Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Current Museum Exhibition Catalogs

This summer, the museums in San Francisco have a wide variety of quality exhibits for art lovers to visit. One of the ways museum shows can be enjoyed over and over again is through the catalogs which are published in conjunction with the exhibits. These are limited edition and often expensive publications with gorgeous reproductions and scholarly information about the works and biographical information about the artist or artists. San Francisco Public Library has a special purchasing plan with Worldwide Books to help us ensure that these catalogs arrive in our library in a timely fashion. Although this expedites the process, it may not receive a catalog until the exhibit has been underway for a time.

Among the catalogs we currently have available is “Women Impressionists,” an exhibit at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor. This exhibit brings together over 140 works by Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, and Marie Bracquemond for the first time ever. San Francisco is the only U. S. stop for this show, so don’t miss seeing the art of four major women artists of the Impressionist movement. This exhibit ends September 21.

“Chihuly at the De Young,” at the M. H. DeYoung Memorial Museum, is an extraordinary collection of major works and installations by this master glass artist. The show closes September 28.

Another woman artist is being honored with a major retrospective at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. “Frida Kahlo” is a massive show honoring the centennial of the artist’s birth and includes paintings from all periods of her career as well as rare photographs and film footage of the artist in her personal life. This show also closes September 28. We also have a catalog for the exhibit “Half-Life of a Dream: Contemporary Chinese Art from the Logan Collection.” This will be showing at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through October 5, 2008.

We also have the book published for the “Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty” now showing at the Asian Art Museum. This exhibit is a collaboration effort with the Palace Museum (Forbidden City) in Beijing, the Nanjing Municipal Museum, the Shanghai Museum, and the Asian Art Museum. It will close on September 21, 2008.

Even if these books do not appear in the library catalog, the library may have them available to view at the Art & Music Reference desk in the Main Library. At the conclusion of each show, we will send them to be processed and added to our online catalog and reference collection.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dictionary of Architecture & Construction

The Dictionary of Architecture and Construction, edited by
Cyril M. Harris, is the accepted authority on architectural terminology. It is consulted not only by architects and other professional users, but also by courts of law.

The dictionary provides clear, unequivocal definitions for both current and arcane terms. There are frequent "See" and "See also" references to help users navigate and refine their searches. The book is replete with illustrations that speak for themselves on the maxim that one picture is worth a thousand words.

Architecture and construction and their associated fields are constantly changing and evolving and the new edition includes modern concepts and phrases like noise control or air-conditioning system. Concepts like very-high-output fluorescent lamp stand matter-of-factly next to vesica pisci, an elongated oval frame often used in antiquity and the Middle Ages.

An extremely useful feature is the inclusion of acronyms and abbreviations. If you want to know what ASHRAE stands for, the dictionary tells you it is the abbreviation for “American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers” and that FOHC stands for “free of heart centers,” a term used in the lumber industry.

Monday, August 11, 2008

San Francisco Theatre Research

Lotta Crabtree as a Child (from San Francisco Theatre Research, Volume 6)

In addition to the reference sets of California Art Research and The History of Music in San Francisco, the Works Progress Administration also produced another important work entitled San Francisco Theatre Research. This 20 volume set, edited by Lawrence Estavan, was also sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco between 1938 and 1942.

This series is made up of volumes about famous thespians of San Francisco, genres of theater, ethnic theater as well as on theater buildings.

Andre Ferrier's French Theatre (from volume 9)

The following are the contents of San Francisco Theatre Research:

Vol. 1 - Introduction to The Series / Stephen C. Massett / Joseph A. Rowe

Vol. 2 - Tom Maguire / Dr. David G. (Yankee) Robinson / M.B. Leavitt

Vol. 3 - The Starks / the Bakers / the Chapmans

Vol. 4 - Junius Brutus Booth, The Elder / Junius Brutus Booth, The Younger / Edwin Booth

Vol. 5 - Lola Montez / Adah Isaacs Menken / Mrs. Juda

Vol. 6 - Lotta Crabtree / John McCullough

Vol. 7 - The History of Opera in San Francisco, Part 1

Vol. 8 - The History of Opera in San Francisco, Part 2

Vol. 9 - Foreign Theatres: The FrenchTheatre in San Francisco / The German Theatre in San Francisco

Vol. 10 - Foreign Theatres: The Italian Theatre in San Francisco

Vol. 11 - Edwin Forrest / Catherine Sinclair

Vol. 12 - Little Theatres

Vol. 13 - Minstrelsy

Vol. 14 - A History of Burlesque

Vol. 15 - Theatre Buildings, Part 1

Vol. 16 - Theatre Buildings, Part 2 / Famous Playhouses

Vol. 17 - Famous Playhouses

Vol. 18 - Famous Playhouses

Vol. 19 - Famous Playhouses

Vol. 20 - James O’Neill

A woodblock print from volume 9 - Foreign Theatres