Digital Treat: Thanks to Cambridge University we can now see inside the world’s first multicolored printed book

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The book is called Shi zhu zhai shu hua pu, ‘Manual of Calligraphy and Painting’ and was first published in 1633 in Nanjing. The book is comprised of eight categories – birds, plums, orchids, bamboos, fruit, stones, ink drawings (round fans) and miscellany – and is illustrated by 50 different artists and calligraphers.

It is the earliest known example of multicolor printing in the world:

printed by the technique of polychrome xylography known asdouban invented and perfected by Hu Zhengyan 胡正言 (1584-1674). The method involves the use of multiple printing blocks which successively apply different coloured inks to the paper to reproduce the effect of watercolour painting

For years one of the earliest complete sets of the book has lived at the Cambridge University Library.  Deemed to fragile to handle the book never saw the light of day and was off limits to human hands. 

Now, thanks to the digital revolution, the work is available for all to see

Enjoy!

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cambridge u multicolor

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More: Too Fragile to Open, World’s Oldest Multicolor Printed Book Is Digitized | Hyperallergic

Bookish gems from the inaugural Seattle Art Fair

Phil Shaw London New York..., 2014

The first ever Seattle Art Fair is in the books and by most accounts it’s another feather in the cap for the Emerald City. The tech boom with its inherent money showers combined with our proximity to Asia make for an enticing mix and when Paul Allen throws his hat in the ring usually something good happens. I have been saying this for a while now; there are few cities in America as well positioned as Seattle to become one of the leading cities of the 21st century. 

The show consisted of a healthy mix of local galleries with some of the big boys from New York, Los Angeles and beyond and it was great to see numerous text and bookworks sprinkled throughout the fair. 

Here is a sampling of our favorites from our visit. Many of the artists deserve and will get a more comprehensive look at their bookwork in the near future.

What fun.

Hamilton_bookweightAnn Hamilton. book weight aa (human carriage) , 2009-2010. Archival inkjet print, 63 × 46 3/4 in. Edition of 10 + 2AP. Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland

Top image: Phil Shaw. London New York Paris Moscow, 2014, eight color pigment based archival print on Hahnemuhle paper, 46 7/8 x 37 3/4 in, edition of 60. Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, London. Each shelf represents a subway line in the corresponding city.

Seattle Art Fair In the news:

Seattle Art Fair Receives a Boost From Tech’s Big Spenders | New York Times

via art net

7 Reasons Why the Seattle Art Fair Is Important for the Art World | Eileen Kinsella 

Seattle Art Fair Attracts Local Tech Royalty but Future Remains Uncertain | Sheila Farr

Books by the Glass

book glasses jane austen

Next time your on the hunt for a cool gift for your bookish loved one or for something to spruce up your reading life perhaps some painted wine glasses by Renée at Kudos Kitchen would do the trick.

Painted on demand by Renee the glasses would surely add some color to the festivities. 

Salute!

book glasses PotterHarry Potter

book glasses Mary PoppinsMary Poppins

book classes breakfast at tiffany'sBreakfast at Tiffany’s

book glasses do not disturbinspired by 50 Shades of Gray

book glasses book clubBook Club

Kudos Kitchen by Renée

pictured at top: Pride and Prejudice