New books Archive

Recent acqusitions: Courtauld alumni and staff publications

While visiting the Courtauld Book Library, you may have noticed the three recent acquisitions displays to the side of the issue desk. The library staff see dozens of new acquisitions arrive every week, and these displays are a wonderful way to showcase a selection of these items before they are shelved with the rest of the collection.

In addition to the New Book and Current Exhibition Catalogues displays, there is a themed display, which changes every two weeks. Previous themes for this academic year have included fashion, photography, drawing, and women artists. Our current selection features titles by Courtauld alumni and staff.

The new book display

À l’avant garde! art et politique dans les années 1960 et 1970

features an essay by Dr. Jacopo Galimberti, who completed his PhD at the Courtauld in 2013 and is now a visiting lecturer.


Bergson and the art of immanence: painting, photography, film

edited by John Mullarkey and Charlotte de Mille, Visiting Lecturer at the Courtauld; with contributions by Professor Sarah Wilson and PhD candidate James Day.


Capital cities at war: Paris, London, Berlin, 1914-1919 (volumes 1 and 2)

by Jay Winter, Research Forum Visiting Professor and Charles J. Stille Professor of History at Yale University.


Medieval and later ivories in The Courtauld Gallery, complete catalogue

by Professor John Lowden, with an essay by Dr. Alexandra Gerstein, Curator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Courtauld Gallery.


Museums Matter: in praise of the encyclopedic museum

by Professor James Cuno, Director of The Courtauld Institute of Art from 2002 until 2004, and current president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.


Painting in Cappadocia: a guide to the sites and Byzantine church decoration

by Dr. Cecily Hennessy , who gained a PhD in Byzantine art in 2001, and is currently a Senior Lecturer at Christie’s Education.


Pleading in the blood: the art and performances of Ron Athey

edited by Dr. Dominic Johnson, who completed his MA and PhD at the Courtauld (2003 and 2007), and is currently a Senior Lecturer in Drama at Queen Mary, University of London.


The Routledge Companion to music and visual culture

with contributions by Charlotte de Mille, Visiting Lecturer ; William L. Coleman, who completed his MA in 2008; Ayla Lepine, former Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow; and Dr. Sheila McTighe, Senior Lecturer.


21st-century portraits, National Portrait Gallery

by Andrew Graham-Dixon, who studied as a postgraduate at the Courtauld.


The versatile image: photography, digital technologies and the internet

edited by Dr. Alexandra Moschovi, who completed her PhD at the Courtauld in 2004 and is currently Lecturer in Photographic history and theory at the University of Sunderland; Carol McKay and Arabella Plouviez; with a contribution by Rachel Wells, who completed her MA and PhD (2004 and 2008) at the Courtauld, and is currently Lecturer in Art History/Theory at Newcastle University.


Visual cultures as seriousness

by Professor Irit Rogoff , who completed her PhD at the Courtauld in 1987, and is currently Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.


Wonderful things: Byzantium through its art

edited by Dr. Antony Eastmond, AG Leventis Reader in the History of Byzantine Art.


Caitlin Peterson and Bobbie Winter-Burke

New Books: London & UK Exhibition Catalogues

New Book Display

We’ve got a very fetching new books display at the moment, with the UK exhibition catalogues cutting a particularly fine figure as the summer shows are unleashed – most recently the Courtauld’s own Collecting Gauguin: Samuel Courtauld in the ’20s, curated by Karen Serres.

Elsewhere the Tate have been busy, with solo exhibitions from both Ellen Gallagher and Lebanese artist Saloua Raouda Choucair at Tate Modern, and a retrospective of Gary Hume at Tate Britain. I’m afraid we didn’t quite have space to fit in Tate Liverpool’s catalogue of Chagall: Modern Master too, but it is in stock at Z5079 ZUR KUN; and the Patrick Caulfield catalogue will be with us soon!

The Estorick Collection are showing Giorgio Casali: photographer / domus 1951-1983, a collection of his striking and stylish photographic work of Italian architecture and design originally shown in Domus magazine. And opening soon, we have Jockum Nordström: All I Have Learned and Forgotten Again at the Camden Arts Cenre from 26th July with free entry.

Old news for some, but keeping a stalwart presence on the new books display is David Bowie Is, the V&A’s showcase summer exhibition; alongside Man Ray Portraits – formerly at the National Portrait Gallery, now up at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, so if you missed it the first time around there’s still time to catch it a bit further north until 22nd September.

Finally, it’s last call for this year’s Deutsche Borse Photography Prize at the Photographer’s Gallery; and Souzou: Outsider Art from Japan – a free exhibition at the Wellcome Collection and well worth a visit before they close the gallery space on for redevelopment over the summer months. Both shows close on 30th June.

That’s it for now, but there will be an update soon on some more recent acquisitions in the book library, featured in our last display of this academic year.

Harriet Lam

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

Hey big spender new expensive books in the library

In the last month or so the Book Library has acquired two significant complete sets of correspondence.

The first is van Gogh’s. Many of us will have enjoyed the recent exhibition at the RA, despite the crushed toes and strained eyes. We now have a more leisurely opportunity to peruse the 6
volumes that make up the complete letters, including reproductions of the fabulous illustrations.

Shelfmark: D653.GOG GOG

This week we have also acquired the complete correspondence of Dante Gabriele Rossetti. Well, almost complete: we are promised a final volume + index in the autumn. So far it stretches to 8 volumes. No pretty pictures this time but it is a work of great scholarship bringing order out of chaos. The history of its publication (spanning almost a decade) was fraught; even more challenging was the process of collating and editing (the original editor did not live to see it completed).

Rosetti’s correspondence currently in cataloguing

Last year saw the arrival in the Library of a facsimile of Leonardo’s “Leicester Codex”, previously known as the Hammer Codex. The original was bought by Bill Gates in 1994 for $30.8mn making it the most expensive book ever sold. Our limited edition facsimile wasn’t quite that pricey but it does have to reside in CABS – so you’ll have to order it up. Have a look though, it’s magnificent.

A couple of years ago, we changed our policy on catalogues raisonnés. We now actively seek to buy them as they come trickling out. Here are some of the artists (some quite obscure, some less so) whose cat rais we have bought in the last year: Munch, Renoir, Puvis de Chavannes, Zurbaran, Caravaggio, Auerbach, Ensor, Rockwell, Ribera, von Motesicky, Merano, Crotti, Vallotton, Baldassari, Bacciccio, Vaccaro.

Munch’s complete paintings. Shelfmark: D773.MUN WOL

Peter Wood
Acquisitions Librarian

Fire proof book arrives on exchange

Thanks to our exchange partners at the Belvedere gallery in Vienna, we are preparing to accession an exhibition catalogue with a very special feature – a flame-retardant, fully recyclable textile cover! The catalogue celebrates the work of a group of artists headed by Wiener Musterzimmer, and is clothed in “Returnity”, the world’s first fabric to be made with particularly durable and environmentally friendly properties.

Search our library catalogue by keyword Musterzimmer.
Please note this is a special collections (CABS) item.

More about the pioneering fabric –
More about the cover artist –
More about the exhibition –

[Image courtesy Lisa Ruyter (© Lisa Ruyter)
and Backhausen Interior Textiles GmbH]

Karen Smith
Exchanges Librarian