The "artist files" in visionary curator Harald Szeemann’s archive at the Getty Research Institute are now processed and available to researchers!
Housed in some 850 boxes, these files contain records on over 20,000 20th-century artists, from A to Z.
Pictured above: the files of John Baldessari, John Lennon, and Keith Haring
GREENFIELD, Mass. — Once central to any quest to locate books within a library, the fate of card catalogs was sealed with the rise of the Internet and computer searches, relegating many of those index cards to the country’s basements, storage cabinets and trash bins.
But on a wall in the corner of Greenfield Community College’s Nahman-Watson Library, 128 artifacts from the library’s card catalog hang preserved in a glass case — signed by the authors who penned the very books to which the cards once led.
The project has been 14 years in the making for librarian Hope Schneider, who wanted to memorialize the cards after the library’s catalog went digital in 1999.
ok - last Ruscha post. March 1964 issue of Artforum with a great ad for Twentysix Gasoline Stations. Ruscha’s book was rejected and returned to him after he submitted it to the Library of Congress. - ds
This is one of the most fascinating items I have ever cataloged. Louis Prang was a noted printer from Boston, and a master of chromolithography. Arguably the finest book printed in the United States using chromolithography, his Oriental Ceramic Art used up to 44 separate stones for each image, to create color images of the very highest quality. (Most books printed using chromolithography used 12 stones for an image.) This is the progressive proof book for one of those plates. The progressive proofs begin with a single black and white image of the vase, followed by a proof of just one color. Each successive proof sheet of a single color (left side) is followed by a proof showing the application of colors as the work progresses to its final sheet (right side). Twenty-eight different single colors are applied to create the final image, some of them adding very subtle depth and tone. It is inscribed by Prang to a friend, and is one of a kind.
If you are so inclined, here are some references for more information:
- McClinton, Katharine (Morrison). The Chromolithographs of Louis Prang. New York: C. N. Potter; distributed by Crown Publishers, 1973.
- Freeman, Larry. Louis Prang; Color Lithographer; Giant of a Man. Watkins Glen, N.Y.: Century House, 1971.
- Reese, William S. Stamped with a National Character: Nineteenth Century American Color Plate Books : an Exhibition. New York: Grolier Club, 1999.
My heart! These images are so lovely and striking.
The painting that caused such a ruckus at the Newark Public Library is uncovered again, viewable by all, and the controversy around it gone.
You may remember a column last month about several staff members up in arms because they didn’t think the art was appropriate. They made such a fuss that it was covered up a day after being hung in the second-floor reference room.
The huge drawing was done by Kara Walker, a renowned African-American artist whose themes deal with race, gender, sexuality and violence. This piece shows the horrors of reconstruction, 20th-century Jim Crowism and hooded figures of the Ku Klux Klan.
With the book, you give something of yourself—something that may hold some of your thoughts and deliberations in the form of notes, or indicate part of your personal history in that the book may be heavily used or not used at all; it may be a special edition or translation; it may show traces of having been dropped in the bath, speaking to your reading habits. And you’ll think about whether you want to risk handing it over: Will the borrower treat it respectfully, and return this part of you?
That looks like someone was drinking a giant mug of wine.
“I wear the chains I forged in life.”
Jacob Marley’s gonna getcha! (Does that candle flame have a face?)
For Italian artist Frederico Pietrella, time is a framework that can be measured in the time it takes to create a work of art. And one of the mediums he uses to illustrate the concept of time is a library date stamp. As his large-scale images take a considerable amount of time to produce, he will change the stamp to reflect the current date, adding texture to illustrate his everyday images in a complex, pointillistic manner.
Well look at this.
Art can move and alter people in subtle ways because, like love, it speaks through and to the heart. This young man’s work will, in its own special way, affect the conscience of vast numbers with the moral force and vigor of our young people. And coming as it does from a source so eminently influential as yourself, it will be both an inspiration and a sustenance to us all.
— A letter from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Sammy Davis, Jr., December, 1960.
To explain, she told a story about the neuroscientist V. S. Ramachandran, who helps patients experiencing phantom-limb pain. Barry discussed one patient who felt that his missing left hand was clenched in a fist and could never shake the discomfort — could never “unclench” it.
So Ramachandran used a mirror box — a compartment into which the patient could insert his right hand and see it reflected at the end of his left arm. “And Ramachandran said, ‘Open your hands.’ And the patient saw this” — Barry opened two clenched fists in unison. “That’s what I think images do.
“I think that in the course of human life,” she continued softly, “we have events that cause” — she clenched her fist and held it up, inspecting it from all angles. “Losing your parents might cause it. Or a war. Or things going bad in a family.”
The only way to open that fist, she said, is to see your own trouble reflected in an image, as the patient saw his hand reflected in a mirror. It might be a story you write, or a book you read, or a song that means the world to you. “And then?” She opened her hand and waved.
— From the New York Times, Lynda Barry Will Make You Believe In Yourself.
Katsushika Hokusai, Behind the Waves at Kanagawa Bay (c.1830-1832) Japan, Room 107 of The Art Museum from Phaidon.
Keep an eye out for a review of The Art Museum plus a interview by veteran LJ reviewer Cheryl Ann Lajos of Amanda Renshaw, one of the book’s editors, in the next few weeks!
High relief sculpture in the Library of Alexandria’s fine arts gallery. (by Islam Kotb)