Observed today, these astonishing prints by Mary Cassatt – currently being celebrated at the New York Public Library in its latest retrospective, Daring Methods: The Prints of Mary Cassatt – are startlingly fresh and elicit a subdued, natural beauty. A friend of Edward Degas who accepted his offer to join the Impressionist group after her work was rebuffed by the Paris Salon in 1875, one can trace his influence in her art. And yet, we might look at Cassatt’s work as a reaction to the women of Degas’ work, who appeared as ballerinas or prostitutes – or both. Cassatt’s women are mothers bathing their babies, or perhaps single women seen at their toilettes, writing letters, getting ready to leave the house, as well as women of different ages in more arranged poses sitting for a portrait. … Read More
new york public library
You know those places with all the books? Those storehouses of archived newspapers, art magazines, academic journals, and fiction written for young adults? Libraries? Well, they’re still here, and according to a new study New York’s public libraries are “serving more people in more ways than ever before.” To get a better sense of who these people are and why they’re still trudging to their local edifice of knowledge in a stay-at-home age of smartphones, Kindles, and the World Wide Web, we visited a few branches throughout the city. Meet the people we met inside. … Read More
1. In spite of 4chan’s best efforts, Time Magazine has named Barack Obama — and not North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — its “Person of the Year”. [via Gawker]
2. Could Daft Punk, The Rolling Stones, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs be headlining Coachella 2013? This email sure seems to suggest so.
3. Here’s an interesting peek at what the New York Public Library’s controversial $300 million renovation of its Fifth Avenue flagship location will actually look like, as envisioned by starchitect Norman Foster. [via NYT] … Read More
In 1851, Charles Dickens moved into Tavistock House, the London home where he was to write Bleak House and A Tale of Two Cities, among other works. Wanting for some unknown reason to fill a space in his study with a selection of false books — complete with witty names he thought up himself — he wrote to a bookbinder with a list of “imitation book-backs” to be created specially for his bookshelf.
As part of the New York Public Library’s newly-opened exhibition Charles Dickens: The Key to Character, curators have recreated a few books from Dickens’ clever set (we’ve been informed that curator William Moeck’s favorite title is Kant’s Ancient Humbugs while Curatorial Associate Kailen Rogers is partial to Five Minutes in China and Growler’s Gruffiology, with Appendix) for your perusal. Click through to see the whole list and a couple photos from the exhibition, and then if you’re in the area, be sure to check it out in person. … Read More
1. A group of more than 700 people — including cultural icons like Salman Rushdie, Jonathan Lethem, and Art Spiegelman — have sent a letter to New York Public Library president Anthony W. Marx protesting the $300 million renovation of the 42nd Street flagship building. [via ArtsBeat]
2. While it’s not the… Read More
Considering that NASA just released the highest resolution image of Earth that the world has ever seen, it’s kind of hard to imagine that once upon a time we had to rely on artists to show us what the planets might look like. While these early illustrations were based on astronomical observations, and in many cases, are surprisingly detailed given how crude the available technology, we think they function even better as works of art. Click through to check out a selection of recently-digitized drawings by 19th-century artist (and Harvard College Observatory employee) E.L. Trouvelot, and head over to LiveScience to view the full gallery. … Read More
We’ve been feeling like the New York Public Library has been a little distant lately – but that’s all about to change. Our pals over at Gothamist have alerted us to a delightful way to show support for the NYPL – a little body-on-building PDA. Today, starting at 1:30pm, the group Urban Librarians Unite is holding a “hug the library” event, meant “to call attention to the potentially devastating budget cuts being proposed by the city.” Stop by to join hundreds of library lovers who plan to surround the NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building and give it a big ol’ squeeze. Not feeling it? To get you in the hugging mood, we’ve assembled a little slideshow of some of our favorite vintage New York Public Library photographs, many of them from the NYPL’s own extensive digital gallery. Click through for some black and white inspiration, and let us know if you’ll be hugging or shrugging this afternoon. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we were impressed by this sculpture in front of the New York Public Library, which was created from 25,000 classic Dr. Seuss books in honor of Read Across of America. We downloaded Animal Collective’s free mixtape, which they put together to mark the ATP they’re curating in May.… Read More
Live-action cartoonist and New York Public Library artist-in-residence Flash Rosenberg creates situational portraits using images, words, and whimsy.
From Dada-esque flights of fancy to unsettling historical testimony and more planned-out animations for dramatic readings (John Lithgow’s Mark Twain is a perennial favorite), Rosenberg expands portraiture’s meaning to include the viewer, time, and artist’s own imagination. As … Read More
We can’t begin to explain how giddy we were last night as we waited to enter the New York Public Library for the unprecedented Velvet Underground reunion of Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker and Doug Yule. As we snaked through lines and into the grand room, our excitement built. Two large screens projected a slideshow of images from the newly-released coffee table book The Velvet Underground: New York Art as we waited for the show to start. After the jump, read five things that surprised us most about the sold-out… Read More