Image credit: NYU/Abu Dhabi
Hilary Ballon, former professor at Columbia University’s Department of Art & Archaeology, passed away on June 16, 2017 at age 61.
She spent 22 years at Columbia University, where she won the University’s three awards for outstanding teaching and chaired the Department of Art History and Archaeology.
After leaving Columbia she was Senior Advisor to the Mellon Foundation, University Professor at NYU, and Deputy Vice Chancellor of NYU Abu Dhabi.
Avery Library was privileged to work with Dr. Ballon throughout her career including two major exhibitions: Robert Moses and the Modern City (2007) and The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011 (2011).
All staff at Avery will miss working with her and with the entire community mourns her loss.
New York Times obituary
Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library and MoMA are pleased to announce the opening of a co-presented exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, June 12 – October 1, 2017 at the Museum of Modern Art.
Drawing on the expansive Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archive, jointly acquired by Avery and MoMA in 2012, the exhibition comprises approximately 450 works made from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles, paintings, photographs, and scrapbooks, along with a number of works that have rarely or never been publicly exhibited.
Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the most prolific and renowned architects of the 20th century, a radical designer and intellectual who embraced new technologies and materials, pioneered do-it-yourself construction systems as well as avant-garde experimentation, and advanced original theories with regards to nature, urban planning, and social politics. Marking the 150th anniversary of the American architect’s birth on June 8, 1867, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive, critically engages his multifaceted practice.
Avery Library Frank LLoyd Wright Collection
New York Times review
The North American paint & varnish industry, as it expanded, left us with an amazing assortment of colorful vintage objects—cans, sample sets, store displays and advertising signs.
Avery Library in collaboration with private lenders, is pleased to present WET PAINT!! The exhibit displays items dating from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century and is designed to complement the Avery Classics exhibit: “Color Harmony in the Home: American Paint Publications from 1870-1950” which showcases a selection of items from Avery’s extensive trade catalog and brochure collection.
Lenders to WET PAINT!! are: Mary Jablonski, Judith M. Jacob, Norman R. Weiss and Adam Woodward. Exhibit installation was done with the assistance of GSAPP Historic Preservation graduate students Tania Alam, Alex Ray and Katrina Virbitsky.
This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 6th International Architectural Paint Research Conference hosted by Columbia University GSAPP in New York City from March 15 to 17, 2017.
Both exhibitions are on view in Avery Library through April 25th.
For details and information on visiting the exhibits, contact: Avery Classics
Avery Classics recently acquired a complete set of the Dutch magazine Utopia: Tweemaandelijks tijdschrift voor wetenscahpp amusement (Utopia: Bi-monthly for scientific entertainment). Utopia was published between 1975 and 1978 in Delft. Obviously influenced by Archigram‘s style, each issue features a unique format with illustrations drawing on contemporary trends such as Pop Art. The magazine explores broad cultural trends like television and architectural topics such as Dutch pavilions for world exhibitions or a proposal for a working community in the water tower complex in Rotterdam.
Color Harmony in the Home: American Paint Publications from 1870-1950
Guest curator: Judy Jacob
January 17 – April 25, 2017
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Paint is practical. Paint is beautiful. Paint hides flaws. Paint reflects taste and status. The brochures and samples presented in this exhibition offer an insight to painting practice and color history, and give hints—both subtle and direct—on changing trends in style and advertising.
Avery Library’s collection of trade publications, of which paint catalogs are a substantial subset, features over 4,000 individual items. Never intended for library holdings, these items represent the marketing acumen of paint manufacturers and the decorating aspirations of American homeowners from the 1870s to the 1950s. Avery’s collection was started by Herbert Mitchell (1924-2008), former Curator of Avery Classics, who saw research potential in brochures found on flea-market tables.
Following the Civil War, advances in manufacturing had an enormous impact on the paint industry, as well as on marketing. Publications such as those displayed here arose from the new convenience of ready-mixed paints, provided in cans with re-sealable lids, a major advancement in paint storage. Ready-mixed paints enabled the do-it-yourself painters; homeowners could now easily paint their own homes and furnishings. One could purchase paint, pick-up a free how-to manual, head home to don old clothes and transform one’s surroundings through color.
This exhibition is presented to coincide with the 6th International Architectural Paint Research Conference, hosted by Columbia University in New York City from March 15 to 17, 2017.
(l-r) Teresa Harris, Chloé Demonet, Lena Newman
Chloé Demonet joined Avery Classics as an intern this fall. She is transcribing the unpublished manuscript of Sebastiano Serlio’s sixth book on domestic architecture as part of Avery Library’s Digital Serlio Project. The Digital Serlio Project brings together international scholars to investigate the manuscript that Serlio prepared between 1541 and 1551.
Ms. Demonet is uniquely qualified to undertake this work as she is simultaneously pursuing a degree in archival paleography at the École nationale des chartes in Paris and a doctorate in Renaissance art history at the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris and University Roma I La Sapienza. She also holds masters degrees in history and architectural heritage and is a researcher for the conservation and restoration of historic monuments and sites. Her own research focuses on the drawings of Giuliano da Sangallo. She has written about her experiences for the blog of the École nationale des chartes.
As the world’s attention turns to Rio with the beginning of the summer Olympics, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library offers a glimpse into the city’s past. A souvenir album of Rio de Janeiro from the 1920s is included in the Viewbook exhibition, on display through October 31st in the Avery Classics Reading Room.
A cidade do Rio de Janeiro [AA857 R4 C48] features bird’s eye images of the city, along with street and waterfront views, and photographs of important public buildings. The Rio viewbook reveals both the way that the city viewed itself and what appealed to contemporary tourists. The distinctive green-tinted images are collotypes, a common and relatively inexpensive technique for the mechanical reproduction of photographs.
Last fall, Avery Library’s Classics Reading Room featured an exhibition exploring the legacy of A.J. Downing. Those of you who missed it can now view the digital version of the exhibition!
A.J. Downing & His Legacy
Andrew Jackson Downing is known as the “father” of the American architectural pattern book. Downing saw both how books could transmit design ideas in words and pictures, and how modest houses with Romantic Revival design gestures could form the basis for an improved American housing for its middle classes, particularly in rural and small town settings. To further that end, he published three important works: A treatise on the theory and practice of landscape gardening (first issued in 1841); Cottage residences (first published 1842); and The architecture of country houses (first issued in 1852).
This exhibition, originally mounted in Avery Library’s Classics Reading Room to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth, showcases several editions of Downing’s publications and those of his many successors. It offers a glimpse into the world of mid-19th century architectural publishing in the United States and reveals how Downing’s distillation of design ideas came to influence American housing for half a century.
Chicago, the city beautiful. Chicago, [194-?] AA735 C4 C4345 S
Viewbooks: Window into America
Curators: Teresa Harris and Lena Newman
June 20, 2016-December 23, 2016
Monday – Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Avery Library opens its summer exhibition with a delightful display of selections from its American Viewbooks collection. The exhibit celebrates the completion of our CLIR Hidden Collections grant project
The Rare Book and Manuscript Section of the American Library Association defines viewbooks as a type of published booklet “consisting primarily of views of particular places, events, and activities, sometimes connected by accordion folds.” Avery Classics holds more than 4,000 such titles, focusing almost exclusively on American towns and cities at the end of the 19th- and beginning of the 20th-century. These ephemeral publications were originally intended for a variety of purposes – as souvenirs to be purchased by tourists, as advertisements to prospective residents, and as published records of specific events. Heavily illustrated, viewbooks often include images of new civic buildings, businesses on Main Street and various other features of the local built environment.
For today’s researcher, viewbooks are a wonderful window into a past America, one in the midst of rapid urban and suburban development. Viewbooks have survived as accidental records of the changing architectural landscape across America at the turn of the century. They chronicle the developing and uniquely-American vernacular architecture vocabulary. They also provide a window into the rapidly changing printing and publishing landscape. Making use of new technologies to reproduce photographs quickly and cheaply, viewbooks are an excellent way to approach the history of printing and the accessibility of printed matter. Finally, viewbooks give modern-day readers a glimpse of how towns and cities across the country – some still thriving, others long faded – presented themselves and positioned themselves for the future. From New Holstein, Wisconsin to New York City, Viewbooks represent a place’s attempt to put its best foot forward and to situate itself in the greater American cultural landscape.