Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Ten Years of The San Francisco Public Library, Art, Music and Recreation Center blog

"Two Decorative Figures" by Leo Lentelli at the Mission Branch Library, 24th Street and Bartlett
 
The San Francisco Public Library, Art, Music and Recreation Center blog began on March 7, 2007.  During that time we have had more than 50,000 readers visit our 436 blog entries.  This blog has given us an opportunity to highlight programs and exhibitions, and to share reference and reading resources.

Here are the most read entries from our blog year by year.

Leo Lentelli: Sculptor of the City Beautiful (June 18, 2007)

Leo Lentelli was a sculptor who was heavily involved with the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition.  He also created works of public art visible to all who visit San Francisco.  Our blog entry has become well read because it is cited in the Wikipedia article about Lentelli.

The Dewey Decimal System and Music Scores (December 10, 2008)

The San Francisco Public Library uses the Dewey Decimal System to classify much of its nonfiction material.  The score collection uses an earlier version of this classification system. This entry explains some of the idiosyncrasies of our use of the system.


Color and Music (Marcy 17, 2009)

In early 2009, our Department and the Business, Science and Technology Department presented an exhibit called Color Amour that celebrated the history, art and science of color.  This entry focused on one aspect of the exhibition.

Jim Marshall (1936-2010) (November 8, 2010)

The passing of famed San Francisco photographer was the occasion for a small display of his work in our department.

Art in America Annual Guide, Museums, Galleries, Artists (June 22, 2011)

This entry highlights an important reference source that is available to San Francisco Public Library card holders as a special magazine issue in a magazine database.

Jews and the Brill Building - by Richie Unterberger (January 29, 2012)

Richie Unterberger is a local expert on popular music who frequently presents programs at the Library. This is one of the few blog entries written by a non-San Francisco Public Library librarian.

Richard Diebenkorn and Ingleside (September 19, 2013)

At this time, the DeYoung Museum presented the exhibit Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years, 1953–1966.  This was one of a pair of blog entries that looked at Diebenkorn's connection to San Francisco.  This entry focuses on the Ingleside neighborhood where he grew up.

Bobby Womack's I Left My Heart in San Francisco (July 1, 2014)

This entry was a tribute to the rhythm'n'blues musician Bobby Womack that examined his performance of an iconic San Francisco song.


"John McLaren" by M. Earl Cummings

M. Earl Cummings, pt. 2 - Sculpture in Golden Gate Park (August 9, 2015)

This was one of a pair entries discussing a San Francisco artist who played an important role in the City's cultural life during the first half of the 20th century.  This essay looks at his many works of public sculpture in Golden Gate Park.

Dorothy Starr Interviewed (November 17, 2016)

The Dorothy Starr Collection is a unique and important resource in our department.  This entry features an interview with Dorothy Starr herself where she talks about her life and vocation.


Please keep checking in to our blog to learn about our activities, our collections and about San Francisco's artistic, musical, and recreational activities.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Couperin record label art

 Les nations - Editions de l'oiseau-lyre SOL.60014 [1960]
 Les nations - Telefunken AWT 9476-A [1968]
Chamber music of François Couperin, Titanic Ti-39 [1978]

One of the vicarious pleasures of enjoying phono discs is appreciating the record label design. Throughout the history of recorded sound, the companies that release records have created trademarked identities for their products.  Unfortunately, there does not appear to be reference book that thoroughly documents this practice.  The Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound does include several black and white examples.

We still maintain a collection of several thousand long playing records.  Recordings of music by François Couperin, a French baroque composer and keyboard player, show us some striking examples of this artwork.  Baroque classical music is regarded as a refined art form and it has been released by some of the finer classical record labels.

The L'oiseau lyre logo features the distinctive lyre birds in profile as bookends.  The word Telefunken is of German coinage and is made up of the prefix "tele" (far-off) and "funken" meaning sparks.  Their logo features multiply symmetrical electrical bolts surrounding the brand name broken into three syllables inside a diamond.  Titanic is an American label that has specialized in baroque music.  The feature the eponymous ocean liner on their label art.

Our collection of long playing records is available to borrow from the Library.


Chamber Music of François Couperin (Titanic Records, p1978).

Encyclopedia of Recorded Sound by Frank Hoffmann, editor (Routledge, 2005).

Les nations / François Couperin (Oiseau-Lyre, 1960)

Les Nations: 1726 / François Couperin (Telefunken, 1969).