The Special Collections of the University Libraries contain some unique and eclectic items. These range from an Imperial Court Robe to theatre costume illustration to artists’ books. Acquired over two centuries, the contents of these collections, a sampling of which will be featured in this exhibition, offer a glimpse into the history of the school.The Essentials of Perspective,a textbook written by Leslie W. Miller, the first principal of the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art, is on display, as isFloricultural Cabinet, an example of a mid-19th century magazine used at a time when plant analysis was taught.
Thru October 15 in the President’s Office gallery – 320 South Broad Street
If you haven’t already heard, the University Libraries’ Special Collections exhibition, Cabinets of Curiosities, opens this week in the Office of the President in Hamilton Hall. Featuring some of the rare and more unusual books and ephemera in our collection, I wanted to share with you a wonderful digital collection on the history of the book.
The Historical Book Arts digital collection from the University of Washington is an excellent site for learning all about books and their history. Using items in their Special Collections, the digital collection includes examples of books and manuscripts from the 11th to 19th centuries. Images of bindings, printing techniques, and decorative paper provide illustration for the different skills and materials needed to create a book – a time consuming and technically difficult process!
An Exaltation of Larks is a celebration of language. Lipton (famous host of Inside the Actor’s Studio) researched venereal terms back to the fifteenth century, and has composed a few of his own. The text is paired with beautiful engravings by Durer and Granville, among others, and it’s simply great fun for word and list lovers alike!
Krazy Kat begins with a simple love triangle: cat loves mouse, mouse hates cat, and dog hates mouse and protects the cat. But the artist George Herriman found innumberable permutations to express this relationship, creating comics with these characters and other residents of Coconino County from 1913-1944. Krazy Kat is now recognized as a masterpiece of the comic form, with Herriman’s Sunday pages standing out for their novel use of design, color, and language. This book provides an assortment of the daily and Sunday strips from the comic, as well as an in-depth look at Herriman’s life.
Sue Johnson’s work is part traditional art and part exhibition design. She blends her paintings and prints with found objects and museum displays, creating new meanings for both her original work and the found objects. Johnson is interested in how we organize and exhibit nature – and how we desperately try to remove ourselves from nature. In the end, though, she always finds us in the natural world with wonderful touches of humor.