The Popular Edge, Pop-Up and Book Arts News

June 15, 2010

Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn at the Smithsonian Institution

To all of you pop-up and paper engineering enthusiasts out there, start planning your trip to Washington, D.C., this year to see the exhibition “Paper Engineering: Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn.” It’s a little gem of a show nestled in the Smithsonian Libraries Exhibition Gallery on the lower level of the National Museum of American History. (If you enter the museum on the mall side, take the escalator downstairs.) The exhibit traces the history of the paper-engineered book, from its origins in scientific astronomy texts through current pop-up volumes of fantastic complexity. Some of the books you may have in your own pop-up collection, while others are truly rare and stunningly beautiful. Curated by Stephen Van Dyk of New York’s Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum library, the show emphasizes the mechanical aspects of pop-up constructions, with great signage and an engaging video of  illustrator Chuck Fischer and paper engineer Bruce Foster at work. Plus there’s a wonderful little catalogue of the show available for free at the entrance.

The show runs through October, 2011, so there’s plenty of time to plan your visit. But don’t put it off too long. You’ll probably want to see it more than once!

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March 9, 2010

Show of Lists at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC

Filed under: artist's books, books, scrapbooking — Tags: , , , — popularkinetics @ 6:18 am

 

It’s a small but wonderful exhibit on display at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art: a show of lists created by authors, artists, and art personalities. The lists are quite varied. There’s one of Joseph Cornell’s purchases at an antiques fair, with notes about what he later did with the objects. There’s a visual packing list and a list by author H. L. Mencken of his personal beliefs and general thoughts. And there’s one by architect Eero Saarinen outlining the jobs he needed to do over the course of a day. Some are written, some are typed, some are collaged together, and all give a bit of insight into their creators’ personalities. The show, with the full title Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations will be on exhibit until September 27th, 2010.

And while you’re there, check out the Portrait Gallery show One Life, Echoes of Elvis just down the hall. It’s a quirky look at The King by artists working in a wide range of media.

February 14, 2010

Marc Weinstein’s Appointment Books

Filed under: books — Tags: , , — popularkinetics @ 10:32 pm

Marc Weinstein runs his own eponymous appliance repair service here in the Washington, D.C., area, and we were intrigued by his method of keeping his appointments and client information. Using spiral notebooks, he annotates each job with colored paper clips. The red clips designate emergencies, yellow indicate clients who can only be seen in the afternoon, green are for Marc’s jobs, pink and blue are for employees Terry and Alan’s jobs, respectively. Additionally, moving the clips from top to bottom across the pages indicates which jobs are the next priority. But we thought the books were just really fun to look at.

In talking with Marc, he said he does own a blackberry, but he finds the physical books much more efficient because he can use them to track multiple clients instantly without flipping through a bunch of screens. He also mentioned a time when he was repairing an oven and his book fell onto a cookie sheet coated with cooking oil. The pages soaked up the oil, but they were still readable. A blackberry in the same situation probably wouldn’t have fared as well. As we book lovers know, there are still advantages to having a physical record over a virtual one.

For those of you in the DC area looking for a reliable appliance repairman, Marc can be reached at 301-421-1942.

October 30, 2009

Pop-Up Artist visits Pop-Up Collector

Filed under: books, paper engineering, pop-up books — Tags: , , , — popularkinetics @ 5:56 am
Carol Barton visiting Corrie Allegro
On her recent teaching trip to Australia, artist and paper engineer Carol Barton spent an evening viewing some of the wonderful books in collector Corrie Allegro’s extensive pop-up collection. A graphic designer, Corrie has been assembling his collection of over 3,500 pop-ups for the past 30 years. He owns some real gems, including several historic lift-up flap anatomy books and original 19th-century books by Lothar Meggendorfer. Corrie was recently featured on Australia’s popular TV show “The Collectors.” To view the video, click here.
Anatomie En PhysiologieModell eines lenkbaren Luftschiffes

January 10, 2009

It’s a Wonderful Internet Video

It's a Wonderful Internet video

Happy New Year! To begin the year, we’ve found this wonderful animation of a pop-up book based on the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. We think it’s a great example of pop-up iconography. Click here  to view it.

December 11, 2008

Thomas Allen’s Pulp Fiction

Filed under: artist's books, books, paper crafts, paper engineering, pop-up books — Tags: , , , — popularkinetics @ 10:18 pm

Thomas Allen's Pulp Fiction Artworks

Photographer Thomas Allen has an interesting take on the pulp fiction genre. He cuts various characters from a book’s cover, theatrically positions and lights them (often with a tongue-in-cheek response to the work’s title), then photographs the results to create an eerily staged diorama with surprising dramatic impact. To see more of Allen’s work, visit the 1dak.com site.

May 29, 2008

Thomas Jefferson’s Library–Recreated

Filed under: art classes, books, libraries, teaching kids — Tags: , , , , , — popularkinetics @ 12:00 am

Biblia, from the Thomas Jefferson library

Many people know of the Library of Congress and take time to visit it’s beautiful Jefferson Building while here in Washington, D.C. But they may not realize that the core of the library was Thomas Jefferson’s own collection of books. Jefferson was an avid reader and acquired books throughout his lifetime. He eventually amassed the largest personal collection in the United States at the time. Then came the War of 1812, when the British burned Congress’s first library of 1000 titles. Jefferson offered to sell his library of 6,487 volumes to Congress. They purchased it for $23,950 in 1815. Sadly, a second fire in the library in 1851 destroyed approximately 4000 of those books.

Over the past ten years, the Library of Congress has been attempting to re-create the original Jefferson collection. Working with book dealers in the U.S. and Europe, they have managed to locate copies of most of the books. (There are still about 300 very rare books that are missing and may never be found.) The books are on display at the library, in the same configuration that they were at Jefferson’s Monticello home: in a spiral, organized into the categories of memory, reason, and imagination. The exhibit is behind glass, but visitors can look through the books digitally on computers using touch-screen technology to turn the pages.

To see photos of some of the books in Jefferson’s Library, visit the exhibit at http://myloc.gov/exhibitions/jeffersonslibrary/Pages/default.aspx

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