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Month: April 2013

Visionaire at the Hirshhorn Library

One of the pieces from Visionaire, no. 33
One of the pieces from Visionaire issue “Touch” where actual string is stitched into the cardboard sheet.

The Hirshhorn Library has had the benefit of receiving creative, non-traditional items from generous contributors that reflect a playfulness with format and materials found in contemporary art.  One such unexpected gift was that of the art and fashion periodical Visionaire , which has been published three times a year in limited quantities since 1991. Each issue has a particular theme that is illustrated in some form or another through the collaboration of Visionaire with contemporary artists and fashion designers from around the world.

Joyeux Anniversaire, Felix Nadar!

Portrait of Felix NadarTomorrow, April 6th, would mark the 193rd birthday of Felix Nadar. Nadar, aeronautical scientist and photographer, became an unexpected star of the Smithsonian Libraries’ Dibner Portrait collection in The Commons on Flickr. Although probably not a household name these days (and definitely not under his given name – Gaspard-Félix Tournachon), Nadar was quite a character in 19th century France. Luminaries of all kinds, including George Sand and Marcel Proust, flocked to his Paris photography studio for portrait sittings. He was also a regular contributor to several French comic papers.

Engineering Prints and Drawings from the Collection of Edward E. White

Edward E. White gift 1This post was contributed by Lilla Vekerdy, Head of Special Collections.

On December 19th, 2012 an unusual gift arrived to the Dibner Library of the History of Science and Technology in two huge crates. The cargo did not look like, nor was it packed as  books, more like art work. Naturally, the shipment was not a surprise: its arrival had been preceded by a year’s worth of correspondence, administration, a trip to pack and ship, and several phone calls about the material.

Space Saving with the CHL!

catalogueofgames00milt_0001As many of you have likely heard by now, the Internet has reached capacity. We have simply digitized too much, posted too many pictures of our cats, and tweeted all the one liners possible. There is no more room. No more blog posts, no more Instagram accounts and certainly no more Facebook! Residents of the modern world have filled the Internet’s digital pages and it is now, at long last, complete.