Exhibition catalogues Archive

New Book Display

Over the summer there has been a wealth of new and exciting exhibitions in and around London and internationally, and this is reflected in the recent acquisitions on show in our New Book Display. There is a variety of material on view, ranging from bold psychedelic art in the Sixties (Electrical Banana), a comprehensive collection of talks by well-known art historians, artists, curators and critics (The Secession Talks: Exhibitions in Conversation 1998 – 2010) with brilliant orange-red edged pages,to works on Warhol and Picasso.  Some of the highlights include:

Catalogue cover of Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

Catalogue cover of Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

The catalogue for the Courtauld Gallery’s current exhibition, Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision is on the UK Exhibitions stand. This exhibition is an opportunity to see some of the most rare and enigmatic paintings of 17th century England, and will be on until the 13th of January. It looks at the early work of Peter Lely, (1618-1680) the celebrated portraitist. Lely was Charles II’s Principal Painter, but this exhibition looks instead at Lely’s early work- allegorical paintings of lush idyllic landscapes, shepherds, nymphs and musicians, painted after the turmoil of the Civil War. These works illustrate Lely’s initial ambition to become a painter of narrative scenes, yet they proved unpopular with his patrons, and he produced only thirty. The book jacket shows Lely’s The Concert, arguably one of Lely’s most personal and intriguing works, as the musician seated in the centre of the composition could well be Lely himself. Lely was influenced by artists such as Titian, and by the time of his death had a rich collection of Italian 16th and 17th drawings. A catalogue pertaining to this collection, dating from 1758, is available in our CABS (Closed Access Book Store) section.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

The current exhibition at Tate Britain, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde, brings to the fore some of the best-known and most iconic work of the Pre-Raphaelites, a self-styled ‘brotherhood’ of painters- led by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais and William Holman Hunt-whose work revolutionized fine art with their heady use of symbolism, colour, and controversial subject matter such as poverty and prostitution. The book delves into the history and impact of the Pre-Raphaelites, from their work’s poor initial reception-  after viewing Millais’s Christ in the House of His Parents, (1849-50)Charles Dickens dismissed the figure of Mary as ‘horrible in her ugliness’-to their present-day status as arguably  highly influential artists.

Illustrated throughout with some of their most well-known works- such as John Everett Milliais’ Ophelia- the exhibition cataloguefocuses on the Pre-Raphaelites’ revolutionary techniques and ideas, their role in the Arts and Crafts movement, and their impact on society and art. It also includes essays by Diane Waggoner (author of The Pre-Raphaelite Lens, 2010, Z5020 WAS NAT) and Elizabeth Prettejohn (author of Art of the Pre-Raphaelites, 2000, D467 PRE.) We have a wide range of other material on both the Pre-Raphaelites and Peter Lely in our collections.

There are also new exhibition catalogues for exhibitions based in Liverpool, work on Hong Kong artists, Korean art and other interesting current exhibitions, so please take a look the next time you’re in the Book Library.

Useful links:

About the exhibition: Peter Lely: A Lyrical Vision

The Courtauld Gallery Blog (which includes additional information on The Concert and on curating the exhibition)

About the Tate Britain’s exhibition Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Blog for Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde (which includes an interesting ‘drawing/painting of the week’ feature)

Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery Preraphaelites Online Resource

The world’s largest Preraphaelite online collection: the extensive digital collection of Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery (over 3000 images) has been digitised, allowing users detailed access to their images and full record information.

-Eleanor Keane, Graduate Trainee Assistant.

New Book Display

The first New Book Display of the term has an eclectic mix of material and we have chosen a few of the highlights to share with you. For those of you new to the concept, the New Books Display comprises of three stands: Books, UK Exhibition Catalogues and International Exhibition Catalogues. It is a show case of the newest editions to the expanding collections at the Courtauld Book Library.

On this month’s book stand there is a range of material from Photographs from the war in Afghanistan to Painting in nineteenth century Hungary. Two highlights from the stand are Colour Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay. This book “focuses not only on her art but also on the Avant-Garde fashion design from her own Atelier Simultane in Paris during the 1920s as well as textiles she designed for the Metz & Co. department store in Amsterdam in the 1930s.” This beautiful book showcases her drawing, painting and fashion designs through full bleed and cut to white reproductions of her work. The design of the book displays the clean cut graphic nature of her work and will be of interest to anyone looking at early to mid-twentieth century fashion and textile design.

On a more modern note, the widely recognised artist, Ai WeiWei’s latest book is also on the new book stand. Ai WeiWei’s Blog: Writings, Interviews and Digital Rants, 2006-2009. “For more than three years, Ai WeiWei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings.” This book is a perhaps a view of things to come, when looking at the commentary on all subjects that artists are making, via digital technologies. The digital age is transforming many aspects of our lives and how we communicate and this compilation of writings from Ai WeiWei are a nice example of how we can examine the thought processes of artists expressed in the self-publishing world of blogging.

The catalogue for The Spanish line: drawings from Ribera to Picasso can be found on the UK exhibition catalogues stand. This small volume has prints of the variety of drawings by Spanish artists currently exhibited in the Courtauld Gallery. This stand also holds the catalogues for the other exciting shows taking place in London. Degas and the ballet: picturing movement takes a new look at the artist’s characteristic studies of dancers. The catalogue is illustrated with the drawings, pastels, paintings, sculpture and also – “establishing the importance of early visual technologies to Degas’s work for the first time” – photographs taken by the artist and samples of contemporary film.

Taking place at the V&A at the moment, Postmodernism: style and subversion, 1970-1990 continues their programme of ‘grand narratives’ of twentieth-century style and takes a look at all aspects of postmodernist design. The vibrant catalogue brings together architecture, fashion, film, music, interiors and urban planning, and demonstrates the complexity and contradiction of postmodernism. The catalogue’s 20-year span follows the movement from its beginnings on the periphery to being the dominant visual style before inevitably collapsing in on itself.

The new book display also shows the wealth of varied exhibitions taking place worldwide; we currently have three exciting catalogues from New York’s Metropolitan Museum alone. Infinite Jest: caricature and satire from Leonardo to Levine draws from the Metropolitan’s collections of drawings and prints to explore humour in art from the Italian Renaissance to the present. The catalogue examines how paper and printmaking allowed caricature to flourish and how the visual language of satire has “remained surprisingly consistent over time.”

Stieglitz and his artists: Matisse to O’Keeffe showcases and examines the collection of Alfred Stieglitz, a master photographer in his own right and a collector and promoter of some of the biggest names in the early twentieth-century art world. Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India 1100 – 1900 is a beautifully illustrated catalogue which “sets out to dispel the conventional view of Indian painting as an anonymous activity” by featuring 110 works by the most eminent Indian painters, many of whom are named for the first time thanks to recent scholarship.

There are many more interesting books and catalogues recently acquired by the Book Library on the New Book Display so take a look next time you’re in the library. The displays are changed regularly and we’ll keep you updated when this happens.

Anna Casey and Jennifer Laurenson
Graduate Trainee Library Assistants

Asia has moved

Librarians have not taken over running the world (yet!), however Courtauld librarians, volunteers and students assistants have been hard at work for the last few weeks re-organising exhibition catalogues from Asia. Asia exhibition catalogues have long been a mess, including anomalies such as six different classmarks for the Israel Museum in Jerusalem – which us unhelpful for anyone trying to locate one of these catalogues!

We are pleased to announce that the Asia exhibition catalogues have now been re-classified, re-labelled and re-shelved in an orderly manner. The classmarks for our “new-look Asia” are as follows:

Z5085 – China
Z5086 – India
Z5087 – Israel, Palestinian territories
Z5088 – Japan
Z5089 – Other Asian countries

Over the course of the project we made some interesting discoveries about our collection of Asia catalogues. It was fascinating to see the extent of our collection of Japanese exhibition catalogues, and the variety of towns, cities and venues represented. While assigning class marks to Japanese exhibition venues I was fascinated by the systematic and logical naming of the galleries and museums: I wish all countries would make my life this easy! We also made some worrying discoveries about the geographic knowledge of previous librarians. Bagdad is in India?! Bangkok is a country?! Thankfully, these have all now been rectified!

So, if you are passing the exhibition catalogues we can thoroughly recommend taking a moment to look at our fascinating and orderly collection of Asia catalogues.

Deborah Lee
(Senior Cataloguer)