Celebrate America with Gibson’s “Americans”

-+*Charles Gibson (1867-1944) is one of the best known illustrators of the Gilded Age primarily due to his creation, the Gibson Girl, who became an icon of American beauty. As an illustrator he was talented in depicting relationships between men and women and submitted illustrations to such magazines as Harper’s Weekly, Life, and Harper’s Monthly. In 1890 he introduced a modernized beautiful female character with upswept hair, fashionable clothes, and imbued with more »

What’s in a Name? The Related Talents of Mark Catesby and Gertrude Jekyll

-+*The Catesby Commemorative Trust launched the publication of The Curious Mister Catesby with a program at the National Museum of Natural History this past April. Smithsonian Libraries’ own Leslie Overstreet, a contributor to these various perspectives on Mark Catesby’s The natural history of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama islands (London, 1729-1747), spoke on that work’s long, complicated printing history. Another speaker, E. Charles Nelson, presented his research into the naturalist’s biography. His more »

“Langley Leap” at the Hirshhorn Library

-+*This post was written by Lily Zhang, a senior at Langley High School. I had no idea how real senioritis was until I caught it. Worse than the common cold, the dreaded senioritis hinders motivation with distracting visions of prom, parties, and graduation. But at Langley High in McLean, we are provided with a novel cure: no school. While other seniors in surrounding high schools continue to attend school in May, Langley seniors have the opportunity to “leap” outside school walls and participate in a 10-day internship of our choosing. The Langley Leap program gives us a chance to explore possible areas of interest beyond classroom lectures and tests, an opportunity I believe to be irreplaceable and essential to the overall high school experience.

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 3, Encounters and Partnerships

-+*The blog post, last of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, research assistant for Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean, an online exhibition part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. Charles Guillain’s three-volume work, Documents sur l’histoire, la géographie, et le commerce de l’Afrique orientale and the accompanying atlas folio of lithographs and map engravings, Voyage more »

The Chakras at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Library

-+*This post was originally featured on the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s “Object of the Day” blog, written by digital media technologist Katie Shelly. Last year, our librarian Stephen Van Dyk picked up this slender blue hardcover at a rare book auction. He didn’t know exactly what a “chakra” was, but still he found the worn old book remarkable, if not a bit weird, for its striking illustrations of big painted circles.

A Different kind of Goldrush

-+*Gold rush : a multi-page serigraph  by Jill Timm. Wenatchee, WA : Mystical Places Press, 2013.  This intriguing title Gold Rush, represents three of the Cooper-Hewitt Library’s special collecting interests all in one book. We have a large collection of over 2,000 pop-up and movable books, ranging from the 15th century through the present day; also a collection of artist’s books with movable parts, and a large variety of books and periodicals  that more »

Swahili Coast: Exploration by French Captain Charles Guillain, 1846-1848. Part 2, Campaign Description

-+*The blog post, second of three, was written by Xavier Courouble, research assistant for Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean, an online exhibition part of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art’s Connecting the Gems of the Indian Ocean: From Oman to East Africa. Read the first post in the series here. From 1836 to 1848, successively in command of the corvette “La Prévoyante,” “La Dordogne,” and finally the more »

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