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The Birds of America is a classic, but it has never been explored like this before. This volume presents the dazzling watercolours that Audubon painted for these monumental engravings. We are all familiar with the prints--engraved by Robert Havell Jr. But this book illuminates the original masterpieces that were created by Audubon himself, as well as telling the story behind their creation with fresh insights and engaging quotes from his writings. These powerful images - all newly photographed using state-of-the-art techniques - possess a startling immediacy, vibrancy, and fluidity that link natural history, art, and a respect for the environment. These watercolours transmit Audubon's devotion to his craft with their inscriptions and layers of media wrought with a miniaturist's attention to detail and revolutionary compositions which for the first time in history depict all the birds lifesize. They thrust you directly into the scene - you are embedded with Audubon in the forests of young America, observing these amazing creatures in their natural habitats. In fact, as the essays reveal, Audubon is considered America's first great watercolourist, introducing innovative approaches developed over a lifetime of study. Even judged alongside today's technology, his dramatic tableaux remain some of the most spectacular natural history documents and visually arresting works of art ever produced. The first quarter of the book consists of three substantial essays, each fully illustrated with colour figures: 1) "Audubon, An American Icon: A Biographical Sketch" by Roberta Olson, 2) "Audubon and the Traditions of Ornithological Illustration" by Robera Olson, and 3) "My Style of Drawing: Audubon's Artistic Workshop and Practices" by Marjorie Shelley. Then comes the plates section with full-page reproductions of 112 of the best of the watercolours, each accompanied by a pagelong caption explaining each bird's habits and habitat as well as notes on the artistic techniques used, woven through with Audubon's own words. At the end is a thumbnail index with smaller reproductions of the remaining 362 watercolours that exist, followed by a catalog listing of all the watercolours, a chronology of Audubon's life, a bibliography, and index.
This book is the seventh in the Readings in Conservation series, which gathers and publishes texts that have been influential in the development of thinking about the conservation of cultural heritage. The present volume provides a selection of more than ninety-five texts tracing the development of the conservation of works of art on paper. Comprehensive and thorough, the book relates how paper conservation has responded to the changing place of prints and drawings in society. The readings include a remarkable range of historical selections from texts such as Renaissance printmaker Ugo da Carpi’s sixteenth-century petition to the Venetian senate on his invention of chiaroscuro, Thomas Churchyard’s 1588 essay in verse “A Sparke of Frendship and Warme Goodwill,” and Robert Bell’s 1773 piece “Observations Relative to the Manufacture of Paper and Printed Books in the Province of Pennsylvania.” These are complemented by influential writings by such figures as A. H. Munsell, Walter Benjamin, and Jacques Derrida, along with a generous representation of recent scholarship. Each reading is introduced by short remarks explaining the rationale for its selection and the principal matters covered, and the book is supplemented with a helpful bibliography. This volume is an indispensable tool for museum curators, conservators, and students and teachers of the conservation of works of art on paper.
D’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’Empire othoman is the most authoritative, magnificently illustrated work of the Enlightenment on Islam and the Ottomans. A practical work for statesmen, the Tableau delighted all readers with profuse illustrations -- verbal and visual -- of Ottoman life.
A collection of writing about design from the influential, eclectic, and adventurous Design Observer. Founded in 2003, Design Observer inscribes its mission on its homepage: Writings about Design and Culture. Since its inception, the site has consistently embraced a broader, more interdisciplinary, and circumspect view of design's value in the world—one not limited by materialism, trends, or the slipperiness of style. Dedicated to the pursuit of originality, imagination, and close cultural analysis, Design Observer quickly became a lively forum for readers in the international design community. Fifteen years, 6,700 articles, 900 authors, and nearly 30,000 comments later, this book is a combination primer, celebration, survey, and salute to a certain moment in online culture. This collection includes reassessments that sharpen the lens or dislocate it; investigations into the power of design idioms; off-topic gems; discussions of design ethics; and experimental writing, new voices, hybrid observations, and other idiosyncratic texts. Since its founding, Design Observer has hosted conferences, launched a publishing imprint, hosted three podcasts, and attracted more than a million followers on social media. All of these enterprises are rooted in the original mission to engage a broader community by sharing ideas on ways that design shapes—and is shaped by—our lives. Contributors include Sean Adams, Allison Arieff, Ashleigh Axios, Eric Baker, Rachel Berger, Andrew Blauvelt, Liz Brown, John Cantwell, Mark Dery, Michael Erard, Stephen Eskilson, Bryan Finoki, Kenneth FitzGerald, John Foster, Steven Heller, Karrie Jacobs, Meena Kadri, Mark Lamster, Alexandra Lange, Francisco Laranjo, Adam Harrison Levy, Mimi Lipson, KT Meaney, Thomas de Monchaux, Randy Nakamura, Phil Patton, Maria Popova, Rick Poynor, Louise Sandhaus, Dmitri Siegel, Martha Scotford, Adrian Shaughnessy, Andrew Shea, John Thackara, Dori Tunstall, Alice Twemlow, Tom Vanderbilt, Véronique Vienne, Alissa Walker, Rob Walker, Lorraine Wild, Timothy Young
In an obsessive 82,000-mile quest for dead birds, how much trouble can one scientist get into? Finally, the world's leading authority on the extinct Labrador Duck, Dr. Glen Chilton, shares the story of his frenzied obsession to reveal the histories behind the mysterious bird -- a saga wherein he sets out to examine the remains of every Labrador Duck, conduct genetic analysis on every Labrador Duck egg, and visit every site where the duck was shot...with many a (mis)adventure along the way. More elusive than the Passenger Pigeon, the Dodo, or the Great Auk and breeding in places so obscure that no certain records exist of its nests, the Labrador Duck succumbed to extinction almost before anyone realized it was in decline. When Chilton began his travels, there were thought to be approximately fifty stuffed specimens, scattered among the museums of Europe and North America. However, as his search progressed, it became clear that some specimens had been lost to war and theft, while others lay hidden in far-flung collections, overseen by secretive curators. After traveling the equivalent of 3.3 times around the world with a series of oddball companions, Chilton finally began to close in on every known specimen...but not before he risked heavy-metal poisoning in Russia, swam naked in a glacier-fed stream, corresponded with a millionaire murderer, and narrowly avoided arrest in New York City. A magnificent blend of travel writing, science, detective work, and mishap, The Curse of the Labrador Duck is the zany adventure of one biologist's obsessive quest to uncover the mysteries of one of the world's most enigmatic birds.
This year's editor Jennifer Rohn put together a collection of fifty-two selected blog posts showcasing the quality and diversity of science writing on blogs in 2008. You can see the background story on how the book came about here. You can order the first (2006) volume here and the second (2007) here.