Archive for the 'The Library' Category

“The Horrible Trimmings” — The hoard of Edward Gorey

A one-of-a-kind artist who hoarded many one-of-a-kind things.

 

The menacing tassels.

 

by Cara Giaimo for Atlas Obscura,

 

Edward Gorey, Pack Rat

The famous illustrator was a devoted collector of… well, almost everything.

 

“In 1976, Edward Gorey put out one of his trademark works of everyday dread. Called Les Passementeries Horribles, or “The Horrible Trimmings,” the book consists solely of illustrations of enormous, menacing tassels of all shapes. A velvety, tentacled clump looms over a child with a pail. A beaded braid chases a man in a wheelchair.

 

Twenty-four years later—just after the artist’s death—Rick Jones, the director of the Edward Gorey House in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, was poking around in the building’s garage when he found a small shoebox. He opened it up. “Bingo, it was a shoebox full of tassels,” says Gregory Hischak, the house’s curator. Now dusty and crumbling, each one corresponded with a page in the book. Gorey had held onto his inspiration, years and years after he used it.

 

This wasn’t unusual. When he wasn’t writing, drawing, illustrating, and designing—and even when he was—Edward Gorey was collecting. Over the course of his life, the artist gathered, and kept, everything from tarot cards to trilobites to particularly interesting cheese graters. “We ask the docents not to use the word ‘hoarder,’” says Hischak, grinning as he surveys the House’s newest exhibit, which focuses on Gorey’s pack rat tendencies. “But he really did hoard interesting things.”…

 

For the rest (and more pictures), click here.

Share

Gutenberg’s Bible is the oldest printed book, right? Think again…

The oldest book in the world…and it comes with such an incredible, mystery-infused discovery story. Enjoy!

 

 

From The Huffington Post,

Buddhism’s Diamond Sutra: The Extraordinary Discovery Of The World’s Oldest Book

By Joyce Morgan

 

“Ask people to name the world’s oldest printed book and the common reply is Gutenberg’s Bible. Few venture that the answer is a revered Buddhist text called the Diamond Sutra, printed in 868 A.D. Or that by the time Gutenberg got ink on his fingers nearly 600 years later — and his revolutionary technology helped usher in the Enlightenment — this copy of the Diamond Sutra had been hidden for several centuries in a sacred cave on the edge of the Gobi Desert and would remain there for several more.

 

Its discovery is the result of a series of accidents and its significance realized belatedly. The book unwittingly came to light when a Chinese monk clearing sand from a Buddhist meditation cave in 1900 noticed a crack in a wall. It suggested the outline of a doorway. Plastered over and painted, the entrance had been deliberately concealed.

 

The monk, Abbot Wang Yuanlu, broke in and discovered a small chamber, about nine feet square and full from floor to ceiling with scrolls. They had been hidden and perfectly preserved in the dark, dry grotto for 1,000 years. Although he didn’t know it, among the nearly 60,000 scrolls was the Diamond Sutra of 868 A.D., a woodblock printed scroll, more than 16 feet long, complete and dated, with an instruction that it be given away for free.

 

Ironically, this enduring scroll, with its illustrated frontispiece depicting the Buddha teaching his disciples, is about impermanence. The Diamond Sutra, for centuries a revered and popular scripture, distills Buddhism’s central belief: that all is change…”

 

For the rest, click here.

Share

From 1935 to 1943 the arts were funded by the U.S. government

When artists are supported, there’s more art for everyone to enjoy.

 

 

Artsy Editorial via Artsy.net,

What We Can Learn from the Brief Period When the Government Employed Artists

By Tess Thackara

 

“Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko are best-known as pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. But all four were also among thousands of artists and other creatives employed by the government through the Works Progress Administration (WPA) between the years of 1935 and 1943. That the arts would be funded significantly by the federal government—never mind that it would actively employ artists—may well raise an eyebrow today. But working under a subdivision of the WPA known as the Federal Art Project, these artists got to work to help the country recover from the Great Depression, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

 

Evidence of impoverishment and a portfolio showcasing one’s skills and commitment to the arts were all that was needed to qualify for the WPA initiative. This and the Federal Art Project’s non-discrimination clause meant that it attracted, and hired, not just white men but also artists of color and women who received little attention in the mainstream art world of the day. These artists created posters, murals, paintings, and sculptures to adorn public buildings.

 

Hospitals, post offices, schools, and airports were decorated with some of the roughly 200,000 artworks created through the program. Yet no accompanying agency was established to preserve the works. So following the dissolution of the WPA in the lead-up to World War II, many were destroyed, sold as scrap, or hastily auctioned off with little record—save a small portion that were discovered at a Long Island salvage dealer, bought by a Lower West Side curio shop owner, and repurchased by their artists for three to five dollars a pop, as Christopher DeNoon notes in the book Posters of the WPA…”

 

For the rest and an incredible gallery of images, click here.

 

Share

Next Page »