Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2014
The holiday season brings fragrant trees into our homes, green wreaths attached to doors, and carpets of pine boughs to the dividers along the uptown stretches of Park Avenue near the Met. In concert with the season, I thought I'd highlight a few items from Watson Library's special collections that feature Christmas decorations and evergreen motifs.
Posted: Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The practice of millinery dates back to the early sixteenth century. Although hats have come in and out of fashion over the years, milliners, who make hats for women (hat makers make hats for men), have always been making hats that reflect the style and fashion of their culture. For example, in the 1920s, a close-fitting hat such as a cloche was made to show off a shorter hairstyle, which was becoming increasingly popular.
Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Conveniently located on the ground floor in the Uris Center for Education is one of the Met's lesser-known gems: Nolen Library. Open to all visitors, Nolen Library welcomes readers of all ages to explore a wide range of materials about the Museum's collection, exhibitions, programs, and the history of art.
Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2014
In a recent post on Frederick Stuart Church for the Highlights from the Digital Collections blog, I asked readers to help me decipher what was written in a few of Church's letters. Within weeks I had responses from two different readers—one of whom has published a book on Church, and the other who is currently working on a book about the artist.
Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Sometimes—and, in fact, frequently here in Watson—we do judge a book by its cover (or its endpapers). From the gold-tooled fine bindings of the Renaissance to nineteenth-century mass-produced publishers' bindings, the book as an object of beauty has always been important to collectors. While there are many techniques used to create decorated paper, four are represented here—paste, marbling, block printing, and Dutch gilt—in items from Watson Library's special collections.
Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Chromolithograph was a British publication issued weekly from November 1867 through March 1869. Intended as a journal of "art, literature, decoration and the accomplishments," this publication used chromolithography, a then relatively novel printing technique, to illustrate the various themes discussed in its articles. The first twelve issues of The Chromolithograph—spanning November 23, 1867, through February 8, 1868—have recently been digitized by the Watson Library, and a browse through this content will provide one with a fascinating view of the artistic, cultural, literary, and social world of Victorian England just past mid-century.
Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
I'm very pleased to share that Watson Library has recently finished the bulk of in-house digitizing and have posted online a considerable amount of archival materials from the Brummer Gallery Records, completing a yearlong project generously funded by the Kress Foundation. This is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the papers of the galleries of Joseph, Ernest, and Imre Brummer, now housed in The Cloisters Archives.
Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2014
In conjunction with the symposium The Art of Japanese Books: Uses, Materials, and Block-Printing Techniques, recently hosted by Watson Library's Book Conservation Department, the library is currently displaying three colorful titles on Japanese theater and textile design.
Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Earlier this month, the Thomas J. Watson Library sponsored two events devoted to the scholarship of Japanese books of the Edo period. These events were developed to create an environment of collegial collaboration surrounding the subject of Japanese books and to celebrate the Museum's acquisition of the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books, a group of over 250 ehon (illustrated books) from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.