Author: Amanda Bowen (page 2 of 2)

New National Palace Museum database available

Seated Buddha 550-577 AD Northern Ch'i Dynasty

The Fine Arts Library has subscribed to the online database produced by the National Palace Museum in Taipei.  The site contains high quality digital images of objects in the Museum’s collection as well as catalog information about each object in English, Chinese and Japanese.  There are also chronologies and other documents related to the history of Chinese art.

Access is also provided to digital copies of all Museum periodical publications (1983-2010). One can browse the table of contents of every issue by year of publication and by volume number. In addition, you can browse articles by topic (e.g. painting, prints, archaeology, etc.). Full text downloads and prints are available. However, please note that the publications are in Chinese only.

The database is available as an E-Resource on the Harvard Library portal.

New Journal Provides Translations of Current Scholarship

Art in Translation is a new online journal published by the Visual Arts Research Institute, Edinburgh (VARIE). Art in Translation (AIT) publishes writing from around the world on the visual arts, architecture, and design in English translation.

Global in scope the journal covers all areas of the visual arts including painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, design, and electronic media.  Topics covered so far have varied from Jomon ceramics, rationalist architecture and Mbuya masks.

Dr. Madaus Commemorative Album


50 Jahre Madaus: Eine aufgeschlossene Firma.  Köln-Merheim: Dr. Madaus & Co., [1969].

This photography book was especially created for the 50th anniversary of a German pharmaceutical firm.  Founded in 1919, Madaus is still a major drug company although no longer with the homeopathic focus of its early years.

A whimsical and creative tour-de-force, the work is more of an artist’s book than a company rag.  It includes a variety of clever and irreverent references to the firm’s work and activities. In its 72 pages of photomontages and collages, printed on heavy laminated card stock, it contains an array of pop-up inserts, pull-out tabs, , tipped-in ephemera, a reader reply card requesting response to the book and an eight-page “Kochbuch”.  This item is a direct reference to the mother of the founders of the firm, who worked as an unlicensed healer before her sons went into business.  Another memorable fold-out display shows a white rat that squeaks when opened.  There is also a color fold-out poster of a 1930s advertisement for the firm.  The photographer Barbara Schulten and the editor Siegfried Leuselhardt were given a great deal of leeway in presenting the firm and its operations.  The work they created to commemorate the history of the company has a unique presence in the history of photography publications.

American Library Association conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1899

Moore and Stephenson (no dates), Atlanta, Georgia. American Library Association Twenty-first annual conference, Atlanta, Georgia, May 8-13, 1899.

In May 1899 over 200 librarians from across the United States assembled in Atlanta for the annual meeting of the American Library Association (ALA). The six day program was packed with sessions devoted to reports from officers and committees and sessions about library collections, services, and buildings. Fortunately for the attendees, social activities relieved the serious proceedings. One afternoon the attendees travelled to Stone Mountain for an outdoor barbecue and the next afternoon the sessions and a reception were held at a private gentlemen’s club, the Piedmont Driving Club House “with lunch and coon-dance at sundown”.  It was during one of these social events that a group photograph was taken.

The balding, bearded man in the middle of the front row who appears to be lost in thought during a springtime social event is Melvil Dewey (1851-1931), best known as the creator of a classification and subject indexing system, still in use, for organizing books in libraries, known as the “Dewey Decimal Classification”. Dewey’s passion was education and efficiency, the former leading him to participate in the establishment of the American Library Association and the latter to a less-successful drive to reform spelling and the metric system. Dewey, despite his appearance in this photograph, was a charismatic leader and behind-the-scenes bully who significantly shaped the association’s early development and served as its President and Secretary.

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