Art Libraries

Out of Many, One. Exhibit on the Religions of Abraham at the NYPL

The sweep of the new exhibition at the New York Public Library — “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam” — is stunning. It encompasses both an elaborately decorated book of 20th-century Coptic Christian readings and a modest 19th-century printing of the Gospels in the African language Grebo. There are Korans, with pages that shimmer with gold leaf and elegant calligraphy, and a 13th-century Pentateuch from Jerusalem, written in script used by Samaritans who traced their origins to the ancient Northern Kingdom of Israel.

The library’s Gutenberg Bible is here, as well as its 1611 King James translation. The first Koran published in English is shown, from 1649, along with fantastical images from 16th-century Turkish and Persian manuscripts in which Muhammad is pictured with other prophets, his face a blank white space in obeisance to the prohibition against his portrait.

Out of many, one. That could well be the motto of this ambitious exhibition. It focuses on “the three Abrahamic religions” — Judaism, Christianity and Islam. One of the main sponsors of “Three Faiths,” is the Coexist Foundation, whose aim is “to promote better understanding between Jews, Christians and Muslims.” (The other main donor is the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.) The display is on view through Feb. 27 at the New York Public Library.

A Library Designed for the Post-Print Era

From Fast Company Design:

The defining decorative element of a library has always been the books themselves. But now that institutions ranging from the University of Texas at Austin to ultra-traditional Cushing Academy are tossing their stacks in favor of digital collections, the question arises: How do you design a library when print books are no longer its core business?

At the University of Amsterdam, Dutch designers Studio Roelof Mulder and Bureau Ira Koers converted an existing 27,000-square-foot library into a massive study hall -- without any visible books -- to accommodate the 1,500 to 2,000 students who visit daily.

It’s a clever way to adapt to the post-print era. Libraries are expensive to operate. As books increasingly go digital, it makes sense for libraries to either downsize or, in the case of the University of Amsterdam, shift the focus of operations from books to people.

Check out the link for photos.

Symphony Librarian Knows the Score

It's 1:16 p.m. and Nancy Fisch sits at her desk, making mysterious, hieroglyph-like squiggles on a copy of music.

With a freshly sharpened pencil in her left hand — her left-handedness is a sign of her brilliance, she jokes — she's transferring the squiggles from one copy of a score to another.

"Let's see how long it takes me," she says, savoring the challenge.

Fisch is the Joan Rivers of symphony librarians, a wise-cracking, Brooklyn-born, former French horn player with a talent for organization, a salty sense of humor and a tireless devotion to the orchestra. She works as the librarian of the San Diego Symphony.

The music in front of her: the viola part of Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D major. It's one of the works that flutist Sir James Galway — the most famous flutist on the planet — will perform next month in the concerts that open the San Diego Symphony's centennial season.

On her right is the music prepared by the symphony's principal violist, Che-Yen Chen. On her left is the copy that needs work. -- Read More

Zappa -- "If You Want to Learn, Go To a Library"

from the Baltimore Sun: Live near Baltimore and looking for something to do on Sunday? Get thee to the library...

Two years after Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, donated a $50,000 bust of Baltimore-born rocker Frank Zappa, the art will be installed Sunday at the Southeast Anchor Library during a daylong celebration. The audience, which organizers expect to number in the thousands, will include Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Zappa's widow, Gail, and one of his sons, Dweezil, who'll be performing with his tribute band, Zappa Plays Zappa. Rawlings-Blake will designate Sunday as Zappa Day, Gail Zappa will host a Q&A and the Creative Alliance at the Patterson will throw an afterparty.

When asked where the bust should be placed, Gail Zappa said she picked a library because her husband was a self-taught man who loved libraries.

"He always said, 'If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want to learn, go to a library,'" she said.

Creating A Unique Library in Colorado

That's RANCH library... not branch library...

The LA Times Jacket Copy blogs on a new type of library currently under construction in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain Land Library, where visitors can learn not only from books, but also from the landscape.

Jeff Lee and his wife Ann Martin, longtime staff members at the famed Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver, are behind the Rocky Mountain Land Library project. They were inspired by St. Deiniol's Library in North Wales to create a space for scholarship, contemplation, reading and writing, all in connection with the land itself.

Students at the University of Colorado Denver are currently working at the Buffalo Peaks Ranch, where a 20,000 + volume natural history library will be focused on the land and communities of the Rocky Mountains.

Baltimore Will Celebrate Native Son Zappa This Fall

A weekend-long celebration featuring live music, a symposium and art exhibit will celebrate the dedication of the Frank Zappa statue in Baltimore, organizers said. A bust of Zappa, a Baltimore native, was a gift from a Lithuanian fan club. After much deliberation, the city decided to place it in Highlandtown, outside the library. His wife said Zappa would have liked the location, because his mother, Rose Marie, was a librarian.

Zappa Plays Zappa, a tribute act fronted by Zappa's son Dweezil, will perform; Zappa's widow, Gail, will give a symposium; and the Southeast Anchor Library will launch an exhibit in conjunction with the Sept. 19 statue dedication, according to producer Sean Brescia.

"It's going to make it what it should be," Brescia said. "It's going to be a cool tribute weekend." Baltimore Sun.

New Walnut Creek (CA) Library Houses Art & Books


"Shhh...A Portrait in 12 Volumes of Gray," by Christian Moeller, is the centerpiece of the public art on display in Walnut Creek's new public library, which opens on July 17.

At one entrance, shown above, visitors to the library will be greeted by internationally recognized artist Christian Moeller's 26-foot-tall portrait of a cheeky librarian holding a finger to her lips. At another, they'll walk under a stream of colorful glass bottles riding a metal tidal wave. And in the children's area they won't be able to help but notice the playful sculptures of bees, dragonflies and flowers flitting across the walls. Twelve photo images and more on the new library from Contra Costa Times.

New Jersey Library Loans a Little-Seen Painting to the Metropolitan Museum

From Arts Journal: A few days ago, the Dover Free Public Library in Morris County NJ, took 'Emigrant Train Attacked by Indians' by Emanuel Leutze (painter of the more famous Washington Crossing the Delaware) down from its walls, packed it, and put it in a truck destined for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It will be on loan there for five years. After that, no one is talking.

Why? Dover library director Robert Tambini told the Morris Country Daily Record that he was bothered that such an important painting, which hung in the library's reading room, was unrecognized, unseen by enough people. It was lent to the library in 1934, and given to it in 1943 by a local family, the Derrys, in memory of Olivia Smith Derry.

Recently appraised for insurance, it was valued at $2.5 million, up from $300,000 in 1988, according to the DR. Here's a link to the article in the Daily Record.

Bookplate Exhibit, University of Virginia

James M. Goode has assembled one of the finest private collections of American and English bookplates I have ever seen. If you click on the this link you will see a most informative video about his collection.

If you can get to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia before July 31st, be sure to visit Three Centuries of the American Bookplate a representative exhibit of the Goode collection . It will be on view at both the Alderman and Harrison -Small Libraries. For summer hours check the following website:
Http://www2.lib.virginia.edu/hours Information about the exhibit is detailed in the bookplate blog posting dated 6/12/2010:

Http://bookplatejunkie.blogspot.com

Artist Chosen for Philip Larkin Statue

BBC reports: Sculptor Martin Jennings has been chosen to produce a bronze statue of the poet Philip Larkin for the Paragon Interchange in Hull.

Jennings was one of three sculptors invited by the Philip Larkin Society to submit designs for the artwork. Larkin, who lived in Hull for 30 years before his death in 1985, combined a celebrated writing career with his role as librarian at Hull University.

Designs by sculptors Graham Ibbeson and Jemma Pearson were also considered.

Jennings' work includes the statue of poet St John Betjeman at St Pancras station in London. He said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have been commissioned to make this sculpture of one of Britain's greatest poets.

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