Picasso’s Signature & Joe Hirshhorn’s Bow Ties: Gems in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library

This post was contributed by Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Library intern Marisa Herandez. The Smithsonian Libraries celebrates its 50th Anniversary with a year-long series of festivities and I remain bubbly and in awe from the recent March 6th Adopt-a-Book Evening soirée, where the Smithsonian Libraries branches showcased gems from their diverse holdings under the anniversary theme All that Glitters: Smithsonian Libraries’ 50th Anniversary. The Adopt-a-Book Program provides preservation, acquisition, and digitization more »

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

  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 more »

Porcelain Designs as Propaganda

This extremely rare 1940 trade catalog the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum Library,  Katalog farforu fa︠i︡ansu 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 more »

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 more »

“The Sinking of the Titanic” and the sensationalism of Jay Henry Mowbray

“PANIC STRICKEN MULTITUDE FACING SURE DEATH! HUNDREDS WERE DOOMED TO WATERY GRAVES! TERRIBLE HORROR OF THE BRINY DEEP!”   Look no further than the title page of the “Memorial Edition” of The Sinking of the Titanic to find these pieces of purple prose. But if you keep looking, you’ll find that author, journalist, and potential fraudster Jay Henry Mowbray keeps his foot on the accelerator of sensational language for nearly 300 pages more »

On Book Puzzles and Hot Air Balloons

While at the Smithsonian Libraries Research Annex (SLRA) during the second week of my Smithsonian Libraries internship, I was asked to select and research texts in SLRA’s collection for the Adopt-a-Book Program. Adopt-a-Book is an opportunity for bibliophiles to “adopt” a book from one of the Smithsonian Libraries’ twenty-one branches, granting them acknowledgement through a virtual bookplate in the SIL online catalog, SIRIS. Potential donors can view the books up for adoption more »

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