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  • Johnson Alex. Improbable Libraries
    Improbable Libraries
    Johnson Alex
    From the rise of the egalitarian Little Free Library movement (motto: Take a book, return a book) to the growth in luxury hotel libraries, Alex Johnson whose parents were both librarians maps out the history and future of the 21st-century library revolution in seven thematic chapters, each consisting of a brief essay followed by illustrated project profiles. Whether by bike in Chicago or by donkey in Colombia, librarians all over the world are coming up with astonishingly ingenious ways of ensuring their books reach the people who need them. Many of these new libraries function as community centres, and assist their members in overcoming economic, social and political barriers. Others provide an unexpected dose of culture for travellers and commuters or even prisoners. Elsewhere, architects are designing monumental public libraries without walls, and prefabricated home libraries that can be assembled in an ordinary back garden. Whether youre at an airport, a park, a cafe or in the wilds, you can still find just the right book all for free.
  • Blakesley Rosalind P. , Karpova Tatiana L.. Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky
    Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky
    Blakesley Rosalind P. , Karpova Tatiana L.
    Russia and the Arts: The Age of Tolstoy and Tchaikovsky explores the history of Russian portraiture between 1867 and 1914, a time of great cultural vibrancy in the country and a golden age of the Russian portrait. While Tolstoy and Dostoevsky were publishing masterpieces such as Anna Karenina and The Brothers Karamazov and Mussorgsky, Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov were taking Russian music to new heights, Russian art was developing a new self-confidence. The penetrating Realism of the 1870s and 1880s was later complemented by the brighter hues of Russian Impressionism and the bold forms of Symbolist painting; these styles were applied to portraits of prominent thinkers, writers, scientists, artists, actors, composers and musicians by the most outstanding painters of the day. This volume traces the period’s developments in Russian art through the collection of the Moscow State Tretyakov Gallery, founded in 1856, itself a product of this same moment of cultural flourishing. Portraiture was a major part of the collection’s mission from the late 1860s, when founder Pavel Tretyakov began to commission and acquire portraits guided by two principal values: the historical role of the sitter and the artistic value of the portrait. Beautifully illustrated with key works from the State Tretyakov Gallery, Russia and the Arts highlights some of the extraordinary developments that took place in the arts in Russia in the years before World War I.
  • Kopplin Monika, Hemmerle Franz. Russian Lacquer: The Museum of Lacquer Art Collection
    Russian Lacquer: The Museum of Lacquer Art Collection
    Kopplin Monika, Hemmerle Franz
    The Museum of Lacquer Art in M?nster houses the most extensive collection of Russian lacquer art outside of the Russian Federation. Dating from the early nineteenth-century to the 1950s, the lacquer miniatures in the museum’s collection highlight an extraordinary diversity of decorative techniques and provide a comprehensive overview of the local development of lacquer art. Although the origins of lacquer art in Russia can be traced to Peter the Great, who came to appreciate the art during his travels in Western Europe throughout the eighteenth century, it reached its peak in the early nineteenth century after a workshop modeled on the German lacquerware manufacturer Stobwasser was established near Moscow. From this point, artists began to explore specifically Russian motifs. Western lacquer production subsequently disappeared under the pressure of industrialization, but Russian lacquer art continued to flourish and undergo significant innovations throughout the entire nineteenth century. The first publication to present the entire collection of Russian lacquer held by the Museum of Lacquer Art, Russian Lacquer will be an indispensable reference for collectors and dealers.
  • Turkina Olesya, Murray Damon, Cannon Inna. Soviet Space Dogs
    Soviet Space Dogs
    Turkina Olesya, Murray Damon, Cannon Inna
    This book is dedicated to the Soviet Space Dogs, who played a crucial part in the Soviet Space program. These homeless dogs, plucked from the streets of Moscow, were selected because they fitted the program's criteria: weighing no more than 15 pounds, measuring no more than 14 inches in length, robust, photogenic and with a calm temperament. These characteristics enabled the dogs to withstand the extensive training that was needed to prepare them for suborbital, then for orbital, space fights. On 3 November 1957, the dog Laika was the first Earth-born creature to enter space, making her instantly famous around the world. She did not return. Her death, a few hours after launching, transformed her into a legendary symbol of sacrifice. Two further strays, Belka and Strelka, were the first beings to make it back from space, and were swiftly immortalized in children's books and cartoons. Images of the Space Dogs proliferated, reproduced on everyday goods across the Soviet Union: cigarette packets, tins of sweets, badges, stamps and postcards all bore their likenesses. Soviet Space Dogs uses these unique items to illustrate the story (in fact and fiction) of how they became fairytale idols. The first book to document these items, it contains more than 350 images, almost all of which are previously unpublished, and many of which have never been seen before outside Russia. The rich and varied ephemera (from cigarette packets to sweet wrappers and children's toys) of Soviet graphics will have immense appeal to the art and design market, as well as appealing to dog-lovers everywhere.

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