All posts in “Library”

The Seattle Art Museum in Fiction

“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” — Albert Camus

It all started when a museum visitor asked our public relations department about a book title he was trying to track down. His email stated, “I don’t know the book, don’t know the author, but a few pages into it I did know Seattle Art Museum was the setting of a murder mystery themed around art… and it was a wonderful read.” His request was sent to SAM’s Bullitt Library where we quickly realized we had no compiled list of fictional books where the museum was mentioned—but, we probably should! So, we set out to construct a list and discover how fiction expresses SAM’s truth.

After combing through novels featuring the museum, it became apparent that SAM is most often the setting for intrigue and romance. If you consider that our Brotman Forum has a car hurtling through the air, intrigue certainly represents an aspect of SAM’s truth, but I think the romantic side is more subtle. The artist, Pablo Picasso, said “Art is a lie that tells the truth.” Considering Picasso’s idea of art, SAM’s romantic truth may be in every installation. The emotions each exhibition brings forth give the audience the opportunity to allow an exploration of their own feelings, making it a perfect place to find true love.

Seattle Art Museum is often mentioned in passing in novels that take place in the Seattle area. The museum is such an iconic feature of the city that authors often mention it to set the atmosphere of the scene. In fact artist Jonathan Borofsky’s Hammering Man—a work owned by the City of Seattle but situated directly in front of the museum—is often described in scenes of downtown Seattle. Conducting a search of SAM in fiction gives many results. By reading through each one, I was able to establish the context and importance the museum actually had in the plot of the book.

Old Scores by Aaron Elkins

A series that particularly features the Seattle Art Museum is the Chris Norgren Mysteries series by Washington-state author, Aaron Elkins. In this series, a Seattle Art Museum curator often finds himself involved in art’s shady underworld.

Noteworthy novels that feature SAM in order to establish an atmosphere of exciting intrigue or provide a backdrop for dramatic romance include: Long Overdue by Jeff Ayers, which features both SAM and the Seattle Public Library, includes a rambling lunatic who accuses SAM of running a mind-jamming device from the museum, and Dating Can Be Deadly by Wendy Roberts, uses SAM as a popular date night spot for a potential killer.

A Glancing Light by Arron Elkins

Weeding through this list, I was able narrow it down to an introductory top twenty list. If you’re looking to further your experience of SAM’s truth with fiction we have compiled a list of novels that either feature SAM or just briefly mention the museum. This list is by no means exhaustive, but this top twenty list sets out to reflect fiction’s truths about SAM. The list features a short synopsis of SAM’s role in each book and is presented in alphabetical order here. I was unable to read all of the novels listed, so I encourage people to submit their reviews to give more context, and suggest any additional titles to add.

Suggestions may be sent to libraries@seattleartmuseum.org. We look forward to hearing from you!

—Jenatha Bruchon, Library Intern, Seattle Art Museum Libraries

P.S. As for the book our visitor was after, it was Old Scores by Aaron Elkins.

Grant brings new books to the McCaw Foundation Library

The McCaw Foundation Library at the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park is open to all museum staff, docents, volunteers, members, and the general public. As one of SAM’s three libraries, the McCaw Foundation Library specializes in research materials supporting the museum’s Asian collection and exhibitions that occur at the Asian Art Museum. Anyone with an interest in the visual arts of Asia will appreciate the outstanding collection.

New Book at McCaw Library

The SAM Libraries’ holdings number nearly 60,000 items, with more than a third of those being available at the McCaw Foundation Library. These materials include: books, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, serials, videos, and electronic publications, many of which are in Asian languages. These materials support research on objects in the permanent collection, research for special exhibitions, assist in docent-led tour preparation, and provide general information about the history of art in Asia.

The Museum’s general operating funds are the primary source of financial support for the McCaw Foundation Library. When the need for additional funding arises, the museum staff collaborates in sourcing the necessary funds.

Histories of Modern and Contemporary Japan through Art: Institutions, Discourse, Practice

Associate Librarian for Asian Art, Yueh-Lin Chen, recognized the need for additional resources in the library’s reference collection, specifically in the areas of Japanese and Korean art. With guidance from Xiaojin Wu, Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, and assistance from Librarian Traci Timmons, Ms. Chen applied for a grant from The Metropolitan Center for Eastern Art Studies. Founded under the auspices of the Harry G. C. Packard Collection Charitable Trust, and based at Hosomi Museum in Kyoto, Japan, the Center provides grants for advanced scholarship in the arts of East Asia.

The museum staff’s collaborative effort was successful and the library received a generous grant from the Center, allowing purchase of important resources on Japanese and Korean art. These books will significantly enhance the collection and are available for use in the McCaw Foundation Library. Examples of materials purchased with this grant money are shown below. Visit us to see others and discover the many other exceptional resources the McCaw Foundation Library has to offer.

Kate Nack, Library Volunteer, McCaw Foundation Library for Asian Art

Masks in the Bullitt Library’s Collection

The Seattle Art Museum’s current exhibition, Disguise, examines 21st-century evolutions of the African mask and explores contemporary forms of disguise. For this latest book installation from the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library, we drew upon unique works in our Special Collections related to masks. They run the gamut between the restraint of an early 20th-century collection catalogue and the intensity of an early 21st-century work that delights the senses.

Masks Alone

les_arts_sauvages1

Portier, André and François Poncetton. Les Arts Sauvages: Afrique. Paris: Editions Albert Morancé, 1956. SPCOL OSZ NB 1080 P6.

Les Arts Sauvages: Afrique is a large folio edition that focuses its attention on the form of each mask, leaving context to our imagination. It was first published in Paris in 1927, and is authored by the French academics, André Portier (French, 1886–1969) and François Poncetton (French, 1875 or 1877–1950). It includes fifty loose-leaf collotype photographic plates printed in sepia, some overprinted with color. An elaborate, beautifully produced collection catalogue, this work displays the collections of important artists, critics, and writers of the French Surrealist and Dada movements.

Two examples of the overprinted color plates are on currently on view: Masque Pongwé (Gabon), from the collection of Stéphen-Charles Chauvet, (French, 1885-1950), known for his authorship of the first illustrated compendium on Easter Island; and Masque Man (Côte d’Ivoire), from the collection of Paul Éluard, (French, 1895-1952), the French surrealist poet.

Soundsuits in a Box

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From Cave, Nick. Soundsuits Boxfolio. Chicago: Soundsuit Shop, 2006. SPCOL N 6537 C447 S68 2009.

“The wearers and their masks participate in a consuming spectacle: sounds, smells, the audience and the setting all play essential roles.” —Herman Burssens, African Faces: An Homage to the African Mask

Unlike the quiet, reflective nature of Les Arts Sauvages: Afrique, this artist’s book by Nick Cave (American, 1961–) has movement, makes noise, and shows us masks represented in a totally different way from that of more traditional books.

From Cave, Nick. Soundsuits Boxfolio. Chicago: Soundsuit Shop, 2006. SPCOL N 6537 C447 S68 2009.

From Cave, Nick. Soundsuits Boxfolio. Chicago: Soundsuit Shop, 2006. SPCOL N 6537 C447 S68 2009.

This Boxfolio is a rare, wonderful, instance of an artist leaving a remnant behind after a show. In 2011, artist Nick Cave held a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum and this work ultimately ended up in the Bullitt Library. Best described as an artist’s book, this work contains a diverse and fascinating assortment: an iron-on patch, lenticular image, magnet, pin, blow-up punching bag, set of playing cards, set of postcards, hanging ornament, booklet, fiber optic wand, and a Viewmaster. Cave’s Soundsuit Shop tells us that “Nick’s 2006 exhibitions were accompanied by this Boxfolio which, like the Soundsuit, is a collection of unexpected items that make sound when shaken.”

Two of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits are on view in the exhibition, Disguise: Masks and Global African Art, which runs through September 7, 2015.

– Traci Timmons, Librarian, Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library

The book installation, Masks in the Bullitt Library’s Collection, is on view just outside the Bullitt Library on the fifth floor of the Seattle Art Museum, during the library’s public hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm. (Please note the library will be closed July 1-3, 2015.)

Maps of Time and Place at the McCaw Foundation Library

A map is a visual depiction of a particular place, and it is a reflection of the perspectives of the time in which it was made. We can better understand the way people in a particular era saw the world – and their place in it – by looking at the maps they used.

A New Map of Asia from the Latest Observations: Most Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honbe. George Earl of Warrington, 1721. London: D. Browne. SPCOL G 7400 I710 S4. Donated by Frank Bayley, acquired from the collection of former SAM Curator of Japanese Art, William Jay Rathbun.

A New Map of Asia from the Latest Observations: Most Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honbe. George Earl of Warrington, 1721. London: D. Browne. SPCOL G 7400 I710 S4. Donated by Frank Bayley, acquired from the collection of former SAM Curator of Japanese Art, William Jay Rathbun.

John Senex’s (English, 1678-1740) New Map of Asia, which dates from 1721, is a representation of the technical information available at the time. It also provides insight into the way European explorers viewed the countries in Asia and their relationships to each other. Senex was a geographer to Queen Anne (1665-1714), and one of 18th century England’s best known map makers. His map of Asia contains a lot of information.

Detail from A New Map of Asia from the Latest Observations: Most Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honbe. George Earl of Warrington, 1721. London: D. Browne. SPCOL G 7400 I710 S4. Donated by Frank Bayley, acquired from the collection of former SAM Curator of Japanese Art, William Jay Rathbun.

Detail from A New Map of Asia from the Latest Observations: Most Humbly Inscribed to the Right Honbe. George Earl of Warrington, 1721. London: D. Browne. SPCOL G 7400 I710 S4. Donated by Frank Bayley, acquired from the collection of former SAM Curator of Japanese Art, William Jay Rathbun.

It spans a vast geographical area from the tip of North Africa and part of the Mediterranean in the west to Indonesia and Japan in the east; from what is now Mongolia in the north to New Holland (now called Australia) in the south. It notes the currents along the east coast of Southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the Indian Ocean. Areas that were most thoroughly explored by the 18th-century English are the ones that include the most detail; those that were not as well-known are more generally depicted, such as the “Land of Less” and “Company’s Land,” which are shown as large, indistinct land masses, as is the “Eastern Ocean” to the north of them. In the upper left corner, a cartouche includes two people in stylized Asian dress, surrounded by representations of some typical animals and plants.

Suseon Jeondo (Whole Map of Seoul), between 1861 and 1887. Seoul, Korea: publisher unknown. SPCOL G 7904 S4. Donated by Kimerly Rorschach.

Suseon Jeondo (Whole Map of Seoul), between 1861 and 1887. Seoul, Korea: publisher unknown. SPCOL G 7904 S4. Donated by Kimerly Rorschach.

Similarly, cartographer Jeongho Kim’s (Korean, active 1834-1864) Suseon Jeondo (Map of Seoul) shows us what was important in Korea in 1845, during the Joseon Dynasty. This is a map drawn by someone intimately familiar with the area and the people and practices that characterized the time in which it was made and used. The use of Chinese characters is typical of formal documentation of that time.

Detail from Suseon Jeondo (Whole Map of Seoul), between 1861 and 1887. Seoul, Korea: publisher unknown. SPCOL G 7904 S4. Donated by Kimerly Rorschach.

Detail from Suseon Jeondo (Whole Map of Seoul), between 1861 and 1887. Seoul, Korea: publisher unknown. SPCOL G 7904 S4. Donated by Kimerly Rorschach.

The wood-block print map of Hanyang (Seoul) thoroughly surveys the entire city: major roads, facilities, and villages are realistically represented more or less to scale. These precisely depicted everyday elements of the city are ringed by symbolic portrayals of larger-than-life mountains, creating a significant contrast. These mountains, traditionally a symbolic connection between the sky and the authority of the king, are intentionally drawn larger than to scale to emphasize their connection to the heavens.

We invite you to see these maps in person at the McCaw Foundation Library at the Asian Art Museum. The library’s public hours for the summer are: Thursdays and Fridays, 2 PM – 5 PM; Saturdays 10 AM – 2 PM. (Please note that the library is closed July 2-5, 2015.)

– Kate Nack, Library Volunteer, McCaw Foundation Library for Asian Art

Bibliography:
Kim, Jeongho. A map of Seoul in the period of Joseon Dynasty. Seoul: J. Kim, ca. 1845.
Senex, John. A new map of Asia: from the latest observations. London: D. Browne, 1721.

Sharing the Beauty and Diversity of Asian Art through Books

Books and catalogues about the collections and exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum are available at the McCaw Foundation Library. The library participates in an exchange program with museum libraries around the world, providing SAM’s exhibition catalogues in return for theirs. Engaging, beautiful, and diverse, each of these catalogues provides a captivating glimpse into the wider world of Asian art. You are invited to visit the McCaw Foundation Library to enjoy these and more resources to expand your knowledge and understanding of Asian art.

Book Cover: Chŏng-hye Pak et al. Celebrating Events with Banquets and Ceremonies in the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 2011.

Book Cover: Chŏng-hye Pak et al. Celebrating Events with Banquets and Ceremonies in the Joseon Dynasty. Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 2011.

Celebrating Events with Banquets and Ceremonies in the Joseon Dynasty. Chŏng-hye Pak et al. Seoul: National Museum of Korea, 2011.

The National Museum of Korea celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009 with the exhibition Scenes of Banquets and Ceremonies of the Joseon Dynasty.  The Joseon Dynasty ruled over a united Korean Peninsula for more than 500 years, from 1392 through 1910. This catalogue is rich in visual descriptions of the traditional celebratory feasts, or janchi, which were characteristic events of Korea’s Joseon Dynasty. Celebratory rites and festivities of the Joseon royal court, and celebratory customs among the Joseon people and government officials are rendered in beautiful and exacting detail.  Images in the catalogue include photographs and drawings of the special clothing worn to various ceremonies, among them a headdress for a first birthday celebration and a wedding veil. The catalogue includes detailed descriptions of the events, and essays that provide cultural detail and context.

Book Cover: Bromberg, Anne et al. The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas at the Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2013.

Book Cover: Bromberg, Anne et al. The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas at the Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2013.

The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. Bromberg, Anne et al. Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 2013.

The Dallas Museum of Art’s collection of South Asian art includes nearly 500 works, including Indian Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, Himalayan Buddhist bronze sculptures and ritual objects, artwork from Southeast Asia, and decorative arts from India’s Mughal period. This book details the cultural and artistic significance of works ranging from Tibetan thangkas and Indian miniature paintings, to stone sculptures and bronzes. Relating these works to one another through interconnecting narratives and cross-references, the text provides a broad cultural history of the region.

Book Cover: Strong, Susan. Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book 1560-1660. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2002.

Book Cover: Strong, Susan. Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book 1560-1660. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2002.

Painting for the Mughal Emperor: The Art of the Book. Strong, Susan. London: Victoria & Albert Museum, 2002.

A unique blend of Indian, Persian, and Islamic styles, Mughal painting reached its golden age during the reigns of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir, and Shah Jahan in the 16th and 17th centuries. This gloriously illustrated book is the first to examine the Victoria & Albert Museum’s remarkable collection of Mughal paintings. The text contains fascinating research, and images include: elaborately detailed battle scenes, scenes of court life, a remarkable series of portraits, studies of wildlife, and decorative borders.

Book Cover: Yiu, Josh. A Fuller View of China: Chinese Art in the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2014.

Book Cover: Yiu, Josh. A Fuller View of China: Chinese Art in the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2014.

A Fuller View of China: Chinese Art in the Seattle Art Museum. Yiu, Josh. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2014.

In 1933, Dr. Richard Fuller founded the Seattle Art Museum and began to exhibit his collection of textiles, porcelain, and Buddhist sculpture.  From the beginning, Dr. Fuller’s collection has been particularly rich in Chinese art, notably sculpture; and over time it broadened to encompass a wide variety of art including: Japanese art, Northwest modern art, European and American painting, and decorative arts. This book, written by SAM’s former Foster Foundation Curator of Chinese Art, Josh Yiu, studies the growth of the Chinese art collection, and includes fascinating analysis of single pieces and the collection as a whole. Color plates throughout capture many unique and beautiful pieces that comprise the collection.

The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story. Condry, Ian. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2013.

The Soul of Anime investigates the rise of anime as a worldwide pop culture sensation. This systematic cultural study was informed by interviews with artists at some of Tokyo’s leading animation studios. It discusses how anime’s fictional characters and worlds become platforms for collaborative creativity, and that it has grown out of a collective social energy. Mostly text, this book takes on a visual phenomenon with eagerness and passion.

Book Cover: Koyama-Richard, Brigitte. One Thousand Years of Manga.  Paris; New York: Flammarion, 2014.

Book Cover: Koyama-Richard, Brigitte. One Thousand Years of Manga. Paris; New York: Flammarion, 2014.

One Thousand Years of Manga. Koyama-Richard, Brigitte. Paris; New York: Flammarion, 2014.

Manga originated in Japan in 1814, gained steam in the 1950s, and continues to evolve in today’s popular culture. Earlier echoes of manga can be seen in centuries-old temple paintings and medieval scrolls.  This book is a both a textual account of the history of manga and a visual delight. It contains over 400 illustrations – some rare, some familiar, all charming.

Book Cover: Osaki, Tomohiro. Art Will Thrill You!: The Essence of Modern Japanese Art. Tokyo: The National Museum of Modern Art, 2012.

Book Cover: Osaki, Tomohiro. Art Will Thrill You!: The Essence of Modern Japanese Art. Tokyo: The National Museum of Modern Art, 2012.

Art Will Thrill You! The Essence of Modern Japanese Art. Osaki, Tomohiro. Tokyo: The National Museum of Modern Art, 2012.

The National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2012. To mark the occasion, it presented a major retrospective of its Japanese modern art collection. The emphasis on Japanese art of 1950s showcases pieces that transcend genre boundaries, in a period when artists collaborated in experimentation and mutual development.  This book includes text in Japanese, and images of paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

Book Cover: Mr. by Mr. Tokyo: Kaikai Kiki, 2003.

Book Cover: Mr. by Mr. Tokyo: Kaikai Kiki, 2003.

Mr. by Mr. Tokyo: Kaikai Kiki, 2003.

Taking his name from the national baseball superstar Shigeo Nagashima’s alias “Mister,” Mr. began as the protégé of Takashi Murakami, and has worked as an artist for over eight years.  Mr.’s works are “Japanese” in their anime-inspired, large-eyed characters and flat color fields.  This book is written in Japanese and contains full-color images of painting, and black & white photographs.

– Kate Nack, Library Volunteer, McCaw Foundation Library for Asian Art

Plateau Artists’ Book on View at Bullitt Library

In conjunction with the exhibition, Indigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker Collection, this installation features the Native American artists’ book, Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry.

terraincover2a

Cover of Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry. Olympia: Self-published at Evergreen State College, 2014. SPCOL E 78 C64 F43 2014.

Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry is the print portfolio/artist’s book that was curated by artist Joe Feddersen, Evergreen faculty emeritus and member of the Colville Confederated Tribes. Corwin Clairmont, Salish and Kootenai, was responsible for printing the works’ monotypes and creating the embellished folio cover.

Enos_ElephantRock

Elephant Rock, monotype by Vanessa Enos.

As one reviewer described, “[Terrain] presents a visual and verbal journey through physical, emotional, and visionary landscapes.” Feddersen, in the volume’s introduction, explains:

“Defined by the crest of the Cascades to the Continental Divide, touching northern California extending far north into British Columbia, Terrain speaks of the textures of the earth—the homeland of the Plateau people. This compilation of expressions, relief prints and poems, breathes the life of ongoing cultures inherent to place.”

carraher_homelessterrain

HomelessTerrain.info, monotype by Ron Carraher. By moving a QR code scanner over the image, the viewer can connect to Carraher’s website.

In a phone interview, Feddersen impressed upon me the importance and purpose of this project. It was a chance to shed some light on artists of the Plateau area, who don’t often receive the attention that artists from the Northwest Coast and Plains regions receive. It was also an opportunity to bring people together. More than half of the participants were present at the printing: older artists working alongside younger artists; well-known artists working alongside emerging ones. It became a very multigenerational experience.   Editions were produced for museums, the artists themselves, and people who volunteered on the project. When the artists came to Evergreen State College in the spring of 2014 for the exhibition component of the project, they got to exchange prints with one another. Feddersen described it like a “coming home week”—a time when people came back together after being dispersed in their various locales, away from their Native culture.

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Unnecessary Housing, monotype by William (Bill) Passmore.

The portfolio is comprised of prints and poetry by thirty-four Plateau artists and writers: Leo Adams, Sherman Alexie, Neal Ambrose, Gloria Bird, Ron Carraher, Vic Charlo, Corwin Clairmont, Cameron Decker, Alyne Watamet DeCoteau, Debra Earling, Vanessa Enos, Carly Feddersen, Joe Feddersen, Ryan Feddersen, Jennifer Feddersen, Frank Finley, Ric Gendron, Cheryl Grunlose, Michael Holloman, Van Holloman, Rochelle Kulei, James Lavadour, Miles Miller, Ramon Murillo, Ed Archie NoiseCat, William Passmore, Lillian Pitt, Lawney Reyes, Susan Sheoships, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Kirby Stanton, Toma Villa, Ramona Wilson, and Lizzy Woody.

The SAM Libraries are grateful to have this distinctive work. Artist’s books by Native artists are unfortunately rare. Feddersen hopes that projects like this will continue. We do too.

– Traci Timmons, Librarian, Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library

Terrain: Plateau Native Art & Poetry is on view just outside the Bullitt Library on the fifth floor of the Seattle Art Museum, during the library’s public hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm. During the run of Indigenous Beauty, we will rotate the selection of prints and poems being displayed.

Books on Ukiyo-e from the Russell Estate

The McCaw Foundation Library at the Asian Art Museum recently received a generous gift from the estate of Harry A. Russell.  Mr. Russell, a native of the New York City, was an aficionado of Ukioy-e, a style of Japanese woodblock print. His collection of books on the subject includes an extensive encyclopedia of prints, many exhibition catalogues, and several guides for the preservation of Ukioy-e prints. Xiaojin Wu, SAM’s Curator of Japanese and Korean Art, accepted the donation on behalf of the library from members of the Russell family.

These donated books contain a wealth of rich pictorial content, as evidenced in these images from Genshoku Ukiyoe Daihyakka Jiten = Color Illustrated Encyclopedia of  Ukiyo-e (Tokyo: Taishukan Shoten, c1981):

 

Uo Zukushi Ayu Tenpo by Andō Hiroshige (Volume 1)

Uo Zukushi Ayu Tenpo by Andō Hiroshige (Vol. 1)

Kenyu Hujo Ooiko by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Volume 9)

Kenyu Hujo Ooiko by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Vol. 9)

Ukioy-e is a type of woodblock print that became popular in Japan during the Edo period (16th– 19th centuries). The colorful figures and landscapes depicted in the crisp, rich colors of these prints created a substantial surge in the popularity of Japanese art at home and abroad. The influence of Ukiyo-e can be seen in western art styles such as Impressionism and Art Nouveau.

 

Amerika Yokohama Honmura Honmakido by Andō Hiroshige (Volume 9) Print depicts an American woman wearing an Indian bonnet on a horse.

Amerika Yokohama Honmura Honmakido by Andō Hiroshige (Vol. 9)
Print depicts an American woman wearing an Indian bonnet on a horse.

Musashi Nono Tsuki, from the series 月百姿 Moon Hundred Gesture by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Volume 9) Yoshitoshi brough one wolf to the vast field of Mushashino.  The wolf sees his reflection on the surface of water.  Yoshita expresses the loneliness of the wolf.

Musashi Nono Tsuki, from the series 月百姿 Moon Hundred Gesture by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (Vol. 9)
Yoshitoshi brough one wolf to the vast field of Mushashino. The wolf sees his reflection on the surface of water. Yoshita expresses the loneliness of the wolf.

Shoshin by Tanaka Kyoukichi (Volume 1)

Shoshin by Tanaka Kyoukichi (Vol. 1)

Yueh-Lin Chen, Associate Librarian at the McCaw Foundation Library, is working with volunteers to catalogue the Russell donation. The titles will be easily retrieved by searching for “Harry A. Russell” through a keyword search in the SAM Research Libraries’ online catalogue (OPAC). A catalogue search for “Ukioy-e” will bring up many books about the general genre of Ukioy-e, as well as books about the ways Ukioy-e has influenced western art.

We would like to thank the Russell family for this generous donation.

– Yoshiko Boley and Kate Nack, McCaw Foundation Library Volunteers

These and many other books about Asian art are available for consultation in the McCaw Foundation Library for Asian Art, located on the lower level of the Asian Art Museum. Library hours are Thursday and Friday from 2:00 – 5:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Twenty-Six Roadkills from Twentysix Gasoline Stations

The Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library at the Seattle Art Museum has a small collection of books by artists. In conjunction with the exhibition Pop Departures, we are currently showcasing one particular artist’s book, Twenty-Six Roadkills by Daniel Teoli Jr., and the example that inspired it, Twentysix Gasoline Stations by Pop Departures artist Ed Ruscha.

Twentysix Gasoline Stations
In 1963, artist Ed Ruscha (born 1937) produced his seminal artist’s book: Twentysix Gasoline Stations. The book, held in SAM’s object collection (2000.223), consists of twenty-six black and white photographs of gasoline stations that Ruscha encountered on Route 66 between Oklahoma City, where he grew up, and Los Angeles where he moved in 1956. He saw these stations frequently on his trips home, and stated that he had “a personal connection to that span of mileage between Oklahoma and California… it kind of spoke to me.”

The book was self-published when the artist was 26 years old. Ruscha found a commercial printer in Los Angeles to mass produce 400 copies and sold them for $3 each.

In 2013, NPR correspondent Caroline Miranda interviewed Ruscha about Twentysix Gasoline Stations—deemed the first modern artist’s book— on its 50th anniversary. Ruscha recalled initial reactions to it: “If I showed this book to somebody who worked in a gas station, they might be genuinely interested in it, saying ‘Oh yeah, I remember that place…’ [but] people who were in the art world, [would say things] like, ‘What is this you’re doing? Are you putting us on?’”

At the time, the intellectual establishment didn’t take it seriously and even the Library of Congress refused to put it in their collection because of its “unorthodox form and supposed lack of information.” They still don’t own the 1963 edition. But the work persevered and acquired cult status. It inspired artists like Daniel Teoli Jr. to create their own versions.

Twenty-Six Roadkills
Photographer Daniel Teoli Jr. (born 1954) grew up in Los Angeles, very close to where Ruscha lived and worked and was aware of his art from his own earliest beginnings as a photographer in the 1970s. When Teoli moved to the Northeast in the late 1980s, Ruscha “dropped off his radar.” Then, Teoli heard Miranda’s interview with Ruscha on NPR and felt moved to create his own work, wanting to memorialize Twentysix Gasoline Stations on the 50th anniversary—Twenty-Six Roadkills was the result.

Twenty-Six Roadkills is hand printed, letter size in landscape format, spiral bound with rounded corners. The book has beautiful artisan-made marbled endpapers and incorporates clear protectors between each photograph. The edition is limited to 50 artists’ books and two pre-production proof books.

Roadkill from Twenty-Six Roadkills by Daniel Teoli Jr, 2013

From: Twenty-Six Roadkills. Pittsburgh: Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 2013. SPCOL TR 647 T393 T94 2013. Gift of Daniel D. Teoli Jr. in honor of Lewis Hine and Ray Metzker. Image used by permission from the artist.

Roadkill from Twenty-Six Roadkills by Daniel Teoli Jr, 2013

From: Twenty-Six Roadkills. Pittsburgh: Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 2013. SPCOL TR 647 T393 T94 2013. Gift of Daniel D. Teoli Jr. in honor of Lewis Hine and Ray Metzker. Image used by permission from the artist.

Roadkill from Twenty-Six Roadkills by Daniel Teoli Jr, 2013

From: Twenty-Six Roadkills. Pittsburgh: Daniel D. Teoli Jr., 2013. SPCOL TR 647 T393 T94 2013. Gift of Daniel D. Teoli Jr. in honor of Lewis Hine and Ray Metzker. Image used by permission from the artist.

So how did Twenty-Six Roadkills come about? The NPR story reminded Teoli of his early interest in Ruscha. He had just completed two other artist’s books and decided, then and there, that his next book would honor the artist. He then asked himself: what twenty-six things could he use for his book? “We have a lot of roadkill [near where I live], so I settled on that.”

When I lived in L.A., we may have had a few dogs or cats as roadkill,… but when I moved to the Northeast, I was shocked at both the amount and variety. [In addition to the animals included in the book,] I’ve also seen turtles, frogs and snakes. In the nearly twenty-five years I’ve lived here, I’ve never once gotten out of the car to look over roadkill. If you live here, seeing roadkill is a daily affair; you become immune to it.

Unlike Ruscha’s “mundane” gas stations, Teoli’s subject matter may have a more visceral effect on its viewers. But he acknowledges that some viewers might think he went out of his way to show gore, but that’s not the case, he didn’t. More uncommon occurrences—like a deer Teoli saw that seemed to have exploded after being hit by an 18-wheeler—were not included.

Teoli’s book is on view just outside the Bullitt Library on the fifth floor of the Seattle Art Museum, during the library’s public hours: Wednesday-Friday, 10 am-4 pm.

Electronic Resources at the SAM Libraries

Did you know that in addition to our numerous printed resources, the SAM Libraries provide access to important electronic resources on art and art history through our online library catalogue (OPAC)?

For those digital immigrants among us, “electronic resources” in the SAM Libraries are documents, reports, e-catalogues, and websites that provide research-level information just like printed materials. They’re just in digital formats: .pdf files, websites, Google Books, etc.

Here are some great examples:

e-Catalogues: Chinese Painting & Calligraphy (Seattle Art Museum, 2011)
Part of the Getty Foundation’s Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI), this catalogue, which allows unprecedented access to SAM’s Chinese painting and calligraphy collection, allows you to do things online that could never be done in person: view a thirty foot handscroll in its entirety on the screen, zoom in so close you can see paper fibers, and have marks and text translated with ease.

Patron viewing SAM's Chinese Painting & Calligraphy catalogue. Photo by Traci Timmons.

Patron viewing SAM’s Chinese Painting & Calligraphy catalogue. Photo by Traci Timmons.

Reports: Supporting the Changing Research Practices of Art Historians (Ithaka S+R, 2014)
This report, gleaned from 70+ interviews with faculty members, curators, librarians, visual resources professionals, and museum professionals (including several from the Seattle Art Museum), investigates the research practices of scholars and shares how digital resources both enhance and created some challenges for the field of art history.

Collected Papers: Studying and Conserving Paintings: Occasional Papers on the Samuel H. Kress Collection (The Conservation Center of the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 2006)
This electronic version of the original print publication records the processes, with an emphasis on elements of discovery, that accompany conservation on paintings in Kress Collections throughout the United States. Many of the works currently on view in the Seattle Art Museum’s European galleries are Kress Collection works.

ViewingKressBook

Patron viewing the electronic version of Studying and Conserving Paintings: Occasional Papers on the Samuel H. Kress Collection. SAM’s Kress painting, Hagar and the Angel by Bernardo Strozzi (61.168), is featured. Photo by Traci Timmons.

Print to Digital: Native Paths: American Indian Art from the Collection of Charles and Valerie Diker (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998)
Published to accompany the exhibition of the same name at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1999, this catalogue, originally in print, is now available via Google Books and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’ll be hosting an exhibition of works from the Diker Collection in 2015.

See the full list of more than 250 resources. Many other online resources from the Seattle Art Museum are included. We’re constantly adding new material, so check back often.

To search for any of our library materials, start at the SAM’s website. Click on Programs & Learning, then Libraries & Resources. Click on Art Research, then Search Catalogue.

Our library staff are here to help you with any of your research needs. Start here.