Calligraphy Workshop Tonight!

Join us at the Traverwood branch of AADL tonight from 6:30 to 8:00pm for a calligraphy class with instructor Scott Wettlaufer! Attendees will be given information and instructions about calligraphy and will have the opportunity to use real calligraphy pens and paper to practice the art.

The Monuments Men Revisited

The Monuments Men, the movie with George Clooney and Matt Damon, was based on the book The Monuments Men : Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history by Robert M. Edsel.

The real Monuments Men were a group of men and women from thirteen nations, most of them volunteers, who were museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. These mostly middle-aged family men, walked away from successful careers into the epicenter of the war, risking—and some losing—their lives. They raced against time in order to save the world’s greatest cultural treasures from destruction at the hands of Nazi regime.

Two of these brave men lived among us quietly for decades, one, Charles Sawyer was previously blogged about here, the second was Ralph Hammett.

Professor Hammett taught in the architecture department at U of M starting in 1931, with a hiatus to join the army in 1943, and retired from the University in 1965. His work as one of the Monuments Men and a noted architect will be forever remembered in Ann Arbor having designed some homes as well as buildings such as an addition to the Ann Arbor (then Women's) City Club on Washtenaw, the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church parish hall and chapel, the Lloyd Douglas Memorial Chapel, and the Lutheran Student Center. He also designed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Springfield, Illinois. He was named “Architect of the Year” in 1957 by the Michigan Society of Architects. Hammett died in 1984. You can read Old News articles about him here. There is also an extensive website created by his grandson here.

Art Table: Chalk It Up!

Hey kiddos! Next time you’re in the youth area downtown visit the art table and see what’s new! This month we’re working with chalk. We have colorful sidewalk chalk and chalkboards ready for you to create a masterpiece, erase it, and start all over!

Chalk artist Julian Beever uses a technique called anamorphosis in his amazing 3D effect large scale chalk drawings. To read more about his process and see samples, check out the book Pavement chalk artist: the three-dimensional drawings of Julian Beever.

Ann Arbor Art Fairs: AADL has the Good Stuff

As the Ann Arbor Art Fairs open today, you can learn a lot from AADL. Take a look at 50 Years of Originality: A History of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, a digital collection which includes over 100 images, plus audio recollections and videos. And if you’re interested in viewing past fair posters from our Art Print Collection, click here.

New Art Prints from the AADL Collection

Now through September 30, 2014 -- Malletts Creek Branch: Exhibits

The circulating art print collection at the Ann Arbor District Library makes available original works of art and fine reproductions of paintings, photography, prints and drawings. Artists represented in the collection are global and multicultural in scope. Works selected ranges from the iconic to the eclectic but are always, good examples of the artists’ works.

AADL is happy to display newly acquired prints in this exhibit.

All art prints in the collection are professionally framed by Format Framing of Ann Arbor. Images of the collection are available in the online catalog. Each library card holder may borrow up to 3 prints, circulating for 8 weeks. Sturdy nylon carrying bags are available for safe and easy transport from our staff at the Circulation Department.

Super Snazz: Multi-Media Collage and Assemblage By Dan Mulholland

Now through August 28, 2014 -- Downtown Library: 3rd Floor Exhibit

This exhibit consists of approximately 35 pieces of collage and assemblage that combine popular culture graphics and nature images, along with found objects that make many of the works more sculptural than two dimensional.

Many of the titles of the exhibit pieces refer to obscure music recordings. The assemblages deal mostly with decay, and consist of found objects and things Dan has collected over the years. They could be 78 or 45 rpm records mixed with images of Jesus, kids toys, flowers and bugs. Some of these pieces come together in a few days, while others take months to fall into place. He enjoys the process and hopes that you like the result.

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #459 - Paris, far more than setting

Novelists' endless fascination with the city and we readers can't seem to get enough of it.

A Paris Apartment * - cramp, decrepit, shuttered for 70 years but it is Paris, and it is in the 9th arrondissement. Sotheby's European furniture specialist April Vogt is glad for the assignment, and for putting a little distance between her and a troubled marriage. Under the dust sheets, she finds a treasure trove of priceless furniture and works of art - one being a stunning portrait of Marthe de Florian, owner of the apartment and one of Belle Epoque's most renowned actresses/courtesans.

In Michelle Gable's debut, once April begins to read over letters and journals written by Marthe, suddenly it is no longer about the materiality and provenance of the objects, but more about an extraordinary life lived and the secrets buried in the apartment. In the process, April is force to take a deeper look into herself.

"Gable's debut is strongest when Paris is the focus...". "With its well-developed, memorable characters and the author's skillful transitioning between story lines, finding similarities in the lives of two women decades apart, this stunning and fascinating debut will capture the interest of a wide audience but particularly those interested in stories about women behind famous men..."

I am Having So Much Fun Here Without You * is a sardonic dig at Richard Haddon's predicament. In Courtney Maum's debut, as the novel opens in 2002, English artist Richard Haddon is on top of the world. His first solo show in a trendy gallery sold out. His beautiful French wife Anne, is a successful attorney with pedigree, and wealthy in-laws had bestowed on the young couple a palatial apartment at an enviable Paris address. Then Anne finds the letters from Richard's mistress, a brash and sexy American journalist who has since moved on. Well, sort of.

In an effort to win back Anne's respect and affection, Richard intends to create the next masterpiece, proposing a controversial installation that would be a sly critique on Iraq's role in the global conflict around the issues of Weapon of Mass Destruction.

"Equally funny and touching, the novel strikes deep, presenting a sincere exploration of love and monogamy. These characters are complex, and their story reflects their confusion and desire... (a)n impressive, smart novel". (This debut is one of Library Reads picks for June).

Now, most appropriate for the City of Love, Emma Mars' (a pseudonym) Hotelles * - "Rife with sexual tension and mystery" this first tale in a trilogy is about a young Paris escort; the Hotel des Charmes where each room is dedicated to one of French history's greatest seductresses; and a silver notebook.

"Funny, sensual, candid, and revealing". It has been compared to The Story of O by Pauline Réage, originally published in 1954 and quickly became the talk of the Paris salons and cafes. While the identity of the author remains shrouded for 40 years, the novel went on to win the prestigious Prix des Deux Magots in 1955, and is still one of the most "curious and mysterious novels of recent times".

While I have your attention...just one more. Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 * *, an electrifying union of fact and fiction by Francine Prose, built around a famous photograph entitled Lesbian Couple at Le Monocle, 1932 by Brassai. Prose originally intends to write a biography of Violette Morris, a decorated athlete, race-car driver, and Nazi collaborator (she is the one NOT in a dress).

"In an intricately patterned, ever-morphing, lavishly well-informed plot..., it is Paris in the 1920s (that) shimmers with excitement, dissipation, and freedom. It is a place of intoxicating ambition, passion, art, and discontent, where louche jazz venues like the Chameleon Club draw expats, artists, libertines, and parvenus looking to indulge their true selves." "A dark and glorious tour de force".

* = starred review
* * = 2 starred reviews

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #457 - Classics Reboot

Fans of her Tony Hill (adapted into TV series as Wire in the Blood) and Kate Brannigan crime series will rejoice in Val McDermid's latest - the first in a projected new series, and a homage to Jane Austen by taking on her most "gothic-toned story", recasting a contemporary Northanger Abbey at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

In this 21st century novel, Cat(herine) Morland, though still the naive vicar's daughter in a quaint Dorset village, is a Facebook and other social media junkie as well as a slave to all devices digital like teenagers everywhere. A voracious fiction reader who is partial to the gothic, finding little adventure and romance in real life. When an invitation for a month-long stay in Edinburgh comes her way, Cat is delighted. But the whirlwind of outings, new friendship, and a budding love interest (the dreamy Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey), might just be more than Cat could handle.

"A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship."

When an unnamed narrator opens with "Last night I dreamed of Nauquasset again", savvy readers will immediately recognize the direct reference to Daphne du Maurier's classic Rebecca in Alena by Rachel Pastan.

At the Venice Biennale, a newly minted art historian cannot believe her good fortune when offered a position as the curator of a cutting-edge museum on Cape Cod. The Nauk (Nauquasset), founded by the wealthy, enigmatic, somewhat brooding Bernard Augustin, is still weathering the turmoils from the mysterious disappearance of its previous curator - the charismatic and beautiful Alena. The recalcitrant staff, loyal to Alena, threatens to stifle the new curator's every effort to realize her own creative vision. The only likely ally (and love interest) is found in the hard-bitten local police chief Chris Passoa, who persists to investigate Alena's disappearance, even after two years.

"Stirring and provocative..." "Hitchcockian..." "Flush with erotic intrigues and insights into real, working artists, Pastan has written a smart, chilling thriller that leaves readers thoroughly spooked."

Reveal Your Detroit

Reveal Your Detroit: An Intimate Look at at Great American City is a community engagement project led by the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The Detroit Revealed exhibition at the DIA featured more than fifty works created from 2000 to 2010. The artwork captured a diverse Detroit, featuring urban architecture, urban gardens, community, art, and decay.

Reveal Your Detroit is a community based public art response to the exhibit. The project was a dialog between the museum, established artists and community organizations, asking these questions:

What does your Detroit look like?
How do you want others to see it?

After it was announced in March 2012 the project received over 10,000 images taken with disposable cameras in less than three months. The photographs included in this book are from that lot and are photographs taken with disposable cameras by local residents, and for the most part not hobbyist or professional photographers. Even if you did not visit Detroit Revealed at the DIA this book is a wonderful celebration of collaboration and community and is a positive look at the heart of Detroit: its people.

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