If you missed the Whale Guitar unveiling and exhibition opening a week ago, you missed a great show.
After Jen Long and Rachel Rosenkrantz eloquently explained the motivation and process that led to the guitar, they officially unveiled it…
And then lots of people packed the balcony outside Special Collections…
… to hear performances by Area C (aka Erik Carlson), Reza Clifton, and Shannon Le Corre & Chris Carrera (of Bloodpheasant):
The performers signed the back of the guitar…
… and then it went in to the exhibition case…
… where you can see it until June 5th, as part of an exhibition on the guitar’s creation.
The exhibition is in the Level 3 hallway beside Special Collections. And stay tuned for more information about the June 5th closing celebration, which will feature more music.
We’re just a few days from our Thursday lecture and opening of the Bodoni exhibition, so I wanted to offer one more blog post. First, because I wanted to share the great poster that graphic designer Michael McDermott designed for the event. Here it is:
One of the great things about it is that it’s designed so that each panel can be printed on a sheet of 11″x17″ paper, creating a giant version of the poster. Here’s an example in the wild:
Second, I wanted to share one image of something you can’t see in the exhibition:
This is the title page of a type specimen (with a great border) by the Amoretti brothers of Parma. It’s often the case with exhibitions of books that there are a lot of openings from individual volumes that you’d love to show, but in the end you usually can only pick one. In this instance the title page lost out to another opening. But that’s just a reminder that if you see something that interests you in an exhibition you can always come back and work with the whole book, cover to cover, on your own.
We’re less than a week from our big Bodoni celebration (you’re invited), so here’s an example of the kind of thing you can look for if you visit the exhibition.
One of Bodoni’s predecessors (and the man whose types he first used when he set up the press in Parma) was Pierre Simon Fournier, the great French typographer best known, perhaps, for his origination of the point system that became the basis for the system we use today. In 1766 he published the Manuel Typographique, and below on the left is a scan of the letter A from that book, which is on display in the exhibition.
On the right is an A from Giambattista Bodoni’s Manuale Tipografico, posthumously published in 1818. There is a long list of reasons not to make too much of the comparison (each A is just one example of just one letter, at a large size, etc.). But it’s still kind of fun to view a 50-year evolution of a letter in detail.
And just in case you want to see it in motion:
Hopefully you’ll be able to join us on the 27th for this typographic celebration, with a lecture by Matthew Carter at 6:00 pm. The Washington Street entrance will be open at 5:00, and I’ll be offering a short guided tour of the exhibition at 5:30. The exhibition will be up (in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room) through April 19th.
More information is available on the Library website.
If you’re in Providence (or anywhere else nearby), here are a pair of February events at the Library that you shouldn’t miss.
One week from today we’ll have the opening of an exhibition by two artists, Agata Michalowska and Andrew Oesch, who have been working with PPL Special Collections materials (particularly the Wetmore Collection) to create new art. The exhibition (on display in the Level 3 hallway outside Special Collections) will give offer a chance to see historical materials and their transformation into contemporary art. On February 3rd at 6:00 pm, Andrew and Agata will discuss the process in a lecture in the 3rd Floor Meeting Room. More information and online signup here.
And if you’re planning even farther out in the month, save space for our February 27th event. We’ll be opening a new exhibition on the printer and typographer Giambattista Bodoni, who dieed 200 years ago, in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room. Our opening event will feature a lecture by prestigious type designer Matthew Carter, who will discuss the role of historical research in type design. It’s a fitting topic for a night on which we’ll also be launching the Updike Prize for Student Type Design, a competition to reward undergraduate and graduate students who use the Updike Collection and then go on to design their own typefaces inspired by their research. More information about the event and online signup form here.
Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the immensely destructive hurricane of 1938. You can still see our exhibition on the hurricane in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room through the weekend. You can also visit our RI Collection blog for an intense account of one woman’s experience of the day.
The 75th anniversary of the 1938 hurricane is nearly upon us, and our current exhibition (extended through 21 September) gives you a chance to see some of the effects it had on New England.
It’s on display in the Providence Journal Rhode Island Room on Level 2.
Anyone interested in bookbinding will want to mark their calendars for Saturday, the 26th of January at 1:00.
Thirty years of bindings and restoration will be on display, and the proprietors, George and Patricia Sargent, will be offering a lecture on their experiences in the field. Read more at the Providence Athenaeum’s blog.
The event is sponsored by the John Russell Bartlett Society, and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.