Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 2014 Printed Matter!

The latest installment of printed matter was mailed out early this month and, thanks to the US postal service (and those in the UK, Iceland, New Zealand and Canada), should be in the hands of the PLL members.

The matter includes the latest PLL anniversary poster (yes, five years!) and a lovely poster of Smithsonite. 

Also included: a letterpress print, Some Quasi-Versions of Pastoral, an homage to Robert Smithson, after Ian Hamilton Finlay's print Some Versions of Pastoral (an homage to William Empson and his book, Some Version of Pastoral).

All members receive packets of printed matter twice a year. If you would like to join the Library and receive this matter too, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.

Monday, September 15, 2014

PLL Reading Room / Schneider Museum of Art

PLL Reading Room / Schneider Museum of Art / October 3 - December 6

A selection of 70 books from the Personal Libraries Library, accompanied by an arrangement of PLL printed matter and framed works, will be at the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland this autumn. The PLL Readings by Tom Prochaska (No. 1), Louis Schalk (No. 2) and Diana Pembor (No. 3), and published by Publication Studio will also be on display.
The 70 books consist of all of the books acquired by the Library in the past year, including all of the books available in the Anne Spencer Collection. This installation of the PLL Reading Room is part of Selections from Portland2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, made possible by Disjecta, Amanda Hunt, and everyone at the Schneider Museum of Art. Thanks to all!

Opening Reception / Thursday, October 2 / 5 - 7
Schneider Museum of Art
1250 Siskiyou Blvd
Ashland, OR 97520

Monday, September 8, 2014

September New Acquisitions!

As we head into Autumn, I found a moment to accession the PLL's newest batch of books. All but one are from the Robert Smithson Collection. The following, Spectrum Analysis by Henry Roscoe, is from the Maria Mitchell Collection. This beautiful volume has multiple color images of spectra, such as the "Spectra of the Metals of the Alkalies & Alkaline Earths:"

A grouping of blue covers
The Antarctic Challenged by Admiral Lord Mountevans
Module, Proportion, Symmetry, Rhythm by Gyorgy Kepes
The Mystery of Matter, edited by Louise Young

Kepes founded the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT; his research can be seen in these book spreads:

A group of grey covers

Notebooks 1914-1917 by Ludwig Wittgenstein
The Cardinal Points of Borges, edited by L. Dunham and Ivar Ivask
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu Suzuki

The last groupings contain

Revolution for the Hell of It by Free (Abbie Hoffman)
Shells & Shelling by Ralph Barrett
Trees of North America by C. Frank Brockman
The Shape of Time: Remarks on the History of Things by George Kubler
Art and Culture by Clement Greenberg
Paul Gauguin's Intimate Journals by Gauguin

Shells & Shelling is a comprehensive guide that is beautifully designed:

For any questions about the Library, the Collections, membership, or to check out a book, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

JUNE 2014 Printed Matter Mailing!

Late last month I mailed the most recent packet of printed matter from the Personal Libraries Library! They should all be safely in members' hands. Included in the mailing were two letterpress prints made specially for the Library's inclusion in the Portland2014 Biennial this Spring. 

One announces the evidenced Readings of the Library by Tom Prochaska, Louis Schalk and Diana Pembor. The Readings are published by Publication Studio and are available to purchase!

The other small print contains the Rules of the Library made by Larissa Hammond in conjunction with her organization schema of the PLL collections.

Also included is the next When Looking Down is Looking Up poster (2.2); a beautiful engraving of the Moon. And, the following poster of a spread from Evelyn Stefansson's Within the Circle, from the Robert Smithson Personal Library.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.  Every member of the PLL receives bi-annual packets of printed matter.

PLL at Tacoma Art Museum / Ink This! Contemporary Print Arts in the Northwest

An arrangement of printed matter from the Personal Libraries Library from 2009-2014 is part of Ink This! Contemporary Print Arts in the Northwest at the Tacoma Art Museum. Also included in the exhibition, to name just a few: Tom Prochaska, Christy Wyckoff, Barb Tetenbaum, Morgan Walker, Matthew Letzelter, Yoshi Kitai, Kate Copeland, Palmarin Merges, and Sarah Horowitz. The exhibition is curated by Margaret Bullock.

June 7 - November 9
Tacoma Art Museum
1701 Pacific Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98402

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May 2014 Acquisitions

Things have settled down at the Library, after returning to its usual space and shelves. Many new members joined the Library during the Portland Biennial; here are some of the resulting new acquisitions!

Included in this new batch of books:
Volumes I & II of Robert Graves' The Greek Myths (Jorge Luis Borges Personal Library)
Paolo Zellini's A Brief History of Infinity (Italo Calvino Personal Library)

Above is a spread from The Double Helix by James Watson, showing "Linus Pauling with his atomic models." The front cover elaborates on the title: Being a personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, a major scientific advance which led to the award of a Nobel Prize. Watson's book is in the Anne Spencer Personal Library, as is Allen Smith's Life in a Putty Factory.

Space, Time, and New Mathematics, edited by Robert Marks, is a compilation of "writings by Einstein, Heisenberg, Schrödinger, Gamow, Wiener, Poincaré, and others." This book, in the Robert Smithson Personal Library, is a great companion to related books by Gamow, Wiener, and more in his collection. The above cartoon likens Einstein to a magician.

Also new to the Smithson Library:
Lost Continents: The Atlantis Theme in History, Science, and Literature by L. Sprague de Camp, and
Language and Myth by Ernst Cassirer

This beautiful frontispiece and title page is from Robert Mudie's The Earth, from Maria Mitchell's Personal Library. The printing is really extraordinary, with debossed birds on very thick paper; about the printing is stated: Baxter's Oil Colour Printing - 3, Charter-house Square.

The Zodiac: A Life Epitome, by Walter H. Sampson, not only has a compelling ct ligature throughout the text, but a lovely frontispiece and fold-out at the end of the book. It is from the Robert Smithson Personal Library, along with the related Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac by John Jocelyn.

Lastly, is this remarkable book, Within the Circle: Portrait of the Arctic, by Evelyn Stefansson (Robert Smithson Personal Library), with fantastic photographs of land, flora and fauna.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

First Lines of New Acquisitions

There are many new acquisitions for Spring 2014, mostly from the Robert Smithson Collection. Each new book and their first sentence is listed below, and starting with:
1.  The Language of Magic and Gardening by Bronislaw Malinowski:
The linguistic problem before the ethnographer is to give as full a presentation of language as of any other aspect of culture.

2.  Seven Types of Ambiguity by William Empson:

An ambiguity, in ordinary speech, means something very pronounced, and as a rule witty or deceitful.

3.  Changing: Essays in Art Criticism by Lucy Lippard: (seen above)

André Ferminier writes: “What has perhaps been most damaging to the art critic is the prodigious gobbledygook that with him takes the place of vocabulary; and the prefaces to exhibition catalogs in particular would provide a classic anthology of the art of saying nothing.”

4.  The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society by Norbert Wiener:

The beginning of the twentieth century marked more than the end of one hundred-year period and the start of another.

5.  Logic Machines & Diagrams by Martin Gardner: (seen above)

A logic machine is a device, electrical or mechanical, designed specifically for solving problems in formal logic.

6.  Field Book of Ponds and Streams by Ann Haven Morgan: (seen above)

Minnows and frogs and brown water beetles, scurrying to cover as we approach the shore of a still clear pond, show us that the water has some very lively inhabitants.

7.  The Modern Technique of Rock Blasting by U. Langefors and B. Kihlström:

Within some thousandths of a second after the initiation of the explosive there occurs in a charged hole a series of events which, in drama and violence, have few equivalents in civil technology.

8.   The Message of the Stars by Max and Augusta Heindel: (seen above, outside + next to its dust jacket)

It is a matter of common knowledge among mystics that the evolutionary career of mankind is indissolubly bound up with the divine hierarchies who rule the planets and the signs of the Zodiac, and that the passage of the Sun and the planets through the twelve signs of the Zodiac, marks man’s progress in time and in space.

9.  Field Book of Seashore Life by Roy Waldo Miner: (seen above and with Message of the Stars)

Protozoa are single-celled animals.

10.  Tropical Trees of Hawaii by Dorothy and Bob Hargreaves: (seen above)

High among the list of reasons people love to visit Hawaii is the lovely tropical foliage to be enjoyed everywhere and at all times of the year.
11.  Geography Made Easy by Jedidiah Morse: (from the Maria Mitchell Library)

Geography is a science, which describes the figure, motion, magnitude, and component parts of the earth; the situations, extent, and appearances of the various parts of its surface; its productions animal and vegetable; its natural and political divisions; and the history, manners, customs, and religion of its inhabitants.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Friday, April 4, 2014


As a part of the Portland2014 Biennial Saturday Series, the Library is very excited to present a double film feature of Robert Smithson's 1970 Spiral Jetty and Harry O. Hoyt's 1925 adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World.

Saturday, April 5 / 7-10 pm
The Best Art Gallery in Portland / 1468 NE Alberta St. / Portland 97211

Hope to see you there!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Personal Libraries Library + 2014 Portland Biennial

As a part of the 2014 Portland Biennial,* the Personal Libraries Library is installed as a reading room that you can come and visit.

Following are the details:
Where: The Best Art Gallery in Portland / 1468 NE Alberta, Portland, 97211
When: March + April 2014 / Tuesday - Saturday / 12-6
Librarian's Hours: Saturdays 12-6

The opening is this upcoming Saturday, March 8 from 12-6.

More information to come!

* The Portland2014 is curated by Amanda Hunt and presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.

** I would like to thank Claire Redman, Shiela Laufer, Larissa Hammond, Tom Prochaska, Diana Pembor, Louis Schalk, Rachel Ancliffe, Clayton Pledger, Antonia Pinter, Patricia No, Amanda Hunt, Kate Beaver, and all at Disjecta for their generous help and support in making the PLL Reading Room possible.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Asters, Spores & Silent Spring / January 2014 Acquisitions

The first books accessioned to the PLL in 2014 include:

The Earth and Man: Lectures on Comparative Physical Geography, in its Relation to the History of Mankind by Arnold Guyot (Maria Mitchell Personal Collection), and

Vasari's Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari (Robert Smithson Collection);

both seen below, with cartography on display.


Also new to the Robert Smithson Collection:

The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot,
The Invisible Pyramid by Loren Eiseley,
A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read

A lovely spread from The Invisible Pyramid, displaying a woodcut at the beginning of The Spore Bearers chapter:

Connected illustrations are seen from new books from the Anne Spencer Collection:

Helena Rutherfurd Ely's A Woman's Hardy Garden, and
Rachel Carson's Silent Spring:

Other new books:

Representative Men: Seven Lectures by Ralph Waldo Emerson, and

A Concise History of Modern Painting by Herbert Read.

For any questions about the Library, Collections or books, please contact the Librarian at personallibraries{at}gmail{dot}com.