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Blog Posts by Subject: Art History

Pic Pick: Francis Martin Creation Station Has Artsy Picture Books for Children

In my efforts to rebel against the paper plate and crayon phenomena I created the kids art program "Creation Station". Every other Tuesday I pick a modern/contemporary visual artist and order some of the library's extensive monographs on that particular artist.Read More ›

Monuments Men Reading List

The Monuments Men film was a slightly fictionalized version of the incredible true story of the activities of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives Program at the end of World War II. Though much of the action really happened, some of the names and details were changed. If you enjoyed the movie and want to learn more, here is a list of suggested titles.Read More ›

Special Libraries in Focus: the Metropolitan Museum of Art

I know that the Met is one of the major art museums in New York City, so I was thrilled when a librarian from the Watson Library agreed to give staff from NYPL a tour of the Watson and Nolen libraries, which are open to the public, free of charge. The librarians provided us with tours of both the Watson and Nolen libraries, and staff were allowed to ask questions. The librarians who led our tour were very knowledgeable and friendly. The Met libraries are a great resource for anyone wishing to research art history.

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Drawing People and Places: A Resource List

Balthus — The Mediterranean Cat, 1949This Friday, teaching artist Josh Millis will begin his 10 session drawing class for adults 55+ at Jefferson Market Library. (This class is full, but check out the Creative Aging classes being held at other 

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The Art of Anna Bella Geiger

Harper Montgomery, a writer in the Wertheim Study, has curated a fascinating exhibition at Hunter College, going until May 4. At 68th and Lexington, it is a smallish (read: do-able) delight — Open Work in Latin America, New York & Beyond: Conceptualism Reconsidered, 1967-1978.

It features prints, artists' books, photography and videos, photocopies, all sorts of experimental treats, including Ed 

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Art and Low-Vision: MoMA Presents an Introduction to Modern Art

As part or our art and low-vision series we are excited to have The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) present a series of free lectures and art-making workshops at the Andrew Heiskell Library this winter. The content of this program series is based on free monthly touch and verbal description tours conducted at MOMA for adults who are blind or partially sighted. MoMA also conducts programs such as these for families. All programs will take place in the first floor 

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The Pompadour's Book: A Mystery Manuscript Owned by Madame de Pompadour

It's a small volume, neatly but unostentatiously bound in mottled calf. The gilt ornamentation is discreet, except for an impressive coat of arms on both boards. That becomes even more impressive when we identify it as the blazon of one of the standout personalities of 18th-century France, Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, marquise de Pompadour — elevated from her haute-bourgeois background and a boring union with a certain M. Lenormand d'Étioles (nephew of her mother's lover) to become the official maîtresse-en-titre to 

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Weddings and Marriages at NYPL: A Research Guide

Courtesy of New Line Cinemas/HBO Productions: Sex and the City at NYPLIn Sex and the City: The Movie, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) ascends the iconic marble steps of The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street wearing a stunning Vivienne 

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The Face of Intellectual Beauty: The New York Review of Books at 48

First published on February 1st, 1963, The New York Review of Books has been hailed to be one of the world's leading intellectual literary magazines. Known for its sharp and critical insights, commentaries and book reviews on culture, literature and current affairs, The NYRB has had much success in gaining attention from and written contributions by eminent scholars, intellectuals and writers such as Margaret Atwood,

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Valhalla Hospital: The Art of the Moody Wallen Band

Jefferson Market Library's Summer Art Display, Valhalla Hospital: The Art of the Moody Wallen Band, exhibits over 50 line drawings, watercolors, acrylics, and oil paintings throughout the entire building, as well as a visual installation display and rotating video program every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. through August 18, inside the program room.

The Moody Wallen Band formed in early 2004 to collectively pursue the various music and art 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: The Rain of Crosses

The New York Public Library business card logoDid you know that The New York Public Library has an official color? I didn't either, and I've worked here since the Dark Ages (before the Internet). But we do, as I found out when I ordered new business cards recently. The color is red.

That's fine with me—I've always liked red (political considerations aside), and besides it gives me an excuse to select as the Spencer Collection Book of the Month for April a small volume containing two illustrations in vivid red. It is appropriate also because Easter falls in April this 

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Postscript to "Kippenberger's Quixote": The Missing Piece

About a week after my most recent post, something extraordinary happened. Regina Fiorito, a representative of the Estate of Martin Kippenberger (represented by the Galerie Gisela Capitain in Cologne) contacted the Library about it. "We would like to be in touch with Kathie Coblentz from the Spencer Collection, we read her blog today about a Kippenberger book. We (The Estate 

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Come See the Mystery of Picasso

Black ink soaks through a transparent canvas to form an image drawn by the master, Pablo Ruiz Picasso

In Le Mystere de Picasso (1956), director Henri-Georges Clouzot creates a new type of art documentary: one which manages to capture art at the very moment of conception. The transparent canvas allows the camera to capture each stroke of the artist's brush in real-time, beginning in 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: Kippenberger's Quixote

Kippenberger's Don Quijote de la Mancha book object (detail)When is a book not a book? For this month's Spencer Collection Book of the Month, I have a couple of answers in mind.

From the point of view of contemporary art, the answer might be, "When it's a book object."—"Art which makes use of the book format or the structure of the book; typically ... unique sculptural works that take the form of, or incorporate, 

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The Talent Show @ MoMA PS1

Adrian Piper, a pioneer in conceptual art exploring race and gender, is among the artists included in the Talent Show.The permeable concepts of fame, publicity, and exhibitionism in the age of reality television and social networking are some of the themes explored in the exhibit The Talent Show—on view at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, through April 4, 2011.

The show, organized by the Walker Art Center 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: A Wotton Binding

Volume bound for Thomas Wotton (Detail)After I'd spent four Sunday evenings in January engrossed in the doings of the Earl of Grantham and his household on the PBS "Masterpiece Classic" series Downton Abbey, this month's choice for Spencer Collection Book of the Month was obvious: a book that lingered for more than three centuries in the company of barons and earls, before being exiled from their presence in exchange for cold, hard cash.

Like

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: Correspondence of St. Jerome

When I started blogging last May, I hoped to post frequently, but my "day job" of cataloging the books I'd like to write about kept getting in the way. This year, I made a New Year's resolution to blog more regularly. To get started, I thought I would pick a "Spencer Collection Book of the Month" at the beginning of each month and write a short post about it—just enough to share with my readers some of the things that make it special, because the Spencer 

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Dot, Dash, Splash, and Splatter: Abstract Expressionist New York @ MoMa

Pull out your black turtleneck and a beret! The Musuem of Modern Art presents through April 25, 2011 the exhibit Abstract Expressionist New York. Whether or not you think a painting by Jackson Pollock is a work of genius, or something your kid brother could easily do, this exhibit is a treat for the eyes. Suitable for the whole family, consider a visit sometime during or after the Holiday season.

The Abstract Expressionists (Arshile 

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Charlotte Moorman meets the Wertheim Study

Nam June Paik, 'Robot K-456' and Charlotte Moorman (1964). Photo by Peter Moore @ Estate of Peter Moore/VAGA.NYNew York in the 1970s, without cellphones, the internet, globalization, etc., was a very different place and arguably more vibrant (though I'm glad Central Park isn't like it used to be.)  Photographer extraordinaire Peter Moore tirelessly went about the City capturing just about everyone and everything, and became particularly known 

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More Radical Women in the Wertheim Study

Food is a Feminist IssueTuesday is the second of the Wertheim Study scholars' lecture series: Singular and Collective: Radical Women Artists [in NYC during the 1970s].  This one, by Dr. Aseel Sawalha, is the collective part.  She's going to examine the scene from the perspective of anthropology, focusing on two women's arts collectives: The

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