something new every day

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Monday, August 11, 2008
One of my favorite things about working for the library is that so many interesting things pass through my hands. I'm always learning something new, although the persistent lesson is that I will never know all the interesting things there are to know! (Strangely, I find this a comfort.)

A few months ago I was filing books onto the hold shelf while someone else was checking them in at the desk. A children's book with a striking collage cover came through and my coworker said "doesn't this reminded you of that guy? You know, THAT GUY." (I did not know "that guy" in this instance. A lot of times I can figure it out, but she had me stumped.) Finally the lightbulb went off over her head and she asked me if I was familiar with the work of Romare Bearden.

I was not! She looked up the name to make sure she had it right and wrote it down for me. (I put it in my pocket.) I recently had some spots available on my hold list, so I went through my stack of pocket-notes, found "Romare Bearden" written in handwriting not my own and decided it was time to find out more. I put this book featuring his Caribbean work on hold. The cover is so beautiful; this tiny jpeg does not come close to doing it justice. (All of the images I found for it seem really muddy in color.)

I know more about him than I did, but there's so much more to discover. Here are a few images I found online which showcase the variety of his work. These are collage, although he did paintings and large-scale public works as well. I'm really intrigued by the images that incorporate photography into the collage. I think what I'm responding to is the extra depth/layers this adds to the picture -- he's using the specific to illustrate the universal. (I like this in stories, too.)

He did a fantastic series based on The Odyssey.

Many images of the rural south. I love this garden picture a lot -- it's called Maudell Sleet's Magic Garden.

I love the expression on the guitar player in this one.

This appears to be the same piece as the one above, only reversed and with stronger color. I wonder which way is correct? It's great either way. Hmmm. I like the richness of the blue on the second one, but like the fuzzier, sort of blown-out quality of the first. (My guess is that the stronger color is correct.)
3 comments on "something new every day"
  1. I love that you are able to enjoy and learn so much while you are at work. I also love that you share the best bits with others so you aren't hogging all the best bits for yourself. Unless of course there is a secret stash of bits that you keep in a shoebox someplace hidden away.

  2. I am totally hogging a bunch of great stuff! but mostly because I think it's kind of crazy and maybe only I would like it anyway. (but thank you!)

  3. Ah, yes, that guy...

    Beardon's work varies a lot, in color and esp. style. Interesting, that.


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