Mitch Gobel is a renowned Australian artist and environmentalist. You can follow him on Instagram to see more of his breathtaking resin art.
He recently held an exhibit and art auction at Mossgreen Art Gallery & Auction House in Melbourne, Australia. The event was a massive success, with support from the likes of Australian celebrity and wildlife activist Tim Dormer. Mitch and his team sold 5 of his stunning and detailed pieces, for nearly $9000 each.
Interdisciplinary artist Michael Mandiberg’s exhibition From Aaaaa! to ZZZap! opens at New York’s Denny Gallery this week.
Mandiberg organized all of Wikipedia into 7,600 volumes and posted the books directly to Lulu.com. Only 106 of these have been made into physical books available for purchase (so far), but Mandiberg says the primary goal of his project is to provide a “cognitively useful” unit of measurement that gives us a sense of scale to something otherwise incomprehensibly large.
We took down our last exhibit, “Marvelous Marbles” curated by Lindsay (our fabulous instagrammer!), and installed Jillian’s capstone exhibit, “Reading and Documenting the Physical History of Sixteenth-Century English Texts.” For the last year Jillian has been updating our catalog records for our 16th-century English books. The first 5 cases are filled with books from 1598 and 1599. They include old and new catalog records for comparison. In our reading room cases you can view examples of typical bindings, bookplates, and marginalia.
The exhibit will be up all summer long. Stop by if you can!
Full exhibit description:
On March 20, 1939, Henry J.B. Clements (d.1940) addressed the Bibliographic Society on the value of armorial book-stamps. He noted that: It should be of interest to any one who is the owner or custodian of old books to know something of their former history, and perhaps to trace them back into the hands of their original possessors. Very many books have unfortunately been rebound in modern times, and all signs of pervious ownership that might have been found on the old bindings, or on the fly-leaves, have been destroyed. Some of the great collectors of the early part of the nineteenth century were grievous offenders in this respect, and when we see a fifteenth- or a sixteenth-century volume which has been rebound by Lewis or by Clarke for Grenville or Theodore Williams, we cannot tell what interesting early work may have been destroyed. Far better would it be to have on an old book a rubbed or tattered binding which had been made for Thomas Wotton or for Grolier than the best work of the nineteenth or twentieth century. If, however, we are lucky enough to have an old book in a contemporary binding, then we have a chance to learn something of its history. A signature on the fly-leaf or on the title-page may tell us the name of the original owner, but if he has stamped his arms on the binding, we can often learn from them very much more about him. (ref. below) Increasingly, scholars turn towards this bibliographic information to enhance their scholarly research. Studying the materiality of the book provides a closer look at book trade, production, readership, etc. While short title catalogs and digital facsimiles facilitate this comparative work, often catalog records only reflect holding information and lack crucial provenance background and physical descriptions. For the past year, I have worked to update our catalog to include the physical history of our sixteenth-century English printed books all the while reporting our holdings to the English Short Title Catalog. Navigating how to incorporate physical descriptions into a record while maintaining RDA, DCRM (b), and MARC standards can be challenging. However, by adding these access points, we enable faculty here at the University of Iowa and outside scholars to more directly facilitate their bibliographic research. In these first five display cases are examples of the updates I have made to the catalog. Printed in 1598 or 1599, they provide a snapshot of English culture, printing, and binding at the end of the century. Inside the reading room, I have chosen to highlight the three descriptions I aim to include in each record: binding, provenance, and unique features. The collection of limp vellum bindings represent a typical sixteenth-century binding style. The various bookplates show one way to determine ownership history. The baptism records in the Bibles provide us with evidence of readership and use. Enhanced catalog records allow us to document not only what we read printed on the page, but also what we can read from the physical object.
Clements, H. J. B. “Armorial Book-Stamps and Their Owners,” The Library XX, no. 2 (1939): 121.
You like watermelons? Happen to be visiting Beijing, China. Well, you’re in luck. The world’s only watermelon museum is located in the southern part of the city in the Daxing district, supposedly the “hometown of the watermelon.” In case you didn’t already know, China has an ancient melon culture. It’s been in China since the 10th century and today the country is the world’s single largest watermelon producer. So everything you ever wanted to know about the fruit is found right here, from the museum’s watermelon-shaped building to the 4,000 square meters of exhibit space tracing the history of watermelon cultivation and the different varieties of watermelon. There is a collection of classical watermelon art, different kinds of watermelon toothpaste (um..no thanks!), a model of a satellite that is used to monitor the growing of watermelons, and cabinets full of watermelon seeds, which is a a popular snack amongst the Chinese. Wherever you go, you can’t escape it! The watermelon motif of the museum is even carried out in the balustrades and walkways of the building. During the summer months visitors can taste the dozens of melons that are grown in the museum’s garden. Speaking of the outdoors, this is where you’ll find a weird sculpture park full of statues depicting people (and pigs!) eating what else…watermelons!
Currently on in Shanghai at Xintiandi’s Taiping Hu, the immersive Van Gogh Alive exhibition celebrates the work and life of the Dutch artist Vicent van Gogh. One of city’s most buzzed about shows, the curation reveals an unrealised genius who sold one painting while living. Both sad and inspiring, quotes from his personal letters are incorporated into the digital displays revealing the man behind some of today’s most iconic paintings. For more about his life check out the book The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh