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Biblioteca Angelica ms. 1551: The Origins of Ethnohistorical Illustration of Asia and the Americas Around 1600 in Rome: Transactions, APS (Volume 109, Part 3) Preserving Useful Knowledge: A History of Collections Care at the APS Library: Transactions, APS (Vol. 111, Part 1)
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Biblioteca Angelica ms. 1551 Preserving Useful Knowledge: A History of Collections Care at the APS Library: Transactions, APS (Vol. 111, Part 1)
This volume consists of three sets of watercolor drawings, each depicting non-Europea peoples or places in Asia and the Americas. The volume belonged to the famous collector and antiquarian Camillo Massino (1620-1677), and was part of a large donation to the library by his descendants in the 19th century. This is the first in-depth investigation of the three series in terms of materials or manufacture, possible relations to one another or other contemporaneous illustrations, and role in advancing understanding of the depicted peoples. Clues within the drawings, their style and content suggest not only new interpretations, but specific links between and among them, and likely origins, placing them squarely into the most intense period in the early modern era of European interest in these cultures. Illus. This book traces the history of collections care at the American Philosophical Society (APS) as revealed through its minute books, treasurers’ receipts, and librarians’ correspondence. It also examines the physical evidence presented by books and documents that were repaired by former restorers and conservators, including Library of Congress manuscript restorer William Berwick, book and manuscript restorer Carol Rugh (later Caorlyn Horton), and the Society’s first full-time conservator, Willman Spawn. Their painstaking repairs, which have not always aged well, present both a vital historical record and an ongoing challenge for today’s conservators. Illus.
Strait Through: Magellan to Cook & the Pacific (An Illustrated History) The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy (Memoir Vol. 266)
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Strait Through: Magellan to Cook & the Pacific The House of Barnes
This beautifully-designed book documents the story and the drama of the unfolding exploration of the Pacific Ocean that followed the discovery of the Strait of Magellan. In rare historic maps, many in full-color, and the original printed narratives of the main European explorers, the volume traces 250 years (1520s-1770s) of both national and personal maritime achievements, as the map of the Pacific slowly developed into its present shape. Chronological maps of the Magellan Strait, Pacific Ocean, and Spice Islands (Moluccas) form the backdrop to the narratives of individual explorers and explorer-pairs: Ferdinand Magellan (d. 1521), Alvaro de Mendaña de Neira (1542?-1595) and Pedro Fernandes de Queirós (d. 1615), Sir Francis Drake (1540?-1596), and many others. The House of Barnes: The Man, The Collection, The Controversy is a beautifully written study of the extraordinary art collector and volatile personality Albert C. Barnes.  The book places him in the context of his own era, shedding new light on the ideas and movements (about art collecting, education, and aesthetics) that shaped so much of his thinking.

The Barnes’ major holdings of largely post-impressionist art include more than 800 paintings, with a strong focus on Renoir (181 canvases), Cézanne (69), Matisse (59), and Picasso (46 paintings and drawings). In its entirety, it is the greatest single collection of such art that has remained intact.  

The last chapters of the book address the controversial events surrounding the Barnes Foundation’s move to Philadelphia, including vehement opposition—as well as strong support. There is an analysis of the Foundation’s financial plight, a review of the major court cases over the decades, and a characterization of the fervent reactions following the court’s decision to allow the move to take place.

The monograph is recommended for a broad audience, including those interested in art and art collecting, the role of art in education, and the development of cultural institutions.
Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America: Personifying the Evolving Profession: Transactions, APS (Volume 103, Part 4) Lunar Calendars of the Pre-Columbian Maya: Transactions, APS (Volume 109, Part 1)
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Some Architects’ Portraits in Nineteenth-Century America Lunar Calendars of the Pre-Columbian Maya
This is the first study devoted to the portraits of nineteenth-century American architects. It is an examination of the way the iconography of such images changed over time to reflect the changing social status of the architect as the profession evolved during the century. Portraits in oil on canvas, drawings, and photography in the text range from Charles Willson Peale’s image of William Buckland in the late eighteenth century to John Singer Sargent’s portrait of Richard Morris Hunt in the late 1890s. The book has been praised as “a unique use of visual resources, supported by formidable primary research and a thorough analysis of secondary literature.” Illustrations. Pre-Columbian Maya interest in the waxing and waning of the Moon is well documented. This rare example of interdisciplinary scholarship brings together a deeply penetrating knowledge of positional astronomy and Maya hieroglyphic writing, two highly disparate areas of study, and synthesizes them into a thorough interpretation of the relationship between astronomical concepts in the Maya codices and monumental inscriptions. Prompted by the recent discovery of the Xulum 10K-2 lunar table, this volume is a logical follow-up to work published in 2011 by the Brickers, “Astronomy in the Maya Codices.” It is a comprehensive study of the Maya lunar calendar. Illus.



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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson

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Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson
The Other Presidency: Thomas Jefferson and the American Philosophical Society, by Patrick Spero, With research assistance by Abigail Shelton and John Kenney.


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