Books in Museums

9
Jul

The Kubrick exhibition at the design Museum

Books in Museums

21
Feb

A Copy of Flamsteed’s Coelestial Atlas, owned by Caroline Herschel

Books in Museums

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Early 1729 reprint of John Flamsteed's Atlas Coelestis. This copy was owned by Caroline Herschel, one of the first great female astronomers. Caroline and her brother William were (failing) musicians who pursued their hobby of #astronomy. Using telescopes made by William, Herschel discovered her first comet in 1786 and went on to discover 8 in total. The siblings used Flamsteed's star catalogue but finding it too inaccurate, Caroline painstakingly expanded and revised it publishing the Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars in 1798. @The Turner Contemporary Museum, Margate, on loan from The Royal Astronomical Society. #bookstagram #rarebooks #sciencebooks #science #atlas #femalescientist #womeninscience #stars #heavens #celestial #booksofinstagram #books #margate #royalastronomicalsociety #bibliophile #booklover #booknerd

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5
Nov

Leeds Castle Library

Books in Museums

29
Jun

The Chocolate Museum Brugges

Books in Museums

When in Brugges one shouldn’t do what they do in ‘In Brugges’ the movie. Throwing yourself off the Bell Tower is not going to do anyone any good. So I climbed down and went to the Chocolate Museum.

It was a moderately amusing hour. And there was free chocolate. But what I liked most were the books. They were in glass cases, illuminated, their pages splayed open licentiously, their illustrations on show to passing tourists. They reminded me of something else entirely.

But they were largely ignored; lost in the company of cheap cocoa bean models. There was something sad about it. These were good books. Valuable and rare. Here is a 1601 Rariorum Historia Plantarum.

clusius Rariorum Historia Plantarum

They can’t have been cheap or easy to acquire yet they are reduced to just two pages. I cannot decide whether this is a good or bad use of such precious objects. Should they be thoroughly enjoyed by one person or very slightly observed by many?

29
Jun

Lady Chatterley’s Lover @ Paul Smith at the Design Museum

Books in Museums

It was almost edifying to see a copy of Paul Smith’s contribution to the Penguin Designer Classics range at his recent exhibition at the Design Museum in London.

lady-chatterleys-lover-paul-smith

Handsomely presented and curated, it sat there, amid the clothes, the reconstructions of his office and the Mini, as precious as object as any.

It’s impossible to say what effect it may have had on visitors (predominantly art and design students, from what I saw) but if books are going to persist as desirous objects and inspire new generations of collectors they require such exposure.