Art Libraries

Book Paintings

Book Paintings
A really great artist can create wonderful things almost anywhere – on walls, grounds, lips, eyelids, or on book pages. Look at these paintings from Mike Stilkey, I bet everyone would think of one same word “wow”. But wait, and imagine what will happen when these books fall apart onto the ground…

Smelling the Books @MOMA

Rachael Morrison: Having a job as Senior Library Assistant at The Museum of Modern Art Library has been a big influence on my artistic practice. I use the library for research and inspiration, and as a site of investigation. In early 2010, I began the performance “Smelling the Books“, which consists of me smelling every book in the MoMA Library collection. This performance was recently highlighted in New York Magazine as one of the many reasons to love New York.

My performance started with the first call number in the Library of Congress classification system AC5.S4 1934, Sermons by Artists, and I will smell until I reach ZN3.R45, Bibliography of the History of Art. I document the performance in a ledger, recording the call number, title, and a description of the smell of each book. The goal of this personal olfactory exploration is to foster a discussion of the future of print media, the ways we read, methods of classification, and the way in which smell is entwined with memory.

Smelling notations:

Google Art Project

Google has done search, email, documents, video, and now...

Art.

From the Alte Nationalgalerie of Berlin to the Metropolitan in New York to the National Gallery of London, Google has taken extremely high resolution images of some of the most famous artwork and put it online. View the artwork online and create your own gallery of favourites.

Learn more at the Google Art Project.

Egyptians Remain Vigilant Guarding Libraries & Museums

From Discovery News: Egyptians are bravely defending their cultural heritage, according to a statement from Ismail Serageldin, librarian of Alexandria and director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

“The young people organized themselves into groups that directed traffic, protected neighborhoods and guarded public buildings of value such as the Egyptian Museum and the Library of Alexandria,” he said.

“The library is safe thanks to Egypt’s youth, whether they be the staff of the Library or the representatives of the demonstrators, who are joining us in guarding the building from potential vandals and looters,” Serageldin said.

However, the risk for cultural and archaeological sites remains high.

The West Bank, where the mortuary temples and the Valley of the Kings are located, is without any security, with only villagers trying to protect the sites.

“All the antiquities in the area have been protected by the locals all night, and nothing has been touched,” Mostafa Wazery, director of the Valley of Kings at Luxor, said.

UPDATE: Sun Jan 30, 14:40pm EST: In a faxed statement, Dr. Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, confirmed that a total of 13 cases were smashed at the Egyptian museum, adding that other sites are at risk at the moment.

Comic Books Get Stripped at NY's Museum of Sex

From BookTryst, snippets of a new exhibit at the MOSEX museum. The adult, sexual kind of fantasy has inspired a genre of art with its own instantly recognizable icons: voluptuous women and muscle-bound men; fetish clothing featuring six-inch stilettos, leather, lace, and latex; bondage gear including handcuffs, masks, and corsets; and sadomasochistic props like whips, chains, and ropes. New York City's Museum of Sex has just mounted (pun intended) a new exhibition of the erotic art of comic strips and comic books in the 20th and 21st centuries, to "reveal how the comic book medium has been used over time to depict sexual fantasy, poke fun at taboo topics and lampoon icons of popular culture." Comics Stripped, a show made up of over 150 artifacts, including original drawings, illustrated books, comic books, magazines and videos, chronicles the history of "dirty drawings" from the Great Depression to the present day.

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.

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.

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