Curator: Teresa Harris
December 18, 2017 – April 4, 2018
Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Avery Classics Reading Room, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library
Panorama is derived from the Greek words meaning ‘all’ and ‘view.’ For centuries, popular entertainment has utilized panoramic composition to transport viewers to far-away places like Athens or Versailles or to the midst of important historical events such as the Battle of Gettysburg. Panoramas have taken many forms from large cylindrical paintings to dioramas to photographic and filmic representations. The items on display in the Avery Classics reading room range in time from approximately 1825 to 1966 demonstrating sustained artistic interest in the genre. Most document urban centers and take the form of long prints that follow streets through cities as various as Tokyo, Leipzig, Paris, London and New York. They capture the built environment at a specific moment in time and record other important elements of society such as modes of transportation and contemporary fashion.
New York : the empire city; fifty colored views. [New York: A. C. Bosselman], 1910. AA735 N4 N477
Avery Classics is pleased to announce its newest online exhibit, Viewbooks : Window into America
. Drawing on last year’s reading room display, Viewbooks : Window into America
features a selection of 50 viewbooks from Avery’s extensive holdings — more than 4,000 titles representing hundreds of American cities and towns. This online exhibit approaches the viewbook genre from two directions – geographic and topical. Subcategories include night views, disaster views and views of the developing West. Through this exhibit we hope to highlight our viewbook collection as an important source of documentation of the built environment in America in the late-19th
centuries and, as such, an important resource for our patrons.
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.