Please be aware that the Book Library will be closed from the 1st of August through to the 1st of September, inclusive. The library staff can still be contacted via the Booklib email address. Courtauld Institute of Art staff and students are reminded that they are entitled to membership of Senate House Library, which remains open during this period.Categories: Courtauld Book Library, Summer closure | Tags: Closure period | Comments Off
The latest addition to Copac (the National, Academic and Specialist Library Catalogue) is the Henry Moore Institute Research Library. This means that you can now cross-search their holdings of over 20,000 volumes specialising in British sculpture post-1850 at the same time as searching almost all the university libraries and many of the specialist libraries in the UK.
Copac’s homepage currently lists a number of specialist art libraries available through their catalogue, including but not limited to; The National Art library, The Tate Library, The National Portrait Gallery Library and, perhaps most importantly, The Book Library at The Courtauld Institute of Art. Among the very few exceptions of which we are aware are the libraries of the University of the Arts London are not yet searchable via Copac.
Courtauld staff and students are reminded that if they require a book of which no copies are available in London they may be able to request it as an inter-library loan.
An FAQ about Copac can be found here. Other similar services that may be of use to Courtauld staff and students are Worldcat.org which searches libraries internationally and Suncat.ac.uk which searches journal holdings across research libraries in the UK. If you would like any help using any of these resources please contact a member of library staff.Categories: External libraries, Online resources | Tags: Catalogues, Copac, Inter-library loans, Other libraries, The Henry Moore Institute | Comments Off
Having this week completed a reorganization of fifteen boxes of offprints from the Johannes Wilde bequest; I thought I would write a few words on the material preserved within these boxes. This fragment of Wilde’s legacy collection, significant in size and content, is yet to be catalogued on the library’s OPAC, but can be searched by card index (see below). The main bequest of books and manuscripts, as well as his archive of teaching materials, is fully catalogued and kept in the library’s special collections – both can be consulted on filling in a CABS request form.
What began as a vast swathe of offprints has now been streamlined into a shipshape assemblage of just over 600 texts, most of which have personal inscriptions to Wilde. There is a broad scope of material chiefly published in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s, but going as far back as a volume Jahrbuch der Königlich preussischen Kunstsammlungen from 1893. Written in several languages (chiefly German but also English, French, Italian and Hungarian), it contains a lot of Wilde’s own writings, as well as a good amount on Michelangelo – as you might expect – Renaissance art, and architecture.
As well as official offprints from periodicals such as Oud Holland, The Burlington Magazine, the Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, and Athenaeum, the collection also contains some full issues of journals; festschrifts for scholars such as Julius Schlosser, Paul Clemen and Max Friedländer; and ephemeral items including business cards, compliment slips, newspaper and magazine clippings, and proofs.
Most of the items are marked with Wilde’s distinctive handwriting, either denoting the author’s name at the top of the page (as above on a clipping from The Listener entitled ‘How Cézanne saw and used colour’ by Gerard Frankl), or with his notes or corrections alongside the text. There are also a great number of personal inscriptions written from the various authors, such as this affectionate example from Antoine Seilern to Julia and Johannes Wilde, from his piece on ‘An ‘Entombment’ by Rubens’ (The Burlington Magazine Vol. 95, No. 609, December 1953).
What is interesting is the network of figures that emerges from these inscriptions, giving you a tangible picture of the who’s who of art historians and scholars from the first half of the twentieth century, with a particular emphasis on the ‘Vienna School’ and on émigrés such as Wilde, Seilern, Charles de Tolnay, Erwin Panofsky and many others. It is an interesting piece of Courtauld Institute history in itself, demonstrating how professors, peers and students influenced one another and continued to correspond throughout their careers. Below you can see an envelope addressed to Professor Wilde from Katherine Freemantle, containing a proof copy of some biographical particulars and a bibliography of Professor Jan van Gelder.
For more information on the Wilde Collection, see the Special Collections page of the book library website. Further archive material on Wilde is held at UCL’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies. If you want to have a look at the offprints collection, we have a holdings list behind the issue desk in the book library.
Harriet LamCategories: CABS | Tags: Ephemera, Johannes Wilde, Offprints, Special collections | Comments Off
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 LamCategories: New books | Tags: London Exhibitions, New Book Display | Comments Off
Courtauld staff and students are reminded that over the summer months many academic libraries will have closure periods in order to carry out development work. If you wish to access another library as part of the Society of College, National and University Libraries scheme, please remember to check their opening times with the target library.
Categories: External libraries | Tags: Library closure, SCONUL | Comments Off
From 8th June until 15th September inclusive, the Glasgow School of Art Library is planning a refurbishment of the ground floor of the main Library. That means there will be no access to borrow or use the bulk of the Library’s collections during this period. They will continue to process SCONUL applications, but applicants should be advised services will be reduced. All digital collections will continue to be fully available over the summer but only a very limited selection from the print collection, please advise your users to consult the Library website for full details before visiting. http://prism.talis.com/gsa/
For further information please read this blog post.Categories: External libraries | Tags: Glasgow School of Art, Library closure, SCONUL | Comments Off
The Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at Dunbarton Oaks have recently made available online fourteen films from their collection. Of greatest interest to Courtauld staff and students will be those dealing with the restoration and conservation, during the first half of the twentieth century, of Byzantine art and architecture at the Red Sea Monastery of Saint Anthony near Cairo and Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii in Istanbul.
The restoration work was carried out by the Byzantine Institute of America under the direction of the archaeologist and scholar Thomas Whittemore. The work at the Hagia Sophia and Kariye Camii was enabled by Whitemore’s friendship with Mustafa Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey. At the Hagia Sophia, many mosaics previously thought lost in the earthquake of 1894 were uncovered and Laurian Douthett suggests that this may have led to the conversion of the mosque into a museum. The films provide a fascinating early use of the medium to document the restoration process as well as giving a glimpse of life in Turkey in the 1930s and 1940s.
Whittemore’s four volume preliminary reports on the mosaics of St. Sophia at Istanbul can be found in the Book Library at classmark A3780 BYZ. An exhibition catalogue from the Wallach Art Gallery at Columbia University detailing the Byzantine Institute restoration at Kariye Camii can be found at Z5020 NEW WAL (2004).
Another film gives an insight into the history of the garden at Dunbarton Oaks. The aging 16mm films were themselves in need of urgent conservation which resulted in their digitisation and publishing on the Dumbarton Oaks website.
All images are courtesy of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives (ICFA) at Dunbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Categories: Online resources | Tags: Byzantium, Conservation, Dunbarton Oaks, E-resources, film, Hagia Sophia, Kariye Camii, Mosaics, Red Sea Monastery, Restoration | Comments Off
Choosing a ‘favourite thing’ from the Book Library is very difficult because we have such a wealth of items in our Special Collections and also on our main shelves. Since I began working here I have come across tiny, fragile exhibition catalogues from 1900 onwards, letters written by Roosevelt, a completely square book in its own box, a scrapbook of fashion plate cuttings and much more. It’s hard to whittle down these items to just one, but eventually I chose our two volumes of the 1895 edition of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, edited by Thomas J. Wise, with wonderful illustrations by Walter Crane.
The Faerie Queene (1590-1596) sometimes known as Faery Queen, is the best known work of the poet Edmund Spenser (c. 1552/3 – 1599.) It is an epically long, allegorical poem that, although never actually finished, was intended to span twelve volumes. It contains many allusions to members of the Elizabethan court, and can be seen as a celebration of Elizabeth I’s might and Elizabethan culture. It encompasses knights, damsels, magicians, (even Merlin!) monsters and mythical beings. In the poem, Spenser uses a unique rhyme scheme, now known as a ‘Spenserian stanza,’ which was later adopted by Romantic figureheads such as Byron and Keats.
But what makes these particular volumes stand out for me is the illustrations by Walter Crane, especially as I have been an admirer of his work for some time. Walter Crane (1845-1915) was an Arts and Crafts engraver and illustrator. He is best known for his whimsical, finely-executed illustrations of children’s books, including Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1873) Baby’s Own Aesop (1887) Arthurian Legends and Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince and Other Stories (1888).
Crane’s illustrations for Faerie Queene are stylized, painstakingly detailed and vivid in colour and execution, even after all these years. The cover illustration for both volumes features a graceful woman in a stylized garden, standing next to a lion against a bold red background. Each blade of grass and each trailing leaf of the foliage behind her can clearly be seen, and the style bears strong echoes of William Morris’s work. This may not be a coincidence, as Crane was involved in the Arts and Crafts movement and was also friends with Morris. (Morris even turned one of Crane’s designs into a tapestry.) His illustrations also appear to be influenced by the style of medieval and illuminated manuscripts, with pensive, chivalrous figures and intertwined flowers decorating their margins.
Our volumes are from the library of the fashion designer Stella Mary Newton, and this fashion angle can arguably be seen in Crane’s cover depiction of the intricate folds of the woman’s gown, corresponding with the thick drapery of the lion’s mane, and the fish-scale or amour-like embellishments on her sleeves. Crane himself was also interested in fashion, and designed dresses, costumes and even sandals. You can really see the imaginative quality to Crane’s work, especially in the whimsical expressions and gestures of his figures and their stylized androgyny. The frontispiece for Part VIII even depicts a rather forlorn-looking unicorn!
The rarity of these volumes is suggested in its limited run of just 1000 copies, and in the use of unbleached, handmade and rather delicate paper. I think it is amazing that this work has remained in such good condition, and I hope that it will be continue to be used and appreciated by Courtauldians for many years to come.
Spenser’s Faerie Queene edited by Thomas J. Wise ; illustrations by Walter Crane. Part VII and Part XIV. Published by George Allen, 1895-97.
Classmark: CABS Z7483 SPE OVERSIZE. (Reference Only.)
Related items from our collections
- The Allegory of The Faerie Queene by M. Pauline Parker, 1960. (Z7483.SPE PAR: criticism and interpretation)
- Walter Crane: the arts and crafts, painting, and politics, 1875-1890 by Morna O’Neill, 2010. (D497 CRA SPE.)
- Edmund Spenser’s ‘The Faerie Queene’ -an exhibition on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of its publication (Z5020 PRI UNI: exhibition catalogue)
- Walter Crane by Isobel Spencer, 1975.
Spenser Online: Cambridge University’s Edmund Spenser Webpage:
Spenser’s The Faerie Queene on Project Guttenberg:
Edmund Spencer biography at The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography:
http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/26145?docPos=1 (Athens login details needed)
The Walter Crane Archive Project at the University of Manchester:
Walter Crane Biography and Image Gallery:
Walter Crane biography at Grove Art Online:
http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T020135?q=walter+crane (Athens login details needed)Categories: CABS, Courtauld Book Library, Uncategorized | Tags: Arts & Crafts, bookplate, Books, Edmund Spenser, Special collections, Walter Crane, William Morris | Comments Off
The Library’s card indexes are no longer heavily used and understandably, as they have not been updated since 1992. Nevertheless, if you aim to gather as much information on a specific artist as possible, it would be unwise to ignore the name index of artists located to the left rear of the space occupied by the photocopiers and online public access catalogues (OPACS).
Although the Aleph online catalogue should always be your first option, do remember that some of the library’s pre-1992 non English language material has yet to be added.
As an A-Z name index, it enables you not only to quickly locate the required artist, but also indicates whether the artist worked in more than one medium, and if so, where (approximately) on the shelves you might find a relevant book.
To summarise, you would not expect to find mention of Grayson Perry, Ai Wei Wei or Banksy in the name index but suppose you were researching the Dutch artist Anton Mauve (1838-1888). The Aleph catalogue gives you two references to exhibition catalogues but no reference to the book at D653 M by E.P. Engel. This demonstrates the value of searching both name index and online catalogue.
As a general rule, the more obscure the artist and the less written in English, the more likely the name index will help. For certain artists, only the name index will work, e.g. Jan Wouwerman (Dutch) or Boguslav Zivkovic.
Assistant Librarian (Cataloguing / Short Loans)
Categories: Card catalogue, Courtauld Book Library | Tags: Books, Card catalogue, Name Index of Artists | Comments Off
17 December 2012 – 22 September 2013
The following exhibition may be of interest to Courtauld students, especially those in the Conservation and Technology Department. The V&A is holding a temporary display looking at recent research on some of the Museum’s European paintings- in particular 11 Italian, French and Netherlandish paintings created between the early 15th and early 19th centuries- including work by Tintoretto. During a recent research programme that lasted 2 years, 200 of the museum’s paintings, were, as they say on their site, re-attributed or re-identified.
The culmination of this research is this display, which goes into detail on the methods and techniques used by researchers to examine the oil paintings, connoisseurship (i.e. close examination,) ‘documentary research and technical analysis.’ The 11 paintings featured act as case studies to provide a ‘step-by-step’ introduction to technical art history and conservation. Interestingly, the paintings will also be displayed with X-radiographs and infra-red photographs. This display is free and open to all. It is held in the Julie and Robert Breckman Prints & Drawings Gallery, Room 90. Please see http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/r/research-on-paintings-technical-art-history-and-connoisseurship/ for more information.
Other useful links
V&A Conservation Journal Online
(The most recent issue can be found here: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/journals/conservation-journal/spring-2012-issue-60/)
Preserving intangible integrity
The conservation and technical examination of Bernadino Fungai’s Virgin and Child with Two Saints
Oil Painting: Materials and Techniques
http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/o/oil-painting-materials-techniques/Categories: External events and exhibitions | Tags: Conservation, London Exhibitions, Preservation, Technical examination, V&A, Victoria and Albert Museum | Comments Off