Friday, August 27, 2010

Butter Sculpting at the Fair

Art and the State Fair do interesect.  Follow this link to read a great article about Linda Christensen's butter sculpting (an MCAD graduate) at our state fair. You will find out more than you thought you wanted to know and laugh too.

The Wall Street Journal also has a slide show and video.  They interviewed the sculptress, the Princesses of the Milky Way, butter head family members, and an art historian, Pamela Simpson, who is writing a book about butter sculpting and corn palaces.  We will need to get that book when it comes out. 

You might want to go to the fair to see this sculpting in progress.  It is special in the world of butter sculpting because they are using solid blocks of butter that are carved not just attaching butter over an armature.  The fair also passes out the butter chips on crackers for the crowd to enjoy.  As the art historian Pamela Simpson says it is a "perfect case of having your art and eating it too".

For more fun information about butter sculpting go to Pamela Simpson's page at:  Here is one of the photos from her slide show of some amazing and historic butter sculptures. Be sure take a look at it.

For information on the fair go to:

Eva Hyvarinen
Visual Resource Assistant
MCAD Library

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Original Illustration Portfolios in MCAD Library Special Collections

This French fashion plate from 1913 was inspired by Japanese Ukiyo-e color woodblock prints
The many treasures in the MCAD Library's Special Collections include rare original illustration portfolios.  Unique among these is a set of hand-colored French fashion plates from the Gazette du Bon Ton.  Published from 1912-1925, the Gazette chronicled contemporary developments in fashion, lifestyle, and beauty, while advancing fashion illustration to a new level of refinement and sophistication. The most distinctive feature of the publication was its illustrations. Each issue of the Gazette contained ten unbound, high-quality pochoir prints by notable artists and illustrators such as Georges Lepape, Pierre Brissaud, Georges Barbier, and Bernard Boutet de Monvel.

In each issue of the Gazette, seven of ten prints depicted the latest haute couture designs from Parisian fashion houses such as Doeuillet, Doucet, Paquin, Redfern, and Worth. Three additional prints in each issue presented wholly fanciful designs invented by the illustrators, in which they both interpreted and commented on the latest styles and the lives of those who wore them. Through these prints, the Gazette's readers were offered glimpses of upper class life, manners, social environments, and leisure pursuits. As such, the Gazette du Bon Ton illustrations provide a unique visual record of fashion and high society in early 20th century France, from the last years of the Belle Epoque to the dawn of the Art Deco era.

The original prints are available for study by request in the MCAD Library.  One hundred of these beautiful prints have also been scanned and cataloged for inclusion in ARTstor, where they are available for research and study, as well as inspiration and enjoyment, by users across the world.

Allan Kohl
Visual Resources Librarian
MCAD Library

Thursday, August 19, 2010

HEADS UP! A new contemporary art periodical in the Library

We are now receiving Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art, from Duke University Press.
This magazine features a discourse on global art, and in particular contemporary African art and it's history. Nka includes scholarly articles, reviews of exhibitions, book reviews, and discussions focusing on contemporay African artist and their art. The current issue has a roundtable discussion on contemporary African art history and the scholarship.
Nka will be currently displayed on the New to the Collection shelves.