A 17th century portable library

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John F
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A 17th century portable library

Post by John F » Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:47 am

Inside this folio-sized box, made to look like a book, are 50 miniature volumes of theology, philosophy, history, and poetry. Just four of these were custom-made. If the photos aren't enough and you want to see one of them, they're at the British Museum, the University of Leeds, the Huntington Library in California, and (astonishingly) the Toledo Museum of Art in Ohio. The 50 books inside do not circulate. :)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... brary.html
John Francis

jbuck919
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Re: A 17th century portable library

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:43 am

Fascinating (seriously). I was however shocked by the collection of daily stories at the top of the Daily Mail site, which I suppose changes by the hour. Some pretty horrible things at the moment I happened to look.

On the matter of Toledo, you can never tell where these things will turn up because someone made an odd or alumnus bequest. It's not a great phenomenon, because people should not have to travel to the navels for the world to find their treasures, but it happens a lot. One of the great math history collections exists in a library in John F's home state in a small but excellent traditional liberal arts college (not a navel of the world but you get the point). It is not one of the suburban Philadelphia ones or Franklin and Marshall, and right now I cannot take the time to refresh my memory of which one it is. The important abstract expressionist Clyfford Still, an eccentric, insisted that his uncommitted works be alone in one museum that won the prize, and just within the last few years this was awarded to heaven help us Denver. (Many of the rest of his works are in the Albright Knox Museum in Buffalo, where I have seen them, which is not much better.) One of the Waltons as in WalMart, a true connoisseur of American art, decided to build her museum in Arkansas in the hope that it would become a pilgrimage site, something that will never happen. (In spite of Bill and Hillary Clinton, who in their right mind ever goes to Arkansas?)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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lennygoran
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Re: A 17th century portable library

Post by lennygoran » Fri Nov 14, 2014 6:58 am

jbuck919 wrote: The important abstract expressionist Clyfford Still, an eccentric, insisted that his uncommitted works be alone in one museum that won the prize,
This made me think of the famous Barnes collection and the long court case-we visited both the old and new museums--great collection but talk about eccentric Barnes has to take the cake! Regards, Len :)

"On December 15, 2004, after a two-year legal battle that included an examination of the foundation's financial situation, Judge Stanley Ott ruled that the foundation could move.[24][25] Three charitable foundations, The Pew Charitable Trusts, the Lenfest Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation, had agreed to help the Barnes raise $150 million for a new building and endowment on the condition that the move be approved.[26]"

John F
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Re: A 17th century portable library

Post by John F » Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:09 am

As with so much else, there's more than one way to look at it. I wonder if and how the level of cultural awareness in Toledo, its tone, is affected by having a museum with such a treasure in it. There are two universities of some size in or near Toledo; James Baldwin graduated from one of them. My short time on the road as a college textbook sales rep put the kibosh on any Ivy League snobbery when I learned that one of the world's great universities with one of the world's great music conservatories is in southern Indiana. Even so, of course I agree that something special like this really ought to be in New York. :wink:
John Francis

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