Monthly Archives: September 2011

Happy Birthday H.H. Richardson!

Today is the birthday of H.H. Richardson (September 29, 1838 – April 27, 1886)  a prominent American architect of the 19th century.The style he used is named after him: Richardsonian Romanesque.

In our Classics Collection we have the book: "Communication from the County Commissioners to the Board of Prison Inspectors of Allegheny County in relation to the erection of new county buildings : submitted February 19, 1883." (Pittsburgh Pa. : Jas. McMillin, 1883.)


Flickr photo by Shadysidelantern
Tim Engleman taken on 8/8/10




New York’s Architectural Holdouts book talk

New York’s Architectural Holdouts is the title of a new revised edition of the book by Andrew Alpern and Seymour Durst. 

"Holdouts" are building owners who refuse to make way for office buildings and other urban designing projects. In New York’s Architectural Holdouts architect and historian Alpern and developer Durst examine over 50 examples of New York City holdouts. Site histories and controversies are considered in the framework of project delays and eventual conflict resolution.

Andrew Alpern will give a book talk tonight about "Holdouts" at the Skyscraper Museum in NYC.

Vishaan Chakrabarti, Director of the Real Estate Development program, GSAPP wrote the new introduction.

–by Carole Ann Fabian, Director of Avery Library



Carolyn Yerkes, Curator of Avery Classics, Speaking

 On Saturday, October 1, the University of Virginia Art Museum is hosting a symposium entitled Variety, Archeology, and Ornament: Renaissance Architectural Prints from Column to Cornice in which I will be speaking.

This symposium is being held in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name that features several items from Avery’s collections. I will be speaking on "Variety in Repetition: The Afterlife of Architectural Drawings," in this event organized by Cammy Brothers of the University of Virginia and Michael Waters of the Institute of Fine Arts.

Items from the Avery collections featured in the exhibition include eleven prints from the Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae, a collector’s album of engravings of Renaissance Rome published by Antoine Lafréry. A description of the Avery Speculum, which is kept in Drawings and Archives, is available here.

In addition to the Speculum prints, the exhibition also features a print by Hans Sebald Beham (1500?-1550), which is part of the Avery Classics collection.


–by Carolyn Yerkes, Curator of Avery Classics

New Caravaggio books at Avery Library

To celebrate the 400th anniversary in 2010 of the death of the great early Baroque Italian painter, several new publications were issued which Avery Library has recently acquired. A select sample is presented. 

The work of Michaelangelo Mersi da Caravaggio (1571-1610) is noted for its blend of realism and naturalism, strengthened with his use of chiaroscuro, the heightened contrast of shadow and light. Initially a portraitist and still life painter, it is his later religious works that were influential throughout Europe at the beginning of the 17th century.


Portrait by O. Leoni, c. 1621      

Stefano Zuffi.
Discovering Carravaggio : the Art Lover’s Guide to Understanding Symbols in his Paintings.
New York : Rizolli International Pub., c2010.
Avery Fine Arts:  ND623 Am3 Z84

Beautifully reproduced masterpieces showcase Carravaggio’s genius in a unique, highly educational, and enjoyable format. Published to coincide with an exhibition at Rom’e Scudrie del Quirinale on the four hundredth anniversary of Carravaggio’s death, this book reproduces fifty of his most influential works from great museums around the world. Each work is accompanied by a page of die-cut windows that help the reader focus on specific aspects of each painting and features captions that highlight the most important details or subtle symbolism embedded in each painting.


Michael Fried.
The Moment of Caravaggio.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 2010.
Avery Fine Arts: ND623 Am3 F88

This scholarly study of Caravaggio’s art is based on six lectures given at the National Gallery of Art. Fried is rather like an extreme docent: this is no casual stroll. A professor of humanities and art history at John Hopkins, he winds through Caravaggio’s oeuvre and several related themes: the use of mirrors and reflection; moments of extreme concentration and absorption; and events in and around the edges of the work.


Claudio Strinati.
Milan : Skira ; New York ; Distributed by Rizzoli International Publications Inc., 2010.
Avery-LC: ND623 .C24 A4 2010j

Four hundred years after the death of Caravaggio, some of the world’s most illustrious art historians comment on an extraordinary collection of twenty-five of his works. How is it possible that an artist who lived over four centuries ago is still seen today as an icon of modernity? The answer must be sought in his works: this is where we will grasp Caravaggio’s aesthetic pursuit. He observed without prejudice, hewing close to the truth of things. In short, he was a revolutionary artist, one which continues to fascinate laypeople and experts alike to this day. The editors asked some of the world’s preeminent Caravaggio scholars to share their feelings and insights about their favorite works by the artist.

–by Paula Gabbard, Fine Arts Librarian; Chris Sala, Architecture Librarian



What happened to the Picasso books? Where did photography go?!

In order to protect library materials from a ceiling leak in the Fine Arts stacks, books in the call number ranges N673 M34 – NK have been temporarily re-located to aisles 3-13 on the South side of the 200-level (South Stack B, next to the Avery-LC books).

The leak, which occurs during rainy days, is emanating from Schermerhorn Plaza above the Library.  Rehabilitation of the Plaza area to fix the problem is scheduled for Fall 2011.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  As we find out the exact schedule for the construction work, we will be posting updates.

If you need assistance locating a book, please ask the staff at the Service Desk. 

–By Kitty Chibnik, Associate Director/Head, Access Services

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library Announces Gift from Rose Associates

NEW YORK, September 13, 2011 –

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library received a gift of archival materials from Rose Associates – a prominent New York real estate development firm. The archival gift is accompanied by funds from the Susan & Elihu Rose Foundation  to support processing this fascinating collection of construction photographs, brochures, newspaper clippings, advertising materials, and other records related to the construction of apartment complexes overseen by the historic firm between 1920 and 1980. Notable projects within the collection include the Madison Belvedere, Park Gramercy, Georgetown Plaza, and Metropolis.

–by Carole Ann Fabian, Director, Avery Library





Avery Library Tours

Want to know about our collections? Where things are located? What’s a database? 

Take an Avery Library tour!!

Thursday     Sept. 15, 2011    12:00-1:00
Friday           Sept. 16, 2011    12:00-1:00
Monday        Sept. 19, 2011    12:00-1:00
Tuesday      Sept. 20, 2011    12:00-1:00
Friday           Sept. 23, 2011    12:00-1:00
Monday        Sept. 26, 2011    12:00-1:00

Sign up for tours at the Service Desk in Avery Library.

Avery Classics resumes regular semester hours, with evening Thursday hours

On Tuesday, September 6–the first day of classes–the Avery Classics reading room will resume its regular semester hours. These are Monday through Friday, 1:00pm to 4:30pm; the reading room will also be open late on Thursday nights from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. You can confirm our opening hours on any day using our online calendar.

To view materials from the Avery Classics Collection, which is one of the largest architectural rare book collections in the world, each item must be requested at least one business day prior to the desired day of use. Materials from Avery Classics that are stored offsite must be requested two business days in advance. All requests must be received by 1:00pm.

Columbia affiliates can request materials using our online form.

Non-affiliate must request via email to

The paging limit is five items. Welcome!

–by Carolyn Yerkes, Curator of Avery Classics