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Newly Published: Urban Artscapes

New on our bookshelf today:

Urban Artscapes: Essays on Political and Cultural Contexts
Edited by Manila Castoro and Carolina Vasilikou

In recent years, artists, architects, activists and curators, as well as corporations and local governments have addressed the urban space. They challenge its use and destination, and dispute current notions of space, legality, trade and artistry. Emerging art practices challenge old ideas about where art belongs, what forms it can take and what political discourses it fosters.

Selected from papers presented at the 2013 Artscapes conference in Canterbury, this collection of new essays explores the dynamic relationship between art and the city. Contributors discuss the everyday artistic use of public space around the world, from sculpture to graffiti to street photography.

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Newly Published: The Art of the English Trade Gun in North America

New on our bookshelf today:

The Art of the English Trade Gun in North America
Nathan E. Bender

Symbolic ornamentation inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art is a long-standing Western tradition. The author explores the designs of 18th century English gunsmiths who engraved classical ornamental patterns on firearms gifted or traded to American Indians. A system of allegory is found that symbolized the Americas of the New World in general, and that enshrined the American Indian peoples as “noble savages.”

The same allegorical context was drawn upon for symbols of national liberty in the early American republic. Inadvertently, many of the symbolic designs used on the trade guns strongly resonated with several Native American spiritual traditions.

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Newly Published: Lewis Hine

New on our bookshelf today:

Lewis Hine: Photographer and American Progressive
Timothy J. Duerden

Nearly 80 years after his death, Lewis Hine’s name is revered in the world of photography and practically synonymous with the labor reforms of the Progressive Era. His body of work—much of it a century old or more—remains vital as both aesthetic statement and social document.
Drawing on a range of sources, including information from surviving family members, this first full-length illustrated biography presents a detailed and personal portrait of the sociologist and photographer whose haunting images of children at work in cotton mills and coal mines sparked the movement to end child labor, culminating with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. There are 62 of his penetrating photographs included.

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Newly Published: The Public Artscape of New Haven

New on our bookshelf today:

The Public Artscape of New Haven: Themes in the Creation of a City Image
Laura A. Macaluso

There are nearly 500 public works of art throughout New Haven, Connecticut—a city of 17 square miles with 130,000 residents. While other historic East Coast cities—Philadelphia, Providence, Boston—have been the subjects of book-length studies on the function and meaning of public art, New Haven (founded 1638) has been largely ignored. This comprehensive analysis provides an overview of the city’s public art policy, programs and preservation, and explores its two centuries of public art installations, monuments and memorials in a range of contexts.

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Newly Published: Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture

New on our bookshelf today:

Saint James the Greater in History, Art and Culture
William Farina

Among the 12 disciples of Jesus, perhaps none has inspired more magnificent art—as well as political upheaval—than Saint James the Greater. Portrayed in the New Testament as part of Jesus’ inner circle, he was the first apostle to be martyred. Eight centuries later, Saint James, or Santiago, become the de facto patron saint of Spain, believed to be a supernatural warrior who led the victorious Christian armies during the Iberian Reconquista. After 1492, the Santiago cult found its way to the New World, where it continued to exert influence.

Today, he remains the patron saint of pilgrims to the shrine of Santiago de Compostela. His legacy has bequeathed a magnificent tradition of Western art over nearly two millennia.

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Three New Titles Reviewed in February Issue of Choice

Egyptomania Goes to the Movies: From Archaeology to Popular Craze to Hollywood Fantasy
Matthew Coniam
“Informative and fun…provides much interesting detail…recommended.”

Player and Avatar: The Affective Potential of Videogames
David Owen
“An engaging book…approachable, topical, and well sourced…recommended”

P.D. James: A Companion to the Mystery Fiction
Laurel A. Young
“Recommended”

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Newly Published: Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York

New on our bookshelf today:

Rowena Sunder, Artist in New York
Linda Campbell Franklin

Rowena Sunder, still an artist in 2018, composes a meta auto-biographical book about five years of her life in New York City between 1965 and 1970. She escapes Toledo and her father’s idea that she should marry and paint on Sundays and drives away in her VW bug. She sells one painting on the way, and arrives in the big city during one of its most exciting times. She works at the (invented) Museum of Invention, sublets on E. 94th Street, makes friends, acquires a cat named Kittyhawk, and finds NYC much to her liking.

After selling paintings to a psychotherapist, he listens while she struggles with mixed feelings about focus. She finally rejoices in the swarm of ideas that come to her from everywhere. Now, a half-century later, she draws her book, and talks directly to the reader in a series of vignettes, all connected by her gift of too many ideas. Rowena loves words and puns and little jokes and these add other perspectives to every page.

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Newly Published: Weathervanes of New England

New on our bookshelf today:

Weathervanes of New England
Glenn A. Knoblock and David W. Wemmer

First used to gauge New England’s ever-changing weather, now viewed as American folk art, historic weathervanes have been a part of the region’s skyline for more than three centuries. Focusing on examples that can still be seen in public, this comprehensive study of the development of the weathervane describes changes in form and function from colonial times to the present, and also documents the histories of weathervane makers throughout New England.