Friday, March 20, 2015

Artist's Book?

We love a good artist's book--something with some depth that gives the "reader" an opportunity to play while it calls into question the nature of the book. Most of the ones we acquire are created for that purpose, but occasionally history throws up something that we would now see as an artist's book.  Case in point: Excursion Views of Narragansett Bay and Block Island (Providence: Excursion View Co., 1878).

Housed in a walnut and glass case, Views offers two mechanical moving scrolls that take you on a panoramic yacht tour from Providence, Rhode Island, around Block Island and back. The hand cranks carry you past Newport, Bristol, shoreline hotels and scenic lighthouses--all in chomolithographic splendor. Views performs its real magic, though, when it is set next to books like the English Pilot (we will blog that some day...), a tourist guide, or a Victorian novel...

It is not cataloged yet, but you can ask for it at the Rauner reference desk.

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