Books Worth Reading

January 2014

  • Lewis Wickes Hine, a construction worker at the Empire State Building, 1931. Gelatin Silver Print 7 1/2 X 9 1/2 in. (Photo courtesy the New York Public Library Digital Gallery)
    Permalink Lewis Wickes Hine, a construction worker at the Empire State Building, 1931. Gelatin Silver Print 7 1/2 X 9 1/2 in. (Photo courtesy the New York Public Library Digital Gallery)Gallery

    Skyscrapers: A Cure For Loneliness & Overconsumption? Judith Dupré on the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings

Skyscrapers: A Cure For Loneliness & Overconsumption? Judith Dupré on the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings

By |01.09.14

Lewis Wickes Hine, A construction worker at the Empire State Building, 1931. (Photo courtesy the New York Public Library Digital Gallery)

 
Books Worth Reading
Skyscrapers: A History of the World’s Most Extraordinary Buildings
By Judith Dupré. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 176 pages
 

(Photo © Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, Inc. and Judith Dupré)

Architecture is the art form we spend the most time with in our daily lives, and yet it’s a medium that gets little media attention.

But recently, architecture had a rare moment in the sun when One World Trade Center in New York […]

December 2013

  • Best-Books-of-2013-Gwarlingo-Collage
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    Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

Gwarlingo’s 26 Favorite Art, Photography, Film & Design Books of 2013

By |12.12.13

 

As an ex-librarian and book collector, one of my favorite things to do is to ferret out new publications and share them with readers. Whenever I’m traveling, I scour local bookstores and museum shops for interesting books. (Carting heavy art tomes home on an airplane is a familiar experience.) I also keep an eye out for new titles online, in magazines, newspapers, and book reviews.

For the first time on Gwarlingo, I’ve assembled a list of 26 of my favorite art, photography, film, and design books published this year.

This list is my gift to you this holiday. These are titles I […]

  • The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)
    Permalink The chefs of Sherry's restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)Gallery

    Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

Chop-Suey, Automats, & Diamondback Terrapin: Michael Lesy & Lisa Stoffer on Dining in America

By |12.01.13

The chefs of Sherry’s restaurant at luncheon in 1902 (Photo courtesy the Museum of the City of New York, the Byron Company Collection. Click to Enlarge)

 
Wisconsin Death Trip
My first introduction to the work of Michael Lesy was a chance encounter many years ago with his classic photography book Wisconsin Death Trip. Flipping through the images of children in coffins and grim-faced Midwesterners, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was seeing. A straightforward document of madness, crime, disease, and urbanization in Black River Falls, Wisconsin? Or, perhaps, an invented fiction? It seemed too horrific to be real, […]

November 2013

  • Lisa Dahl, Aureolin, 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on color photograph, 2005. (Image Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)
    Permalink Lisa Dahl, Aureolin, 20 x 30 inches, acrylic on color photograph, 2005. (Image Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)	Gallery

    Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

Writer Howard Mansfield on Clutter, Home Improvement & the Most Hated House on the Block

By |11.19.13

Lisa Dahl, Suburban Export, household cardboard, 1.5 x 2 x 2 inches (each), installation variable, 2011-12. View the finished installation Suburban Export here. (In-Progress photo of installation by Lisa Dahl courtesy the artist)

 

 
“Everyone, rich or poor, deserves a shelter for the soul.” -Samuel Mockbee
 
The Click & Clack of Clutter

I am fascinated by how houses succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul, ” says writer Howard Mansfield in his new book Dwelling in Possibility: Searching for the Soul of Shelter (Bauhan Publishing, 2013).

“The mystery that holds my attention is that some houses have life—are home, are […]

  • Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery)
    Permalink Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery)Gallery

    A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

A New Orleans Hospital Becomes Hell: Sheri Fink’s Five Days at Memorial

By |11.04.13

Photographer Thomas Neff took this photo of Caroline Koch on Mandeville Street after Hurricane Katrina. (Photo by Thomas Neff courtesy Lumiere Gallery)

 

How do we cope with a disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina? Do we learn the necessary lessons and adjust accordingly, or do we simply slip back into a state of denial? How prepared are we for the next major storm?

Questions like these have been on my mind this week during my stay in New Orleans. Today I saw Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, an exhibit at the Presbytere, part of the Louisiana […]

September 2013

  • Daily Rituals-Click to Purchase
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    Daily Rituals: How Artists Create (And Avoid Creating) Their Art

Daily Rituals: How Artists Create (And Avoid Creating) Their Art

By |09.25.13

“In my personal life, if I don’t have a project, I don’t have any discipline,” says performance artist Marina Abramovic. Discipline and daily ritual were one of the subjects of her 2002 piece The House with the Ocean View. Abramovic spent 12 straight days living on three open platforms in the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York. She did not eat or speak, nor did she have any privacy: the rooms were open and spectators were even invited to observe the artist through a high-powered telescope. She had no escape: the ladders leaning against bedroom, […]

Postcards from a Prison Teacher

By |09.11.13

 

2.3 million people are currently imprisoned in the United States, that’s one out of every 100 adults—more per capita than any other country in the world. (Repressive China is a distant second, with one in 1,000 adults incarcerated.)

As Ayelet Waldman and Robin Levi explain in the introduction to their book Inside this Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women’s Prisons (McSweeney’s Books, 2011), “People in U.S. prisons are routinely subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse,” and “people of color are vastly over-represented in the American criminal justice system.” Women face special challenges inside prison walls—rampant sexual abuse and […]

June 2013

  • Helena Almeida, Inhabited Painting, 1975.
© Helena Almeida, courtesy Serralves Foundation Collection, Oporto, Portugal
    Permalink Helena Almeida, Inhabited Painting, 1975.
© Helena Almeida, courtesy Serralves Foundation Collection, Oporto, PortugalGallery

    I Never Knew How Blue Blueness Could Be: Maggie Nelson’s Bluets

I Never Knew How Blue Blueness Could Be: Maggie Nelson’s Bluets

By |06.12.13

    One of the joys of Gwarlingo is meeting art lovers from around the world. Sigrun Hodne and I found each other early in Gwarlingo’s short history, and though she lives in Norway, and I in New Hampshire, I’m constantly amazed by how similar our passions are when it comes to books and art. (If you aren’t familiar with her excellent arts blog Sub Rosa, I encourage you to subscribe.) Sigrun has studied architecture in Oxford, art history and film in Stavanger, Norway, and literature in Bergen, Norway. (She wrote her Master’s thesis on “Self and Subjectivity in Samuel [...]

Architect Says: Less Is More. Less Is a Bore.

By |06.05.13

    Philadelphia is a city awash with memorable architecture, so it’s fitting that I stumbled across The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s store, which offers a well-curated assortment of books inside of Horace Trumbauer’s imposing Greek structure prominently situated on Fairmont Hill. Laura Dushkes, the book’s editor, works as a librarian at NBBJ architectural firm in Seattle and began collecting quotes about architecture while purchasing, reading, and cataloging books about design for the firm. The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom is an elegant compendium of quotations from more than 100 of [...]

March 2013

  • Sister Donata (Mary Johnson) with Mother Theresa (left) at her first profession of vows, in Rome, June 8, 1980 (Courtesy)
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    “Naughty Nun” Mary Johnson on Existential Crisis & Mother Teresa

“Naughty Nun” Mary Johnson on Existential Crisis & Mother Teresa

By |03.07.13

          When Mary Johnson left Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity after 20 years of service, she had to learn to pump her own gasoline, to use a microwave and ATM, and to make her own decisions. For this self-described “naughty nun” to begin life again at the age of 39 was not a transgression, but an act of bravery. With so many stories in the news about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, the investigation of American nuns, and the Pope’s recent retirement, Johnson’s memoir, An Unquenchable Thirst, offers a rare and provocative glimpse inside an [...]