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Tag: Adopt A Book

The Fix: Repairing Kaigara Danmen Zuan

Kaigara Danmen Zuan, before treatment.
Kaigara Danmen Zuan, before treatment.

In the Book Conservation Lab we sometimes treat books requiring intricate repairs. In November,  Kaigara Danmen Zuan printed in Kyoto in 1913 and authored by Yoichiro Hirase came to us for repair work. It was recently adopted through an Adopt-a-Book event hosted at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.  The book itself is from that museum’s library.

Hirase was a prominent malacologist (mollusk scientist) in Japan who collected over 3,500 seashells, 1,000 of which were new discoveries at the time. The idea for this book came from his experimentation with cutting shells at different angles producing cross sections that, when inked, produced interesting stamps.

It’s Your Deal. Five Card Stud, or… Whist?

L: Book illustration (England), 1816; engraving. Title page: From an ancient print engraved by Israel Van Mecken. Researches into the history of playing cards; with illustrations of the origin of printing and engraving on wood … By Samuel Weller Singer. London, R. Triphook, 1816. GV1233 .S61X CHMRU. Smithsonian Libraries. R: Acorn suit of playing cards. Book illustration (England), 1816; engraving. German playing cards, Plate VII. (with suits of bells, hearts, leaves and acorns). 15th century. GV1233 .S61X CHMRU. Smithsonian Libraries.

 

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Library owns books like Researches into the history of playing cards (1816) that support research into the objects in the museum’s curatorial departments.  In studying this book, I was able to make a connection between the book illustrations and some playing cards in the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s Drawings & Prints collections.  This book is an in-depth research into the history of playing cards, with black and white engravings, and eight hand-colored woodcuts. Smithsonian Libraries’ has an Adopt-a-Book Program that provides essential funding to support the conservation, acquisition, and digitization of books and manuscripts. In addition to adopting books online, the Cooper Hewitt Library will be having a special Adopt a Book event on Nov.7th, 2017 in the museum in New York City.  This title is one of the books up for adoption to fund its preservation treatment.

Porcelain Designs as Propaganda

Six Ukrainian cup designs
Six Teacup Designs, Plate XI. Katalog farforu fa︠i︡ansu i maĭoliky (Catalog of porcelain, faience and majolica. Kiev, Ukraine by Ukraïns’ke Der︠z︡havne vydavny︠t︡stvo mis︠t︡sevoï promyslovosti. qNK4141.U47 K19 1940 CHMRB

This extremely rare 1940 trade catalog the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Library,  Katalog farforu faiansu i maĭoliky, represents the production of not any one company. It is the output of 10 state-owned ceramics factories all over the Ukraine in small towns and villages, after industry was nationalized in 1918. This is a primary source document for the decorative arts and for studying the material culture and political history of the Ukraine and the former Soviet Union.

You’re Invited: Adopt-a-Book Evening

On November 7, we invite you to join us for an evening celebrating the scintillating collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library at our Adopt-a-Book event in New York City. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Library is the nation’s premiere resource for books, trade catalogs, serials, pictures, and archival material on design and decorative arts from the Renaissance to the present. The Library features more than 8,000 rare treasures.

The Fix: Preservation and “Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head”

Principles of Beauty Relative to the Human Head by Alexander Cozens was published in 1778 by James Dixwell in London. It is a large book measuring 55 by 38 centimeters (21.5 by 15 inches) and is part of the American Art and Portrait Gallery Library collection. It came to the Book Conservation Lab as part of Smithsonian Libraries Adopt-a-Book program.

The content includes printed drawings of women’s heads and their various facial features. For example, there is one page dedicated to different shaped eyes and another dedicated to different shaped noses. The final 17 pages are especially impressive. They are printed with different shaped women’s faces shown in profile without hair. There are 17 tissue paper overlays each printed with a different hairstyle that can be placed over the pages of the women’s heads, allowing the reader to compare hairstyles to see how they look on different shaped faces. It is amusing to see something being done in a book in the 18th century that can still be done on your smartphone today.