Monday, November 9, 2015

E-list No. 1: Art Books

We recently issued our first e-list featuring a selection of books from our art shelves. Many of these titles are still available. A pdf of this e-list with more photos can also be viewed at this link from our bookstore website.

1) 1950-1965 Abstraction on Paper, NY: Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, 2001. Very Good; Stiff illustrated wraps. Catalogue for an exhibition held at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery September 13 - November 3, 2001. Each page contains a color plate of a work by the artists included in this exhibition: Norman Bluhm, Jay DeFeo, Beauford Delaney, Burgoyne Diller, Fritz Glarner, Grace Hartigan, Eva Hesse, Lee Krasner, Norman Lewis, Boris Margo, Alfonso Ossorio, Anne Ryan, Charles Seliger, Alma Thomas, Mark Tobey, Esteban Vicente, and Charmion von Wiegand. Light scuffing to wraps. Measures 17.5 x 12.5 cm. Also included is a separate tri-fold illustrated card advertising the exhibition "Alma Thomas: Phantasmagoria, Major Paintings from the 1970s" held concurrently at the Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. Includes color plates of two of Thomas' paintings and a photo of the African-American Expressionist artist at work. $25

2) Alan Scarritt, Monchengladbach Galerie Lohrl. 1999. Very Good. Pictorial hardcover. Inscribed and dated with sketch on title page. Text in English and German. Many photos, including some in color. A catalogue for an exhibition held from October 23 - December 20, 1999 at the Galerie Lohrl. "Scarritt's medium is the room" and this exhibition shows off his installations involving sculptures, light, mirrors, sound and video images.48 pp. $25

3) Gran Fury: Read My Lips, NY: 80WSE, 2011. Very Good. Curated by Gran Fury and Michael Cohen. Softcover with French Flaps. Many photos and illustrations. Introduction by Gran Fury. Interviews with Robert Gober, David Deitcher, Gran Fury, Mark Simpson, and Douglas Crimp. Chronology of events and bibliography/list of works by Gran Fury collective of AIDS and art activists. Errata slip laid in. A catalogue to accompany an exhibition held at New York University 1988-1995. 88 pp. $22

4) Isaac Witkin Retrospective, 1958-1971, Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, 1971. Very Good; Printed stapled wraps. Catalog of an exhibition at the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, University of Vermont, July 15 - Sept. 15, 1971. 10 black and white photos. Measures 21 x 25 cm. Staples rusted. Foreword by Professor William C. Lipke. A look at the abstract sculptures in the early career of the late Isaac Witkin. 16 pp. $30

5) J. Francis Murphy: the Landscape Within, 1853-1921, Yonkers, NY: Hudson River Museum, 1982. Very Good. Stapled wraps. A catalogue to accompany an exhibition of the New York painter's work held at the Hudson River Museum April 29-July 4, 1982 and at the New York State Museum from July 17-October 3, 1982. Introductory essay by Francis Murphy. Foreword by Coy L. Ludwig. Six color plates and many other black and white figures. 31 pp. $50

6) Kahan Collection of African Art as Part of an Exhibition: The Presence of Black Africa, At the Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center, Poughkeepsie, NY: Mid-Hudson Arts and Science Center, 1982. Very Good. Exhibition held January-March 1982. Pictorial wraps. [50] pp. Introduction by Lois Simon. Text by Perry A. Bialor, Curator. 46 black and white photos of various African art objects. List of other artworks in the exhibition. Selected bibliography. Covers rubbed. Oblong octavo. $18

7) Zingmagazine: a Curatorial Crossing, Issue 22, NY: Zing LLC 2011. Softcover Very Good. Includes CD and folding poster. A compilation of visual essays and articles by various curators. Subjects include photos and artwork by Alex Katz, Marc Bijl, Carolina Rodriguez, Lisa Kereszi, Fred Tomaselli, Elizabeth Peyton, Philippe Jarry, Enoc Perez, Anthony Haden-Guest, Rick Lowe, Serge Onen, Anna Knoebel, Raymond Pettibon, Lucky De Bellevue, Taiyo Kimura, Amanda Ross-Ho, Kirsten Stoltmann, Misaki Kawai, Terence Koh and lots of poetry. $20

8) Amado, Ines (editor), Bread Matters: Conference/Forum and Exhibition, Winchester School of Art, 2000. Very Good. Publication from the 2000 Bread Matters Conference curated by Ines Amado, Lublin, Poland. A collection of writings and photographs on various aspects of bread and bread making. Three-sided brown cardboard printed sleeve contains eleven trifold contributions by various artists with text in English with transparent overlays with text in Polish. Housed in a brown printed cardboard sleeve. Artists include Jan Gryka, Clara Meneres, Dave Lawrence, Mo Throp, Goshka Pringle, William Harris, Ines Amado, Michael Wright, Jacqueline Woodman, John Newling, Jan Stanioslaw Wojciechowski, Andrzej Mroczek, Olga Swajgier, Roana Meecham, Berenice Benjelloun, Ruth Weinberg, Anna Drabarek, and Malgorzata Sady. Designed by the Winchester School of Art, University of Hertfordshire, The London Institute, Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of Southampton and Arts and Humanities Research Board. $80

9) Atkinson, Tracy, Pop Art and the American Tradition, Milwaukee Art Center, 1965. Very Good. Catalogue for exhibition at Milwaukee Art Center, April 9 - May 9, 1965. Pictorial stapled card covers. Many black and white photos. Text by Art Center Director Tracy Atkinson. Draws comparisons between 19th century and early 20th century artists such as Currier and Ives, Man Ray, William Copley, Charles Demuth, and Reginald Marsh to contemporary Pop artists, like Robert Gwathmey, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein. Covers rubbed. 16 pp. $35

10) Balken, Debra Bricker, Pat Adams: Paintings 1968-1988, Pittsfield, MA: Berkshire Museum, 1988. Softcover Very Good. One of 1,500 copies. A catalogue published in conjunction with the exhibition of the same title held at The Berkshire Museum, November 5, 1988 - January 8, 1989. Library of Congress number 88-71907. Foreword by Gary Burger. Chronology, bibliography. 11 plates, many in color. 48 pp. $15

11) Belford, Marilyn and Herman, Jerry (editors), Time and Space Concepts in Art, NY: Pleiades Gallery, 1980, first edition. Softcover Very Good. A transcription of six art symposia, whose panelists included John Cage, Christo, Nam June Paik, Lucy Lippard, Merce Cunningham, and Dore Ashton among others. Photos. Includes two exhibition programs featuring the work of Marilyn Belford. 157 pp. $25

12) Bochner, Mel; Schwabsky, Barry, Mel Bochner: Words, Words, Words...: Monoprints, NY: Two Palms, 2012. Very Good. Pictorial boards with black cloth spine with titles stamped in white. No jacket as issued. Signed and dated by Bochner on half-title. Essay by Schwabsky "Bochner's Language-Color Synthesis" and interview with the conceptual artist. 34 monoprints. 69 pp. $150

13) Cooper, Harry; Luke, Megan R., Frank Stella 1958, New Haven, CT and Cambridge, MA: Yale University Press and Harvard University Art Museums, 2006, first printing. Very Good. Softcover with French Flaps. ix + 142 pp. Published on the occasion of the Frank Stella 1958 exhibition at the Harvard University Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Cambridge, MA from February 4 - May 7, 2006. The exhibition traveled to The Menil Collection, Houston, TX and Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH that same year. Glossary, bibliography, 78 illustrations, including 60 of them in color. A look at a pivotal year for the American artist, just after he graduated from college and moved to Manhattan. The authors note strong influences from Jackson Pollock and Carl Andre. $50

14) Duncan, Katherine, Dualities and Dichotomies: the Works of John Briggs, Lakeland, FL: The Polk Museum of Art, 1990. Softcover Very Good. Many plates, biography, works exhibited. Foreword by Ken Rollins. An exhibition of paintings by the Florida artist. Oblong 8vo. 28 pp. $12

15) Durrenmatt, Friedrich; Selz, Peter, Varlin: 1900-1977, NY: Claude Bernard Gallery, 1986. Softcover Very Good. Gray wraps with French Flaps and color plate of Varlin portrait on front cover. Bibliography, three photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson, 15 reproductions of the artists' paintings, including some in color. Exhibitions list. Covers lightly soiled, owner name and phone number inked on rear cover. Varlin adopted his name in 1930 after the revolutionary activist Eugene Varlin, and worked with other Jewish artists of the School of Paris, including Chagall, Soutine, and Modigliani. Varlin returned to Zurich in the mid-1930s and lived there until the last few years of his life, when he moved to a sleepy little Swiss village where Cartier-Bresson shot these photos. 56 pp. $25

16) Ferris, Scott R.; Pearce, Ellen, Rockwell Kent's Forgotten Landscapes, Camden, ME: Down East Books, 1998. Softcover. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Foreword by Shahen Khachaturian. Oblong 4to. Jacket scuffed and has waterstain along lower edge. Index, bibliography, photos, list of variant painting titles, list of non-paintings in the Kent Collection. Many full-page color plates of the 86 paintings that the artist gave to the Soviet Union in 1960. They include many rarely seen landscapes of Greenland, Tierra del Fuego, Maine and the Adirondacks. 96 pp. $75

17) Fleming, John A.; Rowan, Michael J., Canadian Folk Art to 1950, Alberta: University of Alberta Press 2012, first printing. Very Good. Softcover with French Flaps. 23 x 23 cm. Many color photographs by James A. Chambers. Index, notes, bibliography. 425 examples of Canadian folk art documented and photographed, from boxes to duck decoys. 557 pp. $35.

18) Guerman, Mikhail, The Russian Impressionists and Postimpressionists, Bournemouth, England: Parkstone Press 1998. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Translated into English by Chandra Troescher. 165 illustrations, many color plates. A look at Russian painting from the mid-nineteenth century to the early 1900s, including the works of such artists as Kasimir Malevitch, Vladimir Tatlin, Vasily Kandinsky, Constantin Yuon, Igor Grabar, Stanislav Jukovski, Constantin Korovin, Valentin Serov, Ilya Repin, and Alexander Ivanov. Folio. 288 pp. $80

19) Leonard Baskin, Brunswick, ME: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, 1962. Illustrated wraps. A catalogue to accompany "the first full-scale exhibition of the work of a major contemporary American artists to be held in the 75 year history of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art", the sculpture, prints, drawings and fine press work of Leonard Baskin. Very Good (covers sunned, owner name on half-title). Acknowledgments by curator Marvin S. Sadik. Text by Rico Lebrun, Julius S. Held, Winslow Ames, Harold Joachim, and Ray Nash. Many illustrations and an original Baskin woodblock print of Dutch artist Hendrik Goltzius bound in at the front. $30

20) Hoffmann, Edith; Kokoschka Oskar, Kokoschka: Life and Work, Boston: Boston Book and Art Shop, n.d., circa 1940s. Very Good. Yellow cloth binding with titles stamped in gilt on spine. Signed by Kokoscha on the front free endpaper. Foreword by Herbert Read. Five tipped-in color plates, including frontispiece plate of "Self-Portrait of a Degenerate Artist". 97 black and white illustrations. Endpapers foxed, Boston Book and Art Shop ticket on front free endpaper. Includes two essays by Kokoschka, "On the Nature of Visions", and "A Petition from a Foreign Artist to the Righteous People of Great Britain for a Secure and Present Peace". List of Paintings and Drawings, List of Lithographs and Drawings for Illustrations, Bibliography, index. A detailed look at the life and work of the Austrian born artist (1886-1980), whose Expressionist paintings and writings were deemed to be degenerate by the Nazi government, so he spent most of the rest of his life in various other European countries. 367 pp. $125

21) Anders C. Svarstad: Og Byen, Bergen, Norway: Bergen Kunstmuseum, 1998. Very Good. Softcover with French Flaps. Several pages of color plates. Text in Norwegian with short summary in English of the Norwegian painter's life, including his marriage to Nobel novelist Sigrid Undset. A catalogue from an exhibition held at the Bergen Kunstmuseum and Lillehammer Kunstmuseum in 1998. 31 pp. $17

22) Kunz, Martin (editor), William Wegman: Paintings, Drawings, Photographs, Videotapes, NY: Abrams, 1994. Softcover Very Good. Signed by Wegman with dog head doodle on half title. Essays by Martin Kunz, Alain Sayag, Peter Schjeldahl and Peter Weiermair. Interview with William Wegman by David Ross. List of works, selected exhibitions, bibliography, many plates. Published on the occasion of the exhibition which traveled from 1990-1992 at various European and American museums. Wegman is renowned for his videos, books and photographs featuring his very patient Weimeraners, but this book shows the full extent of his oeuvre. 224 pp. $40

23) Lanoux, Armand, et al, d’Aggagio: La Volupte dans L'Hyperabstraction (Sensual Hyperabstraction, Paris: Musee Du Luxembourg, 1985. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Text in French and English. A look at the art career and personal life of the artist Nicole d'Agaggio. Numerous photographs, many in color. Jacket lightly scuffed. Published on the occasion of an exhibition of recent works at the Paris Art Center and Luxemburg Museum in Paris, June – Aug. 1985. 4to. 115 pp. $20

24) Lawrence, Maude; Sheldon, Caroline, The Use of the Plant in Decorative Design: Teacher's' Edition, NY: Scott, Foresman and Company 1912. Very Good. Brown boards with dark gray cloth spine. 30 full-page plates, many in color, of gorgeous botanical and floral motifs and examples in needlework, textiles, metalware, jewelry, leather and other media. A great resource for designers, teachers, artists, owners of Craftsman style homes and other devotees of the decorative arts. Boards lightly worn at corners and spine extremities and corners. 86 pp. $50

25) MacCana, Proinsias ; Crookshank, Anne, Louis le Brocquy and the Celtic Head Image, Albany, NY: New York State Museum, 1981. Softcover Very Good. Catalogue for a show of the Irish painter's works held Sept. 26-November 29, 1981 at the New York State Museum. Covers lightly scuffed. Preface by Patrick T. Houlihan. Introduction by Kevin M. Cahill. 64 pp. $20

26) Kolbert, Elizabeth; Eclipse, [North Adams, MA]: MASS MoCA, [2014]. Softcover. Very Good. Accompanied the extraordinary video and sound installation about the extinction of the passenger pigeon at MASS MoCa by Sayler/Morris (Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris), entitled Eclipse, which was exhibited from August 2014 – October 2015. Stapled pictorial wraps. [28] pp. 34 x 24 cm. Rear cover lightly creased. $25

27) S.O.S.: Scenes of Sounds, Saratoga Springs, NY: The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, [2000]. Publication marking the inaugural exhibition at the Tang, curated by Charles Ashley Stainback. Near Fine. 30 printed cards describing and some of the artworks included in the exhibition, with artist biographies. Additional 3 pp. of explanatory material and 4 pp. exhibition checklist. All material housed in a printed cardboard box with printed silver bellyband. 26 x 21 cm. Artists included Laurie Anderson, Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol, Nick Cave, Joseph Grigely, and Bruce Nauman. One of 1500 copies. $40

28) Milan, Denise, Amefrica, Brasilia: Centro Cultural Banco De Brasil, 2003. Very Good. Softcover with French Flaps. Many illustrations and photos of the artist's sculpture installation at the Centro Cultural Banco de Brasil, celebrating the geological and cultural connections between Brazil and Africa. Text in English and Portuguese. $40

29) Mittal, Jagdish, An Exhibition of Books and Prints on Indian Art: Sponsored by Lalit Kala Akadami, New Delhi and Arranged by the Hyderabad Art Society, January 1959, New Delhi, India: Hyderabad Art Society, 1959. Softcover Very Good. 7 color plates. Pages toned. Foreword by Barada Ukil. Jagdish Mittal and his wife Kamla were longtime art collectors and helped found an art museum in Hyderabad, India that bears their name. 43 pp. $25

30) Mock, Richard, Quivers: Twenty Linocuts, Omaha, NE: Gallery 72, 2002. Softcover Very Good. Foreword by Roberta and Robert Rogers. Essays by Dr. Stephen Goddard and Allan Antliff. Selected biography. Twenty linocuts critical of American policy in the wake of 9/11. Oblong 4to. 40 pp. $15

31) Patti, Tom, Tom Patti: Glass, Springfield, MA: George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, 1980. Softcover Very Good. Catalogue for the exhibition held at the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, MA, October 26 - December 7, 1980. Library of Congress number 80-83332. Preface by Richard Muhlberger. Text by Robert Henning, Jr. Stapled wraps. Photo of the artist and several illustrations of his glass art. $15

32) Sagan, Francoise, S. Mendjisky, Paris: Galerie Guigne, 1993. Softcover Very Good. 38 color plates of the French painter and sculptor's work. Foreword by Francoise Sagan. Text in English and French. Includes biography of Serge Mendjisky at rear. Signed and dedicated pen and ink illustration of a riverside scene by the artist that extends to facing page of text. $50

33) Stridick, Janice, Wilson, Alice Steer Wilson: Light, Particularly, Merchantville, NJ: Southbound Press, 2013. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Essays by Anne R. Fabbri and Sue Carpenter Priester. Over 200 illustrations, including numerous high-quality color reproductions of Wilson's watercolor and oil paintings. Wilson was a noted painter of Cape May Victorian buildings and beach scenes. Oblong 8vo. 118 pp. $45

34) Vastokas, Joan M., Worlds Apart: the Symbolic Landscapes of Tony Urquhart, Windsor, Ontario: The Art Gallery of Windsor, 1988. Softcover Very Good. Inscribed by Vastokas on the front free endpaper. An art catalogue published for the exhibition of the same title held at various Canadian galleries during 1988-89. References, appendices, numerous photos, including some in color. Covers lightly scuffed. 4to. 80 pp. $12

35) Venegas, Haydee, Obra Unica Sobre Papel, The Drawing Center of New York, 1985. Very Good. Off-white stapled wraps. Many black and white plates of the art works on paper from this exhibit by various Puerto Rican artists. Text in Spanish. Penciled owner notes on one page, covers lightly soiled. Oblong 8vo. [36] pp. $25

36) Wolfe, Gregory, Sacred Passion: The Art of William Schickel, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010, second edition. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Jacket lightly worn. A monograph on the artwork of William Schickel, whose work encompasses architectural design, tapestry, metalwork, painting, and stained glass, primarily for religious spaces. Many color photos. 4to. 218 pp. $40

37) Zhao, Vincent (editor), The Monkey King: 72 Transformations of the Mythical Hero, San Rafael, CA: Insight Editions, 2011, first printing. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Profusely illustrated in color. A collection of seventy-two depictions by different artists of the Monkey King, a stock character in Chinese folklore and literature, who was hatched from a stone egg and capable of unlimited transformations. 261 pp. $28

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Book Hunting around Bennington, Vermont

Southern Vermont is a fertile hunting ground for books and paper. Its gorgeously scenic roads are studded with antique shops, library book sales, bookstores, flea markets and junk shops. Here is a tour of a few of the bibliophilic haunts that I have found in recent months.

Downtown Bennington itself has two bookstores, The Bennington Bookshop at 467 Main Street which sells a nice array of new books, and Now and Then Books, a few giant steps away at 439 Main Street.  Now and Then is upstairs, the thought of which makes my bookseller's back muscles spasm, and has several rooms of inexpensively priced books in all categories. It is best to check the neon-colored-shifting-font-size website for bookshop hours, which tend to reflect the shop's name.

Heading north up the lovely historic route 7A, there is Black Dog Trading Post. I just discovered this relatively new antique shop and Chuck, the shop owner, is affable and accommodating. His shop is stuffed with great furniture, including a haberdashery cabinet that would make a great ephemera display fixture for someone's bookshop with room for antiquarian volumes on the top shelf. Several vintage typewriters graced the premises and there were many interesting small sculptures and artworks that would make wonderful library antiques. I asked about books and Chuck dove into a back room to bring out at least 20 boxes of books, magazines and ephemera for me to root through. I left with a large box of assorted 19th century material that I will be cataloguing for weeks.

Continuing north on Route 7A you come to the postcard perfect town of Arlington. I always have great luck hunting up books I've never seen before at Catamount Books, at 198 Pleasant Street. I've blogged before about my book hunting at John Hess's shop, which is stocked with titles that are fairly unusual. Each visit entails at least a couple of hours of browsing and many minutes of playing fetch with John's adorable Australian Shepherd puppy, Chloe. John's had an inventory reduction sale under a tent outside his shop all summer long, though the books will now be moving indoors during the colder months.

Just down the round from Catamount Books at 1223 E. Arlington Road is the East Arlington Antique Center, housed in the old town movie theater. The antique center name is cleverly announced on the old theater marquee. Inside there are rooms and rooms full of antiques (and an awesome rock shop), with many of the dealer booths containing books. I've gotten some great bargains on art and photography books and scooped up a nice collection of antique photographs.

The Martha Canfield Library sells used books at two locations. The first is at its seasonal used bookstore at the Arlington Community House at 3854 Main Street (Route 7A), housed in a home that was deeded to the community by Vermont writer Dorothy Canfield Fisher. It's worth spending time on bended knee hunting through all the shelves to unearth bibliophilic gems here. At $1 and 50 cents each (half that during their sales), you can easily fill up several boxes at each visit. More books are offered for sale all year long at the main library, located at 528 East Arlington Road.

Backtracking south down Route 7A (or the equally beautiful and faster Route 7), and heading west across the State border to the village of Hoosick Falls, New York there is a huge cache of book treasures at Dog Ears Book Barn. Though the eponymous dog has since gone to the great Bookshop in the Sky, and the place is lousy with lazy cats

there are two floors of a book-scented barn to prowl through. Owner Jeff Waite is a delight to chat with (the Welsh accent is a big draw for me) and the selection of scholarly and wide-ranging stock turns over well. Jeff is resolutely a "no dot, no com" old-fashioned bookseller, and his books are in lovely condition and priced fairly I am usually drawn first to the Books about Books section, though I feel an equally magnetic attraction to his sections on Art, Photography, Science and History.

From Dog Ears to Austin's Antiquarian Books in Wilmington, Vermont is a winding and scenic ride of about 45 minutes back on New York Route 7 (becoming Vermont Route 9). Karen and Garry Austin's jewel box shop has been the subject of a previous Book Trout post, but it really is such a treat to look over the gorgeous bindings, Teddy Roosevelt collection and the overflowing selection of cookbooks that Karen (or Bookzilla as Garry now calls her) recently acquired, that I have to mention this shop again.

There are many more book haunts yet to explore. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Andy Warhol Book Exhibit at Williams College Museum of Art

We are lucky to have so many cultural gems around southern Vermont, upstate New York and the Berkshires: MassMoca, Bennington Museum, Tang Museum, Clark Institute of Art, Hyde Collection, Salem Art Works, etc. Add The Williams College Museum of Art to this wonderful list. It's a great museum housing several floors of artwork, from ancient to contemporary. In addition to the Warhol exhibit described below, there were current exhibits on Maurice and Charles Prendergast, James Abbott McNeil Whistler, three centuries of American art, and art dating from the time of and subsequently inspired by The Trojan War.

I recently visited the Museum to catch the Warhol by the Book exhibit, which is an extensive survey of Warhol's early book illustrations, his artist's books, his hilariously satirical French haute cuisine cookbook, his pop-up "children's book for hipsters", and other books by and about the late artist.

I've had some interesting Warhol illustrated book jackets and books come into the shop over the years, but I hadn't realized how prolific a book artist he had been throughout his career. On display were early Warhol illustrations for novels by Douglas Firbank, whimsical artwork for various volumes of the Best in Children's Books series, collaborations with poets, candy-colored prints of cats, erotic print pairings of flowers and penises, and the intricate book/toy "Andy Warhol's Index" with its lenticular plastic cover, pop-ups, balloon to blow up, and origami duodecahedron on a string.

Printed on some of the walls above the exhibits were some interesting bookish quotes from the Great Provocateur, like: "I never read, I just look at pictures." A separate room styled as a living room contained a recreation of Warhol's personal library, which he apparently and perversely shelved fore-edges out. The library recreation contained a number of fairly mundane titles, ranging from Sandra Boynton's "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion" to the 1957 edition of "Ladies' Home Journal of Interior Decorating" to Roger Vadim's "Memoirs of the Devil". From cozy armchairs, one could peruse Warhol's books on several Rolodexes or flip through recently purchased copies of his book favorites, many of which still contained their "ThriftBooks" and other penny seller labels on their covers.

I'll be headed back to the Museum this coming Thursday, August 6th at 4 pm to catch the Warhol and Collecting Books lecture by Museum Curator Kathryn Price and Bookseller Andreas Brown, formerly of the Gotham Book Mart. According to the Summer 2015 museum guide, it's a chance to "Celebrate Warhol's birthday with a distinguished bibliophile. Brown and Price consider the legacy of Warhol's book work, the lure and collectability of books, the book as art object, and Brown's experiences running a bookshop." Cake and a toast to what would have been Warhol's 87th birthday follow.

Warhol by the Book will be shown at the Williams College Museum of Art until August 16, 2015, after which it will be packed up and moved to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh for exhibition in October.

The Williams College Museum of Art is open every day during the summer from 10 am to 5 pm and on Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm. And it's FREE admission. Make sure to patronize the nice selection at the Museum gift shop to acknowledge this great little museum.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Literary and Other Treasures at The Bennington Museum

When last I toured the Bennington Museum at the eastern gateway to the beautiful city of Bennington, Vermont, it was a darker, cluttered, dusty sort of place. This was probably twenty years ago. I remember a lot of cases full of brown and yellow Bennington Pottery poodles and jugs and lots of brightly painted works by just-across-the-border artist Grandma Moses. I always thought Grandma Moses herself was pretty darn cute,

but her artwork just never caught my fancy.

There are still lots of Grandma Moses paintings in the museum collection, an interactive schoolhouse where kids can touch and play with reproduction items that comprise a schoolhouse circa Moses' childhood, and even an exhibition of Moses-inspired paintings of the bucolic upstate New York and Vermont hills transformed into a post-industrial apocalypse over  years of potential hydro-fracking by Linda Finch.

A case of print type and pamphlets and books printed in Vermont
A couple of rooms are still devoted to examples of Bennington Pottery and those weird pottery poodles, but the Museum is so much larger and brighter now and has so many new rooms of all kinds of art and historical objects. There are wonderful folk art portraits, maps, a room of cool household furnishings, Victorian hair jewelry, antique toys, patent medicine bottles and cabinets, scientific and musical instruments of all kinds,

Medicine cases, home pharmacies and an 1862 broadside advertising the the medical talents of  Mrs. Richardson, the "celebrated doctress", who had spent many years ministering to the Indians. 

Bibliophiles and history geeks will enjoy the display cases featured many early Vermont imprints on religious, historical and educational subjects, and there were two shelves devoted to hymnals and other music books, including some very interesting shape note singing books.
 Other galleries featured artwork of Vermont and by Vermont artists, including this scene of Mount Equinox by Old Saratoga Books favorite, Rockwell Kent.

There is currently a special exhibition of artwork by various Bennington College art professors, including Dan Shapiro, who also merited a small showing of his prints in a new gallery space adjacent to the Museum gift shop.
Another exhibition focused on Alcohol in Vermont, from temperance banners and court documents to photos of gently inebriated Green Mountain State residents, syllabub glassware and one of Ethan Allen's hefty bar tabs.

Why is the man on the right posing with a shredded umbrella? Apparently this accessory was de rigueur at this well-marinated Labor Day Clambake.

Dan was lusting over the lines of this antique Martin-Wasp automobile

but I most loved this painting of "Charley Smith and His Barn" by Francis Colburn, circa 1939.

The Bennington Museum also maintains a library of Vermont history and genealogy, so this really is quite a splendid museum.

Hours: Thursday through Tuesday, 10 am to 5 pm.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Literary Temptations from Angels and Devils

There are devils and angels on the shelves here at Old Saratoga Books, beckoning folks with their siren songs. Here are some of their literary temptations...

1) Sharpe's Devil: Richard Sharpe and the Emperor, 1820-1821, by
Bernard Cornwell,  London: Harpercollins 1992, first printing. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. Remainder mark on page bottoms, jacket price-clipped. The
twelfth title in the Sharpe series, in which our hero, British naval
officer Richard Sharpe, tries out retirement as a gentleman farmer in
Normandy, but is called to sea when the wife of an old ally asks for
his help in rescuing her man. Jacket art by Gino D'Achille. 286 pp.

2) Avenging Angel, by Kwame Anthony Appiah, NY: St. Martin's Press
1991, first American edition. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. The
author's first novel about a secret society at Cambridge University.
Author photo on rear jacket flap. Jacket lightly scuffed. 207 pp. $15

3) The Devil's Backbone: The Story of the Natchez Trace (American
Trails), by Jonathan Daniels, NY: McGraw Hill 1962, first edition.
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket; Jacket art and illustrations by
Leo and Diane Dillon, the two-time Caldecott Award winners. Index,
sources. A colorful history of the Natchez Trace, which follows the
Mississippi River through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Library
of Congress number 61-18131. Brown cloth binding. Two small tears at
lower edge of rear jacket panel. 278 pp. $20

4) The Farm Boy and the Angel, by Carl Carmer, Garden City, NY:
Doubleday and Company 1970, first edition. Ex-library copy. Good in
Good dust jacket; Jacket flaps glued to endpapers, usual library
stamps and markings. Author photo on rear jacket flap. "Drawing
extensively on the actual writings of the early Mormons, he paints
stunning portraits of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other leaders
and describes in vivid detail the movement's dramatic growth: its
early persecution, Smith's brutal lynching, the colorful trek to found
a new Zion in the wilderness, and the rapid conversion of "Gentiles"
in America and abroad. " 237 pp. $9

5) Rasputin: The Holy Devil, Rene Fulop-Miller, Garden City, NY:
Garden City Publishing 1928. Reprint. Good in Good dust jacket; Red
cloth binding. Insect damage to front endpapers and front flyleaf,
pages toned, owner name on front free endpaper, jacket creased and
tattered. Index, photos. Great Art Deco dust jacket art of crazy-eyed
Rasputin giving benediction framed by Russian folk art designs. 386
pp. $13

6) Angel Food Cookbook, Fort Myers, FL: Covenant Presbyterian Church 1973. Fair. Blue stapled wraps. Sketches of Fort Myers scenes by Regina Majewski
and Eleanor Mobley. Many pages stained and dogeared center section
loose. 94 pp. $8

7) The Devil's Red Nickel, by Robert Greer, NY: Mysterious Press
1997, first edition.  Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. The second
mystery featuring black bail bondsman and bounty hunter C. J. Floyd as
he investigates the murder of Chicago DJ Daddy Doo-Wop. Author photo
on rear jacket flap. Jacket lightly scuffed. $7

8) Angel on My Shoulder: an Autobiography, by Natalie Cole with Digby Diehl,
Boston: Warner Books Inc 2000, first printing. Very Good in Very Good
dust jacket. Index, discography. An up-and-down life tale by the talented
singer/songwriter, with some poignant chapters about her childhood and
talented father Nat King Cole. Many photographs, including a great
shot of Dad with Ella Fitzgerald, Joe Williams and Count Basie. Jacket
lightly scuffed. 353 pp. $8

9) The Devil's Toupee, by Gene Hatfield, River Road Press 1989. Softcover Fair.
Missing title page and front flyleaves. Author photo on rear cover.
The sequel to the author's novel "Enola Victrola". Illustrations by
the author. ; An Arkansas Misadventure; 203 pp. $8

10) The Angel Tapes, David Kiely, NY: St. Martin's Press 1997, first
printing. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. "The first in a new
Irish mystery series featuring Blade Macken, a Dublin detective
superintendent -- crisp writing, a tough, charming hero, and plenty of
action make this a sure bet for an Edgar" (front jacket blurb). Jacket
lightly scuffed. 280 pp. $10

11) Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley, NY: W. W. Norton and
Company 1990, first printing. Very Good in Very Good jacket. Signed by
the author on the title page. The author's first book and first
mystery in his hardboiled series set in 1940s Los Angeles featuring
Easy Rawlins, an African-American World War II veteran, who decides to
earn some money after being laid off from his factory job
investigating the whereabouts of a blonde bombshell and jazz
aficionado. Winner of the 1991 Shamus Award. The book was later made
into a 1995 film of the same name featuring Denzel Washington in the
title role. 219 pp. $70

12) Swamp Angel, by Dorothy Langley, Chicago: Academy Chicago 1982
First Edition. Ex-library copy. Good in Good dust jacket; The author
was a teacher in rural southeastern Missouri in the 1920s and wrote
this novel and submitted to Simon and Schuster in the 1940s. It was
rejected and she reworked parts of it heavily into portions of her
three published novels, but this volume contains the original
manuscript. Introduction by the author's friend, Helen Bugbee. Usual
library stamps and markings. 166 pp. $7

13) Devil to Pay, by C. Northcote Parkinson, Boston:Houghton Mifflin
Company 1973  First American Edition; First Printing. Very Good in
Good dust jacket. Jacket lightly tattered, else a clean, tight copy.
The exploits of Lt. Richard Delancey, a spy and mariner seeking
intelligence about France and Spain during the 1790s. $17

14) Angel, by Curtis Lucas, NY: Lion Library 1953 First Edition. Mass
Market paperback in Good condition. First edition of this paperback
original novel of "love that crossed the color line". Covers creased
and rubbed at margins, page tops and fore-edges grubby. "She joined
his church. She bought him a car. She got him a job, gave him money,
paid his rent. She was white. He was Negro." (from front flyleaf).
Lion 162.; 160 pp. $21

15) The Devil in Music, by Kate Ross, NY: Viking 1997, first printing.
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. The fourth novel in the Julian
Kestrel historical mystery series by the late Kate Ross. Before her
life was cut tragically short by cancer, Ms. Ross wrote four mysteries
featuring Kestrel, an 1820's London dandy with an eye for fine
clothes, beautiful women and the solutions to various acts of murder
and mayhem. Together with his manservant, Dipper, a somewhat reformed
pickpocket, Kestrel solves crimes in various corners of Regency
England (and Italy in this fourth book). Author photo on rear jacket
flap. 447 pp. $30

16) Death of an Angel, by Clay Richards, Indianapolis, IN:
Bobbs-Merrill Company 1963 First Printing. Very Good in Good dust
jacket. Jacket price-clipped and soiled. Library of Congress number
62-19317. A Grant Kirby adventure in which our intrepid Postal
Inspector hero investigates the death by exploding parcel of a Gay
Nineties New York City big wig. 175 pp. $18

17) The Devil's Code: a Kidd Novel, by John Sandford, NY: G. P.
Putnam's Sons 2000, first printing.Very Good in Very Good dust jacket.
Signed by the author on the front flyleaf. Jacket lightly rubbed.
Author photo on rear jacket panel. A thriller featuring ex-Army
soldier, computer whiz and artist Kidd and his sidekick and sometimes
lover LuEllen. 320 pp. $15

18) Look Homeward, Angel, by Thomas Wolfe, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons
1929, first printing. Good with no dust jacket; Navy cloth binding
with gilt lettering stamped on front boards and spine. Slightly
cocked, boards lightly worn, spine faded, bookseller ticket on rear
pastedown (Holliday Bookshop, NYC) , pages toned. First printing
points evident on pages 308 and 506. The author's first novel and a
classic coming-of-age story loosely based on the author's North
Carolina hometown. 626 pp. $200

19) The Devil's Defense, by Florence May Varley, NY: Exposition Press
1954 First Edition.Very Good in Fair dust jacket. Signed by the author
on the front free endpaper. Jacket tattered and waterstained, else a
clean, tight copy of this rumination on the author's spiritual
beliefs. Grey cloth binding. Library of Congress number 54-11690. 230
pp. $15

20) Flashman and the Angel of the Lord: From the Flashman Papers, 1858-59, by George MacDonald Fraser, NY: Alfred A. Knopf 1995, first American edition. Very Good in Near Fine jacket.  Signed by the late author with his full tripartite name on bookplate glued to half-title. Hint of foxing to page tops, lower rear corner bumped. Jacket design by Chip Kidd. Jacket art by Arthur Barbosa. The tenth novel in the Flashman series featuring the titular rapscallion in which he leaves India and then Calcutta for American shores and finds himself embroiled in events at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia at a pivotal time in history. 394 pp. $125

Prices above include media mail shipping to the U.S. If interested in any of the titles, please send us an email.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NYC Antiquarian Book Fair 2015

Having attended and exhibited at a number of "provincial" book fairs, it was a special treat to visit the grandaddy of them all, the ABAA's New York Antiquarian Book Fair. My reconnaissance mission was overlaid with the pleasure of seeing some bookseller friends in action and having my daughter want to accompany me after so many years of thinking what her dad and I do is hopelessly pointless and boring.

 The Book Fair is the premiere attraction of New York City's Rare Book Week and had begun on Thursday with an evening preview. I arrived on Sunday, when I thought the crowds would be thinner and I could spend more time browsing. The atmosphere did seem a bit more subdued than I had imagined and there was more than a hint of general weariness among all the booksellers, given that this marathon event had begun with Wednesday setup and travel, and weeks of preparatory duties before that. I don't even want to think about the logistics of what some of the international dealers had to go through for this event.

While we were in line for tickets I ran into Molly Russakoff, of Molly's Books and Records in Philadelphia. Molly and I met last year at the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS). She and I were both anticipating looking at some amazing book booths, having such a greater knowledge of what it takes to acquire, present and sell antiquarian material - not to mention having to schlep it all in.

I spied a few other alumni from the CABS Class of 2014 who were assisting various ABAA booksellers, including Mr. Jeffrey Rovenpor, Noah Goldrach, and Nelson Harst.

CABS Director and Minneapolis-based bookseller Rob Rulon-Miller was there with an artful display of unusual dictionaries (one of his specialties), illustrated books and assorted antiquarian material. I had never seen a copy of Rockwell Kent's first illustrated book Architec-tonics: Tales of Tom Thumbtack, Architect and Rob noted that his copy is particularly rare for having retained its original dust jacket. That's Rob on the right with the lanyard and Rockwell at center stage on the lower bookcase shelf resplendent in his smashing light blue jacket.

Two of the most welcoming and humorous booksellers I know were anchoring a booth at the east side of the Armory: Ron Cozzi of Buffalo's Old Editions Bookstore and Jeffrey Bergman. For his 21st consecutive New York Book Fair, Ron was surrounded by an impressive array of Rivers of America series books, regimental histories and beautiful bindings, but he most tempted me with two titles; an 1890s Gollywog picture book for children- which, though lovely and interesting- makes Little Black Sambo look politically correct; and a 1970s MOMA art exhibition catalogue featuring a jacket illustration by Henri Matisse in bold black brushstrokes. Jeffrey was busy stacking up modern firsts for a customer while I was ogling Ron's books, but he was very gracious to interject a nice welcome.

The books and other items at the Fair were universally magnificent and worthy of homes in the most sophisticated book collection, library or museum. How about that page out of Virginia Woolf's passport, complete with her photograph and signature? Interested in a copy of Slaughter House Five bedazzled with an inscription and self-caricature by Kurt Vonnegut Jr., complete with his ever-present smoking cigarette? I saw illuminated leaves from the 15th century, engravings of the extinct dodo, a Figbash doll handmade by Edward Gorey, a hastily scribbled lyric from the pen of Bob Dylan, a sea of miniature books, an R. Crumb pen and ink of himself and his wife seated at a bar, Ernest Hemingway's first book of poems, medieval illustrations of popes with dragon bodies, antique maps, Big Bill Broonzy's autobiography, and a range of truly rare and beautiful items, all in impeccable condition. It was heady stuff.

While most items at the New York Book Fair were well out of my price range, I did pick up a nice book for my reference collection from Boston's Bromer Booksellers, where the range of Goreyana particularly entranced a certain graphic design student raised on The Gashlycrumb Tinies

Brattleboro, Vermont-based booksellers Matthew and Adrienne Raptis of Raptis Rare Books were there with a large and sumptuous array of biblio-eye candy; truly one of their gorgeous catalogs come to life. Classic literature, fine sets and books about economics and finance comprise the bulk of their stock and all the high spots were there in luscious condition.

I was delighted to stop in and peruse the offerings from two other CABS faculty members, Nina Musinsky of Gotham's own Musinsky Rare Books and Brian Cassidy, Books, whose antiquarian stock could not be any more disparate. Nina's inventory are jewel-like examples of early printed books, like almanacs with exquisite embroidered covers, illuminated book of hours, books with hand-colored plates of 18th century fashions, and incunabula.

Skipping ahead several centuries we get to the kind of material that Brian Cassidy unearths and preserves for us all: zines, mimeographed handbills, poetry chapbooks and broadsides, photograph archives, scrapbook albums and literary ephemera that document the "cultural detritus" of more contemporary times. Brian and Ian Kahn of Lux Mentis shared a booth, the most vivid and eye-catching of the Fair in my opinion, and Kahn took particular pleasure in ribbing Brian after I hailed him with "Perfessor Cassidy!". That coming from a man whose booth was crowned by a picture-poem worthy of the Red Hat Society.

I was eager to check in with Greg Gibson at Ten Pound Island Book Company, who, in addition to his brilliant writing in his own books and blog, had recently welcomed me so warmly into the fellowship of IOBA, but he was elsewhere, probably sniffing out amazing maritime history rarities from his colleagues. Greg has already blogged up his thoughts about the New York Book Fair (and the two shadow book fairs) here. You can also check out Rebecca Rego Barry's review of the three NY Book Fairs at Fine Books and Collections.

In addition to visiting the New York Book Fair, I packed in some more literary doings by attending an interactive production of Hamlet, rambling through Central Park to peek at the Hans Christian Andersen and Alice in Wonderland statues and examine the books, paintings and sculpture at The Frick Collection. A memorable weekend of wonderful books and events, indeed.