A recipient of two book design awards, Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection, looks like another must have for fans of Chinese art and textiles. Right now, book shops offering pre-orders seem a little elusive but you can surf over to the publisher's site: The University of Alberta Press. The Mactaggart Collection at the University of Alberta Museums represents one of the world's leading assemblages of Chinese paintings and textiles, and the book focuses on pieces from the Ming and Qing dynasties. After May 2010, this edition may be more readily available in the U.S.
By the way, the image chosen for the book's cover reminds me of a chair -- one of Ruthie Sommers' projects -- currently shown in the "third person bio" section of her site.
[Photo by Stewart Shining from domino's April 2008 issue.]
I also thought of the sofa Ruthie rescued and made-over with Dragon Empress from Clarence House. (In addition to the world leaders, Barrymore was one of Julia Reed's profile subjects during her 20 years at Vogue.)
[The Blue Dress. Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851–1938). 1892. Gift of Charles Lang Freer F1906.67.]
The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, home to one of the most significant American collections of Asian art, is gearing up to host an interactive online colloquium inspired by Gallery founder, industrialist Charles Lang Freer's aesthetic vision. In the 1890s he started collecting contemporary American paintings, and later his passion shifted to Asian works. However, the Gallery explains that Freer's interest in tonal, textured surfaces remained constant, providing a connection between his Asian and American collections. On Wednesday, May 12, from 8:30 to 10 p.m. EDT, the Gallery is hosting A Deeper Look at Surface Beauty, an online group discussion.
Throughout the evening presenters will discuss a variety of topics including painting and decorative arts, photography, music, and intercultural exchanges between Asia and America. Jumping off points for the conversation will be a group of decorative paintings by Thomas Dewing (1851-1938) and Dwight Tryon (1849-1925), as well as a selection of ceramics. Registration is required, but participation is free. Click here for details.
Among the speakers will be Emory University's Linda Merrill, former High curator and author of The Peacock Room: A Cultural Biography, the definitive study of Whistler’s celebrated interior decoration.
[©Michael S. Smith Houses by Michael Smith and Christine Pittel, Rizzoli New York, 2008. Rendering by Mark Matusak.]
I couldn't resist adding Michael Smith's "Peacock Room." See Whistler's famous Peacock Room here.