As the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) intern for 2012, I am fortunate to be spending time at all three New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC) libraries. The Frick Art Reference Library and those of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) share many attributes. One of these is the important role that collecting expeditions played in increasing the holdings of each institution. Interestingly, in the early twentieth century these libraries supported major expeditions that were led by women. These bold travelers came from a variety of backgrounds and socioeconomic classes and were ahead of their time.
As we were brainstorming a name for our Library exhibition of contemporary experimental magazines, Millennium Magazines stuck because of its concise alliteration. The name also specifically isolates this recent period of time - post-Y2K - where these publications have been flourishing despite constant conversations about the end of print culture. Working in a library, this is a particularly hot topic as we think about the future and how best to accommodate new modes of publishing. The exhibition, now on view at MoMA in the Lewis B. Cullman Education building at 4 W 54th St., aims to complicate this assumption that print is dead.
I recently walked through the Elizabeth Sackler wing on the 4th floor of the Brooklyn Museum and found myself at Judy Chicago’s The Dinner Party. This led, quite naturally, to thoughts of food and entertaining. Food evokes an emotional response through both flavor and presentation, and new recipes are the result of creativity. All of these qualities tie the edible to the artistic. Entertaining, too, has a connection to art. The host picks china, glassware, and linens that please the eye and sprinkles them with food to please the tongue and conversation to please the ear. A dinner party could be described as a performance piece enacted by the host and guests. This connection has resulted in a gorgeous array of artists’ books on the subject of food and entertaining.