Expired Library Books

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We see many torn, shredded damaged books here at Central. Some fall apart on their own and others get damaged accidentally. Photographer, Kerry Mansfield, who claims not to be a a big reader, has photographed some of these discarded items that she buys from from other libraries. She may not be a big reader but she finds the molded and damaged book to be of interest enough to photograph it. Her photographs turn the abandoned book into an artifact complete with mold, mildew, tears, margin scribbles or broken bindings. The New York Times’ Lens Blog, has a slide show where you can view her photographs.

She started out photographing children’s books and books for teens, such as the well known Dr. Seuss book, “Hop on Pop,” and obscure ones like Evelyn Sibley Lampman’s “The Shy Stegosaurus of Cricket Creek.” She then turned her camera to books for adults like  Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” You see them on the Lens Blog.

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Sharon Core: Early American

Are the works of Sharon Core paintings or photographs? One
thing is certain, they are beautiful, and they are photographs. To write about
this new book of her photographs, called
Early
American
, one must understand the work of American artist Raphaelle Peale.

 
To create her realistic photographs, Sharon Core looked to American still-life painter Raphaelle Peale (1774-1825)
for inspiration. Core created these old-master styled photos with fruit she
grew, and with period porcelain and table settings she has collected to duplicate the
works of Peale. American painter Raphaelle Peale was the son of well-known
artist, Charles Wilson Peale. The elder Peale is best known for his painting,
The Artist in His Museum
 
The Artist in His Museum
 
 
The younger
Peale’s work was quite different from his father’s and his contemporaries.
Raphaelle was drawn to the quietness of the still life, he creates
almost an
austere or
melancholy atmosphere within his paintings. 
Peale avoided any suggestion of opulence as often
seen in 17th century Dutch still life. 
 
By the age of twenty-one, Raphaelle Peale was
recognized as America’s first and leading still life painter
and between
1812 and 1825 he painted over one hundred of them.
Most of Peale’s paintings are small in scale. He left a legacy of vibrant jewel like still
lifes depicting objects such as fruit, vegetables, and meat.
 
Peale’s paintings differ from his contemporaries with the strange
atmosphere he has created within them. His still lifes take on a strange
quality, they seem to take on the artist’s own body. American art scholar, Alexander
Nemerov has written extensively on the younger Peale and he seems to feel the
still life objects are imitations of Peale’s own body. Nemerov writes “Raphaelle’s
paintings simulate the artist’s own physical existence projected into the objects
of perception.”
 
Core’s photographs depict the younger Peale’s work down to
the last detail. It took her many long hours to track down the seeds necessary
to grow the heirloom species depicted in Peale’s work.  She had to hunt down through flea markets and
Ebay the Chinese porcelain and tableware prevalent in his canvases. 
Core has made note of the strange physical characteristics
in Peale’s work that scholar Nemerov has noted. 
Peale placed scars and bruising on his objects almost to make them extensions of his own body so Core has made sure we see slight
traces of life in these in inanimate objects, such as bruises, scars, and the rotting flesh of the food.  Some fruit seem to caress another piece through a “finger”
as seen in Lemons, (plate 18 in the book).  In the photograph
Apples in a Porcelain Basket (plate 6) we can almost see an “eye”
depicted as a rotting area on one of the apples. Brian Sholis who wrote the essay for the
book, Early American, says, “ they display the physical presence and variety of
human bodies.”
 
Core has paid close attention to the lighting Peale used and
how he placed his objects. From Peale’s paintings to Core’s photographs the
diffused lighting source is not known and the backdrops seem to disappear. Compositionally
Core has placed the objects exactly life Peale’s, objects are centered and tend
to be arranged in pyramids. Peale placed his objects very close to the viewer
so one could see all of their detail and Core has followed this compositional detail
as well.
As much as Core seems to depict Peale’s work down to the
last detail such as securing the exact same piece of porcelain Peals used she
has used his work as mimesis for her work. Peale used flat canvas and paint to give dimensionality
to his work while Core uses her camera to make the dimensional objects in front
of her to look like flat yet highly detailed reproductions of Peale’s work.



Read more:

PAINTERLY STRUGGLE: CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION WITHIN RAPHAELLE 
PEALE’S STILL LIFE PAINTINGS by Jason Frederick
The American Pioneer of Still Life by Edward J. Sozanski

 

Art Show: Sharon Core by Vicky Lowry

In Focus: Sharon Core 

Sharon Core Early American
Raphaelle Peale Still Lifes

 

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Ken Burns Documentary: The Dust Bowl

A film by Ken Burns, THE DUST BOWL, chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, in which the frenzied wheat boom of the “Great Plow-Up,” followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Vivid interviews with twenty-six survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance. It is also a morality tale about our relationship to the land that sustains us—a lesson we ignore at our peril.

In April 1936 a young photographer named Arthur Rothstein showed up in Boise City to take photographs for the federal government’s Resettlement Administration.

Rothstein’s boss, Roy Stryker, believed that pictures could be a powerful tool to show not only the multitude of problems the nation was facing, but what the government was doing about them.

Over the course of seven years, as the agency became part of the Farm Security Administration, Stryker would launch an unprecedented documentary effort, eventually amassing more than 200,000 images of America in the 1930s taken by a talented cadre of photographers, including Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Marion Post Walcott, John Vachon, and Dorothea Lange.

Below is a small sampling of items found at the Central Library. Click on image to view the catalog.

Books

DVD

Books

CDs

Haunted Art and Photos

The genre of haunted art is an old one. A ghostly backstory can give special allure to paintings that otherwise would simply pass as pictures of unsettling children or messy still lifes. Yet, this venerable niche has lately gotten an Internet-age boost: On eBay and craigslist, claims that this or that painting is haunted by some otherworldly spirit abound.

Read more at Artinfo

Ghostly Gallery at the American Museum of Photography

Simon Marsden Photography. Click below for more

Click below to access DVD info

New Photography and Craft Books in the Art Division

The Arts Division has the most fun and entertaining collections. Here are some new items from the craft and photography collections.  Learn felting, create a photography and/or craft business,  find out what Amigurumi is, and get crafting for Halloween and the winter holidays . Keep checking, many of the new fall books are beginning to arrive. Come back for more swell stuff from the Art collections.