In the Stacks: Library's non-fiction for art lovers includes books on Louis Armstrong, Charlie Chaplin and Mark Chagall

Posted: Sunday, February 29, 2004

Non-fiction for art lovers of most stripes: a little acting, a little jazz, some handcrafts, and lots of paintings!

"Traditional Crafts of Ireland," by David Shaw-Smith: Look here for information about handmade textiles, stonework, woodwork, thatching, leatherwork, metalwork, ceramics, and other crafts practiced today in Ireland. Through beautiful and personality-filled photos that show real artisans at work, illustrations of the more difficult to photograph methods, and a text which discusses the practical as well as the fanciful, the blending of old and new comes across clearly.

"The Art of the Russian Matryoshka," by Rett Ertl and Rick Hibberd: Follow the making of "little mothers" from the time their linden trees are cut down to the time they are packed up to be placed on store shelves. Complete with chapters on freehand versus image transfer techniques, differences in the factories that produce matryoshkas, and short biographies of some of the artists who've made names for themselves, this is a great book for collectors or Russian folk art aficionados.

"Louis Armstrong, the offstage story of Satchmo," by Michael Cogswell The ever-photogenic Armstrong practically bursts out of the photos and text in this official biography. Candid shots of Louis at home are interspersed with publicity photos and stories about his life. Great book, great man!

"Charlie Chaplin: Genius of the Cinema," by Jeffrey Vance: Another magnificent photobiography, this time of the man who perhaps did the most to popularize cinema in the twentieth century. Sparing no details, this covers Chaplin's life from his beginnings in London, where he performed onstage at the age of five and had turned professional by ten, to his first films and the creation of the Tramp, and includes his several marriages and divorces.

"The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson," by David P. Silcox: Formed in 1920, the Group of Seven artists had a goal: to create an "all-Canadian" art. Several of the artists were British, the rest were Canadian by birth: all loved Canada and took the transcendentalists Emerson and Thoreau as their guides. This book contains over 400 reproductions, some rarely seen before. Feast your eyes!

"The Art of Romare Bearden," by Ruth Fine and others: Though Bearden is perhaps best known for his collages, this critical presentation covers all of Bearden's remarkably varied body of work, from sculpture and costume design, to landscapes and watercolors as well as his amazing collages. Ruth Fine, art historian and a curator at the National Gallery of Art, has written a comprehensive overview of Bearden's life, giving readers a glimpse of Bearden's inspirations: the Harlem Renaissance, his European and African trips, and the life that went on around him.

"The Chesley Awards," by John Grant and Elizabeth Humphrey: Created in 1985 to honor those who specialize in science fiction and fantasy art, this book is a twenty year retrospective of winners in all twelve categories (including cover art for both hardbound and paperback books, interior illustrations, and three-dimensional works). Look for art by artists such as Frank Frazetta, James Gurney, and Michael Whelan, to name a few.

"Marc Chagall," by Jean-Michel Foray, Meret Meyer Graber, and Jakov Bruk: Over 150 color reproductions grace the pages of this lavish collection of Chagall's work. Joyous and dreamlike, richly colored and textured, Chagall's paintings have been a favorite of art lovers since the beginning.

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our website ( and looking at our catalog. Placing holds on items featured in In the Stacks is now even easier! The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply look up the column, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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