Saturday, March 21, 2015

Two exhibits from the National Gallery of Art Library

 Where: National Gallery of Art

When: through June 12, 2015 and through August 2, 2015

The National Gallery of Art's two library spaces have new (well new-ish) exhibits on display, and you can make a luncheon trip to see both of them.  Very different in content and presentation, they allow you to get an idea of the breadth of the library's collection.

In the East Building (inside the library itself) is a selection of items from the Feller Collection.  These are not art books in the sense of being reproductions of art, or surveys of a particular artist or art movement, but are more "how to" guides, instructional manuals, books about artistic techniques.

Meanwhile, in the West Building, the library's little outpost room has a display focusing on Florentine publishing during the Renaissance.  The books on display are interesting to examine, some of them quite ornate.  My problem is that there's not a lot of explanation - no wall notes or cards next to the books.  There are pamphlets available, but that's a bit more information than I really want.  I'd like something between nothing and a multi-page description, and I suspect I'm not alone.

Verdict: If you have an interest in books about art, these small displays are worth a look.  While the weather remains inclement here in DC, take advantage of the underground connection between the two buildings to stay out of the cold and damp.

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