Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Winner Winner Albrecht Dürer

"Hey, they released the fine art books yesterday!"  Aaaaaaaaeeeeeee!!!!
Thus the art groove was suddenly and delightfully delayed.

after day one
Our university library is in process of sorting and thinning collections.  After each subject is reviewed, we are notified of books free to anyone interested.  (Libraries reducing is a sore subject, but we'll set that discussion aside and focus today on this artist's good fortune.)  I just happened to be gone the Monday they released the best subject matter in the whole universe.  Hearing that momentous statement the next morning, I immediately hustled to the library.  Where are the free art books?  Right over th....  The voice disappeared as my eyes found the indicated space.  Oh my... oh... WHOA!!  TWO FULL ROWS of books... art and architecture... FuhREE!  Free! Free! Free!  (Insert happy dance.)  Within minutes - Rembrandt, Cezanne, both Wyeths, and Velazquez were in my arms (books, not old dead dudes).  And, this was the second day.  I cannot imagine what I missed out on the first day!  30 minutes and a small pile later, it was time to get back to work.  The librarian offered to hold "my" books until I could return.  An hour after work could not get me through the rows before closing.  So, my stash went behind the desk for the night.

made me laugh, but did not go home with me
I had scanned all shelves by closing the next day.  One squeaky metal cart loaded with Monet, Whistler, Picasso, and more, rolled towards the door.  A large green book with pale gold letters whispered from a disheveled shelf "and me?"  I tipped my head to read the upside down spine "Die Zeichnungen Albrecht Durers"  What?!  Durer drawings!  How did I miss this?  Drawings of old masters fascinate me even more than their paintings.  Albrecht Dürer is at or near the top of this fascination pile.  I audibly gasped and gleefully added this treasure to my stack - 56 in all.  

That's right.  I suddenly and miraculously now owned 56 books on artists and theory and technique.  Yikes!

I mentioned the bonanza to a friend who appreciates Asian art.  Of course she'd love some free books!  The following week found me happily back at the stacks.  Fortunately or unfortunately, the books were less organized.  I HAD to sort through all the shelves again.  Learning from the almost-missed-a-Durer incident, I carefully read each spine and investigated ambiguous titles - two more blissful days in the library.  I found several books for her, but also a dozen more for me, including one with Da Vinci's notes on painting.  Nice.

I soon realized the 1938 Durer book is the third of three.  Curiosity led me to a very limited number of books I and II on Amazon, the most reasonable of which were copies of both volumes for just $25 each.  Woot woot!  Of course I ordered them.  So, my free books weren't free, but at less than a buck apiece... a steal indeed!

I still can't believe my luck.  Most artists know you can't have too many art supplies or too many art books.  Well, if you ever come across a good cheap book on Ingres, Hopper, Sargent, Van Gogh, Seurat, or Vermeer...

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