A Parisian Souvenir

Before summer ends, it might be nice to take a little mental holiday. How about a tour of Paris, circa 1898? And why not throw in a book of pretty pictures with a built-in mini-mystery?  

Art Deco Unveiled at the Smithsonian Libraries

For Chicago natives and Art Deco enthusiasts Jackie Vossler and Joe Loundy, supporting two new design internships at the Smithsonian Libraries was a no-brainer. Jackie, a self-described bibliophile and member of Chicago’s Caxton Club, has been acquainted with the Libraries for three years. Along with Joe, she was intrigued by Art Deco treasures found in our trade literature collection, most notably the Edward F. Caldwell & Co. collection, a visually stunning repository of more than 50,000 photographs and original design drawings of lighting fixtures that the company produced from the late 19th to the mid-20th centuries (supplied to notable clients such as the Rockefellers, the Carnegies, and the Roosevelts).

Color with us on National Coloring Book Day!

Sharpen your colored pencils! Tomorrow, August 2nd , is National Coloring Book Day! To celebrate, we’ve put together a second set of coloring pages based on images in our collection. The booklet, which features 11 pages of pretty pictures begging to be colored, is available as a downloadable pdf file (10 MB) on our webpage here. Shade in a few sea shells, diatom cells or fancy French fashion plates. Share your creations more »

Happy 45th Birthday, Warren M. Robbins Library!

The Warren M. Robbins Library at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. From a collection of a few hundred books in Mr. Robbins’ personal collection in 1971, the Library has grown to a remarkable 50,000 volumes. It enjoys the reputation of being the premier library in the United States for the research and study of the visual arts of Africa. Our collection of 5,000 African more »

William Woodville Rockhill’s Chinese Language Books

The article A Scholar Diplomat’s Legacy: William Woodville Rockhill and His Chinese Language Books at the Freer Gallery of Art Library, by Lily Kecskes, former Head Librarian of the Freer-Sackler Library, and published in the Journal of East Asian Libraries, number 146 (October 2008), describes an important donation in the history of the Freer-Sackler Library. The article details a 1927 gift of precious and rare Chinese language books to the Smithsonian Institution more »

Da, De, Di, Du, La, Le, Van, Von…

—This post was written by Elsa Miller, Spring 2016 intern at the American Art & Portrait Gallery Library (AA/PG).  The American Art and Portrait Gallery Library  (AA/PG) has an extensive vertical file collection, consisting of 150,000 files on more than 75,000 artists and institutions. These Art & Artist Files contain ephemera such as newspaper clippings, brochures, exhibition announcements, and magazine articles and are frequently used to answer reference questions. As an actively-used more »

From Charlie Parker to Potato Chip Portraits: Exhibition of Recently Acquired Artists’ Books

The Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery (AA/PG) Library is pleased to present an exhibition of some of its recently acquired artists’ books in the Library’s Reading Room. The books, all acquired in the last two years, range from mass-produced publications to unique, hand-made book works. The artworks show a range of subjects, from the very personal, family stories, to the cult of celebrity.

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