Art Libraries

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.

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.

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.

Book Art Exhibit at Washington & Lee

"Beyond Text and Image: The Book as Art" opens on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Staniar Gallery, Wilson Hall, at Washington and Lee in Lexington, VA. Curated by W&L humanities librarian Yolanda Merrill, the exhibition showcases 30 works by nationally known book artists.

Merrill will give a curator's talk and slideshow on Wednesday, March 3, at 6 p.m. in the Concert Hall facing the Gallery. The lecture will be followed by a reception in Lykes Atrium, adjacent to the Gallery. The exhibit, curator's talk and reception are free and open to the public.

Merrill herself has many years of experience as a bookbinder and bookmaker, and has co-taught a course in the book arts at Washington and Lee. A selection of the student work made in the course is on display in the Lykes Atrium.

The focus of the exhibit is on sculptural books. However, there will also be photographs and other two-dimensional works in the show. Washington & Lee.

Who Belongs On Our "Blogs To Read In 2010" List?

(Why This List Matters.)

We're in the final stretch of putting together our annual list, "10 Blogs To Read in 2010".

What blogs do you read every day? What blogs help you learn? What blogs keep you informed? What blogs make you laugh? Who's the best writer out there?

Think of it this way: "I read many others, but these are the LIS blogs that read even when time is short"

I'm looking for input from as many people as possible so the final list doesn't miss any new talented bloggers. My goal again this year is simple, we'll list 10 blogs that, when followed as a group, paint a complete picture of what's going on in our little world. You can leave a comment below, hit the contact form, or send an email to [email protected].

Before you nominate, take a look at past winners, they aren't eligible for 2010:

10 Blogs To Read in 2006
http://www.lisnews.org/node/17775

10 Blogs To Read In 2007
http://www.lisnews.org/node/20341

The LISNews 10 Blogs To Read In 2008
http://lisnews.org/node/28830

10 Blogs To Read In 2009
http://www.lisnews.org/10_librarian_blogs_read_2009

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