Mark S. Weiner

Archive for the ‘Books and libraries’ Category

The Final Days of Law’s Picture Books

In Books and libraries on November 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

“Law’s Picture Books” has been hailed as “fascinating” by The New Yorker, “eye-opening” by the Wall Street Journal, and “courageous” by the Frankfurter Allgemeine, and now it’s been praised as exceptional by The New Criterion—and it’s still on display at the Grolier Club until November 18!

If you can’t make it, my co-curator and I have just completed our digital gallery tour of the exhibit on the blog Concurring Opinions. Here are links to all the stops along the way:

  1. Our introduction
  2. Symbolizing the Law
  3. Depicting the Law
  4. Diagramming the Law
  5. Measuring the Law
  6. Staging the Law
  7. Inflicting the Law
  8. Arguing the Law
  9. Teaching the Law
  10. Laughing—and Crying—at the Law
  11. Beautifying the Law

A Virtual Tour of Law’s Picture Books

In Aesthetics, Books and libraries on October 17, 2017 at 8:20 am

Over at Concurring Opinions, Mike Widener and I are conducting a virtual tour of our “Law’s Picture Books” exhibit at the Grolier Club. We introduce the tour here.


I hope you can join us!

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.

***

[update October 24, 2017]

Our exhibit has now been reviewed in the New Yorker—which hails it as “fascinating”—the Wall Street Journal—”eye-opening”—and the Frankfurter Allgemeine—”courageous.”

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:

Small Blank Space

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”:

Small Blank Space

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:

Small Blank Space

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.