Mark S. Weiner

Archive for the ‘Books and libraries’ Category

A Lovely Review; a Small Addendum

In Books and libraries on September 26, 2017 at 8:47 pm

This kind review of “Law’s Picture Books” appeared online today in the Wall Street Journal (on a gated site) and will be published in print tomorrow. The review, by the esteemed critic Edward Rothstein, calls the exhibit “unusual” and “eye-opening,” and it’s quite insightful about our intentions—hurrah!

Also today, these photographs of the exhibit have been posted to the Grolier Club Flickr gallery.

A small addendum for professional historians following up on the review and finding themselves here. In his completely understandable enthusiasm for the dramatic story of David S. Terry, Rothstein writes that the exhibit “tells us” that he was shot and killed by Justice Stephen Field. Scholars familiar with the details of the case will appreciate that we instead write that “Terry was shot and killed”—of course, Terry in fact was killed by Justice Field’s bodyguard, giving rise to the case of In re Neagle (1890). The case is a confusing one, as is the passive voice. My hat’s off to Rothstein for his insightful review, which brings together a great body of complex historical material.

Law’s Picture Books—on Video (with open captions for the deaf)

In Aesthetics, Aesthetics, narrative, form, Books and libraries, Law and film, Video on September 13, 2017 at 11:07 am

On the occasion of the public opening of “Law’s Picture Books” at the Grolier Club in New York, I’m posting all five of the exhibition videos, created under the imprint of Hidden Cabinet Films. In the exhibition hall, the video appear on a big-screen monitor through a nifty digital interface, but you can watch them at home, too. And if you can’t stroll up to the corner of 60th and Park to see the exhibit, you can order its accompanying 200-plus-page, full-color catalogue.

“Explore the mystery of law and sight.” With a soundtrack by Moby! This video explores some big questions that the exhibit poses about law and visual culture. ~ 5 minutes.

 

“How does the purpose of a legal illustration shape its relation with its accompanying text?” This video considers one of the exhibit’s underlying analytic themes. ~ 3 minutes.

 

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Law’s Picture Books

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries on August 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

I’m delighted to announce that the catalogue for “Law’s Picture Books” is now available directly through The Lawbook Exchange or through other online booksellers. The 220-page volume is based on an exhibition that I’ve co-curated with rare book librarian Mike Widener for the Grolier Club in New York. The exhibit opens to the public on September 13. If you can’t come and see the exhibit in person, the book includes images of every book on display, as well as their accompanying captions—plus more.

From the publisher:

“Illustrated law books” may seem like an oxymoron. After all, law is conceptual, analytic, and so very wordy! Yet for the past decade, over a thousand illustrated law books have been assembled in the Yale Law Library — spanning eight centuries and four continents. Law’s Picture Books began as a major exhibition of that collection at the Grolier Club in New York City, curated by Rare Book Librarian Michael Widener and legal historian Mark S. Weiner. In challenging the stereotype of legal literature as a dreary expanse of dry text, this book will surprise and delight both bibliophiles and members of the legal community. This handsome full-color book is enhanced by the essays “Collecting Yale Law Library’s Picture Books,” (Michael Widener), “Reflections on an Exhibition,” (Mark S. Weiner), “Ars Memoria in Early Law: Looking Beneath the Picture,” (Jolande E. Goldberg, Law Library of Congress), and “Law’s Picture Books and the History of Book Illustration,” (Erin C. Blake, Folger Shakespeare Library).

Preservation Waltz

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Architecture, Austria, Books and libraries, Constitutional law, Cross-cultural encounters & comparisons, Environment, Europe, Law and film, Law and music, Video on July 19, 2016 at 12:42 pm

The latest video in my series about Austrian concepts of law and the Austrian experience of landscape is called “Preservation Waltz.” Rare books, forests, and domestic architecture. Sustainability is the key principle:

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I discuss the video in this guest post on Environment, Law and History.

Dancing a Jig

In Books and libraries, Video on May 10, 2016 at 11:16 am

As Mike Widener happily reports today in his blog, our short-short iPhone video “Putting Together a Book Exhibition” has won this year’s best video prize in the “Day in the Life” competition of the American Association of Law Libraries. The video documents the exhibition about illustrated law books that Mike and I are putting together for the Grolier Club in New York.

N.B.: the exhibition opening date was recently moved forward from February 2018 to September 2017. We hope to see you there!

 

Water, Water, Everywhere, and Every Drop to Drink

In Aesthetics, Aesthetics, narrative, form, Austria, Books and libraries, Constitutional law, Economic regulation, Environment, Europe, Law and film, Law and music, Legal Philosophy, Video on February 27, 2016 at 11:41 am

I’m pleased to share the latest video from my developing film about law and landscape in Austria. This segment is called “Florian & Friends Talk about Purity”:

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The video is about water, water law, Austrian identity, legal philosophy, concepts of the state, ideas of the public, approaches to time and tradition, metaphor, and some great old books. Plus, there’s a cameo appearance by a sweet Alpine cow.

Putting Together a Book Exhibit

In Books and libraries, Video on January 15, 2016 at 6:56 pm

I turned on my iPhone today as Mike Widener and I were solving a little problem for our exhibit “Law’s Picture Books,” to open at the Grolier Club in New York in September 2017. This is what the phone recorded:

 

April 21, 2016: The date of the exhibition has been moved forward from February 2018 to September 2017. This post and the video have been changed to reflect the new timetable.

I’m delighted to announce that this video has won the “Day in the Life” video contest for the American Association of Law Libraries for 2016!

Austrian Law, Set in Stone

In Aesthetics, narrative, form, Books and libraries, Constitutional law, Cross-cultural encounters & comparisons, Europe, Video on January 5, 2016 at 9:18 am

Why is a basic doctrine of Austrian constitutional law named after one of the central features of the Austrian landscape? A conversation with two far-flung Austrian legal scholars:

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This video will be incorporated into my film “Wood, Water, Stone, Sky, Milk,” which grew out of the semester I spent in Salzburg as a Fulbright scholar.

Edward Coke, Meet Humphrey Bogart

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries, form, Law and film, Law and music, narrative on November 16, 2014 at 10:17 pm

My latest video is about rare books, jazz, the passage of time, and old movies … and the law reports of the great jurist Edward Coke:

For a 1080p version for the most current systems, click here. For multiple formats on my YouTube channel, here (select the settings tab on the lower-right corner of the frame—that’s the wheel icon, the third icon from the right).

Save the Date: September 2017

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries on September 15, 2014 at 6:39 pm

Book

OK, so it’s a long way off, but I hope you’ll mark your calendars for three years hence. That’s when an exhibition I’ll be co-curating with Mike Widener of the Yale Law Library is set to open at the Grollier Club in Manhattan. The club is “America’s oldest and largest society for bibliophiles and enthusiasts of the graphic arts.” Mike and I recently heard the good news that our proposal was accepted.

The exhibit is called “Law’s Picture Books: The Yale Law Library Collection.” Yes, it’s true: “law books” and “illustrations” are two things you don’t typically associate with each other. After all, law presents itself as based in the Word—as logocentric. And let’s face it: many law books are a visual snooze. Yet law’s application to the actual world of people and things generates a tandem, if often ignored, figurative impulse in legal books.

The exhibit will invite visitors to explore the incredible range of responses to this central tension at the heart of law as a social phenomenon—namely that law mediates between abstract rules and the material world, between ideals and the everyday—and it will do so by bringing together a fantastic array of beautifully illustrated books Mike has been collecting since 2006 as the law school’s rare book librarian.

See you there!

April 21, 2016: the date of the exhibition has been moved forward to September 2017. The headline of this post has been changed to reflect the new timetable.