986, his work has been exhibited in at home and abroad.  

Neff is cognizant of the traditional structures in bookbinding that have evolved over numerous centuries.  He has chosen to embrace rather than negate these traditions.  However, he prefers to stretch the boundaries whenever possible.  For over two decades he has focused his binding efforts exclusively on work for his angling library.  Neff has created sets of bindings with multiple volumes contained in drop-back boxes.  Usually working with goatskin, the design on the box serves as an introduction to its contents.  Even single volumes are housed in a decorative box.  The works range from bindings with intricate pictorial panels of Japanese dyed paper to decorative leather bindings with multiple onlays and elaborate gold tooling. In bridging centuries of binding design, Neff has often focused on modern interpretations of 17th and 18th century panel designs.  His collection of angling bindings is unique in its genre, and will remain intact in perpetuity.

As the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation, Minnesota Center for Book Arts celebrates the book as a vibrant contemporary art form that takes many shapes. From the traditional crafts of papermaking, letterpress printing, and hand bookbinding to experimental artmaking and self-publishing techniques, MCBA supports the limitless creative evolution of book arts through book arts workshops and programming for adults, youth, families, K-12 students, and teachers. MCBA is located in the Open Book building in downtown Minneapolis, alongside partner organizations The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions. To learn more, visit www.mnbookarts.org.

1517421670148.jpgWashington, DC—For more than 40 years, Sally Mann (b. 1951) has made experimental, elegiac, and hauntingly beautiful photographs that explore the overarching themes of existence: memory, desire, death, the bonds of family, and nature's magisterial indifference to human endeavor. What unites this broad body of work—figure studies, landscapes, and architectural views—is that it is all bred of a place, the American South. Using her deep love of her homeland and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, Mann asks powerful, provocative questions—about history, identity, race, and religion—that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings, the first major survey of this celebrated artist to travel internationally, investigates how Mann's relationship with her native land—a place rich in literary and artistic traditions but troubled by history—has shaped her work. The exhibition brings together 115 photographs, many exhibited for the first time. On view in the West Building of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from March 4 through May 28, 2018, the exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, presenting an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art, and a short film highlighting her technical process.

"In her compelling photographs, Mann uses the personal to allude to the universal, considering intimate questions of family, memory, and death while also evoking larger concerns about the influence of the South's past on its present," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art, Washington. "With the acquisition of works from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 2014, the National Gallery is now one of the largest repositories of Mann's photographs. We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the artist in presenting a wide selection of the work she has created over four decades."

Exhibition Support

The exhibition is supported by a generous grant from the Trellis Fund. Additional support is provided by Sally Engelhard Pingree and The Charles Engelhard Foundation.

Exhibition Organization and Curators

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

The exhibition is curated by Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, and Sarah Kennel, The Byrne Family Curator of Photography, Peabody Essex Museum.

Exhibition Tour

*National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 4-May 28, 2018 *Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, June 30-September 23, 2018
*The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, November 20, 2018-February 10, 2019
*Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, March 3-May 27, 2019
*Jeu de Paume, Paris, June 17 -September 22, 2019
*High Museum of Art, Atlanta, October 19, 2019 -January 12, 2020

Exhibition Highlights

The seeds for Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings were planted in 2014, when National Gallery of Art curators undertook a review of photographs from the Corcoran Gallery of Art after its collections were placed under the stewardship of the National Gallery. Among the Corcor­an's works were 25 photographs by Sally Mann, made from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. With the addition of these works, plus several more acquired through purchase, the National Gallery became one of the largest public repositories of Mann's photographs in the country. The curators' interest in mounting an exhibition of Mann's art deepened when they realized that despite her immense talent and prominence, the full range of Mann's work had not yet received sufficient and widespread scholarly and critical atten­tion.

Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is organized into five sections—Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. The exhibition opens with works from the 1980s, when Mann began to photograph her three children at the family's remote summer cabin on the Maury River near Lexington, Virginia. Taken with an 8 x 10 inch view camera, the family picturesrefute the stereotypes of childhood, offering instead unsettling visions of its complexity. Rooted in the experience of a particular natural environment—the arcadian woodlands, rocky cliffs, and languid rivers—these works convey the inextricable link between the family and their land, and the sanctuary and freedom that it provided them.

The exhibition continues in The Land with photographs of the swamplands, fields, and ruined estates Mann encountered as she traveled across Virginia, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi in the 1990s. Hoping to capture what she called the "radical light of the American South," Mann made pictures in Virginia that glow with a tremulous light, while those made in Georgia and Mississippi are more blasted and bleak. In these photographs, Mann was also experimenting with antique lenses and the 19th-century collodion wet plate process and printing in a much larger size (30 x 38 and 40 x 50 inches). The resulting photographic effects, including light flares, vignetting, blurs, streaks and scratches, serve as metaphors for the South as a site of memory, defeat, ruin, and rebirth. Mann then used these same techniques for her photographs of Civil War battlefields in the exhibition's third section, Last Measure. These brooding and elusive pictures evoke the land as history's graveyard, silently absorbing the blood and bones of the many thousands who perished in battles such as Antietam, Appomattox, Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Spotsylvania, and the Wilderness.

The fourth section, Abide with Me, merges four series of photographs to explore how race and history shaped the landscape of Virginia as well as Mann's own childhood and adolescence. Expanding her understanding of the land as not only a vessel for memory but also a story of struggle and survival, Mann made a series of starkly beautiful tintypes between 2006 and 2015 in the Great Dismal Swamp—home to many fugitive slaves in the years before the Civil War—and along nearby rivers in southeastern Virginia where Nat Turner led a rebellion of enslaved people on August 21, 1831. Here, Mann's use of the tintype process—essentially a collodion negative on a sheet of darkened tin—yields a rich, liquid-like surface with deep blacks that mirror the bracken swamp and rivers. Merging her techniques with metaphoric possibilities, she conveyed the region's dual history as the site of slavery and death but also freedom and sanctuary. Mann also photographed numerous 19th-century African American churches near her home in Lexington. Founded in the decades immediately after the Civil War when African Americans in Virginia could worship without the presence of a white minister for the first time, these humble but richly evocative churches seem alive with the spirit that inspired their creation and the memories of those who prayed there.

Also included in Abide with Me are photographs of Virginia "Gee-Gee" Carter, the African American woman who worked for Mann's family for 50 years. A defining and beloved presence in Mann's life, Carter was also the person who taught Mann the profoundly complicated and charged nature of race relations in the South. The final component of this section is a group of pictures of African American men rendered in large prints (50 x 40 inches) made from collodion negatives. Representing Mann's desire to reach across "the seemingly untraversable chasm of race in the American South," these beautiful but provocative photographs examine an "abstract gesture heated up in the crucible of our association," as Bill T. Jones, who in part inspired the series, once said.

The final section of the exhibition, What Remains, explores themes of time, transformation, and death through photographs of Mann and her family. Her enduring fascination with decay and the body's vulnerability to the ravages of time is evident in a series of spectral portraits of her children's faces and intimate photographs detailing the changing body of her husband Larry, who suffers from muscular dystrophy. The exhibition closes with several riveting self-portraits Mann made in the wake of a grave riding accident. Here, her links to southern literature and her preoccupation with decay are in full evidence: the pitted, scratched, ravaged, and cloudy surfaces of the ambrotypes function as analogues for the body's corrosion and death. The impression of the series as a whole is of an artist confronting her own mortality with composure and conviction.

Sally Mann

Born in 1951 in Lexington, Virginia, Sally Mann continues to live and work in Rockbridge County. Mann developed her first roll of film in 1969 and began to work as a professional photographer in 1972. She attended Bennington College, Vermont, and graduated in 1974 with a BA in literature from Hollins College, Roanoke, Virginia where she earned an MA in creative writing the following year. She has exhibited widely and published her photographs in the books Second Sight: The Photographs of Sally Mann (1983), Sweet Silent Thought: Platinum Prints by Sally Mann (1987), At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women (1988), Immediate Family (1992), Still Time (1994), Mother Land: Recent Landscapes of Georgia and Virginia (1997), What Remains (2003), Deep South (2005), Sally Mann: Photographs and Poetry (2005), Proud Flesh (2009), Sally Mann: The Flesh and the Spirit (2010), and Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington (2016). Mann's best selling memoir, Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs (2015), was a finalist for the National Book Award. She has received numerous honors as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2011 Mann delivered the prestigious William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization at Harvard University.

Catalog and Related Programs

Published by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, in association with Abrams, this richly illustrated monograph constitutes an in-depth exploration of the evolution of Mann's art through its five sections: Family, The Land, Last Measure, Abide with Me, and What Remains. Plate sections are enriched by the inclusion of quotations by Mann herself and by her most beloved authors. Essays by curators Sarah Greenough and Sarah Kennel analyze Mann's photographic development in concert with her literary interests and Mann's family photographs, respectively. In their valuable contributions, Hilton Als, New Yorker staff writer and recipient of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Criticism; Malcolm Daniel, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and Drew Gilpin Faust, president and Lincoln Professor of History, Harvard University, explore literary and photographic responses to racism in the South; Mann's debt to 19th-century photographers and techniques; and the landscape as repository of cultural and personal memory. Featuring 230 color illustrations, the 332-page catalog is available in hardcover at shop.nga.gov, or by calling (800) 697-9350 or (202) 842-6002; faxing (202) 789-3047; or emailing mailorder@nga.gov.

Lecture
Introduction to the Exhibition
March 4 at 2:00 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Sarah Greenough, senior curator and head of the department of photographs, National Gallery of Art

Public Symposium
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
April 14 at 10:30 a.m.
East Building Auditorium
Illustrated lectures by noted scholars
Made possible by the James D. and Kathryn K. Steele Fund for Photography.

Documentary Film
An eight-minute documentary demonstrating Mann's artistic process is screened in the exhibition.

Image: Sally Mann, Oak Hill Baptist 01:01, 2008-2016, gelatin silver print, collection of the artist, image © Sally Mann

 

PaddingtonCC.jpgAmherst, MA—Sixty years ago, the story of a bear from Darkest Peru found a place in children's literary history when William Collins published A Bear Called Paddington. This coming April, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is proud to be the first American museum to feature the beloved bear in Paddington Comes to America. This exhibition is on view from April 14th through October 7th and is generously supported by HarperCollins Children's Books and YOTTOY Productions. 

On Christmas Eve in 1956, Michael Bond spotted a lonely bear in a London shop. He took it home as a present for his wife and they named it Paddington, after the nearby railway station. Michael, then working as a BBC cameraman, began writing a story about the bear. Bond recalled, "After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn't written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind of things I liked reading about when I was young." A Bear Called Paddington was first published in 1958. 

Bond continued writing and 15 Paddington novels, numerous picture books, and many compilations and gift editions have been published since. Today, more than 35 million Paddington books have been sold worldwide and they have been translated into 40 different languages, including Latin. For the last 37 years of his life, Bond lived in London, not far from Paddington Station where it all began. He continued to write until shortly before his death in June 2017 at age 91.

Paddington Comes to America brings together copies of notes from one of Bond's notebooks, his typewriter, first edition books, memorabilia, and 70 original illustrations by six artists, including a black-and-white line drawing by Peggy Fortnum, the first artist to create a visual image of Paddington. Eager for Paddington to be convincing, Fortnum visited the London Zoo to sketch and photograph bears. She described her challenges: "The line has to be expressive. I do lots of drawings. Humorous drawing is more difficult than any other kind of drawing." Fortnum's charming illustrations, matching the warmth of Bond's story, made the idea of a talking bear from Peru seem perfectly reasonable. Bond said of Fortnum: "She thought very highly of Paddington, as I did of her. It was a happy combination."

In the seventies and eighties, several illustrators worked on various Paddington projects. In 1972, Bond wrote the first in a series of books for younger readers. These picture books required a more detailed illustrative style than the novels and Fred Banbery was hired as the artist. Banbery illustrated six Paddington picture books. Museum visitors can view his watercolors from Paddington at the Seaside in the exhibition.  

In 1975, illustrator and animator Ivor Wood designed the puppet for the original Paddington television series. Wood also developed a drawn cartoon strip of Paddington that the London Evening News published in the late 1970s. Wood's drawings appeared on a number of products that were licensed around the same time, including a successful stationery line. His six illustrations on view show his penchant for bright colors and bold outlines.   

In the 1980s David McKee, who was already well known for writing and illustrating his own books, including King Rollo, Elmer, and Mr. Benn, was hired as the new artist for Paddington. Seven of McKee's paintings from Paddington at the Zoo are showcased in the exhibition. Barry Macey, who was an in-house artist with Paddington & Co., Ltd., created the artwork for much of the older products and some of the prints. His illustrations from Paddington in the Hot Seat, Paddington Passes Through, and Paddington Takes a Cut are on display. 

Paddington Comes to America also features the work of New England artist R. W. Alley. In 1997 Alley was commissioned to illustrate a new series of Paddington picture books by HarperCollins for an American audience. His version of Paddington worked so well that, two decades later, Alley continues to illustrate the Paddington books. He worked closely with Bond to develop the visual look of each story. Alley notes the author's openness to change: Bond insisted the first book be re-illustrated to reflect a major renovation at Paddington Station. And although Paddington never ages, he is always relevant for the time. Alley's art from more than 20 Paddington picture books is on exhibit, along with some of his preliminary sketches and dummy books. 

Paddington's status as a cultural icon does not go unnoticed in the exhibition. On view are copies of stills from the 1970s stop-motion television series as well as images from the two recent blockbuster Paddington movies. A display of limited-edition plush bears includes a Gabrielle bear. Gabrielle was the first company to create a Paddington bear and was responsible for giving Paddington his Wellington boots, to help him stand up. 

Surely one of the highlights for guests to Paddington Comes to America is a recreated double-decker bus. Guests are invited to board the "hop on/hop off" bus, which also doubles as a reading area. Young visitors will receive special Paddington London Bus Passes and will be encouraged to learn more about the famous sites in London featured around the gallery, having their passes stamped at each location.  

Programming:  

Members Reception: Paddington Comes to America

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 5:00 pm Reception; 6:15 pm Paddington Bear at 60, with Paddington Bear Illustrator R. W. Alley. Members RSVP by April 16 to Jenny Darling Stasinos at membership@carlemuseum.org.

Gallery Talk with R. W. Alley and Ellen Keiter

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 1:00pm. Free with Museum Admission. 

Join Artist R. W. Alley and Chief Curator Ellen Keiter for a gallery talk in the special exhibition Paddington Comes to America, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the iconic Paddington Bear.

Special Storytime: R. W. Alley**

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2:00 pm. Free with Museum admission. 

R. W. Alley has illustrated over one hundred books for children and, for the past twenty years, has illustrated Michael Bond's Paddington books in all their formats. Join us for a special story time and drawing demonstration with Alley as he reads one of the charming Paddington picture books. 

**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.

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: R. W. Alley, Illustration for A Bear Called Paddington, HarperCollins, 2007. Courtesy of the artist. © R. W. Alley 2018.

1510845370992.jpgWashington, DC—One of the most innovative Italian books of the early baroque period, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, published in 1612, illustrates the experiences of Saint Francis and the buildings of the Franciscan community at La Verna. Drawing from the Gallery's rich holdings of works with Franciscan imagery, Heavenly Earth: Images of Saint Francis at La Verna contextualizes this publication alongside some 30 traditional representations from the late 15th through the mid-18th century. Heavenly Earth will be on view on the ground floor of the West Building from February 25 through July 8, 2018.

"We are very fortunate to have two copies of the first edition of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "This exhibition offers a special opportunity to share outstanding prints depicting Franciscan themes from the permanent collection as well as from the Kirk Edward Long Collection."

In September 1224, in the wilderness of La Verna, a mountain in the Casentino Valley in Tuscany, Francis of Assisi began a 40-day fast and contemplation of Christ's Passion, during which he prayed to share in Christ's suffering. The legendary answer was a fiery, six-winged seraph enfolding the figure of a man on a cross. When the seraph departed, Francis's body was imprinted with the crucifixion wounds of Christ, which the friar bore for the remaining two years of his life. Francis's mystical union and unprecedented stigmatization on La Verna was a critical event in Western spirituality and proved to be the effective birth of modern monasticism. La Verna is an active monastery today and is the second most holy site for the Franciscan Order, after Assisi.

Exhibition Organization and Support

The exhibition is organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.

Exhibition Highlights

On view in the exhibition will be two first-edition copies of the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia, acquired by the Gallery in 2012 and 2013. In 1608, Brother Lino Moroni invited the head of the Florentine Accademia del Disegno and gifted draftsman and painter Jacopo Ligozzi to illustrate not just Francis's experiences on the mountain but also the area's topography and the buildings of the Franciscan community established there. The resulting work, the Descrizione del Sacro Monte della Vernia (1612), combined meticulous observation and unique vantage points in a set of 22 illustrations, which were then engraved by Raffaello Schiaminossi and Domenico Falcini. Five of the engravings include overslips—paper tabs showing the contemporary topography that, when lifted, reveal an earlier view of the landscape.

Other highlights in the exhibition include early works such as the refined miniature leaf Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata (1470s) by Cosmè Tura as well as anonymous woodcuts, which demonstrate the variety of early artistic interpretations of the stigmatization. Later prints after paintings by Federico Barocci and Peter Paul Rubens incorporate specific visual details of the event based on accounts published in I Fioretti di San Francesco and its appended Considerazione, translated into Italian in 1477. Although the majority of works feature Saint Francis receiving the stigmata at La Verna, the exhibition also includes a range of Franciscan iconographic themes popular in the Counter-Reformation, such as the saint's rapt prayers in the wilderness, his devotion to the Madonna and child, and the Pardon of Assisi.

Exhibition Curator

The exhibition is curated by Ginger Hammer, assistant curator, department of old master prints, National Gallery of Art.

Image: Cosmè Tura, Saint Francis Receiving the Stigmata, 1470s miniature on vellum National Gallery of Art, Washington, Rosenwald Collection

 

ca-sycamore_500.jpgSan Marino, CA — One of the planet's most important and beautiful resources—its trees—will be spotlighted in a traveling exhibition of contemporary botanical artworks, on view May 19-Aug. 27, 2018, at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. "Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens" is organized by The New York Botanical Garden and the American Society of Botanical Artists. It is their third triennial exhibition. 

"Out of the Woods" highlights the role public gardens and arboreta play in engaging visitors with trees and their ecological and utilitarian roles. It also underscores the conservation, research, and scholarship being undertaken by these public institutions. 

The juried show includes 43 artworks, selected from a field of more than 200 submissions, each one depicting a tree cultivated in a public collection in locations spanning five continents. Specimens from small county arboreta are displayed alongside those from some of the world's most renowned botanical gardens, including The Huntington (as well as its nearby neighbor, the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia).

Working in watercolor, oil, graphite, colored pencil, and ink, these international artists have depicted everything from seedpods to bark to an entire forest floor. 

"By bringing these subjects to life through their work, this extraordinary group of botanical artists creates new pathways for communicating the beauty and value of plants to contemporary life," said James Folsom, the Telleen/Jorgensen Director of the Botanical Gardens at The Huntington. "I can't think of a more critical time than now to be hosting this show and talking about this topic."

While historically botanical illustration served the scientific purpose of helping to identify and categorize plants, today it plays a significant role in educating the public about the importance of conservation. It's an increasingly urgent subject: worldwide, trees are being destroyed by deforestation, development, and the effects of climate change. The urgency resonates locally, as well: trees throughout Southern California—including many on the grounds of The Huntington—are being lost in alarming numbers to invasive pests and diseases. Botanical gardens and arboreta are at the forefront of the fight to save them. (To cite just one example: The Huntington's staff is working closely with other experts to collect data on a tiny but destructive beetle, the polyphagous shot hole borer, and collaborating on ways to address that threat.)

The planet's own well-being relies heavily on its trees: they help clean the air and moderate temperatures, provide habitat and food for animals, absorb storm water and prevent erosion, and contribute to the health of the environment in countless other ways.

"With our growing understanding of global climate issues, trees' importance to our very survival is becoming clearer," said Carol Woodin, director of exhibitions for the American Society of Botanical Artists. "Trees breathe life into us both literally and figuratively. Botanical artists are responding to this, with many in this exhibition professing a particular connection with their subjects."

A number of the trees depicted in "Out of the Woods" are familiar species that viewers will recognize from their own neighborhoods and home gardens, such as the California Sycamore (Platanus racemosa), by artist Deborah Friedman, who created her detailed study of the tree's leaves, flowers, seed balls, and bark from a specimen at The Huntington. Others are more exotic, such as the Screw-Pine (Pandanus utilis), by artist Margaret Best, captured in the Bermuda Arboretum in Devonshire, Bermuda; or the Soursop Tree (Annona muricata) by Wendy Hollender, from the McBryde Garden, National Tropical Botanical Garden in Koloa, Hawaii. Even the bonsai form is represented: the show's Gold Medal winner is a stunning oil painting of a Black Pine Half-Cascade-Style Bonsai (Pinus nigra), by artist Asuka Hishiki, from a tree in the collection of the Omiya Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama, Japan.

"Out of the Woods" opened at the New York Botanical Garden (Nov 18, 2017-April 22, 2018) and will travel to three other venues around the country following its stop at The Huntington: Foundry Art Centre, St. Charles, Missouri (Oct. 5-Dec. 28, 2018); Tucson Botanical Garden, Tucson, Arizona (Jan. 25-April 13, 2019); and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska, Minnesota (May 9-Aug. 13, 2019). 

The exhibition will be on view during regular public hours in the Flora-Legium gallery in The Huntington's Brody Botanical Center.

Exhibition Catalog: "Out of the Woods: Celebrating Trees in Public Gardens" is accompanied by a full-color catalog published by the New York Botanical Garden. 60 pages; paperback. $12. Available in the Huntington Store. thehuntingtonstore.org.

Related program: Drop-in family activities centered around botanical art will be offered in the Brody Botanical Center every Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. throughout the run of the exhibition. The activities will be facilitated by members of the Botanical Artists' Guild of Southern California (BAGSC), a chapter of the American Society of Botanical Artists. An adjunct exhibition, "Amazing Trees," featuring works by BAGSC members, will be on view in an adjacent space in the Botanical Center.

Image: Deborah Friedman, California Sycamore (2016), Platanus racemosa, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California. Watercolor and ink on paper, 24 x 19 inches. © Deborah Friedman. Courtesy of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the New York Botanical Garden.

 

Codex_CX-078-1294_Banner.jpgThe Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity, a Bard Graduate Center Focus Project on view from February 23 through July 8, 2018, examines the structural, technical, and decorative features of the major types of codices—the wooden tablet codex, the single-gathering codex, and the multigathering codex. Exhibited alongside surviving artifacts, documentary, and iconographic evidence, handmade replicas are used to explore the craft processes that were applied in the making of these early books. The exhibition presents the codex not as an invention but rather as an innovation that depended on techniques already widely used in the creation of everyday items such as socks and shoes, and reveals that the codex was a fascinating, yet practical, development. 

Background 

The codex, which appears to be a result of Roman ingenuity, is one of the most important innovations in the history of civilization. Throughout Greco-Roman antiquity, the standard format for an extended written text had been the papyrus roll. Literary evidence suggests that the Romans, following the structural and functional principles of the tablet codex, turned from wooden tablets to papyrus and parchment leaves—already used for informal notebooks—and produced the codex, or the book in the format we know it today. 

The transition from roll to codex took place gradually between the second and fifth centuries AD under conditions long debated. Based on surviving evidence it seems that in the early centuries the new book format was not often used for Latin and Greek literary texts, for which the roll continued to be used. Rather, it was apparently the whole-hearted Christian adoption of the codex that is often credited with establishing it as the standard format of the book, as monks and scholars helped spread the religion from the Middle East to the rest of the Mediterranean and beyond. Ultimately, evidence points to a close relation between the craft technologies employed in making the multigathering codex and those used in common objects—woven textiles, baskets, mats, socks, shoes, and sandals. 

The Exhibition 

The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity provides a concise history of the first steps of the codex book format from a technical and technological point of view. Specifically it focuses on the different techniques used to turn leaves of papyrus or parchment into a functional book that could be safely used and preserved. 

The first section looks at the precursors—the wooden tablets and single-gathering notebook-style codices— that informed the multigathering codex. Along with replicas or facsimiles of these two basic types of codices, two spectacular antiquities will be on view: an original set of wooden tablets from the Brooklyn Museum con- taining school exercises and a “kylix” or drinking vessel with red-figure decoration illustrating the portability of such tablets. The larger gallery revolves around the five main processes used to make a bound, multigathering codex: the sewing of the gatherings, the attachment of the boards to the book block, the sewing of endbands at the head and tail edges of the spine, the covering of the book with often highly decorative leather, and the addition of fastening straps. All of these processes can be directly related to specific crafts that were in active production during antiquity, as will be demonstrated in the exhibition. 

The sewing used to bind gatherings was adapted from a technique known as cross-knit looping, which was used extensively in late antiquity, notably for socks. The sewing of the boards to the book block is based on such basic stitches as the blanket stitch, ubiquitous in fabrics since prehistoric times. The sewing of the endbands— the tiny strips of fabric visible at either end of the spine—can be directly related to the different techniques used for finishing the edges of textiles and mats and for strengthening as well as decorating them. The cut, stitched, stamped, and gilded decoration on leather covers exactly matches shoe-making techniques while the patterns used correspond to those found on other artifacts, such as mosaics and textiles. Finally, the different fastening straps used with these books are identical to those used in sandals and belts. 

To illustrate these relationships, a limited number of original artifacts will be displayed—book covers, shoes, sandals, wooden tablets, and tunic fragments—as well as replicas of ancient artifacts. A particular highlight will be the intricately stitched and gilded covers of a ninth-tenth-century AD Gospels purchased for J. Pierpont Morgan in 1911, which, although well known to scholars, have been rarely put on public view. Along with the Morgan Library and Museum, lenders include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and other major institutions. A handful of makers, including the exhibition’s curator, provided the mod- ern replicas and facsimiles on view. A digital interactive featuring the curator’s hand-drawn diagrams and a short film showing his working methods will both serve to further explicate these early bookbinding processes and emphasize the work of skilled hands in creating—and rediscovering—these crafts from late antiquity. 

The Codex and Crafts in Late Antiquity is curated by Georgios Boudalis, Head of the Book and Paper Conservation Laboratory, Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, Greece; Research Fellow, Bard Graduate Center, February-May, 2015: and Visiting Professor, Bard Graduate Center, September-December, 2016. The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated book, which will be available in the Gallery and the Store. 

About Bard Graduate Center Focus Projects 

Focus Projects are part of an innovative program organized and led by faculty members or postdoctoral fellows through seminars and workshops that culminate in small-scale, academically rigorous exhibitions and publications. Students, assisted by the Center’s professional staff of curators, designers, and media specialists, are closely involved from genesis through execution and contribute to each project’s form and content. The Focus Project promotes experimentation in display, interpretation, and the use of digital media, reflecting the Center’s commitment to exhibitions as integral to scholarly activity. 

About Bard Graduate Center Gallery 

The Gallery organizes pioneering exhibitions on deco- rative arts, design history, and material culture with leading scholars, curators, and institutions worldwide. We provide opportunities for faculty and students to gain experience in exhibition making. Our projects and publications break down traditional barriers between academic and curatorial forms of inquiry. 

Gallery Programs 

Lectures, gallery talks, and conversations are offered in conjunction with the exhibition. For more information, please call 212.501.3011 or e-mail public.programs@bgc.bard.edu. 

Exhibition Tours 

Group exhibition tours are offered Tuesday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m. Reservations are required for all groups. To schedule a tour, please call 212.501.3013 or e-mail tours@bgc.bard.edu. 

Bard Graduate Center Gallery is located in New York City at 18 West 86th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. Gallery hours are Tuesday and Friday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Suggested admission is $7 general, $5 seniors and students. 

For information about Bard Graduate Center and upcoming exhibitions, please visit bgc.bard.edu/gallery

Image credit: Modern facsimile of 5th-century PD Glazier codex (Morgan MS 5.67). Wood, leather, bone, parchment. Made by Ursula Mitra. Photograph: Bruce White.

Fasciculus 1500.jpgNew York - The New York Academy of Medicine Library has launched a new digital exhibit, “Facendo Il Libro: The Making of Fasciculus Medicinae, an Early Printed Anatomy.” The Library, one of the world’s most significant historical libraries in medicine and public health, holds five editions printed between the years of 1495 and 1522 of the Fasciculus Medicinae, which contains the earliest realistic anatomical images in print, and the earliest scenes of dissection anywhere. The digital exhibit explores full scans of these richly illustrated editions, examining each work on its own - and also in context of each other, and looking at the printing techniques that were used to create them.

“The Academy's dedication to public access to our Library's collections continues with the launch of a digitized exhibit of this seminal work. Today, scholars and users worldwide can easily access an important resource in the history of medicine and public health,” said Academy President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS.

The book was first printed in Venice in 1491 by the brothers Gregori at their famous printing house. It was extremely popular, and went through 14 editions by the year 1522.  Originally collected in manuscript form, the text comprises a number of medical treatises on uroscopy, phlebotomy, anatomy, surgery, and gynecology. The book’s woodcut illustrations include skilled renderings of medieval prototypes including a Zodiac Man, bloodletting man, and an urinoscopic consultation. 

“This exhibit tells an important story about an influential medical text, and its evolution during the earliest years of printing in Northern Italy. Exploring the book's astonishing woodcuts, the earliest realistic anatomical illustrations in print, enhances our understanding of how sixteenth-century individuals related to and understood their bodies in times of sickness and health,” said Academy Library Curator Anne Garner. 

“Facendo Il Libro” is an addition to the Academy’s digitization initiatives led Dr. Robin Naughton, Head of Digital. Also included in the exhibit are curated essays on each edition, noting important technical, textual, and artistic changes in each, and on the culture of Venetian print. The essays were contributed by guest scholars Taylor McCall, PhD, and Natalie Lussey Seale, PhD.

This online exhibit was made possible by generous support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. 

Image: Fasciculus medicine : similitudo complexionum & elementorum. Venice, [Mar. 28 1500.]

cut4_low.jpgLos Angeles — For most people, a photograph is fairly straightforward - an image on a piece of paper with four straight edges and four corners. But for some photographers, paper is not merely the end result of developing a photograph - it is a material that can be activated in a number of ways. Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography, on view February 27-May 27, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, looks at the work of six contemporary artists who expand the role of paper in photography. Many of the works in the exhibition have been borrowed from Los Angeles-based collectors, institutions, or galleries, while others are from the Getty Museum’s permanent collection.

“Within the Getty’s very extensive collection of photographs from the birth of the medium to the present day, are a number of works that blur the line between photography and other mediums,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Cutting and otherwise manipulating the printed photograph, artists from the first half of the twentieth century on have created works in which the cutting, shaping and combining of images take the medium in radically new directions. Exhibitions like this provide a context and historical perspective on the experimentations of many contemporary photographers today.”

The exhibition includes an exploration of photographers’ long-standing interest in the way paper can convey something beyond its physical presence. Spanning the years 1926 to 1967, works by artists like Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902-2002), Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, 1891-1956), and Ei-Q (born Sugita Hideo, Japanese, 1911-1960) feature cut-paper abstractions and figures modeled from paper that have been photographed. For example, Rodchenko’s photograph Giraffe (1926-27) is a playful arrangement of figures modeled from paper that he created to illustrate a book of children’s poems called Samozveri (Auto-animals). The curiosity of these artists set the stage for more daring contemporary experimentation.

The contemporary works on view focus on two themes, the first of which features artists who create paper models with images gleaned from current events, the internet, or books and magazines for the express purpose of photographing them. Daniel Gordon (American, born 1980) culls images from the internet, then cuts, tears, pastes, and assembles the printouts into three-dimensional sculptures, as in Clementines (2011), in which printouts are arranged to resemble and reference deeply saturated still-lifes by Picasso, Matisse, or Cezanne. By printing digital images, assembling them to resemble a sculptural object, photographing that object with a large format camera, then digitally enhancing it, Gordon walks the line between analog and digital photography.

Matt Lipps (American, born 1975) inserts existing images into new contexts that extend their potential meaning. The works on view appropriate photographs reproduced in publications associated with both high and low culture to comment on how images both reflect and shape our knowledge and experience. After selecting his images, Lipps arranges them into layered collages or models, using light and shadow to transform the images into a cultural tableau that he then photographs. His photographs are printed at a scale much larger than the original reproductions.

Thomas Demand (German, born 1964) is known for his large-scale photographs of meticulously constructed, life-size re-creations of architectural spaces and natural environments, including Landscape from 2013. During his year as an artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute (2011-12), Demand departed from this practice and began photographing architectural models, most notably those of John Lautner. A triptych based on the model for Lautner’s design for an office building in Century City, California, will be on view.

The exhibition also includes examples of photographs that are cut, incised, layered, or folded to introduce tactile, three-dimensional elements into what is usually thought of as a two-dimensional art form. Soo Kim (American, born South Korea, 1965) employs the techniques of cutting and layering to create areas of absence or disruption that imbue her images with dimensionality, as well as with the passage of time. Travel to distant locations has resulted in discrete bodies of work that reveal Kim’s deep interest in architectural structures. Works made in Reykjavik, Taipei, and Panama City will be on view.

Christopher Russell’s (America, born 1974) work confronts photomechanical reproduction with imperfect work by his own hand. Often using cheap lenses, he creates enigmatic photographs that are intentionally out of focus or shot directly into the sun. Using razor blades, Xacto knives and other implements, he disrupts the surface by scratching, scraping, or gouging to reveal the white core of the paper. Some pieces, like Explosion #31 (2014), show a series of controlled marks that result in intricate patterns resembling wallpaper, while Budget Decadence (2008) displays the violence Russell inflicts on the paper with a meat cleaver.

Starting with simple materials and rules, Christiane Feser (German, born 1977) creates “photo objects” that operate in a middle ground between photography and sculpture. After cutting, folding, and layering paper into abstract compositions, Feser carefully lights each construction, often using flash, photographs it with a high-resolution digital camera, and makes a print on paper similar to that used in the construction. In Partition 31 (2015), Feser uses folded pieces of paper that appear as a series of multi-sized cubes, but are actually a sophisticated visual puzzle that requires careful viewing from multiple angles.

“The works in this exhibition demonstrate a variety of approaches used by artists to transform paper into objects with greater sculptural presence,” says Virginia Heckert, curator of the exhibition and head of the Department of Photographs at the Getty Museum. “Photography may be the starting point, with camera-made images altered by acts of cutting and modeling to introduce layered narratives and the passage of time, or it may put the finishing touch on a collage or construction that has been carefully conceived based on existing images. This toggling back and forth between two and three dimensions and between existing and constructed images reminds us of the magical transformation that occurs in every photograph.”

Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography is on view February 27-May 27, 2018, at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Virginia Heckert, head of the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs. On view concurrently in the Center for Photographs will be the exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography.

Image: Daniel Gordon (American, born 1980), Clementines, 2011, Chromogenic print, Copyright: © Daniel Gordon, Object Credit: Alison Bryan Crowell, Repro Credit: Courtesy Daniel Gordon and M+B Gallery, Los Angeles. 

Wolf-FIU.jpgMiami Beach, FL — For summer 2018, The Wolfsonian-Florida International University is tapping into today’s fascination with Russian propaganda through two coinciding shows focused on early 20th-century Soviet graphic design. Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (April 13-August 12), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, and the complementary library installation Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (April 5-August 5) will shed light on ties between cultural life and revolutionary ideology in the decades following the 1917 Russian Revolution. Both shows explore how designers were inspired by the utopian ideals of the revolution to develop new techniques of graphic persuasion on behalf of Russia’s Communist dictatorship.

“With Constructing Revolution, the stars truly aligned,” said Tim Rodgers, Wolfsonian director. “We recognized in Bowdoin’s exhibition a rare opportunity to do what The Wolfsonian does best—present some of the finest examples of modern propaganda, reexamine objects from our own collection, and offer fresh insight into a topic currently front and center on the worldwide stage.”

Bringing more than 50 Soviet-era posters from the private collection of Svetlana and Eric Silverman together with rarely seen works held by The Wolfsonian, Constructing Revolution showcases a number of key figures in the Soviet artistic avant-garde, among them Vladimir Mayakovsky, Aleksandr Rodchenko, and Gustav Klutsis. The exhibition charts the formative decades of the USSR and provides a glimpse into this turbulent period of Russian history, when posters were employed to provide a new visual language converting Communist aspirations into readily accessible, urgent, public art. The resulting images reflect a remarkable degree of artistic experimentation, even as their content was strictly guided by the priorities of the Soviet state.

Highlights include:

  • Dmitrii Moor’s Death to World Imperialism (1919), which depicts a monstrous green dragon representing the dangers faced by the young Soviet state during the Civil War that broke out immediately following the 1917 Russian Revolution;
  • A 1920 poster of a worker holding a banner for the May Day celebration, a design first produced in stencil for dissemination to local artists;
  • Grigorii Shegal’s Down with Kitchen Slavery (1929), illustrating the Soviet state’s promise to liberate women from domestic tasks so that they could participate as workers and citizens on an equal basis to men;
  • Working Men and Women-Everyone to the Election of Soviets (1930) by Gustav Klutsis,  pioneer of the photomontage technique, which combines photographic images, text, and graphic elements into a single cohesive message; and
  • A 1930 photomontage poster by Valentina Kulagina commemorating women’s industrial labor for International Working Women’s Day.

“These works speak to the paradox of the Soviet Union during its early decades, when utopianism went hand-in-hand with manipulation,” said Jon Mogul, Wolfsonian associate director of curatorial & education. “There is an undeniable sense of excitement, optimism, and experimentation in these images, though they also convey the sanitized and one-sided version of reality that contributed to the consolidation of a brutally repressive dictatorship.”

In conjunction with the exhibition, the focused installation Red and Black will feature roughly 20 rare books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library that reveal the contribution of Constructivism to Soviet graphic design. A key movement in the early 20th century, Constructivism applied abstraction and the machine aesthetic to the practical design of everything from architecture to household objects—all in service of the Communist vision of building a new, classless society.

The Wolfsonian has been recognized internationally for the attention it has given to political propaganda, a subject prevalent in both its mission and its collection of modern-age material, 1850-1950. Throughout the museum’s 22-year history, dozens of exhibitions and countless programs have investigated how objects and images were shaped into tools of political persuasion in countries across the globe.

Constructing Revolution: Soviet Propaganda Posters from Between the World Wars (Apr 13-Aug 12, 2018), organized by the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, reveals how the Soviet state wielded graphic design to inspire and manipulate the public

Red and Black: Revolution in Soviet Propaganda Graphics (Apr 5-Aug 5, 2018), examines avant-garde art in books, periodicals, postcards, and portfolio plates from The Wolfsonian-FIU Library

vaudeville_ut_news_graphic_1.pngAustin, Texas — The Harry Ransom Center draws on its extensive performing arts holdings to tell the story of one of American theater’s most popular forms of entertainment in the exhibition “Vaudeville!”

The exhibition runs from Jan. 29 to July 15, 2018.

About 200 items selected from the thousands of photographs, playbills, business records, letters, books and other archival materials from the Ransom Center’s collections explore how this uniquely American form of entertainment helped shape the nation’s identity for more than 100 years. Its enduring legacy is seen in contemporary American popular culture in videos, film, television and comedy.

Vaudeville began in the early 1800s as a cleaned-up and family-friendly version of variety shows. Performances included comic sketches, animal tricks, magic, blackface minstrelsy, acrobatics, celebrity appearances and early film. Its impact still reverberates in modern culture and entertainment.

The exhibition tells how, with the advent of the railroad, thousands of performers toured a vast network of theaters, bringing mass entertainment to America’s small towns. The vaudeville theater circuit reflected the country’s complex race and class dynamics and gave rise to new labor movements at the turn of the 20th century.

“Vaudeville was a snapshot of America in the moment it was happening,” says Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theatre and Performing Arts at the Ransom Center and organizer of the exhibition. “It captured some of the best and worst of society, and the jokes, songs and formulas developed by vaudevillians over a century ago can still be found in television, film and performance today.”

The exhibition is arranged in six sections and begins in the early days of American theater, exploring pantomime, puppetry, circus museums, minstrelsy and morality. The finale explains how, by the mid-20th century, vaudeville was transformed and found new relevance in musical theater, radio, film, television — and later, even the internet.

In between, sections explore the structure and content of a performance, the life of an entertainer, and popular vaudeville performers. Featured are Harry Houdini, Fanny Brice, Eddie Cantor, Bert Williams, George M. Cohan, Burns & Allen, Tony Pastor, the Nicholas Brothers, Barbette and others.

Among the earliest items in the exhibition is a 1783 letter from the citizens of Pennsylvania fighting against the building of a new theater, and letters from President Thomas Jefferson to the painter and early museum advocate Charles Willson Peale.

"Vaudeville!" will be on view in the 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.

Members of the 1937 American League All-Star team, Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg gather on the field for the fifth annual All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. Gehrig hit a two-run homer off National League ace Dizzy Dean as the American League went on to win, 8-3.

A major exhibition opening in June at the Library of Congress will celebrate baseball as community, including the people, from amateur players to professionals, baseball diamonds from city lots to rural fields, and places across the globe from Mexico to Japan that have embraced the game. “Baseball Americana” will explore baseball’s gritty roots, its changing traditions and the game today. It is a story the nation’s library can uniquely tell, showcasing items that cannot be found anywhere else.

Featured artifacts will include the first handwritten and printed references to baseball in America; early rules of the game; historical baseball images, including a lithograph of prisoners of war playing baseball in captivity during the Civil War and photographs from baseball throughout the decades; familiar players from some of the great collections of early baseball cards; Branch Rickey’s scouting reports; beloved baseball movies and early flickering footage from the late 1800s; broadcasts of iconic baseball moments and rare interviews and clips of Hall of Fame players, including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and others.

The exhibition is made possible by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund, the James Madison Council and Democracy Fund.

Original content developed in collaboration with ESPN will support the Library’s world-class collections. Statistical comparisons, game trends, video presentations and intriguing stories will explore the art and science of baseball, bridging the game’s storied past and exciting present.

Additional artifacts and video footage, borrowed from Major League Baseball, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and private collectors, have been selected to expand upon storylines developed from the Library’s baseball materials.

“Baseball has been part of our community from children playing in local ballparks to professional athletes playing in the country’s biggest stadiums - and the Library’s unique collection shows how the game and American society evolved together,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “My childhood dream was to play shortstop before I found my calling at the Library. We’re excited to offer visitors an immersive experience, exploring baseball in the past and now. I know I am.”

The yearlong exhibition “Baseball Americana” will open in late June, just before Washington’s Nationals Park hosts Major League Baseball’s 89th All-Star Game. The exhibition will tell the story of the game’s origins, its contemporary character, how the game has stayed true to its traditions and areas where it has diverged. It will also feature ongoing conversations and connections between baseball’s rugged past and its refined present, along with showing how baseball has long forged a sense of community.

The exhibition will be organized into five sections:

  • “Origins and Early Days” will feature the development of baseball from its early forms, when Massachusetts Town Ball and the New York Game battled for supremacy, to the game we know today.
  • “Who’s Playing?” will encompass the variety of participants and the diverse array of ball clubs that ruled the sandlot, barnstormed the country or occupied magnificent stadiums. An integral piece of this story will be that of the players who have fought for the right to play as equals regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
  • “At the Ballpark” will examine traditions and changes in the architecture and accoutrements of baseball, fan interaction, music and media coverage.
  • “The Promise of Baseball” will explore the many ways that the sport gave poor players a path out of poverty and new immigrants access and the ability to help shape American culture, as well as the economics and business of baseball and how the game has been used for diplomacy beyond U.S. borders.
  • “The Art and Science of Baseball” considers the constant and changing views of mastering the game, building a team, getting an edge, tracking statistics and the art of winning.

“Baseball Americana” will be on view in 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.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library of Congress will develop a series of special programs including family activities, gallery talks, film screenings, panel discussions, educational materials and teacher workshops, docent-led tours and more.

Two books published in association with the Library of Congress will be released to coincide with the exhibition. In May, Harper Perennial will release an updated edition of “Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” which includes hundreds of historical images and numerous milestones of the national pastime. In October, Smithsonian Books will release “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress,” which showcases rare and colorful baseball cards from the Library’s Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.

 

"Facing the Camera" Opens January 24

Enrie_DetailShroudofTurin 2.jpgNew York - Facing the Camera will be on view at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs from January 24 through March 16, 2018. The exhibition presents nineteenth-century portraits by Duchenne de Boulogne, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, J. B. Greene, Hill & Adamson, Nadar, and Vallou de Villeneuve, among others. Contemporary work by Adam Fuss and Vera Lutter is also included. Both are inspired by the early photographers and their work resonates with that of their forerunners.

Portraiture is the most expressive application of the photographic art form. Since the dawn of photography artists have sought ways to capture the human likeness. Once achieved, photography has since challenged the ascendancy of the painted portrait. 

The exhibition includes three rare 1862 albumen prints from glass negatives made circa 1856 by pioneering neurologist and physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne (1806-1875), the first scientist to explain that facial expressions were connected to human emotions through discrete muscle actions. The results of Duchenne’s experiments and collaboration with photographer Adrien Tournachon, illustrated in Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine, occupy a distinct place at the intersection of art and science.

John Beasley Greene’s (1832-1856) Venus de Milo on rooftop in Paris, a waxed paper negative from 1852-1853, will also be on view. It was made during Greene’s formative period as a student of Gustave Le Gray in Paris. Greene, perhaps in the company of Le Gray, carried his statuette of Venus to the roof in order to sharpen his skills in lighting and composition.

A young girl, Xie Kitchin, fixes the viewer with her direct stare in an 1873 albumen print by Lewis Carroll, best known as the author of Alice in Wonderland. Carroll once declared that the key to obtaining excellence in a photograph was simply to “take a lens and put Xie before it.” On display is the only known untrimmed print from the negative.

Facing the Camera includes a 1931 gelatin silver print of Detail of the Shroud of Turin by Giuseppe Enrie (1886-1961). Great advances in technology since earlier photographs of the Shroud enabled Enrie to photograph it close-up and life size. This print shows a richness of detail unsurpassed by later photographs. 

Vera Lutter (b. 1960) has worked with the camera obscura for many years.  Having mastered its use she exposes her photographic paper over varying lengths of time. Rather than a print of the positive image, Lutter consistently preserves the negative as her final work. On display is Lutter’s unique, Marble Torso of Eros, Metropolitan Museum, 5 November 2012, which highlights the expressive, sculpted human form.

For more than three decades, Adam Fuss (b. 1961) has created a body of work distinctive for its contemporary reinterpretation of photography’s earliest techniques. His pinhole photographs and cameraless photograms, executed with technical rigor, are often concerned with temporality, memory, regeneration, and death. Untitled silhouette, 1997, a toned silver print from a photogram, is a strikingly bold self-portrait.

Facing the Camera will be exhibited from January 24 through March 16, 2018 at Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs in New York City.

Image: Giuseppe Enrie (Italian, 1886-1961), Detail of the Shroud of Turin, 1931, Gelatin silver print, 29.5 x 23.4 cm

trouvelot_comet_600.jpgSan Marino, CA - A rare set of exquisite lithographs, depicting the pastel drawings of planets, comets, eclipses and other celestial wonders by artist/astronomer Étienne Léopold Trouvelot (1827-1895), takes center stage in late April when The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical mounts the new exhibition “Radiant Beauty: E.L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings” in the Library’s West Hall. The exhibition is on view April 28-July 30.

The set of 15 chromolithographs was the crowning achievement of Trouvelot’s career, said curator Krystle Satrum, assistant curator of the Jay T. Last Collection at The Huntington. “He was both an extraordinarily talented artist and a scientist, producing more than 7,000 astronomical illustrations and some 50 scientific articles during his working life.”

In vivid color and meticulous detail, the works depict a range of astronomical phenomena. “The high quality of both the artwork and the scientific observation demonstrates his uncanny capacity to combine art and science in such a way as to make substantial contributions to both fields,” Satrum said. 

Trouvelot’s artistic talent and eye landed him a position at the Harvard College Observatory, where he produced highly detailed drawings of his observations, many of which were published in the Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College. In 1875, he was invited to the U.S. Naval Observatory to use their 26-inch refracting telescope, at the time, the world’s largest. He then went public, exhibiting several astronomical pastels at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. With the success of that exhibit, Trouvelot sought to publish a portfolio of his best drawings. He teamed up with New York publishers Charles Scribner’s Sons, selecting 15 drawings to be made into chromolithographs, which were finally published in 1882.

It is estimated that some 300 portfolios were published, but only a handful of complete sets still exist. Initially the portfolios were sold to astronomy libraries and observatories as reference tools that astronomers could use to compare with their own observations. However, as early 20th century advances in photographic technology allowed for more accurate and detailed depictions of the stars, planets, and phenomena, these prints were discarded or sold to collectors. The Huntington’s set was acquired by Jay T. Last as part of his collection of graphic arts and social history, then donated to The Huntington. 

Trouvelot’s legacy is not without controversy, said Satrum. Born in Aisne, France, he fled to the United States in 1855 with his wife and two children following Napoleon’s coup three years earlier, settling in Medford, Massachusetts. While supporting his family as an artist, he spent much of his free time studying insects, working to see if better silk-producing caterpillars could thrive in the United States. During a trip back to France in the late 1860s, he collected live specimens of the gypsy moth, bringing them home to Medford. “Unfortunately, after hatching, some of them escaped his backyard, infesting the nearby woods, then quickly spread throughout New England and Canada, destroying millions of hardwood trees,” she said. Though large-scale efforts to eradicate it were underway by 1890, they proved unsuccessful; the gypsy moth continues to be a scourge of U.S. and Canadian forests today, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage annually. “This episode also seems to have soured Trouvelot’s passion for entomology, for by 1870, he had turned to astronomy,” Satrum said.

The West Hall is adjacent to the astronomy section of “Beautiful Science: Ideas that Changed the World” The Huntington’s permanent exhibition on the history of science, featuring rare books and manuscripts by the likes of Ptolemy, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein, among others.

Image: E. L. Trouvelot (1827-1895), The Great Comet of 1881, 1881, color lithograph, 32 3/4 × 25 3/4 in. Jay T. Last Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

outcasts5_20171218190231992_low.jpgLos Angeles, CA - Medieval manuscripts preserve stories of faith, romance, and knowledge, but their luxurious illuminations can sometimes reveal hidden prejudices as well. Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World, on view January 30—April 8, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, presents individual case studies that examine the way art, like language, was used to articulate a rhetoric of exclusion. Whether for reasons of race, class, gender, religious identity or sexual difference, medieval society was far more diverse than is commonly understood, but diversity did not necessarily ensure tolerance. Drawn from the Getty’s permanent collection of illuminated manuscripts, this exhibition explores the obstacles faced by those who were perceived as “others.” For today’s viewer, the vivid images and pervasive subtexts in illuminated manuscripts can serve as stark reminders of the power of rhetoric and the danger of prejudice.

“With their focus on religious subjects and tales of chivalry, it’s easy to forget that the pages of illuminated manuscripts frequently depicted social biases,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “Frequently, these works were a reflection of social norms and reinforced prejudices that were prevalent in society. In some cases these references may be subtle, in other cases not. In either case it is important to understand these works of art as also being social and historical documents that illuminate both the medieval past and the biases and prejudices that we still grapple with today.”

The exhibition begins with an illumination of the Crucifixion in the Getty’s Stammheim Missal, a masterpiece of Romanesque painting. The image is usually understood as a celebration of Christian belief, in which the sacrifice of Christ paved the way for the salvation of humanity, but this exhibition highlights the institutionalized anti-Semitism underlying Christian rhetoric about the old law and the new. Ecclesia, the personification of the Christian Church, is seen at Christ’s right, while the Jewish Synagoga appears on his left. Synagoga points at Christ, glaring, while holding a banderole (representing Old Testament law) that proclaims “cursed be he who hangs on the tree.” Below, two personifications echo and amplify the antithetical positions of these figures. In a roundel below Ecclesia, the fair-skinned Life gazes calmly across the composition at Death, who resembles contemporary (twelfth-century) caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and swarthy complexions.

“As repositories of history and memory, museums reveal much about our shared past, but all too often the stories told from luxury art objects focus on the elite,” explains Kristen Collins, curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition. “Typically created for the privileged classes, manuscripts can nevertheless provide glimpses of the marginalized and powerless and reflect their tenuous places in society.”

Some medieval writers and artists altered historical content to align with the prevailing morals of the day. Among Alexander the Great’s lovers was the young man Hephaiston and the eunuch Bagoas, but in one medieval manuscript Bagoas was recast as a beautiful woman called Bagoe in order (as the text says) to “avoid a bad example.” Even as a woman, however, Bagoe is still transgressive. In a fifteenth-century Flemish illumination, Bagoe wears luxurious flowing garments like those of the spear-carrying Amazon women in the background, who were renowned for their military prowess and heightened sexual drive. The literary and artistic interpretation of Bagoas/ Bagoe reveals the predominant prejudice against same-sex attraction and, by aligning her with the Amazons, the pervasive wariness toward powerful women.

Cis-gender women and Muslims often fared no better in the medieval world. The Merovingian queen Brunhilde, a powerful heroic figure who led armies and ruled over kingdoms, fell victim to the misogyny of later medieval authors who cast her as the archetypal “nasty woman.” In Giovanni Boccaccio’s story of The Death of Brunhilde, Queen of France (1413-15) he described Brunhilde as ruthless and vengeful, characterizations that were also applied to Saracens, a pejorative medieval term for Muslims. This parallel may explain the turbaned figures in the margins of this manuscript. In medieval art, the “Saracen” became a catch-all category of people to be feared.

Color conveyed a range of meanings in medieval art. Blackness not only signified race and ethnicity, but also symbolized the absence of light, and thus, God. Demons were often rendered in shades of black or dark browns and grays. In Initial Q: David Before Saul (after 1205), color appears to have been used in both ways. In a jealous rage, King Saul draws a sword on the young David. King Saul’s melancholic temperament is conveyed not only through his actions but also by the dark-skinned demon who resembles caricatured representations of Africans, Jews, and Muslims found elsewhere in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, a period of extreme intolerance and violence.

According to Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator of manuscripts and co-curator of the exhibition, “This exhibition strives to make connections between the Middle Ages and the contemporary world, specifically in the way rhetoric is used to construct society’s ‘out groups.’ Attitudes toward Jews and Muslims, the poor, those perceived as sexual or gender deviants, and the foreign peoples beyond European borders can be discerned through caricature and polemical imagery, as well as through marks of erasure and censorship.”

In an attempt to respond to possible concerns from audiences, the exhibition curators also reached out through the Getty blog and Tumblr, inviting members of the public to comment on the exhibition text as it was being drafted. That ongoing conversation can be found on the Getty Iris.

Outcasts: Prejudice & Persecution in the Medieval World is curated by Kristen Collins, curator in the Manuscripts Department and Bryan C. Keene, assistant curator in the Manuscripts Department. The exhibition is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center from January 30 -April 8, 2018. Related programming includes “Sexuality, Sanctity, and Censorship: A Conversation with Artist Ron Athey,” a discussion about sexuality, gender identity, and censorship in relation to the exhibition and, “Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in the Middle Ages and Today” a panel discussion featuring Sara Lipton, Hussein Fancy, and Jihad Turk.

Image: The Crucifixion, probably 1170s. Tempera colors, gold leaf, silver leaf, and ink on parchment. Leaf: 28.2 × 18.9 cm (11 1/8 × 7 7/16 in.). Credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 64, fol. 86

capricorn-detail-from-liturgical-calendar.jpgNew York, NY — Before the appearance of the clock in the West around the year 1300, medieval ideas about time were simultaneously simple and complex. Time was both finite for routine daily activities and unending for the afterlife; the day was divided into a fixed set of hours, whereas the year was made up of two overlapping systems of annual holy feasts. Perhaps unexpectedly, many of these concepts continue to influence the way we understand time, seasons, and holidays into the twenty-first century. 

Drawing upon the Morgan’s rich collection of illuminated manuscripts, Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time explores how people in the Middle Ages told time, conceptualized
history, and conceived of the afterlife. It brings together more than fifty-five calendars, Bibles, chronicles, histories, and a sixty-foot genealogical scroll. They include depictions of monthly labors, the marking of holy days and periods, and fantastical illustrations of the hereafter. The exhibition opens January 26 and continues through April 29. 

“Artists of the medieval period could render the most common of daily activities with transcendent beauty, while also creating a strange, often frightening, afterlife,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Their work mirrored the era’s intricate mix of temporal, spiritual, and ancient methods for recording the passage of time. The elaborate prayer books, calendars, and other items in the exhibition provide a rich visual history of a world at once familiar and foreign, from the seasonal work of farmers that would not look unusual in today’s almanacs, to apocalyptic visions of eternity that make Hollywood’s futuristic films appear tame.” 

The Exhibition 

The show is divided into five sections focusing on the medieval calendar, liturgical time, historical time, the hereafter (“time after time”), and the San Zeno Astrolabe. 

I. The Medieval Calendar 

Medieval calendars told time in two ways: through the ancient Roman calendar that Julius Caesar had reformed in 45 B.C. and by the feast (usually a saint’s day) celebrated on the day. They appear odd to modern eyes because they lack our sequential numbering; all medieval calendars were perpetual. But they also contained much useful data. Golden Numbers tracking the year’s new moons and Dominical Letters (A through G) tracking Sundays were both used to determine the date of Easter. Calendars also noted each month’s unlucky days and added astronomical information such as the beginning of the summer’s Dog Days. 

In the Calendar of Ravenna, each month was gorgeously illustrated by its zodiacal sign—the constellation with its composite stars. Not simply aesthetically pleasing, this calendar also tracked the positions of the sun and the moon. 

In addition to the signs of the zodiac, calendars often depicted the labors of each month—for instance, August was dedicated to reaping wheat. By the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, this sole secular element within prayer books was given more focus. In fact, illuminator Simon Bening painted the labors on the folios of the Da Costa Hours as large full-page illustrations. 

II. Liturgical Time 

During this period, Europeans used the canonical hours to tell daily time. The medieval day was marked by eight hours, which the Church sanctified with prayer. The day began in the middle of the night (matins and lauds) and proceeded through the course of the day (beginning at sunrise with prime). The day ended in the evening (compline). The prayers became synonymous with the particular times they were recited. Books of Hours enabled laypeople to imitate the clergy and pray throughout the course of the day. A jewel-like Book of Hours illuminated by French Renaissance artist Jean Fouquet will be open to the Visitation, a scene marking the nighttime hour of lauds

Two overlapping systems were used to structure the year: the temporale and the sanctorale. The temporale consisted largely of feasts celebrating events from the life of Christ. Some feasts had fixed dates, like Christmas; others were movable, like Easter. Feasts of the sanctorale were generally saints’ days, commemorating the days upon which the saints died and entered heaven. 

Remnants of medieval timekeeping survive today. The medieval vigil, the commencement of an important feast on the evening before, has become today’s eve, such as Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve. In The Berthold Sacramentary, a miniature marks Palm Sunday, when the inhabitants of Jerusalem laid cloaks and palms in Christ’s path as he entered the city. Distributing blessed palms on Palm Sunday is a medieval practice that continues to this day. Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day all come from the medieval way of keeping time as well. 

III. Historical Time 

In the Middle Ages, the Bible was both the word of God and the early history of man. It was believed that the Hebrew Bible (the Christians’ Old Testament) chronicled actual ancient events, even if they had occurred long ago. The New Testament related the life and death of Christ and mentioned at times historic figures with known dates. In the sixth century, a new system of dating events was devised: years were described as A.D. or Anno Domini (In the Year of Our Lord), based on the presumed birthdate of Christ. 

According to medieval tradition, ancient Troy marked the start of European civil history. When the city fell, the defeated but heroic Trojans sailed off and founded such major European cities as Rome, Paris, and London. The medieval belief that Troy itself was founded by descendants of Noah provided a seamless link between the people and events chronicled in the Bible and the Trojans, the forebears for all of Europe. 

An anonymous compiler covered the six thousand years of history that began with Adam and Eve and concluded with fifteenth-century France as the world’s superpower in a sixty-foot scroll, the centerpiece of the exhibition. With sixty-six miniatures, it is the most fully illustrated copy of this universal chronicle known to exist. Outlining the history of the world from Creation to the reign of King Louis XI of France, it depicts five lines of descent: 1) the popes; 2) the Holy Roman Emperors; and 3) the kings of France, England, and the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. 

IV. Time after Time 

Obsessed with the “Four Last Things” (death, judgment, heaven, and hell), people in the Middle Ages believed that time on earth was but a fleeting moment compared to the endlessness of the hereafter. Of those lucky enough to merit heaven, only martyrs or the truly holy might get there immediately after death. The rest detoured through purgatory, a place of temporary punishment, which could mean, however, thousands of years. 

Punishment in hell was imagined to be painful and fiery. In The Hours of Catherine of Cleves, the entrance of hell was depicted as a gaping lion’s mouth opening its batlike lips tipped with talons. Through it, demons cast damned souls. Meanwhile, burning towers heat cauldrons into which mutilated bodies are pitched. 

The Apocalypse dominated the imagination of what the end
of time held in store for humanity. Illustrators of medieval
manuscripts portrayed the Beast of the Apocalypse as having seven heads with ten horns and the body of a leopard with bear’s feet, which would make war on the faithful on earth. A False Prophet would order the people of the earth to worship this beast--and also cause great wonders, such as drawing fire from heaven. 

V. San Zeno Astrolabe 

For hundreds of years, an astrolabe hung in the Benedictine abbey of San Zeno in Verona. This extraordinary movable calendar is the only object of its type to survive from the Middle Ages—and is the only loan to the show. For every day of the year, the astrolabe’s three dials were rotated by hand to give a wide-ranging set of information: the date in Arabic numerals, the date according to the ancient Roman calendar, the feast to be celebrated, the zodiacal constellation, the hours of darkness and light, and the age of the moon. In doing so, it helped monks organize their devotional lives. 

Publication 

Now and Forever is accompanied by the book, The Medieval Calendar: Locating Time in the Middle Ages, which examines vigils, octaves, Egyptian Days, and other fascinating mysteries of medieval calendars. It is lushly illustrated with over sixty color plates. 

Author: Roger Weick 

Publisher: The Morgan Library & Museum and Scala Arts Publishers, 2017, 98 pages.

Image: Liturgical calendar for Ravenna, Italy, Milan (?), 1386, illustrated by a follower of Giovannino de’ Grassi, The Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.355, fol. 8v (detail), purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1909. Photography by Graham Haber, 2017. 

 

Train Getty.JPGLos Angeles - The early history of paper photography in the United States is a formative but rarely studied aspect of the medium’s evolution. While Americans were at first slow to adopt Europe’s negative-positive photographic practices, the country’s territorial expansion and Civil War increased demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute. The exhibition Paper Promises: Early American Photography, on view February 27 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center, features rare 19th-century paper negatives and paper photographs from this important era of American experimentation, including portraits of some of the country’s most notable political and cultural figures, as well as searing images from the Civil War. 

            “In the mid-nineteenth century, photographs did much more than merely document the development of the nation; increasingly they became central to debates about the U.S. and its place in the world,” explains Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “The photographs on view in this exhibition offer a rare insight into the forces and movements that shaped the country’s character at a formative stage of its development.”

Photographic Pioneers

            Today, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat create a thirst for casual selfies, views of our surroundings, and documentation of the most mundane aspects of daily life. Yet reproducible photography was not initially popular in the United States. In the earliest years of the medium Europeans quickly adopted techniques that enabled multiple photographs to be printed from negatives, but Americans initially preferred singular formats intended for intimate viewing, such as those produced directly on metal or glass.

            A few intrepid American photographers experimented with negative-positive techniques in the 1850s. The earliest photographs they produced used papers sensitized with silver salts that resulted in matte images well suited to register a range of textures. Paper Promises showcases dozens of rarely exhibited salted paper prints.

            To secure the widest possible market for photographs that could be printed in multiple, entrepreneurial photographers made salted paper prints for a variety of purposes: scientific investigation, celebrity portraiture, tourism, historic preservation, corporate and self-promotion, and firsthand documentation of newsworthy events. Their ambition to develop a technique suited to the quickened pace of modern life is apparent in a salted paper print made around 1860 by an unknown photographer, in which a group of men and women gather excitedly aboard the front of a train. The railroad was a potent symbol of progress, and it was anticipated that photography, like locomotives, might connect Americans to places and people far away.

            In the 1850s, however, alarmist reports that photographic negatives were being used to counterfeit currency caused widespread anxiety. At the time, banks printed their own money and thousands of different paper bills were in circulation. Around forty percent of the bills that passed through American hands were counterfeit, so banknotes began to be thought of as little more than flimsy “paper promises.” The exhibition features photographic counterfeits from the era, revealing a previously unstudied aspect of initial American resistance to photographic reproducibility. Though “paper promises” was originally a derisive phrase, the promise of paper photography soon swept the nation.

            Also included in the exhibition are examples of other pioneering photographic techniques, including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, albumen silver prints, a panotype, and an ivorytype.

Portraiture

            As the use of negatives to produce photographs in multiple sizes and shapes began to catch on, photography studios rushed to secure famous sitters in the hope of gaining wide distribution for popular images. The exhibition demonstrates how celebrities of the era grew savvy about circulating carefully crafted images of themselves. For example, an 1860 portrait of abolitionist Frederick Douglass by an unknown photographer emphasizes the gravitas of the fiery orator and prolific writer. Douglass sat for portraits throughout his life, countering racialized stereotypes by circulating dignified images of himself.

            Family photographs also became increasingly cherished as the medium gained in popularity. At a time when life expectancy was short and child mortality common, photographic portraits were thought of as especially precious souvenirs. The exhibition features several intimate portraits of families and children, some of which were carefully hand-tinted to further strengthen the sense of personal connection.

            Universities capitalized on the ability to produce images in multiple and compiled volumes of students and staff into what is today the familiar yearbook format. An example from about 1852 by John Adams Whipple (American, 1822-1891) was commissioned by Harvard - a proto-Facebook more than 150 years before Mark Zuckerberg’s start.

The West and the War

            As disputes over state and federal sovereignty as well as American Indian rights intensified, photographers sought how best to portray the people and places most frequently in the news. Photographs of several treaty negotiations will be on view, such as images of the first Japanese delegation to the United States, and an 1858 portrait by Alexander Gardner (American, born Scotland, 1821-1882) of a delegation of Upper Sioux who traveled to Washington, D.C., for treaty talks.  While most of the delegates pictured wore contemporary clothing, Gardner kept costumes on hand to outfit visitors in “traditional” attire, in keeping with East Coast ideas about Native dress. Photographs of American Indian sitters proliferated as their autonomy became a highly contested matter of public debate.

            In the territorial struggles of the 1860s, families torn apart by the Civil War sought personal mementos that could be easily shared and saved, and paper photographs served that purpose well. Soldiers had their portraits made upon enlistment, and civilians clamored for images of the battlefield. Images of slaves and of Abraham Lincoln were increasingly wielded as tools for political change, and the exhibition will spotlight several examples. Freedom’s Banner. Charley, A Slave Boy from New Orleans (1864) by Charles Paxson (American, died 1880) is one of many small-scale images carefully composed and widely circulated to encourage empathy with the plight of enslaved families. The photographs were sold to support education for freed slaves and to sustain support of the abolitionist cause. 

            “As we struggle to adapt to today’s digital revolution, with its capacity for unchecked manipulation and proliferation of images, it’s valuable to look to an earlier era in which ideas about photography and its role in society were similarly exerting profound effects,” says Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum and curator of the exhibition. “Because early paper photographs became an integral part of everyday life, not many survive. So this is a unique opportunity to see rare images from a tumultuous period of American history.” 

            Paper Promises: Early American Photography is on view February 27, 2018 - May 27, 2018 at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center. The exhibition is curated by Mazie Harris, assistant curator of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. A book of the same name and authored by Dr. Harris, with contributions from scholars of American history and photography, will be released by Getty Publications in February 2018.

Image: Locomotive on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, near Oakland, Maryland, about 1860. Salted paper print. Image: 16.2 × 16 cm (6 3/8 × 6 5/16 in.). Lent by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1991 (1991.1151). Image: www.metmuseum.org

 

131-DISCH.jpegThe Grolier Club looks back to the future in an exhibition of science fiction and the fantastic from the collection of author and antiquarian bookseller Henry Wessells.  

A Conversation larger than the Universe represents the Grolier’s first-ever presentation of speculative fiction, in a highly personal selection of 70 books (many signed or inscribed by their authors), magazines, manuscripts, letters, and works of art, dating from the mid-eighteenth century to the present, on view in the second floor gallery from January 25 to March 10, 2018.  From Gothic romances to classic fantasies to cyberpunk and frightening dystopian fiction, the works map out a universe of hopes, dreams - and nightmares. 

The exhibition A Conversation larger than the Universe traces the origins of science fiction to the eighteenth-century Gothic, with Thomas Leland’s Longsword (1762).  Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) grew from this Gothic tradition but she accomplished something new with her tale of the creation of a fully autonomous and intelligent artificial human being: the first science fiction story.  On view is a copy of the first American printing of Frankenstein from 1833.  Mary Shelley also wrote the first secular apocalypse, The Last Man (1826), in which a terrible plague destroys all humanity.  Other landmark works from the nineteenth century on view include After London (1885) by Richard Jefferies and The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) by H.G. Wells, a tale of animals transformed into human beings which eminent American author Gene Wolfe has called “the ultimate science fiction novel.”              

The heyday of pulp fiction in the 1930s is evoked by book and magazine appearances of Doc Savage.  Also on view is Katharine Burdekin’s frightening novel, Swastika Night, published by Victor Gollancz in the summer of 1937, imagining a world seven hundred years after a Nazi victory, where women are reduced to the status of breeding animals and history and literature have been exterminated.

In the 1960s, science fiction was at the center of the counterculture.  In San Francisco, Chester Anderson used $300 from his advance for a novel, The Butterfly Kid, to become printer to the Diggers and the summer of love.  The New Wave brought literary innovation to science fiction and included American and British authors such as J. G. Ballard, Thomas M. Disch, and Samuel R. Delany.  Disch and Ballard were contributors to the satirical ’zine Ronald Reagan The Magazine of Poetry, published in London in 1968.

William Gibson’s 1984 novel Neuromancer sent shock waves through science fiction.  Gibson invented the word cyberspace on his portable typewriter in the early 1980s, yet the author did not go online until 1996.  His first response to the experience is on view in the exhibition.

The Grolier Club has always fostered and documented the book arts, and this show includes examples of  fantastic literature in books from celebrated fine presses: William Morris and his Kelmscott Press provide the archetype of the map in fantasy literature, with The Sundering Flood (1897); and the beautiful Doves Press Hamlet (1909) is a ghost story that points to the resonance of Shakespeare in science fiction as in all forms of literary activity.

The exhibition also charts how women authors have been at the heart of science fiction and the fantastic since the earliest stages, with works by Mary Shelley and Katharine Burdekin, as well as Sara Coleridge, author of the first fairy-tale novel, Phantasmion (1837), Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, and Alice Sheldon, who wrote brilliant stories under the pseudonym James Tiptree, Jr., in the 1960s and 1970s.  Closer to the present are works by Karen Joy Fowler, Wendy Walker, Eileen Gunn, Kelly Link, Greer Gilman, and Susanna Clarke.

Other topics include the influence of the First World War on science fiction and the fantastic, Imaginary Voyages, Dystopia, Literary Innovation, Humor, Rock ’n’ Roll, Bibliography and Scholarship in the field, and what’s happening in science fiction and the fantastic right now.

Notable authors whose works are also on view include Richard F. Burton, translator of the Arabian Nights; Lord Dunsany; H. P. Lovecraft’s first book, The Shunned House (1928); Philip K. Dick; Brian Aldiss;  James Blish; Jean Rhys; John Crowley; Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Peter Straub; and pioneering scholars E. F. Bleiler and John Clute.  The exhibition concludes with Christopher Brown‘s Tropic of Kansas, a gripping novel of political change in a dystopian alternate America (published July 2017).

An illustrated catalogue accompanying the exhibition, A Conversation larger than the Universe. Readings in Science Fiction and the Fantastic 1762-2017, with a descriptive checklist of the materials on view, published by The Grolier Club, will be available in January 2018. 

PLEASE NOTE—RENOVATION UPDATE

The current exhibition in the first floor gallery is Radiant with Color & Art: McLoughlin Brothers and the Business of Picture Books, 1858-1920, on view through February 4, 2018. 

It is the final presentation in the Grolier Club’s main floor exhibition hall while the space undergoes a complete renovation - the first in thirty years.

However, a full schedule of exhibitions will continue in the second floor gallery during the renovation process.  Following A Conversation larger than the Universe is the Spring exhibition Westward the Course of Empire, opening March 21, 2018.

The first floor exhibition hall will close at the beginning of February 2018 for approximately nine months.  The scope of the renovation will include the latest innovations and conservation specifications for display cases, lighting, ventilation, and sound systems.  The project will enhance the auditorium function of the exhibition hall for educational events and greatly expand storage for the rare book collection on the upper balcony.  Designed by Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the newly renovated exhibition hall is scheduled to reopen in December 2018.  

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

250x400_Tolkien-Father-Christmas.pngOxford, England - Handwritten illustrated letters from Father Christmas written by the author JRR Tolkien to his four children give a touching insight into Tolkien’s personal family life.  The illustrated letters are to go on show at 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.

When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was, and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve, from 1920 to 1943 when his youngest child Priscilla was fourteen, Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful illustrations.

Catherine McIlwaine, Tolkien Archivist at the Bodleian Libraries and curator of the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition said:

‘The Father Christmas letters are some of my favourite items in the exhibition. The letters were delivered by the postman, who’d been persuaded by Tolkien to deliver them with the rest of the post, or arrived on the hearth with specially made stamps from the North Pole, marked with the cost of postage ‘2 kisses’. They contained news from the North Pole where Father Christmas lived with his ‘helper’ the North Polar Bear, who often got into trouble and caused twice as much work for Father Christmas. As the Tolkien children grew older, the letters from Father Christmas grew longer and the tales became darker and more thrilling.’

In an exciting letter from 1932 goblins make an appearance, living in the caves underneath the North Pole and stealing the childrens’ presents from Father Christmas’ cellars. Some of the Father Christmas letters were written when Tolkien was engaged in writing one of his most famous works, ‘The Hobbit’. The goblins and wargs in that story began to spill over into Father Christmas’s letters. Elves, called Red Gnomes, also appear, coming to Father Christmas’s aid in his battles with the goblins.

The Father Christmas letters will be on display alongside the largest array of original Tolkien materials from the UK and the USA to go on show since the 1950s. 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 examine the scholarly, literary, creative and domestic worlds that influenced Tolkien as an author and artist, delighting both Tolkien fans as well as scholars, families and visitors of all ages. 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. 

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.

The complete collection of Tolkien’s Father Christmas letters have been published by Harper Collins, Letters from Father Christmas. The book and Christmas cards featuring Tolkien’s Father Christmas illustrations are available from the Bodleian Libraries shops: https://www.bodleianshop.co.uk

Image: First drawing from Father Christmas, 1920. When Tolkien’s three-year old son, John, asked who Father Christmas was and where he lived, Tolkien wrote a reply from Father Christmas, starting a tradition that would continue for the next twenty-three years. Every Christmas Eve Tolkien would sit in his study and write a letter to his children from Father Christmas, accompanying them with beautiful drawings. © The Tolkien Estate Ltd 1976

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.

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