Saturday, September 20, 2008

Poster Collection - Music Posters

A sampling of the Art, Music and Center’s poster collection is regularly on exhibit in a case adjacent to the Steve Silver Beach Blanket Babylon Room. We rotate posters from our collection throughout the year. Currently we are displaying music posters.

While most of the posters are for performances in San Francisco and the Bay Area, some others are from more far-flung sources. A photographic collage shows the dancers who interpret Isaac Albeniz’s suite, “Iberia ” in the film by Carlos Saura. The painting used in the poster to promote art from the Harlem Renaissance depicts a couple dancing in the middle of the horn section. The composition gives a sense of the rich vitality of the time and place. The poster art for "Medea: the Musical," presented by the Stage Door Theatre in 2000, is simpler, but like the other posters, distills through graphic art what would take many words to say.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Artists in California: 1786-1940

The two volume, 1249 page reference work, Artists in California: 1786-1940 by Edan Milton Hughes, is a biographical dictionary containing the names of close to 20,000 California artists. It covers the time period from 1786 when Gaspard Duché de Vancy, a member of a French expedition, painted Carmel Mission to the time of the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939-1940. It includes painters, printmakers, woodcarvers, lithographers, illustrators, sculptors, craftsmen, etchers, and artists in pastels and clay.

The arrangement of the dictionary is alphabetical and the format follows the standard pattern: the artist’s full name, dates and place of birth and death (if known), then a biographical sketch which may include the artist’s schooling and when he came to California. This is followed by the medium in which he or she worked, as well as a list of memberships, exhibitions, awards and the locations where his or her works are held. A ¶ symbol announces the bibliographic sources.

The author, a collector of California art, admits to some difficulty over who to include. Since the time of the earliest colonial explorations the mystique of California has attracted artists. Some of them have only stayed a short time, but their works are suffused with the spirit and the beauty and adventure of the untouched new land. He warns not to be deceived by the length and detail of some biographies. Sadly, very little is known of some of California’s finest early artist, painters like Grace Carpenter Hudson, Will Sparks, Edward Rufus Hill and others. They frequently left an impressive body of work, but no written records, diaries or letters. Fragments of information on them had to be pieced together from many sources. No records exist either of the lives of many minor California artists, artists attached to early expeditions, ‘49ers who turned to art when gold eluded them, or refugees from a Europe caught up in revolutions. Then there are artists whose significance to California art is minor, but their achievements elsewhere have been documented and their biographies, consequently, are well filled out.

The author has included two short papers that should be read by anyone interested in California art. The first is an essay entitled “A Brief History of Early California Art,” and it is just that--a lively, entertaining, intimate summary of how the arts became established in California. The second is called “Chronology,” and it describes in chronological order, beginning with 1850, the important events that shaped the California art world.

This reference book, now in its third edition, is an essential resource for the collectors, scholars, and lovers of California art.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Fiddling Around The World

Image from the Art, Music & Recreation Center's picture file

Even though summer has come to an end you can still travel the world with a violin and San Francisco Public Library card. The library offers a number of musical scores that provide violinists the opportunity to explore international folk music styles.

The violin is one of the world’s most versatile musical instruments. While it is a core instrument in Western classical ensembles like the orchestra and the string quartet, it is also used by many folk and non-Western cultures.

We offer collections of fiddle tunes that range from bluegrass, Cajun, Celtic, gypsy, klezmer, tango and beyond.

Here is a sampling of the possibilities:

787.11 Am3541
The American Fiddler: Old-time, Bluegrass, Cajun, and Texas Style Fiddle Tunes of the USA selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones.
[London]: Boosey & Hawkes, 1998.

787.1 L953b
Bluegrass Fiddle: A Guide to Bluegrass and Country Style Fiddling / by Gene Lowinger.
New York: Oak Publications, 1974.

787.11 C124
The Cajun Fiddle Tune Book: A Collection of Cajun Fiddle Tunes / compiled and arranged by Deborah Greenblatt.
Anaheim Hills, CA: Centerstream, 2001.

787.11 C3321
The Celtic Fiddler / selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones.
London: Boosey & Hawkes, 2003.

787.11 C441
Chinese Violin Solos: A Collection of Music for the Traditional Chinese Two-Stringed Fiddle / selected and transcribed for performance on the Western violin by Jonathan Stock.
Mainz: Schott, 1998.

787.11 Ea778
Eastern European Fiddle Tunes: 80 Tunes for Folk Violin from Poland, Ukraine, Klezmer Tradition, Hungary, Romania, and the Balkans / edited by Pete Cooper.
Mainz: Schott, 2007.

787.11 En355
English, Welsh, Scottish & Irish Fiddle Tunes / selected, introduced and annotated by Robin Williamson.
New York: Oak Publications, 1976.

787.11 K6795
The Klezmer Fiddler: Jewish Music of Celebration / selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones.
London: Boosey & Hawkes, 2001.

787.1 C7872m
Cooper, Pete.
Mel Bay's complete Irish fiddle player / by Peter Cooper.
Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1995.

787.11 M4806
Mel Bay's gypsy violin / by Mary Ann Harbar.
Pacific, MO: Mel Bay Publications, 1997.

787.11 Se822
Sevdah: traditional music from Bosnia / selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones and Mehmed Velagić.
[London]: Boosey & Hawkes, 1997.

787.11 T1567
The tango fiddler / selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones.
London : Boosey & Hawkes, 2006.

787.11 V6755
The Viennese fiddler / selected and arranged by Edward Huws Jones.
[London]: Boosey & Hawkes, 2001.