A&O Blog

Filter Settings

Muriel Spark is less read in America than in her native Great Britain, which is a shame since she is one of the “50 greatest British writers since 1945,” landing at No. 8, ahead of the more popular Ian Fleming, Roald Dahl, and A.S. Byatt. Spark, who was born in Scotland in 1918, published novels, short stories, and poems from the late 1950s until 2004, two years before her death.

The Galerie Templon in Paris is hosting an exhibition dedicated to Japanese artist Chiharu Shiota from May 20 through July 22, 2017. The performance and installation artist is known for her room-filling pieces that are at once monumental yet incredibly intricate, as if a giant spider has enveloped everything in its path in skeins of thread.

Sangorski & Sutcliffe is synonymous with fine binding and is often hailed as the “Rolls Royce of Bookbinding.” At the turn of the twentieth century, Francis Sangorski and George Sutcliffe wowed their fellow craftsmen with elaborate and innovative leather binding designs. Ornate jewelled bindings—featuring inset semi-precious stones—became one of their specialties.  

The 19th Century Rare Book & Photograph Shop recently announced the sale of a massive 750-piece collection dedicated to the life and works of the father of modern psychology and psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. 

We spy some beautiful birds headed to auction in New York on June 15. The ornithological library of Dr. Gerald Dorros comprises a “superb selection of important works from the heyday of beautifully illustrated natural history books,” according to Christie’s. 

At auction last week in New York was a bound volume containing two early nineteenth-century ship’s logbooks, “Journal of a Voyage, from Bristol to the Mediterranean, Anno Domini 1819” and “Log-Book Kept on board the Astraea On a Voyage from London to the Mediterranean, Anno-Domini 1821.” Unlike many logbooks of their kind, these two displayed exceptional artistic merit, containing 28 leaves of ink calligraphy (page headers) and 35 fine watercolor drawings.

Ever feel like your home is overwhelmed with books? (No? Really?) Well, Spanish artist Alicia Martin has taken inspiration from book sprawl and created massive outdoor sculptures that suggest the aftermath of a book-eating cyclone. Since the late 1990s, Martin’s book sculptures have tumbled from windows or cascaded over archways throughout Europe, with three located in the heart of Madrid.

Earlier this week, the Concord Museum in Massachusetts received a daguerreotype of Sophia Thoreau (1819-1876), younger sister of American essayist and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862). The timing is fortuitous; July 12 marks the bicentennial of the birth of the author of Walden and Civil Disobedience.

A man who says he is a distant cousin of Jesse James has come forward with a never-before-seen ambrotype of the notorious outlaw, young and handsome with piercing light eyes. Patrick Meguiar of Tennessee first heard about the antique photo from his grandfather, Maynard Meguiar, who would tell stories about their ancestral connection to James, …

On Saturday, July 24, at the Royal Sonesta in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Boston-based RR Auction held a robst sale of memorabilia relating to notorious mobsters and outlaws like Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde, and John Dillinger.