Joseph Wood Krutch : Herbal

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The cover may not look so inviting but inside this book are lovely woodcut reproductions from the 16th century.  I found this book in the Science stacks while examining some reference books for display. This book, by naturalist Joesph Wood Krutch looks at theories and discoveries of Herbalists from ancient times to present day. 100 plants and 6 creatures are detailed within.

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Herbalists were the fathers of medicine, pharmacology and horticulture and herein lies their many beliefs in text and illustration. Beautifully detailed are lettuce, mistletoe, juniper, nasturtiums, oats, and nutmeg along with many other plants. Included are illustrations of animals these herbalists felt could be used in treatment of disease. Herein lies a beautiful book.

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“The illustrations in this book are taken from the woodcuts in Pierandrea Mattioli’s huge folio volume, Commentaries on the Six Books of Dioscorides, issued in Prague in 1563 and Venice in 1565.  The work was first published in 1544 and appeared in some fifty editions in several languages, but all of those prior to 1563 had very much smaller plates.

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It is not known who made all of these monumental drawings and cut them in wood but most of them are generally attributed to Giorgio Liberale and Wolfgang Meyerpeck. However, on the Orange plate (page 113) the initials WS appear in the lower left corner, indicating that at least one other craftsman was involved.  In any case, these are certainly among the finest Herbal illustrations ever printed and are obviously, for the most part, based upon observation rather than being copies of copies, as was so often the practice up to that time.”
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You can view this book in the Science Division. It is a reference book and must be used in the library.

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Mother Eagle: Sublime Embroidery in Miniature

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Should you doubt your embroidery and stitching skills, Mother Eagle embroidery isn’t the place you should be looking at to make you feel better. A woman named Katie, a UK artist, is the person behind Mother Eagle, she does lovely fine hand embroidery in miniature. She fifth generation needleworker, a skill she learned from her mother as a child. Each work is something to behold.

You won’t find the usual with Mother Eagle, instead you will find forest creatures, anatomy like hearts, and rib cages, skulls, and octopi. Mother Eagle designs and creates her miniature embroidery patterns, some are smaller than 1mm. She creates these small embroideries for many of the pretty pendants she makes. Each one of her pieces takes hours of work and because her stitches are so small she uses magnifying glasses while working on a piece. Her work is so lovely, they are destined to become heirlooms.

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In this interview she did with Feeling Stitchy, Mother Eagle talks about the fabric she uses. She has been lucky enough to have inherited some pretty antique fabrics that are trimmed in lace. For those of us not lucky enough to have these antique pieces we can use old pillowcases like she uses and then she dyes them in black tea.

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I would love to see her moths embroidered onto a Mister Finch moth, another incredible UK fiber artist!

Click ribcage to see more of her images

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More images and an interview here.

Mother Eagle’s Facebook page and some flickr images.

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And if her beautiful work is not enough, Mother Eagle is a cat lover and H.P. Lovecraft fan!

All images used by Mother Eagle’s permission.

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Books as Artistic, Historical, and Physical Objects

trio Listen here on Arts Friday, 1370 Connection, to Sally Snow, and Andrea Reithmayr talk to Announcer/Producer Mona Seghatoleslami at WXXI about books as physical, historical, and artistic objects. Click here and here to listen. You can enter an artist or altered book in the library’s juried show, The Art of the Book.

Sally Snow is Assistant Director of the Monroe County Library System and Communications director for the Rochester Public Library. Andrea Reithmayr is Special Collections Librarian and the Rare Book Conservator at the University of Rochester. Mona Seghatoleslami, radio host, is the host and producer of Classical 91.5 FM on WXXI. The book image above is “Date Due: It’s Not A Popularity Contest” by Jody Alexander. NN Art Librarian at Central

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Golgotha: H.P. Lovecraft’s Skull in the Graphic Novel

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Karl Slominski is an illustrator from Spencerport, NY, who now lives in New York City. He has illustrated Golgotha and and is working on a new graphic novel, Ashes.

Lovecraft fans will want to read Golgotha, about the skull of horror author, Howard Phillips Lovecraft. This is a  fast-paced story written by Andrew Harrison and the dark expressive illustrations of Karl Slominski. It is set in Lovecraft’s hometown and where many of his stories take place, Providence , R.I. When Lovecraft’s skull is stolen a group of junkies go on a search to locate it. I’m not a graphic novel reader but I am a big Lovecraft fan so that may get me to read this.

The novel includes Brazilian guys that dress as Vampires and a gang of British punk rockers. Along the way dark things dwell in the darkness of Providence that seem out to get the gang looking for the skull, even a coven of Deep Ones who worship the idol of Cthulhu show up. You’ll have to read Lovecraft to find out more about the Cthulhu and The Deep ones.

The novel is receiving good reviews and the Arts Division will have it soon. I’m not a graphic novel reader but I am a big Lovecraft fan so that may get me to read this.

Interview with Karl Slominski

Reviews:

Review Time!

Golgotha

Graphic Policy

Karl Slominski @KidReverie Talks About Making Comic Art

Books or ebooks Central owns about or by Lovecraft

Another Graphic Novel

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ebook via OverDrive

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Books 

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David Stark: Paper, Insects and Mushrooms

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Bergdorf Goodman is celebrating the latest book by David StarkThe Art of The Party. To celebrate they had David Stark Design Studio create these wonderful paper sculptures exclusively for the store.

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View some of the book here and see info about the book below.

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The Arts Division owns the book click on the cover for more info.

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