Charlotte Brontë: An Independent Will, an important upcoming exhibition, opens at the Morgan Library & Museum (New York) on September 9, 2016, and will remain on view through January 2, 2017. From the time Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre was first published in 1847, readers have been drawn to the orphan protagonist who declared herself “a free human being with an independent will.” Like her famous fictional creation, Brontë herself took bold steps throughout her life to pursue personal and professional fulfillment. ůmore
A century ago, Albert Einstein published the general theory of relativity, the crowning achievement of the great physicist’s career. In celebration of this landmark achievement, the Morgan Library & Museum is presenting a pop-up exhibition that will run through October 16, featuring three Einstein items.
The general theory of relativity, published in 1916, expanded on Einstein’s earlier 1905 special theory of relativity and its famous equation E=mc². The exhibition features a letter written by Einstein to the noted astronomer Erwin Finlay Freundlich, who was attempting to confirm the general theory through astronomical observations. One of twenty-five such letters in the Morgan’s collection, Einstein questions Freundlich’s methods ůmore
Events of late have made me wonder if Darwin got it only half right. I don't quarrel with the theory, as proposed in On the Origin of Species (1859) and The Descent of Man (1871), that modern man evolved from earlier primates and the earlier primates from mammals, that in all probability, evolved from even more primitive life forms. Even though I don't pretend to be anything close to a biologist, it all just seems to make a lot of sense. Some of us agree with Darwin's theories, some not. Some people argue the subject heatedly, while others simply agree to disagree. That is what civilized people do. What uncivilized people do is kill others who do not believe as they do. ůmore
The day after the California primary the television news organizations lost little time analyzing the results. My personal bias, shared by many others, is of someone who being unable to support either major party candidate, will be going the third party route for the fourth consecutive election cycle. My respect for Bernie Sanders, even though I disagreed with him on several issues, is now moot. So it might well be 1856 all over again, but more on that later.
Honest television news coverage is hard to come by, but I find the PBS News Hour the least objectionable of the lot – no pharmaceutical ads or breathless celebration of pop culture personalities is a pretty good competitive advantage. Having said that, I was quite surprised (well, not really) by the list of guest analysts Judy Woodruff had on the News Hour the day after the primary. The three she invited to analyze Mrs. Clinton's big win in California and consequent locking up of the Democrat nomination, took turns gushing, giggling and swooning over the prospect of a ůmore
An extremely rare and highly important album of Albertypes from photographs by William Henry Jackson, containing the first photographic views of the Yellowstone, which were instrumental in its establishment as the first U.S. national park, will be auctioned at PBA Galleries in San Francisco on October 20, 2016. The bound volume of 76 proof images, produced in 1874, was made from Jackson’s glass plate negatives using the Albertype process, a then-new German technique to reproduce photographs. Only a handful of the albums survived, and none as complete as the present copy, the scarcity caused by a fire in the studio of the photographer and engraver Edward Bierstadt in early 1875 that destroyed most of the Albertypes he had printed, as well as virtually all of the original glass negatives. The discovery of the album by collector Robert Enteen in the summer of 2015 sent shock waves through the tight-knit community of photographic scholars and collectors, as the first views of the wonders of the Yellowstone came to light. ůmore
Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” has been called the nation’s unofficial anthem. In honor of the Independence Day holiday, the Morgan Library & Museum is exhibiting an inscribed first edition of Berlin’s famous song, which was published in 1939.
The song resonates for its expression of emotion and love for a nation that promotes peace and affords opportunity. Berlin’s own life story is nothing short of an American Dream. Born into a Jewish family in Siberia, he came to the United States at the age of five. His father – a cantor in a synagogue in Siberia – moved the family to America in 1893, ůmore
Flamingo Eventz has announced a summer series of monthly Flea Markets to be held on the grounds of Lee USA Speedway, on Route 125 in Lee, New Hampshire. The date are June 19, July 17, and August 21 with hours from 9:00am to 3pm and early buying from 7:00am to 8:30am. A small admission will be charged. Items on sale will include antiques, books, ephemera, porcelain, vintage clothing and more. For more information call (603) 509-2639 or peruse their website. ůmore
City of the Soul: Rome and the Romantics, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum, opens June 17 and runs through September 11, 2016. During the one hundred year period from 1770 to 1870, often called the Romantic Era, hosts of artists traveled to Rome and witnessed the most dramatic transformation of the Eternal City since ancient times — from papal state to the capital of a unified, modern nation. Painters such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and J. M. W. Turner, writers such as John Keats and Nathaniel Hawthorne, and a coterie of early photographers were among those who documented the city’s historical sights and monuments amidst what amounted to a massive project of urban renewal. ůmore
A friend in Germany has been a bit dazed and confused by the American presidential campaign and wondered if I, as an American, might be able to explain the Trump phenomenon. I can't, but here goes anyway...
The front-runners of the two major political parties would head my short list for a Who's Who of weird participants in the 2016 Flying Political Circus. Mr. Trump has no trouble coming up with endlessly reported soundbites that make a lot of people cringe, seems hell-bent on establishing himself as the Andrew Dice Clay of American politics, and then compounds the felony by having a lousy interior decorator. ůmore
Not too long ago I caught a PBS broadcast of a production of one of the grandest of French operas, Hector Berlioz's “Les Troyens”. Berlioz himself wrote the libretto based on the Aeneid, a sort of Roman-centered epic poem that Virgil concocted from various sources, including a rip-roaring tale by a blind poet named Homer who may or may not have been blind or who may or may not have even existed. Either way it doesn't much matter because the story is a good one.
The first two acts of the opera center around Cassandra, the daughter of Priam who had received the gift of prophecy and then, according to which story you believe, was cursed by Apollo when she refused his attentions which turned out to be more than Platonic. The curse ran something like this – she could predict, prophesy, rant and otherwise warn about all sorts of bad things to come until she was blue in the face, but no matter what she might say no one would believe her. But that was only the half of it – for her troubles she would be insulted, branded as a liar, a mad woman or all three.
In one of her delusions she thought there was something fishy and not quite right about the gigantic wooden horse that the Greeks had wheeled up in front of the gates of the city. Right off she smelled a rat (or maybe it was the fish) and set out with an axe and a torch to destroy the thing along with any cargo that might be in the hold. ůmore
It may seem self-serving and somewhat trite for a bookseller to lament the passing of Chicago's Printers Row Book Fair as an ideal outlet for the sale of used books, but in the broader sense of the bookseller's impact on society at large, the loss is significant in terms of public exposure and opportunities for spreading literacy, as should become apparent here. So what happened?
Printers Row is an open air marketplace of books that has taken place on a single early June weekend each year since 1985 in Chicago's downtown, along two blocks of Dearborn Street between the central public library on Congress and the old Dearborn Station on Polk. It was the brainchild of local resident and activist Barbara Lynne and the Near North Planning Board, a civic association trying to develop the South Loop as a tourist and residential attraction ůmore
The Wayne Martin Comic Book Collection from PBA Galleries Sale 582
PBA Galleries Sale 582, Fine Books in All Fields with Illustrated & Children's Books took place on March 24, 2016. Along with a variety of other illustrated books, the sale featured a collection of comic books from the late Wayne Martin, an avid collector of autographs, books and ephemera from many fields. This was the first major comic collection offered by PBA and the results lived up to expectations, with many of the comics bringing impressive prices. The comics brought a high level of attention from potential buyers, with a number of participants by telephone and real-time bidding over the internet, as well as by those who left earlier proxy bids. ůmore
Rather unexpectedly, a dog has trotted into my life. More exactly, it has trotted into the life of my close friend Dr. Bierbrauer, who, now he is retired, has for some time been on the lookout for someone, or something, to spend his time with, in a fulfilling relationship of mutual adoration. How happy I am to be able to report that his search is over.
From the outset, Dr. Bierbrauer had some clear criteria about the dog he would like to share his life with. For instance, it would weigh not more than five kilos. An important consideration, because in Germany dogs which weigh less than five kilos can travel free on public transport and Dr. Bierbrauer, who has paid a heap of taxes in his life, is not a man who feels obliged in his old age to subsidize unnecesssarily the running of public trains, trams and buses in the Bundesrepublik. ůmore
(Theodore Roosevelt Speech) Typescript Of Speech Delivered November 13, 1913 At The Plaza Hotel, Buenos Aires. Speech At Dinner For Father Zahm, Golden Rule Roosevelt, Theodore Np: 1913. Typescript. Typescript; Two pages; Pages measure 8.5” x 11”; ;. Overall very good with edge wear and chipping. This copy matches exactly the copy retained at Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, New York. That copy is digitized and accessible on line at the Dickinson State University, Theodore Roosevelt Center website. The same typos and line conformation appear in that copy as well. In pencil at top right, “Plaza Hotel Buenos Aires” in TR’s hand. Originally sold by Remember When Auctions 9/1/1993 as Lot #649. Catalogue states that these words are in TR’s hand...($950.00) (more on this and other books available from Theodore Roosevelt Books)
Conrad, Joseph. Youth: A Narrative: and Two Other Stories.Edinburgh: Blackwood and Sons, 1902. First edition, with ads dated "10/02." Although Cagle doesn't assign priority, one might assume copies such as this one, with ads dated October, precede those... $2,500.00 (more on this and other books available from Quill & Brush)
(Early Atlantic City Photographs) Two albums of vernacular photographs by an affluent American family who frequented Atlantic City & Ocean Grove, New Jersey, circa 1911 [probably spanning two or three years]. 1911. Original photograph albums. Leather / Cloth. These albums contain 396 fine, original images depicting members of the DuHamel family who built themselves a large stone mansion and spent their summers at Atlantic City and Ocean Grove, NJ beaches in the decade before World War I. Numerous views taken in A.C. include local landmarks, especially around the Virginia Avenue area, including the Sothern Hotel, The Majestic Inn, The Hotel Morton, Adams Baths, &c. as well as scenes taken on the beaches and boardwalks. No picture captions, although one has “Christmas 1911” written on the verso. The photographs are generally in fine condition, housed in two large-quarto photo- albums, one leatherbound, one clothbound ... $350.00 (more on this and other books available from R & A Petrilla)
Harris, Thomas Lake. God’s Breath in Man and in Humane Society. Santa Rosa, Fountaingrove, Published by the Author, 1891. 8vo., 314pp., ads. Tipped-in and signed albumin photograph of Harris, poet-mystic-utopian, and founder of the Brotherhood of the New Life. Very good copy in green cloth with 1" wrinkle at bottom of front cover; 2-½” inch split along top of rear inner hinge. Inscribed “To Miss Annie Anderson with the compliments of the Author. Given by her to Sunshine.” Two 3-½” x 5" advertisements for Brotherhood of the New Life publications laid in. Includes four original paper-covered lead or tin corner protectors and the worn brown shipping wrapper with Thomas Lake Harris’s return label affixed and which states “If not delivered, the postmaster will please notify T.L. Harris, Publisher, Santa Rosa, Cal., and stamps will be sent for return postage.” A unique association copy of a very scarce book by one of the early practitioners of California dreamin’... $1000.00 (more on this and other books available from John C. Huckans Books)