376 books about Pictorial works and 22
start with A
Abecedario de Juárez: An Illustrated Lexicon
Julián Cardona and Alice Leora Briggs, with translations by Alice L. Driver; illustrations by Alice Leora Briggs University of Texas Press, 2022 Library of Congress HN120.C85C35 2021 | Dewey Decimal 303.6097644
Southwest Book Awards, Border Regional Library Association (BRLA)
Uses key words and striking images to explore violence and everyday life in Juárez, Mexico.
Juárez, Mexico, is known for violence. The femicides of the 1990s, and the cartel mayhem that followed, made it one of the world's most dangerous cities. Along with the violence came a new lexicon that traveled from person to person, across rivers and borders—wherever it was needed to explain the horrors taking place. From personal interviews, media accounts, and conversations on the street, Julián Cardona and Alice Leora Briggs have collected the words and slang that make up the brutal language of Juárez, creating a glossary that serves as a linguistic portrait of the city and its violence. Organized alphabetically, the entries consist of Spanish and Spanglish, accompanied by short English definitions. Some also feature a longer narrative drawn from interviews—stories that put the terms in context and provide a personal counterpoint to media reports of the same events. Letters, and many of the entries, are supplemented with Briggs’s evocative illustrations, which are reminiscent of Hans Holbein’s famous Alphabet of Death. Together, the words, drawings, and descriptions in ABCedario de Juárez both document and interpret the everyday violence of this vital border city.
Veteran botanist, scientific author, and professor Robert H. Mohlenbrock brings the full depth of his expertise and scholarship to his latest book, Acanthaceae to Myricaceae: Water Willows to Wax Myrtles, the third of four volumes in the Aquatic and Standing Water Plants of the Central Midwest series. This easy-to-use illustrated reference guide covers aquatic and standing water plants for the states of Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kentucky (excluding the biologically distinct Cumberland Mountain region of eastern Kentucky), from spearmint to wintergreen, from aster to waterwort.
The volume identifies, describes, and organizes species in three groups, including truly aquatic plants, which spend their entire life with their vegetative parts either completely submerged or floating on the water’s surface; emergents, which are usually rooted under water with their vegetative parts standing above the water’s surface; and wetland plants, which live most or all of their lives out of water, but which can live at least three months in water.
Mohlenbrock lists the taxa alphabetically, and within each taxon, he describes the species with the scientific names he deems most appropriate (indicating if his opinion differs from that of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), common names, identification criteria, line drawings, geographical distribution, habitat description, and official U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wetlands designation as described by the National Wetland Inventory Section in 1988.
Acanthaceae to Myricaceae is an essential reference for state and federal employees who deal with environmental conservation and mitigation issues in aquatic and wetland plants. It is also a useful guide for students and instructors in college and university courses focusing on the identification of aquatic and wetland plants.
Copublished with the Utah State Historical Society. Affiliated with the Utah Division of State History, Utah Department of Heritage & Arts
Andrew J. Russell is primarily known as the man who photographed the famous “East and West Shaking Hands” image of the Golden Spike ceremony on May 10, 1869. He also took nearly one thousand other images that document almost every aspect of the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. Across the Continent is the most detailed study to date of the life and work of an often-overlooked but prolific artist who contributed immensely not only to documentation of the railroad but also to the nation’s visualization of the American West and, earlier, the Civil War.
The central focus in the book is on the large body of work Russell produced primarily to satisfy the needs of the Union Pacific. Daniel Davis posits that this set of Russell’s photos is best understood not through one or a handful of individual images, but as a photographic archive. Taken as a whole, that archive shows that Russell intended for viewers never to forget who built the Union Pacific. His images celebrate working people—masons working on bridge foundations, freighters and their wagons, surveyors with their transits, engine crews posed on their engines, as well as tracklayers, laborers, cooks, machinists, carpenters, graders, teamsters, and clerks pushing paper.
Russell contributed to a golden age of Western photography that visually introduced the American West to the nation, changing its public image from that of a Great American Desert to a place of apparently unlimited economic potential.
Across the West and Toward the North compares how photographers in Norway and the United States represented the environment in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when once-remote wildernesses were first surveyed, developed, and photographed. Making images while traversing almost inaccessible terrain—often on foot and for months at a time—photographers created a compelling visual language that came to symbolize each nation.
In this edited volume, Norwegian and American scholars offer the first study of the striking parallels in the production, distribution, and reception of these modern expressions of landscape and nationhood. In recognizing how landscape photographs were made meaningful to international audiences—such as tourists, visitors to world’s fairs, scientists, politicians, and immigrants—the authors challenge notions of American exceptionalism and singularly nationalistic histories.
The book includes stunning photographs of mountainous landscapes, glaciers, and forests, punctuated by signs of human development and engineering, with more than one hundred rarely seen plates by photographers Knud Knudsen, Anders Beer Wilse, Timothy O’Sullivan, Charles R. Savage, and others.
In 2005, photographer Chris Hondros captured a striking image of a young Iraqi girl in the aftermath of the killing of her parents by American soldiers. The shot stunned the world and has since become iconic—comparable to the infamous photo by Nick Ut of a Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack. Both images serve as microcosms for their respective conflicts. Afterimages looks at the work of war photographers like Hondros and Ut to understand how photojournalism interacts with the American worldview.
Liam Kennedy here maps the evolving relations between the American way of war and photographic coverage of it. Organized in its first section around key US military actions over the last fifty years, the book then moves on to examine how photographers engaged with these conflicts on wider ethical and political grounds, and finally on to the genre of photojournalism itself. Illustrated throughout with examples of the photographs being considered, Afterimages argues that photographs are important means for critical reflection on war, violence, and human rights. It goes on to analyze the high ethical, sociopolitical, and legalistic value we place on the still image’s ability to bear witness and stimulate action.
Audubon was not the father of American ornithology. That honorific belongs to Alexander Wilson, whose encyclopedic American Ornithology established a distinctive approach that emphasized the observation of live birds. In the first full-length study to reproduce all of Wilson’s unpublished drawings for the nine-volume Ornithology, Edward Burtt and William Davis illustrate Wilson’s pioneering and, today, underappreciated achievement as the first ornithologist to describe the birds of the North American wilderness.
Abandoning early ambitions to become a poet in the mold of his countryman Robert Burns, Wilson emigrated from Scotland to settle near Philadelphia, where the botanist William Bartram encouraged his proclivity for art and natural history. Wilson traveled 12,000 miles on foot, on horseback, in a rowboat, and by stage and ship, establishing a network of observers along the way. He wrote hundreds of accounts of indigenous birds, discovered many new species, and sketched the behavior and ecology of each species he encountered.
Drawing on their expertise in both science and art, Burtt and Davis show how Wilson defied eighteenth-century conventions of biological illustration by striving for realistic depiction of birds in their native habitats. He drew them in poses meant to facilitate identification, making his work the model for modern field guides and an inspiration for Audubon, Spencer Fullerton Baird, and other naturalists who followed. On the bicentennial of his death, this beautifully illustrated volume is a fitting tribute to Alexander Wilson and his unique contributions to ornithology, ecology, and the study of animal behavior.
Alive with Alzheimer's
Cathy Stein Greenblat University of Chicago Press, 2004 Library of Congress RC523.G745 2004 | Dewey Decimal 362.19683100222
The confusion, losses, and devastation of Alzheimer's disease are familiar to the millions of Americans suffering from the disease and to their family members. Understandably, declining abilities and changing personal characteristics shape our picture of the disease, leading some to refer to the "double death" of Alzheimer's in which the sufferer drifts away long before his or her eventual physical end.
This small, tender volume of 85 photographs and accompanying discussion powerfully shows the limitations of this view. Cathy Stein Greenblat, an internationally respected sociologist and photographer, demonstrates in Alive with Alzheimer's that, while the ravages of the disease are real, Alzheimer's sufferers can do more than survive, they can thrive. Her images, interviews, and observations attest to the possibility of their being "alive" with Alzheimer's far beyond the expectations of the general public and even of many physicians with long experience with the disease.
Greenblat offers a new vision, taking us into a world of life-enhancing institutional care. Nursing homes and similar facilities don't have to be a last resort; as Greenblat shows, with a dedicated and experienced staff and an enriched environment (that includes respect, choices, pets, and music), extraordinary changes can be effected in Alzheimer's patients. Alive with Alzheimer's, the first photographic book on the disease, offers hope and inspiration. Moreover, its vivid, impressive evidence that ongoing stimulation in a good institutional setting can sustain Alzheimer's patients at a far higher level than is generally believed has significant implications for personal and policy decisions.
The new standard of care chronicled in Alive with Alzheimer's will provide hope and inspiration to those touched by the disease. As Dr. Enid Rockwell writes in her Afterword to Greenblat's moving book, "These photographs are extraordinary for practitioners, for family members, for everyone to see what's going on with these people. The stimulation pictured in this book is more powerful than any medication that we will have in our lifetime. . . . They so vividly show us that there are people inside these bodies, people with personalities, who experience emotion, and they show that there is life after Alzheimer's."
There’s nothing quite like a relationship with an aged pet—a dog or cat who has been at our side for years, forming an ineffable bond. Pampered pets, however, are a rarity among animals who have been domesticated. Farm animals, for example, are usually slaughtered before their first birthday. We never stop to think about it, but the typical images we see of cows, chickens, pigs, and the like are of young animals. What would we see if they were allowed to grow old?
Isa Leshko shows us, brilliantly, with this collection of portraits. To create these portraits, she spent hours with her subjects, gaining their trust and putting them at ease. The resulting images reveal the unique personality of each animal. It’s impossible to look away from the animals in these images as they unforgettably meet our gaze, simultaneously calm and challenging. In these photographs we see the cumulative effects of the hardships of industrialized farm life, but also the healing that time can bring, and the dignity that can emerge when farm animals are allowed to age on their own terms.
Each portrait is accompanied by a brief biographical note about its subject, and the book is rounded out with essays that explore the history of animal photography, the place of beauty in activist art, and much more. Open this book to any page. Meet Teresa, a thirteen-year-old Yorkshire Pig, or Melvin, an eleven-year-old Angora Goat, or Tom, a seven-year-old Broad Breasted White Turkey. You’ll never forget them.
Internationally renowned as an exciting guide to unknown peoples and places, Norwegian Carl Lumholtz was a Victorian-era explorer, anthropologist, natural scientist, writer, and photographer who worked in Australia, Mexico, and Borneo. His photographs of the Tarahumara, Huichol, Cora, Tepehuan, Southern Pima, and Tohono O’odham tribes of Mexico and southwest Arizona were among the very first taken of these cultures and still provide the best photographic record of them at the turn of the twentieth century. Lumholtz published his photographs in several books, including Unknown Mexico and New Trails in Mexico, but, because photographic publishing was then in its infancy, most of the images were poorly printed, badly cropped, or reworked by “illustrators” using crude techniques. Among Unknown Tribes presents more than two hundred of Lumholtz’s best photographs—many never before published—from the archives of the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway. The images are newly scanned, most from the original negatives, and printed uncropped, disclosing a wealth of previously hidden detail. Each photograph is fully identified and often amplified by Lumholtz’s own notes and captions. Accompanying the images are essays and photo notes that survey Lumholtz’s career and legacy, as well as what his photographs reveal about the “unknown tribes.” By giving Lumholtz’s photographs the high-quality reproduction they deserve, Among Unknown Tribes honors not only the Norwegian explorer but also the native peoples who continue to struggle for recognition and justice as they actively engage in the traditional customs that Lumholtz recorded.
John Hirsch chronicles the research, scientists, and ephemera of the Harvard Forest—a 3,750-acre research forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. Essays by David Foster, Clarisse Hart, and Margot Anne Kelley expand the scope of this photographic exploration at the nexus of science and art.
Hirsch is attentive to both the quixotic and the beautiful, and has created a body of work that is about a desire to understand, describe, and predict the evolution of our surroundings, while showing reverence for the possibility of sublime moments in a place. The forest is here a microcosm for the world in which we live, and this work helps us envision the future we may inhabit, making the book a useful and engaging vantage from which to consider pressing issues of climate change, ecosystem resilience, and land and water use.
Photographer and writer Joel Katz presents a pictorial chronicle of his travels through the shifting islands of fear and loss, freedom and deliverance that was segregated Mississippi during the Freedom Summer of 1964
In June 1964, college student Joel Katz boarded a Greyhound bus in Hartford, Connecticut, for Jackson, Mississippi. He carried few possessions—a small bag of clothes, a written invitation to call on Frank Barber, who was special assistant to Governor Paul Johnson, and a Honeywell Pentax H1-A camera with three lenses.
A few days after his arrival in Jackson, the city’s Daily News ran on its front page an FBI alert seeking Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Michael Schwerner, three field workers from the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) who’d gone missing while investigating a church burning in Neshoba County. In the uneasy silence of their disappearance, Katz began a seven-week journey across the state. Along the way, he met the people of Mississippi, black and white, of all ages and classes, from the humble to the grand. These Mississippians encouraged or obstructed change in their traditional culture or simply observed the edifice of that culture tremble and fall.
During 1964’s Freedom Summer, Katz met ministers making history and journalists writing it. He photographed Martin Luther King Jr. and James Abernathy, taught at a freedom school, interviewed a leader of the White Citizens Councils, was harassed by Jackson police, and escaped death in Vicksburg. Six weeks after Katz arrived in Mississippi, the FBI found the bodies of Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner in an earthen dam.
Inspired by the social documentary photographs of Walker Evans and Robert Frank, Katz snapped hauntingly quotidian photos on his Pentax camera. Amid acts of brutal savagery and transcendent courage that transfixed the nation, Katz discovered resilient individuals living quiet lives worthy of witness. And I Said No Lord is a moving and luminous record of Americans in evolution.
Twenty-five years ago Grace Shackman began to document the history of Ann Arbor’s buildings, events, and people in the Ann Arbor Observer. Soon Shackman’s articles, which depicted every aspect of life in Ann Arbor during the city’s earlier eras, became much-anticipated regular stories. Readers turned to her illuminating minihistories when they wanted to know about a particular landmark, structure, personality, organization, or business from Ann Arbor’s past.
Packed with photographs from Ann Arbor of yesteryear and the present day, Ann Arbor Observed compiles the best of Shackman’s articles in one book divided into eight sections: public buildings and institutions, the University of Michigan, transportation, industry, downtown Ann Arbor, recreation and culture, social fabric and communities, and architecture.
For long-time residents, Ann Arbor expatriates, University of Michigan alumni, and visitors alike, Ann Arbor Observed provides a rare glimpse of the bygone days of a town with a rich and varied history.
Grace Shackman is a history columnist for the Ann Arbor Observer, the Community Observer, and the Old West Side News, as well as a writer for University of Michigan publications. She is the author of two previous books: Ann Arbor in the 19th Century and Ann Arbor in the 20th Century.
A beautifully produced companion volume to the public television documentary The Appalachians fills the void in information about the region, offering a rich portrait of its history and its legacy in music, literature, and film. The text includes essays by some of Appalachia’s most respected scholars and journalists; excerpts from never-before-published diaries and journals; firsthand recollections from native Appalachians including Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, and Ralph Stanley; indigenous song lyrics and poetry; and oral histories from common folk whose roots run strong and deep. The book also includes more than one hundred illustrations, both archival and newly created. Here is a wondrous book celebrating a unique and valuable heritage.
Carpeted in boreal forests, dotted with lakes, cut by rivers, and straddling the Arctic Circle, the region surrounding the White Sea, which is known as the Russian North, is sparsely populated and immensely isolated. It is also the home to architectural marvels, as many of the original wooden and brick churches and homes in the region's ancient villages and towns still stand. Featuring nearly two hundred full color photographs of these beautiful centuries-old structures, Architecture at the End of the Earth is the most recent addition to William Craft Brumfield's ongoing project to photographically document all aspects of Russian architecture.
The architectural masterpieces Brumfield photographed are diverse: they range from humble chapels to grand cathedrals, buildings that are either dilapidated or well cared for, and structures repurposed during the Soviet era. Included are onion-domed wooden churches such as the Church of the Dormition, built in 1674 in Varzuga; the massive walled Transfiguration Monastery on Great Solovetsky Island, which dates to the mid-1550s; the Ferapontov-Nativity Monastery's frescoes, painted in 1502 by Dionisy, one of Russia's greatest medieval painters; nineteenth-century log houses, both rustic and ornate; and the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Vologda, which was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible in the 1560s. The text that introduces the photographs outlines the region's significance to Russian history and culture.
Brumfield is challenged by the immense difficulty of accessing the Russian North, and recounts traversing sketchy roads, crossing silt-clogged rivers on barges and ferries, improvising travel arrangements, being delayed by severe snowstorms, and seeing the region from the air aboard the small planes he needs to reach remote areas.
The buildings Brumfield photographed, some of which lie in near ruin, are at constant risk due to local indifference and vandalism, a lack of maintenance funds, clumsy restorations, or changes in local and national priorities. Brumfield is concerned with their futures and hopes that the region's beautiful and vulnerable achievements of master Russian carpenters will be preserved. Architecture at the End of the Earth is at once an art book, a travel guide, and a personal document about the discovery of this bleak but beautiful region of Russia that most readers will see here for the first time.
Influential American architect Philip Johnson once mused, “All architecture is shelter; all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.” But with just a small swap of a key word, Johnson could well have been describing animal nests. Birds and insects are nature’s premier architects, using a dizzying array of talents to build functional homes in which to live, reproduce, and care for their young. Recycling sticks, branches, grass, and mud to construct their shelters, they are undoubtedly the originators of “green architecture.”
A visual celebration of these natural feats of engineering and ingenuity, Architecture by Birds and Insects allows readers a peek inside a wide range of nests, offering a rare opportunity to get a sense of the materials and methods used to build them. Here, we see the kinds of places where nests are built—for instance, the house wren has been known to occupy cow skulls, flower pots, tin cans, and the pockets of hanging laundry, while the uglynest caterpillar prefers rose bushes and cherry trees. Inspired by the vast nest collection at the Field Museum, which features specimens gathered throughout North and South America, Peggy Macnamara’s paintings are enhanced by text written by museum curators. This narrative provides a foundation in natural history for each painting, as well as fascinating anecdotes about the nests and their builders.
Like so many natural treasures, nests are easy to ignore. But Macnamara’s gorgeous paintings will undoubtedly change that. Architecture by Birds and Insects at last gives the tiniest engineers their rightful moment in the spotlight, and in so doing increases awareness and encourages the protection of birds, insects, and their habitats. Readers will never look at a Frank Gehry design, or a treetop nest, the same way again.
Mies van der Rohe once commented, “Only skyscrapers under construction reveal their bold constructive thoughts, and then the impression made by their soaring skeletal frames is overwhelming.” Never has this statement resonated more than in recent years, when architectural design has undergone a radical transformation, and when powerful computers allow architects and engineers to design and construct buildings that were impossible just a few years ago. At the same time, what lies underneath these surfaces is more mysterious than ever before.
In Architecture under Construction, photographer Stanley Greenberg explores the anatomy and engineering of some of our most unusual new buildings, helping us to understand our own fascination with what makes buildings stand up, and what makes them fall down. As designs for new constructions are revealed and the public watches closely as architects and engineers challenge each other with provocative new forms and equally audacious ideas, Greenberg captures penetrating images that reveal the complex mystery—and beauty—found in the transitory moments before the skin of a building covers up the structures that hold it together.
Framed by a historical and critical essay by Joseph Rosa and including an afterword by the author, the eighty captivating and thought-provoking images collected here—which focus on some of the most high-profile design projects of the past decade, including buildings designed by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Thom Mayne, and Renzo Piano, among others —are not to be missed by anyone with an eye for the almost invisible mechanisms that continue to define our relationship with the built world.
An Arkansas Florilegium is a late-flowering extension of the work initiated sixty years ago with University of Arkansas botanist Edwin B. Smith’s first entries in his pioneering Atlas and Annotated List of the Vascular Plants of Arkansas. Soon after this seminal survey of the state’s flora was published in 1978, Kent Bonar, a Missouri-born Thoreau acolyte employed as a naturalist by the Arkansas Park Service, began lugging the volume along on hikes through the woods surrounding his Newton County home, entering hundreds upon hundreds of meticulous illustrations into Smith’s work.
Thirty-five years later, with Smith retired and Bonar long gone from the park service but still drawing, Bonar’s weathered and battered copy of the atlas was seized by a diverse cadre of amateur admirers motivated by fears of its damage or loss. Their fears were certainly justified; after all, the pages were now jammed to the margins with some 3,500 drawings, and the volume had already survived one accidental dunking in an Ozark stream.
An Arkansas Florilegium brings Smith’s and Bonar’s knowledge and lifelong diligence to the world in this unique mix of art, science, and Arkansas saga.
In 1837 Representative Joseph J. Anthony stabs the speaker of the house to death during a debate about wolf pelts. In 1899 Hot Springs police shoot it out with the county sheriffs over control of illegal gambling. In 1974 President Richard Nixon resigns in part due to the outspokenness of Pine Bluff native Martha Mitchell. In this special print project of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture, legendary cartoonist Ron Wolfe brings these and many other stories to life. Accompanied by selected entries from the encyclopedia, Wolfe’s cartoons highlight the oddities and absurdities of our state’s history. Seriously, you couldn’t make up this stuff.
Since ancient times people have depended on medical practitioners to enhance life, to treat illness and injuries, and to help reduce pain and suffering. The scientifically based discipline that we know today stands beside diverse traditions, belief systems, and bodies of medical knowledge that have evolved in fascinating ways across cultures and continents. Throughout this history, successive generations have created artistic representations of these varied aspects of medicine, illustrating instruction manuals, documenting treatments, and creating works of art that enable individuals to express their feelings and ideas about medicine, health, and illness. From ancient wall paintings and tomb carvings to sculpture, installations, and digitally created artworks, the results are extraordinary and pay tribute to how medicine has affected our lives and the lives of our ancestors.
Drawing on the remarkable holdings of the Wellcome Collection in London, The Art of Medicine offers a unique gallery of rarely seen paintings, artifacts, drawings, prints, and extracts from manuscripts and manuals to provide a fascinating visual insight into our knowledge of the human body and mind, and how both have been treated with medicine. Julie Anderson, Emm Barnes, and Emma Shackleton take readers on a fascinating visual journey through the history of medical practice, exploring contemporary biomedical images, popular art, and caricature alongside venerable Chinese scrolls, prehistoric Mesoamerican drawings, paintings of the European Renaissance, medieval Persian manuscripts, and more. The result is a rare and remarkable visual account of what it was and is to be human in sickness and health.
Tiny ruby-throated hummingbirds weighing less than a nickel fly from the upper Midwest to Costa Rica every fall, crossing the six-hundred-mile Gulf of Mexico without a single stop. One of the many creatures that commute on the Mississippi Flyway as part of an annual migration, they pass along Chicago’s lakefront and through midwestern backyards on a path used by their species for millennia. This magnificent migrational dance takes place every year in Chicagoland, yet it is often missed by the region’s two-legged residents. The Art of Migration uncovers these extraordinary patterns that play out over the seasons. Readers are introduced to over two hundred of the birds and insects that traverse regions from the edge of Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and to the rivers that flow into the Mississippi.
As the only artist in residence at the Field Museum, Peggy Macnamara has a unique vantage point for studying these patterns and capturing their distinctive traits. Her magnificent watercolor illustrations capture flocks, movement, and species-specific details. The illustrations are accompanied by text from museum staff and include details such as natural histories, notable features for identification, behavior, and how species have adapted to environmental changes. The book follows a gentle seasonal sequence and includes chapters on studying migration, artist’s notes on illustrating wildlife, and tips on the best ways to watch for birds and insects in the Chicago area.
A perfect balance of science and art, The Art of Migration will prompt us to marvel anew at the remarkable spectacle going on around us.
This stunning book charts the rich history of the blues, through the dazzling array of posters, album covers, and advertisements that have shaped its identity over the past hundred years. The blues have been one of the most ubiquitous but diverse elements of American popular music at large, and the visual art associated with this unique sound has been just as varied and dynamic. There is no better guide to this fascinating graphical world than Bill Dahl—a longtime music journalist and historian who has written liner notes for countless reissues of classic blues, soul, R&B, and rock albums. With his deep knowledge and incisive commentary—complementing more than three hundred and fifty lavishly reproduced images—the history of the blues comes musically and visually to life.
What will astonish readers who thumb through these pages is the amazing range of ways that the blues have been represented—whether via album covers, posters, flyers, 78 rpm labels, advertising, or other promotional materials. We see the blues as it was first visually captured in the highly colorful sheet music covers of the early twentieth century. We see striking and hard-to-find label designs from labels big (Columbia) and small (Rhumboogie). We see William Alexander’s humorous artwork on postwar Miltone Records; the cherished ephemera of concert and movie posters; and Chess Records’ iconic early albums designed by Don Bronstein, which would set a new standard for modern album cover design.
What these images collectively portray is the evolution of a distinctively American art form. And they do so in the richest way imaginable. The result is a sumptuous book, a visual treasury as alive in spirit as the music it so vibrantly captures.
Audubon: Early Drawings
John James AudubonIntroduction by Richard RhodesScientific Commentary by Scott V. Edwards,Foreword by Leslie A. Morris Harvard University Press, 2008 Library of Congress QL674.A85 2008 | Dewey Decimal 598.0222
In 1805, Jean Jacques Audubon was a twenty-year-old itinerant Frenchman of ignoble birth and indifferent education who had fled revolutionary violence in Haiti and then France to take refuge in frontier America. Ten years later, John James Audubon was an American citizen, entrepreneur, and family man whose fervent desire to “become acquainted with nature” had led him to reinvent himself as a naturalist and artist whose study of birds would soon earn him international acclaim. The drawings he made during this crucial decade—sold to Audubon’s friend and patron Edward Harris to help fund his masterwork The Birds of America, and now held by Harvard’s Houghton Library and Museum of Comparative Zoology—are published together here for the first time in large format and full color. In these 116 portraits of species collected in America and in Europe we see Audubon inventing his ingenious methods of posing and depicting his subjects, and we trace his development into a scientist and an artist who could proudly sign his artworks “drawn from Nature.” The drawings also serve as a record of the birds found in Europe and the Eastern United States in the early nineteenth century, some now rare or extinct.
The drawings are enhanced by an essay on the sources of Audubon’s art by his biographer, Richard Rhodes; transcription of Audubon’s own annotations to the drawings, including information on when and where the specimens were collected; ornithological commentary by Scott V. Edwards, along with reflections on Audubon as scientist; and an account of the history of the Harris collection by Leslie A. Morris.
Splendid in their own right, these drawings also illuminate the self-invention of one of the most important figures in American natural history. They will delight all those interested in American art, nature, birds, and the life and times of John James Audubon.