Meiji Designs and Japanese Craft Artists

This post was written by Reiko Yoshimura, head librarian of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Library. As a result of the development of Japonisme in the 1860s, Japanese art and crafts became increasingly popular, especially in Europe. Following the Meiji Restoration (1868), the Japanese government began exhibiting a vast amount of art and craft objects in world expositions, namely, World’s Columbian Exposition (1893) and Paris expositions (1867, more »

Smithsonian Libraries hosts Catesby Commemorative Trust Book Launch

Before John James Audubon, Englishman and naturalist Mark Catesby (1682-1749) was documenting natural world.  His etchings of flora and fauna in the “new world”  of America are treasured by many. The Smithsonian Libraries is pleased to host the launch of The Catesby Trust’s book tour for  The Curious Mr. Catesby: a “truly ingenious” naturalist explores new worlds, with speakers Dr. Charles Nelson, David E. Elliot  and our own Curator of Natural History more »

Women’s History Month: Adelaide Alsop-Robineau and Keramic Studio

Around March, I’ll be forgiven if I start to pay a little more attention to the genders of the people I come across in our digital book and journal collection. After all, it is Women’s History Month. But one journal I keep coming back to is Keramic Studio, a monthly ceramics magazine produced around the turn of the 20th century that we digitized a couple years ago as part of our Books Online collection. Adelaide Alsop-Robineau began the journal in 1899, and it continued to be published into the 1920s. The work featured in the early years of the journal was primarily contributed by women, including Alsop-Robineau herself, along with her co-editor Anna B. Leonard. Both women were well known ceramics painters and designers. I find myself returning to the journal and perusing the many images and illustrations, especially when I need a dose of design inspiration.

A Typical Case of Repair Work

Many books within the various general collections of the Smithsonian Libraries arrive at the Book Conservation Lab in need of similar treatment. Though the several collections in the Natural History Museum Libraries are largely filled with science related items, some reveal aspects of the natural world through artistic and literary presentations. Recently, a book of this type, entitled The Poetry of Nature, selected and illustrated by Harrison Weir and published in 1868, more »

A Nineteenth Century Adventure

Are you dreaming of warmer weather? Thinking of summer vacation? Well, imagine living in the year 1897 and the time has come to choose your next vacation. Will it be a summer resort in the US or a trip across the Atlantic?

An Interview with Artist Josephine Stealey

Smithsonian Libraries has been working to share its collection of artists’ books. One of the end products of the this initiative has been the creation of a new Smithsonian Libraries artists’ book collection portal where visitors can explore the many artworks in the collection and learn more about the medium. As part of my interest and research into the medium of artists’ books as and as the branch librarian for the Smithsonian more »

Garden Stories Twitterchat with the Biodiversity Heritage Library

“Garden Stories” is a week long social media event for garden lovers from the Biodiversity Heritage Library. The campaign will explore the fascinating world of gardening, from the rise of agriculture to the home garden and the mail order gardening phenomenon. Celebrating the history, science, and art of gardening, content will be published via the BHL Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, and Pinterest, with additional posts through the Smithsonian Libraries’ Tumblr.

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