September 14, 2008

Books on Sunday

After a fun adventure this morning, and then lunch with my mother, I made it to the Book Thing, which has neither heat or air conditioning. This is noted because it was in the upper 90's today, with matching humidity, and I could only stand being in the Book Thing for about 10 minutes.

Within moments of arriving, I found the large-format Ladies Home Journal Book of Interior Decoration, circa 1954. In addition to traditional rooms, this book features "modern" rooms, which we now term as mid-century modern. One of the illustrations I liked was a grouping of traditional textiles framed in embroidery hoops, a la Purl Soho. The endpapers on this book were wonderful, too. They are an oak leaf and acorn pattern.

Another fun book is Nature Illuminated, Flora and Fauna from the Court of Emperor Rudolf, II from the J. Paul Getty Museum. The introduction gives the history of these works, and the illustrations are remarkable, for being more than 400 years old.

The prize today is the book of London and its Museums, in all of its 1970's glory, short skirts and bad haircuts! I should be able to pick up a tip or two from this little book. House, is that you?



  1. Meg -- the grouping with the hoops is great! And the "Nature" title looks amazing.

  2. Love, love, love book things.
    Hate, hate, hate humidity.

  3. I have always thought the leaf-and-acorn pattern of that book would make a terrific wallpaper.

  4. AL... that was exactly my thought when I saw it. Blow it up a little, change out the colours to make them less muddy and then up it goes!

  5. Lucky you! I only have the notecards from the Getty nature book. One of the most incredible design productions ever. Have you read how they were done?

    The calligraphy was commissioned and created and then years later another artist added the natural illustrations. Can you imagine the confidence needed to touch such beautiful things and know you could make them better?

    They thrill me every time I look at them.

  6. Ms. Wis... I read the story last evening. It's just so interesting! I am stunned by the detail and beauty of the calligraphy and the drawings.

  7. p-d... I purchased the Nature Illuminated book while at the Getty this past summer. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit of works by Maria Sibylla Merian and daughters...amazing detailing in her naturally existing artful renditions.


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