Free eBooks – September 2019

Usually I feature 3 books. This time I am featuring one book…and a series of 10 books (6 of which I read in September).

Marriott, Charles. Modern Art – a collection of works in modern art. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. 1917. Available from Internet Archive here. A good selection of what was ‘modern’ during World War I. The illustrations are in color.

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Bushell, Stephen Wootton. Oriental Ceramic Art – illustrated examples from the collection of W.T. Walters. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1897. Ten volumes available from Internet Archive here. This collection formed the basis of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore that was formed by his son. Walters died in 1894; he had prepared parts of the volumes that were then edited and published after his death. I still have 4 volumes to savor…in October! I picked a sample image from each of the 6 I’ve already browsed for this post.

3 Free eBooks – July 2019

So many good books…so little time.

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International Museum of the Horse. A Gift from the Desert: The Art, History and Culture of the Arabian Horse. Lexington, Kentucky: International Museum of the Horse. 2010. Available from Internet Archive here. This is the illustrated catalog from an exhibition held in 2010; the presenting sponsor was the Saudi Arabian Equestrian Federation. The photographs of objects and locations included in the digital book tell the story more than the words.

Bing, Siegfried (editor). Le Japon artistique : documents d'art et d'industrie. Paris: Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts. 1888. Available from Internet Archive here. The French version of a magazine that appeared simultaneously in English, French, and German. It helped introduce Japanese art and artworks to the West. I had previously looked at the English version but didn’t realize they were the same thing until I looked back at my master booklist. I still enjoyed the illustrations…again.

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Gould, John. The Birds of Australia. London: R and JE Taylor. Seven volumes originally published in the mid-1800s and available from Internet Archive here . The illustrations are probably the work of his wife – Elizabeth Gould. She died in 1841 shortly after giving birth to her 8th child. It wasn’t until 1938 that a collection of her letters from Australia were discovered and became the basis for a biography.

Springfield Art Museum

When my daughter and I traveled to Springfield, Missouri in early June, most of our time was spent on logistics for her to move there at the end of June. We took a break and walked through the Springfield Art Museum. It was well worth the time spent.


Two pieces had strong associations for me: a Nick Cave Soundsuit that reminded me of a wookie


And the fountain in the courtyard that reminded me of a much smaller fountain that my mother has in her garden (the swirl of shapes that channel the water from the top of the fountain to where it spills into the pool).

I got a little sidetracked with the flowers growing near the fountain too.

Another Nick Cave piece was thought provoking. One of the benefits of walking through a museum that allows pictures (without flash and staying far enough back) is photographing the write up about the piece too.

I noted the butterfly at first glance of the crazy quilt that was made in the 1880s of satin, silk, and velvet…with appliques. The quilt was a bit of whimsy from a time very different than our own…a product of a hours of work with a beautiful result. Happiness coming through this creation – then to now.


3 Free eBooks – February 2019

As usual – I tried to select some different kinds of books that are available for free to peruse online. This month they are from three different sources too: Hathi Trust, Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg. Maybe one of these is something you would enjoy too…so take your pick - history or art or children’s literature!

Country Life in America. New York: Doubleday, Page, & Co. 1901-1917. Hathi Trust has 31 volumes of the periodical available here. Most of the magazine is black and white but there is some color like these three pictures from the December 1904 issue. The advertising is as interesting as the pictures with articles…it is a snapshot of the time: technology, food, special occasions, travel.

Rebay, HIlla. Third enlarged catalogue of the Solomon R. Guggeneheim collection of non-objective paintings: March 7th until April 17th, 1938, Gibbes memorial art gallery, Charleston, South Carolina. New York: Bradford Press. 1938. Available from Internet Archive here. Lots of colored images in this book since it was from an exhibition of ‘modern’ art of the 1920s and 1930s. The two below are by Rudolf Bauer.

Greenaway, Kate. Mother Goose or the Old Nursery Rhymes. London: Frederick Warne and Co. 1881. Available from Project Gutenberg here. Familiar Rhymes…fun illustrations. This author created imaginary 18th-century clothes for children that became a style for actual clothes for children!

3 Free eBooks – December 2018

I always am challenged to pick just three books from the eBooks I’ve found during the month. There is a lot of variety in my selections this month….from archeology to typewriter art to a story book. Enjoy!

Savill, Mervyn. Pre-Inca Art and Culture. London: Macgibbon & Kee. 1960. Available at Internet Archive here. There are many books that are from the Archaeology Survey of India that are now available on Internet Archive. This one is from 1960. Some of the art looks very exotic but these three busts of rulers look very human indeed.

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Riddell, Alan. Typewriter Art. London Magazine Editions. 1975. Available Internet Archive here. I can remember making banners on continuous feed printers in the 1970s! I don’t think I ever made anything as elaborate as this cityscape, but this book brought back the memory.

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Olfers, Sibylee von. The Story of the Root-Children. 1906. The English version was published by Floris Books, Edinburgh in 1990 and the 5th impression is available from Internet Archive here. The illustrations are interesting. Wikipedia has a short biography of the author. She was a German art teacher and nun that created her picture books for her younger sister in the early 1900s. I wish all of her books were available on Internet Archive…even if they were the German editions…since I am most interested in her illustrations.

3 Free eBooks – October 2018

There are so many good eBooks available free of charge. All three are from the Internet Archive this month.

Paglia, Camille. Glittering Images – A Journey through Art from Egypt to Star Wars. New York: Pantheon Books. 2012. Available from Internet Archive here. It’s a good book to browse through online – like a digital ‘coffee table’ book – reading only the captions.

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Brock, Alan St. Hill. Pyrotechnics: the history and art of firework making. London: Daniel O’Connor. 1922. Available from Internet Archive here. The depiction of fireworks is quite different between the Chinese and Western Europe/America.

The author was from the 8th generation of the Brock family to made fireworks in England.

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The Diani Beach Art Gallery. Affordable Art Selection September October 2018. Kenya: Diani Beach Contemporary African Art. Available from Internet Archive here. Sometimes catalogs can be worth looking at as a book. I enjoyed the vibrant colors and depictions of African people/scenes.

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3 Free eBooks – August 2018

So many great books available all the time…and free. Reading used to be a much more expensive activity!

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Brongniart, Adolphe. Histoire des végétaux fossiles, ou, Recherches botaniques et géologiques sur les végétaux renfermés dans les diverses couches du globe. A Paris et a Amsterdam: Chez G. Dufour et Ed. d’Ocagne. 1828. Available from Internet Archive here. This book includes many illustrations of plant fossils – imprints on rocks. It’s written in French – but the illustrations are the reason it’s worth a look. It was probably one of the first paleobotany books ever written. The author produced the book in his late 20s…must have had access to a sizable collection.

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Karageorghis, Vassos. Ancient Art from Cyprus - The Cesnola Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 2000. Available from Internet Archive here. This is a more recent book (I am glad that many copyright holders that have out-of-print books are making them available this way). The color illustrations are wonderful. I particularly like utilitarian objects.

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Aruz, Joan and Wallenfels, Ronald (editors). Art of the first cities: the third millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. 2003. Available from Internet Archive here. Another relatively recent book. Would you have guessed the necklace was from the 3rd millennium BC?

3 Free eBooks – January 2018

Three books – the first one for reading; the second one for reading and the images; the third for the images.

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Creevey, Caroline Alathea Stickney. A Daughter of Puritans: An Autobiography. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1916. Available Hathi Trust here. I’d found Creevey’s Flowers of field, hill and swamp and discovered the autobiography when I looked to see if there were more books from her on Internet Archive and HathiTrust. The autobiography is a good read – a snapshot of her growing up years. She lived from 1843-1920 and to book ends when she married so this is just before and during the civil war.

Dunsany, Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett, Baron with illustration by A. H. Sime. The sword of Welleran, and other stories. London: G. Allen and Sons. 1908. From Internet Archive here. The illustrations and stories are both intriguing. Both the author and the illustrator have biographies in Wikipedia.

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Pillsbury, Joanne. Moche Art and Archaeology in ancient Peru. Washington: National Gallery of Art. 2005. Available from HathiTrust here. Such a different culture than the Inca! The way the faces of people are depicted is what interested me the most….the relationship between culture and depiction of the human form in art shows how what we ‘see’ is impacted by more than the biology of sight.

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Gleanings of the Week Ending December 23, 2017

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Search for Microbial Life on Mars | The Scientist Magazine® - Life on Mars…challenges abound.

Using Data to Inspire: Share Science and Find Truth in the Stories - The Bridge: Connecting Science and Policy - AGU Blogosphere – Maria Merian studied butterflies…and discovered that instead of being ‘born of mud’ spontaneously, they grew as caterpillars that metamorphosed into butterflies. That was back in the 1600s. Communication of data can be very inspiring!

Will Squid Soon Rule the Oceans? | Zócalo Public Square – These creatures thrive on disruption in our oceans…benefiting from climate change, overfishing and pollution.

Suburban ponds are a septic buffet -- ScienceDaily – Suburban animals behave, look and function differently because of the fundamentally unique ecosystems of suburbia.

Cancer imaging aid developed from horse chestnuts -- ScienceDaily – Horse chestnuts are trees I recognize in our local gardens….so I took a second look at this article. Evidently an extract from the tree may have a medical use!

What is the Bauhaus Movement? The History of Bauhaus Art – A short history of  Bauhaus art, architecture and design….how it all comes together and its legacy.

Free Technology for Teachers: The Science of Snowflakes – Two short videos about snowflakes.

100,000 Digitized Art History Books Are Now Freely Available to Any Art Lover and the Getty Research Portal – Another source of eBooks…it is easy to spend a lot of time browsing this one.

Photographer Takes Stunning Portraits of Endangered Animals: Goats and Soda: NPR – Photography with a message.

Dinosaurs Were Around Before Saturn Had Rings | Smart News | Smithsonian – There are timelines relating events around the world. This is a link between our planet and the rings of Saturn.

3 Free eBooks – December 2017

This month I picked books with an Asian theme:

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Bing, Siegfried. Artistic Japan: illustrations and essays. London: Sampson Low, Marston & Co. Six volumes available from the Internet Archive here; published in the late 1800s. Most of the illustrations are in color…and represent a broad range of Japanese art from the time. I picked an image of a textile but there is a lot of other types of art in these volumes.

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Ando, Hiroshige. Ehon Edo miyage. Kikuya Kozaburo han. 1850 or after and before 1868. Six volumes available from Smithsonian Libraries here. Images in soft colors depicting Japan in the mid 1800s. I picked one from the fourth volume that looked like a road lined with cherry trees blooming in the spring. There were some other images of landscapes with snow that I liked almost as well.

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Oriental Textile Samples. 1700. Available from the Internet Archive here. This book is a reminder of how rich the textile tradition is – particularly from China. I clipped a part of the cover – which must have also been textile. There is a note that the book is ‘fabric samples mounted in accordion-style, silk covered, volumes in brown cloth-covered folios’.