Tuesday, January 31, 2012
It is the birthday of Austrian compositor Franz Schubert (1797), who was unusually prolific in his short life, composing more that 600 symphonies, operas, songs, chamber music and piano solos. He died at age 31. Enjoy Schubert's beautiful Ave Maria.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
It is the birthday of English composer Frederick Delius (1862), whose father sent him to Florida to manage an orange plantation on the banks of the St. Johns River, after he showed no inclination for business in Yorkshire. Delius showed little interest in managing the orange grove, either, but he became associated with arty people in Jacksonville who nurtured his musical talents. He was inspired to write the Florida Suite by his experiences at Solano Grove and listening to black grove workers singing in the evening.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
We have a great collection of antique books, leather bound volumes, antique maps and more for this year's show. Florida history and Southern writers are always popular at the show.
It's always great to see Karyl DeSousa, the antiques show manager, and Gail Pender, the dealer manager. The Pilot Club puts on the antiques show to support its various charitable projects that help the community. The Pilot Club is a volunteer service organization of professional businesswomen.
The Pilot Club's name was inspired by the riverboat pilots who represented leadership and guidance and maintaining a steady course. The Pilot Club of Jacksonville was founded in 1921.
Next weekend we'll be in Miami for the Miami International Map Fair. More about that later.
Friday, January 27, 2012
It is the birthday of German composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756), a child prodigy and one of the most beloved composers of all time. He wrote more than 600 works, including symphonies, concertos, chamber music, operas and choral music, many of them considered the most perfect examples of the genre. The Andante from his Piano Concerto No. 21 in C is often called the Elvira Madigan Concerto because it was used as the soundtrack for the 1967 movie Elvira Madigan, about 19th century star-crossed lovers.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Sunday, January 1, 2012
In 1952, Stevens-Nelson Paper Corporation published what it called "a catalogue of the finest printing and art papers in the world." It was less boast than just a simple statement of fact. Indeed, the company had enlisted the help of small handmade paper shops across the globe.
The result was Specimens, a thick volume with deckled edges and amazing printing and artwork. Each page was a different specialty paper, varying in texture, design and thickness. The book is a remarkable find for people who love the beauty and artistry of handmade and mould-made papers and special printing techniques. A copy of Specimens is in the collection of rare and unusual book at Lighthouse Books, ABAA.
|George Bernard Shaw|
Handmade papers are created literally by hand, or using a flat, hand-manipulated mould—a wooden frame covered with wire cloth. Mould made paper is manufactured on a small, mechanically driven, cylindrical mould. In both processes, the operator hand regulates the sheet-by-sheet manufacture. It is a slow and painstaking process, as art is often likely to be.
The process is used, the book notes in the introduction, not because it is "quaint or romantic, but simply because man has not been able to devise any other means of manufacture that will produce such superlative qualities." Indeed, mass-produced papers cannot achieve the look and feel of excellence, the strength and the quality of handmade papers.
At the time the book was produced, most of the specialty papers were produced in small mills in Europe or Japan. It is noted that one mill represented in the book was founded in 1268 "and is probably the oldest in western civilization." One French mill was founded in 1492, and one of the English mills had made currency papaer for more countires than any other mill in the world.
In addition to very beautiful papers, though, the book is a repository for amazing works of art. For here is a Picasso lithograph from the Curt Valentin Gallery in New York, an illustration of George Bernard Shaw by British expressionist painter Feliks Topolski, pen and ink illustrations of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, the cover for a menu of an elegant Paris restaurant, and so much more.
Here, too, is an illustration by Italian child prodigy Romano Dazzi, heavy covers for serious reviews and public policy forums, and a simple but elegant program cover for the installation of Dwight D. Eisenhower as president of Columbia University in 1948.
The book contains a preface by Egbert Jacobson, director of the department of design at Container Corporation of America, certainly a major user of paper. Jacobson suggests that the real importance of the book lies "in its role of pacemaker for the art of printing." He contends that printers would do well to recognize the contribution artists make to the success of the art and business of printing.
SUNDAY CONCERT: It is the birthday of German composer Christoph Bernhard (c. 1628), who literally sang for his supper as a child because his family was poor and his sailor father was away at sea. He studied in Rome as a young man and attracted the attention of Italian musicians with his compositions, including a Mass for 10 voices. He composed a piece for the funeral of his childhood teacher, Heinrich Schütz. Most of his work is sacred vocal music in German and Latin. HAPPY NEW YEAR!