["Paul Gauguin: The Artist's Portfolio, Pont-Aven". 1894. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.]
Books are always on my mind but more so this week for several reasons: the newly relocated Sam Flax has an expanded book section filled with gorgeous art and design tomes adjacent to the bookbinding supplies; an exhibition of Joan Griswold's paintings of books in New Orleans interiors (plus a few exteriors) opens October 30 at Cole Pratt Gallery; and I plan to wrap up the month with previews of more new fall releases. Oh, and on top of that, a recent Met's Connections features chief librarian Ken Soehner discussing, you guessed it -- books depicted in art.
[Detail images via Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–.]
Actually, one of the objects Soehner highlights is a real book (an artist's portfolio to be precise) made by Paul Gauguin. I find it endlessly inspiring.
A summary from The Met's Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History: "One of Gauguin's most appealing excursions into the decorative arts, this extraordinary work remained virtually unknown until its sale at a Paris auction in 2000." The french painter created this hand-made portfolio during some down time -- a period during which he was unable to stand at his easel due to a fractured leg. He decorated the two inside covers with watercolor and gouache, over charcoal, with graphite; the outer cover is bound in leather and inscribed in pen and ink. The 19th-century piece is a promised gift to the Museum. Learn more here.