Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture, Rare Books

The Weird and the Wonderful: Metropolitan Opera Fine Art

Less a book than a portfolio of rare art prints, this collection of limited edition poster prints–each one of just 25–displays the innovative poster art created for the Metropolitan Opera…. Read more

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

Follies and Disasters: the four books of francisco goya

Francisco José de Goya produced four major series of etchings in his lifetime. The first, Los Caprichos (Caprices), the artist finished and published as a rather ambitious book of 80 captioned… Read More

Literature, Moderns

The Greatest Year in American Literature

Was 1929 the greatest year in American literature?  I think so.  1850-1855 had a run that’s still unmatched: The Scarlet Letter (1850), Moby-Dick (1851), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), Walden (1854), and… Read More


Zebulon Pike: Account of Expeditions

In 1806, as Lewis and Clark were wending their way homeward, the Governor of the Louisiana Territory, James Wilkinson, summoned his protégé Zebulon Pike to his office. Captain Pike had proven… Read More

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

In Memoriam Jerry Berndt (1943-2013)

I am dedicating this post to the civil rights photographer Jerry Berndt, who sadly passed away in Paris earlier this month. Read More

Rare Books 101

Rare Books 101: How to Begin Collecting Rare Books

If you’ve ever thought about collecting first editions, but didn’t know where to start, this post is for you. Here are 5 tips from me on how to begin collecting. Read More

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

Life is Good & Good for you in New York by William Klein

Did William Klein know how to take photographs when he created the images that made him famous? If you asked him today he would likely answer he did not. A… Read More

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

Aubrey Beardsley’s Birth, Life, and Acts of King Arthur

I’ve mentioned more than once the influence of Aubrey Beardsley on the artists featured in this miniseries – e.g., Kay Nielsen (see “Tales from the Old North”) and Harry Clarke… Read More

Literature, Moderns

The Story Behind the First Edition of Ulysses by James Joyce

The first edition of perhaps the greatest English book of the 20th century was published by a bookstore, in Paris, which had never printed a book before, and never would… Read More

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

Ballet by Alexey Brodovitch

This is one of my favorite photobooks. It has it all – moving images, superb design and a great story. It stands as a one-of-a kind testament to the innovation of… Read More

Illustrated - Art, Photography, Architecture

Alice in Wonderland, Illustrated by Salvador Dalí

Little known fact: Lewis Carroll paid for the printing of Alice in Wonderland himself.   Surprisingly, this isn’t actually all that unusual when it comes to illustrated titles published in… Read More