Art Libraries

Day in the Life of a Library of Congress Chemist

DC-ist Blog has the 'photo of the day' from 'volcanpkw'

...who has pretty much the coolest job ever; she's a Research Chemist with the LoC and has been working with daguerreotypes for the past few days. She told us she's trying to figure out:

* What did 19th century photographers use as plate bases for their daugerreotypes?
* Can we tell what the tarnish is on his plates?
* Can we treat the tarnish without destorying the image?
* Do multiple sensitizations change particle size/distribution?
* How can we clean off organics (like bugs) without destroying the image?
* Can we use hyperspectral imaging to re-create what an almost-gone image once looked like by using UV and infrared light?

All About Yaddo

From the New York Times an article about a forthcoming exhibition at the NYPL on the artists' retreat, Yaddo.

In 1899 Katrina Trask, desolate over the death of their four children, proposed to her husband, Spencer, that they turn Yaddo, their 400-acre estate outside Saratoga Springs, N.Y., into an artists’ retreat. He was a baron of the Gilded Age. She was a pre-Raphaelite figure who wore gauzy white dresses and wrote poetry about the days of King Arthur, and she imagined the place as a perpetual house party of writers, artists and musicians.

There was writing, there was painting and composing, but it sounds like there more than a bit of sleeping around too. Among other choice tidbits from the article..."John Cheever used to boast that he had enjoyed sex on every flat surface in the mansion, not to mention the garden and the fields. It was at Yaddo that Newton Arvin, a literary critic and professor at Smith College, met and began a long affair with the young Truman Capote, or “Precious Spooky,” as he calls him in a couple of charming letters, on display at the library. The novelist Henry Roth met his wife, the composer Muriel Parker, there, and the novelist Josephine Herbst started enduring relationships with the painter Marion Greenwood and the poet Jean Garrigue (who was also having an affair with another Yaddo resident, Alfred Kazin).

Clinton Presidential Library presents "The Art of the Chopper"

Why choppers? Why the Clinton Library?

""Just as (Bill Clinton) defines the end of the 20th century, so does the chopper," Clinton Center Director Terri Garner said.

The Oval Office replica at the Clinton Presidential Library is there to give visitors a look at what they'd see if they could get inside the working area of the White House. For the next several months, the view comes with some horsepower.

The center's new "Art of the Chopper" exhibit displays 30 gleaming, handcrafted motorcycles from around the country. That may be a curious choice for a presidential library, but it reflects American culture in the late 20th century, which Clinton center director Terri Garner says is part of the museum's mission. Vroom vroom!

Portrait of a Librarian

Bet you'd like a photo of yourself at work to be priced just shy of a cool million...

Forbes reports: At a Sept. 9 Christie's auction in New York a rare photograph by celebrated contemporary artist Cindy Sherman sold for over $900,000--three times Christie's asking price. In "Untitled Film Still #13," Sherman poses as a librarian, gazing beyond the shelves of books that surround her.

On the other hand, you are a ~real librarian~, a priceless commodity in my book.

A Comic Book Character Makes a Political Endorsement

Check this out. Image Comics 'Savage Dragon' drawn by Erik Larsen shows his support for a certain candidate in Issue 137.

The new issue goes on sale Sept. 3, and one in five copies will have the endorsement cover. NYTimes blogger George Gene Gustines adds "No word at this point whom Superman plans to vote for."

European Culture in a Click

ZDnet reports: The European Commission plans to put the continent's works of art at the fingertips of web users could be up and running by the end of the year — if EU member states are willing to commit more funding.

Here is the new website's demonstration portal.

Santa Monica Library Mural a Click Away

The Santa Monica Library has a glimpse of the past that you can view online.

The library’s new website features the history of the 1935 mural by Stanton Macdonald Wright, a sliding presentation of its 38 panels depicting 160 historical and mythological figures from primitive man to 1930s Hollywood. Following its conservation in 2005, the Library Mural was re-installed in the new Main Library, which opened in January 2006.

For the conservationists among you, there's a page of the site that describes and shows before and after photos.

Famous Writers in Their Rooms

The painter Elena Climent has painted the workspaces of famous writers in a mural that measures 10 feet high by 30 feet wide, composed of six panels painted for New York University’s Languages and Literature building at 19 University Place.

The mural, “At Home With Their Books,” measures 10 feet high by 30 feet wide and depicts, in six chronologically ordered panels, the writing spaces of six authors who spent part of their careers in New York. Ms. Climent said the university selected three of the authors and asked her to choose three, but stipulated that none could be living. Slide show and article from the New York Times.

Artist's Doll Removed from Library Display

The New Haven Advocate reports on the removal of a naif-style
doll modeled after Mayor John de Stefano at an exhibit in the New Haven Free Library. Here's a promotion on YouTube for the art show.

Could it have been a slap in the face to the politician who recently announced massive budget cuts to balance the city's huge budget gap? Over 100 city employees were laid off. When the exhibition opened on June 21 the doll, by local artist Kim Mikenis, was a part of it—but a week later, it was gone. Mikenis claims that this particular doll was only the first in a series portraying Connecticut mayors, and was not meant as an exclusive statement about DeStefano.

The decision to remove it was made by James Wellbourne, city librarian. According to Kathy Hurley, the library's spokeswoman, Wellbourne was concerned that the "personal" reference to an identifiable individual "within the community" could be locally offensive.

You be the they say.

A Home for the World's Largest Treasury of Cartoon Art

Once upon a time there was a Comic Book Museum, started by cartoonist Mort Walker of Beetle Bailey and Hi & Lois fame. The museum was originally located in 1973 in a mansion in Greenwich, CT then moved to nearby Rye Brook, NY and then on to a facility built in Boca Raton, FL That shut down in 2002 when two major financial backers went bankrupt, said Walker, 84. A plan to relocate to New York City fell through in 2006. Cartoon aficionados were sad.

Now the contents of the museum have found a new home at Ohio State University...happy ending. Ohio State University's Cartoon Research Library said it's acquiring and plans to display the collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art, about 200,000 works that have been in limbo since the museum's last physical location closed six years ago.

The museum's original drawings for comic books, comic strips and animated cartoons, as well as display figures, toys, collectibles and films, will double the size of the library's cartoon art collection, said Lucy Shelton Caswell, the library's curator. Ohio State expects the collection to arrive early this summer and is looking for a larger space for its Cartoon Research Library, Caswell said.

AP story here.


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