February 2, 2017 § 2 Comments
Here at the Frick Fine Arts Library we pride ourselves on our artists’ books collection. For those of you who may not know what an artist book is, be my guest in explaining them! Each one is unique, sometimes made in editions like prints, sometimes “printed” by a press, other times not, cataloged in the library like books with a call number, often displayed in museums as art objects behind glass – each one may look, feel, or even sound different from the next (queue Keith Smith’s string book).
A few brave and creative souls have started selling their artists’ books on Etsy. I found these recently and thought I’d share!
Butterflies from TheMuseumShelves
Night from SignOfTheLadybug
Nachtmahr Box from buechertiger
Miniature Black Artist Book from PegandAwl
Book of Nonexistent Animals from HandmadeBook
November 9, 2016 § 2 Comments
October 13, 2016 § Leave a comment
Beasts and monsters like the one you see above were often depicted in medieval manuscripts, maps—like the Hereford Mappa Mundi—and even cathedral sculptures. The most prominent amount of these depictions can be found in medieval bestiaries, which we could say were a more romantic and moralized version of a modern-day encyclopedia of animals with pictures included. Although depicted alongside “real” animals, monsters and other fantastic beasts were often placed in their own category called the Monstrous Races, which were said to live on the periphery of the world in places beyond the known seas and in places such as Africa and the Middle East.
Often the beasts that were included in bestiaries were real-life animals, even if they didn’t always look like the real thing—but what can we say, monks didn’t get out much, and elephants were hard to come by in medieval Europe. At best you would hear a garbled description of an exotic animal from some adventurous traveler, or find some mention or illustration of one in an older text and then copy it. Fantastic and terrifying beasts often accompanied the “real“ animals, with lines of text that would guide a reader to become more knowledgeable about these creatures, especially in spiritual or moral ways, and often in as much detail as the “real“ animals.
Our library has a beautiful facsimile of Manuscript Bodley 764, our specific facsimile being called the Book of Beasts, from which these images come, and is often referred to as one of the most beautiful surviving copies of a bestiary. Other strange and fantastic beasts that can be found among its pages include the phoenix, sirens, satyrs, sphinxes, bonnacons—which “emits a smell from its rear end so terrible that it poisons three fields” (11), unicorns, eales, paranders, the charadrius, and more.
March 2, 2016 § Leave a comment
I’ve slowly been getting back into painting, but as soon as April hits I’ll have to start making some new things at a faster pace. I’m planning on selling some work at the coffee shop down the street, hopefully it works out!
I’ve been really inspired to paint animals and things from nature lately (well, always), but especially lately because it’s winter here in the city and things can get pretty bleak in Pittsburgh. Can’t wait for spring and summer!
Check out my Etsy shop for prints and more work!